31 August 2017
Craig Marshall drives to WOW
Wanaka: New Zealand businessman, Craig Marshall, will be driving to Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow next Easter – all the way from New York City.
Craig has bought a classic 1928 Packard Roadster but the first time he sees the vehicle will be the day before he sets out with his wife on the 4,500 kilometre trip across the USA. The Marshall’s car will be one of 50 Packards on display at Warbirds Over Wanaka with 10 of them being shipped from North America.
Craig says back in 1982 he drove the other way across the US with a mate in a Chevy they had bought for $100. “Clearly it was a rough specimen of a car but it never missed a beat. Being poor students we ate when we could at roadside bars ensuring we got there at happy hour to secure some free food and slept in the back of the car. In recent years I have promised my wife we would do the trip the other way round with more salubrious accommodation and food than in ‘82.”
Craig has purchased the 1928 Packard ‘sight unseen’ but has got someone in the US to give it a ‘once over’. Despite this he’s still expecting to have some mechanical problems along the way but says that’s half the fun.
“We have given ourselves five weeks to complete the journey. We will stick to secondary roads and have no set agenda except to get to Los Angeles without having to use the ‘truck of shame’ (tow truck).”
“The car will then be shipped to New Zealand and we hope to drive it all the way down the country to join the ‘Destination Warbirds’ rally in Blenheim, with the trip eventually ending at the Airshow in Wanaka,” says Craig.
Long distance driving is one of Craig’s passions. He once drove a 1937 Dodge in the Peking to Paris rally. It took 40 days to complete the 8,200 kilometre journey which included the Gobi desert along the ‘Silk Route’ in the footsteps of Genghis Khan. Still on the bucket list is competing in the Southern American Endurance car rally.
The 30th anniversary Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow is being held on March 30th, March 31st and April 1st. Information and tickets are available from www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com