• Friary estate conversion on a Vauxhall PA Velox

Wagon Trail

December 11th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The popularity of these types of vehicles increased as social norms changed, with bigger families, slowly increasing family incomes, and improved roads encouraging travel. We saw thousands of wagons in town and country, weekdays and weekends. They were in daily use as working vehicles but were especially noticeable at holiday times, loaded to the gunwales [...]

  • 1950 Morris Cowley 1/2 ton van

Tripping: The Light Vantastic – The Cass Files

October 25th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

These proved to be another good money-spinning sector for the British motor industry, with most of the major manufacturers and several smaller companies producing vehicles of this type. The load-carrying capacity of these small vans began at a quarter-ton or five cwt (250kg in today’s terms), and was slowly increased to six-, then seven and [...]

  • 2CV at Mt John

Citroën 2CV: Paragon or Paradox

September 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Paragon in that the 2CV met its design objectives with complete success; paradox, in that it was just too quirky for full public acceptance? Whichever way you see it, we’re looking at an all-time classic car, a very different and completely unmistakeable vehicle that like the VW Beetle retained the same shape and basic design [...]

  • Rootes 1960s advert for the Commer van range

VanTastic: British Half-ton Vans 1945-1965

June 26th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

These types of vans came in several shapes and sizes, and large numbers were sold, with all the major British firms having a stake in the market. A chance encounter with one a few weeks ago, snappily painted to advertise a local business, brought them back to mind, and I recalled that I actually owned [...]

  • Nissan Pulsar GTI-R brochure

The Cass Files – Performance ‘Oriented’ – Mid-to-late ’80s Japanese Hot Hatches

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

Last time we looked at the development of the hot hatch from the early 1970s through to the mid-1980s. Although design during that period had been progressed mainly via the European manufacturers, by 1983–4 some of the Japanese manufacturers were beginning to move into that market segment. While VW with the Golf Gti and Peugeot [...]

  • VW Golf GTi Mk 2

Hot Hatchbacks: 1970s-1983/84

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

In the past two issues we’ve looked back at how performance cars moved from being the enjoyable playthings of lucky people within some sectors of society, to their availability as everyday cars for family use. This trend accelerated through the 1960s and continued through the 1970s, with manufacturers becoming more adept at developing performance cars, [...]

  • Contemporary advert for the Spitfire Mk III

The Cass Files – Sports & GT Cars

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

By late 1967, sports and GT coupé fans here in New Zealand were eagerly awaiting sightings or considering purchase of some of the 1966–67 new models from Britain and Europe. We had read about them in Motorman and seen the road reports in UK Autocar and Motor magazines as well as in Wheels and Modern [...]