New Zealand Mistrals

Together with their own chassis the Mistral was marketed by Elmslie & Flockton Ltd in Dunedin as "New Zealand's First Kitset Sports Car". The chassis was available for E93A, 100E and 105E Ford engines and running gear. Prices for the New Zealand car were £135 for the body and £95 for the chassis. A list of extras was of course available and included Front screen, hard top and the badge pictured above. The company boasted that one of their own cars, fitted with a Inlet Over Exhaust cylinder head could reach the scary speed of 110mph. One of the Weltex Mistral bodies was fitted to the Stanton Special, which set the New Zealand land speed record at that time. In 1989 a New Zealander, Roger Wilson, established Wilson Classics Sports Cars with the aim of building Mistral sports cars for use in classic car racing and for touring. A set of moulds were taken to modernize the original Mistral body. Several of the cars were built and successfully raced but demand was insufficient for a sustainable business and the venture ended. Brian Ford later bought the moulds from him to continue production.
The Mistral mould was also brought to New Zealand by Christchurch boat builder and racing driver, Bob Blackburn. Blackburn, trading as Weltex Plastics Limited and working with Ron Green, intended to go into full production with a Graeme Dennison designed chassis, but couldn’t source enough Ford Prefect parts and so sold the body and chassis as a kit car. About 10 cars were completed by Weltex and 10 bodies sold between 1956 and 1961.
The first kit Mistral built in Christchurch. Bob Blackburn in the driving seat
Christchurch engineer and car builder Brian Ford went on to bring out 16 bodies in the 1980’s of the Briford version with a more open front air intake. He bought the moulds from Roger Wilson and intends to build a couple of early style replicas, one perhaps with a Jowett chassis and flat four engine. Below: Brian’s Mistral and one for his wife.