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.
The NZV8 Pickup Round-Up will take place this coming Labour weekend in Taupo and will see quite possibly the largest gathering of American-origin pickups in New Zealand to date. Already over 75 entries have been confirmed, with vehicles coming from as far away as Whangarei and Wellington, and ranging from the very latest offerings to vintage and everything in-between.
The round-up consists of two main parts — a cruise from Taupo to put on a lakefront show in Rotorua, and the main show in Taupo, plus various social activities. The cruise to Rotorua will be an impressive sight, and, at the final destination, the event will be open to the public by way of gold-coin donation. The same gold-coin donation concept is carried over to the following day’s show, with all money raised going to Cancer Support Services (a division of the New Zealand Cancer Society).
On Saturday night the vehicles will be left behind for a social evening out, including live entertainment, USA Haulers Club fundraising raffles, and an auction.
Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort will be home base for the round-up, and many entrants will be staying there also, which should add to the atmosphere of what is set to be a great social weekend.
With the Sunday’s show being the big one, the top 13 vehicles from the first day will park in the centre of the field, each with its own fundraising bucket, and the vehicle that collects the most coins will be deemed the overall winner.
If you’ve got an American pickup and haven’t entered yet, best you get onto it, as it sounds as if this year’s Pickup Round-Up will be the beginning of something big!
For more info, check out usahaulersnz.weebly.com, search ‘NZV8 Pickup Roundup’ on Facebook or give Tracey a call on 022 367 6300.