T

Geral­dine Clas­sic Car­a­van Club his month’s Club Cor­ner is a touch dif­fer­ent, as we looked for a club that could en­com­pass the 1970 Ox­ford car­a­van found on the cover. This led us to the Geral­dine Clas­sic Car­a­van Club (GCCC) — founded in 2005 af­ter Chris H

New Zealand Classic Car - - CLUB CORNER -

The GCCC cel­e­brates the quin­tes­sen­tial Kiwi camp­ing favourite, the clas­sic car­a­van. It fo­cuses on pre-1970 ex­am­ples, and the old­est car­a­van in the club is said to be a 1936 Moore-schultz, from Bal­clutha.

De­spite its name, the mem­ber­ship is very loosely based, and there is no join­ing fee to get in­volved. Founder Ea­mon Bar­rett, told us, “Sim­ply at­tend one of our ral­lies and you can con­sider your­self a mem­ber.”

With around 50 own­ers on the cur­rent list of mem­bers, the club’s an­nual Queen’s Birth­day week­end rally is a real fes­ti­val of car­a­vans. It is set at the Top 10 Kiwi Hol­i­day Park camp­ground in Geral­dine, and the club hires the Geral­dine cin­ema for the Satur­day night — a real 1920s-style af­fair, with couches and granny blan­kets up front — to put on an old movie. Last year saw the screen­ing of the 1954 clas­sic The Long, Long Trailer, star­ring Lu­cille Ball. Fol­low­ing the film, the bra­zier is lit back at the camp­ground, and every­one is en­cour­aged to gather around for a drink and a chin­wag.

Sun­day marks an open day for the gen­eral pub­lic to ex­pe­ri­ence some of the clas­sics for a gold-coin do­na­tion. This also in­cor­po­rates a clas­sic car and hot rod dis­play, as most own­ers use some­thing of the sort to tow their car­a­van — al­though Ea­mon stresses that, “They are a great com­ple­ment to the style, but the main star is the car­a­van, of course [laughs].” Mod­ern car­a­vans are not dis­crim­i­nated against, but they are asked to give the clas­sics the lime­light for the day, and are dis­played at the back.

A vin­tage food car­a­van keeps the pun­ters fed, and, later in the even­ing, the pav­il­ion rocks with a live band for the theme night party. With 11 years down and only one year rained off, it’s a sta­ple event on the south­ern cal­en­dar.

mid-’60s high-per­for­mance Fiat 500 vari­ant, the Puch TR650, was a suc­cess­ful rally car, though a re­ally good Pol­ish driver, So­biesław Zasada, helped con­sid­er­ably! (5) 9. UK rac­ing and sports car man­u­fac­turer ac­tive from 1949 through the 1950s; its For­mula (F) 1/F2 cars achieved some rac­ing suc­cess, in­clud­ing one world cham­pi­onship race podium fin­ish in 1956 (9) 14. Ger­man man­u­fac­turer (1928–’61), part of the Borg­ward group; de­spite its name im­ply­ing large size, it’s best re­mem­bered for smaller sa­loons and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles (7) 15. Model name for the Singer-badged vari­ant of the Rootes Group Imp small sa­loon car (7) 16. 1970s Rootes/chrysler mid-size sa­loon with 1250/1300cc or 1500/1600cc en­gines — sold in Bri­tain un­der three dif­fer­ent mar­que names as the years passed (7) 19. Late ’70s to early ’80s four-seater coupé from Lo­tus, built in two mod­els 1975–’80, with Type 76 and 1980 on­wards Type 84, aka the Ex­cel (5) 20. Lan­cia’s V4-en­gined small sa­loon, built from 1953 to 1963 to re­place the Ardea, and it­self re­placed by the Ful­via (5) 21. The fi­nal ver­sion (1962–’64) of BMC Aus­tralia’s B-se­ries–en­gined Mor­ris Mi­nor de­riv­a­tive was known as the Ma­jor ----- (5) Back to New Zealand this this month for an in­ter­est­ing lit­tle ve­hi­cle look­ing a tad ahead of its time, but, alas, it never made it to pro­duc­tion. Who can give us chap­ter and verse on this diminu­tive car? Send your so­lu­tion to editor@clas­s­ic­car.co.nz or mail to Mys­tery Car 253 Fe­bru­ary 2017, New Zealand Clas­sic Car, PO Box 46 020, Herne Bay, Auck­land by mid Fe­bru­ary. Last month’s mys­tery was the East Ger­man Melkus RS1000 sports car. It was the re­sult of a Ger­man Demo­cratic Repub­lic (GDR) gov­ern­ment plan to cel­e­brate 20 years of the GDR state, and the sports car project was a joint ef­fort by noted rac­ing driver Heinz Melkus, prom­i­nent in lo­cal rac­ing since the early 1950s; Au­to­mo­bil­w­erk Eise­nach (AWE); and the Dres­den Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity and Univer­sity for Traf­fic — now there’s an in­ter­est­ing idea; Auck­land lead­ers, are you read­ing this? AWE had some back­ground in rac­ing-ve­hi­cle de­sign, hav­ing pro­duced, in the mid 1950s, some fast sports-rac­ing cars that had been sig­nif­i­cant ri­vals to Porsche and Borg­ward in 1500cc sports rac­ing, and with more re­cent prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence of driv­ing and build­ing rac­ing cars com­ing from Melkus, the project had pos­si­bil­i­ties. The body adopted ideas from other sports cars of the day — Porsche 904, Mercedes-benz 300Sl–style gull-wing doors, Opel GT even from some an­gles — and used a mix of fi­bre­glass and al­loy to pro­duce a light body/ chas­sis unit, at 750kg in street-use trim. Rac­ing ver­sions had up to 75kw and weighed less, at 680kg, so it ended up a rather ef­fec­tive sports car. About 75 were built up to 1973 in the main pro­duc­tion run, and an­other cou­ple of dozen were built up to 1979 on spe­cial or­der. They were suc­cess­ful and well-re­mem­bered cars, with around 80 of the 101 built sur­viv­ing, and, ac­knowl­edg­ing this con­tin­u­ing in­ter­est, in 2006 and 2008, Heinz Melkus’ sons (Melkus him­self died in 2005) sanc­tioned build­ing an­other 20 cars, 15 with Wart­burg en­gines and five more with mod­ern VW 1600 units. Catch­ing up on ear­lier mys­ter­ies, we can now re­port that our very knowl­edge­able reader Lloyd Glee­son, from New Ply­mouth, knew all about Mys­tery Car No. 250, the Muntz Jet, while an­other of our reg­u­lar master spot­ters — David North, from down south — rec­og­nized No. 251, the Brazil­ian-built Volk­swa­gen SP2 coupé. Con­grat­u­la­tions to you both.

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