Matt Greenop on motoring

Matt Greenop is editor of Driven magazine

Matt Greenop: Looking back at NZ's rich motoring history

Lotus knows all about making  light, sharp and quick sportscars. While Sir Colin Chapman's ''light is fast'' ethos mightn't have served some  F1 drivers too well in terms of safety, Lotus cars have always been  drivers' cars. The latest toy from  the company's Hethel, UK, factory is this Elise S Cup R,  a track-day weapon that uses the mid-mounted, supercharged 1.8L engine from the S road car. It has race mods, including adjustable  suspension and  aerodynamically efficient bodykit, but weighs only  924kg.
Lotus knows all about making light, sharp and quick sportscars. While Sir Colin Chapman's ''light is fast'' ethos mightn't have served some F1 drivers too well in terms of safety, Lotus cars have always been drivers' cars. The latest toy from the company's Hethel, UK, factory is this Elise S Cup R, a track-day weapon that uses the mid-mounted, supercharged 1.8L engine from the S road car. It has race mods, including adjustable suspension and aerodynamically efficient bodykit, but weighs only 924kg.

This week has seen the 150th anniversary of the New Zealand Herald's first issue - a huge innings in the publishing game and a testament to just how important it is in the scheme of things.

At Driven we're a little bit insulated from the main newsroom, and try to spend as much time at the wheel of the latest cars as we can - but nothing quite matches seeing a newsroom in full swing. It's a huge team that puts it together day after day - and if you do the maths, 150 years equates to a whole lot of days - and they're all just as dedicated to news as we are to our particular brand of four-wheeled journalism.

So congratulations to all involved in the New Zealand Herald and APN at large. Staying a leader in the newspaper business for 150 years is a huge achievement - it's as complicated as any engine and requires a servicing plan that only the most serious of manufacturers could prescribe. And when things break down there's no option of hailing a cab.

So in this weekend's issue we take a look back at New Zealand's rich motoring and motorsport history, obviously not back as far as 150 years - people drove organic cars back in those early days.

But we've been driving in New Zealand for well over a century now, we've had car factories come and go, seen Kiwi heroes on the international motorsport stage, and even had a motor racing driver and all-out car fan for a Prime Minister. There are always automotive ups and downs, but the fact remains that New Zealanders love cars, and we live in a country that's built to enjoy them.

Whether it's taking the family out for a picnic in a people mover, cruising up north with boards on the roof, hassling the neighbour's hybrid or bashing through forests in a rally car, we love 'em. What will be interesting is what those here 150 years from now will have parked in the garage. Or the spaceport ... who knows?

For more car news go to facebook.com/DrivenNZ

- NZ Herald

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