The long road from New York to Wanaka


Auck­land busi­ness­man Craig Mar­shall and his wife Nicky will be driv­ing to War­birds Over Wanaka In­ter­na­tional Air­show in March 2018 – all the way from New York City.

Craig has bought a clas­sic 1928 Packard Road­ster, but the first time he will see the ve­hi­cle will be the day be­fore the cou­ple set out on the 4500-kilo­me­tre trip across the USA.

The Mar­shalls’ car will be one of 50 Packards on display at War­birds Over Wanaka at Easter 2018.

Ten are be­ing shipped from North Amer­ica.

Back in 1982, Mar­shall and a mate drove the other way across the United States in a Chevy they bought for $100.

‘‘Clearly it was a rough spec­i­men of a car but it never missed a beat.

‘‘Be­ing poor stu­dents, we ate when we could at road­side bars en­sur­ing we got there at happy hour to se­cure some free food, and slept in the back of the car.

‘‘In re­cent years I have promised my wife we would do the trip the other way round with more salu­bri­ous ac­com­mo­da­tion and food than in ‘82,’’ he said.

Mar­shall has pur­chased the 1928 Packard sight un­seen, but has got some­one in the US to give it a once over.

He’s still ex­pect­ing to have some me­chan­i­cal prob­lems along the way but says that’s half the fun.

‘‘We have given our­selves five weeks to com­plete the jour­ney. We will stick to se­condary roads and have no set agenda ex­cept to get to Los An­ge­les with­out hav­ing to use the truck of shame [tow truck].

‘‘The car will then be shipped to New Zealand and we hope to drive it all the way down the coun­try to join the ‘Des­ti­na­tion War­birds’ rally in Blen­heim, with the trip even­tu­ally end­ing at the air­show in Wanaka,’’ he said.

Long dis­tance driv­ing is one of Mar­shall’s pas­sions.

He once drove a 1937 Dodge in the Pek­ing to Paris rally in 40 days.

The 8200km jour­ney in­cluded the Gobi desert and fol­lowed the Silk Route in the foot­steps of Genghis Khan.

The South­ern Amer­i­can En­durance car rally is still on his bucket list.

War­birds Over Wanaka In­ter­na­tional Air­show runs from March 30 to April 2, 2018.


Craig Mar­shall’s 1928 Packard Road­ster.

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