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 a beer, a group of us decided that we needed to go overseas and that we’d all meet at Dunedin’s Momona Airport on April the first and go to Sydney to see what lay over the horizon.

“I had to sell the Zephyr and Steve Dymand reckoned I should try Ron Silvester. I took it to Christchurch, showed it to Ron, who took it for a test run — a test run that was so fast he got a speeding ticket — and he bought it. Sadly, the car was written-off in a road crash some time later. It really was a special car.

“There should have been a dozen of us at Momona, but when April the first 1968 came around, there were just three of us, Dick Coulter, Wayne Millis and myself.”

Off they went, landing in Sydney, buying a 1956 Vauxhall Velox, living first in Kings Cross, but then getting jobs on the Snowy River contract. It was here that Kevin began the second major love affair of his life — after cars now came heavy machinery.

Kevin Haig and his Z-28 Camaro was the cover story in Allan Dick’s Autonews magazine in May 1973. As a matter of interest, the background is a Dunedin church designed by former Brink Mini racer, Murray Cockburn

“When Wayne and I decided to drive across Australia to Perth, Dick decided he was heading back to New Zealand, so, one Saturday morning, Wayne I headed off.”

For the next four years he worked mainly overseas and mainly on big earth-moving jobs in remote areas — outback Australia, a copper mine in Papua New Guinea, Algiers and Canada, all the time honing his skills not just fixing heavy equipment, but trouble-shooting, earning a big international reputation along the way.

Back on Track

Having earned big money and been careful with it, Kevin came back to New Zealand in May 1972 with a handsome bank balance. By then he was on a mission to spend it, particularly when he and a mate, Wayne Crosbie, went to a race meeting at Ruapuna.

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