“Dripfeed” NEWSLETTER OF THE BANKS PENINSULA BRANCH OF THE VINTAGE CAR CLUB OF New Zealand (INC) VOLUME 41, No 7 August 2018 Editor: Michael Williams 10 Selwyn Parade Lyttelton Ph 328 8043, email email@example.com
Club Officers: Craig Keenan 322 1006 Ron Hasell 942 1105
Branch Address: 27 Showgate Ave, ChCh 8042 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Noggin & Natter: 2nd Thursday of the Month
Noggin 7.30 pm at the Papanui RSA. Upham Room – enter either from 55 Bellvue Ave or the first entrance on the left on Harewood Road (Papanui / Main North Road) Thursday 9th of August. We look forward to seeing you there. Supper is provided.
From the Editor: In last month’s Dripfeed I wrote about the early Guff Sheets that I had read and said that they were first written in 1953. I received a gentle rebuke from Andrew Anderson, one of the founders of the VCC, or the VVA (Vintage Vehicles Association), as it was known in 1946. Andrew made the point that the late Dave Barker had written the first newsletters, that the club had gone briefly into recess, and that Andrew and others had re started it in 1953. Andrew invited me to his home so that he could give me a copy of “50 Years”, the VCC publication, and “talk bullshit about old machinery”, an invitation I accepted with alacrity. I had a marvellous afternoon with Andrew and Molly and learnt a great deal about the early years of the VCC. Upon reading “50 Years” I discovered the following quote about Andrew. “Absence, marriage, added responsibilities in business, none have curtailed the fiery zeal of our devoted secretary. He has stirred us from our apathy and with his genius for organisation, has in a very short time placed Club affairs on a sounder footing than ever before. To Andrew Anderson the Vintage movement in NZ owes much. Do not fail him!!” Stirring stuff, and all quite true..Andrew is 91and intends attending the AGM in Napier to give them the benefit of his years of experience! Another wonderful quote from “50 Years” was the first motto of the club, suggested by John Reeves’ suspect Latin: ”Facilis Descensus Averno”, translated loosely as “They run more easily down hill”.
A scholarly friend of mine who has Latin suggested that a more accurate translation is: “An easy descent into Hell”. Both highly applicable to the ownership of vintage vehicles, especially Austin 7’s. It is with sadness that I record the deaths of two of our older members, Tony Julian, who died recently, had received his 60 year badge last year. He joined the VCC in 1957 and was an early Banks Peninsula member. In his early years he owned a Rolls Royce 20/25, and a series of Citroen Light 15’s. Patsy Mauger was the wife, mother and grandmother of very involved club members, and was an enthusiastic participant in events from the very beginning of the VCC. Son Phil suspects he was conceived on an early Irishman Creek Rally! Patsy and husband Warner were a key part of the early days of vintage motoring in Canterbury. Patsy impressed all that met her with her cheerful and positive and highly organised approach, and she contributed a great deal to the VCC. The Banks Peninsula branch extends its sympathy to the Julian and Mauger families. More new members to welcome this month, thanks again to Rod Corbett and his Targa organisation. Welcome to John Rapley, John and Sharon Corbett, (64 E type), Andre Hopman (365B, 60, 67, 76, 89 Porsche), James Hopman,(76, 90 Porsche, 77 Range Rover, 83 Land Rover). We hope to see you at future events. I had a phone call from Reg Horner who was the runner up at Irishman. He wondered if I would like to help with Shands Patch again next year. He and winner Maurice Dunnage are about to set a route for both days, and there’s still ten months to go! Deeply impressive. There’s an historic car for sale on Trade Me at the moment, but may well have sold by the time you read this. In 1972 this was the first car to drive from Cape Reinga to Bluff in under 24 hours, ,and is a 1954 Citroen Big 15. The time was certainly helped by flying the car across Cook Strait in a Bristol Freighter, but is still a remarkable feat. It was all about consistency, as a standard Big 15 is not a fast car. A group of Bentley boys, (including Tom King) ,in a Turbo R tried to beat it some years ago but failed because amongst other reasons, they didn’t think of using air transport. They are going to try again this year and have asked Rex Carkeek, who drove the Big 15 back in 1972, and is a spritely 83, if he would like to come, but Rex, a long time one eyed Citroen owner is worried that someone might recognise him in such a dodgy car. I’ll keep you posted
Coming Events: The Targa Time Trial: Entry forms and all other relevant details are now available, so get in touch with Rod Corbett at email@example.com 03 423 1551, 027 4338772. There have been a good number of entries, 22 at this stage, but it’s not too late to enter..
Mid Year Dinner, 17th of August, Tai Tapu Hotel. This smart soiree will kick off with drinks at 6.30, with meal orders beginning at 7.00pm. We have a room to ourselves. Because the branch has so much money and because we are always looking for ways to spend it, the meal is subsidised and the cost per person will be a mere $40 per person. For the more sophisticated amongst you who dine out regularly, you will be aware that this is very affordable, so come along and go right through the menu, with no thought to cost or an expanding waist. But a greater attraction is the fact that this is an Awards Dinner. Ron Hasell will receive his 60 year badge, and Peter Croft will receive his 50 year badge and certificate. The committee thinks it has persuaded Ron to make a speech, which should be worth listening to, and we feel sure that the inimitable Mr Croft, as well as wearing long pants, will keep us entertained with reminiscences and memories for hours. So do come along and honour these two long serving members. As Ron said in his understated way when sending through the details, usually a good night.
Please confirm numbers attending by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Ron on 942 1105 by the 13th of August. Payment can be made by internet at SBS 031355 0611198 00. Please include your name.
Blenheim Mud Trial, 19th of August. This is at a new venue, on the highway between Blenheim and Havelock. For details phone Peter Thwaites at 03 578 5036 or email@example.com
CMRC Brooklands at Levels. Contact the ever efficient Ron for details.
Garage Raid, 2nd of September. Please note the change of date from the 26th of August. As always, we will start from Auto Restorations in Stewart Street at 1.00pm, and then visit two more garages. This is our club event to raise money for the Cancer Foundation, so please be prepared to donate generously to this worthy cause. The Canterbury branch are having their run on the 26 th of August, so for more details go to their website.
Opening Run, 23rd of September. Heading north Canterbury way Peninsula Run, 14th of October. Details to follow next month.. The National Veteran Rally, Nelson, 16th – 18th of November. Although it’s a long way off, we have been asked to mention this in Dripfeed. The event celebrates 100 years of veterans, and the centenary of Armistice Day. There is a pre rally tour from the 12th – 15th Nov, and a post rally tour from the 20 – 23rd Nov. Get in touch with Jim Wareing for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monte Carlo Rallye 16,17, 18 November 2018 Finally , the status that this event deserves. There has been an international enquiry from eminent sporting motorist, and raconteur Basil McCoy from Northern Ireland. Like many sensible people, Basil eschews computers and sent me a lovely card featuring a Brooklands Riley actually winning a race before borer ate through the frame. Basil is keen to enter the Monte and intends to return to NZ for that specific purpose. So gratified am I by his interest that I intend to overlook the fact that he’ll enter his much travelled Austin 7 Special complete with bodywork featuring a poem by Robert Service. Gives him something to read while he’s waiting for the tow truck I suppose. The Dawber boys intend to enter in a “rattling old Japanese diesel”, the mighty Morgan trike is going to enter and Equipe Escargot have begun planning their route. We would love some more entries, so do get in touch with me and I will send you an entry form.
Art Deco Weekend, February 14 -17 2019. The Hawkes Bay VCC are hosting this event, which will have an emphasis on Commercial vehicles, so I suppose there will be lots of Bentleys there. Details are in the notice in the latest Beaded Wheels.
Past Events: The Balcairn Trial. After a very wet June the organisers were worried that the Fleming farm might be too wet for serious competition, but rather like Goldilockâ€™s porridge, conditions were just right for the annual Clash of the Titans, or Battle of the Specials, otherwise known as the Balcairn trial. Itâ€™s the 25th year that the kind and tolerant Fleming family have made their farm available to us, and some of the ruts we have created will be there for eternity. Rather like the wagon wheel ruts on the Oregon Trail that are frozen in place really, and with just as much historical significance. Figure 1The Old Master at work
Figure 2 Bug in a bog
All photos thanks to John Macdonald
Figure 3 Where did that come from?
Figure 4 Malverns finest
Figure 5 MugBug
Figure 6 A Mauger problem
The organisers always walk a delicate line when setting the course. Make it too easy and you get laughed at. Make it too hard and you get abused, so to continue with the Goldilocks analogy, getting it just right is the aim. Bearing that in mind, we decided to have two new events and to reverse one of the regular ones. This had the desired effect initially as it certainly stopped the laughter, as the old hands contemplated change. It was good to see lots of Maugers this year, with Thomas driving grandfather Warner’s original Austin 7 Special and Phil and Clarke in the Bi-Motore. For the uninitiated this is, very loosely, an Austin 7 with two, yes two, Climax motors connected by belts and shafts and goodness knows what else, but all very effective. New entrants were Giles and Rosie Gill in their 1932 Morgan family model, powered by a Matchless 500 under a bonnet, and not exposed, It’s been in the family for about 50 years. One wheel drive is something of a disadvantage and the scores did reflect that, but I suspect that they had more fun than anybody else, and they drove it home, which is more than can be said for many other competitors, An A+ for effort. John Screen in the Bugwog Special had the steering sorted for this year and Peter and Josh Thwaites were in an outstandingly ugly Morris 8 thing that did remarkably well, proving that looks aren’t everything. Johnny Moore was too busy mincing round his newly acquired Cashmere estate, so sent dodgy brother-in-law Greg May instead. The usual highly competitive suspects made up the field of 27. The first stage, Flemings Flanders is a 40 point one that is meant to be impossible, so when Avon Hyde and Gordon Dacombe both cleaned it, organisers were tense. However the Morris 8 thing got lost and scored 3 so that made us feel better. The serious entrants got 33-36, which is what they were meant to do. Stage 2, Scotland’s Joy was in very slippery condition, but yet again, to the chagrin of the organisers, Messers Hyde and Dacombe scored 20, which was balanced by a group who got 5-6, which is of course what the organisers hoped for. Stage 3 Jelfs Shelf, named after Phil Jelfs who first approached the Flemings all those years ago, is indeed what it suggests, a very steep drop into a gully and an equally steep pull out of it. When the course was being organised the day before, there were two enormous holes caused by scouring that Gary Fleming was filling in with shingle to prevent lambs getting stuck. We asked him to stop, as we felt that the partially filled holes would be ideal for trapping passing Austin 7’s, and general carnage was anticipated, as the historical ruts that had to be negotiated to get to the holes were equally impossible. So when the first half of the field got the maximum score, the organisers were shattered. But then Jess Elwood got her A7 wonderfully stuck and needed two Landrovers to pull her out. And when Mark Dawber got the mighty Pontiac thoroughly wedged into both ruts and hole, and needed three, yes three Landrovers to pull him out, the crowd went wild and the organisers put away their hipflasks. Stage 4, Fendalton Road was a new one through the swamp and was seriously sticky , but the irritatingly cocky Avon Hyde got 20 yet again and Thomas Mauger, and Jared Dacombe in a Morris Special did likewise. But in doing so they had turned they had turned the starting line into a gooey morass and the remaining punters couldn’t get past 6, with the mighty Mog and the Bi-Motore managing a mere 2. The spectators loved it of course as the drivers became at one with the swamp. This was a stage where luck of the draw for starting position was crucial. Stage 5, Newell’s Nemesis, is named for the exploits of John Newell in the family 30/98 Vauxhall some years ago. With four solid passengers on board, the 30/98 ceased forward motion while ascending a steep grassy slope and began, in John’s words, “a controlled descent”. However the overall weight and greasy surface was too much for the brakes and as the Vauxhall descended it began it pick up speed at an alarming rate. John managed to pull it up a disturbingly short distance from a fairly steep drop, which would have had a deleterious effect on man and machine. We learn from our mistakes, and a kink in the course means that a runaway car will crash into a solid fence.
WE decided to put in a Stop Go in the middle of the course. Tough on clutches but great for spectators and a good way of levelling the scores. And so it proved to be , with the usual top guns getting 20, and the Stop Go limiting the score of many an entrant. Stage 6 was yet another new one, in a new location too, and when some of the cars couldn’t even get to the paddock, we felt that the sheep may well be sorted from the goats. In was another sticky muddy one through a stream bed in the middle of a sloping paddock. There was a decent sort of a run up so that cars could hit the bog at speed. Inevitably, Avon Hyde got 20 yet again, and when John Fowler, nor normally a top contender did the same, competitors hopes soared. But they had forgotten the Dawber Effect. Mark Dawber is a big solidly built person in an equally big solidly built Pontiac, and he surged through the course to 17, creating an impressive bow wave that caused spectators to scramble for dry land. But in doing so he had broken through the surface grass to the mud below. It was particularly deep at the 8 mark and it was fascinating to see how a speeding Austin 7 could stop so quickly when confronted by really deep sticky mud, and how much of that mud could be be flung into the air as they sank further into the mire. Huge fun for spectators of course. So a wonderfully messy end to another hilarious day at Balcairn. Inevitably the coveted Old Boot Trophy went to the evergreen Avon Hyde, who got a perfect score. That’s hard to do, and is a tribute to Avon’s skill as a driver as well as his ability to build a very clever car. Thamas Mauger was a worthy 2nd, with Jared Dacombe 3rd, The Spirit of the Day award went to Giles and Rosie Gill in the Morgan, who never stopped smiling, in possibly the most unlikely car ever to enter Balcairn. Next year we are thinking about a river section, so start thinking about snorkels.
Figure 7 Pontiac 1, Landrover 3