Past Event: Brunch and Airport Raid

Sharing time with some Austins

Unbelievably the weather started out beautiful and fine, we were rewarded with a good turnout of SP250s, and Austins, this being a combined club event, and we’re all car enthusiasts aren’t we?

When plotting the route from Albany to Riverhead, one of the roads was flooded and closed, however, the worst must have been over and there was little sign of the recent floods. Still on the drive to Riverhead, we had to stop at three sets of traffics lights where the road had been washed away in late January, with no sign of any repairs since.

After brunch, we headed across to the North Shore airfield where we were entertained by Stan Smith who has a lengthy history of working at restoring aircraft and mostly the products of de Havilland.

In his inimitable style, we learnt about the various aircraft stored in a number of hangers and their history.

Simultaneously a few members were able to be taken up for a flight in a 1942 Piper L4 Grasshopper Cub. One needed to be a slim contortionist to be able to get in and out of this aircraft.

In the hanger we had visited previously where the very large Vickers Vildebeeste had been stored, this had been sent to the Air force Museum in Christchurch and replaced with a pair of Hawker Hinds, one of the prettiest biplane fighters made.

That very evening there was an item on the TV1 news about this very aircraft (Vildebeeste) being sent to Christchurch to assist the restoration of a similar one. As before, we were given a guided tour of the various hangers and for the wives present especially, it was clear that no matter how chaotic their husband’s parts and cars appeared to be, they had a long way to go to catch up with those in the aircraft hobby/restoration business.

All told, a successful day and a light shower, mid afternoon did nothing to spoil it