MILEAGE HIS­TORY — STU­ART BIL­BROUGH

New Zealand Classic Car - - Feature -

74.6 miles (120km) to 81.0 miles (130.3km)

A for­mer Cleve­don Auto owner, Ivan Pavlovich, agreed to sort out the me­chan­ics while keep­ing the car as orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble. He took the Stude on its first drive in many years to check for road wor­thi­ness: Cleve­don to Ness Val­ley and back. Ap­par­ently, there was lots of black smoke as she cleared her throat.

81.0 miles (130.3km) to 88.0 miles (141.6km)

An­other drive post new oil, new ra­di­a­tor hoses, and re­place­ment of those rub­ber en­gine parts that had long gone rock hard. New tyres, too. Ivan took the Stude on a short hill climb up Twi­light Road close to Cleve­don. This time there was not a hint of smoke.

88.0 miles (141.6km) to 93.2 miles (150km)

Stu­art drives the Stude home to wait for ap­proval from the NZ Trans­port Agency to re­tain the black plates (suc­cess), get an ex­emp­tion for B-pil­lar re­straints (even­tual suc­cess), as well as re-reg­is­tra­tion and the WOF. At about this time, and be­fore reg­is­tra­tion, was the 45th Eller­slie Clas­sic Car show, where the Studebaker was en­tered into the Sur­vivors Class but didn’t qual­ify for a place due to not be­ing road le­gal. Game on for the 46th show.

93.2 miles (150km) to 97.5 miles (156.9km)

Stu­art takes his ter­mi­nally ill fa­ther, Pe­ter, from home and down Burn­side Road and back. Pe­ter put up an amaz­ing fight but lost his bat­tle to cancer in Oc­to­ber last year — a real shame, as he would have been hugely chuffed with the Stude’s plac­ing first in the Sur­vivors Class Com­pe­ti­tion at the 46th Eller­slie Clas­sic Car Show this year.

97.5 miles (156.9km) to 103.7 miles (166.88km)

The first ride for the joint share­holder in the Cham­pion, Stu­art’s wife, Diana. These miles were an in­vest­ment in the work still to be com­pleted, crack­ing the 100 miles, with only 400 miles to go un­til the first of­fi­cial Studebaker fac­tory– rec­om­mended oil change.

103.7 miles (166.88km) to 108.6 miles (174.7km)

A drive back to Ivan in Cleve­don for the fit­ting of ap­proved lap belts, which was the fi­nal hur­dle to get­ting the Stude regis­tered and its first WOF since 1984, com­pleted by Pukekohe VTNZ. Don’t ask how much Stu­art’s spent on car trans­porters, but, need­less to say, he’s ex­pect­ing a Christ­mas card from Pa­pakura Tow­ing.

108.6 miles (174.7km) to 109.1 miles (175.5km)

Half a mile added over the next five months while Pe­ter Barnard at PJB Up­hol­stery re­placed the floor mat­ting, com­pleted some tar­geted rust preven­tion where sur­face rust had popped up, and fixed the roof lin­ing. It was now De­cem­ber 2017.

109.1 miles (175.5) to 118.4 miles (190.5km)

Stu­art’s 50th birth­day and a self­ind­ul­gent drive to Cleve­don and back on a beau­ti­ful sum­mer’s day to top it off.

118.4 miles (190.5km) to 128.1 (206.1km) miles

Back to Cleve­don the week be­fore the 46th Eller­slie Clas­sic Car Show to get a new WOF, which it flew through. Now road le­gal, the Stude was ready for en­try into the Sur­vivors Class Com­pe­ti­tion.

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