Walking to and from work I see what I would consider exotic cars pretty much every day. Bentleys and Ferraris and Lambos, oh my. And on the weekends it gets even better, as people bring out their pampered beauties to see and be seen.

But that doesn’t mean it’s all like that for everybody…

Plenty of people still rely on duct tape for repairs. Even liability auto insurance is not mandatory here, much less full coverage, since the medical side of things is covered by the state. So, even more people here pay for their own bodywork (which is called ‘panelbeating’ which is a really great word), window replacements, etc.

This spectacularly ugly Ford Escort was first registered in about 1977, based on its license plate. In NZ, since there are no states, there’s only one sequence of plates… two letters followed by up to three numbers started in 1964, with AA plates. The plates flipped from black to white in 1981, somewhere around the letter M. They ran out of numbers in 2000 and started over in 2001 with three letters. Our car registered this year is LNE… so the current numbering will last for quite a few more years.

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