Father-daughter team up
A FATHER-daughter duo is hitting the road on a set of mini wheels to recreate a Kiwi classic.
Ross Simpson and his daughter Rachel Larsen are joining more than 50 other Minis to drive from Kaitaia to Invercargill for the fourth Pork Pie Charity Run on April 3.
The Herne Bay residents will be following in the tyre tracks of the legendary yellow Mini from the film Goodbye Pork Pie.
They are fundraising for children’s charity KidsCan and have racked up more than $1300 in donations so far.
It’s not the first time Simpson has got behind the wheel for the biennial event but it will be his first attempt squeezing into a classic Mini.
‘‘It was a whole lot of fun last time and I couldn’t resist doing it again in an old one.’’
Simpson is just over 1.83 metres tall so it will take some getting used to.
‘‘I’ve been learning over the last month how to drive it with my knees around my head.
‘‘If you park this one next to a new Mini, it’s amazing how much smaller it is.’’
The charity run was started in 2009 by Murray Hemsley and Rod Harris who wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mini and pay homage to the 1981 movie.
Simpson decided to take part at the last minute in 2013 with his youngest daughter Louise coming along for the 2500km ride.
This time around it will be his eldest daughter sitting by his side.
She measures up perfectly for the wee car at just 1.5m.
Larsen says she is most looking forward to driving through the Lewis Pass.
But Simpson says some of the well-known spots from the film make for the best sights.
‘‘We go through the old wrecking yard from the movie and that’s an amazing place to go,’’ he says.
‘‘To see 50 Minis going through these wrecks – they make a hell of a route to go through.’’
And there will be plenty of opportunities to take in the scenery.
The little car’s fuel tank only holds about 20 litres so it will mean lots of pit-stops along the route.
Simpson and Larsen bought the car specially for the event and have covered it with children’s drawings from Bear Park childcare centre.
Teachers from the Herne Bay preschool asked the children to draw pictures inspired by KidsCan.
The charitable trust was formed to meet the physical and nutritional needs of New Zealand children living in poverty.
More than $100,000 has been raised by the event’s petrol heads for the charity so far.
Ross Simpson and his daughter Rachel Larsen are taking part in the 2015 Pork Pie Charity Run to raise funds for KidsCan.
The artwork of Katherine Larsen, 4, and Marcus Larsen, 1, and others from Herne Bay’s Bear Park childcare centre has been printed on the car.