• The 84G in Japan - it had been left to the mercy of the elements for 30+ years

Mazda and the Road to Le Mans

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

In fact, you could argue that the Mazda rotary engine’s road to Le Mans actually began way back in 1967 when Takayoshi Ohashi – Mazda’s main Tokyo distributor – set up his own race team and tuning workshop. Calling his new firm ‘Mazda Sports Corner’, Ohashi ran cars both nationally and internationally. By 1982, Mazda [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • John Jacobson with the car in its original condition at New Brighton Beach

Peter Leversedge’s 1949 Stuart V8 Special No. 77

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

Peter’s desire to go racing originated with an exciting trip to Christchurch’s then only speedway at Aranui as a small boy. Quick on the heels of the speedway experiences came the Mairehau street race, a venue that circled his family home. [This was a path very similar to my introduction to motor racing and something [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

Our Fastest MG

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

Once upon a time people raced cars for pleasure, the adrenaline rush and comradeship. Winning was a bonus. And those who didn’t win, raced for the satisfaction of doing their best and, hopefully, finishing. As we discovered when we visited New Zealand’s fastest MG, that attitude is still alive and well in this modern age [...]

  • In 1987, it was champagne on the ramp for winners Mikkola and Hertz

1987 Audi Quattro

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

In the early 1980s, the 4WD revolution initiated by the Audi Quattro took the world of rallying by storm, and when the Group B era came to an end, four-wheel drive cars had been victorious on all WRC events bar one. Only the Safari Rally, the toughest round of the World Championship, remained as the [...]

  • Alan’s ‘Mk I’ at Timaru (Photo Euan Cameron)

Alan Inglis’ Broadspeed Escort Replica

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

Fifty-three years ago Alan Inglis spotted a Palmer & Doak-prepared 105E Anglia in a Christchurch car yard. At that time, this Rangiora Ford dealership modified 105E Anglias (among other cars), repowering them, fitting widened rims, upgrading gearboxes and installing disc brakes as well as tweaking carburettors and exhaust systems. As he gazed longingly at that [...]

  • 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 [...]