Quite a while back, when I first learned I was to be spending a little over two weeks “studying” abroad in New Zealand, I made a post questioning whether there was any car culture there at all. Turns out, there is. Big time.
My group arrived at our hotel in Auckland 32.5 hours after I left my house for the airport, but after a quick shower we were off exploring the city. Those on the trip who didn’t know me quickly came to understand that I was liable to take pictures of cars as well as the usual sights, sometimes ones that seemed totally random. Right off the bat we were passed by a grey Rapide, the first indicator that we were staying in an area with plenty of high-end cars.
Of course, given that New Zealand has no car industry of its own at the moment, all of its cars are imported. That means that they have to import everything, and they seem more than willing to bring over the best of what Europe, Japan, America, and Australia have to offer. There are Holdens galore, which one guy on my trip called the “New Zealand Lion Car.” I was a big fan of the Commodore wagon, which you can have with a 400+hp LS3 for the equivalent of a little under $60,000 USD. Pictured below is one waiting in front of our hotel, I believe it to be a V6 model.
Nearby was a new X1, illegally parked. Someone had written a note in glass marker on the windshield saying the car had broken down and asking to call the owner rather than tow it. That didn’t work.
Old Land Rovers were a big deal there, although I somehow managed to avoid getting a single picture of one. Our tour bus driver had a restored green ‘62 Series 1.
Lots of JDM stuff, and while I managed to avoid getting any pictures of the plethora of Skylines (both GT-R and not) or Supras I saw, I did find this nice FD RX-7.
Back by the hotel again.
As I mentioned in a few prior posts, I rented an old RAV-4 for a day on the island of Waiheke and had a fantastic time exploring the beaches and beautiful views of the island with four friends shoved in that tiny thing. We even made it up the extremely bumpy gravel roads to the gorgeous Man O’ War Vineyard, which is a must-visit suggested to me by a fellow Oppo.
We were joined at the beach by this little old Austin 7.
The person who presumably owned this RS4 and the house it was parked at was initially suspicious when I walked up to the edge of his property to look at the car, but when I explained I was an Audi fan from the states who had never seen an RS4 Avant before, he permitted me to have a look.
The Kiwis, as I learned, take full advantage of their ability to purchase fast Audi wagons.
Still on Waiheke I came across this 928.
And this G-Wagon. There were lots of old and new Gelandewagens of every sort in New Zealand, but this one struck me as particularly majestic rocking the rooftop tent. Another big boxy SUV they have their that I loved but forgot to photograph? The Y60 Nissan Patrol.
Back by our hotel in Auckland, I saw plenty of these. The SQ7 is powered by a diesel V8 that is both supercharged and twin-turbocharged, producing 664 pound feet of torque. Okay, so that’s less than the previous-gen Q7 V12 TDI makes, but whatever.
Most of the cool JDM stuff was #stanced, including this C33 Nissan Laurel.
While they may not have 3+ trailer road trains like Australia, New Zealand still takes their big rigs very seriously, with these badass road train style cabs being quite common.
First time I’ve seen a red i8. I like it!
C6 RS6 Avant with the 571hp V10. Like I said, lots of forbidden fast Audi wagons.
And yes, most of the fast wagons had trailer hitches.
Triumph 2000, awful color but it’s period I suppose.
Ford Zephyr MkII.
This stunning Jaguar XJ6 4.2 Coupe is my perfect kind of classic. And yes, it’s got a trailer hitch.
Some version of a Caterham 7.
The current RS6 Avant, with 605 horsepower and of course a trailer hitch.
Some sort of old Mercury wagon.
A little example of just how stealthy their unmarked police cars are:
Old 4Runner, called the Hilux Surf there, with awesome graphics.
E37 Corolla with meh wheels/side pipes.
According to Oppo, this is a Panther Kallista.
A bona fide Chrysler 300C wagon. I know these were shit, but it’s still cool.
More 60's Americana.
Interesting two-tone job on this SL600, or perhaps he just bought the hardtop color off a silver SL.
‘55 Ford Customline.
I think this one is a late-70's Escort.
Original Minis and VW Beetles were also a common sight.
Sharknose 635CSI looks good even in beige.
This was in front of our hotel in Wellington. Not old, and you see them in the states, but it’s just such a good-looking car.
Love the DS4, and the plate on this one made me lol.
Street parked DB9 that had seen more glamorous days.
None of the Jurassic Park films were ever filmed in NZ, although II and III were supposed to have scenes shot there. It’s easy to see why; the country certainly looks the part, and so does this Jeep.
American and Australian muscle. They were reserved apartment spots in our hotel garage, so probably the same owner.
The legendary HSV Maloo.
No clue what this old pickup is. I suck with 20's and 30's hotrods. Ford?
As seen in Harry Potter and not in America, it’s a Ford Anglia!
Oh look it’s A 911 C4. A 964 to be exact.
The Toyota Vitz I rented in Wellington.
I asked Oppo if these Legacy STIs were rare after reading mixed things onlines. Some said it was just a common sports package, others said it was a genuine STI with only 600 ever made. Y’all seemed more interested in the window tint.
Back up to Auckland, and back at it with the supercars. An orange 650S Spyder passed shortly after this.
I LOVE GOOOOLD!
The final spot before we left for the airport to fly back to the US. A Lancia Delta Integrale.
Still to come: Photos from the incredible Southward Car Museum, as well as pretty scenery pics.