7 Mar 2020

Classic car rally: 'Doors fly open ... it's part of the fun'

9:20 pm on 7 March 2020

By Emma Perry of Otago Daily Times

Some of the most expensive cars in the world pit-stopped in Dunedin yesterday, including a Jaguar worth $1.3 million.

With their 1937 Jaguar SS100, worth an estimated $1.3 million

Stephen and Owen Collins from York in England have had some issues keeping their 1937 Jaguar on the road. Photo: ODT / Steven McIntosh

Twenty-four classic cars are taking part in a 23-day New Zealand rally hosted by the Endurance Rally Association.

The trip, which started in Auckland on 15 February, will cover 7000km and finishes in Christchurch tomorrow.

Businessman Stephen Owens and wife Collette are taking part in their 1937 Jaguar SS100, worth an estimated $1.3 million.

Owens said the 2.5-litre car had encountered some issues while rallying with wife Collette as navigator.

"We're running with an original engine... everything in the car is original so it takes a huge amount of work to keep it up to a running standard."

Some issues for the car had included a blowing manifold and the ignition not working, but the dedicated team of mechanics paid to accompany the group on the trip had been priceless.

"It's a dying industry, mechanics who can work on old cars."

The Jaguar SS100 was one of 197 made.

Driving the Motu Rd in the North Island had been a highlight, Owens said.

"You're on a road that is one car width and trying to keep up with the regularities, it's thrilling.

"We've had the doors fly open, the car is uncovered, you're battling against the elements and that's part of the fun."

Architecture across the city and the Railway Station had been the highlights of their short stay in Dunedin.

"It's beautiful, the city is so well-preserved."

The cars left the city this morning and head to Lake Tekapo, before ending the trip in Christchurch tomorrow.

This story first appeared in the Otago Daily Times