Vintage shine hits Matakohe roads

The rarest car in the rally was also the overall winner.

Gavin Welch

New Zealand’s motoring history came to life at Matakohe when the Wellsford Warkworth Vintage Car Club held its annual Winter Woollies Wander on July 7.

Nearly 60 cars from around the North Island participated in the 185-kilometre rally over sealed and gravel roads, finishing in Warkworth.

The cars represented various manufacturers and eras, dating from the 1920s to the 1980s. There was also a B31 BAS motorbike, ridden by Dave Oliver of Tawharanui.

One of the more unusual vehicles – a 1934 Ford Y Roadster, believed to be the only 1934 Australian-built model still on the road in the world – finished first overall. The car was driven by Gavin Welch, of the North Shore, with Sophie Zhao as navigator.

Club captain Anne Richardson says the competitive event is as much a test of the passenger’s navigation skills as the cars and drivers, and is designed to be fun.

Only members of the Vintage Car Club of NZ are eligible to participate.

The day ended with a prize-giving dinner, held at the Warkworth Bowling Club.

Results: Overall winner – Gavin Welch and Sophie Zhao, from Auckland, in a Ford Model Y Roadster; Local winner – Leon and Brenda Salt, Ford Model A Phaeton; Vintage – Bruce and Claudia Jeffery, Northland, Austin 7; Post vintage – Gavin Welch and Sophie Zhao; Post war (1946-1960) – Tony and Judy Brierley, Waikato, Morris Oxford; Post 1960 – Alan and Shaaran Price, Auckland, Vauxhall UX490; Post 1980 – Steve and Joy Growden, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Ford Cortina.