NZ Classic Driver


(Motor Show Publishing)

- Lewis Mitchell ISBN 978 1 5272 8593 4 Reviewer’s own copy Review by Mark Holman

I guess motor shows weren’t a major element of the NZ motoring scene during the period covered by this book, largely because of the difficulty of buying new cars for most of that time. However, from Earls Court to Paris, Turin, New York and Tokyo, they were a major event on the internatio­nal calendar for manufactur­ers to introduce new models and for coachbuild­ers to show off their talents.

Lewis Mitchell has collected some 5000 photos taken by amateur photograph­ers at motor shows, and while the quality of the images can be a bit variable and the captioning sometimes hard to follow, the sheer variety of the photos makes the book a delight. Here are ‘concept cars’ such as the Alfa Romeo Canguro and Carabo, Dodge Deora, Bertone Stratos Zero, Mercury Palomar wagon and the Dome Zero. The typically 1970s use of ‘dolly birds’ to draw attention to (or maybe distract from?) the cars on display, gets some attention, draped on the bonnet of a Pininfarin­a Ferrari 512S for instance.

Not surprising­ly, most of the lenses were focused on the exotic and unusual exhibits. So, there are plenty of Ferraris, Lamborghin­is, Aston Martins, Porsches and the like. But more mundane cars aren’t totally overlooked; Fiesta, Skoda S110L and Datsun Bluebird 510 appear too. In fact, the 1967 Tokyo Show photos are amongst the most interestin­g. Oddly, many American cars were on display, but the growing sophistica­tion of local products is evident too, from the sport-racing Nissan R380 and Colt F2 single-seater to the Nissan Gloria and, later on, the ’89 Mazda AZ550 Sports.

I bought my copy direct from the author at 250swb@motorshowp­

£19.95 + postage |

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