NZ Model Ts pass test of time

Proving they can still do the distance

Last updated 08:25 07/11/2012

The Model T Ford Club of New Zealand is re-enacting the first car journey from Wellington to Auckland which occurred 100 years ago.

Model T Ford centenary  re-enactment  rally
Peter Drury/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Model T Ford centenary re-enactment rally

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The Ford Model T had a reputation for being robust. And although the cars might be more than a century old they are proving they can still travel hundreds of kilometres without special treatment.

A group of 29 Model Ts was expected to finish a Wellington-to-Auckland marathon today as part of a centennial celebration of the first trip by car between the two cities.

In November 1912 journalist Arthur Chorlton with photographer Ernest Gilling, and driver Harold Richards at the wheel of a Model T took 8 days to do the journey using rough bush tracks in the roadless King Country.

Today the group of car club members who started from Wellington on Saturday morning hoped to finish the journey at the Museum of Transport and Technology (Motat) in Auckland after about 4 days.

By the time the expedition had reached Drury last night just two cars had withdrawn from the rally, only one with major mechanical problems.

The cars on the rally range from early Model Ts imported before World War I to the last of the model from 1927. Two of the cars had made it from as far south as Dunedin while one was trailered from Warkworth in Northland to make its own way home. The group spent yesterday motoring up State Highway 3 from Te Kuiti to Hamilton with stopoffs at Rukuhia School and in Te Rapa.

Model T Club president Neil Cremer said the trip had demonstrated how tough the cars were.

This morning the rally was to leave Drury for Auckland on its way to Motat at Western Springs.

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- Waikato

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