David Topliss was the winner of the Nelson Vintage Car Club award for Restoration of the Year. Presented at the club's open day on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Jessie Johnston.

Members recognised at car club open day

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As well as officially opening their new club rooms, Nelson Vintage Car Club used Sunday afternoon gathering to celebrate some of their members ‘impressive achievements.

First on the agenda was the presentation for Restoration of the Year, which was won by David Topliss, of Topliss Bros. Precision Engineering.

David has been a member of the club for the last 30 odd years and is certainly no stranger to vintage car or motorcycle restorations, this year winning the award for his work on a 1926 Alvis.

“I bought this in Auckland as a started restoration, it hadn’t been going since the 1950s. It was basically a frame, but in the end I completely stripped it and started from scratch,” says David. “You decide whether you want to know the whole car, so in that case you’ve really just got to strip it back to the last nut and bolt, take everything apart and just fix it all, replace what needs replacing and put it together as good as new. You hope it will then do a good mileage.”

When David got his hands on the vintage vehicle, the engine was simply a box of bits, “and a lot of it was completely worn out.”

It’s taken David six years to complete the restoration of the Alvis, although it hasn’t been a completely solo effort.

“The body is what everyone sees and it’s the most difficult thing to do, so I got another member to build it for me. Richard Conlon is just an absolute artist, he’s really made it, I can do the mechanical stuff but not that.”

Nelson Vintage Car Club also recognised two members who have been part of the organisation for the last 50 years. Tony Hansen of Richmond and Jack Anglesey of Tadmor have both been long- time vintage car enthusiasts and were presented with their 50-year badge and certificate by the vintage car club national president, Diane Quarrie.