Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


MOTORNET: Scoop Classic

WELCOME to Scoops Motornet motoring column where we we'll look at new, used and classic cars, trucks, bikes and boats. I'm no mechanic or even a wannabe petrolhead so for those experts out there bare with us as I'll do my best to talk to the specialists, dealers, importers and enthusiasts about anything and everything to do with motors from the best deals to the worst; specialist tips and information; interesting motor yarns and anything you let us know you want to know about...

And Scoops ready to put it's money where it's mouth is as our first column is about a classic Volkswagen Scoop paid for and has to fix-up, tinker with and generally have all the fun an old classic provides. And we'll be taking you along for the ride with regular reports about the travails, joys and heartaches everyone knows a favourite old motor delivers.

Anyway we paid $900 for a 1966 VW Tl with a 1600cc Karmen Ghia motor; original white paintjob, almost immaculate interior and - what is sure to be testing job - a little surface rust appearing here and there.

Scoring this little classic was a SCOOP in itself as it had been sitting on road in Newtown, gathering dust and detritus, for close to two years.

Originally imported from Germany for the Royal Netherlands Embassy and then passed on Shelley Motors, and from another short-term owner it went to a Mr Spasic who lovingly cared for it close to 25 years. And I mean lovingly this man obviously was enchanted by the little fastback sportscar with it's superb VW handling and funky little extras.

"Spastic" as he was endearingly known to the Arco specialist VW mechanic shop staff who he took his treasure to for every scheduled lube and oil change, regular maintenance and touch-ups all of which he carefully detailed in tidy script in his tidy work-book. Yes he was a tidy and detailed man this Mr Spasic and he left a tidy and immaculate car when he passed on and his estate was left wondering what to do with his pride and joy. His daughter was left with the decision and she -probably without fully recognising the significance of the car in her late father's life - let it go for a song ( an alleged $500 according in Arco) to her hairdresser who ran a shop in Newtown.

This particular hairdresser had been chasing a nice VW for months and the guys at Arco knew it and let him on the Spasic mobile.

Easily worth $1500 according to the ARCO boys the canny hairdresser drove off in it after paying only a third of it's estimated worth.

"He'd been after a VW and we found him a beauty,," said Brent from Arco "He got it for a song and then we never saw him again".

Unfortunately after spending money on changing the TI's electric’s from six volt to 12 volt the hairdresser seemed to grow bored with his new toy and the once lovingly cared for classic lay neglected for around 18 months.

And as they say 'rust never sleeps' so the once immaculate VW slowly faded and when found by Scoop was looking jaded with rust spots starting to appear. Recognising it's potential Scoop had to have it and after talking turkey we drove away with an original little beauty who we promise to restore to it's former glory.

So it;s back off to Arco where we'll get Brent to change the points, plugs, distributor cap, rotor arm and give the new Scoop staff a nice little tune-up.

Brent tells us it's only done a few hundred miles on a reconditioned motor and we've got a bargain it we look after it so we're handing back to him for a tune and touch up and we'll go from there....we'll tell how she's running on the road in the next SCOOP MOTORNET - Scoop classics column. And remember if you have interesting, unusual or especially personal motor yarn email us at or

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Philip Temple: Hang On A Minute, Mate
Peter Dunne quietly omits some salient facts when arguing for retention of MMP’s coat-tailing provision that allows a party to add list seats if it wins one electorate and achieves more than 1% or so of the party vote... More>>

Cheap Grace And Climate Change: Australia And COP26

It was not for everybody, but the shock advertising tactics of the Australian comedian Dan Ilic made an appropriate point. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a famed coal hugger, has vacillated about whether to even go to the climate conference in Glasgow. Having himself turned the country’s prime ministerial office into an extended advertising agency, Ilic was speaking his language... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Funeral Rites For COVID Zero
It was such a noble public health dream, even if rather hazy to begin with. Run down SARS-CoV-2. Suppress it. Crush it. Or just “flatten the curve”, which could have meant versions of all the above. This created a climate of numerical sensitivity: a few case infections here, a few cases there, would warrant immediate, sharp lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, the closure of all non-vital service outlets... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>

Our Man In Washington: Morrison’s Tour Of Deception

It was startling and even shocking. Away from the thrust and cut of domestic politics, not to mention noisy discord within his government’s ranks, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison could breathe a sign of relief. Perhaps no one would notice in Washington that Australia remains prehistoric in approaching climate change relative to its counterparts... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Melbourne Quake: Shaken, Not Stirred

It began just after a news interview. Time: a quarter past nine. Morning of September 22, and yet to take a sip from the brewed Turkish coffee, its light thin surface foam inviting. The Australian city of Melbourne in its sixth lockdown, its residents fatigued and ravaged by regulations. Rising COVID-19 numbers, seemingly inexorable... More>>