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Supercars by the sea

11 May, 2023

A wealth of automotive treats gathered on Wellington’s waterfront
By Christopher Moor

Summer Supercars by the Sea had a million dollar harbour backdrop for cars worth maybe 20 times more than that, parked along Wellington’s Te Papa promenade on Sunday 22 January. The capital’s anniversary weekend car show ran between 10am and 12.30pm.
Around 60 supercars graced the concourse for the Wellington Sports & Supercar Owners’ second show. Last winter’s show was at the nearby Odlins’ Plaza but the new venue for the summer event enabled an improved display, and easier access for visitors to get amongst them. A few cyclists and scooter riders detoured from their promenading around the waterfront to take a look at some of the finest alternative forms of transport.

It was the day of the coupé featuring American muscle, European classics, the sporty Japanese, and the best of British, plus a scattering of four door saloons and a handful of soft tops displayed with their hoods down. Those expecting Mustangs, Corvettes, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Hondas, Lamborghinis, or a DeLorean would have been well satisfied.
Children provided a pretty steady stream of visitors to the silver Lamborghini Gallardo to have their photos taken with this exotic beast. Hopefully they weren’t too disappointed to discover that the revving motors heard throughout the morning came from pre-recorded sources.

My happiest memory of the day is of the Aston Martin owner who opened the door of his convertible to let youngsters take a turn behind the wheel. Their matching beaming smiles told me he’d made their day – as well as his own. Here’s hoping kind gestures such as this from today’s classic owners will help ensure that the interest transfers to future generations.
An Englishman was overhead explaining the TVR 450 to some interested New Zealand mates, apparently a car they’d not heard of before. 
Summer Supercars by the Sea was a free entry event. Donations could be made on the concourse to Child Cancer, the day’s benefiting charity.

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.