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36th Lake Ferry Excursion

Organised by the Sunbeam Car Club of NZ (Wellington).

12th December 2015

by Rob Jones

Held on the second Saturday of every December, saw us heading to Featherston on the 12th.

The car was washed and had two wheel trims in place on one side, the third was to be winging its way to Horopito via Kumeu in the boot of my mates Rambler Rogue. Iím glad to report that Horopito had four matching trims which will be in my possession before AACD at Manfeild, just. And the Rogue came to Featherston as well.

We passed through Featherston to see a goodly gathering of all sorts of cars at the Fell Museum and thereabouts. We were heading to the bakery for our picnic lunch, where we ran into one of the organisers of Wheels with Attitude in his lovely Wolseley 6/110. NOTE, there will be a WWA souvenir cap for sale this year. Are you bringing your 6/110 Hugh?

Back at the Fell we parked and soon disappeared! How do you lose a Leyland, you park a big matt black Pontiac Laurentian in front of it is how. The girls walked back and couldnít find the car and I was away yakking to old friends and taking notes about Leyland motors etc (which I must act on) but we found each other. There were the usual array of Sunbeams complimented by a Corvette and other honorary Sunbeams and many other makes besides.

I noted 28 but there are those that start and donít end up there and those that are there when you arrive after your quiet trundle in the country. After the drivers briefing which many of us know off by heart by now we returned to the P76 to join the convoy but alas I got distracted by a 1930,s Ford fire engine down the road a bit and just had to get a picture. Much derision followed as I couldnít immediately find the route out of town! I mean for years you followed the car in front and gave it no thought!

But Featherston isnít that big and there are signs so we eventually caught up to a Vauxhall J 14 and an Austin Big 7 setting the pace. Slowly. And a brace of VWís so we trundled on.


Despite the bad weather everywhere else it seemed, we were enjoying a warm day, lightly cloudy and a small breeze. Sufficient to easily allow us to eat outside the car this year!

We then went for a long walk beside the lake shore and up onto the beach where we spent a bit of time playing in a driftwood hut and watching 4WDís getting stuck in the soft shingle, and admiring the strong sea but soon enough it was time to head back. What a sight, an empty domain except for one lonely Leyland P76 parked in the middle!

Fiat X19 1979

The VW camper behind the 1964 Karmann Ghia really impressed Sonya and the go fast bits fitted to the elderly gentlemen's dark red Rover certainly impressed me.  It was not stock under that bonnet!

The Jones family P76 at our customary picnic table.

Neale isn't he only driver into Vauxhall's as the story tells.  Here is another example, a fine 1954 EIP