Previously I had owned a 1948 Dodge, upon which we had carried out a full body-off rebuild taking 3 years. However, she was a big heavy car to drive, so after selling her I wanted to buy something younger, preferably automatic and with power steering.
I saw my Daimler advertised on Trade-me, and as it was located in Fairlie and we live in Auckland, I asked a friend to inspect her. By chance one of his friends was the local garage owner, and he had inspected and driven the car, and was content with its condition.
So, sight unseen, I phoned the owner, agreed a price, and paid the money into his account. My Fairlie friend picked up the Daimler and stored her in his shed until my wife and I could collect her.
A few weeks later we flew down to the South Island to pick her up. The first day was, in retrospect, too hard – we were up at 4:00am to catch an early plane to Christchurch, then took a rental car to Fairlie (2 1/2 hour drive), lunch with our friend and his wife, inspected their beautiful new house, and then back to Ch-ch to drop off the rental, then onto Hanmer Springs, another 2+ hours drive – when we got in at 7:00pm we were both very tired!
Had a free day in Hanmer, and spent two hours in the beautiful hot pools. Left there at about 10:30am on the Friday, and travelled up the inland scenic route to Kaikoura, where we had lunch – arrived in Blenheim at 4:00pm where we stayed with friends. The next day we caught the ferry to Wellington where we again stayed with friends.
Sunday we were off to Wanganui, where we arrived just in time to go out for a 3 hour trip on the ‘Waimarie’ a restored steam paddle steamer which was great for us old boaties – highly recommended! Stayed the night in Wanganui, and the next day explored the elevator in one of the hills (built many years ago to attract people to buy land up the hill) and the tower on top of the hill (179 steps) where we had a great view!
Then off to New Plymouth – visited the Pioneer Museum on the way, and arrived late on Monday night. Weather changed dramatically so we only visited Pukekura park (very pretty) then we left heading north.
Stopped at Waitomo and did the caves – it was about 55 years ago that I was last there!
Decided to stay the final night at Hamilton, and arrived home the next day.
We had a great trip, and the Daimler ran very well all the way. She starts superbly, runs very quietly when warmed up, and achieved 23 mpg, which compares very well with the 13mpg that the Dodge used to get!