New Zealand’s Classic Motorcycle Festival at Pukekohe

NZCMRR_Classic-Fest_2011The 32nd Classic Motorcycle Festival is scheduled to take place at New Zealand’s Pukekohe Circuit over the weekend of 5 – 6 February 2011. It is brought to us by the New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing Register (NZCMRR) Inc., who are dedicated to the preservation of motorcycles from Europe and the US built more than 35 years ago.

The event will feature well over 300 motorcycles from the 1920’s up to 1975 from American, British and European marques. It will also include a program with over 50 races (!) and parades and racers from all over the known world. The Classic Motorcycle Festival has become the largest and finest gathering of classic racing motorcycles in the entire Southern Hemisphere.

Among the many special displays will be one celebrating the 100 years of the world-famous Benelli marque, where many of the most important – and undeniably beautiful – Italian manufacturer’s motorcycles will be present. Another special display will be dedicated to the American brand Henderson. They were the first company to use an almost automotive-sized four-cylinder engine at a time when most road-going bikes were singles or twins. Henderson also influenced many other marques who copied their best designs. Also on hand will be more than 30 other historic marques including some very rare makes such as Miltaire, Cleveland and Ace. Organizers claim that this may be the largest display of vintage motorcycles the world has ever seen.

Riders will be attending from all over the world including the United States, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom. New Zealand’s own Grand Prix celebrity Ginger Malloy, who has been racing for over 50 years, will be flying the Kiwi colors whilst racing his Bultaco 250cc GP bike; he recently won the Australian Historic 250cc Championship at Phillip Island on that same machine.

NZCMRR_Molloy_Classic-Fest_2010You may remember Malloy from the 1970 Premier 500cc Grand Prix class where he finished second overall to the legend that is Giacomo Agostini. Steve Wynn – who you may know as the Manchester (UK) Ducati dealer who sponsored the great Mike Hailwood’s record-breaking appearance at the Isle of Man TT – has arranged to demonstrate an original 1954 MV Agusta 500cc four-cylinder GP race bike at the event. Accompanying that MV will be even more amazing bikes, like a 1957 BMW 500cc Rennsport GP and a 500cc Jawa GP racer, and a compliment of Manx Nortons, Matchless G50’s, and AJS 7R GP racers.

The Classic Motorcycle Festival has developed an international reputation as a place to witness exceptional historic racing and to experience what is essentially a living museum exhibit. Many of the bikes shown at the Festival only come out into the light at this event, so this is the one chance to see and, in many situations, hear the motorcycles you have heard or read about for much of your life. The full weekend pass is NZ$30 and both entrance to the paddock and parking are free.

Following the Classic Motorcycle Festival (during 12 – 13 February), the NZCMRR hosts another classic and vintage motorcycle race at the new Hampton Downs Circuit only 15 minutes away from Pukekohe.

It’s all happening in New Zealand thanks to the New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing Register!

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com