NZ RALLY REALLY ROCKS!
It seems ironic, for Adelaide attendees at MG National Events in 2013, there were more people from our city in March who went to the biennial Pre-56 MG in New Zealand than trekked north to Toowoomba for Queensland’s Easter NatMeet.
Jetting across the Tasman, we had Shelley and Bob Bazzica, Daphne and Barry Bahnisch, Wendy and Moss Upton, plus David McNabb, following the tyre tracks of John Scott who trail-blazed in the early 1990s and confirmed how great these NZ Rallies were. The late Scotty was there in spirit, as his current MGJ2 custodians (Bazzica’s) can confirm!
The Kiwis sure punch above their weight, with nearly 90 MGs and over 200 people participating. Since the first of these Rallies, eligible cars now include MGAs and Magnettes - and McNabb felt “right at home”, as he was Chairman of the organising committee for the inaugural Rally in 1977.
Auckland’s John Hancock (aka the Director of Happiness) was Rally Chairman and had his impressive green MG K-type entered. The entry list included three MGA twin-cams, a couple of MGA De-luxe roadsters, 10 MGTDs, 16 MGTFs, plus a good selection of M, J, P, L C-type models and around a dozen of the big S,V,W saloons and dropheads.
NZ stalwart Gary Wall from Martinborough has a huge collection of the S,V,W models and a few of the overseas visitors bor-rowed some of Gary’s cars to enter the Rally. Wendy Upton was able to navigate for the Trial in style, occupying a large WA drophead’s spacious back seat.
Held in brilliant weather, the concours judging took the for-mat where you marked all other cars in your class except your own – this seemed to work well. McNabb managed a class win with his borrowed MGTD – a magnificent recent restoration which finished as runner-up in the overall category.
It’s not often that MGTAs and TBs outnumber MGTCs at an event, but with around eight TA and TB (Tickford) present, that was the case at Taupo. One of the TCs, owned by Bob Douglas and driven by our own Bazz, was named the Happy Wanderer. This car had been effectively modified for touring across several world continents, in similar style to Perth punter Harry Pyle’s TC a few years ago.
During the days following the Concours, there were the compulsory social events, and “Scatter Rally” which is a trial involving clues given as map coordinates, and you could work out the supposed best way around the route without too much doubling back. A time limit kept things in perspective but also allowed time for some sight-seeing along the way, taking in the lovely NZ scenery.
The speed event was labelled an Autocross – basically a bent sprint at the local sealed racetrack during the morning, and after lunch the same venue hosted the motorkhana. Four courses were run, and would have been on grass but the North Island’s drought conditions forced switching to the bitumen. Even the pre-wars tackled these events with great gusto.
The venue for Wednesday evening’s closing prize presentation dinner/dance was superb, with the lovely decorations including four of the concours class winners either side of the dance floor. Bazz chose to sit at McNabb’s table, so he could “translate” the Kiwi-speak, as David is familiar with the local lingo!
A keen lady from Adelaide’s Sister City of Christchurch, Ollie Reid in her TD, won the coveted overall Ladies Award and it was fun, hearing the chants of “ollie ollie oi oi oi” to the tune of aussie aussie oi oi etc!! An exceptionally sumptuous Farewell Breakfast for the survivors next morn-ing rounded out a very enjoyable and well organized Rally. With the ex-change rate in our favour, you should consider checking out the next of these kiwi events – in 2015. Just ask Bazz, Barry or Moss!
ADELAIDE REPRESENTED AT NZ MG RALLY
Seven MG Club members from Adelaide flew to New Zealand mid March for the 19th National Pre-56 MG Rally - held every two years and alternating between North and South Islands, this year's event was based in picturesque Taupo, right beside the Lake. Flying in from Adelaide we had Daphne & Barry Bahnish, Shelley & Bob Bazzica, Wendy & Moss Upton, and David McNabb, the latter returning to his homeland, keen to check out another of these well supported events. David was involved in the first of these Rallies, being chairman of the organising committee, back in 1977.
There were three Twin Cam MGAs, an MG K-type, C-type Montlhery Midget, a selection of M, J and P types, plus a vast range of SVW cars including a huge WA drophead.