Steampunk hots up in Thames
Steampunk is hotting up! There were crowds galore at this year’s Steampunk weekend in Thames, Waikato in mid-November, and the most people yet dressed up and entered the parade – as well as entering fabulous machinery.
And there were some real mechanical marvels there; standout for me was a big motorbike powered by a Vickers V8 engine, and although it wasn’t mobile, it could start up and run for a few minutes. Awesome sound!
The train that starred in last year’s event – based on an old Triumph Herald chassis – was here again, but this year arrayed with more machine guns (very realistic, they looked); there was also a 1930 Ford Model A Ford Speedster dressed up with an extra “caboose” seat at the back, as well as a 1931 Model A convertible with a brand-new yellow boat tail.
We’ve made a selection of some of the most interesting pieces. So why don’t you have a go next year? My brother and I are planning on building a super Gatling gun to fit on the back of the Cooper Convertible, complete with a trailer for the dogs, so it doesn’t have to be fancy.
If you fancy having a go, you’ve about 10 months to work on your special project and enter the Steampunk Parade.
The purpose of the Steampunk The Thames society is to “explore the Victorian, engineering, industrial, scientific and technological heritage and future of Thames through the arts”, while encouraging artistic expression, education and mentoring – and it seems, having great fun while building a good community spirit.
Whatever, anything goes, especially as far as vehicles are concerned, and it’s a great long weekend, held next year from November 8-11, and also incorporates lots of other events, including a grand ball and even a “Punk your Pet” event. More details at www.steampunkthethames.org.
However, we at Motor Equipment News were far more interested in the magical machinery. Here’s a sample.
This was something to behold. A motorbike, but not as you know it, with a Vickers V8 that actually runs, and solid tyres that definitely won’t puncture. It’s all in the detail, wonderful work.
Steampunk is a family affair, and the costumes are fantastic.
Hardy annual – this is a tiny Subaru 360 circa 1958; Subaru’s first car, and designated a mechanical engineering heritage item by the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers.
This locomotive and caboose was rebuilt from an old Santa Parade float by two mates, Doug Ngatua, and Jared Fisher. New for this year: a lot more “firepower”
And baby came too…
Have a look at this bike – have you the patience to build one of these?