Monday, February 06, 2017

33 cars who set out to tour New Zealand in January 1917, to survey the roads to get improvements made, only 10 made it

100 people including MPs, Roads Board members, business managers, telegraph operators, photographers, an ambulance man, three land scouts, a biographer, and a handful of reporters were in 33 cars set out on the tour in January 1917.

Only 10 cars completed the journey, such were the Northland roads and conditions.

Back then the roads North from Auckland were the worst in the country - so when rain began to fall, the dust clouds that had covered everyone were replaced by mud and slush. Cars capsized or became bogged, axles broke and tires burst, making the two week journey arduous and unpleasant.

Many of the cars had to be towed out by teams of ox, and so many became fed up with the conditions they resorted to shipping their cars back.

In spite of these atrocious conditions it was not until 1936 the road became an all weather route through the Waipu Gorge and the main road didn't pass over the Brynderwyns until 1938.

Construction of the coastal road north of Wellington, 1939.

Yesterday they finished a centennial with 100 year old cars, and some people were in period correct costumes, and where possible they took the original route, but avoided areas where they would hold up traffic

this American LaFrance speedster is featured at

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