With the car good to go other than an exploded rear muffler, we headed to the meeting point of the Ferry Terminal to wait for the other South Island lads who had convoyed up from Christchurch during the day and been stuck waiting for a delayed ferry before enduring the boredom of the strait crossing. We waited in the darkness or the carpark;
The Lancer to the right of the shot was part of the Wellington convoy, as was a late model BMW carrying some spanners. Whilst standing in the darkness we had the pleasure of a conversation with an older gent who took a shine to the 323, he told up of how he put a Toyota V8 in his one and proceeded to go a million miles an hour or some lark, he was quite an amusing chap and it sounded as though he had built it in his shed. He visited us twice during the evening, the second time was when Beaver showed up to say hello in his Avenger, a model of car this gentleman had also owned and done something with. The ferry finally barfed all it’s freight and cars onto the northern island and the rest of our convoy was ready to go. Mitsubishi Lancer, Mazda 323, Datsun 1200, Ford B2000, Ford Escort MkII & a modern BMW 520i.
The estate managed to get all of 70kms before the tube inside the ‘goon’s L/R tyre decided to commit suicide. We pulled over and proceeded to change both rear wheels, given that the diameter difference was so large between the regular rollers and the spares it was the only option and Biz had specifically brought along 2 spares for this very occurrence, after changing them though we soon found out how terrible a condition the spare wheels were in, the wagon almost took on a life of it’s own with the rear end squirming about as though it was trapped in a diaper full of misgivings. We made a stop in Levin to check air pressure, discovering that one was quite low we topped it up and found.. much the same problem. This meant the voyage to Pohangina Valley would be a slow and precarious one. The journey continued with a misfiring, backfiring, rear end wobbling estate tagging along with the rest of the perfectly running vehicles.
Unexpectedly, we started rolling into Palmerston North. This was odd given that the quickest route to our destination avoided the place entirely and P. Norf is known for it’s “boy racers” and thereby the countering police force tasked with stopping them. Normally this would be an issue but a hole in it’s rear muffler the wagon was barking louder than a rottweiler in an impound lot. We cautiously followed the pack.. we were headed right through the centre of town ( a square, as it happens) we turned the corner and you guessed it… Checkpoint.