From the editor
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.