• Louvres and spokes – the exquisite style of Ettore Bugatti

French Blue

October 25th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

After the brief mention of Thomas Pitt Cholmondeley-Tapper in the last issue of NZ Classic Driver I was astounded to receive a message from Andy Datlen at Auto Restorations in Christchurch: “We have the Bugatti here, do you want to have a look at it?” So, on a late September Saturday morning, I squeezed into [...]

  • His skills as a driver trainer are almost black magic. Today he’s given up racing, but continues to train the world’s top drivers – and play music!

The Huapai Kid – Classic Racer

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

The international motor racing world knows him as ‘Rob Wilson’, but to me he is Robert Wilson – and always will be. I make no apologies for referring to him as Robert in this story. He left New Zealand for the UK in 1972 at the age of 20, having owned just one car (an [...]

  • Haig wrestles the ex-Dawson Camaro around the old hairpin at Ruapuna. It was a big, heavy, difficult car that was hard on brakes and not particularly powerful (Photo Terry Marshall)

Classic Racer – Journeys with Johnny Cash – Part Two

June 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

After making his racing debut in his road-going Zephyr-Corvette and blowing up the gearbox, Kevin decided any future racing would be in a dedicated competition car. But racing was about to take a back seat. The wide world intervened. “I joined the Dunedin exodus to Wanaka that Christmas and New Year’s Eve,” says Kevin. “Over [...]

  • At the Levin International the week after Baypark, Haig and Riley had two comings together. The front of the Mustang is worse for going under a wire hawser barrier. That’s Trevor Crowe behind in the Starlet V8 (Photo Terry Marshall)

Travels With Johnny Cash

April 24th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It was Kevin’s second season with the Mustang, a 1968 car built by Shelby for TransAm but never raced until it was bought by Kiwi Bob Kennett, who ran it in the USA before it was bought by Dexter Dunlop. Dunlop spent an unhappy season with the car before Kevin Haig arrived on the scene [...]

Marbles: A Heart-To-Heart with Dennis Marwood

February 21st, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

The terms, ‘eternal youth’ and ‘open book’ might well have been conjured up for Dennis Marwood. Now well into his eighties, Dennis Jack Marwood retains an almost boyish enthusiasm for motor racing and his memory is as sharp as the proverbial tack, able to haul career facts from the back of his memory with the [...]

  • Always ready for a photograph – and with a smile

Paul Fahey: 
A Racer’s Racer!

December 14th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

On Saturday, November 16, 1963 the New Zealand motor-racing establishment converged on Blenheim for the start of the 1963/1964 season on the street circuit out at Renwick. There were a lot of questions to be answered at this meeting because plenty had been happening during the winter months. For the followers of single-seater racing there [...]

  • The Breadvan Ferrari – did it start it all?

Classic Racing – The Fastback Anglias

October 14th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

Saturday, 6th of November 1965 saw the first major race meeting of the season. It was at Pukekohe and a non-championship meeting, but plenty of new car and new car/driver combinations were making their debut. A lot was expected, but plenty of eyebrows were raised when two new racing saloons appeared, both built in total [...]

  • A fine study at Levels of the 1976 GTX Champion, Lindsay in his winning Porsche (Photo Terry Marshall)

“Gidday Shag!”

August 17th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

It was one of the blackest times of my radio career. Five am on a dark, cold, mid-winter’s Friday morn in 1982 and I had phoned the Dunedin police as part of my early morning news-gathering tasks as News Editor at Radio 4XO. “Morning, it’s Allan Dick – anything happen overnight?” I asked the overnight [...]

  • John Surtees enjoying a Kiwi summer (Photo Terry Marshall Archives)

Farewell to a Motorsport Legend

April 19th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

John Surtees had been World 500cc Motorcycle Champion four times – in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 – the same year that he also switched from two wheels to four, signing for Lotus, initially alongside Innes Ireland, but then Jim Clark after the death of Alan Stacey at Spa. His impact on four wheels was [...]

  • Far left: The Morrari with Garth Souness driving is ahead of Rod Coppins in the Zephyr Corvette at Pukekohe, early 1967. Both drivers are trying very hard. One of the last appearances of the car (Photo Terry Marshall)

Old Soldiers

April 19th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , |

For decades, New Zealand was a living, breathing, working museum of historic motor racing. Distance, cost and tough import restrictions meant that many New Zealand racing drivers had to make-do with cars that were no longer competitive internationally – it was a situation that was mirrored with what we had to drive on our roads [...]