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I am often asked for production figures of vehicles Ford built here in New Zealand. Sadly, I've never been able to get my hands on Ford-NZ production records.  No-one seems to know what happened to them but I suspect either they were eaten by a very hungry mini-skip, or they were part of a large consignment of boxes that, just before I was on the scene, went off to The Discovery Centre, Ford-Australia (Geelong) and which is now closed. But there is one Ford model for which we can ...

March 8, 2024

The Origins of the Ute

Did Ford Australia really invent the ute?That is a question that has caused much debate over recent decades.  As the details of the story have been forgotten with the passage of time a broad-brush view has taken precedence.  This has caused observers to comment that so-called utes existed long before the time the Australian’s claim to have invented it.However, the fact remains that a chap named Lewis T Bandt is entitled to the moniker “Father of the Australian Ute”.  Let’s...

November 6, 2023

Post-War Car Design

A Facebook post by veteran motoring journalist Allan Dick describes the story of the Ford Pilot.  It was a reminder to me that there were just so many tales about the origins of the Pilot that, when writing the Ford in New Zealand book, I took the opportunity to tell it as it really was.  ...

July 22, 2023

16 June, 1903 - This Day 120 Years Ago

120 years ago today, the Ford Motor Company was founded.That was not such an unusual event during those times.  Many engineering firms, bicycle manufacturers, inventors and speculators tried their hand at producing their version of a motor car powered by the internal combustion engine.  Indeed, Ford himself had already been involved with two failed attempts - the Detroit Automobile Company and. in 1901, the Henry Ford Company. Early car makers relied on outside contractors to buil...

June 16, 2023

Anziel Nova - a New Zealand Car

A week or so ago the above photo appeared on Facebook.  The car is the prototype Anziel Nova, which appears to be at a motor race meeting at Levin, probably during our 1967 - 1968 summer.  It is not clear, but at the wheel is most probably one of the Gibbs brothers, Ian or Alan, who owned Australia and New Zealand Industrial Engineering Ltd - Anziel.  They were the men behind the Nova.  Ian was also well known in yachting circles internationally; Alan became notable for his A...

June 5, 2023

Dunedin's Ford Dealership Celebrates Its Centenary

Last weekend, Dunedin City Ford celebrated 100 years in business.In fact, the Ford marque has been sold in Dunedin longer than that.  A Mr W J P McCulloch was appointed the Ford dealer in 1912, and he set up the business in the Octagon.  In 1917, he sold out to the Todd brothers, who were general traders and stock agents.  They had also set up Ford agencies in Roxburgh and in Heriot.The motor business went very well for the Todds and so, in 1923, they formed the Todd Motor Company...

May 18, 2023

Ford V8 National Meeting 2023

The Early Ford V8 Club of New Zealand held its annual national meeting in January, in Lower Hutt.  That club is for owners of so-called flathead Ford V8s – the sidevalve models – which were built from the introduction of the Ford V8 in 1932 through to 1954.US-built Fords saw the flathead V8 replaced a year earlier, with the new overhead valve Y-block technology.  Herein lies one of the differences between the US-sourced Fords and those built by Ford of Canada - a US-sourced 1954 F...

May 9, 2023

Ford Popular

There's quite a story with New Zealand's relationship with the Ford Popular.  The tale begins in Britain...When Ford introduced the shape to replace the Model Y back in 1937 it was designated the Model 7Y Eight.  The new car was known as the Ford Eight - but little did anyone anticipate that this, the smallest car on offer by Ford of Britain, would have a model life of 22 years!22 years!  That's even longer than the incredibly long 19-year lifespan of the Model T Ford that damned...

February 3, 2023

Ford Goes to the Races

The Ford Motor Company was quick to see the advantages motor sport could bring to a car maker - success on the race track would draw attention from a wide audience that even great sums of money would not buy.Even before the Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903, its became involved in motorsport.  Of course, the new sport of motor racing attracted a media frenzy wherever an event was held.  Readers were hungry for the excitement the horseless carriage might bring.  The Ameri...

December 6, 2022

The Story of the Ford Book

The Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903.  The very first mention of the founder’s name in a New Zealand newspaper was in 1905, when The Press reported that, in a motor racing event in Michigan, a Mr Harry Ford became the first motorist to exceed 90 miles an hour.  By the tenth anniversary of the company the correct name of Henry Ford would be a household name.  By then, true to his word, Henry Ford was putting the world on wheels. Over time, a great number of books have been ...

November 27, 2022 Posts 1-10 of 10 | Page

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