Can­ter­bury Branch Vin­tage Car Club Restora­tion of the Year

Words and pho­tos: Trevor Stan­ley-joblin

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide Events -

The 2016 Restora­tion of the Year judg­ing was con­ducted on Sun­day, June 12 in front of the clu­b­rooms at Cut­ler Park, Mcleans Is­land, Christchurch, as has been the tra­di­tion for sev­eral decades now — I can re­call hav­ing my ma­roon 1947 Ford Mercury V8 118 Town sedan judged back in about 1976.

This year, only three ve­hi­cles were sub­mit­ted for judg­ing. The youngest was a 1981 Tri­umph TR7 sports car. Lynn Scott has owned this for the past seven years or so but only dur­ing the past year has he given it a full restora­tion. Like Lynn’s pre­vi­ous restora­tion, a 1934 Chevro­let three-win­dow coupe, the TR7 has been done to a very high stan­dard.

Next, we had Jeff Tan­ner’s 1973 Range Rover. An in­ter­est­ing point here is the fact that, some­how, when it was reg­is­tered new in De­cem­ber of ’ 73, it was des­ig­nated as a Ford Range Rover! Prob­a­bly a sim­ple cler­i­cal mis­take by the Post Of­fice clerk, but the NZ Trans­port Agency will not rec­tify it. Jeff no­ticed the Rover for sale on the road­side, op­po­site the old es­tab­lished tim­ber/joiner com­pany of Hardie and Thom­son Ltd, in Colombo Street, Christchurch. Now one of the old­est com­pa­nies in Christchurch, dat­ing back to 1908, it still op­er­ates from its orig­i­nal ad­dress, and even to­day, af­ter 108 years, is owned and op­er­ated by de­scen­dants of Mr Wil­liam Thom­son. When Mr Thom­son Ju­nior passed away, this all-orig­i­nal Range Rover was of­fered for sale by the Thom­son fam­ily. Mr Thom­son had pur­chased it new, and used it largely to go salmon fish­ing. One can eas­ily be­lieve that fact, as there is no sign of rough off-road ex­cur­sions. Since pur­chas­ing it just a year ago, Jeff has done a brake over­haul (needed thanks to lack of use rather than overuse), re­placed har­dened rub­ber bushes, and changed all the oils, etc. Other than that, it’s just been a mat­ter of de­tailed groom­ing.

Is this the most orig­i­nal ’ 73 Range Rover in the world? It is prob­a­bly the only Ford Range Rover!

Fi­nally, the third en­try was a 1960 Go­liath Hansa 1100 limou­sine. These are now a very rare car; it’s cer­tainly the only re­stored ex­am­ple I have seen. A lit­tle brother to the big Borgward Is­abella, these Go­liaths were very well en­gi­neered for their time, with a four-cylin­der hor­i­zon­tal-op­posed en­gine lay­out (per­haps Subaru copied it?). Rus­sell Barnard found this eight years ago in an empty sec­tion in Bish­op­dale, Christchurch as not much more than a bodyshell and is grate­fully in debt to Dave Saun­ders of Bish­op­dale for the end­less sup­port, sup­ply of miss­ing parts, and me­chan­i­cal knowl­edge and ad­vice he passed on over the eight years of restora­tion. Dave has been a col­lec­tor of Borgward, Go­liath, and Hansa for many years and, thus, has ac­cu­mu­lated a mass of parts for these Ger­man-made mod­els. There is no doubt that Rus­sell has saved this very rare clas­sic, and New Zealand Clas­sic Car would like to con­grat­u­late him for tak­ing on such a dif­fi­cult project. Once the fi­nal re­sults were tal­lied up it was a close call, with Lynn Scott's out­stand­ing 1981 Tri­umph TR7 tak­ing out first place in the 'Post 1980' (1980-1986) class. First place in the 'Post War' class (1946-1960) went to Rus­sell Barnard's 1960 Go­liath Hansa.

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