New Zealand Classic Car
THE NEW ZEALAND PELLANDINE CONNECTION
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.