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Warbirds over Wanaka to stage trucking tribute in 2016

2 July, 2015

Next Easter (March 25–28, 2016), the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow will be sporting a newly added four-wheeled flavour, with organizers inviting truck owners nationwide to become part of the show via a new display dedicated to celebrating New Zealand’s affinity with the truck.

The planned ‘Warbirds and Wheels Century of Trucking’ display will aim to depict 100 years of truck culture in New Zealand, from vintage trucks right up to current-day examples. Hoping to have around 50 of the country’s leading trucks present, event organizer Mandy Deans is urging owners to register and become part of a fitting display of what some regard as one of New Zealand’s true motoring institutions.

“Several airshows ago we had an amazing display of Fords, which proved a big hit with our visitors. This time around we’re hoping to have up to 50 vehicles of all shapes and sizes from 1916 to the most modern trucks. Truck owners will need to register because we want to ensure we get a good representation of different trucks from various decades over the 100 years,” says Mandy.

Trucks and Warbirds over Wanaka have enjoyed a close relationship for a number of years. Various annual truck rallies have used the airshow as a convenient rest-stop during their travels. The show also already enjoys various established classic car displays, which will no doubt complement the incoming flow of trucking goodness.

If you’re wanting to register your truck for the Warbirds and Wheels Century of Trucking, registrations are open now.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.