1982 Holden WB 'Kingswood' one ton ute.



Holden is part of the GM group, but only really exist in Oz and NZ.



This particular model has a 3.3 litre straight six. A 5.0 litre V8 drops straight in. Tempting! Most utes, including this one, are fitted with limited slip differentials - there are a lot of dirt roads around. Makes for interesting driving in the wet with no load on the back.


A couple of months in I started looking for a bike. I'd ridden a Suzuki DRZ400 off road before and quite fancied one. Since a lot of my riding would be on road I had a plan to get some 'supermoto' wheels to make road use more practical and, more importantly, a hoot for driving on twisty NZ roads. The local dealer had the last new, kickstart-only DRZ in NZ for a price that second-hand examples are still selling for. A quick visit to the bank and it was mine. You don't want to know what the trick wheels cost... But, the wide, sticky sports rubber makes for serious fun!

In early March 2004 a young friend of the family, Matthew Dawson, passed through. He was on his gap year and had bought a learner legal 250 to tour the islands. We did a local tour and then, whilst I bought food for dinner, he went for a ride on my bike. When I got back to the ute my mobile phone was ringing. Matthew had .... run out of fuel!