On Sunday 12th October around 30 Club members took advantage of a fine but cool Auckland day to participate in the annual Club Scavenger Hunt. This year’s course took us through the south eastern countryside to explore the natural beauty and varied roads which wind through Drury, the Hunua Ranges, Clevedon and Ardmore. Vehicles included the magnificent 1928 SSK replica, appropriate representation of classic SL’s, fixed head and convertible coupes, and a selection of Mercedes we just enjoy driving.

As per usual format we proceeded along a designated route, visiting specified locations whilst scanning the countryside for the varied objects we had to find or obtain. It is amazing how quickly the trading instinct develops, even between competitors!

Amongst the more devious tests was the apparently simple challenge of finding a name on a letterbox. Very simple. In our vehicle we identified the side of street for odds and evens and drove, eagle eyes at the ready, looking for ‘1583’ amongst the periodic odd numbers on the far side of the road. (In the rural Hunuas numbers can be separated by considerable distance). Understand then the reaction of the author, not overly endowed with patience, to find that number 1583 had mysteriously disappeared. Blast! Find space for a U-turn, back down the road a couple of kms and do it again. Same outcome. Synonym for blast! On the next run we stopped, in what ought to be about the right place, at conjoined farm driveway entrances on the even-numbered side of the road. And there it was, 5 metres away, number 1583 – on the even numbered side of the road. Doubts were cast upon the parentage of whoever dreamed that one up and we moved on.

And for anyone who did not hear what the aircraft is that is featured on the Warbirds Restoration hangar at Ardmore, it is apparently a Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk. Not surprisingly, at the outbreak of WW II, the RNZAF was not well equipped in terms of (then) modern fighter aircraft. As the threat from Japan increased, representations from the NZ Government to the UK and USA resulted in provision of Kittyhawks from the US, the first aircraft arriving in March of 1942 and forming the basis for a New Zealand based fighter squadron.

The Rally organisers had compiled a decidedly diverse list of objects for us to locate and collect – in the process making a substantive contribution to clearing roadside litter. More difficult than previous years was the requirement to collect a discarded hubcap. Usually readily available but for some reason scarce in the Hunuas. I don’t know whether it is the outstanding roads or the vehicles using them, but there was scarcely an old hubcap to be seen. The ingenuity of members was not to be discounted, however, as the competition scorers were duly presented with a series of hubcaps in pristine condition and bearing a three pointed star. A quick trip to the car park revealed that our secretary’s normally immaculate vehicle appeared to have been raided for parts.

Highlights of the outing included the outstanding views from the crest of Jones Road, a wander around the Clevedon Shops on Market Day and an outstanding alfresco lunch with excellent wines at the John Hill Estate Vineyard. This is a great location with indoor and covered outdoor dining, and plentiful easy parking. Have a fun game of petanque or for those interested in expending more energy, trapshooting and archery are available.

Thanks to Chris and Angelique for setting an interesting course which could be completed within time and on roads where our stop/go progress did not pose a nuisance to other road users bent on getting from A to B in rather more haste. A really enjoyable Club day in great company.

Richard Glenn