All week, here in New Plymouth, in perfect weather, there has been a gathering of around 250 American cars
and motorbikes under the banner of Americarna. Enthusiasts from all over the country have assembled and I’ve had several opportunities to have a close look at much of the machinery, and their doting owners. The city has embraced them, their presence has added texture to life here to this small town of 50,000 people, and of course the economic spin-off for local business has been healthy.
Generally speaking, and with notable exceptions such as the Studebaker, defunct since 1966, American car design such as Muscle Cars, and Hot Rods does not attract me too much, but all the same there were some extraordinary vehicles, for example, an immaculate, colossal, black hearse with the number plate DEAD, and a coffin in the back. Another favourite is a perfectly restored 1936 Chevrolet tow-truck. There was something extremely cute about it, and as it resides in New Plymouth I hope to see it again. There were so many admirers around it that I was not able to get a photo.

It has been an opportunity to have a close look at about 50 Harley-Davidsons and their owners, many of whom looked wonderfully like Willie Nelson. I admire the Harley-Davidson design ethic, it has a presence, even if I don’t like all the designs equally. Above however, is a snap of the bike that I liked the most. It’s from the V-Rod series. I don’t know what a new one in New Zealand would cost but here is a 2003 model for sale on Trade-me for $NZ23,000. Do click on the small photo to see just what an impressive machine this is, in appearance at least.

Here, to finish this posting is a photograph of my father on his Harley, with sidecar. I don’t know exactly when this was but he was born in 1904 and I would guess this to be taken in the 30’s. He died at the age of 91 and until the end of his life he carried gravel in his elbows and knees, as a result of coming off this bike on gravel roads, once as a result of on a dark night night, hitting a cow. (Again, as with any photo on this site, by clicking on the image, it can be enlarged.)