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Road Trip - New Zealand, part 2 - Kumeu

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bardahl1, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. bardahl1
    Joined: Oct 16, 2005
    Posts: 347

    bardahl1
    Member

    ....... and so we woke up in downtown Auckland on friday morning. We hit it for the ferry to get back over to Steve's house, along the way we stopped at the NZ tourist info center and picked up a good map, which would later be vital. Steve picked us up at the Half Moon Bay terminal and we went back to his place. The plan was to drive up to Kumeu in the roadster and meet up with Craig and his mates. Kumeu is a small town about a half hour north of Auckland, and Steve's is a bit on the south side of Auckland. The event is held at a fairgrounds type facility and is a car show / swapmeet / campground / party. They said it was the biggest in NZ, we were eager to find out.

    At Steve's house it became apparent that not all of the luggage was going to fit in the back of the roadster. After all, I did put the tools and spares in the trunk along with the battery. On top of that it has a rumble seat decklid, as opposed to a trunk style, that makes putting just about anything in it a pain in the ass. Steve offered to take some of our stuff in back of his Suburban (he planned on selling at the swap meet) when he came out later in the day. So we went about cramming the neccessities for the weekend in our small bags and making them fit in the back of the roadster. Steve offered to guide us to the motorway in his Sub and then we'd be off north to Kumeu. At this point the reality of left side driving took hold. I had done it on my last trip on the south island, some of it even in a borrowed roadster, but this time there was two new elements adding to the excitement. #1 The new top, which I had completed only days before the car left California. Not only had I never had a top but the windshield is a 2" chop that I chopped another 1 1/2" and laid back an inch. The visability needed a little getting used to. #2 The pace is a little faster in Auckland and on the north island. Since they prefer round-abouts (traffic circles) to lights or stop signs you've got to be on your toes. Ron, who was supposed to navigate, was shit scared for the first bit as I was tending to little mistakes here and there and he was on the side that was staring death in the eye. But once we got on the motorway and waved bye bye to Steve we started to settle in.

    After 45 minutes or so we were close and found a white '64 Impala wagon that we followed to Kumeu and the fairgrounds. Once there we BS'd our way in and found a nice grassy area to park. We were barely out of the car before we started making friends with the locals. They were surprised to see us and the car so far away from home so we explained a bit about what we were up to. We chatted for a while and they left us with open invitations for beers and food at thier hangouts. We ventured off looking for Craig and the boys. Along the way we came across Squeek Bell, GT, and eventually found Steve and Walt setting up thier swap space. Finally we found Craig. He had arranged for the roadster to be in the '32 display shed so we put it in and loaded up in Steve's loaner (Taurus) and went for the bed and breakfast that Craig had arranged for us around the corner from the show. We went out for dinner and hit the sack. God bless Craig for finding us a place to stay cause there wasn't a room for 50 miles in any direction for the weekend.

    On saturday morning we awoke to a nice breakfast and a little advice from our host Yvonne - she said not to take the main road in to the show but to go around the back through the country roads (she offered some directions). I figured I didn't need to get lost so we hit it left toward the main road. When we got there it was backed up as far as you could see with hot rods, muscle cars, etc. At that point we drove the Taurus in reverse for a while, made an illegal u-turn, and stood on it to catch a Mustang Fastback that was also on to the back route. 10 minutes on the beautiful winding country roads, pushing 80 the whole way to keep up with the Fastback, we made it. We stopped at a liquor store so that we wouldn't be unprepared and saw that the Kiwis found the real reason for owning a Corvette - take the spare out and its actually a drivable ice chest.

    One thing about NZ - all of the roads are winding and narrow and two lanes is a major highway to them. They don't have shoulders and nothing goes in a strait line for very far. There is very little room for error, which is interesting because every hot rodder we met drove like a bat out of hell, they're not shy about getting after the throttle. Of course they all run radial tyres and most have disc brakes. My roadster, as you will see from the pictures, is a traditional style car with '40-'48 brakes, '39 trans, '32 rearend, and bias-ply tyres. It was a constant and futile effort to keep up with the Kiwis, even our good friends, the entire trip.

    Kumeu was big and impressive. There was a lot of nice stuff there (see the pics) and the vibe was cool. These Kiwis kept downplaying the show, telling us that it probably didn't compare in size or content to shows in the States, but I have to differ. There was a constant line of cars rolling in all morning, I'll bet there was 1500 cars there.

    We toured the swap meet where Ron came across a Chevelle console for his '65 wagon that he had been looking for for some time. He had balked at one back home for $400, so he grabbed the one there for $100Kiwi ($70 US). Now that he was getting loose with his wallet he ponied up for a few real nice flathead duel pullies for his SCOT blown Ardun. Then he found another console, this one was only $70Kiwi, so now he has two. All that stuff came all the way across the Pacific only to end up in the trunk of the roadster headed back home again!

    Along the way we ran into Bear and Kromie, two guys that Ron had met at Bonneville while he was helping out Ed Newitt with the 8-Ball Roadster. We had a few beers with them, a few with Squeek and the East Bay Rodders, a few more with Steve, Walt, and Big Roy, and some in the Caravan (camper) with Craig, Harry, and Kermit. We walked around looking at the cars and taking pictures. I spent some time in the '32 shed talking with people about the roadster and our trip. In fact by the end of the day I'd talked to and met so many people that I was losing my vioce.

    By evening time we had been invited to a BBQ at Larry and Chris' shed (garage). I had met Chris Hornblow on my last trip out and had admired his beautifull un-chopped black '32 3W Coupe (he never put a headliner or doorpanels in it and you could see just how nice it really is). Larry and Chris both live near Kumeu and share several cars and projects together. We spent the evening at Larry's eating, drinking beers, BS'ing, and checking out thier cars - a great '34 5W Coupe, a classic old 4cyl 'A' pickup that they drove to the swap meet, Larry's '56, and all the rest. We made many friends and had a great time. By the end of the night we needed a ride home, thankfully Larry's daughter got us home safe.

    Sunday we awoke to another breakfast from Yvonne, thanked her for the advice on beating the traffic, and hit it again to the show. We met up with Craig, Harry, and Kermit and planned on going to the drags which were a couple of hours south. Before we left Ron decided he wanted to take the scenic helicopter ride in a VW powered helicopter and get a birds eye view of Kumeu. Amazingly he survived (I stayed firmly on the ground) and got some great pictures. Then we loaded up in the Taurus and hit it. Of course our tour guides managed to get lost a few times, but a few beers and bourbons later we made it. *Trivia - its legal to drink in a moving vehicle as long as the drinker isn't the driver.* The drags were neat, not in a NHRA National Event kind of way, but in a run what ya brung street cars to Pro-Mod kind of way. After a bit of that we ventured over a hill and found a small dirt oval and a bunch of Midgets. It was practice day for the Midgets, both late models and a dozen or so vintage cars. Craig knew a guy that had a 50's era midget powered by a Willys 4cyl with model T suspension and what not all over it. By the time it was done the guy was offering me to take a few laps in it! I borrowed a helmet and firesuit and rolled out on the track. It was a kick in the ass getting sideways! Imagine that, how many times back home do strangers offer to let me spin laps in their racers? Way too cool.

    Back at Kumeu we found a note in the seat of the roadster inviting us to another dinner, this time at Chris Hornblow's house. The show was getting to the end so we got the roadster and went back to the B&B. We called Chris and set it up, Larry and his wife would stop by and pick us up in his '56. We weren't quite prepared for Chris' house. Let's just say its every hot rodders dream house that we could sell to our wives at the same time. It's basically a steel framed hanger with two good size garage areas and a beautifull living area on one end. Its all new, and the house is modern style with a great room and kitchen at the end that look out through ceiling high glass over the rolling hills and his avacado orchard. His garage areas were divided into an area for cars and an area for working on projects. For some reason we managed to forget our cameras so we don't have any pictures. We toured the place with Chris, checked out his cars (he had a Galaxy there that he bought at my swap meet in Long Beach), had another great meal and chatted with the crowd. There were some guys from Australia and some from the south island. We had a great time and can't say enough about the hospitality of all of these Kiwis that invited us to thier homes for dinner and drinks. Great guys and I look forward to returning for more. In the end we hopped back in the '56 with Larry and his wife and made our way back for our last night at Yvonnes bed and breakfast.

    Tomorrow we're headed for Paul Grace's house and the headquarters of NZ Hot Rod Magazine....................

    stay tuned for part 3 - and enjoy the pics, I tried to keep them in order with the story
     

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  2. bardahl1
    Joined: Oct 16, 2005
    Posts: 347

    bardahl1
    Member

    some more pictures...........
     

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  3. bardahl1
    Joined: Oct 16, 2005
    Posts: 347

    bardahl1
    Member

    and more.........................
     

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  4. Rckt98
    Joined: Jun 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,033

    Rckt98
    Member

    Excellent read, can't wait for part 3.
     

  5. bardahl1
    Joined: Oct 16, 2005
    Posts: 347

    bardahl1
    Member

    and more...................
     

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  6. bardahl1
    Joined: Oct 16, 2005
    Posts: 347

    bardahl1
    Member

    and lastly.....................
     

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  7. fordv81931
    Joined: May 20, 2006
    Posts: 33

    fordv81931
    Member

    mr.topping

    are you going to paso this year?

    nick
     
  8. Sounds like a blast!! Thanks for the report, you tell a great story and I look forward to part 3.
     
  9. bardahl1
    Joined: Oct 16, 2005
    Posts: 347

    bardahl1
    Member

    It gets better and so do the pictures....
     
  10. 55olds88
    Joined: Jul 23, 2001
    Posts: 2,384

    55olds88
    Member

    exellent pics, sounds like you had a ball, I saw your roadster both at Kumeu and Rangiora but never managed to catch up with you (I was nailed to my stall most of the time) ment to ask Craig as I had a little time to spare before I flew home but.....
    P.S. glad someone else digs the corvette beer cooler, its the second or third time I have seen those guys up to that and it gets a cackle every time.
     
  11. 18again
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 2

    18again
    Member

    Yo, Big Roy here Marshall. Enjoying reading about your trip with Ron. Unacustomed to drinking, as i am, you and Ron taught me how to drink. Life has never been the same. Was a fantastic time with a couple of neat guys from ove the big ditch. But i am the lucky 1 b'cos i travelled with you guys from Rotorua through the South Island with 3 cool mates. Being 2 in a roadster that talked funny and 1 in a 40 coupe who snores alot. Just about to read part 3!.See you in August, coming for a visit
     
  12. jangleguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2004
    Posts: 2,668

    jangleguy
    Member

    What a fun read! Thanks. See you again at Part 3...
     
  13. bardahl1
    Joined: Oct 16, 2005
    Posts: 347

    bardahl1
    Member

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