New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words and photos: Trevor Stan­ley-joblin

Our 15th North Can­ter­bury Clas­sic tour was held on Sun­day March 19, un­der con­di­tions that could only be de­scribed as per­fect. A new start venue had been se­lected for this year, that be­ing The Wood­lands Cafe at Lei­th­field on State High­way 1 (SH1). This proved to be ab­so­lutely ideal, with plenty of park­ing and many peo­ple par­tak­ing in morn­ing tea in the din­ing room be­fore de­par­ture. By reg­is­tra­tion close­off time at 10.40am, 212 ve­hi­cles had en­tered. One ve­hi­cle that at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion was a replica of a fa­mous Austin 1800 rally car that par­tic­i­pated in the London– Syd­ney Marathon and had been driven up from Ti­maru to par­tic­i­pate in our an­nual event. Hope to see it again at next year’s North Can­ter­bury Clas­sic Tour.

This year, the route in­cluded two of my favourite North Can­ter­bury routes, the first one be­ing the un­du­lat­ing and twisty, scenic and sealed trips through Waikari– Scargill– Greta Val­ley. This was fol­lowed by the now-very-low-vol­ume-traf­fic sec­tion of SH1, since the Novem­ber 2016 earthquake, as there is no ac­ces­si­ble road be­yond Kaik­oura. Af­ter pass­ing through Che­viot, we branched off to take in the mag­nif­i­cent trip to Wa­iau via the Leader Road. This sec­tion of back-coun­try road is highly rec­om­mended, es­pe­cially in an open car.

Ar­riv­ing in Wa­iau, our des­ti­na­tion was the lo­cal– pri­mary school grounds, and what an ideal lunch venue it was. The Wa­iau Par­ent Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (PTA) sold lunches by the dozens un­der the shade of the oak trees, while a jazz band played numbers from the 1950s to the 1970s. The crisp and clear voice from the young fe­male vo­cal­ist added to the mag­nif­i­cent mu­sic and set­ting. This wee in­land coun­try school orig­i­nally opened in 1877, now with a roll of just 34 pupils, lost its swim­ming pool, built in 1928, to the big 7.8 quake that had its epi­cen­tre right un­der Wa­iau! There is a na­tion­wide bid to raise enough money for a re­place­ment pool. The clas­sic tour was able to con­trib­ute $3030 to that fund, while the Wa­iau PTA raised a fur­ther $1338 through sell­ing its great lunches and drinks. I will let the photos tell their own story of the event at the school. For many more photos, look up our Facebook page, North Can­ter­bury Clas­sic Tour.

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