Wheels up for the crowds at Ruapuna

29 January, 2015

Tonnes of wheels-up action took place during the IHRA Southern Nationals at Ruapuna on January 25 — and the track had seen a lot of effort to get it prepped for the event.

It was the first time many of the spectators had seen such a full field fighting it out to be the best in their class — even several North Island cars had made the trip to get in on the action. There were a couple of minor breakdowns and oil issues over the course of the day, but nothing that the Pegasus Bay Drag Racing Club crew couldn’t sort.

Amongst the impressive field, it was great to see Brendon Shearing hammering his ’71 Holden Monaro, as seen on the cover of Issue No. 115 of NZV8 magazine. The car runs into the low nine-second zone making it the current quickest street car in the South Island. Not bad for someone who lives an eight-hour drive from the track!

Another previous NZV8 feature car to also stretch its legs was SYCO 8, an ex Hamilton-based Holden Monaro now owned by Chris Daley, all the way from Te Anau.

After a full-on day, the results of the event were as follows. Don’t forget to check out the gallery below and let us know if you were there in the comments.

Supercharged Outlaws

Winner: Graham Christison
Runner-up: Minchington Brothers

Top Street

Winner: Roger Binnema
Runner-up: Gavin Green

Super Sedan

Winner: Jason Fleck
Runner-up: Warren Black


Winner: Ken King
Runner-up: Cameron Patterson

Competition Bike

Winner: Raymond Lelievere
Runner-up: Andy Urwin Wells

Modified Bike

Winner: Alan Thoresen
Runner-up: Bryn McCaw

Super Street

Winner: Dave Christian
Runner-up: Andy Vaughan

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.