Wairarapa rally victors improve with age

By Kevin Ball editorial@age.co.nz -
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Martinborough couple John and Rae Kennedy toured the Rex Porter Memorial rally route in their 1913 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, a car which won the famous Alpine Rally in 1913. PHOTO/KEVIN BALL
Martinborough couple John and Rae Kennedy toured the Rex Porter Memorial rally route in their 1913 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, a car which won the famous Alpine Rally in 1913. PHOTO/KEVIN BALL

Octogenerians showed the young 'uns the way in the major event of the Wairarapa Vintage Car Club year, the Rex Porter Memorial Rally, on Saturday.

Peter and Nola Groves, from Tinui, were the overall winners in their 1924 Austin 20 and also took out the vintage class. And the post-war motorcycle prize went to Willis St Clair, of Masterton, riding a 1954 Ariel.

Peter and Nola Groves, Tinui, winners of the Rex Porter Memorial Rally, with their trophies. PHOTO/KEVIN BALL
Peter and Nola Groves, Tinui, winners of the Rex Porter Memorial Rally, with their trophies. PHOTO/KEVIN BALL

All three are in their 80s.

The run, organised by Willie James with assistance from fellow committee members, took 26 cars and motorcycles from Clareville, over Weraiti Hill to Te Parae Road and Tawerau, then on to Tinui, along Te Mai Road to Mataikona and the Whakataki Hotel for lunch. From there they travelled on to Castlepoint, travelling over Castlepoint Station, through Otahome Station to Whareama, Tawerau and Clareville.

There were two routes, the longer being about 160 km -- a real test for cars and crews.

At stake were an array of trophies and sponsor prizes.

Travel times were taken at various points along the way and those closest to their expected average speed were declared winners.

The full prize list:

Veteran: Will and Ruby Holmes, of Greytown, in a 1910 Austin 18/24.

Vintage: Peter and Nola Groves, 1924 Austin 20 Tourer.

Post-vintage: Martin Hutchinson, Greytown, 1936 Plymouth Coupe.

Commercial vehicle (and best-presented GM vehicle): Doug Curtis, 1945 Chevrolet truck.

Post-war: Gary Wall, Ponatahi, 1946 Wolseley.

Post-war bike: Willis St Clair.

Post-60 (and second overall, plus Navigator's Trophy): Earl and Tina Goodin, Masterton.

Post-60 Bike: David Henwood, Masterton, 1980 Honda XL 500S.

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