No matter how much time I have my preparation for these types of events is shocking and always seems to run into last minute adjustments, late nights and an early morning start on the actual day, and this was going to be no different. Rising early (but not as early as Knobsta who had lotsa more miles to travel than me) the laughing magpies and singing tui were met with sound of a hungry grinder and flash of an arc welder as those forgotten repairs had to be attended to. The birds didn’t seem to mind but McSnotty Jnr was none too impressed, his bedroom backed onto the workshop.
With all the chores completed, Knobsta’s as well, we loaded up and headed out to Karaka. Nice morning for a short ride with the sidecar and a ute following with 2 bikes. Better preparation would have included a trailer with a few more bikes, but we are not that good really!!
The site space allocated for motorcycles was excellent so we settled down to the basic 101 of gaze bo assembly, actually Knob and Dave performed this magic task, too complicated for me, and we positioned ourselves next to the AJS/Matchless Owners Club tent. A good bunch of guys who had a nice display of 50s and 60s machines. Our neighbours over the back fence were a little bit more different with their funny costumes, pointed hats, and rather large loud machinery. Yup it was the military team (or perhaps the A Team from the 70s TV show) complete with jeeps, amphibian craft, personal carriers, half tracks and guns that go bang. And like they say give a man a gun and he has to fire it. At least the direction of their shooting was upwards at mock engagements with the aerial assaults from the four low flying tiger moths. Quite spectacular actually.
With neighbours like this parked on our back doorstep we didn’t dare complain about their noise!
Having satisfied ourselves that everything was in order I decided to go for a wander around and see what was on offer. Lots of stationary engines, classic cars, vintage hay balers and the 100 Years of Masport all added to an enjoyable walk, and just went to show that the owners of these machines were just as passionate about their hobbies as we were about ours. Some even having travelled from Taranaki and Palmerston North. The popularity of these types of events is growing and the Karaka Vintage Day is no exception.
A couple of nice looking girders displayed on another site.
Nice 1930 Model D Harley Davidson. This model was referred to at the time as the 3 cylinder due to the vertically mounted generator on the left hand side of the motor. (Knobsta has one of these but he can only push his one around the back lawn whilst making engine noises.)
Just to show that yes we were actually there.
Indian Board Track Racer. This bike is truly amazing and garnered the most interest. It is a replica of a 1910s Indian Board Track Racer and is a credit to Tim, the bikes creator. Other than the engine which under went an extensive rebuild everything else was manufactured, copied, fabricated by Tim with such skill seldom seen these days. The bikes appeal was enhanced even more with its display on the sectioned ‘board track’. Hopefully we can catch up with Tim to do a more in depth story on the man and machine.
Daves nicely presented 1937 Royal Enfield 350 side valve.
Interest in old motorcycles is always there and the vintage day experience was no different with the amount of people curious enough not to be scared off by Knobsta’s gruff exterior and come in and ask questions or pass on general motorcycling snip bits like the gentleman who pointed at Knobsta’s 1925 Royal Enfield and said that when he was at Pukekohe High School in 1954~56 a student used to ride one the same from Onewhero to Pukekohe every day. Not an easy ride with most of the roads being metal and the mountainous trek would have required a lot of 1st and 2nd gear work. And where is that bike now? Probably over some farmers local dump. And then there was the gentleman who said that he would like to build a copy of the New Zealand made Maori motorcycle that was built in Gisborne in 1912.
With people that we met, old and new, and stories like these we regarded the day as a success and as the closing time of 4.00pm rolled around we packed everything up and headed home.
Two years until the next one so to make it even better planning had better start right now. Yeah sure!!