One for the Petrolheads

23 03 2009

As promised, some photos from the Nelson WOW Auto Museum we visited a couple of weeks ago. This place was awesome for anyone with a hint of petrol in the blood, some lovingly restored vintage classics through to current motoring exotica. We shall start at the beginning, sort of, with the worlds first production-line manufactured vehicle, the Model T Ford. This one actually predates the production line by a couple of years, but is instantly recogniseable nonetheless, in its original paintscheme, as Henry Ford famously quipped, available in any colour you like as long as its black!


Model T

Fast Forward a few years, and dammit, I’ve already forgotten the name of this model. A Packard maybe ? Suffice it to say, if you were wanting to impress the folk about town with the latest in wizzbang ve-hicular technology in the 30s, then I guess you’d have been wanting one of these behemoths. Love the swivelling headlamps (Lexus just recently are trumpetting this “new innovation” on some of their models).

30s Luxury

A classic 50s Caddy. At first I thought maybe it was a Hudson Hornet (like Doc Hudson in Cars, the pixar movie), but it seems that just like today, cars of bygone eras shared many a similar design spec, even often drivetrains and identical body parts.


A Dellorean, as featured in Back to the Future. First one I’ve seen ” in the flesh”, got to say I was disappointed. No flux capacitor, no Mr Fusion alternate power source, not even the standard hover pack that we all know cars are going to be running in the next decade or so, right ?


Heck, even the all-steel look was nothing new. Check out this old Alvin :


Next up a supercharged Cord A12, circa late 30s. They sure don’t build ’em like they used to. You wouldn’t lose this one in the woolworths carpark I’m guessing.


Ok, we’ll stick with the yellow. A genuine 1919 Stutz Bearcat in racing trim (headlights removed).  With their minimalist design and racetrack sucess, this was the boy racers wet dream back in the day. I’d read about them, never seen one until now.


The 50s was in American automotive circles also the Age of the Fin, when designs were allowed to be as outrageous as the fuel economy figures. One of the icons of the time was undoubtably the Plymouth Fury, as epitomised in the Stephen King novel and movie, Christine. These cars don’t look right in any colour but red.


Who among you (guys) didn’t have the Matchbox version of one of these when you were a kid? A (replica I think) Ford GT40. Uber cool!


And it was not only 4 wheeled heaven incarnate, but 2  wheeled afficionados were catered for as well. A small but expensive collection of mainly Italian ware, racing Ducatis, a couple of Bimotas including the hub-steered Tesi and even an old army BSA which unfortunately I didn’t get a shot of. Of these, I have only ridden the Honda RC30, as seen on the right, which was a racers favourite in the early 90s. One day, my shed will look something like this, honest. One powerball…. *sigh*

2 Wheeled Heaven

Now this was different. A Napier Sabre VII engine as fitted to the Hawker Typhoon fighter aircraft which entered service with the RAF in 1941.   Size is hard to judge here, but it was big. Over a tonne comprising 24 cylinders (twin-supercharged) displacing 2,238 ci or 36.6 l ! Output was listed as 3050 bhp, serious grunt in anyones language.

Napier Sabre VII

Even the Aussies were represented. There was a pristine Valiant Pacer, but of course, I am a Ford man, so we get a Ford shot, and not just any Ford, but the defining Aussie Muscle car of the 70s, the XY Phase III GTHO Falcon. What a beast, designed solely to win the Bathurst Mountain race (which it did, in a memorable 1-2 finish), the GT remained for years afterward the fastest 4 door car in the world at around 240 kmh. Highly collectable now, this model is a modern legend in aussie motoring.

Falcon GTHO

Well, that about wraps it up folks. There were many many fine examples I wouldn’t have the space for here (well, I might, but not the patience to upload), Ferraris, Porsches, Mercedes recent answer to Rolls Royce, the Maybach….

But I’ll close with one last shot of one old beauty the restorers haven’t quite finished with. An old Buick that proves that some things, maybe, are best left to Rust in Peace.





9 responses

23 03 2009
Big Bad Al

I like the supercharged Cord A12…

23 03 2009

Nice. You should check the WinterSun on the Gold Coast. Assuming they still have it once a year. Some nice cars rock up there.

25 03 2009

as much as I hate to say it, the Ho’s do look good, thats about as far as I am prepared to go!.

Nice shots. thats not a bad collection of vehicles up there, I do like the caddy.

25 03 2009

Al, sweet isn’t it? Had never heard of them until now.
Cheers Moko. Is that around Indy time ? One day I’ll do it for sure.
H – Mate, no WB utes in sight, in fact, can’t say I saw a single Holden at all! I think the exhibit was only for cars that actually run, you know, like reliably…. *ducks*

27 03 2009

Very nice.

28 03 2009

Glad you liked it B.

11 04 2009

What a fucking cool blog entry. Totally, totally blown away.

15 04 2009
Dr Yobbo

O for oresome. Even the HO, even if it was that friendless Canuck clown Moffat who was driving it. (A9X Torana maybe?) Dammit I was in Nelson for Easter last year, should have checked it out. There was some designers’ poll in a car mag recently where they voted for their favourite design of all time – Gandini, who designed all the 70s and 80s Lamborghinis, put that Cord at the top of his list. Then again he designed the Countach with a ruler and a very sharp pencil so he’s probably a lazy bastard.

16 04 2009

Paul, thanks for dropping by.
Doc Y, cheers, definitely the best collection I’ve seen under one roof. No Lambos, but still, if you ever get the chance again, highly recommended.

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