“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.
“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.
To read this and other articles on the Classic Driver website please click here to sign up for a membership. Once a member and logged in, you'll be able to read all the articles on the site. If you are already a paid up member, please log in, using the Log In link in the menu at the top of the page.