Wel­come to our new­est con­trib­u­tor

Classic Driver - - FEATURES -

If, heaven for­bid and I wish this upon no one, some­thing does go wrong, you in­stantly have gone 99% of the way to­ward en­sur­ing the pro­tec­tion of com­peti­tors and of­fi­cials alike. Don’t leave any­thing to chance, doc­u­ment what you do and a bad day won’t get worse. And don’t fear the Po­lice in­volve­ment. They have a job to do and as was proved to me, they do it very well.

On a (much) lighter note, I hope you en­joy the var­ied range of cars we have as­sem­bled for your read­ing plea­sure in this is­sue and by the time you read this, the new and in­fin­itely im­proved Clas­sic Driver web­site will be up and run­ning. Do take a look as we have video of the Shelby GT-350 and the Bu­gatti ex­clu­sively for our read­ers. You can’t beat the sight and sound of cars be­ing driven in the ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner and we have cap­tured some of these high­lights for you with help from our friends at the His­tor­i­cal Avi­a­tion Film Unit. Take a look and tell us what you think.

The story on the Mor­gan re­ally proves you just never know what is parked in front of you. I saw the car drive in to Rod Millen’s Lead­foot Dere­licts early morn­ing gath­er­ing at Ha­hei, leading in a con­voy of Mog­gies on their tour of New Zealand and to me it just looked like a nor­mal Mog­gie, on English num­ber plates. I wan­dered over and in­tro­duced my­self and asked how the tour was go­ing and what sort of cars were on it. I was talk­ing to Tim, the owner of the car and dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion, it was ob­vi­ous that there was def­i­nitely a story be­hind his yel­low Mog­gie which needed to be told.

I was not sure what to do about the Mus­tang’s 50th birth­day. The ’stang must be the most writ­ten-about car in the his­tory of the Amer­i­can car in­dus­try and no-one likes read­ing the same old story over again any more than any­one here re­ally wants to re­peat the same bor­ing stuff. So when the op­por­tu­nity arose to not only get a look at a real Shelby GT-350 (not so much A Shelby GT350 as THE Shelby GT350, the only one in the coun­try), and ac­tu­ally have it on the track for our own exclusive photo and film ses­sion, well, that was the ic­ing on the cake. When my fa­ther then started telling me about the un­touched Mus­tang just around the cor­ner, that seemed a great way to cel­e­brate the Mus­tang half century for Clas­sic Driver in a unique way.

It is with great plea­sure that I wel­come a new writer to the pages of Clas­sic Driver. Not only was he once a re­porter for the Waikato Times, he also came sec­ond at Le Mans, drove in 41 World Cham­pi­onship Grands Prix, worked as an en­gi­neer with McLaren and later started his own race car con­struc­tion busi­ness Tiga, with fel­low An­tipodean F1 driver Tim Schenken.

How­den Gan­ley is still very much in­volved in the world of his­toric and clas­sic rac­ing, he has an en­cy­clopaedic knowl­edge of the his­tory of the sport and com­mut­ing be­tween his US and UK homes, he will be giv­ing us a rare in­sight into the North­ern Hemi­sphere world of old cars, a lit­tle dif­fer­ent to what goes on down here, all done with his unique New Zealand slant on the men and ma­chines he knows so well.

Just to keep him­self on his lit­er­ary toes, he is also reach­ing the end of writ­ing his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, which he is hop­ing will be re­leased at the Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor Rac­ing at Hamp­ton Downs in Jan­uary fea­tur­ing… How­den Gan­ley!

It is no se­cret that on oc­ca­sion I have been crit­i­cal of the ac­tions of the New Zealand po­lice with re­gard to their ap­proach to road rules. You may not be aware that I was in­volved in an of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity at the Roy­croft Tro­phy meet­ing and the sub­se­quent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ac­ci­dent which took the life of one of the com­peti­tors.

In the event of a death at a race­track, it is re­quired to re­port it to the po­lice and the Se­ri­ous Crash Unit are re­quired to in­ves­ti­gate. You can be sure that I was not in a happy frame of mind when the po­lice cars ar­rived. Yet I can do noth­ing but thank the of­fi­cers in­volved on the day, and those I have dealt with since. Their pro­fes­sion­al­ism and com­pas­sion­ate re­sponse to what was a very dis­tress­ing sit­u­a­tion for all in­volved, was be­yond re­proach.

Be­cause all rules and reg­u­la­tions had been fol­lowed up to the time of the ac­ci­dent, and the pro­ce­dures the VCC had in place to fol­low in the event of an in­ci­dent like this, worked in the man­ner which we hoped we would never need to find out. A les­son for any or­gan­iser of any club event any­where; make sure you have rules in place for what­ever you are do­ing and make sure you fol­low them.

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