Sheer beauty and exceptional performance in the latest New Zealand Classic Car

13 March, 2016

There is absolutely no doubt that for sheer beauty combined with exceptional performance, nothing compares with the elegant Mercedes-Benz 500K and 540K supercars of the 1930s. Chief among these is the 540K Roadster penned by Hermann Ahrens, epitomizing the company’s masterwork.


This month we take a look at a fabulous 540K Roadster. This massive, handcrafted, art deco sculpture was the absolute pinnacle of automotive desirability from the moment it was launched in Paris back in 1936.

We also take a look at a vehicle that was owned since new, then left unloved for many years — our featured Rover SD1 was lovingly resurrected by the grandson of the original owner. Read his story as he and other family members rally together to create something very special indeed.

We also buckle ourselves into the latest monster from across the ditch — the latest HSV Clubsport LSA R8 — and put it through its paces. Read our final verdict.  

It’s Targa time once again, so be sure to check out the Special Stage maps, itinerary, and competitor listing for this year’s Targa Bambina.

For those of you who were not able to attend the NZFMR Porsche Festival at Hampton Downs, we bring you all the action, thrills and spills in a full report plus coverage of Leadfoot Festival, the New Zealand Classic Car Show, and other events from around the country.

Plus our usual full complement of news items, along with other features such as Behind the Garage Door, Club Corner, and Editor’s Pick to keep you reading.  

Grab a print copy or a digital copy of New Zealand Classic Car Issue No. 303 below:

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.