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Over the long Labour Weekend, more than 100 American pickups descended upon sunny Rotorua and Taupo for a two-day event dedicated to the humble pickup truck.
The brainchild of USA Haulers’ Allan Smith, with support from Willy Pelzers, Tracey Smith, and many sponsors, the NZV8 Pickup Round-Up was created as an event at which the often-overlooked pickup truck took pride of place. As the maiden event for the club, expected turnout was around 50 trucks, so they were overwhelmed when 107 showed up over the two-day event.
The Leadfoot Festival is fast approaching, and you can get your car club invited to be a part of the spectacle by having an exclusive space in the new Classic & Vintage Club Area. The advantage of this is you get all your club cars in one spot, and every club car through the gate will receive two tickets to that night’s concert. The club’s exclusive area will be designed with special signage to designate each club’s affiliation, all for no added cost!
You can book your club for one, two, or all three days of the event which runs over February 6–8, 2015, but space is extremely limited and it is anticipated to sell out quickly. Understandably, cars must be classic, vintage, or unique in nature, and each club must have a minimum of 10 cars to qualify. For more info, or for tickets, go to Leadfootfestival.com.
The monster trucking sensation, Monster Jam is hitting QBE Stadium on Auckland’s North Shore this coming weekend with two shows on Saturday and one show on Sunday, so we caught up with competitor Scott Liddycoat to find out what it’s all about.
NZV8: First off Scott, what can people expect from Monster Jam?
Scott Liddycoat: Full on monster truck action. What we do is we qualify, then race down to the final two, then we have our final race, which will determine the champion of the show. Then we go into an intermission of sorts where we have freestyle motocross. So they’ll be backflipping and doing all their stuff, and also in between everything we have quad wars, which should be the New Zealand team versus the American team on their four wheelers — they’ll be racing while we’re getting our trucks ready. Then after the intermission we’ll go out and freestyle, then the show will be over. All up it’s around two hours of full-on action.
Is it scripted at all, as far as who will win?
Not at all, we’re full on all the time. None of them want the new guys like me to win. But me being new, I want to beat the veterans, so it’s full on for sure. I like to think I can win every time, but it’s not that easy!
So, how did you get into driving monster trucks?
I was lucky enough that I knew a few guys who were doing it, and I asked if they were hiring, and they were, so I got the opportunity to test the truck, and now I’ve been doing it for a year.
Do you come from a competitive driving background before that?
The 2015 Leadfoot Festival will be held on February 6–8, 2015, after a years’ break. Leadfoot Festival is a unique weekend of motorsport, bringing together a mix of classic cars, vintage motorcycles, and motorsport legends to Rod Millen’s private grounds at Leadfoot Ranch. The sprawling oceanfront estate, on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula, features a long, winding driveway designed as the perfect hill climb. Rod Millen has personally hand-selected championship racers from around the world to receive one of the coveted invitations to participate in the Leadfoot Festival.
An added feature of the weekend is the off-track entertainment. The bands Catch 22 and The Monroes have just been announced. Tickets to the night time gig are just $15, and plenty of high-quality food and beverages will also be available.
Over the last few years, Katikati’s Allan Smith had thought about creating a club dedicated to pickups of American origin. Earlier this year, he decided to make that dream into a reality, and USA Haulers was formed.
While it sounds all too easy, there’s far more to how the club behind the upcoming NZV8 Pickup Round-Up event came together. As Allan says, “Around January this year, myself and my partner, Katrina, decided to get the club started. I spoke to a couple of friends with trucks, Bill Moore and Paul Burrows, and we decided to start recruiting some members. It began to gather momentum rather quickly.
“At Beach Hop 2014, I spoke to Willy Pelzers about the club, and he was really keen to join. I told Willy we were going to organize a run somewhere, so members could meet each other. A week later, Willy phoned me and suggested we meet at Taupo, as it was central. I thought it was a great idea, so we got together and discussed a plan.”
That plan soon turned into running an event that would not only be great fun for the club and potential members but which could also become a highlight of the events calendar for pickup lovers. Better still, it could be used to raise funds that would be donated to the Cancer Society, a cause close to Willy’s heart.