War is hell said Paul Baptist. These MVs didn’t get to choose when they came out to fight – they had to do it no matter what the weather. We are rolling rain or shine!
Using his Special Power to schedule events for filthy weather, Paul chose a date. Six vehicles assembled along with the chase car. The route was 61km of back roads winding up and down hills, away from fast traffic. Make friends with 2nd gear folks.
We met up outside Motu Moana Scout Base, the site of an earlier Easter Rally. Clayton and Scott were along for their maiden voyage with the Club. I brought along Sorin who has come to live with us – our third 17 year old boy that we are parenting. Joining the guys I encountered some friendly banter. “Put those feet away” demanded Wilson about my lily white Jandal clad feet. I had no idea he cared!
We started out in apparently harmless mediocre weather without much of the wet stuff. First stop was Laingholm Beach where an impromptu photo shoot was organised on the beach. Ready to leave, Greg experienced his recurring starter issue in the PJ but eventually it fired up. Maybe it’s for the best that the PJ is taking it easy and sitting out the Convoy at home in its warm cosy garage.
As the convoy climbed from the beach up into the Waitakere’s rainforest, the heavens unexpectedly opened to ritually cleanse the Jeeps and their owners of any dust and cobwebs. It fair tipped down at the next stop – Arataki Visitor Centre. Harry tried to effect repairs to his windshield wiper sheltering under an umbrella while perched on his bumper.
We took in the view of the inside of a cloud, looking out to where the Dam allegedly is. We took in the Maori carvings. No wonder the warriors were so angry and fierce. You would be too if someone tattooed your Willy and nuts. The look on the warrior’s face – priceless!
As we headed out of the carpark, the rain intensified as Paul brought his Special Power to bear. That Power is pretty awesome if you were not in a Jeep. We went past the summit and headed down the hill, making our way to Riverhead following the oil/gas pipeline route. Our lunch destination was reached – Brian Rosser’s garage when the BBQ was pressed into service. Paul’s Power had dwindled by this stage and it was just a pleasant drizzle. Oh well, the rain was great while it lasted.
We sat around contented in the shelter with spirits restored by food and beer. It was tempting to drift into a little nana nap but we were resolute and ventured down the garden path to the wonders of Brian’s shed. It is pretty amazing to be fair.
Everyone agreed that the day’s run was far better than wasting your life away inside watching TV and that is true. Thanks team for a fantastic shakedown!
Armistice100 is going to be the greatest, boldest and most immersive military vehicle experience that we have ever seen in New Zealand! There is simply nothing that can be compared to the distance and time involved in this venture – factors which make this Rally so special.
Great experiences don’t come cheap. The commitment required in terms of time and money is huge. Those are the two “buts” that have overwhelmed some people. Others are working out ways around the problems.
Harry is a self-employed business owner. He simply does not have the staff to cover for a four week trip but he can manage the two week South Island leg, especially as it is around the Easter Public Holidays. Harry is sending his M37 Dodge from Auckland to Wellington and return by commercial vehicle transporter saving him time and money. He says that this is cheaper than the cost of fuel driving it!
Another Aucklander is getting his Jeep trailered down as far as Hanmer Springs which is the first available date that he can join the convoy. When you start to look at what is possible then solutions materialise.
The challenge facing everyone is vehicle preparation. We need to be prepared so that our convoy experience does not end prematurely. Although Armistice100 has the most experienced recovery section in the history of MV club convoys, they still need parts and you can’t fix stupid. It makes sense to prepare and test all the vehicle systems so that everything is go!
I’m working through my list for the Dodge as fast as I can. It feels good to get things finished and behind me but the pressure is on to get the list done in the few remaining weeks. Kerrie has some work commitments so she intends to fly in and fly out to join me on the convoy when she can.
There are always people inspired by the target of participating in a Rally. There is nothing like a deadline to get into gear and to complete a project vehicle. In Auckland Charles Pike is stepping up and finishing his Chev PJ. He has better nerves than me taking the engine out at this stage but I’m sure it will go back in time for that start.
Nick and Chris Flegg in Katikati are putting together a Chev Radio Shack to keep their RL Bedford company on the convoy. With 10 weeks to go they still only have a rolling chassis but they seem unfazed and confident.
So far (in January) there are about 70 people on board (including 12 Americans) with 24 MV’s and 6 military motorcycles. There is also the recovery section and the camp followers support vehicles.
If you haven’t signed up yet then jump in because it’s still not too late to join the party! We want you to join us because travelling together is a community event, especially at the stops each evening. Each person and each vehicle adds to the experience.
Are you short of a vehicle? See what you can borrow or buy. If that doesn’t work then contact Peter “Grizz” Yates to assess available options like riding along with others. There are still some seats available on a cost share basis.
You know you wanna do it – so cut loose anything that’s holding you back and just do it and have no regrets!
Convoy Commander has been busy locking in the discounts for this epic road trip around this scenic paradise. Accommodation, ferry tickets and entry to Wings Over Wanaka (WOW) have all been negotiated ready for participants to take advantage of.
Now we are heading into the summer silly season but with such a short time left to run, you can be assured that the team are committed to continuing to nail down the details for Armistice100.
For your part, continue to refine your vehicles reliability and comfort for maximum enjoyment and minimum disruption to the pleasure of fellow travellers.
This will be a unique experience that lives forever in your memory!
People are getting on board for this incredible iconic convoy through the best tiny paradise in the world.
Why travel for days or weeks through the same scenery day after day when you can join a Military Vehicle convoy where around every corner, let alone every day, is a new surprise?
As of early August we have 60 people registered including 8 from USA. There are 26 MVs plus 5 motorbikes attending. This compares incredibly well with the size of trans America convoys - and from a far smaller base. Armistice100 is THE convoy for your bucket list. It will probably NEVER come around again.
You know you want to do it. What could possibly be more important than you experiencing the best convoy ever in the most compact, safe and geographically diverse little country on the planet?
There are 306 military vehicles on show at the MVPA Cleveland convention this week. The best previous number of vehicles at a convention was 185.
The event is been held in a 22 acre building which was originally a WW2 tank and bomber factory.
There is everything military imaginable for sale at the swap meet tables. They have a Convoy stand and the NZ Armistice convoy has a prominent position and I am constantly being sort out for info on NZ, patches, tee shirts, etc I have three very certain participants.
There is another convoy meeting later today and I have several other participant appointments
Peter Haigh June 2017
Find out more about the ARMISTICE100 convoy of historiv military vehicles around New Zealand in April 2018 at www.armistice100.com
"They have a Convoy stand and the NZ Armistice 100 Convoy has a prominent position. I am constantly being sought out for info on New Zealand, patches, tee shirts, etc. I have three very certain participants."
New Zealand representative, Peter Haigh, travelled to the MVPA International Convention in Ohio to see whats happening as well as to promote Armistice 100 Convoy in NZ in 2018. This is the first time the New Zealand Military Vehicle Club Annual Rally has gone mobile with a 26 day convoy around the country.
After experiencing USA Convoys, Peter Haigh and Peter Yates are confident that they have the enthusiasm and expertise to organise a unique and really special event that will be a bucket list memory for everyone who particpates. Take a quick look around this website to find out more.