Being cool in the 30s

Photo of vintage cars

We love this pic of two lads out and about in Gordonton, sent in by Mike Taylor a while back.  Check out the metal road!

Mike says:

“The photo was taken on Whitikahu Road, near Gordonton, in 1938. My father Alan, left, in his MG and his older brother Mac in the Riley.

Within a few short years both men would be serving overseas during WW2.   Alan in North Africa and Italy, Mac, a little later, in the South Pacific. Mac played 36 games for the Waikato rugby team between 1933 and 1946.

In June 1972 Dad and I went to Wellington. Dad wanted to attend an army reunion for the 14th Light Anti Aircraft Regiment.  Also in Wellington was Bob Gibbons, a friend of my father who had sold him the MG 34 years earlier.

Bob had kept details of the car which he gave to me on a tiny piece of paper.

MG paperworkFast forward 20 odd years. My father’s MG J2 was distinctive from other J2s because the later models, like his, had swept wings with running boards as opposed to the earlier model which just had cycle wings over the wheels.

In the 1990s it was advertised for sale in the Auto Trader. Every car was featured with a photograph. By a pure fluke I saw the advert which showed the rego as MG 4225. It was just a simple matter of joining the dots and making a phone call.

The car had found its way to Dunedin, but was dismantled in the 1960s. It ended up in the hands of Charlie Fulton, Oamaru, who did a full and very expensive restoration. I also tried to track down the Riley, but no such luck.

In 1938 the MG cost £200. Today a restored MG J2 fetches around £40,000!”


Photo of vintage MG outside the Taylor house
Alan Taylor in his MG outside the family home in Gordonton.




The old MG


The MG J2 at Bushy Park (herein is another story!), Gordonton, 1938/9


Restored MG


…and beautifully restored, Oamaru, mid 1990s.


N8N is on the lookout for classic, local photos.  If you have a photographic gem that shows life in our patch in days gone by, send it through!  We’d love to see and share it!

This story first ran on Number 8 Network in January 2019.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

2 thoughts on “Being cool in the 30s

  • May 22, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Great story, thanks!

    • May 22, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      It’s great, isn’t it? I love that he tracked the car down!


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