New Zealand Classic Car 343, July 2019

It’s a car, like the Trabant, that was once everywhere and has now almost completely disappeared. But thanks to its unlikely saviour, hot-rod builder Russ McIntyre, we get a close look at a 1962 Ford Popular, a car that changed the shape of British motoring. Another shape that will bring a smile of recognition is the NSU Ro 80. Owner Mark Crompton makes a strong case for this ground-breaking car’s classic credentials and says its rotary engine’s reputation for fragility is plain wrong. Two more very well-known cars grace our pages this month, the famous aeroplane-engined Lycoming Special, which was a fixture at the front of many races for decades in New Zealand, and Porsche’s engineering tour de force that redefined supercars, the 959. We take a close look at another aero engine, the Rolls-Royce Merlin, and another marque associated with that firm, Bentley, turns 100 this year. We look back at how ‘WO’ made his name legendary with what Ettore Bugatti called “the fastest lorries in the world”.

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