4 Oct
4 October 2018

Manfeild's vintage outing

“How it gets up in the morning is how it will go for the rest of the day.”

Vintage car buff Dave Livingston isn’t outright saying his 1927 Paige coupe is cantankerous, but he does suggest there’s a reason why it has earned a certain epithet.

“We call her ‘Mrs Paige’ … because she does have a bit of a mind of her own in respect to how she runs.”

So, on some days sweet and loveable – and on others a bit rough-voiced and not to be messed with.

Still, that’s how it goes with old cars and the one that has just hit its ninth decade gets plenty of love and understanding from its owner.

His Paige is a truly rare old thing. As well as being from the last year of the American company’s existence as an independent brand – after the Depression hit it had to merge with another Detroit make, Graham (the conjoined undertaking lasting until 1940) – it is one of just two coupes known to survive in the world. The other is in Canada.

“There are quite a few Graham-Paiges in New Zealand but Paiges are much rarer.”

Little was left of the original car when it was pulled from a Taupo hedge in 2000; what has been driving on the road since 2014 is a testimony to the skill of this mechanic and other enthusiasts who painstakingly undertook a wheels-up restoration using a handbook that thoughtfully provided schematics with dimensions.

There was also a great deal of fossicking for a myriad of fixtures, that search including an event that happens this Saturday morning (October 6) at Manfeild; the Manawatu Vintage Car Club’s annual nationally-famous swap meet.

Opportunity to see Mr Livingston’s car and plenty of other old treasures is just part of the allure of the swap meet.

Several hundred stallholders are expected to offer goods for sale. In addition to car parts, fare includes tools, books, craft items, accessories, household items, model cars, collectibles and goods of general antique nature.

Says Manfeild chief executive Julie Keane: “It is one of those evergreen events, quite a fascinating day out and one that we know is a must-attend for all car buffs.”

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Caption: Dave Livingston and his 1927 Paige coupe – a car with an interesting background that will be at the Manawatu Vintage Car Club swap meet on Saturday, October 6.