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Love of classic cars a driving force

LAUREN PRIESTLEY
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013
Denzil Griffiths
JASON OXENHAM

CLASSIC CRUISER: Denzil Griffiths will be showing his Holden FC Special sedan at the New Zealand Classic Car Show on February 10.

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Denzil Griffiths is four years younger than his beloved classic car.

He'll be showing off his 1959 Holden FC Special Sedan at the New Zealand Classic Car Show February 10 at Ellerslie Racecourse. The 50-year-old has owned the car for 15 years and affectionately calls it the Grey Ghost.

"When I first bought it everybody said it was so slow and wouldn't run at the speed limit. They were wrong. I called it that because it will sneak up on you."

It is Mr Griffith's 17th year at the show.

The Newmarket man says he has always been a "car man" but got into classics for a more practical reason.

"To be honest, I started up with classic cars to avoid speeding tickets mainly. You can't drive them fast. I was getting into trouble too often."

The Grey Ghost can get close to 90kph. It has been repainted but still has its original upholstery.

"It gets noticed for sure. You drive down Queen St in a classic car and people see you."

The hardest thing about owning this type of car is finding affordable parts, he says.

He spent $4000 on an engine recondition after it broke down on a trip to Invercargill.

Mr Griffiths drives to the National Vintage Car Club Rally annually and is heading to Christchurch for the event next month.

"Give me a full tank of gas and an open road and I'm happy."

It cost him $6000 to purchase the vehicle in 1998 and the car is now worth more than twice that.

He says it is because Holdens have become more popular in the last decade.

"Back then Australian cars were never high value because they were only in Australasia. American cars on the other hand were worldwide."

Mr Griffiths owned classic Datsuns, Fords, and Minis before turning to Holdens more than 25 years ago.

He is a member of the Early Holden Club and says the social side is the best part.

"The cars are important but the people are what make it. You can have the best cars in the world but if you have a bunch of idiots in the club, it falls apart."

He says the Classic Car Show is all about getting together and seeing a collection of great vintage cars.

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- East And Bays Courier

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