Shorter and earlier Targa New Zealand event impresses

10 November, 2016

This year’s Targa New Zealand event was both shorter and held earlier in the month of October than previous ones, starting at Wairakei, just north of Taupo, on Thursday, October 13, and finishing — with another memorable flourish courtesy of the local classic car enthusiasts — at Havelock North on Sunday, October 16. In-between were 640.7km of special stages, and 962km of touring from Taupo to Otorohanga in the north, Feilding to the south, and Havelock North to the east.

The new earlier date — conveniently freeing up Labour Weekend for competitors and volunteers alike — and the more compact event footprint obviously found favour with competitors and Targa tourists.

We’ve included a few additional photos that didn’t make it into the feature in the December issue of New Zealand Classic Car (Issue No. 312) — grab your copy below to read the full story.

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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.