The R’Oil Can Rally

The idea for this style of Mid Winter Rally originated back in the days of the North Shore Branch when it was devised by Russell Ward an MG aficionado, restorer of Bentleys, Tugboats and upper incisors. The event was dubbed the Oil Can Rally and promised a full days driving in proper vintage style followed by a good hot soak, a decent dinner in convivial company. To enter you had to have an open top car of suitable pedigree and age, “No hairdresser’s tin tops here” and the top was to be down at all times and weathers! This lead to the branch gaining a rather hairy chested reputation.

During the first few years the event was relatively short i.e. 100 miles. But as each years organizers tried to out do, the year before, the rally grew in length, statue and demands upon its entrants. Soon it was seen as the North Island equivalent of “Irishman’s Creek”. When the Waitemata Branch was formed by the North Shore “Old Guard” it meant that the spirit of the rally had also to follow suit and was renamed “The R’Oil Can Rally” short for The Real Oil Can Rally.

These days the R’Oil Can is our premier long distance event and is eagerly anticipated as the destination at days end is rigorously keep secret by that years planner. This leads to us covering 400 devious kms of country side and those real vintage roads that are least traveled. We will undoubtedly head towards all points of the compass, gradients and surface conditions known to our fore fathers. There’s hearty country food along the way, sourced and inevitably catered by an enthusiastic locals who think this is great way to raise funds for their community. The accommodation at the destination is as eclectic as the event itself and has over the years varied from bunk beds to boudoirs!

No two years are the same, no two organizers have the same idea of what the event should ideally be. So long may its curly charm continue.