An absolute Classic

At the time of writing two days of Wheels Week Plus have finished.

And what great days they’ve been in every sense – weather and activity-wise.

By the time this is published we’ll be heading into the middle weekend of Wheels Week Plus.

And with the Street Sprints there’ll be excitement aplenty then.

Bernard Egan

On the second day of Wheels Week Plus Roger Hart and I, as we have now done on many previous occasions, went along to the Rotary Club of Ashburton Plains Classic Car Run to select cars for recognition in defined categories.

As in the past we enjoyed seeing so many great cars.

All sorts, all styles, all ages.

Some we’ve seen before and enjoyed seeing again, some we hadn’t seen previously and enjoyed seeing for the first time.

Every one of them special.

Very special.

But what’s really special about this now iconic Wheels Week fixture is seeing the owners, who are invariably so keen on their cars, and who enjoy mingling with likeminded enthusiasts.

This year marked the 27th running of this event, and it’s really great the Rotary Club of Ashburton Plains – who themselves celebrate their golden anniversary this weekend – have continued supporting Wheels Week in this way.

One of the defined categories on the Classic Car Run is for Japanese cars, and this year there were many fine examples of cars from that country.

Two Hondas received recognition – one is a delightful Honda Beat.

Classed as a micro-car because of its small but very peppy 3-cylinder 660cc motor, the yellow Beat is a true classic.

It was joined by its younger and bigger cousin, a Honda S2000.

The S2000 is a great sports car, and like its little cousin a classic.

And we’re not just saying that because sub-editor Steve has one!

And while the two Hondas are quite different, they share a wonderful pedigree and are real head turners.


A kind-hearted gentleman

Last week, during a torrential downpour, one of our motoring writers – and it wasn’t Roger so it has to have been me – was driving home from Christchurch.

The conditions certainly were not easy and the said motoring writer – that would be me – in discussion with his navigator – that would be Marlene – decided maybe our headlights weren’t quite as good as they could be.

Just as we entered town we noticed a gentleman had braved the elements to wave us down.

Naturally we wondered what was up.

The gentleman concerned had noticed what we suspected, and took the time to tell us a headlight was not working.

This would be a kind gesture at the best of times, to take the trouble to do this in appalling conditions made it even more thoughtful.

When we recognised the gentleman we weren’t really surprised he would do this.

After all this is typical of the things Murray Early has done for many people over many years.

We’ll be among many who have appreciated his kindness.

People like Murray Early make our community so good.


Some vital vintage stats

Following the incredibly successful Vintage Car Club National South Island Easter Rally, Organising Committee (and Branch) Chairman Trevor Begg has put together some interesting statistics.

One hundred and sixty nine vehicles were driven on three rally routes – the short run being 68 miles, the medium 88 miles and the long route 130 miles.

In total the thirty eight vehicles which were driven on the short route covered 2584 miles (4159 km), 7744 miles (12,460 km) were clocked up by 88 vehicles on the medium run and 43 vehicles on the long route did a total of 5590 miles (8994 km).

The all up total distance was 15,918 miles or 25,612 of those new things.

Fuel consumption is of course hard to quantify, but if the vehicles each averaged 18 miles per gallon, the total fuel used would have been 884 gallons, or 4014 litres.

On this basis the fuel spend for the rally alone would have been in the order of $8900.

That would only be a small proportion of the money spent locally over Easter by those taking part.

So not only was the rally a great event, it also had a good economic outcome for our district.

Another quirky statistic is that 88 vehicles toured on the 88 mile medium run.

Not one vehicle needed to be towed or transported in because of mechanical breakdown.

That really is a wonderful testament to the care and attention given to the vehicles by their owners.

– By Bernard Egan