Mishaps don’t faze Mini drivers

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Broken windscreens, gearbox problems and minor mechanical hitches did not deter those driving from Kaitaia to Invercargill on the Pork Pie Charity Run.

A convoy of 60 Minis containing more than 120 participants pulled in to Gore on their mammoth trek south on Wednesday.

In its fifth year, the charity run raises money for KidsCan, which supports disadvantaged children.

Gore Mini enthusiast Ivan van de Water brought his own Mini along to the trout statue to join the travellers.

Mr van de Water owns a 1967 Mk1 Mini Traveller.

Michael Platje and his daughter Alicia, of Hamilton, were among the contingent.

It was the second time he had taken part in the tour, Mr Platje said.

“It’s incredible,” he said.

“There have been a small number of incidents,” he said.

Those incidents included broken windscreens and some mechanical issues.

“One car suffered from overheating,” he said.

The owners of the overheating Mini managed to have the car repaired in Christchurch.

The oldest Mini was a 1962 model and there were seven late-model BMW Minis taking part, he said.

The charity run was a great way of seeing New Zealand, he said.

While some of the models struggled when climbing hills, it was a pleasant way to travel.

“It’s a lot of fun.”

Combining fundraising with meeting people along the way was an attraction of taking part in the tour, Mr Platje said.

He liked Minis because they were cars that needed hands-on driving skills.

“You’ve really got to drive it.”

When driving a Mini you needed to slow down for corners and engage the gears, he said.

He got his driver’s licence at the age of 15 driving a Mini.