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Kiwis On Tour: Hit the West with the best

18 September, 2019


Route 66 Tours with Beach Hop frontman Noddy Watts are well known. It’s a grand idea for a fully escorted self-driving tour, in this case, of a part of the West Coast of the USA.

All the essentials are included: car, insurance, accommodation, even a fully programmed GPS unit, as well as a US cell phone. All you have to do is arrive and then enjoy the experience.

For over ten years Noddy and Andrea have been guiding these tours and now have 21 under their belt, so they are very familiar with the process. Seven hundred people have enjoyed their company on these tours so far, and many are repeat visitors.

The ‘West Coaster’ tour is for 32 days and will take place between August and September next year, 2020.

Mustang convertibles will make the most of the summer weather and places like Old Town San Diego, The Grand Canyon, and Pikes Peak, Aspen Colorado. You’ll also visit Pinkees Hot Rod shop, the America’s Car Museum, the Santa Monica Car Show, and much more. You’ll even drive some of Route 66 and the Pacific Highway.

Between May and June 2020 there’s a Route 66 tour, or take the Cars and Blues Tour in July–August 2020. Prices vary, so contact [email protected] or Kiwis On Route 66 on Facebook.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.