By SHELLEY TOPP
Something about the old Austin parked under a Loburn hedge caught Eric Anderson’s eye.
When he worked for the “power board” in the 1990s he often saw the old wrecked car and thought of buying it.
“I wanted a car of that vintage,” Eric says.
It reminded him of the first car he and his wife Olive bought after they were married, except this one had been badly neglected.
“We started off with an Austin. I looked at it for about a year before I decided to make an offer.”
It was 1993 when he finally made his move and $250 later he was the proud owner of the dilapidated 1938 Austin 10 Cambridge.
The old girl needed a lot of work but Eric took her back to his Rangiora home, put her in the garage and slowly began bringing her back to life.
It has been a meticulous restoration with fine attention to detail. By the looks of her now she could be hot off the showroom floor in her heyday. Her paintwork gleams, the upholstery is new and she hums along nicely.
“The beauty of it was that all the bits and pieces were still there,” Eric says.
Now he and Olive have a wee gem of a car to tour about in. They often take her to vintage car rallies and shows. They lined her up at Rangiora on the Northern A&P Association Show’s Celebration Day last Sunday and the car had plenty of admirers.
Eric and Olive’s son David and grandson Luke were also at the Celebration Day last Sunday. The little Austin is a family car.
“It is going to remain a family car,” says Eric.
He wants to eventually be able to pass on the lovely example of Austin’s most popular car of the 1930s to his son and grandson for them to enjoy the same way he and Olive do. The car was fun to drive and “quite happy” cruising along at 50mph (80km), Eric says.
Next year Eric and Olive are planning a big trip in the Austin, travelling to Auckland at a leisurely pace with no rushing and taking time to enjoy the sights along the journey.