Close this search box.

Dub day afternoon

27 April, 2023

VWs’ annual gathering in der Kapital attracts more each year
By Christopher Moor

 A Volkswagen show happened on Sunday December 11, exactly a fortnight before Christmas. Wellington’s fifth annual biggest little VW show again took over the car park for the day at the Parrotdog bar, Lyall Bay, in 2022. Classics from the greater Wellington region and beyond graced the concourse.
Organiser Andy Bray was very happy with the numbers, estimating 38 had parked up – my total was 40 including the Type 2 Kombi and a camper, the welcoming crew at the gate. There appeared to be more Kombis — the generic type 2 vans – and campers taking part in 2022 than in 2021.
He didn’t mention the weather, which was fair enough as it was nothing to complain about; the show’s history of fine days continued uninterrupted.

A 1985 Audi Quattro and two 1969 Porsches, including Andy’s 911E, represented other Volkswagen divisions in their little own area, prompting someone to ask if this was the naughty boys’ corner.
The oldest two cars I saw were two 1956 saloons with oval rear windows and I remembered the pale green one from previous years. Its roof rack was packed with luggage, so we could only hope this was for a summer holiday the owner might soon be enjoying. A venetian blind over the rear window took me back to when the VW was a new kid on New Zealand roads in the 1950s.
Eye catching personalised plates on head turning cars are something I look out for at shows. I achieved both with a 1969 purple metallic Beetle that told me IM BUGED. Another happy memory for me from last year was a 1966 VW Kombi with the registration HIS VW.
Parrotdog is a dog-friendly venue. Some car owners brought their dogs with them, and several families included theirs in their visit to the VWs.  It was a fun outing for everyone and their best friends, made more enjoyable by the free entry.

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.