First Car Brought to Dominion
The first motor-car to be imported into New Zealand is believed to be a Star car brought to Auckland in 1899 by Mr. Arthur Marychurch, now a resident of Coatesville, North Auckland. The car was bought from the Star Engineering Company, Wolverhampton, England, by Mr. Marychurch in June, 1899, and was brought to Auckland bv the steamer Whakatane, arriving in Auckland in September, 1899. It was run in Auckland until December of that year and was then taken to Christchurch by steamer. " I paid £l6B for the car new at the works and was given the_ agency," said Mr. Marychurch in an interview with " Focus." " On my arrival back I gave
the agency to Messrs. Skeates and Bockaert and tbey paid the freight and duty, amounting to £9O. That is how Skeates and Bockaert came to handle the car. «w e thought that there would be a big crowd at Christchurch for the Christchurch Jubilee and a splendid chanco to do some trade by taking the car there. On the voyage to Lytt-elton, the vessel called at Wellington and the car was taken ashore as it was m the way on deck. Mr. J. E. Skeates went ashore and asked the Wellington civic authorities if the car could be run in the streets of Wellington for the day. Permission was granted only on _ the condition that a man should go m front with a red flag. . « We had no trouble at Christchurch at all and drove the car about the streets as we pleased without interference. The car was sold to Messrs.
Wardell Bros., of Christchurch, for £l3O. It was several weeks before any other car arrived at Christchurch. The first was a Benz, imported by Mr. N. Oates, and advertised some time before its arrival as the first car due to arrive in Now Zealand." The Star was capable of 20 in.p.h. on high gear and eight miles an hour on low. Built early in 1899, it was powered by a single-cylinder motor of 4 9-16 in. bore and stroke, with an openfronted crankshaft with two driving pulleys for two speeds on the crankshaft. There was one fixed and two loose pulleys on the intermediate shaft, from .which there was chain drive to the rear wheels. The design was similar to the Benz with the exception of the carburetter, which was of a make still in use on stationary and marine engines. The car was equipped with wire wheels with pneumatic tyres, the front ones being smaller in diameter than the rear ones.
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First Car Brought to Dominion, New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXII, Issue 22303, 28 December 1935, Supplement
First Car Brought to Dominion New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXII, Issue 22303, 28 December 1935, Supplement
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