Sunday, 22 April 2018


I drove down to Auckland yesterday and returned today. This is the second trip that the 'new' car has had from Auckland to Whangarei and performed very well.

No bits fell off.

This car must have been made on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Don't buy a car made on a Monday or a Friday.

I'm sure there were supposed to be four wheels

I worked a summer season at Todd Motors in Petone in 1970/71 as a holiday job before starting university. I was in the checking and testing department at the end of the line. We used to do wheel testing, drive testing, headlight testing and water tightness testing along with some other checks.

Most cars passed except for a few where wheels fell off due to no wheel nuts being put on. Cars leaked water because a Hillman Avenger door was jammed into a Hillman Hunter doorframe. Headlight checks failed because the headlight fittings from Chryslers were jammed into the set up for Hillmans. Brakes failed because no brake linings were fitted etc. These were just the 'superficial' checks. I hate to think what might have been wrong with engines and transmission systems.

I found that most of the problems happened on Mondays and Fridays. I know, I've heard that this is an apocryphal story but in my case I know it to be true. As a checker I used to have to go back down the line to point out the mistake to the person who had made it - usually a gigantic  man*.
On Mondays said gigantic man, if found was nursing a massive hangover from the weekend just gone. On Fridays said gigantic  man was never to be found having taken the day off for a long weekend and had a friend clock him in and cover his duties. Once the guy I was looking for was actually there and when I asked questions he ran away. He ran away! From me, a skinny (then) 18 y.o. and him at least 6 foot five!


My trip back was uneventful but on the way down I was nearly wiped out twice. It really is getting too dangerous to drive nowadays, especially in Northland.
On a 100 kph stretch just south of Whangarei there is an intersection on the right which has been the scene of lots of fatalities. I saw about five cars lined up trying to turn right on to State Highway One and the lead car was getting a bit 'antsy'. I always try to anticipate problems when driving and sure enough, this turkey pulled out and turned right in front of me. I was travelling at 100 kph. I had already planned to brake in case this happened and did so with the car braking well and in a straight line de-accellerating from 100 kph to about 40 kph to avoid ramming the stupid fucker.
The cars travelling in the opposite direction were also travelling at 100 kph and the lead one, maybe braking, jinked to the left and missed the stupid cunt by a whisker. If he had even just nicked him I would have been involved in a multi-car pile up. The stupid christian (I ran out of increasingly virulent descriptions) took off and because the car behind me undertook me on the left I was unable to get his number-plate. He proceeded to overtake other cars on the 100 kph stretch and was well away.

The second time was between Wellsford and Warkworth on an uphill passing lane. I was passing some slow traffic and was behind another car in my lane. Behind me was an impatient fucker who was right on my bumper. As I completed the passing manouvre the passing lane had run out but, instead of tucking in behind me 'Mr Speedy' chose to continue to overtake me forcing me dangerously left. I gave him the finger and the cunt waved to me in the rear vision mirror. If this was middle america and I was driving a behemoth utility truck with bumper bars I would have sped up and  nudged him off the road ( too much reading of Jack Reacher books I know.) This idiot performed another few stupid overtaking moves and was soon well ahead. I thought I wouldn't see him again.

I was wrong. After the twin tunnels south of Puhoi I noticed the same black car at the side of the motorway. He had been pulled over by a plain police car. Justice done!

* This was in the early days of manufacturing using imported Polynesian labour - in Wellington it was Cook Islanders and Samoans. There was little in the way of language education  and skills training and the unions were strong and the employers were comparatively weak. It didn't stop them making as many cost cuts (including wages) as they could get away with though.


Robert said...

Jolly good defensive driving.

Richard (of RBB) said...

A bit off topic but, if you spelt Warkworth as Wankworth would anyone spot the difference?


There's a place near there named Kuntara.


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