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Variety Trillian Bash: drama before the start

16 March, 2016

As vehicles slowly arrived for scrutineering at the start of the Variety Trillian Bash on March 11, it was uncertain whether the full line-up would make it. The 1981 Beststart V8 fire truck was towed off the Desert Road and the NZAF mechanical team was trying to get it going as we were writing this article, the Powerparts Thunderbirds 2 holed a flux capacitor at Matamata.  Parker said, “That’s what you get when you have 425,000km on the instrument cluster.”

Still, Ohakune’s Seuss Subbus had picked up some of the Beststart crew, and were snapped heading through Taihape en route to Bulls.

The Subbus Crew launched the Bash when team captain Kandy Mott handed over a cheque for $4668 to Bulls School principal Kim Gordon for a basket swing. Ms Gordon said, “The teachers suspect that some of their students suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Studies show that rhythmic patterning calms the brainstem and allows children to be better focused  in the classroom. The school has already noticed an improvement by using rocking horses in the classrooms, and believe that a swing will bring a significant change.”

Not everyone passes scrutineering, which is not a surprise given the age of these vehicles. Stu’s Crew needed attention on the 1963 V8 Fairlane from the Royal New Zealand Air Force boys, who use the Variety Trillian Bash as a training exercise.

Meanwhile the rest of the teams slowly arrived at Tatum Park on the Friday evening to sign in before the Levin start and the drive to Blenheim. They entertained children from the Child Cancer Foundation on the Bluebridge dock from noon.

Photos: Jacqui Madelin

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.