DAY-GLO METALFLAKE DREAMS
As a 28-year-old, Lachlan spent his time worrying about whether he had a clean shirt to wear and where his next beer would come from. Not Tim Jones. Tim has spent the previous 15 years competing on the world stage as a professional athlete, reaching the heady heights of senior rugby in Canterbury, and building an enviable collection of cars. We caught up with Tim to find out how the 28-year-old has come to own a wide array of predominantly Italian classics and to ask — given his youth and such a cool collection — where he’ll go from here
Tim Jones’ love of classic cars runs deep. He grew up in a household in which classic cars were simply a part of life, and some of his earliest memories are of riding in some weird, wild, and wonderful cars with his dad, Richard, at the wheel. Alfa Romeos were certainly a favourite, but Tim’s father owned a bevy of others, including a BMW 2002 — Richard started the BMW Car Club of Canterbury in the 1980s, and, in 1994, he opened ‘The Italian Job’, an Italian workshop in Addington that still operates today (albeit without Richard’s involvement). Richard’s first car was a ’39 Chevy, and, since then, he’s tinkered away on old cars and passed on the love to his kids — Tim and his brother, Nick, were 10 and 7, respectively, when they were given a Lancia each. Tim’s was a ’63 Flavia, and Nick got a ’63 Fulvia 1C. This was despite some trepidation from their mum, Robyn, but the boys weren’t about to let the opportunity pass, and the rest, is history.
Go for gold
Alongside Tim’s growing passion for classic cars, he somehow managed to find time for school and a glittering athletics and rugby career. When he was 17 years old, he was selected to represent New Zealand in the Youth Olympic Games in Sydney, where he won gold in the 200m (23 seconds flat was the time, quite possibly quicker than some of the cars in Tim’s collection!). Later that year, he was offered an opportunity to compete at the secondary-school world
champs in Morocco. This was a large financial commitment for his parents, so Tim was given a choice: take the trip or get a car (an Alfa Gtv).making all of us car people proud, he took the car. This outcome suited Tim well, as he was keen to concentrate on rugby for a bit, as he was in the Christchurch Boy’s High School 1st XV, which won the New Zealand and world secondary-school championships. Tim was then selected for the Canterbury U18s and New Zealand U17s, playing alongside such recognizable names as Dagg, Whitelock, and Crotty.
Tim’s rugby career continued for a couple of years out of school, and he made senior club sides, but soon decided that athletics was where his passion truly lay. He spent three years concentrating on that discipline, which culminated in a national title for the 400m in 2010 (47 seconds). From there, he travelled to Japan twice with the New Zealand men’s relay team.
In between all this, he also found himself in front of the camera as a male model for a couple of years, too. Whew, I’m getting tired just writing about Tim’s life, let alone living it! Anyway, I think you’ll be getting a picture of what he’s about. He’s definitely a high achiever and, indeed, a perfectionist.
1969 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior
The first time Tim spent his own cash on a car was when he was 18 years old. This was a 1969 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior, a dream car for Tim, as Richard has owned a 105-series Alfa for a number of years. When the car appeared on Trade Me, Tim spoke to his dad, who knew a previous owner in the 1980s (in fact, he still had a few photos of the car from when it was based in Christchurch). As Tim was jogging on the spot, it didn’t take long for him to jump at the chance to own the car.
The GT 1300 was his daily- driver during his university days, and she still gets taken out for a blast once a month to keep her going. He intends to do a full restoration on the car when time permits, hoping to bring it back to as- close-to-new condition as possible.
1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti
Some 18 months passed, and Tim had been happily putting around in his wee Alfa until he spotted another one on Trade Me. This time, it was an original Giulia, the same as his dad’s — a car he had coveted for so long. This old Alfa was parked in a paddock in Queenstown, having not been roadworthy for some years.
Tim got in touch with the owner, who agreed to get the car up to Christchurch for him. Amazingly enough for any old car, let alone an Alfa, she started and ran. Tim even managed to drive the car off the trailer and put few kilometres under his belt prior to getting the bodywork underway. This has since been completed, and the Giulia is now waiting for paint and a new VIN.
A proper collector
As time went by and money permitted, Tim continued to purchase a few of his dream cars as they popped up online, and he began to realize that he was perhaps a proper car collector. This fuelled his passion for collecting even more.
A 1965 Lancia Fulvia 2C arrived next, one of only two in New Zealand. The car has covered just 36,000 miles (57,936km), although Tim is very keen to get her back to her former glory and has plans for a full restoration at some point in the near future. Soon after, he took ownership of a 1963 Fiat 500D, which is the early suicide-door model, and completed a full restoration and mechanical rebuild four years ago.
When a 1971 Citroën DS21 popped up for sale, Tim simply knew he had to have it. He flew up to Wellington and jumped in, ready for the not-too-daunting trip home. All was going well until he was just a few kilometres out of Kaikoura, when the head gasket blew. Tim had to walk a couple of kilometres to manage mobilephone reception and rally the troops (in the form of dear old Dad). Some hours later, Richard appeared with a trailer, ready to roll. Unfortunately, the trailer wasn’t equipped with a winch, and, as the DS was stuck on the side of the road in a gravel pit, the chances of pushing it onto the trailer were slim. Worse, in the time it had taken Richard to arrive, the hydraulics had given out, and the DS was sitting right down on its haunches. Using a bit of nous, Tim and Richard managed to use the starter motor, and, in first gear, bunny-hopped the car gradually onto the trailer. Once it was loaded up and ready to go, they started what ended up being a five-hour journey home — the tow car being a manual BMW 318i.
The DS turned out to have a rottedout radiator, and so began the process of putting it back together. In February 2011, when the second quake hit, Tim was attending the University of Canterbury and using the DS as his daily-driver to haul his band’s gear into the CBD (oh yeah, Tim was in a band as well … what are you doing with your life?). Luckily, he was outside the area that became the red zone, and avoided injury.
1963 Lancia Flavia Pininfarina coupé
As Tim’d been gifted the Flavia at a very young age, the car had ingrained itself into his psyche. Since it had been sold due to storage issues some years earlier, Flavia ownership remained a priority for Tim, and, when he thought he could afford it, he reached out to a renowned Italian enthusiast in South Auckland, Wim Leroy. Wim knew there were only five of the cars in the country, and thought he might know of one for sale. Suffice it to say that Tim’s expectations weren’t high, but, luckily, Wim managed to help him get in touch with the owner, and, following some back and forth communication, he once again became the proud owner of a Flavia coupé — this one which he won’t let slip through his hands.
After some slick detective work, he managed to ascertain that the car was built in Turin, Italy, in 1963, and covered 100,000km in the next four years.
It was imported into New Zealand on September 1, 1967, by Giuseppe Renato Candiano — further research uncovering that Giuseppe was an Italian engineer / tunnel builder who came to New Zealand to work on the Tongariro Power Project, which commenced in 1967. The Milan engineering company won the contract to build the longest section of tunnel, at 22km.
In 1969, the car was sold to a fellow Italian engineer/worker on the same project — Luigi Poli — and, upon completion of Tongariro Power Project — presumably after the Italian workers left — the car was sold on to a Malcolm Stewart, who lived in Auckland.
From there, the Flavia went through a number of car-sales yards, and then was off the road for approximately 20 years awaiting a full restoration. During this time, it passed through a number of hands, all people who purchased it with the intention of restoring it, Tim’s dad included, from 1994 to 2000. However, it only got the right attention when a previous owner, Michael Findlay of Port Chalmers, Dunedin, carried out a full restoration in time for the 2011 Latins by the Lakes biannual rally.
1971 Lancia Fulvia coupe 1.3S
Tim had bought a Fulvia in need of a full and comprehensive restoration. He knew it was going to be a fair way down the list of priorities, but he also knew he had to have one in his collection. Not long after he bought the original, a teaser of a one-owner car popped up on a local auction site, with the seller indicating