As this is written, we are “enjoying” the continuing uncertainty of Covid but now with the all-new government imposed traffic light system. Anyway, it’s been sad but totally understandable to see various events coming up either postponed or canceled. I would dread being an event promoter right now playing the guessing game of what level we could be at as to whether or not an event can go ahead. It was great to hear that once again the Classic Cover Insurance Jalopy Dust Up would be held again on January 3rd 2022 at the picturesque Waihi Dirt Track Club. Fingers crossed that the “C” word doesn’t hamper this event and being in January I am hopeful we are safe.
It was back in January 2021 when Noddy and his ever-supportive partner Andrea relaunched the popular Jalopy Dust Up after a few years and it was welcomed back with open arms. Personally, for me it was an absolute blast after a rough 2020 (feel like groundhog day in 2021?) where a lot of events had been canceled, here was a cool event to aim for.
What I am talking about is the 10-day thrash to get my 30’s era “gow job” T roadster race ready and we nearly didn’t make it! With the bones of the car as a roller and New Zealand out of its couple of lockdowns, the Model T was pushed to the side as I focused on customer projects at GMS Hot Rods. Then I heard of the return of the Jalopy Dust Up, it seemed like an achievable deadline, so I spoke with Dad who was quietly sorting the motor out. As 2020 came to an end, I had collected all the parts and materials I thought I would need to embark on what became known as the 10-day thrash to get to the Dust Up. I didn’t wheel the Model T into the workshop until Christmas Eve – nothing like putting pressure on you and those near to you!
It was apparent there was a lot more to be finished than what initially appeared, but I cracked on and made the floor, finished the steering, mounted the battery and fuel tank and so on. As usual as the jobs were ticked off, the list grew as the hours diminished and the whole plan had to fall together. New Year’s Day 2021 was a biggie as the completed engine was fitted into the car for the final time and fired up the following day. There was still so much to do and it was becoming increasingly touch and go if the deadline would be met. Dad and I pressed on and thankfully the Dust Up was postponed by one day which gave us all the time they needed to actually make it. Literally the day before the Dust Up, I was driving the Model T around the back lawn after Tania had made the seats using foam on a plywood base with gray army surplus blankets! Next up and all part of the grand plan, I drove the T back into the shed where Tania then proceeded to brush paint the body “any color you like as long as it’s Henry Ford black”!
The day came and I was exhausted but so happy just to have the car there and share the fun with Dad – he had worked so hard with me on it. We shared the driving and had no idea what to expect. The car steered, handled and stopped really well and it sounded & performed badass with the hi compression angle plug head, Jim Brierley cam, FS electronic ignition, dual 97 Stromberg carbs and a straight 3” exhaust pipe. The day couldn’t have gone any better to be honest and it was what this hobby is all about, building cool stuff to have fun with family and friends. Already I know of many people building cars for the next Dust Up and more than ever we need to keep doing this fun stuff while we still can. I wonder what I could build for the next Dust Up? Nah I should play it safe and take the pressure off and just make sure I can get this car back there. Be there in any way you can, events that are being hosted need everyone’s support any way possible right now.