• 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 [...]

  • Dick Bennetts has helped 14 drivers into Formula One — among them the great Ayrton Senna

The Perfection of West Surrey Racing

December 11th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

I was stumbling around in the ruins of a castle deep in the Pennines in northern England when my reveries of knights in armour were interrupted by the sound of a dog barking. So few people ring me these days that it took a moment or two for me to realise it was my ringtone [...]

  • Graeme Lawrence in the Ferrari Dino 246T (Chris Charles Collection)

A Mechanic’s Tale

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

Chris Charles knew from an early age he wanted to be in motorsport. From the day a neighbour took him to a Lady Wigram Trophy meeting when he was ten years old he read all he could about motorsport. He wrote to ‘The Secretary, Motor Racing Club, Christchurch’ when he was 14 to say he [...]

Kiwi-Built Masterpiece

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

In 1957 my father was at Aintree for that year’s British Grand Prix – a race won by Stirling Moss in the Vanwall with the following three places being taken by Ferraris. In third place was Mike Hawthorn, and the following year he would become the first Englishman to win the F1 World Championship. At [...]

Alfissimo!

November 22nd, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Having started his working life designing trucks, Vittorio Jano – an Italian of Hungarian descent – was hired by Alfa Romeo in 1923 as their chief engineer with a specific brief to produce race-winning cars. Jano easily showed that he was up to this task – his first design being the straight-eight P2 racecar [...]

Christopher Arthur Amon – Genius

September 28th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , |

When Chris Amon died on the 3rd of August this year at 73 years of age, there was a flood of tributes from around the world. Why? He had been a Grand Prix driver, he had been a co-winner of the Le Mans 24 Hour race, he had won the Tasman Series and he [...]