New Zealand-made cars feature in new book

  • 12/10/2013

Car enthusiasts are flocking to Porirua, north of Wellington, this weekend, where more than 100 New Zealand-designed and built vehicles are on display.

The event coincides with the launch of a book featuring intriguing Kiwi specials and the stories behind them.

When Nigel Humphreys hits the road, he turns heads. What they're looking at is his Asco Aura, a New Zealand-designed and built sports car with bits and pieces from a Triumph Herald, Datsun 180B and Mazda Rotary.

It's a machine he's keen to keep intact.

"I don't have side intrusion bars," he says. "I don't have a rollover cage. I'm a bit cautious in that respect. Short, sharp blasts are what I do."

Mr Humphrey's Asco is one of more than 90 vehicles featured in a new book on the phenomenon of New Zealand-manufactured cars. The author is Patrick Harlow. As a youngster, the technical studies teacher failed the old school certificate English.

It took him 10 years to write the book he says he couldn't convince anyone else to do.

"It's New Zealand history," says Mr Harlow. "It's Kiwiana to the extreme, which nobody knows about and I've been writing the story for that reason."

Kiwiana's sometimes very styley, such as the Hulme Supercar. Or it can be really down-home, such as the Duzgo – the West Coast's first mass-produced vehicle.

Then there's the Trekka, which actually spawned some rip-offs overseas.

The more Mr Harlow researched, the bigger the project grew.

"As I went from place to place, I found more and more people who'd built cars and had them manufactured in New Zealand. Quite a few people have done it in their backyards."

His book's being launched at a car show in Porirua this weekend, where many of the Kiwi classics he wrote about, including the Duzgo, will be on display.

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source: newshub archive