Dene Hollier competed internationally on two wheels – even racing at the legendary Isle Of Man TT – before turning his skills to four wheels when he went single-seater racing. Sadly, Dene passed away on January 19, 2019 at the age of 91 years and three months at the Ranfurly Residential Care Centre and Rest Home in Feilding, where he had spent his last few years.

Dene and the Lotus 27, Renwick, November 1966 (Photo Rosalie Stuart)

Born October 5, 1927 and growing up in (at the time) the small country town of Palmerston North during the 1930s and 1940s, Dene resigned from high school at the then legal age of 15 to immediately begin his apprenticeship as a fitter and turner with Holbert Electrical and Precision Engineering. Dene liked lathe work and soon became known for his skills at producing parts for racing motorcycles. His own first racing machine was a belt-driven Douglas but he soon worked his way up the motorcycle ladder and began racing much faster machines. He competed in events as diverse as grass track, speedway, hillclimbs, trials, beach and circuit racing – in those days the latter meant street circuits, as I don’t think there were any permanent sealed circuits in New Zealand during the war years.


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