Page 1

PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

PHOENIX NEWSLETTER OF THE WAITEMATA BRANCH VINTAGE CAR CLUB OF NEW ZEALAND NUMBER 271

CHAIRMAN: CLUB CAPTAIN: 1st OFFICER: SECRETARY: TREASURER: BRANCH DELEGATE: EDITOR: COMMITTEE:

DECEMBER 2017

chicksmart73@gmail.com DI HUMPHREYS 021 025 75624 HAMISH ANDREW 027 296 9665 h.andrew@orcon.net.nz STAN SMITH 0274 775 475 vintageaircraft@xtra.co.nz VIV SCOTT 021 837 402 robandviv06@yahoo.co.nz JOHN GAIRDNER 09 480 4414 GRAEME BANKS 027 500 3806 graban@ihug.co.nz KEVIN BEESLEY 021 765 860 kandmbeesley@outlook.com MIKE HOPE-CROSS, MAX JAMIESON, BRENDAN LAMAIN and MIKE GREIG.

Page |1


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

COMING EVENTS Looking Forward………

Month

Waitemata

DECEMBER

New Year’s Eve 31

JANUARY

Lochinver – 20-21

FERUARY

KH Run to Te Awamutu 11

MARCH APRIL

Hooters ‘Roycroft Trophy Meet’ 18 Hope-Cross Mud Pug - tba

MAY

Drive & Dine - tba

JUNE

AGM 7

Other Events

Swap Meets

Hooters Round 2 Taupo. 7 Burma Rally Whanganui 21 Art Deco Weekend Napier 16-18 Western Springs Galaxy of Cars 18 Ellerslie Intermarque Concours – 11 Hooters Legends of Speed Puke. 25 Auckland Brit and Euro Classic Car Show 4 Maunga Moana Taranaki 21-22

UP NEXT…

Club Night 7.00 p.m. Thursday 7th DECEMBER At the usual place - the RSA Room, King George Coronation Hall, Library Lane, Albany. BUT NOTE THE TIME. As is customary for our last Club Night of the year, festivities will commence with a BBQ firing up at 7.00 pm. The Branch is providing the BBQ machine, salads, potatoes and Christmas treats, BYO everything else, including meat, plates, eating irons and refreshments. Be sure to be there. Numbers are needed for catering purposes so please advise Diane - phone 021 025 75624 or email chicksmart73@gmail.com – by Tuesday 5th December, of your intention to attend.

Page |2


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

Then…

Back by popular demand! Sunday 31st December - the Branch’s annual New Year’s Eve Bash, to be held – once again – at Mike & Kris HopeCross’ rural property in the Wild West! The lamb roast on the spit will grace our palates! The BBQ will be available for those who wish to utilise it; however, Kris is catering the main course of lamb, seafood mornay, salads and accoutrements. Mmmm, bring it on! (And, whatever else she feels like …. maybe a Pad Thai, we hear). BYO plates and liquid refreshments; Kris has a ton of cutlery as well as limited numbers of plates for those who forget. And please bring a $10 donation per person towards the provided vittles. Also, either a plate of predinner nibbles or a dessert to share. Pray for rain folks! Yes, we expect to have a Grasskhana. However, rain is required to soften the rock-hard paddocks at present … otherwise, low under-slung vehicles may feel significant bumps! So, here’s the info: The address is: 10 Anzac Valley Road, Waitakere Township (past Swanson/Ranui or past Kumeu/Taupaki – depending which way you journey from.) Look out on the LHS for number 10A which is easier to see from the road as #10 is just past that, and over the bridge. Turn up from 3.30pm onwards. There may be a couple of beds for overnighters available … first in, first served … otherwise, you’re welcome to bring campervans, tents … plenty of space to set up for overnighting, if desired. Mike’s contact numbers are: 810 9494 or 0274 884 961. Kris, for other info: 0274 939 911

Please advise Mike or Kris soonest if you intend to come along. Page |3


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

Coming Up…

LOCHINVER 20-21 January 2018 Not so far away now AND IF YOU HAVEN’T GOT YOUR ENTRY INTO IAN GOLDINGHAM YET THEN YOU HAD BETTER HURRY UP. Remember, attendance is limited to around 20 persons and places are being taken. Contact Ian Goldingham (goldie@kiwilink.co.nz or ph 09 4458811) NOW!!

Take it from one who has been, this is not merely an event, it is an experience a unique opportunity to couple our car enthusiasm with our culture. An opportuunity for motoring adventure in a fascinating section of the country you are otherwise unlikely to have the good fortune to visit. Most of our club eligible vehicles are capable of the journey – it is mildly challenging but not punishing. Do not deny yourself – take the opportunity while it is there.

And… The Hooters Vintage Race Series – 2018 Season Calendar Date

Event

Location

6th January 2018 7th January 2018 24th February 2018 25th February 2018 17th March 18th March 2018

Classic Trial Hooters Race – Tasman Revival Classic Trial Hooters Race – Tasman Revival Classic Trial Hooters Race (Roycroft Revival?)

Taupo Taupo Pukekohe Pukekohe Hampton Downs Hampton Downs

Organising Club HRC HRC/VCC HRC HRC/VCC HRC HRC/VCC

Entries are now open for Round 2 of the Hooters Vintage & Classic Vehicle Hire NZ sponsored race series Taupo on 7th January 2018. We will be running practice and 3 races on the Sunday…. Early start required! Why not make a weekend of it and for only an extra $35 enter the PPG Classic Trial on Saturday 6th January? Entry available online at www.motorsportentry.com There is also the option of having a further VCC Race at Taupo on 7/8 April 2018 if competitors wish…. Page |4


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

Please let me know your thoughts and I look forward to seeing you all soon. Best regards, Tim Hill. Series Co-ordinator tim@hrcevents.co.nz 021 614600

Going Further out… February 2018 is a busy month, what with the Ellerslie Concours, which you will be hearing more about, and various of our members likely to be attending the Art Deco Week-end in Napier. HOWEVER:

Keith Humphreys is organising a run for us down to Te Awamutu, probably on Sunday, 11th February, leaving from the Caltex Station, Bombay (exit 471) about midday, to view Chris & Helen Empson’s classic collection of English cars then continuing on to David Nordell’s restoration shop before heading back to Auckland and, to avoid the worst of the late Sunday afternoon motorway traffic, a stop at the Rangariri Pub for dinner. Details will be confirmed later by way of a separate emailed flyer. Meanwhile, note this date on your calendar. Page |5


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

Plus… AUCKLAND BRANCH MID-WEEK RUN Wednesday 13th December 2017. Note: a week earlier than usual Starts from The Drury Service Centre, Southern Motorway. 10-00am for a 10-30am departure. Destination the annual Auckland Branch Christmas BBQ. A short run to the Dewdrops. BYO meat, the rest will be provided.

Wednesday 17th January 2018 Starts from The Warehouse car park, Westgate. 10-00am for a 10-30am departure. Jack Nazer has again organised a run to Wenderholm for a picnic lunch. BYO everything.

The Dewdrops tel. 09 232 0245 email dewdrops@xtra.co.nz

And don’t forget… Waitemata Branch members are invited to the Sunbeam Talbot Darracq Register Christmas Lunch. A venue has been booked for this that strikes a happy balance between availability, location, ease of travelling and parking. This venue is the Red Shed Café and the booking is for Tuesday, 5 December, time 11.30 am to get orders in before the rush. The Red Shed is a café with a difference and is a popular destination. Please let David Adams know by Wednesday, 29 November, if you wish to attend. Ph/Fax 09 235-9812. Email daadams@ps.gen.nz

Not to be overlooked… Auckland Brit & Euro Classic Car Show - 4th March 2018, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga. This year's event is set to be the biggest to date, with close to 50 classic car clubs and 750 vehicles expected to join in the free fun. Page |6


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ Page |7


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

PAST EVENTS Looking Back…. Club Night – Wallace McNair’s 50 Year Badge Presentation. 2 November. There was a pleasing turn-out at the November Club Night, including three generations of the clan McNair, and for good reason – the celebration of Wallace’s 50-year VCC membership. A BBQ preceded the formalities which were led by Kaaren Smylie, the VCC North Island Club Captain. Kaaren is no stranger to us as she and husband Jim have been welcome participants in our last couple of R’Oilcans. She opened proceedings by giving us a brief run-down on her Club Captain’s role and her plans for the position, then on to Wallace. Whilst those of us who have been around a while are generally familiar with Wallace’s VCC related activities, being reminded of them served to sheet home the breadth and depth of his abilities, achievements and output over the years. The number, type and quality of the motor vehicles he has restored and the standard of craftmanship he

The moment of investiture (Was Wallace overheard to say “I’ll give you half an hour to let go of that”?

has brought to bear in doing so is truly world class. There would be few people, anywhere, who come close to matching his CV in this Anne explains respect. His vintage motoring exploits are also right up there. He has extensively and vigorously campaigned a range of quality Wallace expounds vehicles both here and overseas, including completing the Peking to Paris run, together with Anne Thompson, in the D8 Delage. To many of us he has also been the ‘go to’ person for technical advice. When all else fails Wallace invariably has an answer, a solution. There is many a vintage vehicle running just that much sweeter (in some cases, running at all) because of advice from Wallace to its owner. At the time of our Branch formation Wallace stepped up as our senior diplomat, helping to smooth the bureaucratic pathways, not to mention the ruffled feathers our breakaway occasioned and it was he who named our premier event the R’Oilcan (abbreviation of Real Oilcan) to differentiate our run of this name from its North Shore Branch roots. Congratulations Wallace, and thanks. K.B. Thanks to Keith Humphreys for the photos.

McNairs the younger. Robert and Louis with Steve Aldersley

Page |8


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

The HRSCC Hampton Downs Club Circuit Race Day. 26 November. There is no write-up of this event available at time of publication. We shall try and bring you more details next edition.

Chelsea W.A.L.S.H. Hill Climb. 5 November. A lot of nervous energy goes into Chelsea long before the edgy contestants line up at the start. For months prior the organising committee have had to face and address the questions that always go with this event, like, will we get permission to stage it at all? If so, what new hurdles and difficulties will the powers-that-be have put in our way? Will we have the full complement of required officials and marshals? Will we attract sufficient entrants? What will the weather be like? Not to mention the underlying concern of “What if something goes wrong?”. Despite, or perhaps because of, all this pre-event angst, a pleasantly relaxed atmosphere pervaded Chelsea this year, just as it has done in years past. No doubt the surroundings - the water, the mature trees, the park-like grounds – also help cultivate the laid-back vibe at the start and the convivial gettogether at the finish as contestants await their chance to head back down the hill and line up to do it again. It must be said, though, that another prime contributor to the relaxed atmosphere is the attitude of the contestants. No-one takes themselves too seriously. Once extraneous weight in the form of spare wheels and such like has been removed not a lot of tweaking and tuning takes place at the start, other than by those who are experiencing a particular malfunction. Most contestants spend their down-time chatting amongst themselves and conversations, as like as not, may be on matters other than the event. But as each entrant comes under starter’s orders and approaches the hockey stick the jaw sets a little more firmly, shoulders are squared and eyes narrow a tad, the gear lever is checked and rechecked to ensure the correct selection, the throttle is blipped, the spark control is nervously adjusted up or down a notch and the road ahead is scanned yet again to fix the best line of approach to the corner and the bridge. Despite somewhat dire predictions from the weatherman the day stayed dry. Cloud eased both the temperature and the risk of sunburn and the event proceeded without untoward incident. Sure, some oil was spilled on the course and there was the bonnet that flew open, but this all added to, rather than detracted from, the overall experience. And the turnout of both contestants and spectators was excellent. For the record, results were as follows: FTD Craig Laing, Buckler DD2 2nd FTD Ray Ferner BSA Special rd 3 FTD Nigel Russell Stanguellini Formula Junior Fastest Time in a Borrowed Car Steve Aldersley Jaguar D Type John Simpson Memorial Trophy (Having the most fun) Bevan Redpath Morris 8 Special Hard Luck Trophy Keith Humphreys Ford Model A Full result details included herein below. But enough of the words, it is the pictures that tell the story. File size dictates the number of inclusions, so, apologies if your vehicle is not shown. Also, check out the following website: http://www.steveritchiephotography.co.nz/ . By all accounts these photos are going out to at least three magazines, two in NZ and one in the UK. Highlight of the day, though, would have to have been the surprise appearance of Lionel Rogers’ Type 59 Bugatti (ARV). What a superb piece of machinery, the culmination of ten years effort on Lionel’s part, showing what can be achieved with passion, commitment and the skills here available. Apart from running up on the dyno this was the T59’s first time out and Lionel tells us the list of issues arising is pleasingly short and of no great consequence. Thanks to Keith Humphreys, Jacqui Goldingham and John King for the photos.

Page |9


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

The BSA Boys Les and Louis with the Beagle Boys looking on.

“How embarrassing! If I’d known you were going to wear those overalls I’d have worn my red ones.”

When you find yourself wanting a bigger hammer it’s usually time to stop.

“Truck? I see no trucks!”

P a g e | 10


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

Not much separates Louis McNair and Les Harris other than about 75 7ears.

P a g e | 11


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

Stormtrooper Howard Nice line, Nigel

Type 59 Demonstration run

P a g e | 12


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

Craig Laing demonstrating how to win

P a g e | 13


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

P a g e | 14


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

FROM THE THRONE At last summer has arrived and while a number of Waitemata’ites were having a great day of racing at Hampton Downs on the club circuit for the first time Keith and I spent the last weekend of November with the North Island Model A Club. It was their Christmas weekend away and we ventured forth to Te Awamutu. Te Awamutu!!! you might exclaim, why on earth Te Awamutu!!??? Well, firstly the Te Awamutu Council were extremely supportive of the A’s using Selwyn Park near the centre of town for a Gymkhana, they opened the nearby Visitor Centre facilities for us and wafting across the road came the sweet smell from 2,500 roses in full bloom from the beautifully kept town Rose Garden. An article was published in the Te Awamutu Courier prior to our visit so the public were able to come and view the cars. Later that night we were warmly received by the Te Awamutu RSA where the members and dining staff had gone to some trouble to set our dining tables with lots of Christmas cheers including crackers!!! Perhaps Waitemata’ites should be taking a leaf out of the Model A Club’s book and start looking to do functions/trips out of Auckland. I mean, last weekend the Humps and others were going ‘punk’ at Thames for the annual Steampunk weekend and this weekend the Humps were in Te Awamutu and both weekends were totally different, but both have been loads of fun. In Te Awamutu two car collections were visited and Keith has set up a day visit for Waitemata-ites to these two collections for Sunday February 11 th so put that day in your diary now!! The idea is you will leave the Caltex Station, Bombay (Exit 471) about middayish and heading to Chris & Helen Empson’s classic collection of English cars then continuing on to David Nordell’s, Vintage & Veteran Restorations before heading back to Auckland and intending to delay the late Sunday afternoon Motorway slog back to Auckland by stopping at the Rangariri Pub for dinner. This will all be confirmed shortly by a separate email notification. Arriving home from the ‘A’ weekend away it became a frantic session on the computer to get these notes to our Editor as publishing December PHOENIX is going to happen tomorrow! It has been decided that we will finish 2017 Club Nights with a BBQ and once again thanks to Keith & Brendan for supplying the BBQ’s. The Branch will provide salads and after dinner goodies, but some indication of numbers would be gratefully received. It has also been agreed that we will see the New Year in at the Hope-cross Farm and once again while the Branch will help fund the Spit Hire we ask that members coming bring $10 each towards the meats and a contribution to the desserts and/or starter nibbles. We look forward to seeing you there too!!! While I haven’t had a chance to talk to Kevin Andrew about how the HRSCC Invite day at Hampton Downs has gone today, as we were driving home late this afternoon in the ‘A’ I could see that there were a number of vehicles still over by the Club Circuit. Along the motorway, near Papakura we passed our new member Bevin Redpath towing his Morris 8 Special towards home and a very cherry wave and grin gave us the impression that he had had a great day at Hampton Downs. P a g e | 15


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

A BIG thank you must go to Kevin Andrew for he gives up a lot of his precious spare time to help out as both Scrutineer and occasionally, as today, as Speed Steward for the Branch….. in fact he has so little spare time for himself that the MGJ2 continues to wait patiently for some TLC from him! At any speed event, our own or an invite, we get a VCC Permit and we therefore require a Speed Steward, Clerk of Course and Scrutineer. In reality the Branch would be up the creek without a paddle if it wasn’t for Kevin & Max Jamieson!!

Di H. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

FROM THE ED. Fourteen-point-three years. That’s the average age of the NZ car fleet. Compare this with 10.1 years in Australia, 11.5 for America, 7.8 years in the U.K. and 7.4 years across Europe. No great surprise that our fleet is close on twice the age of others. It is a fact reinforced by any visit overseas. Interestingly, the average age in all these countries has been tending up rather than down over the last few years and whilst the global financial situation is blamed, in part, for this trend the prime reason appears to be the increasing quality of the modern car and its attendant reliability. Statistics also show we are keeping our cars for longer as well. These vehicle age and ownership issues, particularly in the NZ context, serve to mitigate against sudden and rapid change; no bad thing really, as it presents opportunity for us to learn and take advantage from other markets, buffers us against the pitfalls they may experience and smooths out economic disruption. Branch members and the VCC overall contribute to this average age statistic; I’m pleased to say the average age of my fleet (“fleet” being a somewhat grand term, but, there you are,) is fifty-eight years and for many of you it will no doubt be more. Not such good news, however, for those social engineers who, for various reasons, would foist change upon us and herein lies a threat to our interest. The risk, already identified and being actively considered by groups such as FIVA, is for the application of restrictive legislation and increasing penalties being imposed on ‘old cars’ in order for these social engineers to force the timing and direction of the market rather than allow it to take its own course. For this reason, it is increasingly important that the VCC sheets home to our bureaucrats the difference between our club eligible vehicles, our historic motoring heritage and ‘old cars’ in general. We need look no further than Australia and its Luxury Car Tax, or recent application of antiasbestos legislation as classic examples of how market manipulating legislation can have catastrophic effects on the vintage and classic car movement.

Kevin Beesley. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ P a g e | 16


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

JUST SO WE KNOW WHO WE ARE... Will continue in the new year.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

FOR SALE…. Embroidered Branch Badges…………………………………………..$10 each. Great quality and feel the width! Contact our worthy Secretary, Viv Scott for yours.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

OTHER NEWS…… Published way back as a series in ‘Phoenix’ editions numbers 3, 4 and 5, February to April 1983, uplifted from a prestigious English publication by our then editor Grant Taylor. Reads a little dated now, but well worth repeating – the salutary tale of…

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER LONG Sullenly, the emaciated Englishmen shuffled forward to the wire, stared out from red-rimmed addled eyes across the dusty compound, towards the Box. The sun beat down, vibrating in the still Longbridge noon. That other sun, on the Datsubishi flag above the executive offices, hung limp in the hot windlessness. A door opened beneath it and two Datsubishi executives clattered down the steps on polished boots; sunlight flashed from their rimless glasses, from the bright-buffed hasps of their snaplock briefcases. The massed BL workforce muttered sullenly. Thin hands grasped the wire. They would have spat, had the day left them spittle. “You shut up!” shrieked a Datsubishi convenor from his tower. “You shut up now bruddy quick!” The muttering ebbed. The executives marched quickly across to the corrugated tin box and banged their briefcases on the shimmering roof. “You leddy come out now?” enquired one, ringingly. “You leddy bling work-force back to shop floor dam quick?” shouted the other. P a g e | 17


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

There was a long silence. Then, muffled by the enfolding tin, came a feeble, yet courageous, British cry. “Piss off!” The mob cheered! The stronger men waved. The weaker wept, and their workmates sprung hungrily to lick the tears from their skinny cheeks. The Sumo stewards on the gates inched their appalling bulks forward menacingly. The two executives glanced at one another across the Box. After a few seconds, one shot the bolts, creaked open the door, and went inside. When he came out he was dragging a rickety assemblage of bones and rags behind him, not unlike a broken kite. This, when it was clear of the Box, shook off the Nipponese hands and staggered upright, to the thunderous applause of the workforce. They fell into rhythmic clapping as their Chief Shop Steward walked stumblingly across the compound between his two captors, his bearded head high. They sang, in pitiful cracked voices, You’ll Never Walk Alone and My Way and Beanz Meanz Heinz. One or two of the older prisoners pursed their desiccated lips around Colonel Bogey. They continued clapping until the Chief Shop Steward hobbled up the steps and through the executive doors, out of sight. The Chief Executive of Datsubishi (UK) sat on the floor in the air-conditioned shade, blue threads of joss smoke turning above him and gazed at the Chief Shop Steward for a long time. He put down, at last, the calligraphic brush with which he had been jotting a haiku about the new gearbox and sighed. He motioned the Chief Shop Steward to sit. “Mistah Lumbold,” murmured the Chief Executive, “I am a civirised man. I have a famry. I am a daddy” – here he pointed to a photograph on his desk showing a stout woman in Datsubishi dungarees, four small boys in Datsubishi siren suits playing with Datsubishi calculators and a baby in a Datsubishi bouncer sucking a Datsubishi spanner - “and I wish only to be a good daddy to my new Blitish Reyrand famry. What for you keep sticking your bruddy oar in?” The Chief Shop Steward licked his lips. “On a point of information,” he croaked, “I think I speak freely and frankly and with the full and considered support of my entire executive committee when I say that we consider your reference to the spirit of democratic negotiation as putting our oar in to be an affront to the labour movement, as such.” The Chief Executive turned his lead-lidded eyes eastwards, as if seeking sustenance. “Mistah Lumbold,” he said, still staring at the window-blind, “in the four months since this cooperative enterprise began, your workahs have ploduced three Datsubishi Goosegog famry lunabouts, at a cost of some seven mirrion pounds each. This is a rarge sum for an economy car. Also, the first one reft the factory with seven wheels on it, the second could only be entered through the boot and the third had a rimp.” “A what?” The Chief Executive stood up and limped the length of the room, pointing to his foot. “Yes, werl, I can’t help design faults,” said Mr Rumbold. “Ours not to reason why, squire.” “In the same period in Japan,” murmured the Chief Executive, “workers managed to ploduce half a mirrion simirar cars. Forty-six-point-two vehicles per man.” “Diabolical!” snapped the Chief Shop Steward. A bright flush rose to his jaundiced cheekbones. “You people got a lot to learn about modern production methods. Not that I am an intolerant man, of course; I do not expect miracles from people still eating their tea off the floor. Civilisation don’t come overnight.” The Chief Executive watched a bluebottle braining itself against his Angle poise. In Yokosuka now, dragonflies would be cruising the soft haze above the creeping lanes of matchless Goosegogs. P a g e | 18


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

“On the subject of tea, Mistah Lumbold,” he said, “it has always puzzled me why your men lequire half an hour for one cup, prus fifteen minutes wash-up time. For us, it is possible in fourteen-point-six minutes to have entiah tea ceremony, including two songs, whole chapter from Tale of Genji, lub down with best riniment and one-point-five minutes with geisha of choice. How can this be?” Small cups,” replied Mr Rumbold. “Bloody thimbles, if you want my opinion.” “Ah,” said the Chief Executive, “so.” “Also, the widdle. The widdle forms a major part of the British tea ceremony. Widdle, smoke, hand of brag, ritual discussion of Trevor Francis, it’s a different philosophy, know what I mean?” The Chief Executive speared the dazed bluebottle with his paper-knife. “It is my opinion, Mistah Lumbold,” he said, “that the Blitish worker is utterly incapable of ploducing a single acceptable motor-car.” In the silence, now that the bluebottle was dead, the Chief Shop Steward could hear his own blood throbbing in his temple veins. “You would not know,” he said at last, and his voice was hoarse with more than thirst, “about the Armstrong–Siddeley. Or the Alvis and the Riley, the Humber, the MG Magnette, the Railton? You would not have come across the Lagonda, the SS Jaguar, the Crossley, the Frazer-Nash, the Red Label Bentley. The name Invicta, I assume, means bleeding nothing to you? You were doubtless still up your tree wondering where your next raw fish was coming from when the ERA was leaving rubber all over Brooklands, you probably…” The Chief Executive put up a kimonoed arm. “The past, Mistah Lumbold,” he said. “The Empiah. It is my humble berief that in 1979 the entiah Rongbridge plant would be incapable of turning out a pair of loller skates.” The Chief Shop Steward squared his shoulders. “Right!” he cried. The Chief Executive watched him go. He picked up his brush again and licked it pointed, through his smile. “British Racing Green,” said the man from the paint shop, fourteen coats, hand rubbed down between each coat, coachwork line picked out in gold.” “Definitely,” nodded the trimmer. “Burr walnut dash and door trim, rosewood crossbanding, hand-stitched hide in…” “Apple,” said the body shop man. “BRG paintwork, got to have apple hide. Cries out for it. Also apple velour roof lining.” “But bottle- green for the carpet,” said the trimmer. “Hand knotted Wilton, real felt underlay.” “I don’t know why you don’t give ‘em a bleeding damp-course, while you are at it,” muttered a young electrician. “Tile the roof, window boxes, rustic gate on the boot, very nice.” “Shut your face!” snapped the Chief Shop Steward. “We’re not doing it for them, are we?” The man from the engine assembly swung his legs down from the upper bunk, took the pencil from behind his ear. “We could give the buggers a seven-bearing crankshaft,” he said. “Improve the running no end.” “It’d take time, that,” said the Chief Shop Steward. “I’ll work through lunch,” said the mechanic. “No problem.” He jotted a note on his clipboard. “And while we’re on it, their gearbox couldn’t half do with a couple of modifications. It sounds like a bloody egg whisk in third.” “Brakes,” said his mate in the lower bunk, “that’s where their trouble is. They’d be better off with an anchor and a couple of bricks, if you want my honest.” “You’ll only have an hour,” said the Chief Shop Steward. “Handsome,” said the mechanic. “Piece of cake.” P a g e | 19


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

“You got a darts fixture”, complained the young electrician, “with the delivery drivers. There’s a lot on this one. They’re bringing that big Welshman up from Cowley.” The others glared at him. “Youth today,” said the Chief Shop Steward, “where will it bloody end?” They drove it off the line and into the compound at 2.13 pm, eighteen minutes ahead of schedule. They pressed the horn. It played One Fine Day. The Chief Executive came down the steps and looked at it, rapt. He ran his finger along the flawless coachwork. He put his head inside and sniffed the immaculate furniture. He brought it out again, beaming, and looked at the Chief Shop Steward. “Prease turn engine on, Lumbold-san,” he said, bowing. “It is on,” said the Chief Shop Steward. The Chief Executive clasped his hands. Across from the compound, in an upstairs room of the executive block, the Datsubishi director of design, who had been watching through a slit in the blind, tied a flag around his head and fell on his sword. “Lumbold-san,” whispered the Chief Executive, “that is the finest Goosegog in the world.” “Course it is,” said the Chief Shop Steward. Then he got back in the car, purred it to the far perimeter of the compound, got out again, opened the boot, removed a jerrycan, poured petrol over the Goosegog from bumper to bumper, walked five yards off and threw his dogend at it. The Chief Executive was still screaming when Mr Rumbold returned. “Why?” he moaned, on his knees, rocking, “why?” The workforce watched the pyre plume into the blue Midland sky. “Fancy him asking that,” said the trimmer. “They’re bloody weird people, when you come right down to it,” said the mechanic. The Chief Shop Steward nodded. “Inscrutable,” he said. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ P a g e | 20


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

The Chairman’s Chest. Rest easy Branch members, desist with the self-flagellation, no more bodice ripping. Our long- lost Chairman’s Chest has been found! Yes, that tireless sleuth Col Dalrymple Goldingham (13th Dismounted Madras Hussars), by unstinting effort and leaving no shelf unturned has finally discovered the resting place of the chest that, being the repository of our lore and wisdom, not to mention the list of members due for long service badges, is to Waitemata what the Holy Grail was to Sir Galahad, what the Arc of the Covenant was to the ancient Israelites. Much of the detail relating to this discovery is, of course, classified and will not be released for, ohh, about 50 years or so, but what we can say is that it was found deep in the bowels of Castle Bradley, that Aladdin’s Cave of Olde English motorcars of varying quality and states of repair, and assorted automobilia, etc, etc. The Chest was cunningly hidden in full view, about where you would expect it to be, but covered under a pile of motoring journals, or some-such. In

Super Sleuth Col. Dalrymple Goldingham flanked by his two assistants, Miss Moneypenny (left) and Emma Peel (right)

any event both it and all its contents are now in safe hands. Members will recall that dark day two years ago when it was first realised the chest was lost and how few clues there were as to its possible whereabouts. Searching in all the likely places proved fruitless. The ritual sacrifice of two Austin Sevens (the apparent lack of virgins within the Branch is still being investigated by your committee) didn’t help, nor did our offer of reward for information leading to its discovery, but, mind you, there were probably those who thought the offer of $12.50 wasn’t really enough to elicit much in the way of information. What gloom. What misery! Poets waxed lyrical at our plight. Who could forget that stirring refrain: They seek it here, they seek it there, The Committee seeks it everywhere. Will it be found, or remain in some dark recess, That dammed Waitemata Chairman’s Chest? Some blamed abduction by aliens. Others said that the chest may have slipped through a small tear in the space-time continuum. “It’s not for nothing,” they said, “that the disappearance of the chest happened to coincide with the discovery of gravitational waves.” In the event, the hiding place was somewhat more prosaic, but, be that as it may, the mystery is solved. P a g e | 21


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

Have you noticed a general brightening of the weather, the sky a slightly deeper shade of blue perhaps, the bird song a little louder than before? Kevin Beesley. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Barry Birchall, long time Auckland Branch member, originally intended this tale for ‘Beaded Wheels’ but decided it was essentially a local story. Many of us know Jim and there is a Branch connection through la marque Delage. As you will read, Jim has owned his motorbike since 1937 and his veteran car since 1946. He joined the vintage car club at the first meeting held in Auckland in 1955. So, herewith…

THE JIM FRANCIS STORY. Jim is a colourful character who has been in the Auckland Vintage Car club since day one. Jim will proudly tell you his mum bought him home in the side chair of a 1912 Royal Ruby motorbike. He was still at school when he bought his first motor car, a 1912 Overland. His Dad took one look at the vehicle and told him he could not bring it home, so he had to rent a garage in Otahuhu. There were no tyres on the Overland so he went to see Mr Jones, the local wrecker, who had four Overlands of about the same year. Jim told Jones he had no money, but required four tyres. Jones said if he worked in the wrecking yard for a day he could take the four tyres. The Overland had very little body as Jim wanted to build a mobile caravan on the chassis so he could take his crippled mum to the South Island. That never happened and the Overland was sold to someone on Waiheke Island. Still at school, he purchased a 1926 Raleigh motorbike which he still owns today and found employment at Andrew and Andrew as an apprentice mechanic. He then went on to purchase a 1911 Martini with a roadster body. That was replaced with a 1914 Wolseley with a roadster body. Then before the war he bought a 1926 Rugby tourer which he paid 25 pounds for. Jim has always said he had a great war as for part of it he was bat man for Colonel Caughey and drove all over Europe in fine motor cars. After the war, he purchased a 1928 Durant but said he could not find tyres for the vehicle, so it was sold. His Dad approached him in 1946 and asked him if he wanted to buy into the business. His Dad was selling second hand furniture so Jim knew he would have to buy a small truck. He found a 1910 Delage in Avondale that had been made into a small truck. The Delage had good rubber which was important to Jim at the time. His Dad thought the Delage should have a door, so he added it. The Delage was often sighted on the streets of Otahuhu towing a trailer with a load of furniture aboard. Jim acquired a section in Princes Street in Otahuhu that backed onto the water and built his own house. During the construction of the house his neighbours held a party one night and at that party Jim meet Nancy who he married. Jim and Nancy were for many years living in the garage until the house was finished. Jim’s good friend Peter Maxwell had sighted a note in Horace Robinson’s shop window that indicated there was to be a meeting to form a vintage car club in Auckland. Jim and Nancy attended and Nancy became the club’s first secretary. The first run in 1955 was to start from Cornwall Park and went to Redwood Park in Swanson. Jim had a coach builder in Otahuhu alter the back of the Delage. Jim was on that first club run in the Delage. Nancy was an accountant and the business was doing well so they bought the odd rental house around Otahuhu. Jim never told Nancy that he didn’t rent out the shed or garage with the house and his collection of old cars, motorbikes and stationery engines started to grow. He purchased a 1912 Zedel from Wanganui, a 1917 Westcott (sight unseen) from Wellington and a 1926 Renault from a builder in Otahuhu. The car had belonged to the Hudson family in Dunedin. Jim had the Renault on the first International Rally in NZ in 1965. There were many more cars and motorbikes that I have not listed here. He also owned a launch built in 1940 for Ted Clark and used by the navy thought during the war. The launch was often used to travel to the P a g e | 22


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

bach on Waiheke Island or to Kawau island. Every winter the Lady Margaret would come out of the water and go into a boat shed for maintenance. Most of the old cars, motor bikes and the two boats have been sold, but he has still got the 1926 Raleigh motorbike he bought in 1937 while still at school

and the Delage he bought in 1946, and he still lives in the house he built himself in the midfifties in Otahuhu. The 1912 Zedel was sent to son David in Australia who has since past Veteran Rally 2013. Jim’s Delage is the green one. Jim himself to right in bottom away. The 1926 Raleigh motor photo, wearing the straw boater bike and 1910 Delage will go to daughter Irene now living in New York. He last used the Delage about two years ago when he drove the car along the motorway to a car show on the wharf. The police stopped him on the motorway as the officer said he was holding up traffic. He did not get a ticket, because the officer did say to him they will never believe me at the station when I tell them I stopped a 93-year man in a 107-year-old motorcar on the motorway. He went home on another road with his 93-year-old passenger. This year he will be 96 and his birthday party is going to be in Tonga. Jim will tell you old cars, lots of cabbage and water have kept him alive. He said he made one mistake in life, he should have had more daughters. Jim is great story teller and loves a good party. Nobody has been in the Auckland branch longer than Jim, so I felt we should tell his story. We did join him last year at the water front bach on Waiheke Island and Irene and husband Lars were there from the States to help him paint a massive new fence with paint brushes that had seen much better days. Jim tells me he will have space on the wall to mount the letter from the Queen when he reaches 100. Barry Birchall ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

DESPATCHES…. If you aren’t mentioned in despatches it means you aren’t telling the Editor what you are up to. ➢

Work is progressing on the resurrection of Max Jamieson’s mythical Riley Special. Which is great, other than this renewed activity is occasioned by unfortunate circumstances. Max needs a vehicle

P a g e | 23


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

to replace his trusty MGB which was shunted in the rear and written off recently. Worse, the low-life who drove up his tail hit and ran.

A group of Branch members descended upon Thames in November to take part in the Thames Punk Festival, a fascinating exercise in street theatre that is thoroughly recommended. Max Belcher, aka Capt. Hieronymus Stinklipunk esq, whose motto is ‘first to be last’, suitably adorned his already steampunk eligible Model A with some heavy weaponry, engaged an accomplice, namely Havn

Itnothinyet, Gunna 1st Class (Transylvanian Divn) to manhandle the machine gun, and away we went, accompanied by teams Humphreys, Andrews and Goldingham in, respectively, Model A, Fiat Spyder and Lea Francis, together with Vaughan Beesley and Mariette assisting in piloting the Riley Kestrel. Life is too short not to do these things….

➢ To help fill the void left by the completion of the Type 59 project, Lionel Rogers has gone from the sublime to something else, having recently acquired a very original Peugeot Bébé of 1913 vintage, or thereabouts, from somewhere in the Alsace. There is, of course, a connection here. The Peugeot Bébé was designed by one Ettore Bugatti.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

THE SQUEAKY WHEEL… Not this month. See you next year. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ P a g e | 24


PHOENIX Number 271

DECEMBER 2017

PHOENIX The OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER of THE WAITEMATA BRANCH of the VINTAGE CAR CLUB OF N.Z. INC. 200A Greenhithe Road, Greenhithe, Auckland 0632

CLUB NIGHT THURSDAY 7th December 8.00 p.m. at the RSA Room, King George Coronation Hall, Library Lane, Albany. Take Exit 410 Oteha Valley Road. Travel west along Oteha Valley Road, ahead through 2 roundabouts and straight ahead at Traffic Lights into Albany Highway then almost immediately RIGHT into Library Lane then very soon go right again into the parking area. The RSA Room is at the rear.

Lionel and Mary Rogers ascend Chelsea as sedately as a Grand Prix Bugatti will allow.

P a g e | 25

Waitemata VCC December 2017  
Advertisement