Steam­punk hots up in Thames

Motor Equipment News - - NEWS -

Steam­punk is hot­ting up! There were crowds ga­lore at this year’s Steam­punk week­end in Thames, Waikato in mid-Novem­ber, and the most peo­ple yet dressed up and en­tered the pa­rade – as well as en­ter­ing fab­u­lous ma­chin­ery.

And there were some real me­chan­i­cal marvels there; stand­out for me was a big mo­tor­bike pow­ered by a Vick­ers V8 en­gine, and al­though it wasn’t mo­bile, it could start up and run for a few min­utes. Awe­some sound!

The train that starred in last year’s event – based on an old Tri­umph Her­ald chas­sis – was here again, but this year ar­rayed with more ma­chine guns (very re­al­is­tic, they looked); there was also a 1930 Ford Model A Ford Speed­ster dressed up with an ex­tra “ca­boose” seat at the back, as well as a 1931 Model A con­vert­ible with a brand-new yel­low boat tail.

We’ve made a se­lec­tion of some of the most in­ter­est­ing pieces. So why don’t you have a go next year? My brother and I are plan­ning on build­ing a su­per Gatling gun to fit on the back of the Cooper Con­vert­ible, com­plete with a trailer for the dogs, so it doesn’t have to be fancy.

If you fancy hav­ing a go, you’ve about 10 months to work on your spe­cial project and en­ter the Steam­punk Pa­rade.

The pur­pose of the Steam­punk The Thames so­ci­ety is to “ex­plore the Vic­to­rian, engi­neer­ing, in­dus­trial, sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal her­itage and fu­ture of Thames through the arts”, while en­cour­ag­ing artis­tic ex­pres­sion, ed­u­ca­tion and men­tor­ing – and it seems, hav­ing great fun while build­ing a good com­mu­nity spirit.

What­ever, any­thing goes, es­pe­cially as far as ve­hi­cles are con­cerned, and it’s a great long week­end, held next year from Novem­ber 8-11, and also in­cor­po­rates lots of other events, in­clud­ing a grand ball and even a “Punk your Pet” event. More de­tails at www.steam­punk­thethames.org.

How­ever, we at Mo­tor Equip­ment News were far more in­ter­ested in the mag­i­cal ma­chin­ery. Here’s a sam­ple.

This was some­thing to be­hold. A mo­tor­bike, but not as you know it, with a Vick­ers V8 that ac­tu­ally runs, and solid tyres that def­i­nitely won’t punc­ture. It’s all in the de­tail, won­der­ful work.

Story John Ox­ley, pic­tures Les Ox­ley and Sue Ox­ley

Steam­punk is a fam­ily af­fair, and the cos­tumes are fan­tas­tic.

Hardy an­nual – this is a tiny Subaru 360 circa 1958; Subaru’s first car, and des­ig­nated a me­chan­i­cal engi­neer­ing her­itage item by the Ja­pan So­ci­ety of Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neers.

This lo­co­mo­tive and ca­boose was re­built from an old Santa Pa­rade float by two mates, Doug Ngatua, and Jared Fisher. New for this year: a lot more “fire­power”

And baby came too…

Have a look at this bike – have you the pa­tience to build one of these?

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