Travel back to the sixties and seventies with Autonews and Motorman magazines

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Post prepared by Emma Scott, Library Assistant – Periodicals

We are very lucky at the Hocken Collections to be supported by many individuals that kindly decide to donate their material to us. One such donation that caught our attention last year was a large collection of motoring magazines from the late sixties and seventies. The donation included issues of Motorman, New Zealand Motorman and Autonews. These issues not only filled some gaps in our periodicals collection, they are also delightful to look at.

Motorman Cropped

Motorman: v.16:no.2 (1971:February)


1970 October cropped

 Autonews: v.4:no.6 (1970 October 12)

Autonews and Motorman contain detailed reports of races, rallies and drivers from all over New Zealand as well as overseas racing events which New Zealand drivers participated in.

Having been published in Dunedin, Autonews is an excellent resource for anyone looking at motoring in Otago and Southland from 1968 to 1974 as it covers local racing events as well as national ones.

Motoring enthusiasts will get a kick out of looking at the popular cars featured in both magazines. In 1970 Autonews  featured cars like the: Chevrolet Camaro, the Chrysler Valiant Hardtop Regal 770 V8, the Triumph 2000 Mark Two and the exciting “new” Holden Torana.

New Zealand Motorman’s 1974 issues feature cars like: Datsun 140J’GL’, the “new” Toyota Corona 1600, the Renault 17TL and the Aston Martin Lagonda

Dune buggy cropped

Autonews V.3:no.23 (1970 June 22)

Tired of a car that just gets you from a to b? V.3:no.23 (1970 June 22) of Autonews solves that problem with an article titled “The Case for the Dune Buggy” with the subheading: “what was born as a gimmick in the sixties is the answer to driving boredom in seventies”. The article goes on to describe a gentleman called John Ormrod, a fibreglass specialist who constructed his own dune buggy prototype from a wrecked Volkswagen which the author was lucky enough to take out for a spin. “The buggy was complete with lights, horn, wipers and current Warrant of Fitness so there was no sweat about driving it through the busy Auckland streets”.  It was quite the sight when it was driven down Auckland’s Queen Street: “We rumbled up to the traffic lights and everyone stood and stared.”

The author of the article was quite taken with the experience: “Maybe I’m an egotist but I liked driving a vehicle that people looked at. I liked having my head out in the air. I like pretending that I was Steve McQueen. I’d like a Dune Buggy”. “

For the woman of 1975 looking for a new car, the Ford Escort would be an excellent choice judging from the cover of the 1975 March issue of New Zealand Motorman and the front page of the article about the new Ford Escort.

1975 March cover cropped

New Zealand Motorman: 1975:March cover


Ford Escort cropped

New Zealand Motorman: 1975:March p15

New Zealand had many legendary drivers in the sixties and seventies. A lot of the drivers written about in the issues of Autonews and Motorman are now members of the New Zealand MotorSport Wall of Fame for their achievements, including: Graeme Lawrence, Jim Richards, David McMillan, Robert Francevic, Graham McRae and of course Bruce McLaren. The 1974:April – May issue of Autonews feature some of these drivers in their top ten New Zealand drivers list, perhaps not realising the lasting impact that they would have on New Zealand motorsport today.

Not only do we hold the magazines mentioned here, we also have subscriptions and receive regular donations of current motoring publications including: NZ4WD, New Zealand Autocar, Alfa News, New Zealand Performance Car, NZV8 and CATalogue : the newsletter of the Otago Jaguar Drivers Club Inc. If you are interested in motoring come along to the Hocken Collections and check them out!


Anderson, D. (1975, March 1). Ford’s Upgraded Range of New Escorts. New Zealand Motorman, 15-18.

The Case for the Dune Buggy. (1970, June 22). Autonews : New Zealand’s Motoring Magazine., 10-14.

MotorSport New Zealand. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2015, from

We Stick Our Necks Out and Grade the Men. (1974, April 1). Autonews : New Zealand’s Motoring Magazine., 7-12.



This entry was posted in Acquisitions, Magazines, journals, periodicals and newspapers, Popular culture, Print culture by Anna Blackman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Anna Blackman

I'm Head Curator Archives here at the Hocken Collections and one of my tasks is to maintain this blog.

12 thoughts on “Travel back to the sixties and seventies with Autonews and Motorman magazines

  1. Howdy, do you have the July 1975 edition of Motorman magazine? Has a white and red Mk 1 Escort rego HC2168 on the front cover. Am after any other pictures of that car that may be in the body of the magazine, as I am making a model of that car and am making the artwork on the PC. If you could send any other pics via email, that would be awesome – just a picture from your mobile phone would be suitable if that’s easy. Cheers Grant.

  2. Hi Grant,
    Unfortunately we don’t hold the 1975:July issue of New Zealand Motorman and we don’t have the resources to be able to look through the other issues of the magazine to find images of the car. Do you live in Dunedin or know of someone who can come to the Hocken and do some research on your behalf? We are open to public and all you need to view the magazines is a Hocken library card, we only require some photo identification to set you up with a card. From looking at the National Library catalogue, it appears that the Alexander Turnbull Library holds some issues of New Zealand Motorman, so it might be worth contacting them to see if they hold the 1975:July issue. Good luck with your research.

  3. Good morning

    Do you have the June 1970 Issue of Motorman? If so can I obtain a copy or a coloured photocopy=, please?

  4. Hi George
    Unfortunately we do not hold the 1970 June issue of Motorman. It might be worth contacting the National Library as they also hold issues of the Motorman journal. You can email them at:, or you can phone them: 0800 474 300.

    • Hi Terry,

      I’m not sure, I have passed your enquiry onto our Researcher Services team and they will reply separately. Thanks for your interest. Anna Blackman

  5. Hi, Keven here from Raglan. I am researching the first BMW cars sold by Ross Jensen motors in Auckland in Jan, 1968. I would like any details on these first cars being unloaded at the port of Auckland in late 1967 early 1968. Any information or where I should look would be great. Cheers Keven Mosen

    • Kia ora Keven, you could try looking at the Auckland newspapers for the time. The Heritage Collections staff of the Auckland Council Libraries may be able to help you access those newspapers. Kind regards.

  6. Hello I was just wondering if you had a copy of motorman issue March 1973. I am just chasing one article that was in that issue.
    Thank you

    • Hello Scott, I’m sorry for the late reply. According to the catalogue we do have all issues of NZ Motorman for 1973. Can you either visit or email with the details of the article you need and we can arrange for you to view it or send you a copy. Thank you!

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