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200 Will Take Part In AMI Classic Car Rally


25 October 2001

200 Will Take Part In AMI Classic Car Rally

Two hundred classic car enthusiasts from Canterbury and North Otago will this Saturday (27 October 2001) take part in a rally in and around Christchurch.

The 200 participants are all customers of insurance company AMI, which has organised the rally as part of its 75th birthday celebrations.

The cars range in age from a 1909 Riley through to a 1971 MGBGT. Leading the rally will be 'Stu D Baker' - a 1926 Studebaker, which also turns 75 this year.

‘Stu’, as the car is affectionately known, is similar to the very first car insured by AMI. It will be driven in the rally by two AMI staff. ‘Stu’ has a busy programme of travel around New Zealand throughout the second half of 2001 as part of the company’s 75th celebrations.

The rally starts at the A & P Showgrounds at Addington at 10:30 am on Saturday and will finish at Orana Park at lunch time. Members of the public are welcome at either venue (entry to the showgrounds is free, while normal entry fees apply to Orana Park).

Participants follow a mystery route receiving clues and prizes along the way. Slower cars take an 85km course with faster cars driving a 130km course.

“AMI was formed by car enthusiasts, and its clear that many of our customers are still passionate about their cars,” says AMI Chief Executive John Balmforth. “Some of the cars in the rally have been in the same ownership for half a century or more and many have been insured by AMI for decades.

“For instance, the oldest car in the rally, a 1909 Riley is reputedly the only model of this car left in the world, while a 1924 Essex has been owned by the same family since 1925. Several of the cars in the rally have been sold, only to have been bought back years later.

“When we set about celebrating our 75th anniversary we looked for events that would involve our customers and be fun for the communities in which we work,” he said. “The response from customers with classic cars has been amazing and we are confident it will be lots of fun for both participants and members of the public, who are very welcome at both the showgrounds and Orana Park.”

The forerunner of AMI, South Island Motor Union Mutual Insurance Association (SIMU), was formed by car enthusiasts in 1926. Back then, cars were so expensive that car owners formed a mutual company to share the insurance risk.

In 1928, a similar motor union insurance company was formed in the North Island. This company and SIMU merged in 1991 to become Allied Mutual Insurance Limited, changing its name to AMI Insurance Limited in 1997.

The Christchurch car rally is part of a series of events that AMI is having as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations. Every AMI branch will be marking the milestone with special events focused on their customers and communities.


Juliet Crotty (04) 382 6602
025 343 199

AMI Insurance
Peter Strong
Area Manager – Canterbury
025 226 0209

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