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Day 6: Masterton to Nelson

 Saturday 3rd April

Section 1 : Host Manawatu Mustang Owners Club

We woke to a lovely sunny day, and all breathed a sigh of relief! Cars were washed and dried and soggy clothing, interiors and trunks laid out to air. The breakfast briefing was undertaken by Wal, and by John Camm. John took the opportunity to present Wal with a print of the PLD1 Mustang, from the the MMOC, in recognition of his work in organising the event. Wal was also presented with a bendy straw in order to be better prepared to give the carby on his Boss 9 a "blow job" should it require it to clear blocked jets on the road!

Wal is presented with a print of PDL1 by MMOC. (Pic Sandy Farrell)

9.00 am and the convoy of approx 30 cars departed Masterton for the 15 min run to visit the Paua shell factory in Greytown. This proved to be more interesting than most expected, and the girls seemed happy to keeping the cash registers ringing for the full 30 mins of the visit. The sun continued to shine, the weather warmed up nicely, and a chat out by the cars was a very pleasant experience.

Cars bathe in the sun outside the Paua Shell factory (Pic Charmaine Scott)

10 am and time to depart for Lower Hutt via the Rimutuka Hill road. Fortunately the muddy roadworks of the previous night had dried out during the morning and the cars traversed this section without getting dirty again. By 11.30 am all ponies were parked in Lower Hutt at Stevens Ford, in High Street. Stevens Ford turned on a BBQ lunch and a good crowd turned out to look the approx 35 cars over in the fine weather.

Show day with a difference at Steven's Ford Lower Hutt. (Pic Keith Robinson)

12.30 pm and the convoy departed for the Wellington Ferry terminal. At this point most of the local club cars departed leaving six cars to join the queue for the journey south on the 1 pm Awatere Ferry.

Ponies queue for the ferry at Wellington terminal.
Tracey, Mark and baby Nathan Shepard, Les Seekup,  Dianne and Nigel McDonald.
(Fiona Seekup extreme left by the yellow van)

Section 2: Host: Blenheim and Nelson Mustang Owners.

The ferry crossing was about as smooth as anyone could have wished for and it seemed no time before we were clambering back into the cars to drive off the ferry.

The hardy band of Ferry travellers (Pic Sandy Farrell)

As soon as we were off the exit ramp we saw a collection of  local Mustangs parked up to welcome us to the South Island. After the usual chat session and a discussion about the route to take, we were off to Nelson. As it was by now past 5.30 pm and getting dark the planned tour along Queen Charlotte drive was abandoned in favour of the faster and easier route via SH 1.

The SI welcoming party greets the NI cars off the Ferry.

Just after the Tuamarina turnoff, the McDonalds Shelby GT350 suddenly began emitting noises from the diff area, and the cars paused to discuss the likely problem and options. As the cause was uncertain, it was decided to risk heading for Nelson. Off we went again with Annie and Wayne Coster leading the convoy at a cracking pace in Fake Snake.  A pause at Havelock confirmed the Shelby was still with us, so off we went again in the darkness without further pause till the convoy arrived in Nelson. Up the Saturday night brightly lit main street we drove, and then on up into Waimea road to the Motel.  A road side discussion ensued over what the problem was with the Shelby and finally a decision was made to call it a day and check it out again in the morning.  Several weary drivers checked into the motel, and settled in looking forward to a sleep-in the next day.