Every year for the past 5 years, Wheels Incorporated HotRod club has made the homage to Stay at Pacific Rendezvous Motel Resort, at Tutukaka just outside of Whangarai, for a weekend of cars and relaxation.
This year's run, as was last years, were for me to organise along with my sister, who is a member of the Whangarei Classic Car and Hot Rod club.
We left Auckland around 10-15am Friday 30th October with 63 people in approximately 25 cars, cruising to Ruakaka to meet a small group from Whangarei Club for lunch, and then onto the motel, to relax, talk cars (how much fuel did you use?) and admire the spectacular scenery of the peninsula.
Saturday morning we left Tutukaka at 9-30 to meet around 22 members of the Whangarei club, and cruise to The Old Parakao Store for lunch, followed by a look at some sheds.
The road trip to the Store was great, driving through lovely rural country side on lovely roads. The Store is a place that needs to be seen in person rather than reading about, and I could best describe it as something you would expect to find on the old Route 66.
With over 80 mouths to feed, the kitchen was a little swamped, but the food was good and they had also arranged a band for some entertainment for the afternoon, playing well known tunes of the 60’s and 70’s. In some ways it was a shame to leave to look at sheds, with many saying they were happy listening to the music.
Saturday night was spent by many watching the All Blacks beating Australia, and chilling out after the great day we had.
Sunday morning arrived all too soon, and we had to head back home. I have to give thanks to my sister Joanne Williams for organizing the Whangarei side of our trip, and I feel ACCCA would really enjoy an overnight stay up there also, which myself and Joanne would be happy to organize.
Below are some photos from the weekend and a short video from our visit to the Parakao Store.
Wow… how’s that… October 2020 already… hard to believe barely 6 months ago the country was going into our first Covid-19 Lockdown! What a crazy crazy year! And it’s not over yet. Covid hasn’t really gone – it’s just being arguably better managed – and as you read this we are about to head into, or had, our Nation’s rescheduled General Election, so you can be almost assured that 2020 hasn’t finished dishing out the surprises yet, for better or for worse.
Speaking of elections, you will be interested I hope, to know the outcome of our own Club Committee elections earlier this month? Firstly, a huge thank you for everyone that took the opportunity to have your say in a) how the Club is being run and b) by whom.
And the results are in! We had a voter turnout of a pinch under 60% of our membership, which is pretty darn decent really and actually even better than last year, which was also excellent. Your current committee, me included, have all been unanimously voted back in for another term, so big congrats to Russell, Dave, Phil O, Phil S, Peter, Carl and Allan. Well done team, thanks for having my back again for another year, the finest bunch of people to run this neat club of ours you’ll likely meet.
Dave Roper has prepared the Club financials again for the year, which you will find in the Members section of the Website. As you are all aware, this year has been quite the challenge health-wise for Dave, but he has come back strongly and is getting better by the day.
Thank you also to those of you whom took the opportunity to pass comment on our performance this year, which for the most part was very favourable, considering we really didn’t have opportunity to do a whole lot for a third of it! Awesome! Rest assured, we do take your comments on board and any suggestions, recommendations and constructive criticisms will be robustly discussed at our next scheduled committee meeting.
With regards to what happens in twelve months’ time, when we do it all again, it’s anyone’s guess. Peter Lee and Allan Huljich have both indicated this coming year will be their collective last on our committee, so we will be looking for new blood in 12 months’ time. We will also be looking at how we can do that, actually the whole electronic voting format to be honest, better than we presently are. It’s all evolution after all. Watch this space.
Which leads me nicely onto you guys – the members. Rest assured, nothing your executive does means anything at all without your continued support and encouragement. I mean that. We are only the providers in what we do as a Club. You guys are the real reason we are cracking along as well as we are in clearly quite unprecedented times. Without your continued membership, your continued enthusiasm for our Club, we would be in an entirely different place.
So a heart-felt thank you to all of you, from me and your committee. Cheers!
See you soon, Rob.
Father's Day Drags finally got under way on Sunday 4th OCT. It is always a well patronized event not only for spectators but very much for car and truck owners who get a chance to give their rides a thrash down the quarter mile. The Meremere Drag Strip team do a proper track preparation for the competitors, which is very important for equal lane grip and safety,
Some of the owners of the cars enjoying the open day have put a lot of money and engineering into their rides, with many easily doing the quarter in the 10sec bracket. With the faster ones doing it in the low 9 second time, we should not forget most of these vehicles are road legal. This year there were no dragsters doing demo runs.
It is now possible to buy a late model factory car that will easily do a mid 12sec quarter mile, this being the new Dodge Demon, and if you add the factory Drag Pack, for under USD 100k you have a very fast weekend quarter mile race car that you can drive for the rest of the week. With a factory warranty. Remember the Hertz Shelby 350 Mustang rental cars!
During the lunch break there is the skid pad show. This year only a supercharged Holden 1 ton Ute put on a very smoky show. Bogan heaven for sure.
You are free to wander through the pits and get up close with the people and cars, and It is interesting to get a close up view on how the cars are engineered and wonder about the costs involved.
The day is promoted by the Muscle Car Club and up to 80 of their club members are on duty throughout the day. If you have never been to a drag racing event, this is one to consider putting in your diary, as it is a very enjoyable day out. The only draw back is that it is rather noisy and the smell of burnt rubber takes a couple of days to get it out of your sinuses.
After a very early alarm call we made it to BP Papakura where Alan and Francis Huljich were waiting for us to cruise down to Te Aroha. We chose the direct route down Highway 1 onto 2, driving to Netherton and turning right into Awaiti Rd, then Highway 26 to Te Aroha.
We arrived a little after 9am and were lucky to get admitted to parking in one of the back streets. It was the last of the allocated show car parking areas, and not long after we got in they closed admission. Being one of the 1st big car shows since the lock down, attendance was well up on previous years.
This year there was a greater mix of club displays, ranging from VW kombis and beetles to Zephyrs, Falcons, Jaguars, Lotus sports cars and the Parlor Van Club, all adding to the show. Notable was a lovely Mk1 Lotus Cortina, along with a little Fiat Bambina tucked amongst the US iron, and a very nice Austin Healy Big 6 which just added interest to the whole Cruise In.
The sculptures sited up and down the main street also add to the show spectacle. This year there was only 1 band playing all the old favorites. They had two market places, one on the clock tower road, the other in the domain at the bottom end of town.
The US sourced cars and trucks were just awesome, with just about something for everyone. The standard is always on a upward trend and new and better builds keep appearing at these outings. There where so many vehicles on show that you just had to stop and pay close attention to the detail in the build, and it is impossible to put into words how to describe the standard of some of these vehicles. There where so many people wandering looking at the displays that it was difficult to get photos, but the ones I managed to take show how good some of the cars that were at Te Aroha.
We ran into several club members who had also traveled down, all enjoying the show, which was well worth the early morning alarm on a warm sunny day to be there. Cheers, Peter
Early on Saturday morning 26th September, friends rang to invite us to their Clubs Blue September fund raiser for prostate cancer. As some of you may know I had a prostate operation almost a year ago, so this is very close to my heart to help promote men's health, especially with their prostate. I am aware that there are other men in the club who have also been through this ordeal and some of their partners who have weathered breast cancer. These charities need all the support they can get as they do provide an awesome service. There is Daffodil Day, Cancer Society. Pink Ribbon Day, Women's Health and Breast Cancer. Blue September, Men's Health and Prostate Cancer.
After waking up, we fired up the poor old Javelin and headed to our meeting with Judy and David Just at 3 furlongs car park in Kiawaka. Dave and Judy recently acquired a Formula 400 Pontiac Firebird, which is powered by a big block with alloy heads, Fitech injection, and custom headers. Sure is a nice looking car with the exhausts emitting just the right amount of noise, and certainly a lot quicker than my small twin choke 304cid Javelin!
Arriving at Okara Repco we parked up to watch many other classic cars old and late, rods, T Buckets, and motor cycles rumble into the car park.
There was a good mix from 100E Prefect and soft top Morris Minor, to a whole host of American Iron to please the eye and the senses.
There were raffles, sauses in blankets. and soft drinks on sale to raise money, along with donation buckets to also help the fund.
Overall a very enjoyable sunny warm day spent with like minded car people. Cheers Peter.
It was a cool Saturday night that greeted a large number of car enthusiasts at Beaumont St in Auckland City. And no rain so that was a blessing.
The cruise to St heliers got underway at 7:30 and after battling the city traffic and road works everyone duly arrived safely. A large crowd were already there and a large variety of cars were on display. Many wives had their husbands on reins and for good reason as the poor chaps cried out " I want, I want". The fireworks display was awesome and then it was time to go home.
Today when one looks at an American car, we think of the lovely sound it makes due to its overhead valve V8 engine. This was not always the case though. For example in 1950 each major maker of cars offered a different type of engine, but within 5 years all car makers were offering an overhead valve V8. These became the engine of choice for the car buying American public. Why did this happen?
Let’s go back to 1950. The two largest selling cars of that year were Ford and Chevrolet. Ford offered its venerable flat head V8, and although 6 cylinders engines were offered the eights were the most popular. Mercury and Lincoln offered just one engine type, the flat head V8. Chevrolet offered one type of engine, its well established overhead valve straight six. Plymouth, Dodge and DeSoto all offered flat head straight six motors, but Pontiac and Chrysler were different offering a straight eight flat head motor on their luxury models, and Buick had an overhead valve straight eight motor. The major car producers that stood out in 1950 were Oldsmobile and Cadillac, who both used an overhead valve V8.
Yet within five years the ever popular flat head V8’s were history, and straight 8’s, whether flat heads or overhead valves were gone. Plymouth and Dodge continued to offer flat head 6’s, but these were in their final days, and the vast majority of their buyers were now opting for the OHV V8 models.
What caused the major shift to this new type of engine?
1) The big horsepower race had begun. For example in 1950 a Ford V8 produced 100 bhp, but by 1955 this had increased to 162bhp, and other makers follow also. Overhead valve V8 engines were easier to adapt to this rising horse power race, due to changing carburettors, compression ratios, head design and engine capacity.
2) Interstate freeways were being developed and completed, which meant motorists were able to travel a lot further and faster. To make this more pleasant and to be able to overtake an increasing number of vehicles on the road, vehicles need to be able to travel faster, hence they needed more horse power. Cars became larger. The average family at this time had around four children, pets were popular, hence the demand for larger roomier cars continued.
3) The overhead powered V8 not only gained a reputation for increasing power but it was also proving to be reliable. Fuel economy was not really an issue in the 1950’s but it was soon apparent that the ever increasing powerful V8s were actually relatively fuel efficient and more much powerful, especially when compared to some of the older straight 8 motors.
4) The V8 is a compact engine. It takes up less room under a bonnet when compared to straight 6’s, and most certainly when compared to a straight 8.
5) Incomes were rising throughout the 1950’s and unemployment was at record lows. As a result, this increased the demand for cars. Hire purchase started to come into it own and it was much easier to purchase a car on time payment than just a decade previously. The two car family also started to develop in the 1950’s which further created the demand for cars.
6) Increase in suburban living. People were leaving the older type of apartments in the inner city and moving out to houses, with land and white picket fences in the suburbs. The term “commuter belt” developed. In order to live in the suburbs and commute to your place of work, often in the city centre, you needed a car. The cars had to be reliable and comfortable. This was further accentuated in the USA, as well as countries like Australia and New Zealand, which had under developed or virtually non-existent public transport systems. The car was the king.
This massive switch to the overhead valve V8 engine which occurred in the 1950’s is still around with us. Most of us who own American cars will agree that the engine type and sound is one of the major reasons that attracts us to our American cars today.
Owner of a 1949 Ford Single Spinner with a flat head V8
Good morning Members,
I just wanted to update you all on some of the things that have some impact on our Club and what we can expect and what we can and cannot do, for the time being at least.
First up, it should come as little surprise after the Government’s announcement yesterday afternoon that, as we now remain at level 3 Covid alert level, there is no possibility of hosting our Club Run tomorrow, to the Ginger Crunch Cafe. Which is a damn shame as at least the weather appears to be behaving itself, even if nothing else is!
We will make an announcement over the planned run to Maungatapere on September 5th, once we know what direction we are being steered after the next Covid announcement scheduled for August 26th. The reality here is, if they won’t let anyone out of Auckland, past Te Hana, then we won’t be going to the Packard Museum either, sadly.
On other matters, after best part of 14 years in the ‘job’, Russell Wilson has respectfully advised that he will not be putting our quarterly Magazine, the Cruisepaper, together any longer. And as the balance of our committee do not have the time to take on additional responsibilities such as taking over the publication of the magazine, I am admittedly saddened somewhat to announce that it has become another printed statistic in this ever-increasing digital world we live in.
Rest assured, I would be happy to resurrect it, if there was a Club member prepared to take it on? But until that happens, it’s been consigned to Club history.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank Russell in particular for all of his efforts to produce the magazine over such a long period, from a black & white monthly to a very good quality full colour quarterly Club publication. We were often complimented on it, from sources outside of the club circles. And there’s no denying those efforts have been considerable, to say the least. I wish to thank all of the contributors to the magazine over that time also, and prior too, as without your contributions there would have been little to put into it and it may well have ceased some time ago.
Rest assured however, the Club Website will now be, more than ever, the place to look at for past and up-coming Club activities, articles of interest and all things Club related and Russell is more than happy to continue on as our go-to Webmaster! Thank heavens for that!
And you will begin to see some progressive changes to the formatting etc of the club website, to cater for the demise of the Cruisepaper. If you take a peak from today, you will see what I mean, with a crisp new modern layout. One new feature in particular, is the ‘Corkboard’, which will be the area where the likes of the Committee posts, my reports, and members articles etc, will be posted. Let us know what you think! Go to www.americanclassiccars.org.nz
Meantime… what can I say? Take care of yourselves, don’t over-polish your classic to the point your buff through the paint and at least think of the money you are saving in fuel, whilst you can’t really use them for the time being! Every cloud has a silver lining, apparently J .
Hopefully, we will see each other sometime soon. Cheers,
Rob Milligan – President