Rover Car Club Can­ter­bury Inc.

New Zealand Classic Car - - Club Corner -

The Rover Car Club Can­ter­bury has been part of the ac­tive clas­sic car scene in Christchurch for 42 years. It is a small so­cial group of around 50 en­thu­si­asts with the aim of en­joy­ing, pro­mot­ing, and pre­serv­ing Rover cars in Can­ter­bury. The club has a wellestab­lished for­mula of in­for­mal monthly meet­ings fol­lowed by monthly out­ings to places of in­ter­est, or tour­ing the prov­ince. Rover cars were sold in New Zealand from the early 1900s un­til the com­pany ceased production in 2005. They were an ad­mired and re­spected part of New Zealand’s mo­tor­ing fleet.

A wide range of mod­els is rep­re­sented in the club, in­clud­ing in­creas­ing num­bers of Land Rover Dis­cov­er­ies and Range Rovers, which are be­ing made most wel­come.

The club’s em­pha­sis is on en­joy­ing the cars and en­cour­ag­ing their use. Although the stan­dard of pre­sen­ta­tion has risen over the years, prospec­tive mem­bers cer­tainly don’t need a pris­tine car to join, and any Rover enthusiast is wel­come.

The eclec­tic mem­ber­ship ranges from those con­tent to de­rive plea­sure from just a sin­gle car to the more ra­bid, whose col­lec­tions are com­pletely out of con­trol …

The Rover Car Club Can­ter­bury is af­fil­i­ated with the As­so­ci­a­tion of Rover Car Clubs New Zealand (rover­cars.co.nz). It reg­u­larly com­mu­ni­cates with other Rover car clubs and par­tic­i­pates in an an­nual na­tional rally hosted in a dif­fer­ent re­gion each time. Th­ese are pop­u­lar as a means of see­ing dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try and meet­ing a wider range of fel­low en­thu­si­asts.

The club has a com­pre­hen­sive li­brary of tech­ni­cal man­u­als, and each model has a ded­i­cated ad­vi­sor to ren­der ad­vice or re­fer­ral. A monthly mag­a­zine keeps mem­bers in touch with events and items for sale, or of­fers pearls of wis­dom.

Watch out for the Can­ter­bury Roverites as they cel­e­brate 40 years of the Rover SD1 this Labour Week­end. Mem­bers’ cars will be on dis­play in the quad­ran­gle of Christ’s Col­lege on Sun­day Oc­to­ber 23, and other own­ers will be wel­come to bring along their SD1.

Vaux­hall Firenza Sport SL

All the sam­ples come from Ox­ford Diecasts this month. First into the in­spec­tion bay is the long-awaited 1:43-scale Vaux­hall Firenza Sport SL ( VF001). There has only been one other die-cast model of the car be­fore, by Lone Star in about 1:64 scale.

The Ox­ford ver­sion cap­tures the sporty lines of the orig­i­nal very well. There are no open­ing parts, so all the panel and shut lines are neatly de­picted. Sep­a­rate plated parts have been used for the grille, bumpers, wind­screen wipers, and door mir­rors. All other bright­work is rep­re­sented by tampo print­ing. The grille cen­tre is painted black, with the in­di­ca­tor and tail lights picked out in their rel­e­vant colours. The head­lights are clear glazed.

The glaz­ing is flush fit­ting, with both door win­dows be­ing ‘wound down’, al­low­ing the de­tail of the in­te­rior to be ad­mired. There is rea­son­able de­tail on the base, with the rear muf­fler picked out in sil­ver. There has been a bit of crit­i­cism in the model press about the wheels fit­ted to this ex­am­ple, and it has been ex­plained away as the model be­ing based on a real-life car that had ob­vi­ously had its wheels changed at some time. The Firenza is painted mid blue with a black in­te­rior.

The model was late in production, as the first out­put from the tool­ing showed that it was too small for 1:43 scale, so the whole devel­op­ment process had to be re­peated — which shows how thor­ough the Ox­ford process is.

Den­nis F8

From time to time, com­pa­nies make spe­cial mod­els for cer­tain mar­kets. This is usu­ally limited to spe­cial colours and liv­er­ies. Siku has made quite an ef­fort in this field, with per­haps the Mercedes am­bu­lances be­ing the most re­al­is­tic, although they are all ba­si­cally toys. Ox­ford Diecasts has just re­leased two fire ap­pli­ances in New Zealand liv­er­ies in 1:76 scale.

The first, is a Den­nis F8 in Christchurch New Zealand Fire Ser­vice (NZFS) liv­ery. The over­all look of the model is good, with some small de­tail­ing ev­i­dent. Items such as the hose reels are com­plete with sep­a­rately coloured hoses. All the hinges and han­dles are neatly picked out in sil­ver, as is the pump sec­tion in­serted at the rear. The grille is a sep­a­rate cast­ing, painted sil­ver, with the ‘DEN­NIS’ logo plate in the cor­rect po­si­tion. The head­lights are clear glazed, which is a plus at this scale.

The glaz­ing is snug fit­ting. The in­te­rior is moulded in black, so is hard to dis­cern, but, at this scale, you can’t ex­pect too much de­tail. There is some de­tail­ing on the plas­tic base, and the wheels look au­then­tic, though the front axle is too long, but that can be fixed.

Nat­u­rally, the Den­nis is painted red with a black roof (bet­ter than the first mock-up, which was in a mod­ern red and white fin­ish!). The locker doors above the rear wheel are signed for ‘Christchurch Fire Board’, ‘C.F.B 18’ be­hind the crew doors, with the NZFS logo on the crew doors. The reg­is­tra­tion plate is ‘DV3445’ (Fer­rymead pre­served), although the liv­ery matches an ear­lier in­car­na­tion of the fin­ish.

Ob­vi­ously, there have been some com­pro­mises us­ing a stan­dard cast­ing, such as the in­clu­sion of bells in­stead of a siren, and the blank sil­ver square where the spot­light is, above the off­side head­light.

Land Rover

The sec­ond NZFS model is a for­ward-con­trol Land Rover with Carmichael FT6 body­work. This, too, is a good lit­tle model, and rep­re­sents one from the Te­muka Brigade (AH9891). De­tail­ing is com­pre­hen­sive. The whole top sec­tion has been moulded in clear plas­tic then painted, so the win­dows are left clear, giving a neat glaz­ing ef­fect. The mi­nus side is that light can shine through and spoil the so­lid­ity of the fin­ish.

Both the fire en­gines are avail­able in New Zealand model shops, but it pays to shop around, as there seems to be a pre­mium set on them, even though they are stan­dard is­sues.

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