1900 Wolseley veteran of Brighton rallies


Colin Winter’s 4-year-old grandson has a not-so-flattering nickname for his 1900 Wolseley Voiturette.
“He calls it the bump bump car,” Mr Winter said with a broad grin.
The Voiturette has a petrol engine that has to be started with a crank handle.
It will be one of an expected 20 cars on show at the 63rd edition of the annual Brighton Veteran Rally next month.
All vehicles on the rally must be built in 1918 or earlier.
The Voiturette will be the only vehicle to have taken part in each Brighton Veteran Rally since the event began in 1955.
Mr Winter’s father bought the car in 1946 because he was looking for an old car for the Otago centennial in 1948.
Mr Winter inherited the vehicle after his father’s death in 1976.
The Voiturette is not the most powerful car going around.
Mr Winter quipped that the vehicle had “four and a-half horsepower … and three of them are dead”.
He reckoned the top speed to be about 45kmh.
That’s not terribly fast but when I got behind the wheel (under Mr Winter’s careful instruction) I found the vehicle could travel at a reasonable clip downhill.
Travelling uphill is more of a challenge.
It was a sunny day in Shiel Hill so I gladly took Mr Winter’s advice to “sit back and enjoy the scenery because it won’t go by fast”.
It didn’t. The Voiturette might not be fast but it does turn heads.
A schoolgirl called out “we love your car” as Mr Winter easily negotiated a corner (rather more easily than I would later on) and I noticed a few admiring, or at least inquisitive, glances in our direction as we cruised around.
Despite a few false starts and my jerky efforts at slipping the clutch, we managed to return safely to Mr Winter’s residence with the vehicle in good shape to complete its 63rd Brighton Veteran Rally next month.
The rally takes place on January 28. Participants will gather in the Octagon at 10am before being flagged away by Mayor Dave Cull on a drive through central Dunedin, Kaikorai Valley, Green Island, Sunnyvale and Waldronville, to finish in Brighton. The first vehicles are expected to arrive at the Brighton domain at noon. Entries for the Brighton Veteran Rally close on January 6. To register, contact Colin Winter on 021 232-1993.