The First Car Comes to Christchurch

A Packing Case on Wheels

Local and General. Star, Issue 6789, 8 May 1900, Page 3

A weird-looking vehicle has recently been seen travelling through the streets of the city much to the amusement and astonishment of the onlookers. At first appearance it looks like an ordinary packing case placed on three wheels, the Jehu of the concern sitting on the top. A constant series of explosions of the “teuf teuf” order suggest that it is on the principle of a motor tricycle, and a closer investigation corroborates this view and shows that the mechanism is hidden within the packing case.

To the lay mind the position of the passenger seated on the case is by no means an enviable one, and seems something akin to sitting on the edge of an active volcano. However, the machine covers the ground at a fast  speed, and on Saturday evening it was ridden for about twenty miles. It has been constructed by Mr F. L. Dennison, [1] cycle  mechanic and engineer, of Cathedral Square, who is to be congratulated on the successful results of his ingenuity. At present the machine runs on three multicycle wheels, but it is Mr Dennison’s intention to have it fitted to a four-wheeled car. [2]

FIRST NEW ZEALAND-BUILT MOTOR CAR. On which the maker, Mr Denniston, of Christchurch, recently successfully travelled from Christchurch to Oamaru. Otago Witness , Issue 2417, 12 July 1900, Page 48
FIRST NEW ZEALAND-BUILT MOTOR CAR.
On which the maker, Mr Denniston, of Christchurch, recently successfully travelled from Christchurch to Oamaru.
Otago Witness , Issue 2417, 12 July 1900, Page 48

Some interest was created in Ashburton on Saturday night by a motor-car, in which Mr F. Dennison, of Christchurch, is making a journey to Oamaru. Between Christchurch and Ashburton the vehicle met with a breakdown, but at the latter place repairs were satisfactorily made. [3]

The Oamaru Mail states that Mr F. R. Dennison, mechanical engineer, of Christchurch, arrived in Oamaru on Thursday on a motor car, which he has constructed from his own model. It is driven by a gasoline engine, and Mr Denniston has proved the practical nature of its construction by riding down from Christchurch upon it. The trip has also demonstrated to him where several improvements can be made, and a working’ model of an improved machine has already been constructed by him with effective results. The present car, which is admittedly only roughly built, can attain a speed of 15 or 16 miles an hour under favourable circumstances. [4]

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