Cohort Classics: Bryce Visits The Southward Car Museum

What a shot; the evolution of rear-engined cars couldn’t be displayed better here: from the revolutionary Tatra 77, to the VW Beetle it helped inspire, and finally the VW’s offspring, the Porsche 911. Our most prolific CC Cohort Contributor (and CC commentator) Bryce, based in New Zealand, has posted a raft of fine shots from an outing to the Southward Car Museum near Paraparaumu on the North Island. A trip to NZ is on our bucket list, and we’ll have to include this stop. Here’s a sampler; Bryce’s full coverage is at the CCC page.

Before we take in some of the other delights, let’s take a look at the front of these two, given their historical significance. Although Tatra did successfully sue VW for infringements on their intellectual property, it wasn’t quite as simple as the VW being just a scaled down copy. The actual infringement was limited to some rather narrowly defined issues, and I am planning an article on the genesis of the Beetle. The actual styling of the Beetle was inspired by John Tjaarda’s  prototype for the Lincoln Zephyr.

Bryce is also indulging my love for the 1934 Chrysler Airflow, with its controversial waterfall grille. Americans didn’t dig it. Oh well.

Speaking of the svelte Zephyr, here’s on that’s been cut up into a rat rod. Hard to think of a more fitting engine than the “ratty” Zephyr V12.

How about the ultimate rat rod, a 23 liter Mercedes Chitty Chitty Bang Bang replica, or so Bryce says. Can you imagine how that sounds?

This one caught my eye, because of its historical significance, including the Niedermeyers. My father used to talk about this car, a Phänomobil, because it was made in Zittau, near where my father spent much of his childhood. As you can see, it’s a three wheeler, but rather advanced for the times, with a transverse four driving the front wheels. They first appeared in 1907, and this four is from 1912. And they were quite successful, until the twenties.

Here’s a closer look. Love this little cooling fans!

A more modern three wheeler, the American Davis, from 1947. We just talked about that recently, didn’t we?

EV’s, old, and not quite so old.

The Museum has a pit, from which a number of cars’ undersides can be seen in detail. This Daf shot really shows off its pioneering CVT belt transmission, the mother of all modern CVTs.

If you wonder why Bryce such a committed Rootes Guy, this helps explain it. Here’s his daughter in front of her granddad’s Humber Super Snipe. Now that’s a nice touch. Wish I could show my kid’s my father’s old cars.

Thanks, Bryce, and make sure you check out the rest of them at the Cohort site.