Classic cars ahead of their time

Last updated 12:12 14/09/2012
Jowett
JULIAN RAETHEL

CLUB CLASSIC: From left: Neil Moore, Ken Brownlie, Malcolm Mitchell, John Godfrey and Allen Stanley of the Jowett Car Club.

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Ken Brownlie's shed has always been a haven for Jowett car owners, a place to get together and work on their prized possessions at least once a week.

New Zealand's Jowett Car Club sparked to life in 1962 and the classic cars are still alive and kicking today.

Jowett was founded in 1901 and officially opened its factory doors in Bradford, England, in 1904.

The company made many revolutionary light cars in its 50 years of production including the Javelin, Jupiter, Bradford and Jowett R4.

The Jupiter was well known as a rally car in the 1950s.

The company was forced to shut down in 1954 for financial reasons.

But that hasn't stopped the enthusiasts.

Mr Brownlie owns a green 1951 Jowett Bradford along with other projects he works on with fellow Jowett fanatics, including a black 1951-1952 Jowett Javelin.

He won't reveal how much he's spent on his Jowetts but does stress his passion for the automobiles.

"It's pretty hard to value these cars.

"We all love Jowetts because we grew up with them in the 1960s and they were cutting edge at the time," he says.

"I learned to drive in one back in England when I was 15 years old," he says.

The club keeps thousands of spare parts which are needed for the cars to stay on the road and keep the legacy alive.

After the Jowett company shut down New Zealand became the fortunate recipient of many container loads of spares.

Alan Stanley, national president of the Jowett Car Club, says that technological advancements in automobiles have helped to keep the Jowetts on the road.

"These cars were ahead of their time in 1953 so they had their teething problems.

"But with technology these days replicating spare parts is not too much of a problem."

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