It was "Hello Again Pork Pie" as 60 Minis crossed Auckland Harbour Bridge yesterday on a charity run based on the Kiwi movie classic starring the famous car make.
Looking decidedly smarter than the yellow model used in the 1981 film "Goodbye Pork Pie", the convoy drove from Kaitaia to Taupo in one day while managing to reach $161,000 in donations raised for the KidsCan charity.
Today it is off to Wellington via the Horopito car wreckers' yard and Wanganui on the next leg of a road adventure due to end on Wednesday in Invercargill, where the cars will be greeted by Mayor Tim Shadbolt in his red stretch "limousine" Mini.
Auckland couple Amy and Jason Agnew, who have driven their 1978 Morris Mini in all four of the biennial charity runs held so far, are delighted to be joined this time by three teams from Britain and two from Australia as well as old friends from their previous trips.
"That has never happened before," Mr Agnew said last night of the international roll call."It's great for New Zealand and great to get behind a real New Zealand charity that's making a real difference."
Although he hopes to reach Invercargill with his car more intact than that commandeered by the movie's Blondini Gang, which lost its doors and bumpers while trying to stay ahead of the law, the overseas visitors got to see some Kiwi ingenuity yesterday after two Minis lost their windscreens.
Others in the rally, including the owner of a Mini parts business, lost no time in making the cars roadworthy again. "Being Mini people we managed to get them sorted and dragged out some bits and pieces."
Mr Agnew said he and his wife regarded the trip as a reward after months of fund-raising, although they will keep rattling their donation buckets at all stops down the line to Invercargill.