AORAKI / MT COOK SPRING CLASSIC
Family ties were very much in evidence as entrants set off from Dunedin on Saturday, 3 November, on the Aoraki / Mt Cook Spring Classic organized by the Mehrtens family. Well known for their Mainland Classic South Island events and, latterly, the Autumn Colours Outings to Arrowtown, David and Christine Mehrtens have established a reputation for running some very enjoyable and sociable events involving vintage and classic motoring.
The tour left Dunedin on Saturday morning under threatening skies. The slowest cars left first, led by the Mehrtens family’s 1924 Delage DI tourer. The two-litre Delage was restored in the late 1980s, and completed the journey to Aoraki / Mount Cook and back without missing a beat, cruising at 45–55mph (70– 90kph) for the entire trip.
The mix of classics and vintage was eclectic to say the least, right up to a modern Fiat 124 Abarth. Steve Roy was accompanied in his vintage three-litre Bentley by Ross Newton, and the two couldn’t wait to tell the organizers how much fun they were having. The vintage exhaust burble and gear whine of the Bentley as the pair enthusiastically set off was something to hear. Invercargill couple Neil and Cynthia Lewis were enjoying the chance to stretch the legs of their newly restored Jaguar XK150 roadster — featured in New Zealand Classic Car Issue No. 334, October 2018.
The threatening weather finally lived up to its potential near the Danseys Pass turn-off, and, by Otematata, it was bucketing down, making life interesting for those who were cruising with the top down! However, by Omarama, the skies had cleared, and it was on to the evening stopover at Aoraki / Mount Cook village and a very sociable evening enjoyed by all.
Monday morning’s start was the top of the Hooker Valley Road, at the original Hermitage site, and then off to Tekapo, where the local school welcomed the tour.
Entries are already coming in for the 2019 Autumn Colours event, with 10 confirmed and some special cars expected.
“We have one entrant who is not sure which Ferrari he will bring, as he has a selection,” David said. He also told us that, with the obvious success of this year’s Aoraki / Mount Cook Spring Classic, there would be another one in 2020.
Visit mainlandclassic.co.nz for more details, or enquire at mainland.clas[email protected]look.com.
David Mehrtens and daughter, Anna, enjoying the family Delage under a threatening sky
A Delage and a Bentley; majestic cars, majestic scenery