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Lucky find... The 1963 EJ Holden station wagon, which was initially not for sale, was bought to celebrate Harrison's Supplies 50-year celebration later this year. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A 1963 EJ Holden station wagon that was originally not for sale was snapped up by owner Kevin Ryan.

Mr Ryan said he had been looking for the vehicle for quite a while, and was going to import one from Australia because it was so hard to find.

He said he saw the station wagon in Invercargill and told workmate Steve Hamlin so they could try to chase the owner down to see if they would sell it.

“We messaged him and then he said it might be for sale, so we went down and twisted his arm and bought it.”

The reason for buying the vehicle was that Harrison’s Supplies would be celebrating 50 years later this year, and the first delivery wagon for the business was an EJ Holden station wagon.

“We’re basically doing a replica of Harrison’s Supplies first delivery van – that’s why we’re keeping the aged look and the old-school sign writing done like it was 50 years ago,” Mr Ryan said.

The station wagon has its original colour and interior.

However, Mr Ryan, who is the director at Harrison’s Supplies, has made some changes to help the vehicle run better.

The original engine was a 138, which has been upgraded to a 202, and the wheels have been changed to 14-inch because Mr Ryan said the 13-inch were too low-profile and revved too much.

“We gave it a coat of clear lacquer to keep it looking old-school. All the interior and everything is original, but I have ordered new interior kit for it because it is quite tatty, so we are going to upgrade it to make it a bit tidier.”

Everyone who works at Harrison’s Supplies was allowed to drive the vehicle, and it was used for deliveries, freight pick-ups and drop-offs and even to go and do the banking.

“With winter at the moment we’re not using it as much, because the heater takes a while to heat up, so it’s quicker to jump in the other vehicle.”

Mr Ryan said he put seatbelts in the back so he could put the baby seat in and take his 3-year-old daughter out too.

“She hops in the back, she likes cruising in the old car, and we go and feed the ducks or we go to the park.”