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NZ Classic Car

NZ Classic Car No 357 September 2020

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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 49,85
R 489,40
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
on the road again

As in other parts of our lives, 2020 is proving to be a particularly challenging year for this country’s classic car events calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus has resulted in the cancellation of almost all major motorsports and classic car–related gatherings since the lockdown in March. In this issue we see it’s unclear what effect any further community outbreaks may have on this summer’s events, but so far so good. So, now may be a good time to think about planning for later this year, if not pencilling in a few plans on your 2021 calendar. Putting the events calendar together over the past few months has seen slim pickings for classic car enthusiasts. Event organizers have been dealing with postponements and altered plans, and car club events…

13 min.
snake charmer

Carroll Shelby had a dream of building sports cars under his own name long before his professional racing career started. Happily for him — and the rest of us — he eventually managed to direct his energies into realizing that dream after poor health crushed his racing ambitions and put his other business ventures on hold. Shelby wondered why no one in the US had built a sports car that offered precise European handling with the power of an American V8 engine, and that could be easily serviced at any car dealership. Made in the US, such a sports car could also be sold for much less than the European marques. During a dream, he came up with the name for his car, the Cobra. LUCKY BREAK Shelby got wind that a…

11 min.
well-preserved ponton

The lines of the 1956 Mercedes 220 S are deeply satisfying. From behind the large steering wheel the bonnet is more aggressively curved than it looks from the outside. It creates definite channels between the wings and leads the eye to the iconic three-pointed star emblem mounted atop the radiator. Owner Harindra ‘Harry’ Pilapitiya says that this was all quite deliberate. Not to put too fine a point on it, Mercedes designers thought it helpful for drivers to have a gunsight to aim through when piloting their cars. LIKE A PONTOON From the outside, the front of the car has a friendly, unthreatening face, and the lines flow harmoniously to a neatly rounded and tucked-in tail. The modest tail lights are no more than what was considered necessary at the time. The slightly…

7 min.

The idea of running a Mercedes as a taxi has always seemed a bit incongruous here in New Zealand, where much more mundane but long-legged Holdens and Falcons did the bulk of the work — while they were in production, anyway. Here, Mercedes were almost always the preserve of the executive class — exotic, expensive, and pampered, as any repairs would come with a hefty price tag. Of course, in markets closer to Germany, Mercs weren’t as dear to fix and the extra cost was offset anyway by the car’s durable construction. The brand’s MB Tex vinyl upholstery, for example, would last twice as long as leather or fabric alternatives. The car’s metal was thicker than rivals’, the moving parts were the product of careful development and, until the ’90s anyway,…

10 min.
a tradesman’s estate the cortina gt estate

In 1962, when the first Cortina was introduced, most of our cars came from the UK. If you were the sort who wore string-back gloves, Viyella shirts, corduroy trousers, and brogues you could buy a good-looking sports car — there was a great choice of them, too, from Old Blighty — but if it was an affordable family car you were after the choice was limited, and the cars offered were far more utilitarian. MUNDANE CARS BMC, Rootes Group, Vauxhall, and others were turning out various medium-sized cars, none of which was setting the world alight at that stage. Ford was producing the Zephyr in both six- and four-cylinder variants. The six-cylinder version was preferred and almost ubiquitous on the local roads. FROM FAILURE TO SUCCESS Earlier, at Ford’s headquarters in the US, high-ranking…

16 min.
vauxhall of fame

A TRIUMPH OF AMBITION I was sitting in my cave the other day when my gaze fell on a two-page advert I’d rescued from English performance car mag Cars and Car Conversions, now long gone, from 1972. I’d mounted this advert onto a board, as the image was very alluring for several reasons. It was pitched in the vein of the American pony car adverts, using Dayglo-style colours, specifically touting performance racing connotations. I’d never seen English saloon car manufacturers use this type of lush artwork to sell their wares before. The image included a pit scene, a Ferrari prototype, while the hero of the piece was … the 1972 Vauxhall Firenza SL Sport! Really? A Vauxhall? Unfortunately, we didn’t see any, or almost none of the Firenza-style coupés in New Zealand,…