Taupo Thunder Drags canceled

17 December, 2014

We’ve just been informed that the entire 2014–’15 race season planned for Taupo Thunder Dragway has been canceled. Promoter Ken Galvin stated in his release that only 11 racers had pre-entered for the events that were set to take place on December 28, 2014 and January 3, 2015, which makes running them not financially feasible. Added to this were date clashes with the nostalgia event planned for Masterton Motorplex on the same date in January — taking this into account it was easy to understand the decision. Ken states that he feels that the date clash would be detrimental to the sport, which has added to him pulling the plug.

The cancellation of these summer events has given room to promote the track for the following season, in which Ken plans to run a televised winter drag racing programme covering America vs New Zealand, Summer Nationals, Drag Fest, and a Vintage Drag Meet — yes, that’s four events over seven days, all on TV if all things run to plan.

There will still be some great drag racing action over the summer season, including the nostalgia meet at Masterton Motorplex on January 3, and the Nitro Shootout at Meremere on January 10 — we’ve just got a reason to look forward to winter now.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.