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Barry Butterworth Classic takes racing back to the good ol’ days

7 February, 2017


If you’re unfamiliar with the name Barry Butterworth, that might just be set to change, with some of the most hotly anticipated events on the local speedway calendar approaching. February 11 will see the Barry Butterworth Classic held at Vodafone Western Springs Speedway, in memory of one of the greatest legends on local dirt — a race meeting that takes racing back to the good old days with Sprint Cars, F2 Midgets, Midgets, and TQ Midgets in contention.

In this event, the classes race “like they did in the old days”, with the fastest qualifier starting last, and they then select who they would like to have start back beside them. With the fastest drivers thus positioned at the rear of the pack, exciting racing is guaranteed with a fight to get to the front — just as it was done in Barry’s heyday. 

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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.