From the edi­tor

NZ4WD - - Contents -

How did YOU get into 4WDing? Was it, for in­stance, through a friend, work­mate or col­league? Or was it more a mat­ter of you see­ing your first tricked-up ‘ Truck’ and think­ing, ‘ that looks like a bit of me!’

Each month as I put an is­sue of NZ4WD to­gether I pon­der this very point. For no bet­ter rea­son than we are such a di­verse bunch.

Some of you would have me fill the mag with awe­some tales of dar­ing-do and nar­row es­capes, ei­ther in an off-road race or on a ‘ tuff truck’ tour of the lo­cal mud hole ( think the main­stream Aussie mags).

Oth­ers would be just as happy flick­ing through page after page of ‘no-ex­pens­es­pared,’ ‘eat-your-lunch- off-it’ truck ‘ build’ sto­ries ( cue a typ­i­cal US ti­tle).

If the stats for typ­i­cal tabloid ‘click-bait’ fare on daily news­pa­pers ( Madonna in mouse hor­ror!) are any­thing to go by, many of you would also like ( though are prob­a­bly loath to ad­mit it) to chuckle through the odd ‘schaden­freude’ story, de­fined as one pro­vid­ing ‘plea­sure de­rived by some­one from another per­son’s mis­for­tune...’

I raised the point about how you ‘got into’ four-wheel­ing be­cause I know what hooked me into rid­ing dirt bikes all those years ago – and it was none of what you could call ‘ the usual sus­pects.’

It was, in fact, a movie – On Any Sun­day. I’ve since been given an in­sight into the mak­ing of this sem­i­nal, life-chang­ing ode to all good things off-road and on two-wheels by one of the blokes ( sort of) in­volved, Kiwi speed­way hero Barry Briggs. And to say it was all a bit of a ran­dom col­li­sion in time and space is an un­der­state­ment.

That said, the im­pact the movie had on a gen­er­a­tion of bored baby boomers with money to burn can­not be over­stated.

Imag­ine, if you will, a movie about 4WDing… by a direc­tor with lit tle or no knowl­edge or back­ground in the ac­tiv­ity but a keen eye ( trained in Brown’s case, on surf­ing) for what tick­les the fancy of the av­er­age Kiwi bloke ( and th­ese days, of course, blokess!)

Dan Cow­per’s Suzuki Ex­treme 4x4 Chal­lenge would be in there for sure ( both on the main, as well as the in­evitable bloop­ers reels), as would shots of of­froad­ers big and small bat­tling it out at the Wood­hill 100 or NZ1000.

It’s the coun­ter­point mo­ments I think that would leave the long­est and most last­ing im­pres­sion… as, after ford­ing a stream ( cue shot of wa­ter breach­ing the bon­net) then bounc­ing up a rough, ready South Is­land ac­cess track, doors are flung open and the oc­cu­pants of the Wran­gler/ Disco/ Hilux are greeted by one of those 260 de­gree panora­mas of land and sky that lit­er­ally take the breath away.

If you own a 4WD chances are your mind’s eye has al­ready taken you ( back) there. To the place which in­stantly made all the time, ef­fort, cost and typ­i­cal petty lit tle dra­mas of daily life dis­solve in a haze of joy, won­der­ment and con­vic­tion that, at that par­tic­u­lar point and time, ev­ery­thing is well with the world!

That’s cer­tainly how I ( and lit­er­ally mil­lions of oth­ers over the years) felt watch­ing On Any Sun­day. And how I have felt many times since in the back­blocks and hill county of both the North and South Is­lands.

So come on all you aspir­ing film mak­ers, start story boarding and shoot­ing. You never know, it could be your work which in­spires the next gen­er­a­tion.

NZ4WD edi­tor Ross MacKay.

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