Car rally cruis­ing into Franklin

Franklin County News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - BRIAR HUB­BARD

Mike Loose­more is pas­sion­ate about vin­tage Austin cars, and loves to show­case the Franklin area.

So he put his hand up to com­bine the two when it came to or­gan­is­ing the Vin­tage Austin Reg­is­ter’s na­tional rally, which will see around 40 pre-war Austins from across the coun­try, ven­tur­ing around Franklin roads.

Loose­more said it would be the first time vis­it­ing the area for most of the mem­bers.

‘‘It was me that said we should hit Franklin, and that’s what we’ve done. I love the area - I’ve lived here since 1979. It’s a great place to be. There are lots of roads that aren’t mo­tor­ways and that aren’t busy, which are ab­so­lutely ideal for these cars.

‘‘I think ev­ery­one will en­joy it, it’s more of what these cars were de­signed to do.’’

The three-day event be­gins on Fri­day at the Ra­ma­rama Coun­try Inn. On Satur­day the tour will kick off, with the cars mak­ing a pit stop at Po­keno School, be­fore trav­el­ling south to Tau­ran­ganui Marae. On Sun­day the rally will head to Auck­land Glid­ing Club, where they will check out the Tiger Moth planes, then cruise to Ard­more Air­port be­fore head­ing to the Steam and Vin­tage Coun­try Fes­ti­val at Glen­brook for vis­i­tors to check out the Austins.

Loose­more, who has eight Austins him­self, said he was look­ing for­ward to re­unit­ing with old friends, show­ing off the Franklin area, and see­ing the cars.

‘‘The big high­light will be the visit to the marae, which is some­thing I don’t think has ever been done (by the group). A lot of peo­ple are look­ing for­ward to that.

‘‘I’ll also be look­ing for­ward to see­ing the cars that I haven’t seen be­fore, and then the peo­ple, catch­ing up with the peo­ple.’’

It will be an ex­tra spe­cial event for Loose­more, since his grand­son Kae­lan Paranihi will be rid­ing shot­gun.

‘‘He likes go­ing in the car, par- tic­u­larly in the Austin 7s. He’s also de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in be­ing in­volved with the peo­ple. He’s the youngest in the club.’’

The Steam and Vin­tage Coun­try Fes­ti­val will be held this week­end at Glen­brook and will fea­ture a line-up of vin­tage ma­chines and fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment.

Mike Loose­more will travel Franklin dur­ing the na­tional Vin­tage Austin Reg­is­ter’s Rally.

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