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Newsletter August 2017

Cover Photo: Rienk Asscher’s latest vehicle which graced us with its presence on last Sunday’s Garage Raid. Thanks for the article Rienk. See page 18 for the story. Closing Date for Wairarapa Zenith: 15th of each month. Contributions should be emailed to the Editor— or posted to: PO Box 7, Masterton, 5840.

Wairarapa Branch of the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand Clubrooms Postal Address Branch Website Club Night Spare Parts Committee Meet

A&P Showgrounds, Chester Road, Clareville PO Box 7, Masterton, 5840

First Monday of the month (except January— none) and June (second Monday) at 7.30pm. Open each Tuesday morning following club night. Second Tuesday of each month at 7.30 pm

Call and see

Trevor Kenavan for all your joinery requirements

150 Main Street, Greytown Phone: 06 379-8008 Fax: 06 304-9004 2

Your Committee 2017/18 Chairman:

Willie James

372 4890

Immediate Past Chairperson/ Treasurer: John Clark 378 0380 Vice Chairman: Secretary: Tina Goodin Club Captain: David Hunter

02041099552 379 9224

Committee: Paul Furkert Gary Lang Brian Billing

379 5355 372 7593 021 242 6240

Andrew Dittmer 379 6967 Custodian: Earl Goodin

02041099552 379 7918

Librarian: Pat Dutton Beaded Wheels Reporter: Kevin Ball 377 1236 Social Convenor: Val Ball 377 1236 Spare Parts: Frank Lipinski 379 7167 Tom Mitchelmore 379 7573 Magazine Editor: Jim Philps 370 9118 Vehicle Inspectors: Francis Pointon 378 6710 Graham Reidy 372 7855 Hugh Hunter 306 9847 3

What’s on locally…….. JULY Sun 30th AUGUST Mon 7th

Sun 13th Sun 20th Sun 27th

Bangers and Beer afternoon starting at 2 pm. Club Night . Our speaker is Doug Curtis. For those of you who don’t know Doug he has had a long and interesting life. Door John and Sheila Clark. Please note that this is a “special meeting” as discussed at the recent AGM to ratify the financial accounts and elect a new Treasurer. See page 7. Gravel Road Challenge. Organizer Paul Furkert. Details on page 6. Bangers and Beer afternoon from 2-5pm. Please note the change of date from what was previously advised. VCC National day. Organizer Andrew Dittmer. See Details on page 24.

SEPTEMBER Mon 4th Club night. Gary and Barbara Lang on the door. Speaker will be Andrew Dittmer talking on his mysterious past life. The imagination boggles. Sun 10th Peter Smith Memorial Rally. Organized by the Austin Registry. OCTOBER Mon 2nd Club night to be arranged. Door Hugh and David Hunter. Sun 8th New members Rally. See page 13. NOVEMBER Sun 5th Stretched Gymkhana. Organizers Andrew Dittmer and Paul Furkert. See page 16 for details. Mon 6th Club night to be arranged. Tue 14th Fri 17th Peter Chisholm Memorial Rally . Organizers Neville and Beth Taylor. See page 23.

From your Chairman Hi Members What a winter blast you all received last week. Sharyn and I were lucky to be having a break in Fiji and arrived home late on Sunday. Upon inspection of our farm, two bridges are out of action, fences flattened by slips and must be rebuilt and cleaned of debris. Many slips are scarring the hillsides. 156 ml of rain over such a short period certainly caused some damage. 2003 was the last big storm we had up our valley. That's farming!!! Fiji proved to be very convivial place for a break with temperatures around 20 – 24 degrees - a bit cold for swimming. It’s 20 years since I was there last so I noticed huge changes. Denarau was just starting to be dug out of the mangroves and now it’s a thriving tourist centre. All the cars a quite modern Jap imports but very expensive for the locals to buy. All the old cars are left on the family plots as there are no crushing machines in Fiji. I'm sure there must be plenty of old classic cars hidden away in the jungle and villages. What an adventure that would be!! The roads are improving due to Fulton Hogan and Higgins - the main roading contractors. The further out of town you get the rougher they are. 80km maximum is the speed limit and the cops are strict. So if you are caught speeding you will have to pay $25 to the local Post office. I read a report in the local newspaper about the Fiji Car Club gaining major sponsorship from Pacific Energy (a local oil company) for F$120,000. Imagine that for the VCC. The motoring fraternity lost a car enthusiast by the name of Rex Tatton last week and our condolences go to the family. Rex and his brothers Derek and Stan started Tatton Brothers car dealership in Masterton and Carterton. A lot of our members have probably got some of their vehicles in their collections. I remember purchasing a 1971 Valiant Hemi Ute which went like the clappers and a Mitsi Sigma station wagon which we had for 10 years when the kids arrived. Our two families were friends and so I was very lucky to be invited by Rex with his son Brian to the last Grand Prix at Ardmore with all those famous drivers in attendance and the following two years at Pukekohe's brand new track as well. Happy times. I must remind new members that the editor of our 50 Year History book requires photos of their cars and a note about them to put in the book. Please contact Maureen Bull direct on 377 4490. Keep the wood fires burning, Willie


Gravel Road Challenge A half day rally with the aim of maximising the amount of gravel roads travelled over the course of the rally route, whilst giving participants a chance to travel on some seldom traversed stretches of road.

2017 Rally Details Date Sunday August 13th 2017 Start (and finish) at the VCC Clubrooms, Clareville Driver’s briefing at 9:45 for a 10am start Rally results announced at lunchtime (BYO) at the clubrooms at the end of the rally There are no planned stops on the rally route, but you will be driving south down Carterton’s High Street, so will be able to stop at the public toilets if needed. The route map is available on our web site ( wairarapavcc/Rallys/2017-Gravel-Challenge-route) Knowing the route in advance won’t assist with wining the rally, but will give you an idea of the route if you are in two minds as to whether to attend this rally

Notes for participants Included with the rally instructions will be a number of questions The answers to questions (from each rally participant) are used to determine the rally winner The number of questions (and subject matter) is decided by the rally organiser Rally winner is expected to set the following year’s “Gravel Road Challenge” rally (with help from committee members as required) The aim for the next year’s rally should be to devise another interesting route that includes some gravel roads And if you want to take up the “Gravel Road Challenge”, try and better the total gravel miles and unique gravel miles figures from previous rallies.


Special General Meeting 7th August 2017 AGENDA The Audited Accounts for the 2016/2017 year are to be presented to the Club. To call for nominations for the position of Club Treasurer. RATIONALE The ‘stand in’ Treasurer will not be continuing as ‘Club Treasurer’. Those that attended the Annual A.G.M. will recall that John Clark offered to stand in as Treasurer until another Treasurer could be found. No-one at that point had offered their services. Although he had never held that position in any organisation he had belonged to, he made this offer as he considered that one person holding both the Treasurer and the Secretary positions was putting too much strain on that person. He has found that he is not suited to hold the position of Treasurer – it is not his forte. He required help from the Secretary (Tina Goodin) and a lot of help from Tony Lane to negotiate his way around the figures, and he believes that they are correct to date. At the club committee meeting on the 8th August he will be handing the account books back to the Club. He has made some enquiries as to the cost of employing a non Club Member to keep the accounts, pay bills etc. and it appears that this is likely to exceed $2000.00 p.a.

I humbly apologise for the confusion I have caused over the naming of the August rally—”The Gravel Road Challenge”. In last month’s Zenith I referred to it as the Janice Groves Memorial Rally. The traditional Janice Groves Memorial Rally will now take place in early December. More details nearer the time. Myrna Lane 7

Margaret Gee Memorial Rally – Garage Raid 9 July 2017 It was bad news, good news, bad news, for those who gathered at the Masterton Town Hall car park for the July rally. The bad news was that Kevin Ball had commenced organising the run but was then overtaken by health problems and is currently in hospital. The good news was the organising of the run had been handed to your Club Captain (that’s me). The bad news was your Club Captain had never organised a rally before in his life so the potential for failure was disturbingly high. Kevin had got so far as settling on the two morning visits but his proposed afternoon one in Carterton was not possible so an 11 th hour plan B had to be found. A big thank you to the Dittmers and Ian Ingram who did not hesitate to open their garages when asked. Back to the beginning. A good turnout on a chilly Sunday morning, although the forecast rain had mercifully been put off to later in the day. The assembled participants were told of the morning destinations and given route instructions which were direct and straight forward. No point in getting people lost on garage raids. Because there is a trophy attached to this rally, some sort of contest had to take place. Therefore I had prepared a list of questions pertaining to sights on the rally route and the entrants were encouraged to keep a sharp lookout as they travelled along. I called it an “Observation Rally”. Our first stop was at Peter and Marion Cameron’s property west of Masterton. Peter has a large collection of Ferguson TEA tractors plus an even larger collection of implements attached to them. The largest in New Zealand, Peter told me. Meanwhile Marion, whose interest is working with wool – spinning, weaving and embroidery – that type of thing, provided interest for the women while the menfolk were perusing and talking tractors. Next stop was at Astrolite Body Builders in Masterton, not to see truck bodies under construction but to have a look at Alec and Simon O’Hara’s vehicle projects. Alec hosted this one (it’s his place of work) and had his, Simon’s (his dad) and several other people’s vintage Dodges on show. Then it was follow the rally route to the clubrooms for lunch. The question sheets were handed out and puzzlement 8

There were 22 questions and a choice of 4 answers for each one, so if the correct one was not known, a guess still had a 25% chance of success. Tina was one navigator who diligently looked hard at the surroundings on the journey and to prove the old adage that hard work brings rewards, duly came out the winner (with the help of Earl, of course) with 14 correct answers. So, they won the cup which will be engraved with their names and returned to the trophy cabinet, but get a miniature trophy to take home and put on the mantelpiece for boasting purposes. On the subject of Earl and Tina, I unfortunately omitted their names from the list of participants in my write-up of the June Rally. Yes, they did come on the run and I should have known that because they partake of just about everything the club puts on. That’s why they won the Torq Hudson trophy last year and look like being frontrunners again this year. After lunch some went off home while the rest drove down to the South end of Carterton to view the Dittmer’s Austin 7 pickup and van, both under construction, and Ian Ingram’s Puch motor scooter and other bits. Ian and the Dittmer’s (Sue and Andy) live directly opposite each other and have become very good friends. There is something about a bunch of men standing around in a workshop and our club members are no exception. The conversation just flows, perhaps it’s the heady smell of oils and volatile fluids or something. Maybe a psychiatrist can explain it but all I know is car and bike guys just seem to love it and that is why garage raids are so popular. Well, they certainly are with me. Left: Club Captain David Hunter with the winners Tina and Earl Goodin.


Those who abandoned the comfort of their warm homes and joined in on a less than tropical day were: Tom & Jean Mitchelmore ‘61 Morris 1000 Jeff & Christine Percy ‘56 Nash Rambler Tina & Earl Goodin ‘82 Toyota Starlet Gary & Barbara Lang ‘65 Mustang Ian Ingram ‘73 Hillman Hunter Graham & Annette Clark ‘47 Hillman David Hunter & Simon O’Hara ‘58 Morris 1000 van Peter & Nola Groves ‘59 Austin A55 Paul Furkert ‘49 Landrover Rienk Asscher& Michael Rose ’56 Pontiac convertible Myrna & Tony Lane ’51 Citroen Simon & Andrea Byrne ’52 Armstrong Siddeley Martin & Asrina Hutchinson ’36 Plymouth coupe Barry & Linda Wells ’71 Rover 3500 Willis St Clair Riley 4/72 Francis Pointon ’30 Essex Alec O’Hara Austin 7 Kevin Troy & Bev Cameron Modern Pat Dutton & Jill Kernahan Modern John & Rae Kennedy & Gary Wall Modern Andy & Sue Dittmer Modern Phil & Lyn Smith Modern David Hunter


Astrolite Body Builders in Masterton Alec and Simon O’Hara’s vehicle projects.

Above:1928 Dodge Fast 4 Sedan (owner – Simon O’Hara – work in progress)

Above: 1925 Dodge Truck (owner Alec O’Hara – work in progress). Right:1924 Dodge Truck (owner Alec O’Hara – work in progress).

Left: 1928 Dodge Fast 4 Sedan chassis (owner Simon O’Hara – work in progress). Thanks David for a well organised and entertaining day. Editor


From your Club Captain The July club night had a smaller than average attendance to watch the second half of the movie ‘The Great Race’. We watched the 1 st half at the May club night but when it was realised it was of particularly long length the unanimous decision was to stop halfway. A light hearted bit of fun starring Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood which had the ladies in the gathering (well, some of them at least) taking particular interest when Curtis took to getting around “bare chested”, I noted one call (female voice) from the audience to him to get the rest of his clothing off, which had me shocked, I believed our members to be of refined character and above that sort of thing……………. Kevin Ball had undertaken the organisation of the Margaret Gee Memorial Rally and started to put together a Garage Raid. Unfortunately, health problems meant he could not continue and suddenly the job fell to me. Thankfully several other members quickly offered support and practical help which I very much appreciated. Our Bangers and Beers gathering (the name was thrown up light heartedly by Ray Whitcombe) was an idea of mine that I was discussing at the clubrooms after a rally. Now that we’ve moved from early evening bbqs to winter afternoons, there is no banger (sausages) cooking and, at the last one, no beer drinking. I’m thinking of changing to a more appropriate name and intend canvassing the attendees at the next get together for their thoughts. Also after deciding to make these gatherings on the 4 th Sunday of the month almost straight away it was seen to conflict with the VCC National Day event so had to be shifted for August. When summer eventually comes around again we may shift it for the hotter months. All forthcoming dates will be in the Zenith of course. Another job Kevin Ball had put his hand up to organise is the VCC National Day event. Andy Dittmer was asked if he would like to take over when Kevin had to drop out and not only was there no hesitation but he has thrown himself into the task with enthusiasm. This is a most worthwhile initiative (you can read about it in this magazine as it takes shape) which will raise the profile of the Club and portray us in a positive, community active, way. We all need to get in behind it and participate if possible. David Hunter 12

New Members Rally Once again we are encouraging our new members to organise a rally with the help of a committee member. So, “New Members”, please put your thinking caps on and we will be contacting you all to get your input. You all enjoy driving your vehicles, so………… What sort of roads do you enjoy most? Do you like exploring and finding remote places? Would you be interested in finding how economical your vehicle really is? Do you like a mental challenge? (Observation questions). Do you like to work against a clock? (Timed distances). Do you enjoy the social aspect of a “picnic lunch”? (Even at the club rooms). The route would be about 60-80 miles in length and can include town or country driving. It can be a whole day with a lunch stop or just an afternoon. Do you know of an interesting place or collection we could visit. Please give it some thought and we’ll contact you soon. Wairarapa Branch Committee


Bangers & Beers June 25th A cold drab afternoon and short notice was the obvious reason for only 8 members attending this one but what was lacking in numbers was more than made up by enthusiasm. The newly acquired Bradford van was the focus of attention and after a cursory inspection the collective decision was the body had to go. Next thing grinder sparks were flying, doors were literally falling off (with a little assistance) and the overall activity took on the aspect of an old chook house demolition. The instrument cluster, a comprehensive one by today’s standards, attracted the particular attention of Simon Byrne. He showed himself to be something of an expert on old speedometer mechanisms, giving us a short tutorial of their inner workings. I must admit to not having given any thought to such things, so it was a learning experience for me and to the rest of us it seemed. Not everyone got involved in the Bradford, there is only so much working room around a small van. Hugh had driven up from Martinborough in the 1930 Plymouth he has owned for nearly 50 years and that provided a welcome interest, especially for those not engaged on demolition. The Plymouth was Hugh’s family car for a few years then spent a lot of time in a shed before the restoration commenced in more recent times. It looks good too with its now fashionable ‘patina’ bodywork. It will be a welcome addition on club runs when finished. Rienk unfortunately (because I was looking forward to a close inspection) did not bring along his 1956 Pontiac convertible. Those of you who joined in the garage raid run early 2016 will remember visiting Rienk’s crowded shed in Featherston and viewing among other things, this car in a very stripped state. Well it’s now fully restored and road legal. I’ve even seen Rienk out in it on two occasions but only in passing. Hopefully we will all get the opportunity to give it that ‘once over’ soon.


And so the afternoon went on, with the regulation break around 3pm for smoko. Thanks here to Lynette Hunter for providing scones, cream and jam which found willing partakers. In a more genteel setting we could call it Devonshire Teas. Towards the end of the day Paul took us for a walk out in the fields to show us his proposed course for the Extended Gymkhana. Something new for us to compete in, it will be interesting to see how it develops. Although only a small number of members attended the encouraging thing was they were all relatively new or recently active members. The enthusiasm for the ‘special’ is certainly there with the next mission being to find a suitable engine and perhaps gearbox. Willie James has a side valve Hillman motor to donate so maybe that will do the job. Anyone who wants to help on the project is very welcome, even if it is to just look and offer criticism and helpful comment. By 5pm darkness was approaching and it was time to head off home to the warmth. Another enjoyable afternoon was had by all. Alec O’Hara Simon O’Hara Simon Byrne Paul Furkert Hugh Hunter David Hunter Reink Asscher Michael Rose and Kevin Ball (photographer). Aren’t you lucky David to have such a thoughtful wife who provides afternoon tea for you all. Editor


Wairarapa VCC’s

1st annual “Stretched Gymkhana” Sunday November 5th 2017

This is a new event for the branch, and we have also invited members from all the lower North Island VCC branches to enter this event. Inspired by some of the “off-tarmac” events reported on in the Beaded Wheels, that are held by other branches (especially branches like Banks Peninsular and Waitemata), on Sunday November 5th 2017 the Wairarapa Branch is holding their first annual Stretched Gymkhana. Do you like the excitement of gymkhana style driving on grass? Would you enjoy the challenge of trying to navigate at speed, through a winding course, against the clock? The course will be sufficiently challenging to ensure unsafe speeds cannot be obtained – this isn’t a “Speed Event”. Can you meet the challenge of driving a course consistently, so as to maintain, as far as possible, the same time each lap? If you answer YES to all of these, then the Stretched Gymkhana is an event not to be missed. Event outline: Driver’s briefing will be at 9:30am, with the event expected to finish mid-afternoon (BYO lunch). The course will be between ½ a mile and a mile in length A bit like a classic gymkhana’s cones course, there will be lots of sharp turns on the course (the course will be designed to ensure that excessive speeds (i.e. greater than the speed limit) cannot be obtained) Where possible hazards such as water crossings, hills etc. will be included in the course All drivers will have 3 (or more) timed runs over the course, after which the best time for each driver will be calculated (this becomes their individual target time). From then on drivers have to try and match their target time, with 1/2 the field dropping out each time, until a winner is found For example, if there were 16 drivers, once each driver’s target time has been determined (from the practice runs), all 16 drivers have another run. Then the 8 drivers whose time was closest to their target time would move into the next round. These 8 drivers would have another run, and the 4 whose time was closest to their target time would have another run etc. Notes: This event is not a “Speed Event”. It falls under section 20 of the Branch Manual, as a driving test. For more information please contact the organiser, Paul Furkert ((06) 379 5355 or The inaugural event will limited to 32 combinations (driver + vehicle), so please register early to ensure you don’t miss out The event is reliant on ground conditions being suitable. The organiser may alter the course (or event structure) at late notice if necessary, as dictated by the weather. 16

“Stretched Gymkhana” 5th November 2017

Location: Wairarapa VCC Clubrooms, Chester Road, Clareville, Carterton Driver Briefing: 9:30 am Limited to 32 entries. Early bird entries close 1st November 2017 Post entries to: Rally Secretary Wairarapa VCC P O Box 7 Masterton Email entries to: Organiser: Paul Furkert (06) 379 5355 or ..............................................................................................................................

Entry Form

Stretched Gymkhana 5th November 2017 Names of Driver(s): ............................................................................................ VCC Branch: ....................................................................................................... Contact details (Phone number and/or email): ................................................... Make, model and year of vehicle: ....................................................................... Entry Fee: $10 (per combination (driver + vehicle))

$ ..........................

Late entry fee: additional $5 (for entries after 1 November) $............................. TOTAL

$ ............................

Please make cheques payable to Wairarapa VCC or pay by internet banking to A/c 03-0687-0323649-01 Please put your name and “gymkhana” in the reference.


Cover Story 1956 Pontiac Star Chief 1956 was the second year of the Pontiac overhead valve V8; it was increased to 316 cubic inches (5.2 litres), rated at 227hp and 312 lb ft of torque (with 4 barrel carburetor). It is oversquare (bore 3.94”x stroke 3.25”), and has a 8.9:1 compression ratio. It is a typical small block V8. 1956 was the first year of the GM “controlled coupling” hydramatic transmission (called “Strato Flight” when installed in a Pontiac). Like the earlier hydramatic, this has a fluid coupling (not a torque converter) and 4 speeds. The claimed advantage is smooth, crisp performance and efficiency. The downside was complexity, high manufacturing costs, and lower reliability. By the mid 1960s, a torque converter and three speeds was the industry norm. In 1956 Pontiac shared doors, windows, seats, and convertible top mechanism with Chevrolet, but not much else. Pontiac had two versions: the smaller cheaper Chieftain, and the bigger Star Chief. All are the same width as a Chevrolet; the difference is all in length. The 1956 Pontiac convertible was marketed for its performance and handling (“Sports Car – Family Size!”), and to women (“A Very Special Car for a Very Special Person!”, captioning a picture of a white woman in a purple outfit getting behind the wheel of a white and purple Pontiac convertible). My Pontiac was assembled in Los Angeles, left hand drive. It was painted Bolero Red over Nimbus Grey, with red and white interior in “morrokide” vinyl (morrokide is meaningless; it’s just vinyl). The colour of the original top is unknown. Convertibles only came in Star Chief form, with the most powerful engine, extra chrome, a 124” wheelbase, a clock, and a radio. Our buyer chose the “comfort group” of options: foam cushion seats; E-Z-Eye tinted glass; and a window washer. Other options selected were a handbrake warning light, a continental kit, and dual exhaust. I’m not sure about a heater. It had manual steering, and possibly power brakes. The current New Zealand registration dates to 1975. The Pontiac was extensively rebuilt in the early 1980s, so must have been in poor condition in 1975. Given the import rules in 1975 it is unlikely a rough old car would be brought in, so it probably came into NZ earlier. It came with three broken speedometers, none showing a mileage that reconciles with the papers. The mileages on the papers don’t reconcile with each other. My guess—lots. At one time the red part of the car (the nose) was painted a 1960s heavy metallic red. Continued……….. 18

I bought the car off Trade Me in Dunedin in September 2015 as a project that had been sitting for years and passed through a few hands. A lot of work had been done in the early 1980s. The body had been rebuilt using all lead and steel. The chassis had new brakes etc and was cleaned and painted. The engine had rings, bearings, and valves. The transmission was probably rebuilt. It had new tyres and a new windshield. It had a right hand drive conversion using parts from a 1955 Pontiac RHD four door sedan, probably one of the six imported by GM in 1955. The body was in primer (mostly) The front had been painted white and metallic purple, in an approximation of a 1956 Pontiac option. However the purple was a 1972 Holden colour. Some of the chrome had been replated. It had a new top, custom made in NZ. The car came with boxes of parts. Some parts were missing: indicator housing; master cylinder and mounting; wiper mechanism; various switches; door glass; inside door mechanisms; window rubber; various brackets and fasteners; the hoses and controls for the power top; window washer; and a long body support member that connects the bottom of the front fenders, the front valance, and the hood catch. Many of the new parts had deteriorated since the early 1980s, including the brake cylinders, the windshield, the water pump, the fuel flexi pipe and the motor mounts. The engine had dirt in the cylinders and stuck valves. The vinyl top didn’t fit right and had possibly shrunk with age. Some new stuff was wrong: the auto choke spring; the throttle linkage; and the distributor. The draft tube was neatly positioned in the path of the exhaust pipe, and the dip switch hole had been relocated to the right of the accelerator pedal (think about it....). The RHD conversion had issues. The automatic shift LHD column had been welded onto the manual shift RHD steering box. However, it had not been welded on straight, and the gear selector remained on the right hand side of the column. Worse still, from the factory the steering box (LHD or RHD) is mounted in a cutout in the chassis. To do the RHD conversion, a hole was cut in the chassis. The hole was not finished; pieces of pipe were used as spacers between the steering box and the right hand wall of the chassis to hold the steering box in the right place. A lot of welding (and a big reinforcing plate, just to be on the safe side) was required to sort this. The transmission was a worry. At least it was full of oil, hopefully preserving the seals. Continued over page………….. 19

A lot of work and fabrication were required to assemble this “jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone” (to quote “Bad Bad Leroy Brown”). When deciding to buy it, I figured a mid-1950s GM jigsaw puzzle couldn’t be too bad. This was partially true; much of it is straightforward and well designed. And those parts common to a Chevy are easy to find. However, I wasn’t able to get my hands on a “Fisher Body Manual”, which would have helped a lot. Many hours were spent filling the body. Although all metal, it wasn’t straight. Greater skill would have allowed a better quicker job. I’ll finish it when the weather warms up. I gave a lot of thought to colours. I considered various factory options, including pink/black, green/green, red/black, red/white. I’m happy with the yellow and black I went with in the end. The colours are close to the “Sports Car-Family Size!” print ad you can see online. I had to change the yellow a bit so it would go with the buckskin-coloured top. So, what’s the Pontiac like to drive? It lives up to some of its marketing ballyhoo: the transmission really is “cream smooth”, at least under light acceleration. Whether the engine offers “blazing Strato-Streak power” is a matter of opinion, but it is effortless in modern traffic. I haven’t tried going up hill or overtaking yet, or using more than about a third throttle. The long hood and wrap-around windshield offer a fine view of the road ahead. The ride is excellent, and the car is surprisingly agile, even with manual steering. There is no getting away from the length when you are parking, but it has a good lock, and lots of turns lock to lock keep the steering reasonably light. The embryonic tailfins are a handy indicator of where the car ends. In spite of its length, the interior space is less than my ‘53 Bel Air: the front seats are the same width, and the uncomfortable rear seat is compromised by the top mechanism. The Bel Air fabric seats are more comfortable than the Pontiac vinyl. The dual exhaust sounds good. The brakes have lots of “stop”, but not a lot of edge or feel. As usual, there are things to sort. The steering is ok, but I may be able to do better. The engine fumes, and has an intermittent hydraulic lifter rattle. I’m still fiddling with the choke, throttle linkage, and associated transmission linkage. Something is leaking. The rear bushing in the generator is bad. The heater, fabricated from the parts pile, works ok, but could use a booster fan. I’ve driven less than 300 miles, so the motor isn’t run in, and I haven’t driven far enough to establish MPG. However, I already know the Pontiac delivers on “smiles per gallon”. Rienk Asscher 20

What did you guess?


From your Editor……….. Please note the new email address and telephone number for contacting your new editor. Jim Philps: Phone (06) 370 9118 or Email Looking forward to receiving all your stories and advertisements.

The Vintage Car Club of New Zealand now has a new facebook page. The page will have interesting stories, posts on events and photos of vintage car activities from around the country. To start with, we would like you to do the following: For those who already have a facebook account: Go to the VCC facebook page and LIKE it. Posts will then appear in YOUR facebook stream and you can share them with your friends For those who don’t have a facebook page or don’t want to set up an account: Click on the link below and then save it in bookmarks in your internet browser. You will then have easy access to the page whenever you want to see the latest posts. Please note that this facebook page will include notification of upcoming events and stories but it’s not a buy, sell and exchange page. There are other avenues for that information. We would also like you to email pictures and include a couple of words about the photo from club events around the country for posting on the page. This will provide content of interest for enthusiasts around the world. Send pictures and stories to: To access the club facebook page go to: vintagecarclubofnewzealand/ or type Vintage Car Club of New Zealand into facebook search. This page is your portal for fun stuff that is happening for vintage car enthusiasts around the country. The more stories you supply, the more relevant the page will be. 22

Peter Chisholm Memorial Rally ” Ride the Rails” The Best Way to Explore the Forgotten World 14th – 17th November, 2017 The cost of this trip is approximately $460 per person. 3 nights motel accommodation in Taumarunui and a 20 Tunnel, 80 km Railcart journey from Whangamomona to Taumarunui at $295 per person which includes a bus transfer to Whangamomona, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea (all home baked). For more information on the rail trip you could look at the website: To secure your place on this trip please pay a $200 deposit per person by WEDNESDAY AUGUST 9th. Pay by internet banking to BNZ A/c: 02-0271-0268914-030 (write your name as reference) or send a cheque to: Beth Taylor, 3236 SH 2, Clareville, Carterton 5713. Places are limited so secure your booking as soon as possible


VCC National Day Sunday 27th August 2017 Our Daffodil Rally for Cancer Join other club members and other car clubs on a “Variety Bash� through our region. We will be travelling on three short routes through our major towns stopping at each town to show our vehicles to the locals. We are working with the Cancer Society who will be present at each of our stopovers . Meet and register in Martinborough Square from 10 am. where you will be issued with the instructions for a short run starting at 10.30am and finishing at the South Wairarapa Working Men's Club car park in West Street Greytown. The next stage is from the car park to the top end of Carterton. The final stage ends up in the Farriers car park in Masterton. At each town you will receive a new set of instructions. We will need volunteers for each stage. All car clubs are being invited to join in the festivities and there will be a $5.00 levy on each car as our contribution toward the Cancer Society appeal. Organiser Andrew Dittmer (phone: 379 6967).


Wairarapa A&P Society Derby Race Night Saturday 12th August 2017 7.30pm—11.30 pm The Vintage Car Club Rooms Clareville Complex 12 Chester Road, Clareville Come along and join in the fun! $10 per ticket Supper provided. Cash Bar All enquiries phone Catherine at the A&P Office 06 379 8124



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• Refinancing • Family Trusts • Subdivisions • Estates/Wills

0800 PPTY LAW (0800 778 952) 26

VEHICLE INFORMATION VEHICLE ID Members who wish to apply for Vehicle Identification Certification (VIC), are asked to contact one of our Branch Vehicle ID Officers. Their names and contact details are provided in each Zenith magazine (generally on page 3). If you wish to participate in any National VCC event, you need to have a Vehicle Identification Certificate. Please don’t leave it to the last minute as it takes some time for the processing of paperwork. VIC Applications: Must be accompanied by the appropriate form which can be downloaded from the VCC NZ website or contact your club secretary. The form should be sent to your local branch secretary for processing. SELLING YOUR VEHICLE? If your vehicle has VIC Certification and you sell your vintage vehicle, please notify NZVCC, P O Box 2546 Christchurch. Ph: 03 366 4461 Fax: (03) 366 0273 or E-mail: INSURING YOUR VEHICLE/ POSSESSIONS? When you insure through VERO, you are helping our Club financially. Just let them know that you are a member of the Wairarapa VCC and quote this number: 043302 COOK STRAIT FERRY BOOKINGS Both the InterIslander and BlueBridge Ferries offer a variety of discounted fares to VCC Members. Contact the companies directly using the Vintage Car Club group booking codes. The staff are generally very helpful. INTERISLANDER: Ph: 0800 878 898 Quote Group Booking Reference Number WH5465 BLUEBRIDGE FERRY: 0800 844 844 Quote Discount Code: ANTIQUECAR 27

FOR SALE 1929 Hudson body including bonnet, back mudguards and front axle. In good order – no rust. Excellent restoration project. Offers. Contact David Hunter Phone: 379 9224 or Email: (1)

Ford Escort Mk II Rack and Pinion (only used for about 5,000 km). Offers.

Honda Motor Cycle Engine CB650E offers. 1939 Morris Series E. Rego on hold. Quite tidy-offers. Please ring Frank Lipinski (06)379 7167. (3)

1962 Humber Super Snipe 1964 Austin A40 Farina Austin Mini, modified to tilt nose All above have water damage 1958 Austin A40 Farina, dry storage, has a re-conditioned motor and not yet run All cars are open for offers Any enquiries or if you would like to view any of these cars, please contact Les Phone 07 323 6406 Mobile 027 271 7022 Or email (2)

Parts Department Remember the Parts Department is open every Tuesday morning following our monthly Club Night or contact Frank, Tom or Hugh for a private viewing - (06) 379 7167 (Frank), (06) 379 7573 (Tom) or (06) 306 9847 (Hugh). 28

Advertising in the Zenith You are welcome to advertise your goods for sale, swap or buy. The advertisement does not have to relate to cars/parts, anything goes. These advertisements are free to VCC Members. Contact Jim Philps, phone: 06 370 9118 or Please note advertisements will only be published for three consecutive months unless I am notified otherwise.

Don’t forget our business advertisers Their advertisements help to pay for the production of this publication. When you need a product or service consider using one of the companies advertising in the Zenith. They help us—why not reciprocate by giving them your custom.

WHAT’S ON AROUND THE COUNTRY COMING EVENTS 2017 AUGUST 5 Taranaki Brick Run. 26 Rotorua Sulphur City Rally. SEPTEMBER 3 Waikato Kairangi Hill Climb. 16 Manawatu Vintage Rally. 16-17 Taranaki Rubber Duckie Motorcycle Rally. 16 Manawatu Branch Vintage Rally. Organiser Bryan Abraham (06) 358 4014 or email 23-24 Waikato PV/PW/P60/P80 Rally. 24 Manawatu Morning tea Shantytown. OCTOBER 14 King Country Journey Through Time. 15 Manawatu Swap Meet. 20-22 Hawkes Bay Safari. 28 Waikato Veteran Rally


Sender: The Vintage Car Club of New Zealand Wairarapa Branch (Incorporated) P.O. Box 7 MASTERTON 5840


Wairarapa VCC August 2017  
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