Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fabulous Rover coupés

The 'belles of the ball' at Tui Brewery
Forget about the Tui girls. The real belles at the Mangatainoka Tui Brewery were the three Rover coupés. What a pleasure it was to discover these two other gorgeous Rovers among a whole fleet of fine British cars on the GREAT British Car Rally.

Of course we quickly found each other in the throng. With our 1966 P5, 3-litre, MkIII (photo above) is the pristine white 1972 P5B, 3.5 litre (owned by Graeme & Paku), and a smart 1964t P5, 3-litre MkII (owned by Norman and Carleen).

With these beauties on display, hardly anyone looked up at the Tui gals in the windows of the brewery.
  
Some ralliers were distracted by other things at the brewery.

The Rover coupés motored in convoy to our next stop in Masterton. We were a dazzling sight on the road, especially with Paku waving the Union Jack from the passenger window to the cheering crowds. Graeme claimed that one onlooker was so overcome by his P5B that he actually bowed to the car. YEAH RIGHT, is what I say.  We didn't get any bowing, but we did get lots of thumbs-up signals and swooning.
Travelling in convoy. Paku on flag waving duty.
Masterton turned on a great show for us as nearly 200 British cars parked 3-across in the main street. The whole town was dressed for the occasion - colourful bunting, people in costumes, several live bands, while the most un-English summer sun blazed down on us.
A beautiful Riley in the main street of Masterton


A lovely P4 Rover 90 in Masterton

 























TH and I had hoped to give our Rover her head over the Rimutaka Hill to Wellington. Sadly, there were several stretches of road works and we had to stop at least twice for the STOP/GO man. Still, it gave us more time to admire the many cars on the rally.

On the Rimutaka Hill
We motored in Wellington just in time for a quick shower and change for our reception in the Banquet Hall at Parliament. The dress code was 'smart casual' and the ralliers sure turned out in style. I'm sure they'll look even more fabulous for the finale dinner in Christchurch. Maybe I should have packed my 'backless evening straps'?

Find out what happened the next morning in Wellington:


This morning it was an unbelievably early start at Te Papa for car display and a 'bacon butty' breakfast. Just as well I am besotted by bacon and will get up at what I call 'the middle of the night' (6am) to eat it. On arrival, there was a flurry of polishing and primping to get the cars looking their best. It was 'all hands to the pumps', including ambassadors in their Bentleys.
Ambassador and chauffeur hard at work cleaning

  












While the crowds gawked and swooned over the cars, I took a Pashley cycle for a spin. Pashleys have been hand built in Britain since 1926 and have style and function unlike any other. It was smooth, fine and elegant.  I thought I cut a dash amongst the Rolls Royces.

Passionately pedalling a Pashley.

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