New Zealand Classic Car - - Reader's Writes -

With ref­er­ence to your re­cent edi­to­rial about see­ing cars for the first time — for me, it was a Holden Brougham parked in the Up­per Sy­monds Street car park next to the wa­ter reser­voir, in 1979.

At the time, I worked at the head of­fice of Ace Traders in Mount Eden Road, and walked past that car park each day. I re­call see­ing the gold-coloured Brougham and be­ing very cu­ri­ous about a type of Holden I had never seen be­fore.

I asked friends who were in the au­to­mo­tive busi­ness, and they ex­plained the Bel­mont, Kingswood, Premier, and Monaro model or­der of most Hold­ens around at the time. From them, I learned that the Brougham was the lux­ury limou­sine model — the Holden of all Hold­ens back then.

Roll for­ward to 2002, and I was look­ing for an old Holden to fix, re­pair, re­store, and have fun with. I was look­ing for a six-cylin­der HK/ HT/HG Bel­mont for less than $1K. A cousin of mine had just pur­chased one for less than $500, and it came with a boot-load of parts and five spare doors!

But, as fate would have it, a 1971 HG Holden Brougham was ad­ver­tised in Trade & Ex­change about then. No price was listed, just a re­quest for a trade for a boat. Alas, I didn’t have a boat to trade. De­spite that, I phoned the seller, asked about the pos­si­ble price in dol­lars, and went to have a look. There it was, be­neath a car cover at the very back of a garage un­der a house in Welling­ton.

Painted in Mediter­ranean Blue with a vinyl roof, com­plete with the ‘Brougham’ tag on the rear pil­lar, just as I re­mem­bered from 1979.

Clearly, this was a non­sense, as there is/ was no such ve­hi­cle as a 1997 356, but I saw no point in ar­gu­ing that point right then — I was more in­ter­ested in get­ting to drive the darned thing af­ter two-and-a-half years’ hard work and had had a guts-full of pa­per­work by that time.

Any­way, I am now pleased to be able to re­port that the as­sess­ments folk at NZTA have de­ter­mined that I am, in­deed, the first and only ‘reg­is­tered per­son’ of this ve­hi­cle.

It has also been de­cided that the orig­i­nal reg­is­tra­tion as a 1997 Porsche 356 Speed­ster was in­cor­rect, and the car now be­comes a ‘1997 LVV Replica Porsche’ — quite sen­si­ble as far as I am con­cerned, as

I bought it as is where is and started the jour­ney to get­ting it war­ranted and run­ning again — at the time I took it over, the Holden had been through only four own­ers and had around 100,000 miles [about 160,930km] on the clock.

My ini­tial bud­get to buy an old Holden for $1K had blown out to $5K, plus a dol­lar or two along the way since then.

I’ve now owned this car for 13 years, and have loved driv­ing it. My favourite part of at­tend­ing car dis­plays and shows with the car comes when peo­ple come up to me and say — “It’s a Brougham!”

I know it’s a Brougham, that’s why I bought it!

Stephen Macart­ney, Tau­ranga

Great story, Stephen — and I bet your Brougham’s worth rather more than $5K th­ese days! AGW.

it has long borne clar­i­fi­ca­tion by way of a wind­screen la­bel as pic­tured de­scrib­ing it as “A 1997 replica of a 1957 Porsche”.

This was added as I am quite proud of hav­ing man­aged to build some­thing like this af­ter a work­ing life­time spent in the bank­ing in­dus­try — any­body can buy a car, but ac­tu­ally putting some­thing to­gether your­self pro­vides an al­to­gether dif­fer­ent level of sat­is­fac­tion.

In­ci­den­tally, NZTA did apol­o­gise for the time this has taken to sort out, ac­com­pa­nied by its thanks for my un­der­stand­ing and pa­tience as well as a very nice com­pli­ment about the “beau­ti­ful car”.

Clearly, with all the signs of an­other open­topped sum­mer, San­dra and I need to get out and en­joy the re­des­ig­nated ‘beau­ti­ful car’ while we can!

Dave Bray, Welling­ton

Here’s look­ing for­ward to a sunny sum­mer so that Dave and San­dra can re­ally en­joy their ‘ new’ LVV Replica Porsche. AGW.

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