• The Austin 7 once raced by Bill Cope

The Lotus Position

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

Any reference to Lotus automatically conjures up the name of Colin Chapman, the Englishman who founded his car manufacturing company along with Colin Dare in 1952. Under Chapman’s direction Lotus won seven Formula One titles, six drivers championships and an Indy 500. However, for a period in New Zealand in the early and middle 1960s [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Julia Jack, Mercury’s Chief Marketing Officer, poses with Evie

Evie Revisited – 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner

October 26th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Since we last met with Evie around six months ago, the argument for electrically powered cars has heated up considerably due to sky-rocketing petrol prices – a situation not aided by the introduction of a 10¢ per litre regional fuel tax for the Auckland area. But while Aucklanders may be having a whinge about that, [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

True Blue Racers’ Specials – 1996 Paul Radisich Ford Telstar – 2008 Dan Gurney Signature Edition Ford Mustang

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

Garry Jackson spent many years as Ford New Zealand’s Marketing and Sales Director, and got to know Paul Radisich well. He had some background involvement in Paul getting his Mondeo drives in the World Touring Car Cup, which he won twice (in 1993 and 1994) along with third places in the British Touring Car Championships [...]

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 [...]

  • Alan’s ‘Mk I’ at Timaru (Photo Euan Cameron)

Alan Inglis’ Broadspeed Escort Replica

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

Fifty-three years ago Alan Inglis spotted a Palmer & Doak-prepared 105E Anglia in a Christchurch car yard. At that time, this Rangiora Ford dealership modified 105E Anglias (among other cars), repowering them, fitting widened rims, upgrading gearboxes and installing disc brakes as well as tweaking carburettors and exhaust systems. As he gazed longingly at that [...]

  • 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 [...]