Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Combined Clubs' Gymkhana

This is held at the Omana Reserve at Maraetai, it looks out to the Hauraki Gulf and is on a good day a beautiful site, and the 11th November was one of those the sun shone and the wind and rain stayed away.

The event in organized by the Chevrolet Club and each club attending puts on two events, so each year there are different things to do. This year our club had one involving water, and another with lifting tins with a billiard cue which seemed to be a lot of fun.

Each club runs its first event before lunch, and the second one after the cars usually proceed from one event to another, some are slow like guessing how many revolutions your wheel travels in a certain distance, to very fast slalom courses, where you sometimes have to get out and undo a spark plug or similar and put it back half way along.

Each year there seems to be fewer clubs making the effort to attend this picnic day out, the points scored this year gave the Morris Register the trophy, followed by the Chevrolet Club. Morris Minor, Ford 8 & 10 and the Chrysler contingent, some cars swap drivers so those that come in moderns can participate. I noticed that some had members from other clubs driving for them probably against the rules but it’s only a fun day out.

This year John and Janice came with their extended family driving a modern, a Model “A” and his Bright Yellow Ute as well as his Tourer which had a large dint in the front owing to having been hit by a Pukeko on the Far North VVCC run.

Harvey and Val with his Model Y; Bob and Gwen in their green Prefect and Bud and Thelma with their Prefect, Stephen (modern) and Ant and Karen in a modern.

I hope we have a lovely day again next year and perhaps we will be able to take home the “Trophy” we have had it in the past one year we won it with two cars and three people.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

The Great October Run

This took place on the 14th October a week earlier than usual owing to Labour weekend.

The run started from the Westgate Shopping Centre Car Park, at the end of the North Western Motorway, Massey. This is quite a large shopping area which in the future will get much larger as they have bought a big area on the other side of Highway 16.

Upon leaving here we traveled north along Highway 16, before turning into Old North Road, the next turn was into Peak Road, which takes you back to Highway 16. at Kaukapakapa. Followed this route passing all side roads until Makarau Road, this eventually leads through very scenic country side through valleys and hills, over the railway line at Woodcocks on to Warkworth. On the way were farms, forests, rivers and streams including several waterfalls.

The vehicles all met up again at the convenience car park in Warkworth, before going on to lunch a little further along the road, at a café looking out over the river. As it was quite windy we stayed inside instead of venturing on to the balcony.

Following lunch we made our way to the Warkworth and District Museum, which is in the country side just south of the town. This is a surprisingly good Museum and well worth a visit if you are passing through Warkworth a town most just pass through on their way north. But there is quite a bit to see and a well made walkway along the river.

After leaving here we traveled down S.H.1 turning off at the Puhoi turnoff, we were met at the store by Ted who escorted us to his home, where we were to drop off a reconditioned started motor for the Prefect he is restoring he also has a lovely red Austin that he has completed. A lot of time was spent in the very large garage workshop looking at the two cars. While there his wife Joy made everyone tea and coffee for afternoon tea and we had a interesting discussion about “Eels” how to catch them and smoke them.

For the final leg home some went by main road, while three went a back way, to Highway 16 and a reverse of the morning run. Those who went on this very interesting run were; Brian and Bev, Steven and his partner Irene, Paul and Delia, Thelma and Bud, and the organizers Harvey and Val.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Model A Invitation Run

This took place on Sunday the 19th August commencing from the Park just as you come into Waiuku. After a week of rain the day turned out fine if a little breezy.

After we arrived and met up with some of the friendly people of the Model "A" Club including Gavin Welch who was our Club’s President for a number of years, he was driving his Fathers Model A, we were handed out instructions sheets with the route interspersed with questions, Their questions were different from our’s in that they were on both sides of the road, however we managed to find most of them I think,then right at the bottom of the second sheet there were two questions one asking how many bridges we went over and the other how many Kms we had covered. (It pays to read all the sheets in advance).

We did a small drive around Waiuku then proceeded through country roads to Pollok, Matakawau, and Awhitu and onwards to South Head. The drive was very scenic and the country side fresh and green after all the rain we have been having lately, at one place they said if we looked hard enough we would see Australia, and at another look down if we dared, the bottom of the valleys are almost out of sight the hills are so steep.

Arriving at South Head Car Park all the cars lined up on both sides of the parking area, for lunch and to take a walk up the hill to see the Lighthouse which has been rebuilt at the top near the signal station. The lighthouse has been in several different sites, but is now back on the original site and has been restored it was not open when we were there, but sometimes it is. It is not now used as a working lighthouse.

On the opposite ridge about 100 metres away just below the crest is the signal station, it looks out over the Heads where the bar is clearly visible, it is a very narrow entrance way and it shifts all the time, it is a very dangerous entrance and a number of ships have come to grief there, with large loss of life.

Following lunch, we set off again following a new set of instructions, but without questions this time, turning off at Central Awhitu to follow Kemp Road, missing out Awhitu itself, and then turning off again at Pollok and going down Cemetery Road to Lees Gully Road (Did you see the Cemetery on the hill) to Te Toro, Waipipi and on through Waiuku.

Then we went out behind Pukekohe seeing two large Stationary Engines, going over a ford at the bottom of a steep hill, passing through small towns and market gardens until we reached the host of the days home (Paul and Louise) where there was a barbecue cooking sausages, to go with the chips, garlic bread, pizza cakes, and loaves etc; a real feast for everyone.

The host was a collector of all manner of things from models of vehicles, tins, tractors to be restored and 100’s of number plates. This was a long rally but very pleasant and interesting with a lot to see along the route. We would like to thank the Model "A" Club through Harvey Brewer for extending the invitation to us. Perhaps they may come to one of our Runs.

Those that went from our club were Harvey and Val, Paul and Delia, and Bud and Thelma.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Run to Orewa

This took place on Sunday 15th July the weather wasn’t marvelous it was dull and overcast with a cold wind blowing but it was a nice easy run through the countryside taking in Kumeu, Kaukapakapa, Waitoki, and coming out near the Silverdale on ramp to the Orewa Expressway, which comes into Orewa on the top side and makes its way onto State Highway 1 north of the main shops.

Those which attended were John and his friend Jim (Tourer), Ant and Karen, Thelma and Bud (Prefect) and the organizers Harvey and Val (Model Y) apologies were received from Chris, and Bob and Gwen.

During the run there were signs everywhere of the damage from the storm earlier in the week, mainly trees damaged and blown over there was a very large one down in the yard of the B&B at the intersection of the Parakai and Helensville Road they were lucky it ended up just short of the building, in some places later on whole rows of trees were down.

At Helensville the men headed for the Automania Model Shop, on the left just at the entrance to the main street. There are models of all manner of vehicles to make up, and already pre assembled.

Leaving there we drove to just short of Kaukapakapa where we turned to the right and proceeded to Waitoki, where the daily rain started but it did not last too long and had ceased by Silverdale, I felt sorry for all the bike riders who were out it, as it was cold as well.

The café we went to was called "Walnut Café" and was at the far end of town just before you start up the hill to Waiwera (well known for its hot pools). It was in very nice surroundings back off the road, it had wide verandahs in front and at the side where we had tables as we did not have a booking and it was very busy owing to a birthday party. (They were covered in with clear plastic covers and were quite cozy.)

Everyone ordered from the nice range available from cakes and pies to a good range of hot and cold dishes. The food that we received all looked and tasted very appetising.

After lots of talk and laughter we all dispersed our separate ways. Bud and I went down to the beach front and watched the wind surfers and their parachutes for some time there were a lot out as no people were swimming and they were all along the beach, in the wild and choppy surf.

Thanks to Harvey and Val for coming up with the route and the excellent café at the end, if you are into the coffee circuit this is one to check out.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Drive to Pine Harbour

This months run commenced at the Auckland Botanic Gardens in Manurewa a suburb south of Auckland, for those not familiar to Auckland it is where they hold the Ellerslie Flower Show Event in November (so named because it originally was held at Ellerslie Race Course).

The two sections of the run were put together by Janice and John Gardner. The first section was by suburban streets out to Redoubt Road which goes for a long way when you are looking for a Tuatara (a little blue lizard on a gate post). Eventually going by other roads past Ned Kelly made out of coloured drums to Whitford.

We then went past a bird garden some very smart houses in a big circle the “ford” was a road sign saying “Rutherford” back on the main road we turned into the Formosa Golf Resort, where the road ends at Pine Harbour, the Life Boat on display came off the Mikhail Lermontov and there were a lot of Norfolk Pines (everyone had a different answer to this).
Once in the Gateway restaurant we were seated together at two joined tables some of the meals took a little while to arrive but they were very busy as they were catering for another car club as well who had a large gathering. There was a small group in a tent affair playing live music outside it was pleasant to listen to.

After the meal the second part of the run took place with a tour through the streets of Beachlands this was in straight line navigation, after this the cars proceeded to Maraeti where we drove along the waterfront. Once back to the main road we proceeded to drive around the scenic coast line to Duders Beach, then turned inland to Clevedon, up West Road which included a very steep hill at the end. A couple more streets and we were back at the Botanic Gardens Car Park.

After a brief chat to everyone we all went our separate ways. We ourselves had a walk through the Gardens they had a brilliant display of poppies; there has been a lot of work done over recent times here if you are coming to Auckland they are well worth a visit.

Those that went on this run were Stephen and his friend Irene, (modern); Jim, a friend of John in his Zephyr Ute; Martin and his apprentice Josh (Y); Brian and Bev (modern) his car is almost ready; and Thelma and Bud (Prefect).

Thanks to John and Janice for doing this interesting run through areas you would not usually go, its always interesting to see different things.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Notes from the Breakfast Run

This took place on Sunday 20th May commencing approximately 8.45am with a Buffet Breakfast held at the ex "Springs Restaurant" now called Happy Days which is situated opposite the very nice Westerns Springs park which has a lake in the centre. This lake was the early source of Auckland’s water, the Pump house is now part of the exhibition buildings at Motat just along the road.

The meal cost $12.90 per person, and had various types of porridge and cereal, a selection of hot food like bacon, beans, sausages, hash browns, omelet, kidney etc. Juices, toast and various spreads, and of course a tea and coffee dispenser of different styles.

Those at breakfast were Paul and Delia; Ant and Karen and daughter Sarah with son Hayden; Ngaire; John and Janice, and Bud and Thelma.

After breakfast we were joined by Chris with his friend Mel for a short run devised by Ant through the suburbs to Parker Avenue in New Lynn where West Lynn Gardens are situated.

This is a garden planted on a site where there used to be a nursery, it is run by volunteers. Part of the attraction is a nice building with clear sides, fully enclosed from the weather where they raise Monarch Butterflies. As well there are paths wandering in and out of various levels with of plantings of camellias, azaleas, maples with larger trees as well.

After everyone had wandered about the gardens and made friends with the resident cat we all dispersed our separate ways.

Monday, 14 May 2007

City Run

The run this month was around parts of Auckland where we seldom go commencing from the old Central Railway at the Strand in Parnell. This has now been converted into accommodation for students, the railway lines have been extended into Auckland to the Britomart Transport centre and is a new underground railway station built.

Those who came on this run on a lovely warm sunny day were Paul and Delia, (Prefect) Chris and daughter Ellie (Ford Y,) Bob and Gwen, Thelma and Bud, (Prefect) Ant and Karen the organizers with apologies received from John and Janice.

The run took us along the waterfront past the new Vectra Stadium, Ferry Buildings, to Victoria Park, then to Franklin Road a tree lined street where at Christmas the households compete to put on the best Christmas Light Display it makes for a marvelous sight, into Ponsonby, where we commenced a page of the dreaded straight line navigation around the back streets.

The properties in these narrow tree lined streets with traffic blocks all the way along are very sought after, and huge amounts are paid for them, they are very often done up inside to a very modern standard the only thing remaining of the original dwelling is the fronts, very few of them have a garage or room for one so the cars are parked on the street which does not allow for a lot of passing space.

Eventually we made our way along Meola Road past the Keith Park part of Motat where the Airplanes are housed and where the Galaxy of cars is held in February, to Pt Chevalier Road traveling down it we came to a Café just before Coyle Park, a large open park for picnics and walking which is an entrance way to the nice inner harbour beach of Pt Chevalier.

At the Café the early arrivals had secured a large area in the corner, which was big enough for all to sit around the tables and have a pleasant time together over coffee and snacks of the buyer’s choice.

Eventually the gathering broke up and made their individual way home, a few were going to watch the racing at Pukekohe on the TV, others went for a walk along the beach in the sun before going home.

All in all it was a nice small run in an area you don’t normally go to, as it is not one of the main routes to anywhere.

On this run Paul and Delia had their very nice green Prefect which Paul has had for about two years, he has been overhauling the motor and getting it to a excellent standard, it was the first major run it has been on. Delia is not so sure of the absence of seat belts. It has a very low mileage and is original right down to the working wing signals. Paul is not sure if he is being seen so uses hand signals as well, as no one thinks to look at window level half way down the car for a signal.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Harvey's Run

This was the official run for March there are a lot of other events on this month but this was the clubs chosen event.

The cars assembled just over the railway line at Papakura on a grey cloudy day with rain threatening, after the usual chatting to each other and comparing notes the vehicles departed towards Clevedon our first stop, where we were to look at the Sunday Market, Harvey did not realize there were two markets open one a gift and hand made items type in the local hall and the other a farmers market, most people wanted to go to the farmers market so after a quick look in the hall most made their way back to the farmers market, to see the breads, honey, vegetables, smoked salmon, hand pressed olive oil, etc.

After this we were going to the Museum Harvey had seen advertised (the McNicholl Homestead) but the first people to drive up the side road came back to report it was closed, so we continued on to Kawakawa Bay where we parked in the picnic area for morning tea. There was a large gathering of ducks to assist us eating our food, when they were sure there was no more left they abandoned us in favor of a newly arrived group.

The daily rain started just as we drove out toward Kaiaua, our wipers were not going so well so it was a relief that it was more drizzle than the heavy rain we had been expericing during the week by the time we pulled into the car park next to the very busy Fish and Chip shop it had eased off. For those out side Auckland this shop has a reputation as being the best shop in the area with fresh fish caught I imagine in the Firth of Thames which we had been driving alongside for a lot of the way.

After purchasing our bundle in paper we adjourned to the park to join up with those who had brought picnic lunches.
Some of the party left the group here as they had other engagements in the afternoon, but they had enjoyed the run.

From here we went past the bird sanctuary, where birds from as far away as Siberia come in over the summer a lot of people take walking trips to see the birds, past the Hot Pools at Miranda to Waitakaruru, where there is a Antique type shop each time I go in there I think they have more stuff, I don’t know if they ever sell anything.

While there a group of people who had seen the cars stopped and talked to members and looked at the cars they were very interested in them and also to find out what the smell they had been encountering on their travels (ensilage). After I left a gentleman approached Terry to ask about the cars and told him he had a 7Y.

From here people had the option of returning the same way they had come or to go on the Thames Road towards Auckland, turning off just past Mangatawhiri going down Lyons Road towards the Hotel De Vin a very posh establishment, they have weddings there, and a helicopter pad where guests can arrive.

After driving up the winding hills you come out at Hunua Village then proceed down through the bush and fern clad gorge back to Papakura.

The attendance on this run was the best we have had for some time, in club cars were Philip and Pat, Harvey and Val (organizer) Martin accompanied by Terry and daughter Brenda, John and Janice, and two granddaughters, and their friend Jim who came in his club car a Javelin, Chris and lady friend Mel, Bob and Gwen accompanied by a Japanese visitor, Bud and Thelma, and in modern cars Ant and Karen, and Paul and Delia.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Galaxy of Cars

This is held each year by the Lions Club as a fund raiser for charity at the airplane section of Motat opposite the zoo, the hangers are open and you can look at the planes stored there. They have displays of stationery engines, a swapmeet, a band plays during the day and lots and lots of cars come from all the various car clubs right from the early 1900’s.

This year there were a large number of cars probably to the brilliant sunny weather with almost no wind the gazebo’s were up in force some years we have not been able to erect ours owing to the stiff breeze blowing. We held the first committee meeting under it later in the day most of the committee were present, also some of the club members.

The steam train was operating during the day taking children and adults back in time with a short ride the stretch of track is not long but I notice that the extension to the tram track is almost open it will go from the main buildings of Motat on Great North Road along almost to the zoo gates before going across Motions road down to the main hanger in the airplane section lights have been installed on Motions Road which I presume will stop traffic as the tram crosses.

Martin brought the swapmeet parts from the Parts Shed and set them up along with his pieces and Bud helped him most of the day, the club selling about $75 of odd parts people had donated along with Ford spares. Thanks to Martin for collecting up and bringing them in and taking unsold parts back.

We had a good range of vehicles there this year, more Prefects than others but different cars than other years which was good, a lot of people looked at them and George a member from Kaitaia took a club application form for a person up there who has just acquired one.

Dennis Owens’s 1946 Ford 10 made it under it’s own stream this year it broke down on the way last year, he has a collection of cars of various types.

We did not win any of the presentations this year John was hoping his 1949 Australian Anglia Tourer might win one. But there were a lot of cars there this year more than usual.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Kumeu Classic Car Day

This took place for the club cars on the Sunday the event covers both Saturday and Sunday but the club cars mainly go on a Sunday. Some of the members go both days to see what they can find in the swapmeet, apparently there were very lean pickings for out type of cars this year. Martin went to the club rooms and picked up our swapmeet things we have collected over a period from various donations and took them there along with his and his flat mates.

Once we had arrived with our cars Bud went across and sorted them out into a group to sell over a period Martin and him managed to sell a small amount for funds. There certainly is a vast number of stalls and parts of all description on offer, old classic cars in varying stages of restoration on trailers etc. being offered for sale.

The band played all day on the stage they were quite good I listened for a while, near them there was a bell on a pole which required very strong people to hit a spring with a large sledge hammer to see if they could move the marker up to hit it, that was entertaining to watch as people thought they were stronger than they were.

There were all manner of food stalls and several bars. I saw in the paper someone rode a motor bike into one and did a wheelie hitting several children the police were not impressed. A helicopter was doing a brisk trade at $50 a ride from the show rink itself it was taking off and landing all day.

There were the usual very flash Hot Rods in the buildings beautifully painted and upholstered, some are really magnificent there did not seem to be so many out side as usual but there were quite a few car clubs there with their vehicles. We had the usual number of people looking at our cars saying a member of their family used to have one at some time I think everyone in NZ owned a Prefect.

I saw a number of past and present members there, Bernie Engleback, Brian Coutts, the Gold Family who were selling their two partly finished Y’s and Brian Bracey. John Gardner also rang later to say that the Chaplin Family apparently arrived at the departure spot late after we left, with their Prefect and two Cortina’s and were placed in another area when they got to Kumeu unfortunately.