65 members and friends gathered on this fine Sunday at Brighams Restaurant and Bar for a most enjoyable, social outing. The atmosphere was Christmas like and the food matched this. Entertainment by way of a quiz and a raffle was well accepted. A real buzzing time with members we had not seen for a long time.
During 2001 this vehicle was for sale. On inspection of this “bones case” the body offered was from a Hudson Tourer and engine from 1916, with some chassis work undertaken and with a correct radiator (previous owned by me during the 70’s and several boxes containing parts, headlights, sidelights, windscreen, odd magnetos and much more.
Delivery was made and the driver remarked he’d carried a lot of loads, but on seeing this, well…….
After sorting out useable parts, restoration began with cleaning, repair and painting.
The chassis remains including engine, gearbox and diff had to be retrieved from a river bed in Hawkes Bay. Some repair work to the chassis had been done with the engine, complete diff and gearbox being discarded. The body and engine were sold and the correct engine, complete diff and gearbox soon purchases and arrived in Auckland from the South Island on a wooden pallet, again the truck driver passed comment.
After restoring a 1912 Overland Tourer prior to Rotorua’s 1980 International Rally, this project was reasonably straight forward compared. Body drawings were ordered from WORK-USA and given to a competent cabinetmaker/ boat builder in Warkworth. Several trips were made to oversee progress. Within a few months the body was finished and another started for a South Island member.
Chassis work continued with new springs, shackle plates and pins being made. Some hot riveting was required and this skill has been learnt from previous restoration with Tony Foster as able hand. The body was panelled by a local panel beater, who had performed other local restoration, as well as some for delivery overseas. The body was fitted to the chassis, aligned, removed and delivered to a paint shop and upholstered. This was undertaken to the drawings supplied including the hood. New wooden wheels were made using the original hardware and new tyres and tubes fitted.
The engine and diff were dismantled, inspected and new bearings fitted to the diff. Engine, crankshaft and rods crack tested and found to be okay. Bearing scraped bores honed and valves and seats refurbished. All parts for nickel plating were gathered and sent away, they returned with a large invoice! The cone clutch was inspected for cracks and deterioration and was relined with modern friction material, Kevlar for low maintenance. The windscreen frame was rebuilt from two old frames with side hinges. Once the vehicle was assembled and the engine running, a wiring loom was made and fitted. The 6volt system still survives with the addition of a rear stop light and a windscreen wiper. Pre delivery was made by Ivan Nobilo, before being shipped to Brisbane.
On arrival, a roadworthy (WOF) was undertaken by the local garage, followed by an engineers report. One this had been achieved, (fit indicators) the vehicle was QLD registered (with my preious restaorations, and a 1912 69T Overland). Enormous help was provided by Bruce Nelson and of late Rod Cripps (WOCV). Detailed drawings from WORK, USA and manual with help from Tony Foster.
The restoration which started in June 2001 was completed in 2006 prior to moving to Australia and returned to New Zealand in 2013 and now living in Blenheim. We have toured the Ipswich Rally in 2012 and the Sunshine Coast Rally in 2013
Neil and Glenys Cox
Tracing car histories can be interesting and rewarding but needs patience too.
Recently, a list of the 1911 registration plate numbers’ owners’ (not car makes) for Dunedin became available in private hands. Generously we were advised that my grandfather owned plate number D 18 in 1911 at that time.
We have a family photograph dated Feb 1910 showing the family including the +/- 18 month old baby (my father born 1908) in an unidentified car. We published the family photo 15 years ago in BW247 seeking identification for the vehicle. Only one response, from England suggested that the car was an early Briton. The radiator shape certainly appears this way. But Briton was formed in 1909 as part of the Star (UK) company, and therefore this brand car could not have been here in NZ this early. The advent of digital photo enhancement allowed us to enlarge the photo in 2005, and reading the radiator oval badge was ‘Goodwin & Co, Birmingham’- a non Ferrous Casting company. More puzzles.
In 2011, by chance I noticed, an enquiry in Beaded Wheels asked for information on a Rollert (the name on the screw cap) radiator. This radiator has the same oval badge of “Goodwin & Co, Birmingham” on the front. In 2012 we physically compared the radiator (now owned by Bob Woodford of Dunedin) with the photograph, and yes they match exactly. Interesting, but who are they?
In 2013 Mr Google search helped us more. The Goodwin Bros were racing cyclists in the UK in early 1900’s, and for 2 years were (unsuccessful) racing drivers for the Star motor Coy of Wolverhampton. My grandfather was a cash racing cyclist in NZ and South Africa from 1897 to 1903- maybe they met, but more likely is that the Goodwins’ were a UK car sub agent.
Researching in Georgano reference book quotes that Star Motor Company changed and used several brands in 1907-1909. They used Stuart, Starling, Star, Little Starling brands before settling on Star and Briton brands only from 1909. Several vehicle dealers in NZ promoted the Stuart and Star brands before 1908 (refer Papers Past site).
A Stuart car factory brochure from the UK history site illustrates that brand car with a Briton profile radiator and sold in 1908 only -Bingo- the balance of probabilities is that this is the brand of photographed car, and probably Grandfather (an engineer) soldered the oval badge on the car himself.
Overall, and interesting history search lasting 15 years and resulting in;-
· The original radiator exists and is in good condition. Bob the current owner is now looking for the rest of the car.
· Unfortunately our family verbal history advised that the car was abandoned mid- stream in the flooded Kaikorai Stream- I hope that is wrong!.
· Many other verbal family stories about the car arriving dismantled in a box are recalled- but no confirmation exists.
· My need/addiction to own a similar Briton version started- and it is a fun car.
NZ VINTAGE CAR CLUB NATIONAL VETERAN RALLY 19 – 23 MARCH 2014
Sixty four veteran vehicles were entered into this event hosted by the Waikato Branch of the Vintage Car Club of NZ. It was encouraging to see nine entries from the South Island which included the only motorcycle entered in the rally, a 1911 Singer No 1 from Invercargill, and one entry from Australia – a 1909 Darracq RR. The other 54 entries travelled from all over the North Island for the four day event which preceded the Prince Henry Tour.
Four fine, sunny days of perfect rallying were organised by different plotters each day. From 10am Wednesday 19th March Rally Packs were available for collection from the Rally Headquarters at the Te Awamutu Sports Complex. Entrants were welcomed by a team of Waikato members with Devonshire scones and tea & coffee.
That night the Welcome Dinner was held at Rally Headquarters. With tables suitably decorated with tussy mussy arrangements the scene was set for the great event which followed.
Thursday 20th, the first day of rallying, our destination -Cambridge. After entering Cambridge through Leamington, we assembled on the south side of the Waikato River at the approaches of Victoria Bridge which was undergoing repairs and was only open to one way traffic travelling from north to south and we wanted to go south to north!! However, arrangements had been made for the bridge to be closed to modern traffic between 10 and 11am to allow us to cross. For those of us travelling on the Auckland VCC’s 1915 Renault Charabanc, it meant off loading and walking across the bridge as we (the Charabanc, that is !!) were over-weight. While the veteran vehicles were parked on display on Victoria Square until 2pm, transport was provided for entrants wishing to visit the Waikato VCC Branch Clubrooms and parts shed, the new Velodrome (Avanti Drome) and Noel Yearbury’s Tractor Collection. Of course many familiar faces were seen exploring the Cambridge shops.
After a short run we were treated to afternoon tea at the Don Rowland Centre at Karapiro Lake while a NZ Olympic Rowing personality gave a short address and we admired the wonderful lake views.
Friday 21st, the second day of the rally - Today’s destination this day was Otorohanga. After an 8.30am start, we rallied from Te Awamutu, through Kihikihi. Jan Officer welcomed us to morning tea on a farm in the Wharepapa district. Travelling through lovely Waipa countryside through Parawera we arrived at Otorohanga for lunch. Several people checked out Habib’s Menswear where you can still buy Swandri and other NZ made products.
During our return journey to Te Awamutu we visited a private collection of vehicles and memorabilia. A large lawn covered with numerous large trees made for a park like setting to show off entrant’s vehicles which created a great photograph opportunity.
On our arrival back into Te Awamutu our vehicles were put on display at Selwyn Park behind the Te Awamutu i-Site. This drew a large number of local public who were very interested in our cars.
Saturday 22nd, the third day, and only competitive part of the rally was held; the rally took us through Matangi to the timed section on our way through Tauwhare and Scotsman’s Valley to the Showgrounds in Morrinsville where a picnic and public display was organised. We were joined by the Vintage Tractor & Machinery Club who also put their machines on display for the day.
During the day a gymkana was held, and this, together with the timed section gained a winner for the rally.
The Antique Store at Ohaupo was a popular port of call on the return trip. There was always a honk and wave as vehicles passed each other.
Sunday 23rd , the final rally day. A run through pleasant Waikato countryside to Hamilton Gardens for our final display. After a Devonshire morning tea we were given instructions which took us on a “walking rally” through the themed gardens. These were certainly well worth the walk and are a credit to Hamilton City.
Delicious hot lamb & mint sauce rolls were served for lunch – a grand effort by the cooks on the day.
That afternoon many entrants visited the Hamilton Classic Museum before returning to Te Awamutu.
The Awards Dinner & Prizegiving was held at Rally Headquarters. We were entertained by local artists, two VCC ladies who ‘restored’ a vehicle in a matter of minutes. I don’t know why you fellows take so long to do the same job?? The guys weren't to be outdone either and had us in fits of laughter.
Congratulations Waikato VCC. This was an event to be proud of, the members of the HCCNZ were happy to be part of it.
The busy weekend started on Saturday the 8th February with the Vintage car club Veteran Rally starting and finished at the property of Tracy and Stephen Winterbottom at Waiau Pa. It was a sunny day and the Rally went very well with about 25 veteran cars taking part. After the run a delicious luncheon was hosted by Tracy and family at the lovely home and gardens of Tracy’s parents Norm and Pat Dewhurst.
Saturday evening we headed to Roy Sharman’s home at Waiuku for a scrumptious BBQ dinner, this set the tone for the rest on the weekend as the HCC Rally was on Sunday 9th.
About 23 Veteran cars including the Auckland VCC Renault Charabanc ,with a full complement of passengers assembled at the Waiuku Botanical Reserve for a start at 10pm on another hot day.
The Rally was a non – competitive run of about 40 km over picturesque country roads with a few short, sharp hills out the back of Waiuku .
We arrived at the Bird Park set in lovely gardens for morning tea, fresh fruit (Bananas, apples, water melon) and cold drinks were provided, which was much appreciated. After looking at the range of exotic birds we headed back the last 7 km to Waiuku for a lunch at the Waiuku golf club rooms set in picturesque grounds. No breakdowns or other problems were encountered or reported on the day. It was nice to see brothers Gavin and Wayne Welch out in there Ford T roadster pick-up, Wayne for the first time since a flawless restoration over many years. George Urquhart was also out for the first time in his Ford T with its new motor.
We had members come from as far as Matamata and Hamilton. The Baylys in their Ford T and the Burnett’s in their huge American La France ( Mr Toad).
Prizes were presented in no particular order by Monty, but there were plenty of laughs. Prizes were won by the Charabanc team (best dressed) with Alan Price driving, furthest distance travelled to event,( Reece and Sue Burnett) oldest car participating (Barry Birchell 1903 Cadillac) ,Closest estimate for miles travelled etc.
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