Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thames (NZ): First Car to Thames was an Oldsmobile 1903

Previous research had 1904 as possibly the first time a motor car was seen in Thames. Now  new information dates the event as 1903.

Mr Brookes began his motoring adventure in Thames on 11 February 1903. Brookes worked for Campbell and Ehrenfried Co Ltd, so was no stranger to Thames. The Oldsmobile car was driven by Mr J Begg an expert from London. In 1922, Mr Brookes reminded the folk of Thames about this great adventure and made the claim that he indeed was in the first car to be seen at The Thames.

The car arrived in Thames by steamer, and the public of Thames crowded to see it. Mr Brookes said it felt like the whole town had turned out for a view. The car had a 5 hp motor single cylinder motor, wire wheels and was steered by a tiller handle like a boat. It was quiet and horses bolted when they saw it! (Thames Star 17 February 1922)

While we do not as yet have  a photo of Mr Brookes on his great adventure, below is a gathering of Oldsmobile cars in 1904 at Auckland.


Description THE OLDSMOBILE CARS.
Taken from the NZ Graphic, 05 November 1904, p31

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