Pukekohe’s February Festival
The New Zealand Classic Motorcycle racing Register celebrates its 40th Birthday at Pukekohe Raceway on the 2nd and 3rd of February, 2019. The celebration includes recognition of New Zealand’s home-grown motorcycling heroes from the 1950s through to the 1990s and the machines they competed on, both two and three wheelers. NZCMRR was formed in June 1979 on a vision and with $79.00 in the kitty. But the idea had been quietly kicking around for some time when the concept of running a classic event at the Hamilton street races was first promoted. Hugh Anderson in conjunction with Hamilton Motorcycle Club promoted, and was able to schedule a ‘Parade’ in the programme of past riders on period machines at Hamilton in 1974. Riders included Rod and Bob Coleman, Syd Jensen, Peter Murphy, Len Perry, Ken Mudford, Peter Pawson, Hugh Anderson, John Anderson, John Hempleman and Ginger Molloy. These luminaries were riders who had represented New Zealand in the UK, Europe and America. In total there were 45 entries for the event. So from humble beginnings, albeit with some class act riders, the inaugural Pukekohe event was run in 1980 with riders from the South Island and Australia attending. From the original format of Pre-63 British bikes only, NZCMRR now has classes from all manufacturers from Pre-War to Pre-89. Two days of action packed racing is planned with a big display of race bikes from over the years including specials made by Kiwis such as Steve Roberts and of course John Britten to be viewed both on and off the track. And, for something completely different; the famous ‘Wall of Death’ will be on display. To liven up the Sunday programme spectators can look forward to a lunchtime fly over of historic WW2 warplanes. Nothing like the growl of a Rolls Royce Merlin to give you goose bumps. All the hard working organising committee now need is a couple of days of fine weather for the event. Certainly no one wants rain on this parade!