Hiroshima twins

A while back I received a phone call about a shoot for two classic red cars, but there was a catch. That catch was that they had to be shot together, I didn’t question the reasoning but sorted out a location and got in touch with the owners Clint and Tony. One was based in Hamilton, and another in Wellington. Logistically it was easiest to just meet in the middle.

After a bit of head-scratching we decided on Mangaweka, and after a drizzly drive for all parties, somehow the weather gods decided to play ball. So here we go, two cars, both red, both RX3 coupés, so what exactly was so special about having them together?

It just happens that these two were both sold from Armagh Mazda, Christchurch on Wednesday, 5th of September 1973. The day of this shoot would mark 46 years since the two cars were last together, and for Clint and Tony – it was the first time to meet in person despite knowing of each other for a while.

The beauty about this shoot was that the cars were both driven to location. The setting was the old main drag of Mangaweka with some nice period-correct backdrops for these two lovely ladies. The Mangaweka volunteer fire brigade very kindly arranged to be on hand to give both cars a nice hose down for us. A huge thanks to them for coming out on the weekend to be a part of things!

These days finding a relatively unmolested RX3 is a pretty special thing, so when I finally lined the two up next to each other I did have to take a moment to appreciate what was sitting in front of me.

GR8983 is Tony’s car, and is a numbers matching example complete with the original 10A motor and gearbox. Clint’s GR8984 came along after he was in the market for an unmodified RX3. The only real difference between the two is that GR8984 is now sporting a 12A, not the original 10A although this minor detail suited Clint nicely.

If you think these two Mazda’s have aged well on the outside, then you should see under the skin. Beauty runs deep on these two. The interiors are all stock, and very well maintained. It is hard to believe that these cars rolled off the lines in Hiroshima four decades ago!

As I snapped away, Clint and Tony took advantage of the chance to ‘compare notes’, both cars had all their documentation, and were very similar in many so many ways even all this time later.

After the key photos were shot, we all decided to grab a few more photos as the weather gods were shining down on us, and being a typical photographer I didn’t know when to stop.

A narrow one way suspension bridge and winding country road was perfect for a few sneaky snaps to finish things up. As a fanatical Mazda guy, what merely started out as a classic photoshoot turned out to be a privilege to be a part of. Stories like this one don’t come by too often, and with such sought after cars.

The car scene for me is all about making friends, creating memories and getting a chance to capture something cool. Getting to document a reunion for the Hiroshima twins was a pleasure and just too cool not to share! A big thanks for NZ Classic Car for allowing me to document this, and to Clint and Tony for driving their all the way to make it happen!

For all the nitty gritty on these two, pick up a back issue of New Zealand Classic Car issue #338 – clicky clicky

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