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.