THE NEW ZEALAND PEL­LAN­DINE CON­NEC­TION

New Zealand Classic Car - - Kits And Pieces -

In 1957, Peter Pel­lan­dine and his wife de­cided to move to New Zealand and set­tle in Gis­borne. It was in­tended to be a per­ma­nent move, so he brought with him one of the Fal­con bod­ies that he had used to es­tab­lish his UK Com­pany, Fal­con Shells. The in­ten­tion was to start a sim­i­lar ven­ture here: Fal­con Shells NZ. To help fi­nance it he teamed up with Jim Mccul­lough, a Gis­borne boat builder. At that stage, Jim was build­ing wooden boats un­der the ban­ner Con­dor Craft. Peter of­fered to teach Jim all he knew about us­ing fi­bre­glass to build boats, in ex­change for the use of Jim’s fa­cil­i­ties, and help from his em­ploy­ees to de­sign a new car. Jim not only funded the de­vel­op­ment of the car, but he also cov­ered the wages of his em­ploy­ees, Peter Faulkner, Russ Hunter and David Bai, who set about con­struct­ing a buck of the car us­ing ply­wood, chicken mesh, and lots of plas­ter of Paris. Once the buck had been fin­ished, two sets of moulds were cre­ated. One set went back to Eng­land, and the other stayed in Gis­borne. Three bod­ies were made in New Zealand; one was shipped back to Eng­land with the moulds, one was fin­ished and used for pro­mo­tional pho­tog­ra­phy, and the third was pos­si­bly de­stroyed in a fac­tory fire in 1959, along with the moulds. The fire ef­fec­tively ended New Zealand pro­duc­tion, as Jim was not pre­pared to spend any more money on the car, so Peter re­turned to Eng­land to reap the re­wards of an­other suc­cess­ful car de­sign. In 1962 Peter again headed down un­der, this time to Aus­tralia, where he man­aged to con­vince the Australian gov­ern­ment to spon­sor him to build his first steam car, called the Steam Cat, and started the de­sign of a VW pow­ered car that would even­tu­ally evolve into the Pelland Coupé.

Orig­i­nal pub­lic­ity shots taken at Gis­borne Air­port. Peter Faulkner with Jim Mccul­loch’s sec­re­tary

Peter Faulkner at the wheel of the Fal­con

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