• Doug Algie’s Tucker V8 in its workshop – the street outside his parent’s house – with a crowd of young admirers and future Formula One fans

The Man Who Sat in Nuvolari’s Seat

May 8th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The first time I saw Doug Algie he was sitting behind the huge steering wheel of a car that once had been driven by the great Tazio Nuvolari. It was February 1966 at a low-key club race meeting on a tidal area near the township of Karitane, north of Dunedin. Doug was driving an enormous [...]

  • This is the warpaint the Mustang wore during the 1968/1969 season, when Red Dawson became the new owner. In late 1968, Dawson took the car to Australia to contest a handful of events, including the single-race ATCC. The Mustang was adorned with giant ‘NZ’ lettering on its rear flanks for the Aussie assault (Photo Mike Feisst)

The Frank Bryan/Red Dawson Shelby Mustang – Part One

February 24th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

The Trans-American sedan series (Trans-Am) was almost certainly the world’s most famous, most successful saloon-car racing series during the late 1960s and early 1970s. A creation of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), the Trans-Am joined the Can-Am series for Group 7 unlimited sports cars, and Formula A/Formula 5000 series during the mid-1960s as [...]

  • Dene rides through Parliament Square, Ramsay, during the 1952 IOM TT

Memories of Richard Dene Kingston Hollier 1927–2019

February 24th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

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 [...]

Royce Bayer’s ‘Bello’

October 26th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

In a ceremony that would be a match for even the most exotic and modern car launch, Royce, in front of family and invited friends, pulled the covers off a very special creation: his own hand-created ‘Bello’ single-seater racing car, one made in the mould of racers from the 1950s, a time when engines were [...]

  • Louvres and spokes – the exquisite style of Ettore Bugatti

French Blue

October 25th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

After the brief mention of Thomas Pitt Cholmondeley-Tapper in the last issue of NZ Classic Driver I was astounded to receive a message from Andy Datlen at Auto Restorations in Christchurch: “We have the Bugatti here, do you want to have a look at it?” So, on a late September Saturday morning, I squeezed into [...]

  • His skills as a driver trainer are almost black magic. Today he’s given up racing, but continues to train the world’s top drivers – and play music!

The Huapai Kid – Classic Racer

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

The international motor racing world knows him as ‘Rob Wilson’, but to me he is Robert Wilson – and always will be. I make no apologies for referring to him as Robert in this story. He left New Zealand for the UK in 1972 at the age of 20, having owned just one car (an [...]

1961 Cole-Baker Special

September 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

We trace the history of a unique, locally built special that started off life with a Morris Minor engine before finally gaining Rover V8 power. Like virtually all Kiwi specials, this car was put together on a shoe-string budget by one man – in this case Dan Cole-Baker, a teacher from Raglan. In 1959 when [...]

  • Haig wrestles the ex-Dawson Camaro around the old hairpin at Ruapuna. It was a big, heavy, difficult car that was hard on brakes and not particularly powerful (Photo Terry Marshall)

Classic Racer – Journeys with Johnny Cash – Part Two

June 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

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 [...]

  • At the Levin International the week after Baypark, Haig and Riley had two comings together. The front of the Mustang is worse for going under a wire hawser barrier. That’s Trevor Crowe behind in the Starlet V8 (Photo Terry Marshall)

Travels With Johnny Cash

April 24th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It was Kevin’s second season with the Mustang, a 1968 car built by Shelby for TransAm but never raced until it was bought by Kiwi Bob Kennett, who ran it in the USA before it was bought by Dexter Dunlop. Dunlop spent an unhappy season with the car before Kevin Haig arrived on the scene [...]

  • Jeremy and an old friend

Jeremy Stace’s Jaguar E-Type

February 21st, 2018|Tags: , , , |

The common expression ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ can certainly be attributed to Enzo Ferrari’s thoughts on Jaguar’s E-type as, on first sighting the car, il Commendatore was reported to have called it “the most beautiful car ever made”. He wasn’t the only one that had these thoughts after the original E-type [...]