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NZ Classic Car

NZ Classic Car

No 368 August 2021

New Zealand’s longest running classic car magazine – celebrated its 300th edition in January 2016, an amazing achievement for a publication which began as a simple idea to put local classic car owners in touch with event organisers, car clubs and trade professionals. NZ Classic Car has been a vital part of the local motoring scene for more than 25 years and features unique and extensive classic motoring coverage. NZCC’s enthusiastic and passionate writers cover the length and breadth of the country ensuring extensive classic motoring coverage. Our coverage of New Zealand’s motoring heritage remains unrivalled, especially in the field of motorsport history, plus we include stunning photography, authoritative features and event reports from throughout the country.

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New Zealand
Parkside Media
R 49,78
R 488,74
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
colin waite

It is with great sadness we record that Colin Waite passed away on Saturday, 26 June 2021, aged 92 years. Anyone who has been involved in the motor racing scene during the past six or so decades will be familiar with his name. Colin was dedicated to the sport of motor racing from the age of 16, when the then-apprentice panel beater got involved in midget speedway racing at Western Springs. Colin helped Laurie Evans build three speedway cars using Jeep and Ford Model A motors before going on to pit crew for Roly Crowther. When we caught up with Colin in 2019 gathering information on his ex-works Skoda 120 S Rallye car he was still a regular Western Springs attendee. After Colin’s pit-crewing days he decided to get more involved…

14 min
smooth operator

By 1972 Mazda was gaining ground around the globe. While still offering conventional piston-engined cars it was seeking to establish rotary engines as the way of the future and these were powering a wide range of vehicles from cars through to buses. They were small, light, and powerful, if commensurately thirsty — getting something for nothing was beyond even the brilliant Mazda engineers — but they had one other advantage: their small engine capacities meant that they slotted into cheaper purchase tax categories in their large home market and some overseas markets. Mazda bought a licence to develop and manufacture the Wankel engine in 1961, the revolutionary way to ingest, squish, and expel the fuel–air mixture 1961 Mazda bought a licence to develop and manufacture the Wankel engine in 1961. The revolutionary…

8 min
earthquake survivor

It was coachbuilder Wilhelm Karmann who eventually persuaded the directors of Volkswagen (VW) to allow him to put a cabriolet on top of their VW Beetles. VW provided the bodies and Karmann added the soft tops. At VW’s request, Karmann was also asked to submit designs for a sporty coupé that were rejected. After Karmann’s death his son, also named Wilhelm, had a chance meeting at a motor show with Luigi Segre of coachbuilders Carrozzeria Ghia of Turin. It was a timely meeting as Ghia had also submitted several proposals to VW with some ideas for styling enhancements that had not gained traction. The Karmann–Ghia meeting resulted in a prototype body that was mounted directly to the Beetle’s basic platform chassis. Ghia sent the prototype to Karmann in late 1953 which impressed…

8 min
the orange panther

The de Tomaso Pantera story is almost as intriguing as a James Bond adventure. Alejandro de Tomaso was an Argentinian from a wealthy and politically well-connected cattle-ranching family. De Tomaso was involved in an attempted overthrow of the government of Argentina — more specifically its president, Juan Perón. Perón was not known for his humility or forgiving nature so in 1955 De Tomaso, who was in his late 20s, fled to Italy from where his paternal grandfather originated. De Tomaso was a handy driver and was soon racing cars in Europe, even competing in two Formula 1 races in 1957. Sports cars, parties, and socialising with the elite enjoying accelerating wealth in Europe’s post World War II recovery was the stuff of glamorous movies of the era. It was also the…

11 min
yesterday’s hero

The S-Class Mercedes, and the 12-cylinder version at that, makes a lot of sense in Germany. It’s the ideal car for the top echelon of German industrialists when they are bahnstorming between cities and needing a bit of hush at 200kph while on the phone, remaking the world for millions of customers or Euros. Not for them the brash Audis or exciting Porsches and BMWs are just not quite serious enough. While they were first into the luxo-barge market with a V12 BMW’s strengths lie further down the range. BMWs don’t have quite the tank-like quality, the sense of having been machined from the solid, that Mercedes of this car’s era had. Being in a luxuriously appointed tank appeals even more forcefully to heads of state who want to insulate themselves from…

10 min
setting the standard

For people of a certain vintage, the big Heckflosse Mercedes-Benz will likely recall ’60s and ’70s TV dramas and films. No European-based crime drama car chase worth its salt would be complete without the hero having to evade a black Heckflosse or two full of black-clad baddies armed to the teeth with evil intent being flung around the streets, body rolling, tyres screeching. Some, if not many, would come to a crunching end, no doubt as much to the satisfaction of Mercedes sales department as the viewers punting for the hero, but it always seemed a terrible waste. Mercedes-Benzes were rare and precious things in this part of the world. Witnessing them being wasted like that was a bit confronting — like seeing The Who smash up their instruments. Visiting Europe…