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‘The Survivor’ put to good use at Whiti Beach Meet

There’s a deep meaning behind why a 1958 pink Cadillac, dubbed The Survivor, is set to give one lucky person and their partner or friend an experience of a lifetime.

At the Whiti Beach Meet on January 8, Doug and Denise Campbell’s pink Cadillac will be raising funds for Project Mammogram by offering someone a chance to win a ‘cruise’ in this beautiful machine to Kuaotunu for lunch at Luke’s Kitchen before returning to Whitianga.

Doug says he’s very much in support of Project Mammogram and any fundraiser that helps in fighting cancer, admitting with obvious emotion that cancer has in recent times cast its shadow over his family and friends.

He wants to focus though on living life to the full and having a beautiful car that has survived in original condition, never been restored and has been looked after its whole life, means he can treat people to a very special experience.

Brought to New Zealand from the United States by a friend of the original owner, it went through the compliance process only to be stored and left with the number plates remaining on the back seat. When Doug bought it eight years later, just before Covid, the plates were still sitting on the seat.

It was the fins that won Doug and Denise over. They had a 1970 convertible but longed for a fins car with loads of chrome, not to mention a rather hot feature, the Dagmar’s.

Doug points to two black pointed mounds on either side of the bumper and explains: “There was a very famous Hollywood actress and her name was Dagmar and they are very much what her chest looked like.” “Who has a part of a car named after their chest,” laughs Doug.

Denise says they are very much looking forward to people coming to Whiti Beach Meet to see the cars.

She says the joy of owning this Cadillac is seeing people’s faces. “You’re driving along and everyone goes ‘oooh’, they’re happy, they’re waving, and they say ‘what a neat car’. They just light up.”

But if you are going to have a Cadillac it has to be pink says Doug and he hopes anyone who has ever dreamed of riding in a pink Cadillac will put a donation in the Whitianga Lions Club donation bucket on the day and go immediately in the draw to win that experience.

“We just want to put a smile on people’s faces,” says Denise.

Luke’s Kitchen is delighted to be behind the pink Cadillac experience in supporting Project Mammogram and have donated lunch for the winner and their partner or friend and as a thank you to Doug and Denise they will also receive lunch at Luke’s Kitchen.

Mike Brown, Whitianga Lions Club’s Project Mammogram committee leader says this prize is a generous way of supporting the project and it helps drive home the message that access to early detection for better outcomes is essential for living life to the full. “We need to raise $350,000 for the new 3D Mammogram unit for the Coromandel region, and we’re grateful for Doug and Denise and the team at Luke’s Kitchen for their support in helping make it happen.”


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