Road trip

Brian Stewart
A few little jobs over the past three weeks to get everything on the car up to scratch… i.e. install longer rear springs so that I could bring the rear ride height up a tad to cope with roads that may not be billiard table smooth, change out the plug leads for better quality ones to eliminate errant discharges, make a new rubber gasket for the 50 year old windscreen washer pump, have a little paint blemish repaired, re-route a cooling hose, fix a sticking fuel level sender, and make and install screens for the Weber intake trumpets.

Now she is all cleaned, polished, and ready to set out on Wednesday for the most epic journey yet - almost 2000 km over some of the best driving roads in New Zealand.

Day 1: To Christchurch to pick up my brother.

Day 2: Meet with more than 50 like-minded car enthusiasts, each with their own interesting car, and drive to Franz Josef, via Arthurs Pass. Rain is forecast for the West Coast, so things in the GT40 might get a little damp (they were never designed to be water-tight).

Day 3: Drive to Wanaka via Haast Pass.

Day 4: Mooch around the Queenstown Lakes district, including some laps of Highlands, a trip to Glenorchy, and a drive over the Crown Range to return to Wanaka.

Day 5: The crew will head from Wanaka back to Christchurch, via Mt Cook Village, Tekapo and Fairlie. However, I will leave them at Geraldine to head back south.
Ready to go.jpg
Day 1.jpg
Day 2.jpg
Day 3.jpg
Day 4.jpg
Day 5.jpg
Side view.jpg
Did most of that drive years ago, but certainly not in a 40! You have a wonderful country Brian and one that paid enough attention to Covid to make such a drive possible.

Brian Stewart
1862 km (1157 miles) covered and around 300 litres guzzled. Torrential rain on two of the days leading to a half hour stop to sort a problem caused by water getting into the cooling fan circuit. Other than that, the car ran faultlessly. Fantastic trip.


Brian Stewart
How did the car do in the rain?
OK, considering it was absolutely torrential at times. I took things very carefully when there was standing water as the thought of aquaplaning was never far from my mind. A few of the cars (even those with 4WD) admitted to having some moments. The car leaked like a sieve of course, but we expected that. Just feet getting wet really.

Only major issue was when we stopped to refuel at a pump with no canopy. Rain was teeming into the front clip via the nostril and water got in to the electrics for the cooling fans, after which they went a bit haywire - so much so that they drained the battery over the next 10 - 15 miles. End result was not enough charge to run the fuel pumps/provide spark and we coasted to a stop. Disconnected the fans and got a push start from some of our travelling companions and we were away again. Dried the car and fans out overnight at the next stop, re-connected the fans, and all was well again.
Fantastic cars, roads, scenery and photos. Wow what an excellent trip, thanks for making the effort to share with all of us. I for one would have driven my car out in the torrentials on purpose.....if only it would rain in California (we, as a state, have been on FIRE for a few months).