While fossicking through the magazine’s extensive — and, alas, largely disorganized archives — in preparation for the upcoming Volume Three of our Classic Cars of New Zealand book series, I happened across all manner of forgotten photographs and motoring memorabilia. And let me assure you, with over twenty years behind us, there’s a massive amount of material on file. One day, when I finally retire from editing the magazine full-time, perhaps I’ll get the chance to dig into the archives and index everything so it can be easily found whenever required.
A daunting task but it can be done. My friend — motor-racing photographer extraordinaire Terry Marshall — has a great archival system. When I drop him a line looking for specific images, if he’s got them they’re usually in my mailbox within a few hours. Such efficiency!
All that searching through the magazine’s archives also led me to risk a quick dig through my own personal stuff. There was no real reason behind such an archeological dig — with a little time on my hands, it was just a chance to dredge up a few old motoring memories.
Along the way I was hoping to unearth a few photos of the cream Mercedes 300SL Gullwing that had once graced the Winners’ Circle at Ellerslie; at that time the car was owned by Auckland architect, Stuart Mccondach.
Alas, no luck — but I did turn up an image of the Gullwing owned by Southward Motor Museum. It’s interesting to see that museum staff had placed the Mercedes alongside a rather more modern gull-winged car, a Delorean DMC12. Coincidentally, I snapped this photo almost exactly 20 years ago in March 1995.
Remembering the ’80s
Mention of Ellerslie brings me more up-to-date with a brief mention of our inclusion in this month’s feature of the stunning brace of Aston Martin DB2/4S that took part in the Teams Event at this year’s Intermarque Concours.
Although the Astons didn’t win (that honour going to a pair of Porsches), their appearance in the Winners’ Circle reminded me of the Intermarque’s earlier days — my first visit to the show being 1981. At that time, the event catered almost exclusively for British and European classic cars — as well, this was a time when New Zealand didn’t even have a national classic car magazine and, by and large, only car club members and true enthusiasts were even aware of the event. A bit elitist, perhaps, but this was the ’80s! The way it used to be is reflected in a photograph showing a line-up of Ferraris (with a Jaguar XK120 poking its shapely snout into the top left) that I took at Ellerslie in February 1983.
For me, seeing a pair of Astons in the Winners’ Circle — ably backed up by Angus Robson’s gorgeous DB5 ‘survivor’ — was akin to stepping into a time tunnel and traveling back to the ’80s.
For me, that was motivation enough to plan a feature on the DB2/4S to back up the story behind this month’s cover three-pointed star.