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Thread: NZ Cars - A Cottage Industry

  1. #81
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    Corsair

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  2. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by RUSS CUNNINGHAM View Post
    Patrick,

    Full credit to you for approaching such a subject. It's bound to attract criticism as did Vercoes's book but without such as yours and Vercoes efforts, much of NZ's motoring history would be consigned to history. Sure! You'll be reprimanded for mistakes but take solace in the fact that you've saved some of it. I'll buy a copy.
    Thank you for your commendation. I knew before I started this book that I was bound to get some criticisim. But I am also pretty sure that I have done the best job possible given the fact that most of these cars were, before the late 80s registed as anything but their correct name. Most were called specials, some were called a Triumph Herald and one Lotus 7 type car called the Macrae was actually registered as a Ford Cortina Stationwagon.

  3. #83
    Corsair


    I know a lot about the Corsair and my pictures are slightly better than the ones shown by markec but would I would appreciate better ones if anybody has any. For the record it is a revamped Jarvie, originally made by Reinforced Plastics in Penrose. Only one was made here (see pictures) before Gordon Johns purchased the moulds and made a further two. Ford were not happy with the Corsair name being used and got grumpy.

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    Last edited by Patrick.Harlow; 05-15-2012 at 05:03 AM.

  4. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by RUSS CUNNINGHAM View Post
    Patrick,

    Full credit to you for approaching such a subject. It's bound to attract criticism as did Vercoes's book but without such as yours and Vercoes efforts, much of NZ's motoring history would be consigned to history. Sure! You'll be reprimanded for mistakes but take solace in the fact that you've saved some of it. I'll buy a copy.
    Well said Russ!

  5. #85
    Thanks for the acclamations. I am currently approaching publishers about printing the book with an aim to publish either for Fathers day 2012 or 2013 depending on printing issues.

    Next question can anybody tell me any more about this car....
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  6. #86
    Pasted below is the full Auto Age magazine of cars under production in 1985. Please note that the centre car on page 85 is an Everson Eagle not a Bainbridge as stated.
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  7. #87
    Patrick, as I was on staff at the AA ( and had some involvement with the article) when this was published I would suggest a little caution which I know you are doing. It would be fair to say there was a level of "commercial backing".

  8. #88
    Agree. I have already discovered a few differences between this article and reality but that is not unusual in many articles I have read or even TV broadcasts for that matter. In all instances the manufacturer is trying to show his product in its best light which is fully understandable. However history has proven that showing a product in its "best light" looks quite different looking back over the years when the "rose tinted glasses" have been removed. This article was written almost 30 years ago. Some of the things promised never occured or got off the first base. For instance the Ibis 7 car never saw light of day but it would eventually start production in a much modified form as the Chevron.

  9. #89
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    Patrick. I owned the Ibis 7 a few years ago. At that stage it was powered by a Datsun 1200 and box but the rest was definitely Viva. Although it was really the Chevron Prototype the next car was built by Evan Fray and became Chevron number 1. Sadly when I sold the Ibis 7 it went with its new owner to the sunny part of Australia, it was either Queensland or Brisbane. Ian Byrd then went on to build the Mini powered Berkeley which he also called the Ibis. Someone once told me the first car was called Ibis after the bird which he believed ate Lotus flowers. i.e. Ibis eats Lotus. However I have never had that confirmed by Ian Byrd
    Graeme Banks

  10. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by GeebeeNZ View Post
    Someone once told me the first car was called Ibis after the bird which he believed ate Lotus flowers. i.e. Ibis eats Lotus.
    That's not unlike the story of why the De Tomaso Mangusta was so called....Mangusta = Mongoose & the Mongoose eats snakes--a.k.a. the Cobra!!!

  11. #91
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    Taken from the Sports Car Club of NZ magazine March 1984

  12. #92
    It is true that Ian Byrd used the name Ibis becasue it was very fond of the Lotus. However the car was never a Berkeley. It was at best inspired by a Berkekey. Keeping it short.... It all started when.....

    Auckland vintage restorer Wallace McNair at one stage owned a Berkeley and with the arrival and success of the Mini he decided to build a Berkeley-styled car in New Zealand that would use the Mini front suspension, a beam axle with Mini hubs. The A series motor would be dropped in favour of using a more modern 550cc Suzuki two-stroke. This was never finished.

    Ian Byrd heard about the project and bought the unfinished prototype off Wallace in 1985 he immediately gave the car the Ibis name as well. He then set about widening the car to take the entire Mini front and rear subframes. Unfortunately this car was accidentally destroyed when it fell off a truck on the Auckland motorway after some children had released the rope tethering it.

    It could have all ended there but with the help Tim Monk-Mason and another prototype was made from a new plug using bits they could salvage from the first car. This time the project was virtually all Mini with the original Berkeley live axle replaced with Mini trailing arms and coil over shocks. Although it looked like a Berkeley it was a different car with the moulds being taken off a totally new buck. If the two cars were parked side by side the Ibis would have been the slightly longer, wider and the more rounded of the two. Although it resembled the Berkeley, it was clearly an evolution and not a replica. Only about 10 were ever produced.

    Below an original Berkeley.
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    Tim Monk Mason sitting in the Ibis buck
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    The car was later completely remade. Going by the name of RD Wasp and had more than a passing resemblance to the Cobra in everything but scale. Ian Byrd had nothing to do with this Composites International design. Six of these were built and it is believed that only one remains in New Zealand.
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    Last edited by Patrick.Harlow; 06-10-2012 at 06:34 PM.

  13. #93
    Interested to read about the Ibis and Wasp,I was asked to get involved with the project and helped built the original floor pan mould with Ian,[This through my being involved in the Fibreglass industry for 25 years ,Ultralite Aircraft Ltd,Bruce Stratton and Rob Trainer [based originally at Ardmore Aerodrome and the Papakura],took over the project and created the Wasp,now these guys in my opinion the BEST producers off fibreglass compoments in NZ,[this before carbon fibre etc].They were such perfectionists that they would not release the kit till everything was absolutely perfect.I took one of the car for a drive one time and it was fantastic,the finish excellent,it was very hard to see that the car was built iut off FRP as all compoments were router cut on the edges so had very sharp finishes.
    The only other person I ever came across with similar skills is Ferris De Joux who I supplied a lot of raw materials for his various projects.Ferris could make a pattern quicker than anyone i had come across,but i give the quality award to the Ultralite boys.
    Ferris was involved with a bus design project which was going to finish up in production in China,he needed to make seats for the bus ,so he used a section from a Brabham nose mould he had as the back portion of the seat,just the correct contour to,and very comfortable.Wish i had bought a Wasp now,it would be great fun,they had a photo on their wall of a Cobra and Wasp together,very very similar.
    Ross

  14. #94
    Composites International have always produced high quality fibreglass products and it is either Rob Trainer or Bruce Stratton driving the Wasp above. They also made the body panels for the Phil Weir GT40 cars. Below is a picture of the RD Wasp with an Almac 427SC Cobra.

    The moulds for this car are still owned by Composites International.

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    Last edited by Patrick.Harlow; 06-14-2012 at 06:18 PM.

  15. #95
    Patrick,Great photo,Bruce Stratton is driving the Wasp,if i recall what killed it off is the regulations pertaining to kit cars,I can remember being on their premises and they would do something like rear suspension mounts,have it inspected and the rules would change[or would be changed on them] and they would have to redo it,no short cut for these boys,new patterns new moulds etc etc and then re submit......it was all very frustrating for them.
    Rosco

  16. #96
    You are absolutely right. They were building this car at the same time as when all the new regulaltions were coming out. One of the most frustrating things for them is that they were told the original Mini brakes were not good enough despite them being fitted to a much lighter car. They modified the design to take honda discs and callipers. It definately stopped then.

    One of the main things that killed it off in the end was sudden influx of Japanese imports. It was Japanese imports that put many small volume car producers out of business in that era. Up to that point their were a lot of uniqueluy designed New Zealand Cars. Once the dust had settled all that were left were Lotus 7, MG TD, Cobra and a few other replicas.

    Almac tried to be original in the early 90s, with the Almac Sabre but by that time they could not compete with cheap Japanese pocket rockets and production stopped after only 15 or so cars had been made. That aside the Saker is still in production and the Murtya is the newest original car trying to get into this market and maybe will be ok. Bothe the Saker and the Murtaya are based on Subaru running gear.

    I went for a ride in a RD Wasp a couple of years ago and it still is a brilliant fun little car.

    The Murtaya.

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  17. #97
    Have you included MER, Maramata Engineering built 5 or 6 single seat race cars and 3 sports cars in the late '60s. all except 1 had rear mounted Mini endines. I wrote a breif history a couple of years ago for Historic Racing Drvers Magazine, which I could send you if interested. The then owner of Matamata Engineering, Alan Pepper is still arround as well..

  18. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by Ekwah View Post
    Have you included MER, Maramata Engineering built 5 or 6 single seat race cars and 3 sports cars in the late '60s. all except 1 had rear mounted Mini endines. I wrote a breif history a couple of years ago for Historic Racing Drvers Magazine, which I could send you if interested. The then owner of Matamata Engineering, Alan Pepper is still arround as well..
    No. I have never heard of this car and yes I am interested especially if the three sports cars were intended to be road legal as this is the focus on my book.

    My book is now in its final draft so I am now doing all those little tidy up tasks before it goes to the publishers in February of next year. The aim is to have it on book shelves for Fathers Day and Christmas 2013.

  19. #99
    Hi,
    A friend of mine owns serial #2 Cherub(Moke look-alike) and has the original rego papers showing one of the Eversons as the first owner. He never knew what it was until I sent him the information from this forum.

    Regards
    Al
    Last edited by Alasdair Brass; 03-22-2013 at 07:41 PM.

  20. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by Alasdair Brass View Post
    Hi,
    A friend of mine owns serial #2 Cherub(Moke look-alike) and has the original rego papers showing one of the Eversons as the first owner. He never knew what it was until I sent him the information from this forum.

    Regards
    Al
    That sounds amazing. The book went to the publishers two weeks ago with a very poor quality picture of the Cherub. If you can give me your friends contact details I will follow up as I don't think it is too late yet.

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