• 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 [...]

  • Photographer Bill Pottinger learning about opposite lock in his grandmother’s Austin 10 (Photo Euan Sarginson).

Is There Still Spectacle in Motor Racing?

October 28th, 2020|

The current almost computer-controlled Formula One races, plus the attendant casts of thousands, is a far cry from the sport I started watching in the late ’50s. It seems hard to remember the heroes of yesteryear with their almost primitive team set-ups being as successful as they were when compared to the complexity of today’s [...]

Macau Grand Prix Spitfire Tribute Car

September 3rd, 2020|

Born in Coventry to a family already steeped in that city’s automotive industry, it was perhaps inevitable that Morley Faulkner would also end up working within that same industry. Morley’s grandfather, Bill Smith, worked alongside William Lyons building Swallow side-cars in Blackpool and would also be involved with the cars that would later be regarded [...]

Pre-1960 Saloon Racing

September 3rd, 2020|

I recently came across a photograph taken at Siverstone in the UK, probably in late 1959 or early 1960. It appears to have been shot just seconds before the start, but look where the ‘officials’ are standing! They are both to the side and the rear of the field. I can spot four Mk2 Jaguars, [...]