• Ollie Johnstone takes his mum, Kate, for a spin across the Dart River bridge in Murray Doyle's Porsche Speedster

The Classic Alpine Tour

June 26th, 2018|Tags: , , |

The Classic Alpine Tour was the outcome of two like-minded motoring enthusiasts discussing some of the great classic motoring events that take place around the world. Reminiscing about Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como, Monterey week in Northern California, Rodeo Drive Concours, Chantilly north of Paris and the legendary Goodwood Revival, soon developed [...]

True Blue GT – 1971 XY Ford Falcon GT-HO Phase III

April 24th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Ford Australia unleashed the XW Falcon GT in 1969. Powered by a 351ci (5760cc) Windsor V8, the GT was a truly quick car, but wanting to further improve the breed, and with an eye on winning at Bathurst, Ford went one step further, and in August 1969 they introduced a more brutal version of the [...]

1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner – Electrifying a Classic

April 24th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Despite all the recent media hullaballoo concerning electric cars, there’s really nothing new about an electrically powered vehicle (EV). Indeed, at the dawn of the motoring age there was little to choose between electric, petrol or even steam-powered vehicles. In fact, electric power was dominant when considered purely from the point of view of the [...]

Kiwi-Built Masterpiece

February 21st, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

In 1957 my father was at Aintree for that year’s British Grand Prix – a race won by Stirling Moss in the Vanwall with the following three places being taken by Ferraris. In third place was Mike Hawthorn, and the following year he would become the first Englishman to win the F1 World Championship. At [...]

30 Years and Counting

February 21st, 2018|Tags: , , |

Having completed his NZCE with Winstones in Auckland, Neil Fraser’s first business venture was the acquisition of Reid Trailers, but while he busied himself designing and building trailers he also took to the racetrack in a Lotus Cortina, and it was here that he first came across the car that would shift his focus away [...]

Lightweight 
Contenders

February 21st, 2018|Tags: , , , |

During the 1980s, the rise of the hot hatch, spearheaded by cars such as Volkswagen’s Golf GTi and Peugeot’s 205GTi, virtually killed off the soft-top sports car. In a market flooded with go-faster shopping baskets, only a handful of specialist sports car makers persisted until, in 1989, Mazda hit back with their MX-5. In effect, [...]

Vauxhall’s Vivacious Viva!

February 21st, 2018|Tags: , , , |

Vauxhall introduced the very first Viva – a two-door saloon powered by a 1057cc four-cylinder engine – in 1963. Although the HA Viva’s box-like body wasn’t about to win any beauty contests, under the skin the car featured up-to-date features such as an all-synchro four-speed gearbox, rack-and-pinion steering and independent front suspension, while buyers could [...]

V12 Limousine

December 14th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

I still remember the very first V12-powered car I drove – my father’s Daimler Double-Six – a Jaguar XJ12 with a fluted radiator grille surround. Once I’d become accustomed to that car’s super-light power steering, I was amazed at the exceptional smoothness of the engine. The Daimler simply swooshed down the road, and the grin [...]

Ford’s Z Cars

December 14th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , |

When I was a young boy growing up in the UK during the late 1950s/early 1960s (born a few months before the formal cessation of WWII rationing), my father’s best mate, Johnny Hamer (who owned and ran a garage in nearby Timperley), drove around in a splendid Ford Zodiac. Compared to my father’s Morris Minor [...]

1980 Mazda RX-7 – Rotary Reborn

October 15th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

After dipping their toes into a revolutionary new concept in automotive engine design with the Cosmo Sport 110S, Mazda quickly generated a desire to see their development of Felix Wankel’s engine supplanting all traditional, reciprocating-piston power plants. As a result, use of the new engine spread rapidly through Mazda’s existing model range. Alas, this big [...]