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 [...]

1972 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S – Rotary Renaissance

October 14th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , |

The father-and-son team of Gavin and Myles Hicks are well known within local classic-car restoration circles, and over the years many concours-winning cars have emerged from their well-equipped home workshop. Together they can tackle virtually all aspects of restoration, including everything from mechanical rebuilds to spray-painting. Additionally, Gavin is a dab hand with a sewing [...]

1962 Jaguar Mk2 3.8

August 17th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

While I was checking out the classic cars entered for sale at Mossgreen-Webb’s classic car auction, held at Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display Hall at MOTAT on June 18, I found myself standing next to a classic racecar that I first saw on Saturday, January 8, 1983. Back then I snapped a few shots [...]

MGC 50th Anniversary 1967–2017

August 17th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

In 1957 the integration of the Austin-Healey and MG families was the catalyst for several interesting possibilities, including the prospect of a six-cylinder MG. Indeed, a dual project was soon underway – ADO51 would be an Austin-Healey, while ADO52 was scheduled to be the six-cylinder, quickly designated as the ‘C’. Intended as direct replacements for [...]

2017 Swallow 100 Mk III

August 17th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , |

One cold and frosty day during the winter of 1996, I found myself settling into the leather-lined cockpit of a locally built T Car in preparation for a road test of the Kiwi-built roadster. Russell Hooper, the main driving force behind Alternative Cars – the Auckland-based company that had designed and developed the T Car [...]

1960 AC Ace-Bristol (Ace High)

June 25th, 2017|Tags: , |

Glen, an Auckland-based business advisor, can’t remember a time when Bristol cars weren’t part of his life, and like many of us his enthusiasm for these cars was handed down to him from his father, Lane. Now on to his sixth Bristol (the first being a 401) Lane has been driving and fettling these quirky [...]

Handsome Healey

June 24th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

John acquired his Austin-Healey just over a year ago. It was a car that he’d always wanted to own and when he spotted it for sale on TradeMe, he knew this one was for him as he’d always had a soft spot for the 100, the very first Austin-Healey. “I have always admired the 100’s [...]