Weekend touring with the Bay of Plenty Jaguar Drivers Club

10 November, 2016

The temperamental weather did not put a dampener on the plans that the Bay of Plenty Jaguar Drivers Club had for their weekend trip to Whanganui on Sunday, November 6. Part of their lower North Island tour included a trip on the MV Wairua riverboat as part of the itinerary, which meant that the Whanganui public could come out to view the fine array of Jaguars on display by the Riverboat Centre, drawing out some of the local Jaguar owners as well.

The impressive display started with the unmissable E-Types glistening away under the intermittent sun. For me, my favourite was the Carmen Red V12, which sat their on display in all its magnificence. You just can’t beat the E-Type in red — it’s much like trying to say the word Jaguar without saying it in an English accent. Fortunately I have an English accent so it makes it much easier for me.

The range included a few MKI XKRs made famous by the James Bond film Die Another Day, XKR MKII’s, V8s, E-Types, Mk2s, XK8s, XJSC V12, plus a XJS. The XJS, although desirable to many Jaguar purists, carries a reputation of being unreliable, something that a company in the UK tried to correct by taking old XJSs and improving on everything up to, and including, the big 5.3-litre V12. Alas, the XJS before me was not one of these, but it still looked great amongst the more modern models, and more importantly it had made the journey there.

The event showed the good-natured trusting attitude of the Bay of Plenty Jaguar Drivers Club. They were happy to have their trip on the MV Wairua and let the adoring public roam through the neatly formed aisles — they certainly turned a few heads when the rumbling of V12s and V8s left to continue their journey.

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.