Chris Westlake and his “Mini Mack” are an institution at Northland truck shows and other events throughout New Zealand.
New Zealand Trucking magazine first came across Chris Westlake at the Wellsford Roaring Lions Show a couple of years back, and again more recently at this year’s Kamo Touch a Truck Show.
Although technically not a truck, the converted Mini, replete with the classic bulldog, mixes in well with the big fellas and is a crowd favourite.
Its powertrain is a 1275cc ‘Cummings’ engine (the nickname given to the Mini’s original A-series engine painted red by Chris), and it’s armed with discs on the front and drums on the back.
Chris does about 20 events a year, usually for charity, using the Mini’s pull-trailer to give event patrons a unique ride for a gold coin donation.
Left: Chris and his dog Flash with the Mini Mack. Right: Always an attraction at any truck show.
Chris says he has fun doing it but takes his contribution to charity seriously.
In the five years he has owned the Mini Mack, he has earned hundreds of dollars for good causes. His favourite charity is KidsCan, a charitable trust working to help children in poverty.
As well as the shows, he fundraises by participating in the two-yearly Pork Pie Charity Run, involving Minis only, and based loosely on the route taken by the Bondini gang in the iconic New Zealand movie Goodbye Pork Pie.
This year, the event was in March and took the Minis on a 2500km trek from Paihia to Invercargill.
Chris completed the run in under six days.
Chris welcomes donations and sponsorship for the charity run and his other fundraising ventures. Contact him on 021 223 3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.