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The Radiator Cap

March 2019 Newsletter 1


Anne Richardson

Immediate Past Chairman

Leon Salt


Peter Yarham


Leon Salt

Club Captain



Neil Cremer

09 425 6298 / 021 277 9010 09 423 8122 / 027 423 8122 09 422 9685 09 423 8122 / 027 423 8122

09 425 4955 09 425 8737 021 208 7474 09 422 2662 | 022 365 0171

Frances Ross John Duffy Newsletter|Website

Chris Harvey

Health & Safety

Leon & Brendda Salt

Vehicle ID

James Lawrie

09 423 8122 / 027 423 8122 09 425 9928

Motorcycle Rep. National Executive Delegate

Leon Salt

09 423 8122 / 027 423 8122

Librarian Property Supervisors

Frances Ross George Lloyd


Leon Salt

Hospitality Convenors

Anne & Dennis McDonald

09 425 8737 09 425 7622 09 423 8122 / 027 423 8122 Anne 021 214 2267 Dennis 021 265 2466

National Executive Observer

Deadline for contributions to the newsletter is 23rd of the month.. The opinions expressed in the newsletter are not necessarily the views of the branch. Branch address: PO Box 547, Warkworth 0941 Bank a/c: BNZ 02-0480-0047413-000 VERO Agency No. 0300159 VERO Free phone 0800 658 411 Visit our website 2

Sun 3 Mar

10:00 Auckland Brit & Euro Classic Car Show at Lloyd Elsmore Park Pakuranga

Wed 6 Mar

12:00 Midweek picnic at Sullivan’s Bay

Sat 9 Mar

Are we there yet? Rally. Meet in the rooftop carpark behind BNZ 09:30 Briefing 09:00 First car away BYO picnic.

Thu 14 Mar

17:30 Club Night

Sat 16 Mar

A & P Show. Display cars near the Rugby Club by 08:30

Wed 20 Mar

10:00 Coffee & Cleaning

Thu 21 Mar

Visit to Gibbs Sculpture Park & Farm: see more information on Page 8

Thu 21 Mar

19:00 Club Committee meeting

Wed 3 Apr

12:00 mid-week picnic at Tawharanui

Thu 11 Apr

17:30 Club Night

Wed 17 Apr

10:00 Coffee & Cleaning

Thu 18 Apr

19:00 Club Committee meeting

Sun 28 Apr

Sunday Twilight Run

Wed 1 May

First Café lunch of the year

Thu 9 May

Club Night

Wed 15 May

Coffee & Cleaning

Thu 16 May

19:00 A.G.M. and Committee meeting




irstly, I would like to thank all those who helped with the Swap Meet last weekend. It went very smoothly and people especially the stall holders seemed to enjoy the morning. We now have the final money; $2,691.00. This is down on the previous two years by $230 and $260 respectively, which is not a surprise because the forecast will have stopped some of the local browsers from coming. However, I think we can be well satisfied with our efforts and we will have enough in the bank to cover our expenses this year. At our last club night St John gave us an interesting and helpful talk and practical session on how to deal with medical events that we might meet either within club activities or at home. We now have a sheet for members to complete and keep in their vehicle (under, on or near the glove compartment). We will hand them out at club events for members and their regular passenger. We are looking for containers to keep the paper dry, but otherwise a sealed envelope will do the job. This will mean that if you are not able to answer the emergency services when they come, a club member in attendance will be able to hand over the envelope to be opened by St John staff. We are looking at whether we can find a sponsor to fund having a defibrillator for the club. They cost more than we took at the swap meet so we hope to make progress here as well. Our AGM on May 16th still seems a while away yet, but it is time to give notice and to ask you to consider the members of your committee and its officers. A nomination form is included in this newsletter. All posts are up for nomination each year, but we will definitely need new officers for Secretary, Treasurer and Club Captain, and more help with some of the other activities such as Librarian. Please don’t assume someone else will think about this: volunteer yourself or find someone who is willing to take on a role. This your club and it will not function without these key people. We should all be extremely grateful to all the members of the committee this year for keeping us going and for helping me as I learn what it needs to be in the Chair. Thank you to those who responded to the draft Constitution Framework. The issue of length of terms of officers is covered and as a committee we will come back to that once the Framework has been approved nationally. We will be raising the issue of Associate members. This is not covered in the draft but we do find this option useful for some people. It is unlikely that Nationally this will be signed off in time for us to consider how we want to review our existing Constitution before our AGM but we will make progress as quickly as we can and then decide whether we need a Special Meeting of members to approve any changes that are needed. So, to this Month: the Are We There Yet? rally is ready to go. Paul Hodder has been 4

working hard to set a straight-forward route for us to enjoy. It seems a while since we all set off on the byways of Rodney. See more about this below. The Warkworth A&P Lifestyle Show is on this month as well, on Saturday 16th March. I hope people will turn out for this: they are looking forward to our usual display near the Rugby Club at 08:30. Bring you club membership card to get free access for the driver. Happy and Safe Motoring; Anne ___________________________________________________________________________________________________



here are we going this year? How far is it? Will there be somewhere to get a good coffee? What would have happened if I had kissed the frog at Rosalie’s pottery studio at Waiatira last year? To find out all these pressing questions meet in the rooftop carpark behind the BNZ on Saturday 9th March at 08:30 for the briefing. First car away at 09:00. BYO picnic lunch, and a flask of good coffee, just in case. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________






Date of Birth Next of Kin Name Their Contact Details Family Doctor Known Diagnoses


Allergies If any



2421 Kaipara Coast Highway


e still have a few tickets for those wishing to visit Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park on Thursday 21 March. The visit will take place between 10.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. Please contact Leon if you wish to join us.

With members travelling from all directions, we will meet at 9.45 a.m. on West Coast Rd, close to the corner with Kaipara Coast Highway (SH 16), where tickets will be distributed to those who have booked. We have been given permission to take one vehicle around the sealed rim road of the farm for those less abled. Many of the sculptures are only a short distance from this road. If you feel that this would make the visit more possible for you, please let Leon know by 14 March at the latest as we may be able to obtain the use of a 12 seater minibus to use if numbers demand it. Remember to bring your own lunch and refreshment.


Gibbs Farm : Conditions of Access


ccess is by appointment and ticket only. Gibbs Farm is an operational farm with hazards including farm machinery, fences, animals, uneven surfaces, water hazards, pest traps and bait stations. Do not feed the animals (although you may be able to feed the giraffe providing staff are on hand to supervise the activity). Please adhere to all signage and do not climb on the artworks. Toilets are provided and clearly marked on the Guide you will be given on entry. All other buildings are private and are not to be entered. No animals or domestic pets (including dogs) are allowed. Take all rubbish with you when you leave. Alcohol is not allowed. Photography is permitted. Please keep driving speeds below 25 kph. The use of drones is prohibited. Good walking shoes are essential. Emergencies In the event of an accident or health emergency, please contact one of the staff on quad bikes. They have access to First Aid kits and a Defibrillator. In the unlikely event of a Farmwide emergency, please return to you vehicle. 9



ur friendship with Len began 27 years ago at Kawakawa Bay at a lunch stop after a VCC run. Len was footloose and fancy free and we had a friend in a similar position so that is where our story began. Len's trade was as a coach and body builder in Henderson where he traded for many years as Woodgate Enterprises Ltd. Over the years Len has restored many cars for VCC members and was well known for his talent and knowledge. Over the last few years Len has worked with the North Shore Club planning the restoration of the bus. Grant's Chandler was restored 25 years ago with Len doing the woodwork. Since Joy & Len moved back to the Peninsula, Len was often to be found in Grant's garage helping with other cars Grant was working on. Over the years Joy, Len, Grant and I have had many adventures, all relating to cars. Swap-meets all over NZ (mostly the men), the furthest being Invercargill to pick up a Chandler part. Spring tours, Winter Wanders, Far North tours, Are We There Yet runs, plus two Parliamentary tours. The Parliamentary tours were re-enactments of the original 1917 tour, and the first was in 2007 which Len helped organise. For the Centenary in 2017, Karl drove Len's Briscoe as at this stage the tour was just too far for Len to drive. Over the later years, Joy and Karl have joined us on many runs and on our summer dinners at Arkles Bay where many beers and wines were enjoyed, and of course where we would right the wrongs of the world. We will miss Len for his part in our lives but will continue our adventures with our friend, Joy. Sharon & Grant Stott




hat we have here is a 1953 Alvis 3-litre 6-cylinder saloon, Model TA21. The chassis and motors were pre-assembled by Alvis in Coventry and the bodies were added by a variety of bodybuilders generally nearby, such as Car Bodies, Mulliners of Coventry, Freestone and Webb, and Tickfords. This particular car’s body was built by Mulliners. Interestingly enough, although the car is officially a TA21 it has all the features of the later model TC21 i.e. larger rear window and twin SU carburettors, these features being a welcome benefit for the driver in both visibility and power. The bore and stroke of the 3-litre engine is known as square as they are of similar measurement. This gives the engine a very flexible power range, with plenty of low-end torque. We purchased the car about 18 years ago from David Batterton as we were aware that the English Alvis Owners Club (AOC) were coming to New Zealand for a tour. We already had two other Alvises but neither was roadworthy. This car had been given a really good tidyup by the previous owner, with a couple of things still to do, such as the gearbox synchro rings needing replacement and the small job of getting the indicators to cancel which required the dis-assembly of the mechanism at the bottom of the steering column. However, the paintwork, engine and interior were, and still are, great.


The AOC Tour comprising 27 pre-war vehicles were scheduled to meet, with a dozen or so local Alvis owners, at Waipuna Lodge in Mt Wellington and to tour down the North Island East Coast, cross over Cook Strait and then travel down the West Coast, over the Haast Pass to Wanaka, then over the Crown Range to Queenstown. That was all fine for the visitors, but as the tour was to take three weeks we decided it would be an excellent opportunity to extend it to six weeks and do the trip from North Cape to Bluff. We had done that trip previously in 1972 with our “just restored” 1929 Ford Model A sedan. We elected not to stay so long in Queenstown but to carry on down to Invercargill and Bluff, calling in at E. Hayes & Sons Ltd’s amazing hardware establishment at Invercargill. We rejoined the Alvis tour at Christchurch for the final Dinner and were awarded the longest-travelled Alvis for that year. What they did not know was that on that day it was 50 years since our lovely old car was produced in Coventry. We had covered 3,619 miles by the time we got home, and on our way home between Warkworth and Matakana we had more rain than we encountered in the entire six weeks of the time away. One of the special thrills of the 3-litre engine is its amazing power when going uphill. For example, motoring up the Pohuehue Viaduct south of Warkworth the car is almost unmatched in its power and at 100 kph the twin exhaust pipes start to howl as it passes all in its wake - so cool ! The car is (rather reluctantly) for sale and anyone interested should contact

Further technical information is excerpted from Wikipedia:

Three litre engine

The 2,993 cc engine of the TA21 was new and produced 83 bhp (62 kW) when fitted with a single Solex carburettor and a compression ratio of 7.0:1. Unusually, the engine incorporated timing gears at the rear of the cylinder block and a 7-bearing crank to increase smoothness. This was the first appearance of the engine that would power Alvis cars until the manufacturer withdrew from passenger car production in 1967, although modifications, when branded petrol returned to the market and higher octane fuels became available, including increased compression ratios, would enable the power output to be progressively raised after 1953 until, fed by three SU carburettors, it reached 150 bhp (110 kW) in 1965. This car has the 2,993 cc engine which was developed for the TC21 and upgraded to produce 100 bhp (75 kW) by modifying the cylinder head and fitting twin SU carburettors.


Suspension was independent at the front using coil springs with leaf springs at the rear. 11 inch (279 mm) drum brakes using a Lockheed system were used, the first use of hydraulic operation by Alvis.


A saloon version of the TA21 tested by The Motor magazine in 1952 had a top speed of 88.7 mph (142.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 15.5 seconds. A fuel consumption of 19.5 miles per imperial gallon (14.5 L/100 km) was recorded. A saloon version of the more powerful TC21 tested by The Motor magazine in 1954 had a top speed of 100.1 mph (161.1 km/h) and could accelerate from 060 mph (97 km/h) in 15.4 seconds. A fuel consumption of 20.6 miles per imperial gallon (13.7 L/100 km) was recorded. 12



hat car is this ? Answer in next month’s newsletter.

Last month’s Mystery Motor was a Leyland P76 Force 7 Coupe. The Austin and Morris cars of the time were not suitable for Australian conditions and Leyland Australia needed a larger car to rival the Ford Falcon, Holden Kingswood and Chrysler Valiant so they produced the 4-door P76. Michelotti designed the body and the engine was the BL 2.6 litre six or the 4.4 litre Rover V8. The car won Wheels’ Car of the Year award in 1973 but the combination of strikes, material shortages and Leyland’s infamous quality control resulted in it being regarded as a lemon. The 1974 Arab oil embargo added another hurdle and a total of 18,007 cars were produced before Leland pulled the plug in 1975. Only 70 of the Force 7 Coupes were produced and Leyland crushed 60 of them so the surviving cars are rare indeed.




ast month the photo below purported to show O’Rourke’s Precision Engineering where James Lawrie started work as an apprentice mechanic in 1963, but that was wrong: it was the original garage on the site and it was replaced by the showroom in the picture above, which some folk may remember. All in the pursuit of accuracy and truth …...and James is not that old.








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Wellsford VCC - March 2019  

Wellsford VCC - March 2019