THE ROAD TO MONACO: MY LIFE IN MO­TOR RAC­ING

(Avail­able in NZ from The Bruce Mclaren Trust)

New Zealand Classic Car - - AUTOMOBILIA - By

How­den Ganley

ISBN

Re­view copy sup­plied by

In 1970, when Des­mond Ma­honey’s Trioatthetop — his now iconic book de­tail­ing the his­to­ries of Kiwi For­mula One driv­ers Chris Amon, Denny Hulme and Bruce Mclaren — first ap­peared, there were some who reck­oned the ti­tle should’ve also in­cluded NZ’S ‘other’ F1 driver, How­den Ganley, as Quar­te­tatthetop. Some­how How­den al­ways seemed to get left out. The late Eoin Young, who pro­vided en­cour­age­ment to How­den’s writ­ing ef­forts — and in­ci­den­tally came up with this book’s ti­tle, to­gether with Mo­tor­sport Flash­back colum­nist Michael Clark — cer­tainly aimed to re­dress the bal­ance when he con­trib­uted his three-part fea­ture on How­den to Nzclassiccar in early 2002. More re­cently How­den was hon­oured at the Gulf Oil How­den Ganley F5000 Fes­ti­val held at Hamp­ton Downs ear­lier this sum­mer, which be­came the site of this book’s of­fi­cial launch. Un­like most rac­ing driv­ers, How­den has writ­ten down his story — some­thing he’s prob­a­bly bet­ter qual­i­fied to do than most ex-f1 driv­ers, as he was once em­ployed as a re­porter for the Waika­to­times where, as well as found­ing that news­pa­per’s mo­tor­ing page, he cov­ered lo­cal sport­ing events. Later How­den con­trib­uted what could be viewed as a monthly New Zealand mo­tor-sport col­umn to the Bri­tish mag­a­zine, Sportscar­il­lus­trated. Although his writ­ing ca­reer was cut short by the need to earn more money in or­der to fur­ther his rac­ing am­bi­tions — How­den worked by day for a con­cret­ing com­pany and by night wash­ing dishes at Len Gil­bert’s restau­rant — his skill with words re­mains, and Theroad­tomonaco is not only ex­tremely well writ­ten, it’s also bril­liantly read­able. I have to ad­mit that prior to ac­quir­ing a re­view copy, I had al­ready pre­pared my­self to hand out a big thumbs up for How­den’s book purely by de­fault — af­ter all, it’s not that of­ten we get the chance to read a Kiwi racer’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy. How­ever, af­ter only hav­ing read the first three or four chap­ters I was hooked, and re­al­ized that there was ab­so­lutely no need to ap­ply any sort of in­tan­gi­ble ‘Kiwi quota’ to this book. Sim­ply put, Theroad Tomonaco is un­doubt­edly the best rac­ing-driver au­to­bi­og­ra­phy I’ve read in years. Not only is it im­mensely en­joy­able, it’s also packed with mar­vel­lous anec­dotes from all points in How­den’s rac­ing ca­reer while, his­tor­i­cally, the book runs the gamut from early days skid­ding around on grass tracks in

Re­view by

mum’s Mor­ris Mi­nor, to com­pet­ing at the high­est level in For­mula One. Along the way I learned a lot more about many as­pects of How­den’s rac­ing ca­reer that Nzclassiccar touched upon dur­ing the lead-up to this year’s How­den Ganley F5000 Fes­ti­val, in­clud­ing de­tailed in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to the Lo­tus XI that we fea­tured a few is­sues ago, as well as more on Ivan Segedin’s Mo­tor­drome Rac­ing Team. Re­ally, for any­one in­ter­ested in NZ mo­tor sport, this book is an ab­so­lute must-have. What I also found very ap­peal­ing about this vol­ume is that How­den doesn’t shy away from re­veal­ing his emo­tions when dis­cussing his fam­ily, and at times his story be­comes in­tensely per­sonal. In­deed, the most mov­ing chap­ter of Theroad­tomonaco is the fi­nal one in which How­den re­mem­bers his wife Judy, who sadly passed away in 2007. As well as the down­sides of life, How­den cov­ers those re­lat­ing to mo­tor rac­ing. For him, that was al­ways go­ing to in­clude clout­ing that power pole at Dunedin in the Lo­tus and, more se­ri­ously, the ill-fated en­counter with the Maki F1 car that ef­fec­tively put paid to his F1 rac­ing ca­reer, af­ter a ma­jor shunt in the gen­er­ally un­com­pet­i­tive Ja­panese race-car at the Nür­bur­gring. Fol­low­ing a pe­riod of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, How­den turned his at­ten­tion to sportscar rac­ing be­fore join­ing up with Tim Schenken to form Tiga, a com­pany that spe­cial­ized in build­ing rac­ing sin­gle-seaters and sports cars. When How­den fi­nally moved on from Tiga he be­came in­volved with the Bri­tish Rac­ing Driv­ers’ Club, even­tu­ally be­com­ing club sec­re­tary. In later years, his po­si­tion within the in­ter­na­tional world of mo­tor rac­ing was con­firmed when he was elected as vice pres­i­dent of the Clu­bin­ter­na­tionale de­san­cien­spi­lotes­de­grand­prixf1 — and, in that ca­pac­ity, How­den’s road to Monaco cul­mi­nated with an in­vi­ta­tion from Prince Al­bert II to a pri­vate cer­e­mony at the Palace. The royal court at Monaco is a long way from Hamil­ton for some­one who de­scribes him­self as “just a sim­ple coun­try boy” and, as cov­ered in this book, it’s a truly en­joy­able jour­ney that’s well worth tak­ing. As only 2500 copies were pri­vately printed, you should grab your copy now — Theroad­tomonaco has all the hall­marks of be­com­ing a fu­ture col­lectible.

Hit­ting the kerb and dam­ag­ing your ex­pen­sive al­loy wheels can be frus­trat­ing and costly. Luck­ily, Al­loy­ga­tor has de­vel­oped a cost-ef­fec­tive and durable al­loy-wheel pro­tec­tion sys­tem that greatly re­duces the risk of wheel dam­age. The Ga­tors will fit al­loys up to 21-inches in di­am­e­ter and can even cover some ex­ist­ing kerb dam­age. A set of five Ga­tors — avail­able in a range of 10 dif­fer­ent colours, with de­tailed fit­ting in­struc­tions — has an RR P of $140. For more in­for­ma­tion, phone Goodyear Tyres Fitzroy, New Ply­mouth, ph. 06 758 5541, or visit al­loy­ga­tor.com. This stylishly prac­ti­cal bag comes in both black and grey, and is an easy so­lu­tion for keep­ing your ve­hi­cle clut­ter free. Made with soft car­pet pile, the Posh Pile bag protects your con­tents both in your boot, with its hook and loop at­tach­ment, and when be­ing used as a de­tach­able carry-bag. Whether you need to store car-clean­ing prod­ucts, tools, first-aid kits or even gro­ceries, there’s no need to worry about whether your items are safely pro­tected. This bag has an RR P of $22.30, and can be or­dered on­line now from myau­to­mo­tive.co.nz. New Zealand’s lead­ing brand of do­mes­tic wa­ter blasters and vac­u­ums, Nil­fisk’s com­pact wa­ter blaster is tough yet por­ta­ble. With an al­loy pump, clickand-clean noz­zle and de­ter­gent sys­tem, and vari­able-pres­sure noz­zle this multi-pur­pose ma­chine suits ev­ery need. Weigh­ing only 15.5kg, it has a 1700W mo­tor, and a trol­ley han­dle for easy trans­port and stor­age. Equipped with a two-year, do­mes­tic war­ranty, it can be pur­chased on­line for only $515 from myau­to­mo­tive.co.nz. Tyres look­ing a bit dull af­ter all that sum­mer cruis­ing? Let Gunk’s Tyre Shine Ex­treme Black spray do all the hard work for you, and leave you with tyres that shine. Sim­ply spray on and go, it could not be eas­ier to use, and its pre­cise spray noz­zle means there is lit­tle over­spray. Use it on car, truck, and even car­a­van tyres for a quick spruce-up. Or­der this spray on­line now, from myau­to­mo­tive.co.nz — a 15-ounce can is only $15.

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