Donna McIntyre finds out what drives car lovers to stand out from the crowd.
For discerning owners, cars are more than a way to travel between two points. Along with comfort and style, car-enthusiasts want to drive a machine that expresses their personality and provides the freedom to go where they want, when they want, taking whomever they want.
Mel Homer and Andy Pilcher
The Mix 98.2 radio host. Her prized acquisition is a 1974 silver Holden Kingswood Premier. It's the family's 'special events' car . They keep their 2003 Lexus 4WD RX 330 for everyday.
"It's not really a drive-everyday car because it would cost us a fortune," says Mel.
"But we do drive it a lot.
"It's a big family car, we can all fit in it, like the old days. It is automatic, it has the T-stick change between the seats and it has bucket seats at the front.
"It's like driving sitting on a sofa, it's super comfy.
"Both me and my husband wanted this car, it has a nice synergy.
"We bought it from a man in Hamilton. He sold it to us because we want to keep it as it is."
Sons, Jesse, 14, Finn, 11, and Tom, 8, love the Kingswood.
"Jesse is trying to do a deal where he gets to have it once he gets his licence ... It's not going to happen.
"It is pretty fancy because it has electric windows, a big thing for 1974.
"I love the tan interior, it's very retro.
"And it has a choke that you pull out when it's cold to warm the car up."
What does she think the cars say about them? "That we have good taste in cars. I think you have to be a certain type of person to like Kingswoods.
"We get interesting reactions when we are driving around.
"I would say there is a slight amount of Westie in me - in a way that's true, I did grow up in West Auckland, in Titirangi.
"We get toots at the lights and thumbs ups from other Holden drivers.
"There is a blue-tooth stereo that has been added and usually I play music off my phone and listen to Mix 98.2. The kids can choose music when I want them to be quiet.
"It is 40 years old and it still goes. The engine sounds amazing.
"It is not a selling car, it's a keeping car.
"It's a good car for Christmas shopping as it is easy to find in the carpark, but it's not small and it's not easy to park.
"But it does have a big boot and you can fit a lot in."
However holiday plans don't include the car. "It's our first Christmas on the boat with the family and Santa will come to us."
Owns three cars: an orange-red 1970 Pontiac GT 37 with stripes, a 1979 Holden Premier and a 1979 Hondamatic.
"Every time I start the Pontiac it makes me smile," says Boh. "The engine sounds so good. It's a big heavy car and left-hand drive so you have to keep your wits about you driving on our roads. Overtaking is always interesting. Parallel parking's a breeze - if you can fit in the car park.
"It's larger than life and sometimes I can be. It's the same age as me but in better nick.
"I wanted a coupe as I already had the Holden, which is a sedan. I'm a cyber tyre-kicker so I was actively looking and it came up on Trade Me. It's known as the poor man's GTO. It's handsome."
The upholstery is black vinyl "with the annoying original lap belts that always confuse passengers. I'd like to fix bits of the trim and get a new dash so I can put the stereo in the glove box.
"The engine was already reconditioned and it's reliable. I've had the windows tinted. And I've put a right-hand wing mirror on it. I've had things replaced as they've perished. There is work to be done: some rust repair, new paint job. It's a project car and will take time but it's a daily driver.
"It's like driving art on wheels."
People do notice this classic car.
"The most interesting reaction is surprise when a woman gets out of it.
"I've had people ask if it's mine or my husband's/boyfriend's.
"My boyfriend drives it ... and he works on the cars. I can only check the water and oil and tell when things don't sound or feel right and the cars need to be looked at. It's no Prius but it runs as economically as an engine like that can."
A previous owner Mad Max-ed the stereo into the Pontiac. "If I'm learning songs, I'll play them in the car as that's when I get to listen to music. Sometimes I play with my sister Pearl in a great 80s cover band called Automatic 80s, so I listen to what we'll be playing."
With Christmas approaching, Boh has no firm holiday plans. "I think weekend or day trips will be more likely. I don't think I've left Auckland proper in this car - it has drum brakes so that is a factor of where I might take it."
Would she ever sell it?
"Doubt it. Maybe."
Personal Assistant at NZME.
Owns a sporty 2005 Mini Cooper.
"They are so cute and little and easy to get around town. I bought it in May with money I inherited from my dad who died in September last year.
"We'd had discussions about how cool a Mini would be. It's a good way to remember the talks we had and the laughs. When I get in my car I think about him."
Kirrie lives in Glen Eden but her car wears Waikato's colours - stripes in chrome and orange-red on the white roof and the black body.
"I think the Mini says that I'm fun and that I like the Waikato and the Chiefs, and I have put my stylist bit on it.
"When I did the decals I wasn't thinking about the Waikato theme. I just like orange and the chrome.Then my husband got the personalised 7 GIBBO plates. Gibbo is my nickname and 7 is my favourite number, and he said, let's do it in Waikato colours.
"I get a lot of looks. People do a double-take. My friends are envious. They think it is fantastic.
"I can park in all places other cars can't fit. And I can put the seat down. It's deceptively big in the back.
"People ask if I have had sex in the car. I reply that I haven't had it long enough to get in there with my husband. And they also ask how many people I can fit in my Mini.
"It's reliable, it flies through a warrant."
She's not considering selling.
"I haven't had it long enough.
"If I did sell it would only be to upgrade to another Mini."
Bayleys residential specialist.
Has owned his 1979 280CE Mercedes coupe for eight years.
"My father bought a 280CE off the showroom floor and I have always loved this model," he says. "The car is 100 per cent original, even down to the stereo.
"They are so reliable and built like tanks. As soon as I saw it on Trade Me I was in the car on my way to view it in Waihi. Classics are way cooler than modern cars. They also don't go too fast, which keeps me out of trouble."
He says people love the car and it's known around town as Goldie or Gold Finger.
"She is always garaged, otherwise she gets a little angry if left out and lets me know about it the next morning. She is extremely reliable, serviced by Lindsay at European Motor Services. Upkeep is much less than a new Euro car.
"The dash is basic. A couple of warning lights but they kept things simple back in the day. We only listen to The Breeze; we love the older songs.
"The number plate is the original from 79. The letters are JQ so I always thought that if my partner Jules married me it would be perfect for her new initials."
Trent says his Mercedes is perfect for Christmas shopping and easy to spot in a crowded carpark.
"The old cars have the biggest boots ever. It has big protective strips down the sides so getting damaged is not an issue.
But it isn't included in his summer holiday plans. "We are heading to Aussie for Christmas to see my family so the old girl will be stored away with the battery charger on.
"Great thing is when you get back she starts first time.
"It will be sold, unfortunately. We have moved houses and we don't have enough garage space for all our cars.