READERS’ WRITES Holden on
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.