Dannevirke: Oval packed with owners of wheels with attitude

By Christine McKay

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The oval at the A&P Showgrounds was packed with more than 450 vehicles for Sunday's event.
The oval at the A&P Showgrounds was packed with more than 450 vehicles for Sunday's event.

Dannevirke's Kevin McHardy puts his life in his wife Esther's hands every time he makes a run in his Fiat Topolino dragster at 240km/h.

Racing under the name Blood Shot Racing, with a rampant Viking warrior on one side and the Topolino mouse on the other, the dragster runs in the modified class at events and has covered the quarter mile in 9.75 seconds.

Craig Fairhurst's shirt says it all, as he checks out Blood Shot, the McHardys' dragster, with its 1948 Fiat Topolino body, an altered chassis and its own version of the Dannevirke Viking on the side.
Craig Fairhurst's shirt says it all, as he checks out Blood Shot, the McHardys' dragster, with its 1948 Fiat Topolino body, an altered chassis and its own version of the Dannevirke Viking on the side.

"I'm pinned back and hanging on for grim death because there's a heck of a lot of G-forces," Kevin told the Dannevirke News at last Sunday's Wheels with Attitude event.

"Esther is my tow man and back-up girl and she packs the parachute after every run, so my life is in her hands."

There's just one downside to drag racing Kevin said.

"It's over so quick."

But with a nine-litre tank of fuel lasting four runs, the bright red dragster is fairly economical and pretty easy on tyres.

"It's not like some of the big cars," Kevin said.

The couple mainly attend events in Masterton and Taupo, but this weekend they've headed off to Motueka.

The McHardys' dragster was one of 450 cars to turn up for the event, with organisers overwhelmed by the support from vehicle owners wanting to show off their pride and joy.

"I'm absolutely thrilled. It was a fantastic day," Ken Mills of the Dannevirke Wheels Club said.

"We even had some cars still arriving at 2pm and the final tally was about 450. It's a great day out, with people giving their car a run and others setting up stands for the swap meet."

And with the public carpark full, Mr Mills estimated there were more than 1000 people on the oval at the A&P Showgrounds during the event.

Phyllis Dakers  and Ray Brooker from Waipukurau, were picnicking at the showgrounds on Sunday with their Mazda on display at Wheels with Attitude. Photos / Christine McKay
Phyllis Dakers and Ray Brooker from Waipukurau, were picnicking at the showgrounds on Sunday with their Mazda on display at Wheels with Attitude. Photos / Christine McKay

Regulars to the event were Phyllis Dakers and Ray Brooker who came from Waipukurau.

"We've brought our wee darling Mazda," Phyllis said.

"It's good to come here and see all the cars, we even meet other people from Waipukurau."

Gil Hall's vehicle was a little bit country.
Gil Hall's vehicle was a little bit country.

Donations were made to the Dannevirke Cancer Support Group, the community toy library and the Gallery of History from the proceeds of the event.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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