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The New Avengers’ big cat

25 October, 2015


The 1976 XJ12-C Broadspeed driven by John Steed in the 1970s TV series The New Avengers, fetched £62,000 (NZ$141,079) at a recent H&H Classics’ auction in the UK, some £50,000 (NZ$113,773) more than its initially estimated worth.

‘NWK 60P’ — wearing chassis #2G1008BW — began life as a pre-production prototype vehicle for the marque. Bought by a private collector at the H&H Classics’ auction at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridge, the XJ12-C completed its early development and testing work with Jaguar before being sent to Broadspeed Engineering Ltd to be fitted with upgraded bodykit, including wider bumpers and wheel arches, plus bigger wheels and tyres in preparation for filming.

Following the series finale in 1977, the Jaguar was sold and passed through the hands of multiple owners before being sold at the NEC Classic Car Show in the early 1990s. After the sale, this famous Jaguar disappeared from public view and remained in hibernation for the next two decades.

Penny’s Pagoda – Mercedes Benz 230 SL

We scouted out a few different locations for photographing this car, but they all had one thing in common. At every stop, people could not help but come up and compliment owner Penny Webster on her stunning Horizon Blue Mercedes 230 SL.
There’s something about the ‘Pagoda’ Mercedes — so-called because the distinctive dipping curve of its roofline echoes that of the famous Eastern tiered temples — that encourages people to speak up.
Many classic cars attract a second look, but in most cases people keep their thoughts to themselves. It was striking how many people felt the need to express the warmth of their feelings about this car.
The expansive glass cockpit, the friendly, subtle lines, and its simple three-box shape seem to encourage openness among passers-by.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.