Hi there, this is the OLDFOX. For those who don’t know me I’m a 1993 MERC 220 Sportline coupe.
Last Friday I’m relaxing under my cover, when it was pulled off and I’m taken outside to get a thorough wash, polish and vac. A quick check under my bonnet on oil and water and it’s away to the service station for $140 of gas. I don’t know what’s going on, but as usual I’m the last to find out.
Saturday morning starts early and my boot is loaded to the max. And then the dog… “Hey get that mutt off my leather seats and on to his own blanket.” Off we go to the north shore to deposit muttley at the rellies and then head to the Albany Westfield car park. My keeper misses the motorway exit so we stop and give El President a quick call and are told to meet them at the Dragons Rest at Topuni, north of Wellsford. They were all heading up SH16 scenic route, so pedal to the metal. We arrive at the cafe where I’m parked in a tidy line with 11 fellow Mercs, while the cafe served up good hearty food at reasonable prices. Then off we go in convoy up SH1 to Whangarei and wait for the stragglers. We now number 13. Next stop is the Packard & Pioneer Museum at the old dairy factory at Maungatapere. There are 52 Packards and 64 motorcycles, along with various other classic cars, steam and traction engines, military vehicles plus colonial memorabilia. Spread over three massive buildings the place is a collector’s delight but a work in progress. From there it’s away to the Settlers Motel where I get left outside overnight while my keeper gets a warm cosy unit and a tasty buffet dinner, “thanks a bunch”.
Sunday morning. Yes, it’s been raining, so I get a good shammy off and away at 9.00am sharp to find the Hans Compter museum. And that’s when the fun really started. My old grandpa always said, ‘anyone is entitled to make a mistake but only a fool makes the same mistake twice’. EL President led 13 cars up a single car driveway off SH1, heading supposedly to the museum except it was to a private house. As luck had it there was a loop at the top and we could all drive back down. Seeing the error of his ways he leads us up the next driveway which also turns out to be wrong, but this time all 13 cars had to back down all the way to the road; quite a manoeuvre! Third time lucky… there were only three driveways on that stretch of highway and we all know about Murphy’s law.
It was a privilege to see Compter’s enormous collection of European cars although, even with me being a car, some I’ve never even heard of. Hans can tell you the full history of each and every car that’s there in fascinating detail. So many ‘greats’ were packed into the two sheds, including a red Lancia Pinin Farina built for Eva Peron, some rare Tatras and the biggest Rolls Royce I have ever seen.
At about 11am we are on our way again to Frank & Lyn Parkers farm in Ruakaka where a pig had been slowly roasting on a spit. The American flag was flying high when we arrived and parked in the paddock with around eight American classics. Pretty flash company, including an El Camino ute, 69 SS Camaro, Chevy Bel Air, Buick and even a custom hot rod with a Lexus V8 under the hood. Frank’s fabulous old Belgium Minerva was the sweetest sight of all though. We’d hopes of giving those Detroit boys with their yankee V8s some driving skills with the German finesse of the M-B. But because of the weather, in short it was persisting down, it was not to be. Still, we heard Elvis was in the building and the band played on well past lunch before we hit SH1 for home. Apart from a small detour to collect that damn dog… “keep it off my leather seat. It’s enough to make a Merc blow a gasket!”
Your Reliable 220 Coupe
OLDFOX Keeper, Barry Bollington
Making a Difference
Galaxy of Cars 2013
We were delighted to learn that our attendance at the Galaxy of Cars helped to raise the staggering $20,000 donation awarded to the Kids with Arthritis charity. Kids with Arthritis also collected an additional $1500 on the day. The organisers, New Lynn Lions, sent a special thank you to all car clubs and enthusiasts who brought their vehicles along and helped to achieve such an amazing result from the profits.
Whangarei Weekend Run – May 2013
Participant’s contributions also resulted in a substantial sum donated to our hosts Frank & Lyn Parker’s chosen charity, the ‘White Ribbon’ campaign to end violence against women. A warm invitation was duly extended to join their northern White Ribbon Day ride later this year.
The Castaways Scavenger Run (Sunset Dinner Run)
Well as usual for one of these events, you meet at a common place, have a bit of a chat, get your briefing, and off you go. Easy. Done that before, lots of times.
For this event we met at the BP Station on the Southern Motorway, and the instructions were to head for Karioitahi Beach via Clarkes Beach as a waypoint, select a few items off the road, and identify some local identities and features.
Not a lot of challenge, not a lot of stress.
A lot of confidence. Done that, been there. Know the area. Plenty of time.
And having been discussing upcoming fiscal responsibilities, solved the Kids problems, and reminded ourselves that we need to answer my Sisters email in Austria, we ended up at Bombay.
“Hi, are we supposed to be going to Bombay?”
“No, what are we doing in Bombay?”
“You’re the Navigator!”
“I thought you knew where we are going, you were at the Briefing!”
“*$$@, bugger!, yeah, but you are the Navigator”
Ever happened to you?
In a way it was fortuitous as going through Pukekohe, we found quite a few things on the “To be collected List”, but going through this up and coming provincial Town also put us head on with the cars coming from the V8 Supercar Races. (You noticed that I have not mentioned Mercedes?)
Next hurdle, and I don’t know how my Wife knows about it, but I never heard of them, was to find the Spookers. (Well she is a couple of years younger.) Amazing how dilapidated Kingseat is. (Be ideal as a Campus, a seat of learning. Academia for the Pacific. Cash flow.)
From there, no Sheep to be seen to collect wool, we went off to count Chimneys at Glenbrook’s Steel Mill. Of course it is not specified if the Director is thinking of major Chimneys, or all Chimneys. We just counted all to be on the safe side. Still looking for “a piece ” of Sheep Wool.
We saw Cows, a Bull, a Horse, Goats, and Donkeys.
At Waiuku my Navigator managed to photograph a Tourist Destination Brochure in a Shop Window, but with our excitement missed the famous Wolf and Beaver Bar.
It was getting dark now, and we still had not seen any Sheep.
We realised that we may not fill this particular quest, so in frustration started to look at my Navigators Clothes with the intention to extract some fibers of wool. Now I have been married to my Navigator for 37 years, and I thought she would not mind, alas the woman was totally unreasonable.
Having resigned to the fact that we will not have any Sheep’s Wool we proceeded to our final destination at Kariotahi’s Castaways resort.
We arrived second last, presented our collection of treasures, and realised that we were not in the hunt this time for any major Prizes, or in fact any Prize. The winners were Greg and Barbara and Nick and Mark. Well done it was a close won race, with so many people finding so much junk on the side of the road.
For those who have not been there, we were on a Cliff overlooking the Tasman Sea some 200 meters below, and whilst the Sun had set, the sky was still a brilliant red to blue.
As usual the Restaurant was well attended by twenty two Mercedes Scavengers and it took some time before we received our Meals.
The Castaways is an out of the way Restaurant offering a most convivial ambiance and generally a good Menu and service.
This event was well organized and from what comments I have heard well enjoyed, although I was disappointed not to have been able to supply the Sheep’s wool.