KIWI VINTAGE CAR COLLECTIONS
By Steve Reid ISBN 978 1 86953 872 9 Available from Octane Books Review copy supplied by the publisher Review by Mark Holman
$44.99 AVAILABLE FROM OCTANE BOOKS
Nzclassiccar contributor, Steve Reid, covers 47 cars in this new hardcover book. Sticking to the ‘proper’ definition of vintage (1919–’31), there’s everything here from a 1922 Silver Ghost to a 1929 Dodge DA, a 1923 Ansaldo to a 1921 Brook cycle-car, and even an Austin 7 hearse! Each car gets a brief note on its back story together with a potted history of the marque, and all are illustrated with lots of photos. A couple of the cars have had long-term family ownership while others have had many keepers. Just about all have been subjected to thorough restorations, often over long periods of time.
What you get here is a mixture of well-patinated cars and some mint examples. But what I really liked is that there’s not a single, pampered concours show pony amongst them. Many of the cars are shown in their garage or driveway, but all of them clearly get well used on club runs and the like, as illustrated by the 1924 Beardmore Sports on the cover, with its well-wrapped crew. Some of the cars have clocked up impressive mileages, and it’s clear that a forthcoming big rally can be a great incentive to finish off a restoration that’s been languishing for a while! Another lovely touch with the book is that, as well as seeing the cars as they are now, many owners obviously opened their photo albums for the author, so there are delightful snapshots of their car in the hands of previous owners or under restoration, all of which gives a real sense of the history that these vintage cars possess — the youngest of them is now 83 years old. This is a delightful book that makes you realize how fortunate we are to have so many great vintage cars around New Zealand, and that there are plenty of owners who are willing to share their cars’ stories.