2014 - Blenheim classic a dream car

Blenheim’s David Clark now owns his dream car – but wouldn’t out run anything, not even speed limit-abiding traffic.​

Blenheim classic a dream car

Date: July, 2014

Blenheim’s David Clark now owns his dream car – but wouldn’t out run anything, not even speed limit-abiding traffic.

But it’s that yester-year charm and sense of fun of his newest pride and joy, a cream-coloured 1954 Morris J Van, that Clark will share with visitors at CRC Speedshow, New Zealand’s biggest automotive and motorsport event, being held in Auckland this week. Clark joins 40 other classic car and motorcycle owners in the Classic Cover Insurance Classic Show, a new classic show which is part of the eighth edition of CRC Speedshow at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds over the weekend of 19 and 20 July.

The Morris van is something Clark has wanted for more than 12 years.

“I saw one advertising a café on the side of the road on the way to Takaka,” he explains. “Then I saw one (a Morris J van) advertised earlier in this year and I grabbed the opportunity. My wife Nikki tells me how caring she is to have bought me the magazine subscription the van was advertised in!”

Clark’s van was originally used to deliver goodies and materials when it was owned by Boons Bakery in Christchurch. The last owner, Graham Murray, from Paparoa, Christchurch, restored the van to its current condition in 1995. Two years ago it starred in a Canadian television advertisement for mayonnaise filmed in New Zealand. Everything on the van is original, and Mr Murray kept exceptional records for the vehicle, says Clark.

New owner, new name, and now the van is affectionately known as ‘Leslie Morris’ in a salute to legendary Kiwi film, ‘Goodbye Pork Pie’.  Leslie Morris was the fictional licensed owner of the yellow Mini which made the mad run from Northland to Invercargill.

But unlike Pork Pie, the Morris J wouldn’t out run anything – not even speed limit-abiding traffic. “I’ve noticed the oil pressure gauge goes higher than the speedo,” Clark says with a smile.

One thing the Clark’s are looking forward to while being in Auckland is taking the van over the harbour bridge.

“I’m looking forward to cruising over the Auckland Harbour Bridge – with no seat belt on and the sliding door open, even if it is pretty cool this time of year.”

Clark is a self-confessed enthusiast of fine automobiles. He’s also the director of Wadsco Commercial Vehicles in Blenheim. “The Morris J is my weekend vehicle,” he adds proudly.

CRC Speedshow director Ross Prevette says: “Our team is getting excited to see all the classic show vehicles and meet the entrants as they start arriving at the ASB Showgrounds this Friday to set up. Knowing how popular the custom show, backed by Castrol EDGE and Teng Tools was last year, we’re confident that combining different eras, marques and categories of classic cars and motorcycles in this classic show will be every bit as popular with entrants and show-goers alike.”

Prevette adds: “Alongside two jam-packed halls of classic and custom show, at this year’s CRC Speedshow people can indulge their passion for exotic international motoring with a record 28 new car and motorcycle brands, such as Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren and Maserati, represented at the show. Anyone keen to have a go on a Harley-Davidson can try out their JumpStart test ride setup where a current model Harley-Davidson is mounted securely on a rolling road, so it can be started, revved and gears changed. Or check out the high speed motorsport in miniature with the North Harbour Radio Controlled Car Club’s inaugural New Zealand Indoor Off-road Championship.”

The eighth annual CRC Speedshow takes place at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds over the weekend of 19 and 20 July 2014. Tickets are available at the gate and the show website, www.speedshow.co.nz, has the latest news, competitions and show activities to entertain the whole family. Tickets are available at the gate.