More than 100 cars signed up to compete for cash prizes at the seventh annual Samoa V8 Car Club Car Show which marked 57 years of independence for Samoa.
Anton Cobcroft, 30, and his very smooth charcoal gray 1983 Chevrolet Malibu, won Best Paint, one of 10 categories in the annual car competition. He received a $1,000 cash prize.
From Lotopa and Vaoala, Cobcroft is a member of the Samoa V8 Car Club. But at his day job, he is a finance manager for an ice cream factory.
Cobcroft was feeling good after the win.
"I feel good. The paint work was done by my uncle and cousins at Samoa Hire Pool in town next to SOS. It took them about six months to do. There was a lot of effort by my uncle to get it to where it's at right now," he told Newsline Samoa.
"If you saw it before, you wouldn't believe the way it looks like now. You'd think it's rubbish before so it's a lot better now. I've had this car since 2012."
The Chevy was a gift from his friend. When Cobcroft was studying at Auckland University some years back, he asked his friend to sell him the Malibu each time he came home during school breaks.
"I'd ask him to sell it to me and he'd say 'no no no.' When I finally graduated and moved back, I went to him with $2,000 cash and he said 'just take it' so he gifted it to me," Cobcroft said.
"So I put a lot of time and effort into it to make myself happy and to make him happy. This was the car on which I first learned how to work on an engine. I was like 16. My cousin showed me how to change the spark plugs and it was like my mission to get it running."
The Malibu runs on a Chevrolet 5.7 V8 engine.
"My cousin Scott Levi has a workshop and he just put it (the engine) in on Friday. He spent a lot of time on it and he was up until 3 o'clock in the morning to try and get it running while I was at home in bed. I owe him a lot for doing my engine," he said.
His prize money will be put back into the V8 Car Club.
"Being a club member, I'll put the money back into the club because we're trying to fundraise for a track. The money you get from car shows will never cover the cost required to build a car so I'll put it back in" said Cobcroft.
Cash prizes were also awarded for nine other categories: Best Classic, Best Muscle, Best Japanese Import, Best Sound, Best Burnout, Best 4 Wheel Drive, Best Local Pomu, Best Tug-of-War and Overall Best People's Choice Winmer.
Residents of all ages from across the country spent their Independence Day holiday at the show held at the horse racing track in Tuanaimato.
The event drew an estimated crowd of 10,000 people, a big increase from last year's 7,000, a show organizer said.
"This is a showcase of all our cars and our talents. This is the only way to showcase all our cars and that is why we do this. We are very impressed with the turnout," said Si'a Auimatagi Afe Faamausili, media liaison for V8.
"The registration shows over a hundred cars but as for the amount of people who attended, it's probably 10,000. Last year, when we counted the money from the gate, we had about 7,000 people. But looking at this year, it's way more and we've expanded the area for this year so I think this year, it's over 10,000 people."
Five car clubs participated, among them the Boss Car Club, Leai Sau Feau Car Club and the U.N.I. Turbo Car Club.
The money raised by the V8 Car Club at the show will be given to the elderly home at Mapuifagalele.