Get your calendar at the ready — we’ve got the dates for the 2015–’16 Historic Muscle Car series

15 July, 2015

The calendar for the 2015–’16 Historic Muscle Car (HMC) series has been unveiled, and while it may look geared towards those around Auckland, there are talks of extending the love to muscle and classic fans down south.

The season will start on September 12–13 at Hampton Downs Raceway, before heading to Pukekohe Park Raceway on October 3. To kick off 2016, the series will return to Hampton Downs Raceway for the dual-weekend New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing (NZFMR) meeting, being held on January 15–17 and January 22–24, before finally ending on April 2–3 at the Hampton Downs Raceway Legends event, held in conjunction with the Historic Racing Club. Organizers have assured us that this final event will not clash with the 2016 Whangamata Beach Hop event.

The series has made attempts to include Manfeild in this calendar, but this is unlikely to come to fruition until the 2016–’17 season comes around. Expansion to the South Island is also a talking point for the Historic Muscle Cars, but this is only in its early phase of discussion.

The 2015 NZFMR event held in January saw the Historic Muscle Car series produce some exciting racing, with a group of entries from the Australian Trans-Am series travelling from across the ditch to be part of the fun. Aussie Ian Woodward in his signature white Pontiac Firebird proved the man to beat on both weekends, while Kiwis Kevin Gimblett and Roger Williams both appeared strong in their Chev Camaros. The Australians ultimately ended up on top, winning five races to the Kiwi’s three. Check out all the action in the event coverage below:

Several New Zealand entries flew to Australia to compete in some of the Australian Trans-Am events, with Gimblett, Glenn Allingham, Murray Brown and Dale Mathers all producing strong performances. While these four entries will unfortunately have to skip round one in September due to time constraints, they will return for round two and beyond.

Of course, the series isn’t all about the Mustangs and the Camaros. The Historic Saloon Car sub-series will also make a comeback, with the plethora of giant-killing Ford Escorts, Anglias, and Japanese classics sure to spring an occasional surprise on their high-powered V8 brethren. We’re hoping to see Mike Coory’s stunning Datsun 240K GTR replica among those back on track.

For more action, check out our HMC gallery below.

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.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.