Peter’s desire to go racing originated with an exciting trip to Christchurch’s then only speedway at Aranui as a small boy. Quick on the heels of the speedway experiences came the Mairehau street race, a venue that circled his family home. [This was a path very similar to my introduction to motor racing and something that, like Peter, I have never let go.]

The purchase of the Special came at a time when these home-made models of classic ingenuity still had a place on the national racing scene. Allan Dick alluded to this era and his favourite specials in the last edition of NZ Classic Driver and also noted that the days of the Kiwi special lasted longer in the South than the North Island.

By the mid-sixties, however, New Zealand had a national saloon car championship along with a decent single-seater championship that headlined all meetings. In the south, the wonderful array of specials that had been built 10 to 20 years earlier still flourished, primarily as a necessity.

Bill Harris, the car's second owner at Nelson

Although the complex rules regarding car importation had largely been eased, cars were still expensive and required overseas funds to call on. As for importing single-seater racing- and sports cars, complexities and costs were largely prohibitive for the majority of the young racers who simply just wanted to ‘have a go’.


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