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Material sought for film on Bruce McLaren’s life

15 December, 2015

Acclaimed director Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job, The Recruit, Cocktail), is making a feature documentary on the life of Bruce McLaren, a New Zealander who was well-known internationally as a race car driver, designer, and inventor in the 1950s and ’60s.

Donaldson is hunting for rare audio-visual material (photographs, home movies, audio recordings, etc.) of McLaren, who founded the highly successful Formula One McLaren Motor Racing Team.

Donaldson, a motor racing fan, directed The World’s Fastest Indian, starring Anthony Hopkins, about another New Zealand speed pioneer, Burt Munro.

“Legendary Kiwi race car driver and engineer Bruce McLaren was tragically killed testing one of his cars in 1970,” Donaldson says. “We are very keen to find archival footage that documents this extraordinary New Zealander’s life. So, if you have or know the whereabouts of any potentially interesting film, please be in touch with us. Photographs, home movies, souvenirs; if it is about Bruce, we would love to see it.”

The film’s producers feel there may be more treasures yet to be located, possibly in England, where he lived, and Europe and USA, where he raced.

The film is produced by Matthew Metcalfe (Beyond the Edge, The Dead Lands), through his company General Film Corporation, and Fraser Brown (Orphans & Kingdoms). It has investment from the New Zealand Film Commission, Images & Sound, and The Giltrap Group.

The producers ask that anyone with material featuring Bruce McLaren, or associated people in his life during the 1950s and ’60s, contact researcher Pheobe Shum at [email protected]

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.