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The Great Queen’s Birthday Market: a British transformation in Auckland

22 February, 2016

There’s a right-proper celebration happening this Queen’s Birthday weekend (June 4–6) at Auckland’s spectacular waterfront spot, Queens Wharf.

The Great Queen’s Birthday Market will see lower Shed 10 transformed into a thriving hub of stalls and performances, at which you can stock up on specialty, imported British, and Scottish products, along with countless New Zealand treasures, thanks to popular local craft, art, fashion, and accessory vendors.

Fun carnival fare with classic seaside carnival games — including laughing clowns and rides — will also be on offer to keep the young ones satisfied, or they can get crafty at the children’s workshops. The real kooks in the family can try the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. In addition, there will be performances from The Puppet Man marionette show — side-slapping fun for the whole family.

Vintage car displays will be revolving daily, with a broad selection of historic motors in attendance. Clubs that have displayed in previous years include the MG Car Club, Humber-Hillman Car Club, Daimler Lanchester Owners Club, Land Rover Owners Club, Jowett Car Club, and Jaguar Drivers Club Auckland, plus luxury British cars from the Giltrap Group, including McLaren, Aston Martin, and Bentley. And keep your eyes peeled for Robbies Double Decker Fun Bus rides touring the downtown area throughout the weekend.

Three great family films will also screen over the weekend, alongside an array of refreshments for anyone who just wants to kick back and relax. The Cloud will play host to a high-tea offering upstairs, for a touch of class, while there’s a relaxed bar and restaurant area downstairs.

So, make the most of the best long weekend in winter and get the family down to Queens Wharf.

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

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.