HISTORIC MUSCLE CARS
Historic Muscle Cars (HMC) would not be where it is today without the existence of Historic Saloon Cars (HSC). The two historic groups have worked together to establish a full fleet of periodcorrect cars, while both work to build their numbers. However, while HMC is now the better established of the two, HSC is a hugely significant entity in its own right, and one that’s even more period-correct than HMC.
There are three different sets of rules used for HSC — Schedule K, Schedule T&C, and FIA Appendix K.
Schedule K was established by Motorsport New Zealand (MSNZ) several decades ago, following requests by owners of old racing cars that were no longer competitive with modern machinery to present and race them in their original mechanical and aesthetic configuration, rather than update them.
Schedule K now forms an important cornerstone for HSC, as it embraces original race cars with period competition history, and it allows them a safe environment in which to race. Cars must be in keeping with the principles of HSC, including having the correct tyres, and, while they may not fit within either T&C or Appendix K rules, as long as they’re presented correctly and as raced in period, they are accepted into HSC. While many of these cars are now hugely valuable, their owners often want to exercise them in the manner for which they were originally created, and HSC provides an outlet for achieving that. Some of the Schedule K cars racing with HSC include the ex–jim Richards Escort, the ex–don Halliday Escort and the ex– Stone brothers / Roy Harrington Escort.
Schedule T&C was created by MSNZ as a set of regulations for people who wanted to build cars from scratch for classic and historic racing. The T&C rules have been in place for many years, and countless cars have been built to them.
The T&C rules aren’t actually historically based; rather, they are a set of regulations that allow an owner to build a car for historic racing with relative ease. The rules form a sort of umbrella that can be applied to several makes and models, rather than being specific to any one vehicle.
FIA Appendix K has been adopted by HSC, and an increasing number of cars are being built to these very stable regulations. Appendix K constitutes the rules used through the UK and Europe for historic racing and are also used and recognized in other parts of the world. Appendix K is based on the original FIA homologation sheets created for each make and model of vehicle that took part in a major national or international saloon-car championship in period and is specific right down to the part numbers required. The rules are extremely accurate, and extremely robust, which is why increasingly more HSC teams are opting to take this route.
One of the greatest benefits of Appendix K is that the rules are internationally recognized, which means that if a car is built in New Zealand to these rules, the owner has the option to take their car overseas to race. Likewise, using these rules allows HSC
to invite international entries. Further, when an HSC driver decides they want to sell their car, they have a worldwide market that recognizes the rules the car has been built to, which greatly increases its value.
HSC has access to the homologation sheets for most vehicles fitting the FIA Appendix K rules, and can provide assistance to owners and builders. Grant Sprague and Paul Mccarthy are both building Bdg-powered MKI Escort RS1600 Appendix K cars. Along with Howard Wood’s Appendix K BMW 2002 and a growing number of others, these are very quick little cars — but they’re also extremely period correct.
But it’s not just small-capacity cars being built to Appendix K rules. Paul Berkahn is building an impressive 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint, of the exact same type as that used in period in the Monte Carlo Rally. This car is extremely correct, and, while it won’t be a front-running car, it will impress onlookers with its high level of detail and accuracy, right down to the Fia-approved fibreglass bolt-on body panels, as used by the Ford teams in period, which helped it attain its almost unachievable FIA homologation weight of just 980kg. Falcon Sprints are a popular choice with historic racers throughout the UK and Europe in the high-profile Pre-1966 touring-car category for Group 2 cars. Among the countless events these cars are eligible to race at are the Goodwood Revival, Silverstone Classic, and Six Hours of Spa. Paul’s Falcon will be eligible for all these events if he chooses to take the car overseas.
Whether its Schedule K for genuine cars with period race history, T&C, or Appendix K, HSC offers owners a fun and safe environment in which to compete with like-minded enthusiasts, and every car on the grid is completely correct to its own set of rules. And while HMC is now firmly established within New Zealand historic-racing circles, HSC is now emerging from its shadow and carving out its own identity. Watch this space.