Page 1

“Dripfeed” NEWSLETTER OF THE BANKS PENINSULA BRANCH OF THE VINTAGE CAR CLUB OF New Zealand (INC) VOLUME 39, No 9 OCTOBER 2017 Editor: Michael Williams 10 Selwyn Parade Lyttelton Ph 328 8043, email

Chairman: Secretary:

Club Officers: Craig Keenan 332 1066 Ron Hasell 942 1105

Branch Address: 27 Showgate Ave, ChCh 8042 E-mail: 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 12th of October. We look forward to seeing you there. Supper is provided.

From the Editor: At our recent committee meeting, future events were discussed, and the possibility of another Monte Carlo Rallye was mooted. This prestigious event was last held in 2014 and it is thought that we really ought to have another one next year. Ramon Farmer seems determined to wrest The Team Prize from the indomitable and thus far unbeatable Equipe Escargot, as he and Bruce McIlroy are still smarting from their humiliating defeat in 2014, when one of the team Rolls Royces had magneto trouble or electrical trouble or one of the myriad troubles that permanently afflict Rollers, and didn’t finish. So Equipe Escargot (Citroen, Peugeot, Sunbeam) won again and are happy to accept all future challenges from lesser marques. For those who don’t know, or can’t remember, the event is held over Show Weekend and involves driving very long distances, over obscure roads, at fairly high speeds. We’ve had five of them thus far so if you are interested in the 2018 one, please let us know. We really need about 25 cars to make it worthwhile. The individual winner last year was Michael Pidgeon in his Fiat 501, so French and Italian cars do seem to have achieved an understandable dominance. Is there no bark in the British Bulldog? Another event we discussed was the Pomeroy Trophy, which has also had a time lapse of about three years. Hiring Ruapuna is very expensive these days, but we do have a lot of money, so we should probably spend it on something useful. May next year seems a likely date, so start making

those hood bows now, extending your wheel base, and emotionally preparing yourself and your car for battle Welcome to new member John Milligan, with a Lotus 23B Replica. This is the car that Frank Renwick campaigned for some time, and it brought back memories of a trip to Manfield. The Manawatu VCC wanted to hold a Pomeroy Trophy event, and asked if some of us could drive up, help them set it up and compete. So Messers Renwick, Pidgeon, Bain, Croft, Haycock, Williams, Robson, Owens, Calder, Broom etc drove or trailered to the Haycock Farm at Bulls and took over the farmhouse for a couple of nights. The day of the event was a tropical downpour, but most adjusted their driving styles to the conditions and incidents and spins were mercifully rare. Frank in the Lotus however, was a little too exuberant, and in a series of graceful spins, ended up in the water filled ditch that was in the infield of Manfield. He was not amused, as his supposed friends were not at all sympathetic and insisted on calling him Admiral Renwick for some time. I’m sure the Lotus has dried out now, and that John will enjoy it as much as Frank did. There was the traditional rain for the Swapmeet again this year, although the Friday was fine and consequently very busy. There was the usual plethora of stalls selling all manner of indescribable rubbish, interspersed with obscure car parts. The car displays are always interesting, and in the cars for sale area was Graeme Sword’s Reliant/Morris Minor Balcairn car. As he said, “not competitive but lots of fun” . Quite the right spirit. For many of us, the Swapmeet is about catching up with people, and I had very stimulating chat with Mike Crehan. Since returning from the halls of justice in the old country, Mike has been a gentleman of leisure at Mapua, and has devoted his boundless energy to typically obsessive mountain biking (hopefully not in lycra), and building a Delage. Perhaps recreating might be a better word, and he has nearly finished his 1939 Delage D6 75, an exact copy (“to the last mm”) of the Walter Watney Le Mans car. It looks wonderful in the photos, and Mike has applied for membership of Equipe Escargot, as he always sees himself as a winner. Once he has finished the Delage, Mike is turning his talents to the resurrection of the Bruce Robson Vauxhall 14/40. This seriously used and abused car is owned by John Newell, and Mike has undertaken to turn the car into a reliable runner so that can be used and abused by someone new. So next time you are passing through Mapua, listen for the Crehan baritone cursing freely and pop in for a chat. Trevor Lightfoot wants to buy car tyres, 475 x 500 x 19, new or barely worn Firestones or Palmerston North retreads. Phone Trevor on 03 3851200, or The 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom 2 that Auto Restorations built for Bill Chamberlain some years ago had been owned by Andy Fox of Scargill for some time. It has recently been sold and gone to a very good home in Havelock North. Nice to see such a special car staying in New Zealand.

Other Branch Events For Canterbury Branch events visit:

Coming Events: Top of the South Annual rally, 13th – 15th of October, in Nelson. Details from Jim Wareing Nelson VCC Might not be too late!

Ratec Hillclimbs; 14th October Duvauchelle, 15th October Kinloch. Contact Ron for details and entry forms.

The Peninsula Run Sunday 5th of November. Meet at the Tai Tapu store at 9.30 for a 10.00am start. Bring your lunch and a thermos as it will be a full days motoring, organised by Colin Lewis and Digby Gemmell with two routes for those who don’t want to travel on shingle. i.e. MG owners.

Hawkeswood Sprint; 12th of November. Yes it’s on again, so contact Ron for details and entry forms.

Oldtimers Event, Ruapuna 26th of November. There is a VCC class so once again, see the all knowing Ron for details.

Selwyn Motor Fest and Family Fun Day 26th of November. Selwyn car guys have banded together to hold an outdoor car, truck motorcycle and farm equipment show at a central location opposite the new Rolleston College. A bit of a contrast to the event at Ruapuna.

Past Events: Opening Run: The aim of the Opening Run is to drive for at least two hours over some interesting roads involving shingle and the occasional ford, and then end up somewhere in Canterbury at a stately home whose owners also have an interesting car collection. This year was no exception, as we were able to tick most of the above boxes. The typically eclectic collection of cars that typifies our branch set off from Tai Tapu and meandered round the back of Tai Tapu and Lincoln before crossing SH1 to skirt West Melton, Greendale, then through the dog dosing strip at Dunsandel and via some classic straight shingle Canterbury roads to Lakeside Road near Leeston, and “Birdling Brook” the home of John and Deborah McLachlan. The McLachans have been farming “Birdling Brook” for 3 generations, and with an Alfred Buxton designed garden the Edwardian villa is superb. We all sat on the lawn, under the elm trees and while having lunch blamed each other for getting lost, . It was good to see George and Karen Calder out in the Vauxhall 23/60, it’s such an impressive car. I was following it down a brief stretch of SH1 and it was tootling along at a very comfortable 100kph.

The McLachans have been growing grain and collecting Cadillacs for many decades, so after lunch we all drove into Leeston to look at the collection, which is housed in an enormous ex Grain Store for the Canterbury Malting Company . John’s father, also John, was the brother of Clem McLachan, one of the founding members of the Vintage Club, and he started buying old cars, farm machinery and fire appliances from the 1940’s onwards. There is now an extraordinary collection of diverse vehicles, and there isn’t space to list them all. Cadillacs are the marque best represented, ranging from a 1907 model through to a 1959 Fleetwood, ex Government limousine, with seating for eight. There were two enormous Cadillac saloons that were intended to be service cars in the 1930’s, with lengthened chassis and bus bodies, but the war intervened and they were used as rural mail vehicles in Southland for many years, covering huge mileages, but still remarkably original. There’s a very original 1918 Cadillac V8, a wonderful collection of fire fighting equipment from the Leeston district, one of the earliest Hamilton jet boats, a collection of WW2 GM 4 x4’s, a Mark 7 Jaguar that John senior bought new at Archibalds, the Model A that John got when he was 12, a series one Land Rover that was the farm vehicle for many years, an early two door Range Rover, some superb motorbikes from the 1920’s and 30’s, stationery engines, a variety of tractors,,,,, The list could go on for pages! We can be very grateful that the McLachans, like many farmers, never threw anything out. John has an encyclopaedic knowledge of each vehicle, and was full of interesting stories about many of them. The collection just about needs a full time caretaker; could this be a new career for me?

It was a fabulous afternoon, and marvellous to share John’s enthusiasm for his family collection. He and Deborah are wonderful hosts, and we are grateful to them both for giving up so much of their valuable time, as they run the farm by themselves, so time is very well organised and apportioned.


As always the French are in front – en avant et vers le haut!

Banks Peninsula VCC October 2017  
Banks Peninsula VCC October 2017