Building Jags a classic case of perfection personified

A long, rewarding and thrilling road for Dave

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 05:00 10/06/2014
Dave Brown
ROBYN EDIE/FAIRFAX NZ

LIKE AN ORIGINAL: Classic Car Developments owner Dave Brown with a replica two-seater 1955 D-Type Jaguar he and his staff have built.

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Invercargill man Dave Brown doesn't make your average kitset car.

When cars roll off his assembly stand it's 1952 C-Type Jaguars, 1955 D-Type Jaguars and 1965 Ford GT40s.

As well as complete replicas he and his staff assemble rolling cars and build their own parts from scratch.

Since opening his business, Classic Car Developments, about 23 years ago demand has continued to increase globally, especially for the parts and rolling cars because people bought them as projects, Brown said.

Rolling cars are where the bodywork and chassis are done but not the wheels, engine, gearbox, wiring or paint.

Brown said his business was believed to be one of the only companies in the world to manufacture specific parts and build the replica Jaguars and Fords to original specifications.

A black, shiny 1955 D-Type Jaguar is parked outside the business, bound for Britain next month.

It's the 13th replica classic car the business has completed and it's worth the price of a good-sized house.

The race car, which started with drawings three years ago, was a complete replica down to its original specifications with a 270 horsepower engine and a speed of up to 250kmh. It was taken for its first run around the block on Friday.

It has been a long, rewarding and thrilling road for former race car driver Brown.

Starting the business involved years of researching how to build complete replicas of the three classic cars as well as manufacturing a range of unique suspension, engine and brake parts.

His five-year dream came to life in 1991 when he opened the business - a goal he had put everything on the line for.

Calls started coming in from across the world with requests for specific parts, cars and rolling cars.

Since opening Brown and his four staff have completed 45 cars.

It was a new thrill every time a car was completed, he said. 

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