The first big event of Mini Nationals was the Show and Shine, bright and early on Saturday morning. There was a bit of grumbling about the early start, but with around 90 cars entered the judges needed all the time they could get.
The weather co-operated despite the grey skies, with only a light sprinkling of rain at about 9am. It was distinctly chilly for us Aucklanders though, and the Motor Museum Cafe did a roaring trade in hot drinks. Quite a few people took advantage of the complimentary entry to the museum, partly to see the exhibits, partly to thaw out a bit.
The Modified class was the most hotly contested with 33 entries, the stock class had 21 cars, and 16 in the new MINI class.
It was great to see so many well-presented Minis in one place. Judging took about 4 hours, but there was no lack of interesting cars to look at. There was everything from completely customised Minis, Austin and MG Metros (I'm sure the owners got sick of hearing "That engine would fit in my car"), Mokes, and rally cars, to carefully maintained daily drivers.
First prize overall went to Mike and Jan Bates with their perfectly restored blue Clubman in the Concours class, and Richard Underwood took 2nd place in the Custom class. By all accounts judging was incredibly close, with only a few points separating the top 10 places in each category.