I first met Graeme Sharp during our teenage years. It was at a time when we were both enthusiastic members of the Christchurch-based Rallies and Trials Enthusiasts Club. In those days we helped ourselves to monthly doses of navigational trials, gymkhanas and the odd day at Ruapuna racetrack. Graeme’s mode of transport was a Cortina Mk I and mine a trusty Datsun 1200 wagon.

As time clicked on, Graeme moved away and we lost touch. That was until a chance meeting in late 1999 while visiting the then annual classic car show at the Christchurch Pioneer Stadium. Amongst the impressive hall of exhibits was one stand featuring two Saabs, one of these a 1962 96 Sport with ‘Peking to Paris’ decals on it. Looking after the display was my old friend Graeme. I was to quickly discover that he wasn’t just a volunteer from a club doing his duty; he was also the person behind the marathon drive.

Graeme had moved back to Canterbury but it took another 15 years for us to catch up again when another chance meeting resulted in us turning the clock back to our car trialling days. Graeme was still into Saabs and we took his on a Canterbury Car Club monthly trial (still an exercise in frustration but nevertheless enjoyable).

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