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Big rigs and V8s ready to rumble

26 November, 2014

The BNT NZ SuperTourers are set to hit the Fuchs 500 event at Pukekohe Park Raceway this weekend, over November 28–30. Their brute V8 power will be complemented by the 1200hp, five-tonne monsters making up the New Zealand SuperTruck Championship. It has been 10 years since the SuperTrucks last raced at Pukekohe and at least 11 of the leviathans are expected to make an appearance, along with a raft of former champions including Ron Salter, Andrew Porter, and Calven Bonney.

The excitement is also at a peak in the SuperTourers series, with Richard Moore and his co-driver, full-time V8 Supercar driver Tim Slade, just trailing in points behind V8 Supercar wizard Shane Van Gisbergen and Simon Evans.

Moore is part of the M3 team along with Greg Murphy and Paul Manuell and he says he has learnt a lot from them — he feels that he has what it takes to race with the big boys.

“We’re pretty confident now that we’re a leading force and we really want to take it to that leading car of Simon and Shane.”

With the levels of competition ramping up in the SuperTourers, don’t go thinking that the SuperTrucks have just been shoehorned in — the Pukekohe event will be round one of a five-round championship for the trucks and is rejuvenation for the series. The 1200hp trucks hit their 160kph top speed halfway down the back straight, and the new back section of the track presents new passing opportunities. “These things are bloody exciting to watch, if you haven’t seen them before, you need to get along,” says Clevedon racer Troy Wheeler.

The BNT NZ SuperTourers and NZ SuperTrucks will also be joined by the UDC NZ V8 Utes, NZV8 Touring Cars, Toyota Finance 86 Series, Honda Cup, and the SsangYong Actyon Racing Series. For tickets, go to

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.