American Muscle in an Italian Suit

December 20th, 2020|

Like Ferruccio Lamborghini, Renzo Rivolta – a maker of refrigerators, heaters, small two-wheelers and the cute but quirky Isetta bubble car and a lover of fine cars – also wasn’t happy with the offerings from Ferrari, Maserati and Jaguar so he decided to make his own car – and he did exactly that before Lamborghini [...]

  • The Motordrome Racing Team’s cars – Humber 80, Lotus 18 FJ, Lotus XI and Ford Zephyr (Photo Dennis Marwood Collection).

Dave “Swift” McMillan

December 20th, 2020|

When Dave McMillan won the Lady Wigram trophy in 1979 driving his Ralt RT1, it wasn’t just another trophy to add to his cabinet – Wigram was also where it had all started for ‘Swift’ McMillan. Born in Christchurch, Dave went to school in Riccarton and his dad was in the Royal New Zealand Air [...]

At the Sign of the Octagon

December 20th, 2020|

Grant Kern is a man of many talents. As a builder based in Waiuku, along with his wife, Fleur, his largest project to date has been transforming a 60-acre block of bare land acquired 22 years ago into a picturesque estate that has since gained an enviable reputation as a boutique wedding venue. As well [...]

  • Tom Hooker in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s workshop with Al Unser’s 1968 Lola T150 Johnny Lightning Special. He has just rebuilt its Ford quad-cam engine (Photo Peter Hill).

Tom Hooker – Engines are His Game

October 28th, 2020|

I first met Tom Hooker on one of my trips to Indianapolis to attend the Indy 500. At that time Tom was running his successful engine-building business in the industrial area called Gasoline Alley, but he was originally from Whanganui. I noticed a sticker on his motorbike – McLaren Old Boys – and we were [...]

  • Rod poses with his Kensington Carpets Series class-winning 1957 Chevrolet (Allen Family Collection).

Three of a Kind

October 28th, 2020|

Rod’s uncle worked for the Holden and Chevrolet agent in Stratford and he bought a brand new colonial cream and black 1957 Chevrolet to show Rod’s father. It made a huge impression on the 8-year-old boy who told his sceptical father that one day he would own one. Fast-forward to 1973 and Rod acquired his [...]

Pace Maker

October 28th, 2020|Tags: , , |

Chrysler Australia first introduced the Valiant nameplate with the first generation, R Series, cars in 1962. These early cars were simply rebadged, locally assembled US Plymouth Valiants. And, while V8 engines were the dominant factor for most US muscle cars of the era – not to mention Ford Australia’s iconic GT-HO Falcon – in Australia, [...]

  • Kevin today with his Moke.

Motorkhana Master

October 28th, 2020|Tags: |

Hidden deep within any of local tier one meetings, the long-standing Gold Star Clubsport Championship and the even longer running Motorkhana Championship remain on the New Zealand calendar. It is the very entry level of the sport and, along with beginner’s karting, provides a wonderful baptism to motorsport without the risk of over spending. The [...]

  • Rotten old cars. The writer’s misguided youth clearly on show here with his friend’s 1938 and his own 1935 Ford V8 and the 1939 De Luxe after the engine swap.

Burning a Grey Pipe

October 28th, 2020|Tags: |

I offer no apologies for my love of side-valve Ford V8s. They were the first serious car I had anything to do with and I delved into the oily mysteries of them with dumb enthusiasm. It was a mate who bought the first that I had anything to do with. It was a ‘38 De [...]

  • 24 For the last ride – a Toyota Century funeral car.

Graham’s Shopping List

October 28th, 2020|Tags: |

It started in 1979 when Graham bought a Ford F1 ‘Bonus’ pickup truck in original condition, and with a coat of greenish-grey paint that Graham never liked. It stayed that way for many years until he decided to give it a tidy-up. As so often happens, one thing led to another and his wife, Eileen, [...]

Caveat Emptor

October 28th, 2020|Tags: , |

Nick Smith is an Otago-ite to the core — proud of his heritage, proud of the bond that goes with a business handshake. He is of the Smith family that owns the Otago Daily Times, and a number of other successful media outlets. A love of cars runs in the family — his brother, Sir [...]