In Motion Classics: New Zealand: Great Place, Great Cars

My wife and I have recently been to New Zealand, for a second trip. The on road sightings will form some later posts, but these are too good to wait any longer, or to subsume into a general account.

First up, a 1950 Morris Minor MM series Tourer, imported built up from Cowley  and therefore from the first year of Minor production, given the time duration of the supply chain to New Zealand.

Being an early car, it has the lights in the grille, and not on the familiar wing pods, as Paul Niedermeyer posted recently, and is probably the earliest Minor I have seen on the road (as opposed to in a show) for many years.

Power was from the 918cc Morris side valve engine, which dated back to the 1930s Morris 8, and giving 28 bp. Also evident are the blanking plates in the centre of the bumpers, to cover the fact that Alec Issigonis widened the car late in the development process, and Morris had to use the stock of shorter bumper blades.

Second up, and just 8 years newer the Minor as a design, the Citroen DS.  The DS dates from 1956, but will still turn a head and has many features that were then futuristic, but often eventually adopted, like the aerodynamic design, the fluid based suspension and self levelling, and part composite construction.

This is a 1974 D Super, with the 2.1 litre four cylinder engine and four speed gearbox, the revised second generation nose with the covered steering linked headlights, and, of course, the hydropneumatic suspension, making sure that the tram lines (streetcar tracks) should be no issue.

And sitting quietly in the distance, a 1976 Honda Civic 1200 hatchback.

Like I said, great cars, and a great place too.