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Jon's Spotting Thread. USA Road Trip.


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I got back from a 3500km tour of the south island of New Zealand a week or so ago, so thought you might appreciate some images of road litter I saw. As a bit of background info, the north and south islands combined are roughly the same land mass as the UK but with a population of 4 million or thereabouts. Each island is about equally sized, though the south island has a total population of 1 million - or less than the population of Auckland. Let this be known that what you are about to witness is a mere taster to what we actually saw - perhaps 10% at best. In the interests of camera preservation, I set a limit of the mid-80's as a cut-off point for photos, though one or two did slip through.


First off, we had to make our way down to Wellington in the Hiace to catch the ferry. I'll update my fleet thread at some point with the details of the van. Time to catch in a couple of spots on the way.




A fantastic second hand shop (sadly shut when passing) run by a fella who obviously likes collecting old dross. Very reasonable prices too, I reckon.










However, this stole the show. I pretty much should have given up spotting from then on, netting this so early in the game. No price though, sadly but it was roadworthy.






After a breakfast stop, there was a convoy of commercials just about to head off but Mrs_Jon put the kibosh on taking many photos, as we'd have got stuck behind them all. Imagine items of this calibre x 30:





The ferry journey from Wellington to Picton offers amazing scenic views and is spectacular - the first time you take it. We'd done it before, so opted to grab some seats and watch the in-ferry film, Captain Phillips. Good choice for a boat journey. Anyway, here's where the proper stuff begins:





A pleasing amount of un-wankered Minis still exist.











Most vans have windows instead of side panels, so this was a pleasant surprise and worthy of two photos. Could give or take the tints, mind.







A pleasingly red scene.





Properly old Holdens were sadly thin on the ground, so enjoy.





What did I say about panle vans? Don't listen to me.





Purloined this bad boy courtesy of a slow driveby with Mrs_Jon clicking away. Nice effort.


OK, coffee time. Many, many more to come. Be warned that if old British and Japanese chod isn't your bag, this probably isn't a thread to follow.....

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Break time over, have some more:





The lost art of sign making. Shaky shot as I had to rush back to the van to stay in front of the super-slow hired camper van I'd just overtaken!






See above. Factor in the rain, too. Mrs_Jon spotted these and alerted me, as she did a few times later. I think she's a closet shiter.





An iconic van, much revered worldwide. Plus a Volkswagen. Just to highlight how much we were being sheep and following a popular tourist route, we saw this thing EVERYWHERE.




Kudos for long distance touring probably standard engine, judging by the pea shooter exhaust. Anyway, a trip south wouldn't be complete without some heavy rain and since I'd packed no waterproofs (genius), some spots were better gained from the comfort of the van:





Triumph 2000s are almost too common.





These aren't. Shame about the modern white plates and 'ABC123' rather than 'AB1234' registration.




Seems I couldn't even be arsed to wipe the winscreen, empty dash of reflecting detritus or even hold camera level. Verdict: LAZY.



Fortunately, visiting a glacier and staying at a nearby campsite to recharge batteries saw the weather clear. Extra shite points for the Hilux snail being 4x4 with dual rear wheels.







I think these have aged really well for a 60+ year old design.





Why so dark? Oh well, you get the idea. Multiply aged lorry resting in fields x 1000 = rural south island.









Old things appears to be a Morris, judging by old man ID plate on rear.




Stopped at side of road to take picture of scenery when I sensed something of minor interest passing, then......
























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That was quick getting started on these ! Was it not only yesterday you said " I must get started posting these sometime " From what jon said these will be a superb lot of spots. And as for Mrs Jon being a closet shiter......tell them what she drives to work every day, A decent run on the highway each way !

And thanks for your help re posting on here yesterday, I got my old computer out  and posts are a breeze using this.

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What's the score with all these old cars running about? It seems like shite central. Do they salt the roads? Different attitudes to keeping cars going?


I think it's the element of supplying countries being so far away that keeps older cars on the roads; they maintain value here and are more of a long term asset. No real social stigma of driving older stuff. I went back to the UK last year and couldn't believe how new evrything was on the roads! Allied to this, they don't salt the roads but do lay down grit in vulnerable areas during colder periods. Not sure if someone comes and sweeps it back up again to re-use? Who knows?


Some great spots there. I am starting to like the idea of moving to New Zealand myself.


Come out for a trip and I'll lend you the van. They even have Visas out here - if you look hard enough.....  :-)





Anyway, the next day was Good Friday and we had stayed in the Central Otago at a basic Department of Conservation camp site which charges a whole £3 per person per night. Daylight robbery. At least the views were OK, I suppose:




Here's the view behind us, from the van. Busy place......





Unfortunately, a tasty S3 Land Rover had arrived the night before in the dark and I'd hoped to get a shot but it woke me that morning driving away. Fortunately, it had been parked up in a scenic spot on the way back to the main road.




Perfect! What a nice start to the day. We'd come to the region as I wanted to visit the mighty Transport and Toy Museum in Wanaka, as I'd seen pictures which STUNO had posted, as had Negative Creep quite a while back. 





Seems that seeing an unmodified 2dr Escort got the better of me and I went unwittingly 'arty' on the depth of field.





My concession to the 'toy' bit (which was actually quite good). Hope you enjoyed it.





They sure liked to cram the exhibits in! I think the owner of the museum has Bickle tendencies when it comes to collecting stuff, albeit it without the focus on specific makes/models/eras like Nigel.





Non-lorry fans, go do something else for a while......





.....and all those who don't like fire engines (or appliances as we know them). I'm a volunteer firefighter, so make no apologies for the following:









This custom built Mitsubishi was donated to the people of Auckland by a Japanese minister some time in the 80's. Wouldn't an ornamental kimono or something been a bit more appropriate?




Check out the ladder!





This was once stationed at a local brigade, then did some charity work, hence the yellow.









Look at this!











We've got one of these at of our brigade, fully restored (I reckon I prefer this one though), as it was our first truck, being replaced in the late 70's (!!!) by a D series Ford.








Nice 50's Bedford there.....




1982!!! Imagine this on an X/Y plate.











Again, don't listen to me about CF panel vans.





I bet potential robbers would have just chased this on a BMX.





Nice mirrors.








One for beko1987





Hi Nigel.













Imagine this jostling an A35 out the way back in the day. And other such things.





For those of you who like close-ups of things.





For those of you who like interesting things obscured by cabinets of tat.




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Can't afford lowrider? Remove enigne.





I like seeing exhibits like this Jeep that depict post war motoring, as I'm sure this is how many Jeeps would have ended up at the time.




I really wish we didn't have an Iveco appliance when I see stuff brigades used to have:






















I tried to get nearer this Morris Tasman but it was blocked in from all directions. It was a bit like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indi tries to get the holy grail....





Another shed.





Useful form of transport







Another useful* form of Transport. Like a pre-emptive Kiwi Rancho.














Love the round headlights of an Early Holden Jackaroo. What a name!










Another success in seamlessly integrating a wheelchair user into motoring society. Nice one lads!





Bin those trims!





Same story as with the Tasman, this P76 was well confined. Luckily I've seen a couple in the wild, so never mind.





This BL green (tara?) is one of my favourites but not so sure when it's lost its laquer. Hi Vulgalour!





Another great thing about the NZ market in the 70's and 80's was the borderline awful colours locally produced cars were painted. Witness this Marina.





Imagine rival brands selling the same colour? Wouldn't happen anywhere else, I reckon.





One for STUNO here. He gets quite excited by Mk3 Granadas as they weren't sold here. The museum owner's surname is Rhodes, so I'm guessing he thinks the same too. Must say I love the bottle cap wheels of early Scorpios. Been in the country since Dec 1985, according to rego in the window.





 On the other side of the Cortina was a thinly disguised 323, which replaced the Mk2 Escort. Imagine Pete M spending 5 years restoring one of these!







There's an identical Corolla in STUNO's town, driven by an elderly lady.




I'd love a standard Torana. There weren't actually as many Aussie cars as I'd hoped, though the Commodore next to it gained many shite points for being a 1.9 4cyl jobbie, as noted by 13" rims and balloon tyres.




No, I haven't a clue either.








Have a shabby chic Escort to end for now. Next time, outdoor stuff.....

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I think i was having a crisis looking at those pics. That Marina Suntor in the wild looked nearly mint, as for the Avenger and the Talbot?? The Morris Tamin. Think i either need to emigrate or win lottery and some how or other import a few containers worth of cars from down under! 

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The guy who formed the museum seems to like adding stuff to the collection, so there's a yard out back spilling over with exhibits. The central Otago was chosen specifically for its arid climate; that and the fact it's about as far away from the sea as you can get in NZ, so corrosion isn't too much of an issue. 





Never seen a tractor attachment like this. Thought they would have got rid of the tractor steering wheel, unless it dismounts easily?




Then I turned around to this:




We knew that there was an air show on in the town but didn't know it was taking place at the other side of the fence! Warbirds over Wanaka is a biennial 3 day event and Good Friday was practise day. Still costs $85 for a day ticket, so we took a vantage point on an airport conveyor truck right next to the fence, about 50m from the official grandstand and popped off a load of shots. Here's my favourites (even though I couldn't give you the names of most of what we'd witnessed):








Fast and pointy.













Look at the size of this! Didn't realise it was any bigger than a Cessna or something until I saw the pilot.










Look at that green one! RAAAAAAAR!





As you can guess, there were A LOT of middle aged men in green bomber jackets with lots of patches on taking photos








Cor blimey, makes you proud, dunnit?







OK, back to it.







Hi Fred.





Where's your mate Lightning McQueen?








What a great pair!





Hi Trigger!





Daihatsu Delta, closely related to a Toyota Dyna.



OK, gotta get some sleep. More in the morning.

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Glad everyone's enjoying it, as it's taking bloody ages to get the photos uploaded etc. Plus, you've gotta have a bit of context, no point just boshing up image after image.



Just a small round-up I'm afraid, as I've got shiz to do. Let's take a look at a couple of appliances - I promise they're the last ones. For now.







Even though this is probably late 60's/early 70's, Nissan kept the styling pretty retro on a lot of their heavier trucks - there's a few house moving ones knocking about from the early 90's that look 40 years older. 








Didn't take a picture of the D series next to this, as there's still a few knocking about, along with TK Bedfords.





Marvellous! Love the three pointed star on the diff cover.





Forgot this one. Crappy shot but liked the fact that a S1 Land Rover and a Jeep were providing VIP shuttle service to some swanky guests. Jeep came complete with trailer with plastic chairs, for extra passengers.






This is a holding pen for future exhibits, though I don't know why they don't just cut the grass and let us wander round, as you can see them anyway. Perhaps they're not deemed interesting/rare enough yet. A few gems though....




....like this Alfa 33 4x4 wagon, complete with factory roof racks!





I don't think 305s were sold here, or if they did they were crap sellers as I've never seen one, so finding a S1 was the cherry on the cake. Note LHD (so a personal import) and ready-made plate for Bickle.




Natty 3 stud alloys, too.




Bugger me, another Alfa 33 4x4 wagon! 3 cars deep, beside the pub landlord XJ-S. Shame that these were hidden away, yet there was a 2003 Alfa 147 sitting in one of the sheds.





Again, no apologies for a double Imp shot, since I owned one before emigrating. In my favourite ever Imp colour, too (Wardance is a close second). It's been fully restored but not overly; nice to see they've retained the factory door gaps for authenticity.




It's even got a Sunbeam front, which isn't wrong, as it wasn't only the Sport or Stiletto models which were sold in this part of the world as Sunbeams. One gripe though - bin the massive teddy bears!



We both had a great time visiting the museum, though I reckon the 'planes made it for Mrs_Jon. She doesn't have the interest in shite like I do but is starting to notice stuff more, like the Bollox-era Maserati 2 door we saw when I took her to work this morning - "What was that? Looks like it should have had black plates on it". She also donned the camera as we left the museum to spot this:




Plus, she was the one who noticed that the next town along was holding a 2 day festival of speed at their brand new racing track, starting the next day. It would've been rude to drive by, so that was Saturday's activity. You just might have to wait a day or two for those, though.

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The next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast at the lakeside camping area we'd found 5 minutes away from the Festival of Speed. One major bonus was that it was free to stay at and was maintained by the local council. Nice one. Quite a lot of big modern campers and caravans but these people were doing it in style:





We arrived a little late and had missed the first hour or so of racing but it seemed like we'd not missed too much, as a lot of the action was heats (or something), with the same group of cars re-racing each other again. Unbeknown to me, the track had only been opened for 3 weeks at the time! Details here: http://www.highlands.co.nz/


Here's the view (cropped) from the grassy bank where most spectators were.










Quite good but I wanted to get nearer than that. We found out that there was a bus service driving round the perimeter of the track, dropping people off at various places, so we went to catch that. Saw these on the way.







Made a bit of a mistake there, as the rally cars were lining up for a demo run, except we didn't know it was on a smaller bit of track. We got dropped off in the forest section and caught the tail end of some single seaters (bit boring IMO) from a good vantage point but sadly we could hear the rally cars giving it full beans but missed them! Left the forest area and went towards the pits to watch a local car club have a bit of a jolly.













Embarrassingly, this Charger expired about 100m after this but managed another trip round later on.








Like most Aussie muscle of the late 60's and 1970's, these are worth a packet. Shame they couldn't find something better than modern oversized fake Miniltes to stick on this Monaro (see Mustang above for inspiration).




These efforts on the Triumph are better but that's not saying much. Nicely beige, mind.






Then we caught the bus back to the forest and had a hairpin bend all to ourselves. The only other people within a hundred metres of us were a couple of us were a bored security guard and two ancient volunteers from the local Lions club, who sat at a gate and ate sandwiches. Shame that there was a high fence right in front of us but I guess safety first, and all that. You'll just have to try and see past it, I'm afraid:




This is the first of a lot of interesting wheel work we saw from here.





There was a small gap beyond the hairpin where I got some nice shots but of course only the cars' arse ends.










Thing on the left is a crazy V8 powered Topolino.





This Avenger was one of my favourite cars of the day and the amount of times it featured on my memory card was testament to this. It kept having a scrap with a bubble arched MGBGT V8.





The Corolla had a collision with a Mk II Escort, hence the wrinkly panels. Expensive.





There's that pesky B. Nice 3-wheeling.





I think this Ford Pop is a long time racer. STUNO may have more info.





This Fiat held up well amongst the competition. Mediocre effort on the 3 wheels thing.





Unlike this guy!





A FWD version. More to come in a bit.

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Yum! Seems the B qualified as eligible for this race, too.







I remember this era of touring cars well, though never really had much interest in these 3 series. Not too much has changed.





Couldn't work out whether the arches on this looked purposeful or shit. I like the grill, though.





By the fact that this was road registered and also really off the pace in comparison to everything else, I'm guessing this is a replica.





BUICK POWER. Think I heard/read somewhere that this isn't actually true at the moment.






Brilliant! Will need a trip to Rimmers for some Indo-Standard doors, mind.






The fastest Marina door handles that day.





This guy overcooked it chasing the SD1 but managed to make it out the sand and continue racing.





Always nice to see a bit of grey-hot Sierra action.



All too soon, the (interesting) racing was almost over, so time to head to the pits and take a look at some fast cars stood still.




It's a genuine one, too.










Rightfully proud owner in background.





Many, many BMWs do absolutely nowt for me but this one bucks the trend big time. Shame we din't see it race.





One for dugnabe.





Aforementioned Escort which met with Corolla. This lark must be pretty depressing.





A bloke stopped his wife walking in to this shot by saying "Hang on love, there's a man taking a picture of a Ford Capri", as if this were neither an interesting car, nor an environment where it's legitimate to take photos of cars. He would no doubt have been utterly bemused by the rest of my holiday photos.









Then a quick traipse around some cars on show. Took this because we'd both owned a Mk IV Escort years ago (1.4 LX speed machine) and they weren't brought to NZ, so a bit of a novelty. Seemingly fresh off the boat, according to registration.







Beautiful and utterly worth two photos. Nice comical giant pass the owner was wearing. Many minus points however for blurb written in first person from car's perspective.







Refreshingly bog standard thus interest piqued x 110%





Love the rear ends of these Belmonts. Firmly on my 'borderline feasible one day' wishlist.





Sadly, I don't think I'll ever have funds to afford an XA Falcon coupe. Or even a garage big enough.





Nice to see an Italian supercar is still nevertheless Italian, judging by rear arch.





You just know the original owner had a matching bathroom suite back in the day.








Last swansong of a racing truck being let loose on the track. I say let loose; annoyingly, the Hyundai Veloster safety car never peeled off so he could go full bore, as the commentary box had promised. At least the two fellas signed off for the day, to leave us with the sound of this slipping round the track.







A couple of spots in the car park. Nice ute conversion and stretch.





I'm sure the owner will be pleased to know that I condone all the work done to achieve this look, albeit the bamboo roof rack. 



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Brilliant! All great to see, thanks Jon. The beige Triumph looks ace without its bumpers.

Is that a Daihatsu Delta campervan up there? ^


Nearly KruJoe, was a Toyota Dyna, so identical to look at I think, other than name. Certainly, the Air NZ Delta I photographed at the museum was a re-badged Dyna, though I've never seen a Daihatsu version of the model which replaced that one in the mid/late 1990's. Glad you appreciate the pics, it takes a while to post up but don't want to bore people with too many photos or needless waffle.

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Superb as usual jon, the ford does not ring any bells though, but the topolino did as I wondered if it was one I took a photo of using a Kodak Brownie box . Must try to find it.

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