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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.

Becoming fond of Fords part two – happy times with Escorts

In part one of this Ford-flavoured trip down memory lane I recalled a sad and instructive episode when I learned my shortcomings as a car tuner, something that tainted my appreciation of Mk2 Ford Escort vans in particular. Prior to that I had a couple of other Ford entanglements of slightly more redeeming merit. There were two Mk1 Escorts I had got my hands on: a 1972 1300 XL belonging to my father and a later, end-of-line, English-assembled 1974 1100, which my partner and I bought from Panmure Motors Ford in Auckland in 1980. Both those cars were the high water mark of my relationship with the Ford Motor Co. I liked the Mk1 Escorts. They were nice, nippy, small cars, particularly the 1300, which handled really well, and had a very precise gearbox for the time.
Images of Jim Richards in the Carney Racing Williment-built Twin Cam Escort and Paul Fahey in the Alan Mann–built Escort FVA often loomed in my imagination when I was driving these Mk1 Escorts — not that I was under any illusion of comparable driving skills, but they had to be having just as much fun as I was steering the basic versions of these projectiles.

Fear and loathing the blue oval – part one

The slogan went something like ‘There’s a Ford in your future’. ‘Bugger off!’ were always the words that sprung to my mind. Ford and I have never really got on in the manner of many of my friends, so I’d say my relationship to the brand was distant. The accelerating blur of passing time has helpfully blanketed memories of a few Ford encounters which I probably wanted to forget but I have to admit, now I look at them, they are re-appearing through the mists of time. What comes to mind more readily, to quote some uncharitable wit, is that the letters Ford could stand for ‘fix or repair daily’. Still, I have to ’fess up, there were several Fords in my past.