A Reply to Mr. Michie and Alvis
You can imagine my huge delight to read the letter from my old friend Mr. D. Michie. It was so good that my son rang me up late last evening to tell me the good news.
Yes it was about April, and certainly 1954. Today I am now 75 and driving my 52nd car a BMW 3.0CSi and a superb job it is although I took a little time to get used to it after a succession of six Porsches. The cars are somewhat different, both magnificent examples of superb engineering; with Porsche you rarely put a spanner on it. The BMW did need some adjustments, the main one being the fitting of Koni shock-absorbers. These transformed a very good car into a superb machine. I had, of course, to get used to power steering. I had three Alvii and it may interest Mr. Michie that my son met the present owner, an Australian (the Grey Lady DEIC is now in Australia), at a Vintage Car gathering at Nelson last Easter or thereabouts. Between Alvis and Porsche there was an Aston Martin DB2/4, another fine car but after a severe operation I found it too heavy to handle and dropped it in favour of Porsche. I only dropped Porsche because there was none available at the time and at my age one does not waste months waiting, they are too precious, hence the BMW. Sorry Mr. Michie, I had no idea of your rank or status but I was astounded at the reception I got in England. In NZ they do at least fill your tank with petrol on purchase of a new car.
Also regarding cause of delay, I paid for this car months before I arrived to take possession. Those days too, one did not expect to find faults on a new car. Today people get them with up to thirty faults hence my preference for German cars, although we here should all be buying British cars, but boy, oh boy, just read Consumer Report and you will see why we do not. Again Mr. Michie, I have always received good service Sunday or any other day, if you go to the right man and in a decent manner. One reason for my being upset was that we were running on a tight schedule and when one starts out with a car giving trouble from the outset it is somewhat disturbing. However when I wrote the first letter it was more in a spirit of fun and not that I held any grudge against Alvis. In fact I got used to the Grey Lady and for a while did not know if I had done the right thing in buying the Aston. Long life to you Mr. Michie and some day
if you don’t wait too long we might see you in NZ and I’ll take you for a run in a good car. Havelock North, NZ E. VOGTHERR