Archive for August, 2009

Rusting in peace…

August 3, 2009
resting amongst the trees (by decypher the code)

Let's go sunning, it's so good for you!

The abandoned remains of a 1950s International R190 sit peacefully under a tree. Amazingly, the owner claims the engine still starts and runs, but due to time constraints I wasn’t able to witness this spectacle for myself. Perhaps I’ll take him up on that offer next time I’m down that way – there are a few other rusting hulks dotted around his property which I’d like to trek back to and photograph at some stage.

So melancholic, yet… somewhat dignified.

rusting hulk (by decypher the code)

Pretty flowers need the sun, this applies to everyone!

Mini flickr set here »

P. North Retrospective

August 3, 2009

With this weekend just been being the oldschool Palmy Swap “Meat” weekend (an forum event using the Palmerston North Swap Meet as a loose excuse to get drunk and rowdy), I thought seeing as I didn’t make it this time I’d show some photos of the cars from last year, when I did attend.  Hopefully Alex will put up a post of this years event either later tonight or later this week.  If he doesn’t do such things I may well stab him in the eye with a pushrod.

I used to have most these photos as an entry on the blog which sadly died a horrible death after some hosting issues. SO, if you’ve seen them before, that will be where, well…  either that or oldschool itself.  AAAANNYHOOO, on with the show;

Arrival in Wellington from Invercargill, I was picked up from the AirPort by Pies and Seedy Al.  Wellington was host to some fine automobile spotting, all things considered.  Not all managed to be snapped and some were just horrific, but that’s what you get for taking photos out of a moving car and a lack of preparation.

Holden Monaro GTS

Holden Monaro GTS

Spied on the motorway on the way out to see this next beast, which was at the time owned my Pies, it has since found a new owner.

Toyota Corona MarkII MX41

Toyota Corona MarkII Hardtop

Then on the way back from the lockup, this was encountered;  Thankfully the picture looks sweet.

Mitsubishi Galant Colt

Mitsubishi Galant Colt

Of course this was not the end of the spotting, there were many more retro and classic vehicles lining the streets of various parts of Wellington and the Hutt.


Happy 25th, AW11!

August 1, 2009


25 years ago in August of 1984, the Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan released one of their most significant vehicles ever – and to everyone’s surprise it wasn’t some bland, boring A to B familymobile (that we’ve all come to associate ‘em with in the years since), but instead a compact, mid-engined RWD, two-seater sports car dubbed the Midship Runabout 2-Seater, aka MR2.

Not only did the AW11 MR2 revolutionize the way people viewed Japanese cars (up until then, it was widely thought that Japanese manufacturers were too conservative and staid to consider mass-producing a sporty vehicle with only two seats and limited practicality), it also brought a “European supercar-like” driving experience within reach of the masses, all with Japanese safety, reliability and comfort to boot. Little wonder that it soon gained a cult following on a global scale which is still going strong 25 years later.

while it wasn’t until 1986 that a more powerful supercharged version of the AW11 was released, the original N/A model still commands a healthy respect amongst fans for its lightweight no-frills chassis, great handling, and (some would say legendary) 4A-GE DOHC 16-valve engine.

Feel free to read my take on the significance of the first-generation MR2 in this blog post from last month.

Though sadly many AW11s here in NZ have simply rotted away due to time/attrition, the odd case of neglect, and the dreaded tin worm, tidy examples do still exist – and some are even finding their way back into the hands of collectors and restorers. While I don’t see my AW11 SC daily driver giving up the ghost anytime soon, I look forward to the day where I can finally import myself a mint low-km hardtop model from Japan… :)

Super Edition... the last hurrah of the AW11. Do want.