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Motorsport

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

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.

Spectacular historic racing at Phillip Island did not disappoint the large crowd

This year 32 car clubs displayed a total of 1,100 cars — a magnificent sight as well as being an added attraction for the thousands of spectators who braved the very hot weather. There is a pavilion on that same stretch of the circuit that houses stalls offering books, models, enamel signs, parts and all manner of motoring bric-a-brac plus more car displays.
Kiwi Codie Banks dominated all the F5000 races in his Lola T332. For the first race he was joined on the front row of the grid by his father David in his Talon MR1.

Lunch with… Brian Lawrence

Hearing Brian’s stories at the Levin tribute day (see Motorsport Flashback) made me realise that despite knowing him for nearly 30 years, there was much about his involvement in motor sport that I didn’t know. Since the ‘Lunch with’ series started, we’ve made a point of focusing on other contributors to the sport beyond the drivers. I’ve ‘lunched with’ journalists, a photographer, mechanics, preparation wizards, and F1 team members, but never before a promoter. In the near future we have lunches planned with more drivers, a team owner, and a sponsor, but now is the time to interview Brian David Lawrence.

Romancing the automobile and motor racing in art

The glamour and excitement of the automobile first had an impact on me through car advertisements. Growing up on Auckland’s North Shore in the conservative early ’60s, there wasn’t much dynamic stuff going on. Everything was pretty bland and socially constrained, but there were glimpses of a world beyond that lay just out of our grasp. One of these early influences was a pile of late ’50s National Geographic magazines. We received these on subscription from a generous uncle in North America. It wasn’t the articles we were poring over though, it was the advertising, particularly the art-styled American car adverts.
The evocative, lusciously coloured and boldly styled auto adverts hit me like a juggernaut.

The best of British

There are clues aplenty that this is in fact TWR/018, the genuine V8-engined Rover 3500 SD1 V8 Group A racer built in late 1985 / early 1986 by Tom Walkinshaw Racing in the UK. It was freshened up in Christchurch in the early 1990s by recently retired and relocated TWR engine guru Allan Scott. It is now owned and regularly raced here by keen Wanaka-based classic car owner and driver Allan Dippie. 
Dippie is an active member of the largely South Island–based Historic Touring Cars of New Zealand group which, for the past few years, has been running the increasingly popular and well-supported Archibald’s Historic Touring Car Series.
With so many shells built into race (at least 19) and rally cars (as many as another 13), finding a pukka TWR car for sale has never really been a problem — in the UK.

On the road with a GT40

Riding in a genuine Ford GT40 with Geoff Manning is like living a slice of automotive history, as Donn Anderson found out over three decades ago …
The phone call in 1990 was dead easy to accept. Geoff Manning was ringing to ask if I would like to spend some time with the only genuine Ford GT40 to have driven the roads of New Zealand. There was little time to ponder since the car was destined to return to England and new owner Ted Rollason.
My answer, of course, was positive and immediate — and what a rare and fleeting experience a few days later to be driving around Auckland streets in such a stunning and wonderful machine.

Zakspeed cars light up Taupo Historic GP

It was at the Historic Grand Prix meeting organised by the HRC in January 20021. The focus make for the meeting was Ford, so it was no surprise to see a huge range of Ford cars everywhere, but to see these two ex-DRM cars here — the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft is the German sports/touring car championship — was an eye-opener.
Turns out that the Escort was brought to New Zealand by Kiwi Gary Wilkinson, who discovered it in a very sorry state in Malaysia while he was working over there. He could see it had a lot of genuine Zakspeed equipment on it so was sure it was a special car. Research of the chassis number — ZAK-E23/75 — identified it as the car in which Hans Heyer won the DRM championship in 1975. Gary shipped the car home to New Zealand and gave it a thorough restoration over a seven-year period, painting it in the livery it wore when it won the championship.

1927 MERCEDES SUPERCHARGES BEACH RACING

Home Kidston did a lot more than tackle the Muriwai sands during his New Zealand adventure nearly 90 years ago. Donn Anderson uncovers the fascinating story behind the Kidston family and a special Mercedes-Benz.
Home, or “HK” as he was often known, added a dash of international flavour when he arrived with his exotic German machine on the Muriwai beach sands in March 1934 for the annual championship organised by the Muriwai Motor Racing Club Limited. The supercharged Mercedes created high interest but had spark plug problems and was unplaced in four races. Kidston said the Roots blower only came in “when you put your foot down and if you held it for too long the plugs became incandescent”.

Lemon squash

Manawatu’s Bryan Menefy is passionate about his Fords. A shed full of them proves he’s serious, but it was the fire-breathing Aussie V8s hurtling around Mount Panorama in Bathurst, being wheeled within inches of the concrete walls by Dick Johnson and John Bowe, that really grabbed his attention. But they too were well out of reach at that age.
Not wanting to give up on his dream, Bryan set about working his backside off to fulfil his desire to surround himself with the things he loved — trucks, music, and a shed full of Fords!

Viva Pescara

Denny Hulme’s victory in August 1960 wasn’t the only reason I was drawn to Pescara, Italy — though it was a contributing factor. There’s not another country that better combines my wife’s love for art with my mild obsession with the motor car; add in our shared fondness for history, architecture, beautiful scenery, food, and wine, and it isn’t hard to see why this Italian town is on the list.

Tribute to the master

Besides routinely building some of the world’s most desirable cars on its production lines, and some of the world’s most successful cars in the crucible of motorsport, Formula 1, Ferrari occasionally sets out to build something a bit special — a limited-edition model that makes a statement to the motoring world.
There are currently five of these models, the 288 GTO (presented 1984), F40 (1987), F50 (1995), Enzo (2002–2004), and LaFerrari (2013). The one they decided to name after company founder Enzo Ferrari had better be good.
Many of these landmark cars have made the most of the prancing horse’s extensive F1 experience. This car makes this connection explicit, offering a car tantalisingly close to a full-throated F1 car. It even goes beyond, offering technology that wasn’t allowed in F1, such as active aerodynamics and traction control. As a result, Ferrari produced what is now by consensus seen as the world’s first hypercar.

The one and only – The Sierra Cosworth

For most car-conscious folk of a certain age the sight of a whale tail still has its own magic.
No mere spoilers, these excessive peacock-fan displays signal a car with too much power to be held on the road by the weak fundamental force of gravity. Porsche 930 turbos needed them to correct the wrong-headedness of having all that power thrusting from behind the rear wheels and Sierra Cosworths also needed them for genuine road-holding reasons.
When Ford launched the bravely rounded Sierra in 1982 to replace the boxy Cortina, its blobby shape and expressionless face wasn’t universally loved.

Taupō welcomes back the classics

Historic Muscle Cars and Saloon Cars president Tony Roberts was delighted with the success of the sixth edition of Taupō International Motorsport Park’s Historic Grand Prix held over the weekend of 21–22 January 2023.
No doubt Tony would have been chuffed even without his win in Class A in the SAS Autoparts MSC F5000 Historic GP race driving his McLaren M10A, the feature race for the meeting. Taking top honours was Brett Willis, winner overall in his Lola T332, after finishing second and third in the first two races and winning the feature race.

Cat Scratch Fever

Jaguar’s iconic 3.8-litre Mark II saloon provides stunning performance and comfort for four, and its tuneable engine made it a favourite in saloon car races around the world. By Quinton Taylor,