Grant Walker had his ‘sliding doors moment’ in 1977 after working on Fred Opert’s Chevron entries for the New Zealand Peter Stuyvesant series, where Keke Rosberg took the championship and began his trajectory towards Formula 1 and a future world championship.

Rosberg, with whom Grant got on very well, wanted the Kiwi to go back to Europe with him. Opert had other ideas and was keen for him to join his operation, offering Grant a Formula Ford to race in the USA while working for the team. But Grant’s good friend Jim Richards offered him work in Australia and the chance to race a Titan FF there. He chose the Australian option and soon made that country his home.

Early Days

Grant originally came from Hastings but his family moved to Auckland in 1963, which is where he went to school. In his mid-teens he went karting and over the next five years would win New Zealand championships and even race in Hong Kong. After a day at school Grant would go to Performance Developments in Papakura where he cleaned everything and washed the floors. Dick Bennetts was there at the time, as was Ray Stone. Both would play a part in his future.

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.