Coaches North: The Story of the Hawke's Bay Motor Company
In 1903, when the Hawke's Bay Motor Company was formed there was no such thing as a roadworthy public transport vehicle in existence. The Motor Company had to make do with stage coaches of Bonanza type till early Cadillacs - and a peculiarly unsuccessful steam-coach - could be taken into service. Then the fumes of petrol scented the dust along the Napier-Taupo Road... The Company had to meet and subdue fierce competition. The Depression brought a multitude of headaches for management and staff alike. Local services had to struggle to survive, and the Napier-Taupo Road offered hazards that taxed the fortitude of passengers and the skill and endurance of their drivers. Len Anderson writes an absorbing story. He traces the development of the Napier-Taupo Road from Maori warpath to tarsealed speedway; and he proves that there's romance abundant in the rise of a comercial transport enterprise. Above all, he studies the people who took part in it: coach-drivers, innkeepers, eccentric passengers - all are brought vividly to life. Any reader of this book will be able to see past the Company's sleek air-conditioned landcruisers of today to those first tough little hickory-limbed stage coaches of the early Taupo Road; and hear, behind the hum of rubber tyre of tarseal, the jingle of harness and crunch of steel-shod wheels on pumice.
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