Morgan sports cars roar into Hawera

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2014
 Keith and Joan Parker
CAR CRAZY: Keith and Joan Parker, front, have joined other Morgan sports car enthusiasts from around the world on an eight-week tour of New Zealand.

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Hawera proved to be a popular pitstop for a touring party of Morgan sports car drivers yesterday.

About 17 couples from Britain, the United States and Belgium, are two weeks into an eight-week tour of New Zealand, taking in the scenery from the comfort of their distinctive vehicles.

The group stayed in Hawera for only one night, but not before taking in a tour along Stratford's Forgotten World Highway.

Keith Parker, accompanied by wife Joan, said all the cars had to be shipped over to New Zealand in preparation for the tour.

He said the costs of shipping worked out to be about the same as it would be to rent a car for the duration of their stay.

Mr Parker, who is from Shropshire, England, said he had a passion for the shape and look of the Morgan motor car.

"It's basic driving but lovable," he said.

One person driving solo on the tour is Northumberland's Fiona Cowley. This tour was her second trip to New Zealand. "I loved it 10 years ago so I came back."

The chance to spend time with her friends was one of the appeals of the trip.

"I'm having a lot of fun and seeing fabulous places," she said.

The party's next stop is Wellington, before heading over to the South Island.

To ship a car overseas for driving tours, a carnet de passage is usually required. The internationally-recognised document allows travellers to temporarily import their vehicle into a country they are visiting.

A safety check is carried out on the vehicle when it arrives to ensure it complies with safety standards.

THE MORGAN MOTOR CAR

The Morgan Motor Company Ltd was established by H F S Morgan in 1909 in Britain. The cars are hand-made at the company's workshop in Malvern, Worcestershire. There are eight cars in the Morgan range, including a three-wheeled model. About 1300 cars are made a year. Prices start from about NZ$66,500 to $172,000, but can vary depending on the model and other optional extras. Source: Morgan Motor Company

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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