A well travelled Nippy

This car is apparently now in Japan, but Ivan Gardiner reports on how it was brought back to life all those years ago in New Zealand, including a useful image of the bare hood frame.

The original chassis had been so butchered, due to having been fitted with a Ford 10 engine, that it was discarded and it has a Ruby chassis and a Big 7 front axle. Not something that we would do today though.

Engine and gearbox were just standard 1935/36 items. I was responsible for several “deviations” from originality, and the current Japanese owner has added quite a few more. But it was a lovely little car, with amazingly good handling on rough gravel roads.

One thing that is original is the colour.  I scraped back enough paint to reveal the original red and got the painter to match it.

The later pictures were found on Flickr after I recognised it – confirming by the louvres on the bonnet which were done before I got it, the big 7 axle, the rather tatty hood which came with the car when I got it, and the 16″ Ruby wheels, among other things. I never found a stamp on the transmission tunnel, so no original numbers available. The NZ registration number GL646 dates from when I relicensed it around 1970. The Ruby chassis number was around 240,000 and I think that the original chassis was not far away from that, so I licensed it as a 1936 model.

A real usable car and I do miss it!

Perhaps the present owner can send us an update?

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