Time capsules on wheels

KARINA ABADIA
Last updated 08:13 01/02/2013
Holden

PRESERVING HISTORY: President of the Early Holden Club Glenn Flinkenberg of St Heliers is passionate about maintaining his 1965 HD Premier in its original condition.

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Glenn Flinkenberg has had a lifelong fascination with cars, but he has always had a leaning towards the Holden brand.

The president of the Early Holden Club of Auckland says that probably has to do with the fact that like a lot of people, he grew up around them. In the 1960s Holdens were considered the family car and it was by far the biggest selling car brand.

There are other Holden clubs in New Zealand but theirs is the only one which insists on originality, Mr Flinkenberg says.

"The cars are not modified. We try to preserve them as they were. It's like a time capsule, a slice of history."

The value is in original cars, he adds.

"People spend a fortune customising cars and then they are not worth very much, unlike good original cars."

He has been president of the club for about the last six years and has been a member since it started in 1983.

The club has about 80 members from Auckland, Wellington and Tauranga who meet for monthly get-togethers and club runs. In summer they usually wind up at the beach and have a barbecue.

The club is looking forward to hosting the Ellerslie Intermarque Concours d'Elegance and NZ Classic Car Show, an event it takes part in each year. It is New Zealand's most prestigious car show, Mr Flinkenberg says.

This year the 40th annual show will be held on February 10 and the theme is "40 Years of Fabulous".

The club is planning to include at least 70 original Holdens among the 700 cars on display.

The self-confessed petrolhead enjoys the day because he loves talking about cars. People are often interested in his Holdens because they used to have one themselves, he says.

There is something for everybody, the 60-year-old says.

"Entertainment is provided for families and fathers can relive their youth by looking at old cars. It also appeals to young guys because if they aren't interested in the older cars there's always new Ferraris and BMWs."

Mr Flinkenberg will include two of his four classic Holdens in the show: his 1970 HG Monaro and his 1965 HD Premier. Of the other two, one is awaiting restoration and the other he keeps in Australia.

The real estate agent has owned the top of the range 1965 HD Premier for 28 years. It has only clocked up 68,000 miles (109,000 kilometres) and has been meticulously maintained. Even the aroona blue paintwork is original. He puts this down to the fact that like him, the previous sole owner kept it in the garage. The main car he uses for transport is a 2009 Holden Commodore, although he has started taking his HD Premier out a bit more.

Other brands just do not captivate his imagination in the same way.

"I'll be a Holden man all my life," he says.

Go to concours.org.nz.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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