In an era before cellphones and the internet, stranded motorists relied on two Otago Motor Club Trust vehicles, which began patrolling between Milton and Palmerston 90 years ago.
The Morris Minor and Austin Seven were commissioned by the trust, the forerunner of the AA, in December 1929, as the first roadside assistance vehicles to provide free repairs for its members.
Dunedin man Bruce Murray bought the 1929 Morris Minor when he was 19 and an apprentice panel beater. He then undertook an unhurried ‘‘53 year’’ restoration of the historic car.
Christmas Eve marks the 90th anniversary of the Morris embarking on its roadside duties.
Mr Murray, who completed the refurbishment three years ago, said the vehicle was registered and warranted and, when asked if he would take it out for a commemorative drive on Tuesday, replied: “I should do, shouldn’t I?”
REPORT: CATHERINE PATTISON