Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Last weekend the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of New Zealand had their AGM in Wellington which included a display on Taranaki Wharf on Saturday morning.
There was around 50 Alfas in attendance, spanning the years from the 50s to the present day products.
Alfas were notable in the past for their doubtful reliability and questionable build quality , but have always had their ardent fans because of the magnificent driving experience they give and, apart from a few exceptions, their superb styling.
On the right a 1973 Spider Junior which has been upgraded with a 2 litre engine and next to it the modern day equivalent.
A line up of Spiders, with a 1964 Giulia Spider nearest to the camera.
1986 Alfa 75 1.8 saloon.
The coupes of this era have a timeless style.
They even know how to make an engine look good.
Front wheel drive Alfasuds were not true Alfas to some, but they still offered a driving experience that few other small cars could offer in 1983 when this example hit the road.
This 1988 Sprint 1.7 looks the part in bright red with black bumpers.
Another front wheel drive model.
A 2007 Brera 2.2 with two examples of the late 60s early 70s 1300 GT Junior.
Although similar in appearance to the red Sprint above, the GTV is a more powerful rear drive machine.
Superbly restored Giulietta Sprint from 1958, and again gorgeous styling.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NZs First 6X4 Fuso

I had an e-mail from Norm Vranjes a couple of weeks ago. Norm was the proud driver of New Zealand's first Fuso in 6x4 configuration.
Here it is when it was brand new for Winstones. Norm is the chap on the left.
Here is Norm with the old girl in 2012. The JQ rego plate dates it as a 1971 model.
Norm asks who has worn the best?
Well I guess the Fuso has done the kms, but I somehow think Norm was about long before 1971.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Irv Gordon

You may have read about this remarkable feat elsewhere, but I think it's worth mentioning here as well.
Irv Gordon has covered 3 million miles in this Volvo P1800 he bought new in 1966.
Apparently repairs and maintenance have been minimal.
3 million miles is going on for 5 million kilometres. It makes my recent blog on Michael's Mitsubishi look a bit insignificant.
Read more about it (and see videos) at 3millionreasons.com
The Volvo P1800 is a car I've always liked the styling of and cherry red has got to be one of the best colours to show off the chrome.
Why don't modern cars have more chrome?

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Considering my cars rego plates were issued in Upper Hutt (some 70kms from here) I thought it was quite a coincidence to pull up outside my doctor's this morning and find this car parked behind mine.
The dealer I bought my car from specializes in importing all sorts of used cars from Japan, so the fact that they are both Toyotas is also a coincidence. They may not have even come from the same dealer, but very likely from the same area on the same day.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Out West

My wife and I have just spent a few days in Taranaki, the western protruding bit of the North Island.
This DAF CF85  8 wheeler with 5 axle trailer is a milk tanker operating for Open Country.
The 2013 registered rig passes through Sanson.
Bell Block, north of New Plymouth, is mostly an industrial area and a good place to spot trucks.
This 2002 Volvo FH12 500 seems to be loaded up with rather a "mixed bag".
Kenworth T404 of 2002 vintage is parked next to the Volvo.
BLM Feeds has a mixed fleet.
2012 Kenworth T408, 2007 Scania R470, 2002 Foden A3-8R and a 2011 Freightliner Argosy TSB.
Around the corner in Hookers yard, is their fuel tanker division.
2012 western Star 4884FX rigid with 5 axle trailer and a 2003 Foden A3-8R.
Another Western Star 4884FX tanker, but this time rigged as an artic.
This Cessna 172 Skylane is registered to CTC Aviation Training in Hamilton and landed for a short stop at New Plymouth Airport while we were there.
If you click on the photo to enlarge it you will see a structure on the horizon just forward of the Cessna's tailfin.
This is the Pohukura Gas Field offshore well-head platform.
This old Austin was parked up in Wanganui. It appears to be an old tower truck for servicing overhead tram and trolley bus wires.
Our local council used to have a number of Austins of this model, originally in a dark burgundy colour and later in a mid green with white.
The mouth of the Mowhanau Stream at Kai-iwi Beach. a little north of Wanganui. 
Our trusty Caldina (now with quarter of a million kms on the clock) parked at Cape Egmont Lighthouse.
The rugged shoreline near Opunake is pounded by the prevailing nor' westerlies.
Low tide and a low sun. Late afternoon at New Plymouth.
It is possible to spend many days in Taranaki and not see Mt Egmont (Mt Taranaki) which dominates the landscape in this area, as it is often covered by heavy cloud. But we were lucky enough to have it peek out for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lifeboat on a Goldwing.

Seen in Masterton today: I guess even a Goldwing trike can break down and alternative transport is required.