Karaka Vintage Day – A view from the Knob

Updated 19th April €“ more photos and some scribblings from the tip of McSnottys crayon

Once again the folks from the Karaka Historical Society, along with the Vintage Engine Restorers Auckland (VERA) hosted an outstanding event at the Karaka Sports Complex on Sunday ( 1st Apr 2012)

The day started brilliantly, and early, with Mrs McS welcoming me into McSnotty Manor with a traditional Bacon Sarnie ( I had 2 😀 ) . After helping the Lord of the Manor, the esteemed McSnotty Esq, load a couple of fine examples of Vintage Motorcycles onto the Brute and Mrs McS into aforesaid beast, we meandered over to Karaka to setup a small but beautifully formed display of fine motorcycles dating from the 1900s through to the 1980s ( I wont count the Guzzi Cali as it was just parking close by to bask in the glory of those the came before it)

A selection of motorcycles – More turned up during the day

The motorcycle display attracted a lot of interest from young and old throughout the day. Much discussion was had and many a photo taken. McSnotty briefly came down from his Webbs Auction Euphoria ( He might be persuaded to tell this tale one day) to be nominated, seconded and voted El Presidente (President for Life) of the non-existent club of motorcyclists who brought their bikes to the show. All this was done completely without his knowledge and the title was only conferred upon him as a mark of deep respect (and the fact that we needed to palm off a pesky promoter to someone).

Seriously, McSnotty pulled together this group of bikes and owners and he deserves our thanks for making this happen. Cheers Matey it was a great day. Thanks also to those that brought their bikes along to display and make this a great turnout.

The rest of the event was excellent. There was great display of stationary engines puffing, chuffing, randomly firing and driving all manner of pulleys and pumps. The Traction engine did a roaring trade trailering punters around the showground. The 1965 Bell C47 helicopter delivered rides tirelessly, decked out in MASH colours the only thing missing was Corporal Klinger. There was also loads of Vintage and Classic Cars, Tractors and other machinery on view.

The lunchtime attack by 4 tiger Moths was again successfully repelled by a stalwart defence from the 5th Brigade 2nd (NZ) DIV ‘Kiwi Section’. Well done chaps! and congratulations also on an fine display military vehicles and WW2 military memorabilia.

I had an awesome day, this event runs every 2 years, so if you missed out this year, keep an eye out for it in 2014. Well worth the effort.

McSnotty will also be working on his unique perspective on the day along with photo’s taken on a real camera (unlike the dodgy phone photo’s above) . Look forward to it .



The Apprentices (McSnotty) Review.

The motorcycles that we managed to gather ranged from a 1915 Triumph single, a 1920 Harley Davidson race bike, and a 1921 Royal Enfield 1000cc V twin through to a 1942 Indian twin, with a few later 50s and 60s machines parking on the end, including a classic 1950s Blacknell sidecar fitted to a 1980s Yamaha . In all counting the 3 machines from the AJS and Matchless Owners Club there were 20 motorcycles on display and at times you couldn’t see the bikes for the people around them. Interest was casual for most, to the more technical for a few. Acetylene (or gas) lights amused people and a few found the hand crank starter on the 1921 Royal Enfield unreal. Some older members of the public were quite happy to pull up a chair and have a chat about their early days of riding. One such person told of having to pay 80 pounds for a 1938 250 Royal Enfield in 1942 for transport to work. He rode the bike for 12 years before retiring it to the garden shed and moving on to a car. And that was what the day was for……..

The brilliant thing about the Karaka Vintage Day is that it is held every 2 years. Yearly shows put a lot of strain on the organisers, the displays become stagnant and the public become bored. With Karaka there is less chance of this happening and each time it happens there are guarranteed to be new displays as well as the regulars. When I asked a friend if they were going this year they replied no as they had been before. However they were most disappointed to find out later on that the Bell helicopter was there for the first time and had wished that they had attended.

With the emphasis on things old and mechanical the organisers realised that it is a family day and so had organised other interesting things to keep people occupied as well, a bouncy castle for the children (and some adults no doubt), dog displays, tinkers stalls for that added rural feel, as well as the public being allowed to inspect the new Karaka Museum.

After charging Knobster with the job of camp security I decided to go for a wander and record the interesting bits on film for those that could not attend. This is what I came up with –











A couple of nice looking Triumphs.











The little 2 stroke Coventry Eagle was definitely a favourite











4 cylinder 1000cc Ariel know as The Square 4











A little LE Velocette (ingenius 200cc water cooled twin cylinder 4 stroke) with its bigger brother behind it.











A Great Family Chariot

A good selection of stationary engines





































I liked this. The orange stuff coming out of the pipe is water that is being lazily pumped around by the Titan tractor. Neat eh!












From any angle this was impressive. It was driven from Waiuku, about 20km away and took about 2 1/2hrs.

My favourite, well that would have had to have been the Bell helicopter in the Army colors with the MASH insignia.










Getting strapped in.











Getting Ready for takeoff.











And they are off.










No sign of Captain Mainwaring or Corporal Jones from Dads Army











How often do you see 4 tiger moths playing ‘duel’ in the sky.











Love to have a go at firing one of these.













There was even a small display of model engines €“ made in New Zealand.

And that was Sunday 1st April. More ideas for next time €“ perhaps a gas BBQ (love playing with matches!), More chairs? More display boards? And perhaps a banner (well other people have them so why not us!) But whatever we do we must have done something right this time as we have been approached to do a couple more displays within the next few months. One is definitely a maybe so watch this space.

Knobster and me wish to thank those who bought their bikes along, it all added up to a great day. Lets see what we can do in 2 years time.

Then of course there are the photos that you just have to put a caption to €“ so here we have them –











Flatulance hatch in the roof of the sidecar.