As I pull up the drive of the Dawber family property it is not long before my eye is caught by the late afternoon sun glinting on the chrome work of an unfamiliar car slowly being enveloped by grass and moss. The chrome parts I can see are set off by a patchwork quilt of superficial rust. This is a car that looks as though it might soon make a return to the earth from whence it once came.

As I continue further up the long drive I see many more cars in varying states of repair and I begin to wonder if I have stumbled across a car graveyard – either that, or the home of someone like myself who has simply taken on a few too many projects!

I am greeted at the door of the 100(+)-year-old wooden homestead by Harry Dawber, the latest in a long line of Dawbers to call the place home.

At this point you might be forgiven for imagining Harry to be some toffee-nosed eccentric clad in tweed. Quite the opposite. Eccentric, yes, but sporting work boots, shorts, woolly jumper and his company beanie, Harry is one of the youngest members of Christchurch’s crack team of automotive magicians, Auto Restorations. Indeed, it seems that Harry is considered as something of a rising star.

Motoring Memories

Settling into a comfy chair in Harry’s living room warmed by a cosy fire, I asked Harry about his first car memory. He was quick to point out that his family never had what were considered interesting or classic cars when he was really young.


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