Pork Pie run for cancer

21:31, Nov 07 2012
MINI MAD: From left, Cara and Cameron Hughes and Chris Moffat and Michael McLaughlin hope their Mini will make it to Invercargill.

This Mini's a true vehicle for change. Husband and wife team Cameron and Cara Hughes had no idea whether the 1978 clanger they bought from a wrecker's yard for just $500 would ever run.

But the engine's revving just a couple of weeks later with the help of a keen group of students.

Now they have their eyes on the finish line.

They'll be taking the car on the Pork Pie Run - a 2000-plus kilometre trip from Kaitaia to Invercargill that re-enacts the journey of the iconic yellow Mini from the 1981 film Goodbye Pork Pie.

Around 50 Minis will take part in the trip, a fundraising bid for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand held over six days in the week leading up to Easter 2013.

Ms Hughes says she and her husband were inspired to make a difference for leukaemia sufferers after donating money to a friend who took part in a head-shaving fundraiser.


"And we were carers for my dad who passed away after a long illness so we know the struggle people go through," she says.

The idea originally came from Ms Hughes but it's a group of automotive students at James Cook High School, where Mr Hughes works as the caretaker, that is bringing it to fruition.

Chris Moffat, Shanon Baldwin and Michael McLaughlin have been working on the car every school day for the past few weeks. And it's a labour of love for the 17-year-olds.

"It's really interesting because these older cars have different parts to them completely," Michael says.

"The Mini has drum brakes where a newer car would have disc brakes and a carborator instead of an injector."

The students generally learn using an in-house model with working parts.

That's useful but "they never get to see a car come in, get fixed up and go again", Ms Hughes says.

The Mini is now taken care of so the team is busy seeking sponsors and contributions to make the journey a reality.

It wants to raise $1000 which will go directly to the foundation.

Western Leader