Born in the South Otago town of Balclutha, Allan Scott traces his interest in machinery back to when he was 13 years old. By that time he was living in Dunedin and, along with his uncles, during school holidays Allan worked at his grandparent’s large farm 90 kilometres from his home; not long after the sudden death of his father. There he became adept in handling farm machinery, working up the fields and sowing grass at the controls of a crawler tractor on the hill country farm. And, as his grandparents had never traded-in their old 1949 Ford Single-Spinner when they stopped using it, at the age of only 13 Allan began using the Ford to travel between his two uncle’s farm houses as well as the 10 kilometre journey to the post box by the main road to collect papers and mail.

Despite the time he spent working on the farm, it was the machinery that caught Allan’s attention and, at the age of 16, he began a motor mechanic apprenticeship in Dunedin. His boss, Frank, at the workshop had emigrated from Germany to New Zealand and was an expert on Mercedes-Benz but, more importantly from Allan’s perspective, he was also very interested in working on and modifying engines.

While busying himself working on tuning VW and other engines, Allan could not have known that his life would change forever when local racer Kelvin Cameron brought in his Lotus 22 for them to look after. Only 18 and a third-year apprentice, Allan found himself tasked with the job of rebuilding the car’s motor, an early Ford Cortina non-cross-flow engine that had originally been built in the UK. That engine would subsequently be rebuilt by Allan several times and was soon capable of safely running at 7800rpm; pretty good for 1968.

The following year, Cameron relocated to Christchurch and Allan decided to leave home to join him; he was still only 19 years old. Once in Christchurch, Allan found himself helping to prepare Cameron’s Brabham BT21 alongside well-known main mechanic, Hank Rossiter.


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