Mini lovers will be in for a treat next Easter when a fleet of 60 of the classic British cars will leave Kaitaia for a charity ride retracing the tyretracks of iconic Kiwi movie
The Pork Pie Charity Run will set off for Invercargill from Kaitaia's main street on Good Friday, April 14, next year.
Organiser Murray Hemsley, from Whangarei, said the run was limited to 60 teams, and that number had already registered to set off on the charity run.
"It was booked out within four hours and we have a waiting list of at least 30 more cars that would love to take part. It's very popular," Mr Hemsley said.
Mr Hemsley and his wife Annie started the now biennial event in 2009 and it has just grown and grown, with funds raised going to KidsCan, which supports disadvantaged Kiwi kids.
"It was supposed to be a one-off event, but it's just become so popular that we have had to limit it to 60 teams."
He said about half a dozen teams from Northland would take part and Kaitaia was the obvious starting point as that was where the yellow Mini used in the 1981 classic started from.
"We follow the same route as the movie, so we had to set off from Kaitaia. We'll then work our way down to Invercargill, raising money as we go," Mr Hemsley said.
The oldest car taking part will be a 1961 Mini Cooper, with about a third being older model Minis.
Whangarei man Phil Schultz is one of those booked in for the run and said his yellow 1979 Mini was well up to the hectic schedule of the charity run.
"Minis are a lot of fun to drive. We'll be stopping at towns along the way and doing public fundraisers in each of them. The first one in 2009 had 38 Minis and the last one raised about $120,000."
Mr Schultz has organised a charity evening for his Team Whangarei racing crew at Whangarei's Distinction Hotel this weekend.
The event, on Saturday, will include a showing of the original movie - a remake is set to be screened in NZ movie theatres shortly - dinner and music. Tickets are $50 from Garnet Motors or Kamo Parts.