HISTORIC CAR FEATURES

Historic car feature stories.

NZ Nostalgia

NZ Nostalgia

The following photos and words show some of New Zealand’s post-WWII vehicles at work in various occupations. Our HV contributor, Colin Miller, is checking through his extensive archive and has promised more historic info.

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The Tipo 184 is a classic racer look-like

The Tipo 184 is a classic racer look-like

Yes, we know the title of this website indicates its ‘classic’ raison d’être, but the scarcity of true classics and their climbing prices puts many machines out of reach. Enter the Alfa Romeo Tipo 158 look-alike: the Tipo 184.

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Cobargo Classic Vehicle Rally

Cobargo Classic Vehicle Rally

The Cobargo Classic Vehicle Rally was held in this NSW South Coast town in early November. As usual, HV’s Sapphire Coast representative, Mick W, was on hand to take happy snaps of the wide variety of cars, trucks and bikes on display.

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Bega Machinery & Classic Vehicle Rally 2023

Bega Machinery & Classic Vehicle Rally 2023

The 2023 Bega Machinery & Classic Vehicle Rally was held in October and Historic Vehicles’ NSW Sapphire Coast representative was there to take some happy snaps of the displays – mainly cars, but some interesting trucks, bikes and farm machinery as well.

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Jeep’s Rubicon Trail adventure turned 70 in 2023 

Jeep’s Rubicon Trail adventure turned 70 in 2023 

The famed Rubicon Trail in the USA is the pinnacle off-road travel experience in the Jeep Jamboree calendar and the event had its 70th anniversary in 2023. We scored a drive across the Rubicon back in 1998, making this a 25th anniversary year for us.

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Our cars

Our cars

Some of our Historic Vehicles website visitors were curious to know what vehicles Jim Gibson and Allan Whiting have owned as daily drives over the past 60-odd years, so here they are.

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The 19th Falcon GT Nationals

The 19th Falcon GT Nationals

The 19th Falcon GT Nationals event was held in Bathurst, NSW,  in May 2023. Some 430 cars were exhibited and we’re privileged to have the accompanying video of the occasion.

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Clessie Cummins’ Cars

Clessie Cummins’ Cars

Cummins is synonymous with diesel engine power for trucks, earthmovers, boats, mining equipment and generators…but not passenger cars. That wasn’t Clessie Cummins’ fault, because he tried his damndest.

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Surviving Austin Freeway prototype

Surviving Austin Freeway prototype

Surviving prototype cars are scarcer than hens’ teeth, so we were pleasantly surprised to be told of one that not only survived the past 60+ years, but was in regular use until relatively recently.

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Can you legally make a replica car

Can you legally make a replica car

A recent European court case has highlighted the shaky ground on which replica car makers set up shop. Some original vehicle makers (OEMs) don’t seem to mind their designs being replicated, while others forbid the practice. We try to sort out the liabilities.

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Porsche’s first electric vehicle

Porsche’s first electric vehicle

When Porsche enlarged its range of post-2022 electric cars, from the Taycan and Macan to other models in the range, it was déjà vu for the German marque, because Ferdinand Porsche’s first design effort was an electric car, back in 1898.

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Cars in Tassie

Cars in Tassie

On a 2023 visit to the Apple Isle we came across many interesting vehicles, including some in the most unexpected places. Here are the highlights.

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The Samurai’s MG

The Samurai’s MG

In 2017, on the 20th anniversary of Japanese movie star Toshiro Mifune’s death in 1997, an exhibition entitled The World Famous Mifune was held at Tokyu Department store in Shibuya, Tokyo. Star exhibit was Mifune’s beloved MG TD.

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The Addams Family car

The Addams Family car

Old car freaks, who are also Netflix series watchers, have asked us what is the make and model of the latest Addams Family vehicle. In a departure from previous movies, it’s a 1938 Pontiac, but with extensive modifications.

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Historic X-8 Engines

Historic X-8 Engines

The ‘X’ configuration attracted a number of engine designers, including – most notably – Henry Ford. We’ve chosen X-8 initiatives with some automotive applications for this report, but all of them were fated to fail.

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Arnolt-MG

Arnolt-MG

The decision of Chicago, Illinois-based car dealer and accessories vendor Stanley H ‘Wacky’ Arnolt to market his own series of imported sports cars in the early 1950s had far-reaching consequences that affected important players in the automotive industry.

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Wandandian Woodchop and Car Show

Wandandian Woodchop and Car Show

We ventured along to cover the above event at this hamlet on the NSW South Coast, in October 2022. A couple of the Shannons’ crew  – Sheena and Neville – were there to support the event, and were busy all day at the tent, fielding enquiries from many car owners. 

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Mazengarb Morries and Notas

Mazengarb Morries and Notas

Barry Sainsbury was the second and last manufacturer of the Aussie designed and built Mazengarb overhead valve conversion kit for the post-War Morris Minor’s side-valve engine.

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Did fuel consumption improving gadgets ever work

Did fuel consumption improving gadgets ever work

To the old maxim that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes, there’s a third element: fuel prices continue to rise. Right from the early days of the motor vehicle came inventions that claimed to reduce the size of the hole in motorists’ pockets.

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The man who invented cruise control

The man who invented cruise control

In many lists of little-known automotive historical facts is a tidbit about the engineer who invented cruise control: he was actually blind. Yeah, that seems pretty incredible, but that’s where the info about Ralph R Teetor begins and ends for most.

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Shannons Sydney Classic 2022

Shannons Sydney Classic 2022

The annual Shannons’ sponsored classic car show was organised by the Council of Motor Clubs and hosted at the Eastern Creek Motorsport Park by the Australian Racing Drivers Club. 

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The world’s oldest prestige vehicle just turned 130

The world’s oldest prestige vehicle just turned 130

The tiny Daimler Motor Car of 1892 looks even smaller, standing beside two magnificent Mercedes-Benz 770 ‘Grand Mercedes’ WO7 models from the 1930s. However, it fits in this picture perfectly, because, like them, it was the prestige vehicle of its time.

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Gettin’ aboard a V8 Ford

Gettin’ aboard a V8 Ford

Vicki W is a blue-blood Ford groupie. As a young girl she loved going to the Castlereagh Drag Races in western Sydney. That led to a lifetime of Ford V8 ownership.

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The SU Carburettor

The SU Carburettor

Those of you of a certain age who visited or originated in the UK will be familiar with the chain of shoe shops called Lilley & Skinner which were a common sight in the High Streets of most towns. This shoe business was started in 1835 by one Thomas Lilley.

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Bonnie and Clyde Ford V8 getaway car

Bonnie and Clyde Ford V8 getaway car

The 21-month crime spree by legendary US villains Bonnie and Clyde – Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow and their gang – in the early 1930s, is the stuff of legends and has inspired two major movies. Their preferred getaway car was Henry Ford’s then-new V8.

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Ode to Holden

Ode to Holden

Here’s a poem written about the release of the first Holden in 1948. Ron Williams wrote it for the 48 215 50th Anniversary when he attended the celebrations at Lang Lang, Fishermen’s Bend and Albert Park.

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Eagers Automotive history

Eagers Automotive history

Eagers Automotive Limited is the leading automotive retail group in Australia and New Zealand, with a long and proud history of more than 100 years, including an attempt on the Australian land speed record.

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Mr Radley’s Mountain Drive

Mr Radley’s Mountain Drive

In 2013, Rolls-Royce was looking for an appropriate way to introduce the new Wraith that the company billed as the most powerful, dynamic motor car in Rolls-Royce Motor Car’s 109-year history. R-R chose the timing to coincide with the centenary of the 1913 Alpine Trial.

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50 years of BMW M models

50 years of BMW M models

“A company is like a human being: as long as it goes in for sports, it is fit, well-trained, full of enthusiasm and performance,” so said Robert Lutz, BMW AG board member, back in 1972. Thus was christened the youngest subsidiary of BMW AG at the time, BMW Motorsport GmbH. 

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Ford Model T Speedsters

Ford Model T Speedsters

There was never an official Ford Speedster, based on the ubiquitous Model T, but various forms of ‘Speedsters’ were produced by ‘hot rodders’ in the post-Word War I period, as alternatives to the much more expensive Stutz and Mercer performance two-seaters.

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Looking back at Longford

Looking back at Longford

The Longford Circuit was a temporary motor racing course laid out on public roads at Longford, 23 kilometres south-west of Launceston in Tasmania, Australia.

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