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PHOENIX NEWSLETTER OF THE WAITEMATA BRANCH VINTAGE CAR CLUB OF NEW ZEALAND NUMBER 261 2017
CHAIRMAN: CLUB CAPTAIN: 1st OFFICER : SECRETARY: TREASURER: BRANCH DELEGATE: EDITOR: COMMITTEE :
DI HUMPHREYS 09 446 0916 firstname.lastname@example.org HAMISH ANDREW 09 276 9263 email@example.com DON SUCKLING 09 412 7479 firstname.lastname@example.org VIV SCOTT 09 413 7154 email@example.com JOHN GAIRDNER 09 480 4414 GRAEME BANKS 09 444 8447 firstname.lastname@example.org KEVIN BEESLEY 09 480 5888 email@example.com MIKE HOPE-CROSS, MAX JAMIESON, BRENDAN LAMAIN, MIKE GREIG.
COMING EVENTS Looking forward……… Month
Glenbrook Steam & Vintage Festival 26
Classic Flyers Visit Tauranga 19 Toroa Visit 9
JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER
Ellerslie Intermarque Car Show 12 - Parliamentary Tour Re-enactment - 28-6 Feb - Leadfoot Festival 4-5 - Art Deco Rally Napier 17-19 - Teretonga Speed fest 17-19 - Galaxy of Cars MOTAT 19 - Ngawhini Classic Car Hill climb 4 - Classic Brit & Euro Car Show Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga 5 - Beach Hop Whangamata 22-26 - Legends of Speed Hampton Downs 25-26 - Hooters Race Series Round 3 Taupo 8-9 - Waiuku Steel’n Wheels Festival 30 V.C.C meeting 10
Wellsford/Warkwort h Swap Meet 25
Tech Night Fraser Cars 16
Brendan’s Drive and BBQ 30 Suckling’s Gymkhana & Mud Plug 21 A.G.M. 1 Mid-Year Christmas Whatipu 24 R’Oil Can 8-9
Horowhenua Branch Swap Meet 18
South Canterbury Branch Swap meet 1
Irishman Rally 3-5
Warkworth Winter Woollies Wander 1-2
Rotorua Swap Meet 9
Drive and Dine 27 Ryder’s Junction Dinner & Movie 24
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Coming up next…
Club Night Thursday 2nd FEBRUARY 2017 At the usual place, the RSA Room, King George Coronation Hall, Library Lane, Albany.
Note Well…. As you can see from a browse through the table above, there are a considerable number of Branch and other events coming up. Your Committee met recently and have sorted out a complete and varied range of Branch activities extending through until the end of 2017. Not all of these are shown yet due to space constraints, but they will be flagged up in due course and in plenty of time for you to plan your participation. It is hoped that getting a calendar of events with dates set and published in the first PHOENIX of the year will enable members to plan their attendance, mark their calendars appropriately and lead to a better turn-out of members to the events. So, you are on notice.
Thursday, 16th February
A Waitemata Branch 'Tech Night' to be held at Fraser Cars, 1/318 Beach Haven Road, Birkdale. Yes, this is mid-week. Meet there at 7.30pm. Tea & coffee for supper provided, but PLEASE bring a plate to share. Fraser Cars, manufacturers of NZ's Lotus 7 Replica and also Low Volume Certifiers. Fraser cars under construction to be viewed and possibly Hot Rods being certified. An intriguing place to visit. See you there!!
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SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY STEAM & VINTAGE COUNTRY FESTIVAL at the GLENBROOK VINTAGE RAILWAY We are running attendance at this as a Branch event, travelling down together, parking our cars in public view then being free to wander about at will. This is a great day out with steam trains, traction engines, steam boats, steam cars, vintage aircraft, vintage tractors, stationary engines, something for every one. Rivets galore and the air rendolent with smells of yesteryear - coal smoke, hot grease and horse dung. Meet at Onepoto Basin for 8.00 a.m. departure, or, for those in the south, in the car park near the Autobahn Bombay Service Centre at the top of the Bombay Hills, at about 9.00 a.m. The Team from the north will be pulling into there on the way through. Please phone Di Humphreys - 09 446 0916 to advise her of your attendance so that she can organize our entrance passes and parking.
After That… A visit to the good ship, (somehow, ‘good ferry’ doesn’t sound right) set down for
Thursday 9th March. Details as to meeting time and place,
plus all else you need to know will be announced nearer the date, but mark your calendars now! Page |3
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Next… A Sunday day trip on
19th March to Classic Flyers in
Tauranga and visit to see Bill Janes’ working aero engine model collection, which is truly remarkable. Full details next month.
Brendan’s Drive and BBQ. Sunday 30th April Brendan will be taking us up north to Matakana to meet up with Graeme Crosby, the Grand Prix motorcycle racing champion and a viewing of his motorcycle collection. After that we return to Brendan's for a BBQ. Full details will be advised nearer the time.
The Ellerslie Intermarque Concours and Classic Car Show, Sunday 12 February 2017. The Branch is not having a stand this year, but Members wanting a great day out may like to take part in the associated:
Meguiar's Classic Car Tours d'Elegance - Saturday 11th February 2017 There are 6 Tours to Choose From, with each tour capped at 40 vehicles: The tours are: 1. WEST TOUR d’ELEGANCE 2017 - The tour starts from the car park with twin power pylons opposite the AA office in Westgate Drive (behind the Westgate Shopping Centre) and is around 2 hours on sealed roads via Taupaki, Riverhead, Waimauku, Kumeu, the Waitakere Ranges, Titirangi, Hillsborough, Newmarket, Ports of Auckland, The Strand, Tamaki Drive to St Heliers. Total distance is approximately 100kms / 60mls. 2. NORTHCOTE TOUR d’ELEGANCE 2017 - The tour starts from Smales Farm car park 1st left area off Northcote Road after leaving from the motorway and is around 2 hours on sealed roads via East Coast Bays, Northcross, Coatesville, Riverhead, Whenuapai Greenhithe, Glenfield, Northcote, Harbour Bridge, Ports of Auckland, The Strand, Tamaki Drive to St Heliers. Total distance is approximately 100kms / 60mls. 3. GREENLANE TOUR d’ELEGANCE 2017 - The tour starts from Ellerslie Racecourse and travels via Ramarama, Ararimu, Hunua, Brookby, Whitford, Howick, Bucklands Beach, Musick Point, Pakuranga, Panmure, Mt Wellington Highway, Northern Motorway, Ports of Auckland, The Strand, Tamaki Drive to St Heliers. 4. PAPAKURA TOUR d’ELEGANCE 2017 - The tour starts from the Papakura Autobarn & BP Service Centre car park on SH1 and travels via Drury, Hingaia, Manurewa, Otara, Pakuranga, Panmure, Mt Wellington Highway, Northern Motorway, Ports of Auckland, The Strand, Tamaki Drive to St Heliers. 5. PUKEKOHE TOUR d’ELEGANCE 2017 - The tours starts from the Bombay BP Express Service car park and is 2 hours on sealed roads via Bombay, Ramarama, Ararimu, Hunua, Clevedon, Maraetai, Whitford, Pakuranga, Panmure, Mt Wellington Highway, Ports of Auckland, The Strand, Tamaki Drive to St Heliers. 6. ALBANY TOUR d’ELEGANCE 2017 - The tours starts from Mills Lane car park opposite Mitre 10 on Oteha Valley Road, Albany approx 2 hours on sealed roads via Albany, Coatesville, Riverhead, Taupaki, Massey, Swanson, Henderson Valley, Titirangi, Hillsborough, One Tree Hill Domain, Greenlane, Northern Motorway, Ports of Auckland, The Strand, Tamaki Drive to St Heliers ENTRY TO THIS EVENT IS A $5.00 PER CAR DONATION ON THE DAY. Entries closed on Thursday 26th January 2017 but no harm in still trying to get in. Contact the Tours d'Elegance Organiser, John Campbell (MG Car Club) at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Going further out…
The 2017 R’Oil Can Saturday 8th July 2017 is the date Rob Chapman has set for the 2017 "Can". Cost will be around $170-$175, subject to finalisation. So, you are on notice. Sufficient time to mark your diaries and prepare your steeds.
4-5 February 2017. Tickets available now on line
Check out the list of entrants! It includes famous names such as Barry Howard, Ray Ferner, David Brock-Jest, Steve Day, Rob McNair, Terry Roycroft, Peter Sunberg and Anne Thompson. The powers-that-be are checking out the rumour that the name of this event is likely to be changed to the ‘Waitemata Branch Benefit Series’.
Then… AUCKLAND BRANCH MID-WEEK RUN Wednesday 15th February 2017. Starts from The Drury Service Centre, Southern Motorway. 10-00am for a 10-30am departure. Just over 30 miles to member’s David and Anthea Adams property near Waiuku. Anthea has a show piece garden, which unfortunately may not be at its best due to lack of rain this summer, and David has a couple of nice cars, one of which has been in family ownership for many years. BYO everything.
The Dewdrops tel. 09 232 0245 email email@example.com
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If anyone wants entry forms for this VCC Southland Branch event above, please contact Diane H. She can email them to you. And… Ngawhini Classic Car Hillclimb – Saturday 4th March 2017 Being run by the Egmont Classic Car Register on Saturday 4th March 2017 near Hawera, Taranaki. P.O. Box 776, Hawera 4640
As in 2015 there will be classes for Classic Road Going and Motorsport as well as Vintage cars. If you are interested in entering the event contact John Apps, (Event Secretary) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 40, Maunga Heights, RD1, New Plymouth, 4371. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
A message, recently in from HQ: Your branch magazine on the web Many branch magazines are now available for reading on the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand’s website.
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The magazines are published as soon as they are received each month and can be accessed by going to http://vcc.org.nz/ and clicking on News from our Branches down the left side of the homepage. To go to your chosen magazine either click on the magazine cover or the underlined date of the publication. This will take you to the magazine and by clicking on the small square next to the + sign you can enjoy a full screen reading experience. In time we hope to be able to publish all branch magazines each month. Enjoy your reading. Ross Holden Communications & Marketing Officer Vintage Car Club of New Zealand (Inc.) Phone 021 2638488 Email: email@example.com
LOOKING BACK December Club Night BBQ. 1 December. A few less attendees than usual for our end of year Club Night and barbeque, but that didn’t dent the festivities. Sausages sizzled, steaks stewed and salads were tossed as any number of post truth tales were swapped amongst the attendees. And there were no less than two genuine vintage vehicles in the car park. Thanks to John G for the salads, and Brendan and Keith for the barbeques. Onwards, now, to another year.
Visit to HMNZS Te Mana 10 December. Judging from the comments of the many who took part this event was a great success; a success aided in no small part by the courtesy, enthusiasm and good humour of our hosts, particularly LTCDR Hayden Wilson, our contact person and officer in charge on the day, and CPO Kyu, his chief assistant. To facilitate our tour we were split into two groups, one lead by Hayden, the other by Kyu. Their explanations were thorough and delivered in terms we landlubbers could appreciate; nowhere was out of bounds and no question was left unanswered. By the time we left the vessel we had a pretty good understanding of ‘Te Mana’ and life aboard her. With our modest population and budgets it is easy to think of our navy as something of a poor brother in the international scene, but in terms of the professionalism, Listening attentively to LTCDR Wilson
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enthusiasm and quality of the officers and crew and the standard of the ship itself, we lack for very little, despite our miniscule size. In fact, when she returns from a forthcoming refit in Canada later this year the ‘Te Mana’ will be one of the most formidable and up to date frigates in the world. Control centre – with traditional telephone handset.
The line-up of VCC eligible vehicles on the wharf alongside the vessel was most impressive. Not shown in the photos is the Jamieson Delage which, for reasons Max may tell you if you ask nicely, was parked outside the Dockyard gate. After the visit we mounted our various steeds and motored off into deepest Belmont where Mike Greig had arranged a café for lunch. Our arrival en masse meant there was some delay in everyone being All the big guns were there
served, which resulted in us having plenty of time to mix and mingle. Big thanks to F.O.B’s Vicki and Danny Ryan for setting this event up for us, to Mike Greig for arranging the lunch venue and particulary to our hosts, the compliment of H.M.N.Z.S Te Mana, the officers and ratings of the N.Z. Navy.
Tour Party all present and correct. A few knees but no hands on deck.
Left. Our host, LTCDR Wilson with Cap’n Ryan.
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Above. “With legs like that he could be arrested for having no visible means of support.”
Left. Ships? I see no ships! The family Midgley next to their ship of the road – the big ‘Beam
“Me, I’m more into navel gazing myself.”
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New Year’s Eve 31 December Our New Year’s Eve get together around a spit roast has been a Branch tradition ever since our inception and Kris and Mike Hope-Cross turned it on again for us this year. And how! They did us proud! The spit roast lamb was done to a turn (?), preceded by smoked trout and sundry other delicacies, accompanied by Kris’ ‘to die for’ deep dish fish pie, baked potatoes, fresh asparagus and beans, assorted salads, plenty of Ciabatta bread, garlic and plain, followed by fruit salad, brandy snaps, cholesterol challenging plum pud with custard and cream and … chocolates! Mike had set out the Gymkhana course and prior to over indulging around the table most of the attendees tried their hand around the field. Hamish Andrew was keen enough to try his hand after the meal as well, but was hampered by a worsened power to weight ratio and the gathering darkness. The weather held fine and still and whilst some headed off early to home or other functions a goodly crew remained nattering on to see in the witching hour. Thanks again, Kris and Mike for a great evening and thanks to the Branch members who brought along plates of goodies - a fittingly decadent farewell to one year and welcome to the next. Lochinver 21-22 January. A passing ‘weather bomb’ just happened to coincide with our Lochinver experience, an unexpected added dimension to this event which certainly increased the interest of the drive in and out and back to Auckland. For those who haven’t been, ‘Lochinver’ essentially involves a trip across the station of that name to access the Maori land in behind it which is further traversed to an area including a grass airstrip and the site of Tamau Pa. The pa consists primarily of a ski lodge type structure that provides our accommodation and is the base for an operation known as ‘Kai Waho, a unique Maori cuisine, cultural and wilderness experience run by Tom Loughlin, ably supported by his partner Elizabeth. The journey across Lochinver Station is civilised enough, it is the land beyond that gets more Gathering crowds, and clouds, at the station interesting. Thirteen vehicles and twenty-six persons gates took part in this, our second running of this event and, as the accommodation only sleeps fifteen max, these numbers could only be accommodated by various of our party sleeping in tents, which, in the event, proved to be something of a challenge. The difference in weather between our first visit last year and this one could scarcely have been greater. It was reasonably fine for the drive in on Saturday, but as the afternoon wore on the wind increased, rising to near gale force strength, and the rain set in not long after sundown, persistent through to mid-morning Sunday then squally showers thereafter. In hopeful anticipation that the wind might drop in the early evening Tom, with aid from members of our group, erected a nylon fabric gazebo on the deck in an attempt to enable us to dine outside. However, the wind did not drop - it increased and the gazebo had to be taken down before it selfdestructed.
Introduction by our host, Tom Loughlin
What was not different, though, was the welcome, the hospitality and the quality of the food Tom and his team provided. Truly memorable stuff. Tom met us at the Lochinver reception buildings, a kilometre or so in from the main road and following an introductory talk, lead the way in to the Pa site. Once there we were treated to scones with lashings of jam and cream, followed by a hearty lunch. Free time then to explore the immediate area, most people opting to visit the nearby waterfall,
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PHOENIX Number 261 then back to the Pa for laying down the hangi and an extended period of pre-dinner drinks. Then, lifting the hangi, many oohs and ahhs as to the quality and quantity of the food, and dinner, all of us in the whare, around the table, on the settees, on the floor, fire burning and much great good humour.
Line astern, sort of, across Lochinver
And so to bed, but not, however, to sleep for those in tents. The rain and wind put paid to that. Next morning, the bleary eyed, but remarkably good humoured campers had many stories to tell about being constantly slapped in the face by wet tenting, only getting warm when the water in the sleeping bags eventually became tepid enough and of generally struggling to keep at least partially dry and hold the tents down on the ground. Access and egress back-up was provided by Paul Furkert from Carterton in his 1949 Series 1 Land Rover, Alistair Robinson and partner Carla in Al’s Land Rover, Kevin and Hamish Andrews in modern 4wd ute. The Midgleys, Oliver and Nicola in Model A Sport Coupe, Steve, Tracy and Ryan Winterbottom in 1928 16.9 Sunbeam, Eddie and Shelley Simpson in 1927 20 hp Sunbeam and the Humphreys Di and Keith in Model A Special were the tenting Brigade. The remainder of us - Max and Shirley Belcher in the Steam Punk Model A, David Adams and Terry Roycroft in 1932 Sunbeam 20, Max Jamieson in DI Delage, Mike and Adie Moffatt in 1930 Riley 9, Steve and Megan Cranch in 1936 Riley 15/6, Norm Dewhurst passenger with the Winterbottoms and the Beesleys Kevin and Mariette in 1931 Talbot 90 - slept in bunks. All made it safely in, out and home, albeit a troublesome clutch meant that Max’s Delage needed 4wd help on a couple of occasions. The drive back to Auckland was something of a battle against ferocious winds that had you all over the road if you weren’t constantly vigilant. Big thanks to Tom, Elizabeth and assistant chef Phillipa for their wonderful hospitality and big ups to all the attendees for your unflagging good humour. What a great bunch! K.B. And thanks to Keith Humphreys for the photos.
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The tent brigade
Laying down the hangi
Team Robinson heading for the Ripia Hilton
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The right crowd and no crowding
The road out. Practicing the ‘never follow the car in front’ rule.
Hooters Race Series Round 2 Taupo 7-8 January An event of some interest to Waitemata members, not least because our very own Max Jamieson was Speed Steward. Max filed this brief report: A combined HRC & VCC racing event at Taupo Raceway on 7 & 8 January 2017. An entry of 15 VCC cars and total of approximately 180 for the event. The weather for the Saturday morning was overcast and windy, with the afternoon being sunny. A combined drivers’ briefing was then followed by 10 minutes of practice for each group. Our first race was in the afternoon, number 13, a six lap Hooters Vintage Series for VCC cars, with a full entry on the grid. A crowded first corner followed by a sorting out due to the various speeds with some two car tussles going on. The Sunday was overcast and windy with two six lap races, Richard Anderson in the RA Vanguard missed the morning race due to carby problems. There were two or three spin offs but fortunately no car to car contacts. All competitors enjoyed themselves with only minor car problems.
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Chelsea W.A.L.S.H. 2016. Yes, I know - long gone now but herewith an external view kindly presented by Peter Croft, accompanied by some excellent photographs provided compliments of John King.
From a Totally Personal View Point It was almost 20 years ago when I headed north late one Thursday evening, HRG mounted, with the goal of reaching Picton to catch the ferry, the 1st leg of a North Island visit. The visit was designed to allow me to once again compete in the VCC hill climb and bent sprint events in the Hawkes Bay and this time, a week later, the Waitemata Branch’s famous Chelsea Hill Climb. I was looking forward to the double, Shelsley and Chelsea, as in the hands of Cherry Osborn, the HRG had climbed the famous hill on a number of occasions from 1952 through until 1955 when it was becoming quite uncompetitive. It had been semi-retired and replaced with a Triumph TR2, not surprising as Cherry was a Triumph works driver. I had just replaced the head on the HRG and had great expectations, which sadly were never realised as some 30 miles into my journey the sound of bells ringing from the lower reaches of the car’s motor indicated all was not well. Full sump, proper oil pressure so why did the white metal bearings run? Home again at 2am., up early to WoF and register the Alvis and off north once again. Fast forwarding and another rebuild, this time with new rods and shell bearings, and some cross drilling of the non-standard Laystall crankshaft rectified the problem but the car going well meant very little when all hell broke loose once again. This time the earthquake was not centred in Christchurch, but some 80 miles north and extending as far as Wellington. Initially the magnitude of the event did not sink in but it didn’t take long. Roads to Picton being impassable, except via Arthurs Pass and Greymouth (a 400 mile trip, which would add 1 to 2 days to the round trip) was not a pleasant thought and then the ferries were not sailing, so …. www.cheapairline- tickets.com and I was on my way. Unlike my 1st visit to Chelsea when it poured, the weather was sunny, but like my 1 st attempt at the hill, the organisers and competitors were warmly welcoming. Once again board and lodgings were supplied by the good and generous within the old car movement but there was no Saturday night party this time as we are now clearly taking the drinking and driving much more seriously. Being breathalysed on the starting line is not a pleasant thought. The warm welcome was upgraded several notches when Laurie Poolman offered me a shared drive in an absolutely real car, the C type MG, which had been entered by smartchick @ihug.co.nz. I thank both Laurie and Di for their generosity and congratulate Di on her 1st run time. However, it is what I would expect when considering the considerable weight difference of the C types’ two drivers (let alone me having to look down to select gears. My J2 MG box runs the other way!) An earlier drive of Goldie’s LeaF had also been a new and interesting experience as the LeaF’s box has reverse gear a continuation of selecting 1st. It is a good thing that the box has a stop on it to prevent selecting a backward gear when thinking you are selecting the forward gear. Saves lots of embarrassment when dragging off from the lights. Competing vehicles that caught my eye included the Sunbeam Drop head of Dave Adams, a car I have competed against in the past; Graeme Brayshaw’s early Buckler which I hope will not join the exodus of that marque to UK shores; Ray Ferner’s ex Ralph Watson BSA Special , which is a wonderful creation with a great NZ history; Mike Courtney’s VA engined TA MG last seen by me in Dunedin in 1967 being driven by a dental student and a huge Irish wolfhound ( I think the dog’s turn came when it was time to drive home from the pub); the Stanford of Barry Howard, a car with an amazing and successful hill climbing history record and a famous ex owner too; the Bugatti/Jaguar of Ron and Terry Roycroft was another delight and first seen by me at the Dunedin around the Wharf races of 1954. Other big engined cars included the Bentley, which after a series of testosterone injections was looking bigger and more rorty than when new; the Briggs V8 special more at home in its American colour scheme; and that amazing ½ Riley ½ aeroplane creation of Robert McNair. Special mention must be made of the smallest engined car, the Satellite of Karl Rolfe which raises the question: “where are all the Formula 3 coopers and the like?” P a g e | 14
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To sum up, being given the opportunity to drive up the hill of this threatened event was a huge thrill. Such a scenic venue and within the city must surely make it one of the best hill climb venues in the world, a fact I hope all entrants appreciate. It was an excellent motoring weekend, even though I arrived and departed Auckland in an aeroplane. Peter Croft
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FROM THE THRONE Happy New Year to you all!! Hope that 2017 gives you plenty of great vintage motoring and to that end your committee has already met and put together a calendar of events for the coming year so you will have no excuse for not participating in Branch events. As well as the annual well known runs like Mid-Winter Christmas at Whatipu, R’Oil Can, Ryders Drive, Dine & Movie we have “tee’d” up some interesting places to visit as day trips. As well as a Branch monthly event Keith and I have been organising a monthly ‘shed raid’ style event that will be held one evening every month. These will take you to some interesting technical style businesses and private collections of “blokey stuff”. Rolling the clock backwards, New Year’s Eve at the Hope-cross farmlet was well attended with quite a few folk staying overnight. The evening started with a fun filled belt around the cones in the paddock nearest the house and all meandered over to watch the action. Food as always was superb as was the company!! Sorry, you missed a great evening. Hooters held in January at the Taupo Race Circuit was well attended with Kevin Andrew scrutineering and Max Jamieson being the Speed Steward. All went well and there should be a write up by Max Jamieson somewhere in this issue of Phoenix. The last Hooters of this series will be held, once again at Taupo, on the 8th and 9th of April. Before the next Series starts we will be in high level talks with Tim Hill to see if we can introduce the Roycroft Trophy once again as part of the Hooter Series.
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Lochinver! Oh Boy! A shake down for the revamped Model A which now, some of you will be pleased to know, (including me!), looks more like a vintage machine than a hot rod. The weather was hideous, the tent flapped all night, we got soaked pulling it down and storing it away in the ‘A’ boot and while Keith dried out I drove home soaked to the skin battling the strong winds and the occasional downpour!! Still, it was an amazing adventure and if the Branch is lucky enough to get the invite to go again January 2018 get yourself on the entry list pronto!! Di H
From the Ed… Compliments of the season, all! You may have noticed by now that a large part of this edition is given over to reporting on past events and advertising forthcoming ones. This because there have been a number a past events since publication of the December ‘PHOENIX’ and, as noted elsewhere, the committee have been busy lining up a full calendar of activities for the coming year. These activities are not only many, they are also varied; surely something for everyone, in fact multiple things for everyone, will be available. All that the tireless organisers of these events now ask is for your support by way of participation. As can be seen from the past event reports, the Branch ended 2016 on a high and has commenced 2017 at the same, if not greater level, with excellent attendances for both the Te Mana visit and ‘Lochinver’. Over to you, now, to maintain the momentum. Kevin Beesley.
Just so we know who we are... Continuing a series of articles on members and their cars… Well, not quite a member’s car yet, but anticipated to be one shortly. Compliments of Ian Goldingham, herewith the tale of a Sunbeam we hope to be seeing more of at future Branch events.
The Kerikeri Kaper “What can you tell me about a 6-cylinder Sunbeam?” was the gruff question”? “Morning Stan” was my immediate reply, Stanford Smith never says who’s on the phone, he just expects his unique personality to do the job for him! Stan and his wife Gilly are well known to those of us that are a bit longer in the tooth. They have operated a Vintage Aviation restoration business at Dairy Flat for many years. Allied with this has been the opportunity for likeminded groups to go joy riding in their beautifully restored De Havilland Dragon and Fox Moth. P a g e | 17
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Stan has been looking to find a vintage automobile project for the last year or so. His phone call had been generated by the offer of said Sunbeam from a fellow ancient aviator, who was returning to the Mother country. Derek wanted his car to stay in NZ and particularly with someone who was mechanically competent enough to look after it! Who better than Stan a qualified flight engineer! Taking the very few bits of information, I was able in the space of an hour get back to Stan and confirm that the car was a bone fide peach. The Sunbeam turned out to be a 1928 16.9 hp model that had many years ago been a Weymann Saloon that had been rescued by Alastair McIntosh and rebuilt as a tourer. Funnily enough, it proved to be a bit of mystery car in the sense that everyone said the same thing. “I’ve only ever seen it once, and that was years ago”! A few weeks of due diligence, matrimonial consultation and asset manipulation followed over the Christmas - New Year period. So as soon as the core of the holiday traffic was clear we decided to venture north and hopefully repatriate the Sunbeam to Waitemata territory. Jacqui and I bailed out of bed early on the 10th January and pushed through the early morning rush hour to pick up Stan and drive up to Northland. After a brief but delicious lunch, we arrived at Derek Ellis’s abode perched in a commanding position above the Kerikeri Inlet. Derek, who has flown everything from Gypsy Moths to Concorde, has also been fortunate enough over the years to have owned a number of serious English cars, from vintage 3 litre Bentley to a 1958 XJ 150 Jaguar FHC. He went to great pains to check over everything with us including the Sunbeam’s maintenance schedule and refurbishment history. He was almost horrified that we were going to drive “his” car back to Auckland rather than trailer it, as he had for the past 12 years. I elected to drive for the first stint so that we could monitor the vital gauges as she warmed up and got settled into a steady pace. However, after 5 Kilometres I had to pull over and decamp to rebuild and reposition the driver’s seat which was next to impossible to drive with! That sorted out, we continued on with mounting confidence down to Moerwa. By that stage I felt that the Sunbeam was up to temperature, it was time for Stan to take control and learn what his new charge was all about. He soon got the gist of the revs and gear ratios, found you had to throw the car at the hills as it’s only a 2 litre engine. He was thankful to have a Sunbeam savvy person beside him to keep the beast on top of its game. He did admit that his hearing was not up to scratch when it came to listening to the engine on the move. P a g e | 18
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Stopping at Kamo, Jacqui and I swapped co-pilot seats because I felt that Stan was doing so well that he didn't need me as a flight instructor/mechanic. He was effectively driving solo from there. A strong run across from Ruakaka and Waipu saw the Sunbeam charging up through the Brynderwyns roadworks pulling steadily in 3rd gear. Coming down the other side it was apparent that a storm front was approaching from the south and we would soon be testing the capabilities of the Sunbeam’s wet weather equipment. Sure enough, just as we came through the Dome Valley the clouds went from drizzle to persistent precipitation. Stan wisely slowed the Sunbeam to a cautious 80 kph as visibility went down and the wind came up. He also had been struggling with a developing misfire caused by old spark plugs that were both fouling and breaking down. Fortunately, the Sunbeam managed to bumble along for the last 20 kms to make touch down at Dairy Flat and be housed amongst its aviation brethren. In the following days, Stan gave the car a thorough electrical going over, drove it to his son’s wedding at Aongatete (south of Katikati) where it was the star of the show. On the Sunday he put in a new set of NGK spark plugs and drove it home. So in the space of a week this garage queen has dusted off her glad rags, picked up her skirts and done over 650 kms! Most importantly the 16.9 hp has earned Gilly’s seal of approval. We hope to welcome them into the Waitemata branch soon and help the Sunbeam stretch its legs even further. Ian Goldingham. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
For Sale…. Embroidered Branch Badges…………………………………………..$10 each. Great quality and feel the width! Contact our worthy Secretary, Viv Scott for yours.
∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ P a g e | 19
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Other News……. John King writes that….. “Chelsea's very pleasant and all that, but somehow it lacks the sheer drama of Bill Veitch storming the hill on his Norton International.” Now read on about…
That other hill climb by John King So Chelsea is 40 years old. A conversation with Lawrence Poolman, marshalling while he watched his Ctype Montlhery MG Midget being punted up the hill to good effect by Peter Croft and even better effect by Diane Humphreys, brought to mind another VCC hill climb of long ago. So long ago, in fact, that the last time I watched it was a couple of years before Chelsea even started. If the Otago Branch VCC still runs Invermay then it keeps very quiet about it. Back in the 1960s (at least) and into the 1970s Otago was able to use the private access road on to Invermay Research Station at the northern end of the Taieri Plain, west of the northern part of Dunedin and usually accessed from there over Three Mile Hill.
Veitch Norton: Chelsea is a very pleasant hill climb venue and all that, but nothing can compare with the sheer drama of Bill Veitch storming up Invermay on his Norton International, dirt-track style.
The gravel road comprising the course was usually smooth enough, although naturally very dusty, and a large part of its atmosphere was due to the mature pine trees lining that part of the farm. (The fact that those trees also provided shelter from any breeze and kept the dust hanging in the air from one run to the next is neither here nor there.) Alas, the trees were cut down in the early 1970s and the hill lost much of its charm.
Above. McKellar 4CLT: Ian McKellar drives circumspectly, as one might expect with such a rare car, his Maserati 4CLT-48, in New Zealand 1955–89, sporting a 250F type nose.
Right. Mauger Stanton Special: Using the same DH Gipsy Major motive power as Robert McNair at Chelsea, Warner Mauger manages to provide more noise and drama on the gravel surface.
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Entries benefited from a fair selection of Canterbury Branch members, long before Banks Peninsula took over the sporting side of vintage motoring from Canterbury, having been inspired by our own renegade Waitemata bunch. Some particularly interesting cars were seen in action, including a 4CLT Maserati, Cooper-Bristol, real C-Type Jaguar and the Stanton Special, powered by DH Gipsy Major and even more spectacular to watch than Robert McNair’s Riley-based special that currently rules Chelsea. Noisier, too. Mishaps on Invermay were few, but they MG F-type: Clive Butler’s MG F-type lies inverted below the Invermay road, did happen. Lawrence said something about having adopted a Z-shaped chassis and considerably shorter left wheelbase Clive Butler’s F-type MG that met its end but with no injury to the driver. there, which led to a rummage among my Invermay photos. One of them shows Clive’s MG with a distinctly Z-shaped chassis after falling off the road down the substantial hillside. Clive was most fortunate in being flung out during the unplanned aerobatics and appeared physically unharmed—although he lost something of his tan that afternoon. That same year another MG, I seem to recall driven by Geoff Owen, met misfortune. Indecision over which fork to take after the finish line resulted in an encounter with a strainer post and the retirement of the J2 for the day. There might well have been a third MG mishap, but I remember those two vividly. Andrew Anderson was Invermay’s Judge of Fact, although he didn’t need a high-vis vest to advertise that in the way that Chelsea was supervised by Max who was proclaimed, of Course, Clerk. Andrew judged the facts in his inimitable manner and declared that it was a Vintage hill climb, and people who ran about in piddly little post-vintage cars had only themselves to blame when things went wrong. Somehow things seem to have become a bit more serious in the past 40 years or so. Invermay photos all by John King.
Scott Fiat 501S: Bob Scott prefers comfort in his Fiat 501S, although he does wear a crash helmet! Newell 30/98: Jack Newell and his Vauxhall 30/98 Wensum capture the spirit of Invermay.
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But wait, there’s more! John followed up his tale of "That other hill climb” with the following explanation of Invermay's origins from Andrew Anderson, via Tom King. As John points out, Andy’s tone and quality are both very much in keeping with Phoenix. Notes on Invermay Hill climb. Thanks for the snippet on Chelsea and your memory of Invermay. knowing” government shut down the Research Station back in the had seriously chastised its senior people some 3 years earlier temerity to permit the VCC hordes onto its sacred and terribly
A “far seeing all early nineties and for having the secret soil!
Bob Oakley is really the only living survivor of the Event’s full history and should certainly be approached for a full year by year story of the whole show. It started as a venue for the Brighton Run weekend picnic on the Sunday for the sportier characters who always supported those early Brightons. The first two years were literally picnics at Outram Domain which resulted in such disturbance of both Turf and populace that for the next three or four years we sallied out to Lee Stream Pub in a deep valley between Outram and Deep Stream on the Middlemarch Road. Lovely twisty shingle descents to an ancient stone bridge over the stream at the bottom and the old schist stone single storey pub perched above the bridge on the east side of the stream. No cops within 20 miles in either direction and a real ‘hard dag’ publican who had never even heard of Sunday closing and an ideal spot for a Vintage picnic! Excellent hill climbs could be made of either east or west roads and the ultimate was a timed descent of the west road, over the bridge and a very tight 180 degree turn into an ascent of the east road against the watch from a field glass scan of flag drop to a line on the opposite top. The Turnbull Panhard was always spectacular and I’m assured the vast bulk of my elegant 40/50 Napier wasn’t altogether insignificant! In the very early 60s the old publican got an offer for his licence that he simply couldn’t refuse – it went to Auckland and for us that was the end of Lee Stream, and Bob approached his old college friend who was then head man at Invermay and we were in! The earliest events were still basically Brighton Run offshoots but the venue was so special and the free and easiness of Lee Stream wasn’t possible, so a much more formal atmosphere quickly evolved. The hill’s features soon acquired names, of which Butler’s Bluff was an early one. Some of the finest fields coincided with the Haast in 1965 and Moffat and Llewellyn in 1972!
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John Coomber drove me back from Middlemarch in January this year as part of the VCC Dunedin International and we tried to find the site of Lee Stream bridge and pub – but it has totally disappeared in a vast fill in and culvert and flat sealed highway. Delighted to learn that Bertie Wooster had the sense to have a Sunbeam. Just had a visit from Phil Jelfs who is in the throes of collecting all the bits of the 1922 24/60 that Spud Jackson and I got back in 1948. Otago clubrooms: At the time of Invermay’s heyday, the Otago Branch VCC occupied Dunedin’s smallest freehold property, with the eaves overhanging the boundary. Willis Brown’s 4½ litre Bentley provides an appropriate accompaniment.
Waitemata Vintage Car Club Notes from Committee Meeting, held 10th January 2017 Thanks to Mike Hope-Cross for these notes of our last committee meeting.
1) 2) 3) 4)
Discussion and de-brief on Chelsea Hill Climb. Further discussion regarding new members. The distribution of merchandise from the VCC HO, which will be discussed at next club meeting. Events. A full discussion took place on events to be held for the next 12 months, with the purpose of advising everyone well in advance of the year’s activities to enable these to be marked off on calendars. Subsequently, Di has provided an extensive list of Shed Raids with the thought of having one of these per month – additional to other events. 5) Accounts were passed for payment. 6) VCC Executive will be meeting in Auckland, in March.
Despatches…. If you aren’t mentioned in despatches it means you aren’t telling the Editor what you are up to.
What Ho! In re-reading one of the Wodehouse stories, I found "Bertie Changes His Mind" which is told by Jeeves. In it an interested girl confirms for us that Bertie's "old two-seater" was a Sunbeam. The wonderful series which the BBC wiped during a stupid economy drive, starring Ian Carmichael and Dennis Price, with Derek Nimmo as Bingo Little, had the car as a 3-litre Bentley, while the more recent and less satisfactory Fry and Laurie attempt had the car as a pre-Bertelli Aston Martin. Thought you should know.... Cheers, Tom King. p.s. That nice 14/40 with dickey seat I fondly remember from my Waitemata days would surely be the sort of car Bertie would have...
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“Here is the scan of the Canterbury Delage I mentioned. It appeared in the March - April 1935 issue of "Motoring" the Canterbury AA membership magazine. The event was a "Mystery Tour" on 23rd March 1935 and young Mr McArthur won first place in the old timers section. He drove a 50 mile trip up to Dormett, out to Gore Bay, back via Parnassus' to Waiau and finally Hamner! Cheers Ian Goldingham.”
John King had a little more to say in relation to Invermay…
Hi Kevin, On reflection I think Bill Veitch was consistently FTD at Invermay on his Norton, and although he was even faster on his specialised dirt track bike a couple of times in later years, that was thought to be a bit modern. The spectacle of Bill storming up the hill, rear wheel well out, right foot on the road and a rooster tail out behind, has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. He also had a tendency to use the bank on the left-hand side of the road to straighten things up for the next bend. There's a story from Cust Grand Prix days, to the effect that Bill had a minor problem with the carburettor falling off. He motored on in his usual style, throttle wound well on, tail hung out (the Cust circuit was half gravel roads), one hand holding the carb, before the officials finally had enough and black flagged him. It makes Chelsea look oh so civilised. Regards, John.
Paul Furkert, V.C.C member from Carterton, had some trouble with dirt in the carburettor of his Land Rover at ‘Lochinver’ and in the process of cleaning it dropped the idling jet on the ground at the air strip. He spent some time going round and round in ever decreasing circles (literally) looking for it until Max Belcher, Oliver Midgley and Steve Cranch went to his aid. They formed a line and began a grid search. Within minutes, “Is this what you are looking for?” said Steve. Yes, he found it. An idling jet in an airfield is surely akin to a needle in a haystack.
Anne Thompson has entered a 1955 D Type Jaguar replica in the ‘Leadfoot’. A recent acquisition, we understand, with Ray Larsen built body. Hopefully we will be seeing more of it.
Pssst! There may be a reasonably decent DI Delage available. Have a word with Steve Aldersley.
Mention was made in the December ‘PHOENIX’ of a rather nice Morgan seen at Chelsea. Well, it is a 4/4 SERIES 1 owned by none other than Branch member Mike Moffatt who advises as follows: This car was built in 1936 & delivered on 31/12/1936. It is chassis # 132 and is believed to be the oldest 4 Wheel Morgan, complete & roadworthy in the world. Rob & Hilary Douglas brought the car to New Zealand with them in 1976, when it was registered in December that year. Shortly afterwards the car was dismantled & restoration started, by well-known Morgan ‘Expert” Derek Atkinson. After the chassis was grit blasted & primed, work was stopped and nothing further done until it was sold in bits to Gary Langstone in 999. Gary re-started the resto, building a new timber frame & attempted some
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of the panels. Michael Greig had helped Gary with some of the work, and informed me that it was For Sale “AS IS”. Ignoring all the traditional wisdom about buying someone else's project, I bought the Morgan in June 2013, thinking it would be easy to finish off. The “lesson” has been learned --- Nothing was easy!!! The car has now been completely re-panelled (except for the bonnet) & trimmed, the engine rebuilt by Graeme Brayshaw, and it is finally back on the road, complete with hood & tonneau. The car is ‘For Sale’ & any member wanting more information should call me on 09-238 5051 / 021-936 062. Cheers, Mike Moffatt.
The Squeaky Wheel… .. is cogitating this month. KB.
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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 2nd February 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 LEFT into Library Lane then very soon go left again into the parking area. The RSA Room is at the rear.
1980 North Shore Branch Calendar
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