New Zealand Classic Car - - The Collectors -

Vic­tors, for ex­am­ple, must have been trimmed in good-qual­ity vinyl, be­cause, 50 years on, it’s still in good con­di­tion and sup­ple.

One lady owner

A Ford Es­cort Mark II was a com­mon car in its day, even the up­mar­ket 1.6-litre Ghia model. How­ever, what makes Peter’s ex­am­ple so spe­cial is that it has cov­ered just 12,600 kilo­me­tres. He is only the se­cond owner, the Es­cort’s first be­ing a lady who used it to go to the su­per­mar­ket, church, and her cards group — and, pre­sum­ably, to get a reg­u­lar war­rant of fit­ness. Oth­er­wise, the car didn’t go any­where. Peter also has a one-lady-owner Mor­ris Mi­nor, while a Nis­san 300Z is two-owner car. The bright yel­low Chrysler Hunter within his col­lec­tion had one owner be­fore him, and Peter be­lieves it to be the last ex­am­ple off the Todd Mo­tors pro­duc­tion line.

A pair of Ford Corti­nas was once owned by one cou­ple — both Mk1 mod­els — a wagon for him and a sa­loon for her. Peter bought them as a set. An­other Ford in the col­lec­tion is a black Consul Mk1 — an­other one-owner ve­hi­cle when Peter bought it.

A Hill­man Su­per Minx, in white with a broad red stripe along the side, came from Christchurch, where it was used as the Lin­wood Fire Sta­tion’s rapid re­sponse unit. Peter can’t say that with­out laugh­ing, but at the time the Minx was prob­a­bly con­sid­ered to be rel­a­tively rapid.

De­spite the strong Bri­tish flavour of his col­lec­tion, Peter’s car-own­ing past has been quite var­ied. Back in his young days, he owned a 1963 Chevro­let Corvette for a while — the rare and very de­sir­able split-win­dow model. This was just one of sev­eral col­lectable, and now valu­able, cars that have passed through his hands over the years.

Most of Peter’s cars are in long-term stor­age, dis­turbed only oc­ca­sion­ally when he wants to get a par­tic­u­lar one out. With them parked bumper to bumper in long lines that seem­ingly dis­ap­pear into the dis­tance, ex­tract­ing one can take most of a day. While the cars may be cov­ered in dust, they are

A time to buy, a time to sell

The best news for car en­thu­si­asts is that most of Peter’s cars can be pur­chased. While there are some that he won’t part with, he would like to down­size his col­lec­tion, as he knows very well that he has enough projects for sev­eral life­times — he reck­ons that it’s time for oth­ers to en­joy some of th­ese clas­sic cars. A few have al­ready gone, while a cou­ple have names on them.

At the time of my visit, the Se­ries III Rapier had been sold to a Taranaki en­thu­si­ast, and was await­ing ex­trac­tion from its rest­ing place. Sev­eral oth­ers might be head­ing to the same re­gion. Peter’s not in­ter­ested in tyre kick­ers, but if a car in the pho­to­graphs grabs your at­ten­tion, or you gen­uinely want a Bri­tish pro­ject car (or two, or …), give him a call on: 027 452 2700.

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