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The Targa Bambina approaches

3 May, 2015

The Targa Bambina is just around the corner — held over May 14–17 — and teams will be putting in the last-minute hard yards to ensure their cars are competitive and ready.

Racing begins on May 15, with the Targa Bambina Welcome Function and Charity Auction commencing at 7pm on Thursday, May 14, at the Simunovich Olive Estate in Bombay. The Welcome Function provides a fantastic opportunity to meet the Targa family, sponsors, enjoy a three-course meal, and support the Kids in Cars charity.

Targa NZ raised $25,000 for the Kids in Cars charity last year, and hope to match, if not exceed, that benchmark. Auction items can be donated by contacting the Targa office, or you can purchase a ticket, or make a contribution on the night. The purchase of tickets is open to all of the Targa family and past competitors.

And, of great importance, Targa NZ are still in desperate need of timing teams. Three weeks out from racing, volunteers are needed to avoid having to cancel any stages. If you know of friends, family, or competitors who aren’t competing at this event, who’d be interested, please get in touch with the Targa office.  

Becoming fond of Fords part two – happy times with Escorts

In part one of this Ford-flavoured trip down memory lane I recalled a sad and instructive episode when I learned my shortcomings as a car tuner, something that tainted my appreciation of Mk2 Ford Escort vans in particular. Prior to that I had a couple of other Ford entanglements of slightly more redeeming merit. There were two Mk1 Escorts I had got my hands on: a 1972 1300 XL belonging to my father and a later, end-of-line, English-assembled 1974 1100, which my partner and I bought from Panmure Motors Ford in Auckland in 1980. Both those cars were the high water mark of my relationship with the Ford Motor Co. I liked the Mk1 Escorts. They were nice, nippy, small cars, particularly the 1300, which handled really well, and had a very precise gearbox for the time.
Images of Jim Richards in the Carney Racing Williment-built Twin Cam Escort and Paul Fahey in the Alan Mann–built Escort FVA often loomed in my imagination when I was driving these Mk1 Escorts — not that I was under any illusion of comparable driving skills, but they had to be having just as much fun as I was steering the basic versions of these projectiles.

Fear and loathing the blue oval – part one

The slogan went something like ‘There’s a Ford in your future’. ‘Bugger off!’ were always the words that sprung to my mind. Ford and I have never really got on in the manner of many of my friends, so I’d say my relationship to the brand was distant. The accelerating blur of passing time has helpfully blanketed memories of a few Ford encounters which I probably wanted to forget but I have to admit, now I look at them, they are re-appearing through the mists of time. What comes to mind more readily, to quote some uncharitable wit, is that the letters Ford could stand for ‘fix or repair daily’. Still, I have to ’fess up, there were several Fords in my past.