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Day 3: Tauranga to Taupo

 Wednesday 31st March: 

Section 1: Host BOP Mustang Club

BOP FM Classic hits arrived at the Armatage Hotel at about 7.30 am and began a live broadcast from the car park.  This included interviews with Wal Marshall, Bart Ingram, Charmaine Scott, Grant Brady and (others?). There was also a request for Grant to rev up his tweaked 71 Boss 351. The resulting dump to 6,000 rpm must have been heard all over BOP not to mention trashing the microphone and the eardrums of anyone nearby!

9.00 am and briefing by Bart Ingram completed, the cars departed on time through Tauranga, and on to Te Puke. A local traffic police car "escorted" the convoy for much of this journey, by inserting itself in the column at #2! There was a great crowd on the sides of the main street as the convoy proceeded through Te Puke which was really nice to see, (possibly a result of the local radio coverage that morning). 

Next park up was the Te Puke Auto Barn, where the opportunity was taken for a quick squiz around the car collection, and a group photo.

Te Puke Auto Barn: (Click image for a full size version) 

One couple (who shall remain nameless) became the first to lock their keys in the trunk, (others followed!) but with that minor issue resolved the convoy was off in brilliant sunshine down the scenic Bay of Plenty coastline to Whakatane. On arrival the cars were parked up at the Mataatua reserve at the south end of town, right beside the sea.

Whakatane Crowd: Pic Sandy Farrell

Whakatane line up: Crowd now departed. (Photo Ray and Rae Mischewski)

Participants made full use of the local restaurants in the adjacent main street, as it was only a 3 minute walk. Meanwhile there was a huge turnout of locals to see the cars. Click here for local press coverage.

1.00 pm and the convoy departed Whakatane for Te Teko, and on into Rotorua. The cars drove down through the Rotorua main street and were welcomed into the lake side park at the bottom of Fenton street at approx 2 pm. Once again the weather was glorious and a good crowd turned out to see the cars. The local newspaper reporter kept Wal Marshall tied up for 15 mins getting her story, then the  photographer needed another 10 mins to set up get a particular photograph angle he wanted. For the final result click here.

Rotorua Park-up: Once again a good crowd turned out.

Section 2: Host Manawatu Mustang Owners Club

3.30 pm, a quick briefing from MMOC member Neville Hutchinson, and the cars departed for Taupo back along Fenton street. The cruise to Taupo was uneventful with the convoy arriving at 4.45 pm and driving off the Taupo main street into Tongariro Park.

The cruise into Taupo. Pics Grant Bradley


70's Mach1's in the Taupo Lineup: Pic Stuart Smith/Robyn Humphrey

Once again the weather remained warm and sunny, and another big crowd turned out to see 50 Mustangs on display in the park, the greatest number of any point on the event. Click here for Taupo press coverage.

Taupo Park Up

5.30 pm and the convoy departed to gas up and check into the Lakeland Hotel at 2 Mile Bay. This hotel was positioned directly on the Lake front, and with great views of the lake and mountains.

Hotel lineup Taupo: Pic Robyn Humphrey

During the evening approx 70 participants enjoyed a buffet meal in the hotel restaurant, and then popular music entertainment from a local musician incl karaoke for those brave enough to try it. Wal was most honoured to receive a presentation from all the participants - a certificate signed by all the Taupo contingent, which is now proudly displayed on his office wall.

Great weather, big turnouts from the public, good car numbers, short easy driving sections, good spirit amongst the participants and a great evening function combined to make day 3 particularly memorable for everyone.

Day 4