Rallying for a cause

David Nordell likes nothing better than getting his hands dirty under the hood of a 1911 Cal Thorpe Roadster.

He was to leave the roadster alone for a day to get out in his 1938 Riley Adelphi to help raise money for the Waikato Vintage Car Club’s Daffodil Rally for Cancer on Sunday 22 August.

But due to Covid 19 Lockdown, the rally was postponed.

David Nordell is currently restoring a 1911 Cal Thorpe Roadster that will soon go up for auction.

David Nordell is currently restoring a 1911 Cal Thorpe Roadster that will soon go up for auction.

Cars of all shapes and sizes and of any era were to join the rally in Te Awamutu at the racecourse from 9.30am. The $10 entry fee was to go to the Cancer Society.

The rally was to finish in Cambridge at Waikato Vintage Car Club’s premises in MacLean Street where there was going to be a sausage sizzle, coffee cart, parts shed and a display of some of the region’s top vintage cars.

Nordell is vice chair of the Waikato club chapter and runs his own garage, Nordell Restorations, where he has restored many cars back to life from across the globe.

After training as an engineer he only got into car restorations 16 years ago after responding to a Hamilton mechanic’s job advertisement asking for extra help.

From there he spent six years learning the ins and outs of restoring classic cars and for the past 10 years has operated out of his workshop near Kihikihi.

Working on mostly vintage cars, those between 1904 to 1938, he does a full restoration with only paint and upholstery done offsite.

Once restored, the Cal Thorpe Roadster will go up for auction.

He concedes the Riley Adelphi will need a few touch ups before the Daffodil Rally.

For Nordell restoring old cars is a labour of love and is part of a lifestyle that all vintage car owners enjoy.

“Those that are part of the lifestyle see it as a way to keep the past alive – because if we’ve made it before we can make it again.”

The rally was a way to give back to a useful cause and show off their cars, he said.

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