Old girl is an old favourite
Oamaru's Wes Hamilton is pleased his 1954 EIP Vauxhall Velox is "not all slogged and baggy" and is determined to keep it that way.
He's owned it for about five years, but first laid eyes on it more than 30 years ago.
"When I was a lad, 17 I was, my dad had just finished painting a ladies house and he said she had a 54 Vauxhall and that I should check it out.
"I ended up buying it from a friend of mine who got to it before I did. He sold it to me through his ill health."
Powered by a two litre, six-cylinder overhead valve engine, the fact it was in such fine condition is one of the big reasons Mr Hamilton was bent on owning it.
"When I first saw it, it had 43,000 miles (69,200 kilometres) on it, that was in 1976. I actually said one day I'm going to buy that car and about 33 years later, I did. That's why it's so special."
It's now got 85,000 miles (136,794km) on the clock, which he puts down to a genuine love of driving it.
Mr Hamilton says the mileage was quite low because the elderly owner only really used it to go to church on Sundays and go grocery shopping during the week.
As well as still being low on miles for its age and in original condition, which includes paintwork, upholstery and parts, other than bits and pieces needed for general maintenance, it also has it's original tools in a black pouch, handbook and polish mop.
It means Mr Hamilton is pretty careful when it comes to where it goes and what weather conditions it's used in.
"I'm a bit precious about it. I don't like leaving it out in the rain or sitting in direct sunlight really ... I wouldn't hesitate in driving it any place I need to go, as long as I had a safe place to park it," he says with a laugh.
As well as having a 50s radio, the indicators, called 'trafficators' pop out from beside the front doors.
Mr Hamilton says the Vauxhall was designed for open road cruising and has no trouble keeping up with today's speed limits, and it is as comfortable as any modern car to drive.
He knows a thing or two about vintage vehicles, having also owned a 37 Chevrolet for 16 years and a 67 Dodge Coronet. His current model is for keeps however.
"I'm not interested in selling it at all, I'd waited more than 30 years to own the old girl."
- © Fairfax NZ News