BY PETER KRANZ
It was a Nissan Sunny station wagon, registered and street legal - and I needed transport. The aircon didn't work, so we drove around with all the windows and the rear door open.
We had a few prangs, needed much bush mechanic work to keep it on the road and broke down many times - once to be surrounded by raskols whom belying their reputation, helped me get it going again.
We managed trips to Bomana and Sogeri, down the coast near Loloata, and north of Gerehu to Hanuabada.
We managed to cram in 14 people (babies and dogs excluded) for a trip to church. Not just any church; a Lutheran church up a 30 degree slope on a mountain at Morata (behind the University of PNG).
We got to the top - it was worthy of a hill climb and a tribute to Nissan engineering.
Well that was a few years ago. We gave the car to some relos to make the best use of it when we left, and told them we might have need of it when we returned. Which we just have.
It was located on bricks at Seven Mile, bereft of wheels, and in dubious condition. Strangely, the fog lights still work. And there are great arguments about ownership. Did we leave it with uncle X or brother Y? Where have the wheels gone? Who took the back seats? Who will pay for the repairs to get it back on the road? Is it registered? (I had a good offer for a fake rego certificate).
We drove this car to 17 Mile for a wedding on the banks of the Brown River. It was lovely. But the bridesmaids wore western make-up, which I always thought denigrated their natural Melanesian beauty.
And I took one of my friends home to 19 Mile at night after a Christmas party when he'd had a bit too much too drink. So this is a historic bloody car!
There must be many interesting old vehicles in and around Moresby. At independence the Governor-General was given a Rolls Royce by the UK. Whatever happened to this brave and historical car?