Anziel Nova

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Anziel Nova
Anadol A1 in red.jpg
The photo is an Anadol A1 on which it was based
ManufacturerAnziel Manufacturing
1 prototype
Body and chassis
Large family car
Body style2-door saloon
LayoutFR layout
RelatedAnadol A1
Reliant FW5
Engine1,498 cc (1.5 L) Ford Kent Inline-four engine
Transmission4-Speed Manual gearbox
Wheelbase2,565 mm (101.0 in)[1]
Length4,381 mm (172.5 in)[1]
Width1,644 mm (64.7 in)[1]
Height1,422 mm (56.0 in)[1]
Curb weight> 828 kg (1,825.4 lb)[1]

The Anziel Nova was meant to be New Zealand's first domestically produced car. A prototype of the fibre-glass bodied car was unveiled in September 1967, however never reached production.[2]


Alan Gibbs

In 1965 Alan Gibbs, then an economist, had returned from England with the idea of creating a New Zealand made car. However, he initially worked for the Government's Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on the Import Licensing schedule. This experience gave him a good understanding of the problems a start-up venture would face.

The project commenced in Autumn 1966 when Alan moved to Auckland to join with his brother Ian, owner of Anziel Limited, in the venture. The Gibbs' also needed an import licence for the assembly plant, parts, and materials. Because of its use of fibreglass bodywork Reliant Motor Co of England was approached for a suitable design. This was to maximise the quantity of local product in the manufacture.[3]

At the time Reliant was developing the FW5, a mid-range family saloon, for Otosan of Turkey. The FW5 was aimed at relatively low production numbers without the need for expensive plant and tooling. It was designed by Tom Karen of Ogle Design. Reliant considered the model suitable for construction in less developed countries because of the ease of manufacture.[4] This car was deemed suitable to meet the Gibbs' requirements.

The proposal[edit]

Jack Marshall

In August 1966 the Gibbs' sought Government consent to obtain an import licence for their proposal. They proposed to build 3,000 cars per annum, with production commencing in mid-1968. Jack Marshall, was the then Minister of Trade and Industry, whose consent was sought. He declined their request on the grounds that New Zealand was suffering from falling export prices at the time, which was causing a balance of trade problem for the Government. Other established car manufacturers were having the import licences reduced and the granting of a licence to another manufacturer was seen as counter-productive.

Despite this setback the Gibbs' continued to lobby Marshall. He eventually relented and allowed them a licence to import a prototype from Reliant.[3]

The car[edit]

Rear view of an Anadol A1 MkII

On 16 December 1966 Otosan had begun production of the FW5, naming it the Anadol A1.[5] Whether it was an FW5 or an A1 that the Gibbs' obtained as their prototype is unknown as either source could have been used. Given the probable higher import duties on non-United Kingdom sourced vehicles it is more likely that it was a Reliant FW5.[6] The car arrived in New Zealand in winter 1967.

As the Anziel Nova, the two-door car was to be powered by a 1498cc pre-crossflow Ford Kent engine with a 4-speed gearbox. It had an expected to speed of 90 mph (145 km/h). Alterations were made to its trim and the car re-badged by the Gibbs' prior to its unveiling. In the publicity documents the Company said that it was going to produce a four-door version, as well as planning to make a station wagon, commercial van, and a light truck.[3][7]

The prototype is still in existence and owned by Gibbs.[8]

Promotion and stonewall[edit]

The Gibbs' brought in Sir Laurence Hartnett, who was considered the father of the Australian car industry, to promote the car at an official announcement on 17 September 1967. The car was said to be going to sell for NZ$2,400.[9] This would have placed the car in a price range in New Zealand with cars that included the Hillman Hunter (NZ$2,232), Toyota Corona (NZ$2,296), and Isuzu Bellett 1500 (NZ$2,398).[10] Its advantage over these models was that its higher local content meant a reduced need for overseas funds.

Marshall and Norman Shelton, Minister of Customs were less than enthusiastic about the project. They considered that the country at that time could ill afford to spend its overseas funds on such a project, but would continue to consider it. Discussions continued in to the following year with no real change. By the end of 1968 the government offered a licence for 600 units, but this was insufficient. Through 1969 there was ongoing battles with government but no progress. Even obtaining funds for paying a fee for Reliant's technical assistance was declined. The project was finally doomed in March 1970 by the government changing import rules for fully built up cheaper cars.[3]

Gibbs retained his interest in cars and went on to develop the Gibbs Aquada in 2003.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "1967 Otosan Anadol A1". carfolio. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
  2. ^ Niall, Todd, The Trekka Dynasty, ch. 24: Iconic Publishing, ISBN 0-476-00757-7CS1 maint: location (link)
  3. ^ a b c d Chapter 4, Serious Fun - The Life and Times of Alan Gibbs, Paul Goldsmith, Random House, Kindle edition
  4. ^ Britain designs Turkey's first car, Design journal, No 214, October 1966, pages 48-49
  5. ^ Smith, Maurice A. (January 5, 1967). "Instant Industry". Autocar. 126 (3699): 52–54.
  6. ^ Extract from the New Zealand Official Year Book 1967 - Motor Vehicles — Motor vehicles imported in an unassembled or completely knocked-down condition pay 6 1/4 percent duty under the British preferential tariff, 45 percent under the most-favoured-nation tariff, and 65 percent under the general tariff. Under the Canadian Trade Agreement motor vehicles imported unassembled from Canada pay from 13 3/4 percent to 45 percent, depending on the percentage of Canadian materials and labour involved. Motor vehicles imported in an assembled condition pay 20 percent duty under the British preferential tariff, 55 percent under the most-favoured-nation tariff, and 75 percent under the general tariff. Vehicles from Canada pay from 33 1/3 percent to 55 percent. Motor vehicles, autocycles, and scooters pay 12 1/2 percent under the British preferential tariff, 32 1/2 percent under the most-favoured-nation tariff, and 50 percent under the general tariff
  7. ^ Anziel Nova publicity brochure
  8. ^ Gibbs lives a life of 'serious fun', Fiona Rotherham, Updated 05:00 01/08/2012
  9. ^ First look at the New Zealand family car, Evening Post, Wellington, 21 September 1967, page 28
  10. ^ Assorted advertisements, Evening Post, Wellington, 7–18 September 1967

External links[edit]