His­toric Mus­cle Cars Up­date

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News - Words Photo

The HMC ef­fort at the 2015 Gulf Oil New Zealand Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor Rac­ing (NZFMR) in Jan­uary was con­sid­ered over­all a big suc­cess, and at­tend­ing the 2015 event were the Queens­land-based Aus­tralian Trans-am teams, last in New Zealand in 2013. There were eight ATA cars which, added to the 20 HMC cars, made for a spec­tac­u­lar sight of gen­uine pe­riod-cor­rect his­toric rac­ing sedans, and the largest grid of such ve­hi­cles ever as­sem­bled in this coun­try.

The 22,000-strong crowd that at­tended the NZFMR was en­ter­tained both at track­side, and in the pits. For the first time, and to add a lit­tle ex­tra drama and give the class a more pe­riod feel, a pair of clas­sic Ford Mus­tang con­vert­ibles were rolled out each week­end to pace the big field be­fore they were set away.

Mean­while, back in the pits the im­pres­sive line-up of HMC mar­quees hous­ing the cars made for spec­tac­u­lar view­ing, with bon­nets up, noses fac­ing out­ward. As has be­come tra­di­tion now with HMC at this event, sev­eral living leg­ends of NZ sa­loon car rac­ing his­tory were on hand to sign posters and other me­mora­bilia, in­clud­ing Paul Fa­hey, Den­nis Mar­wood, and Leo Leonard. Cel­e­brat­ing our rich sa­loon car rac­ing his­tory is an im­por­tant part of the HMC DNA.

Fol­low­ing the NZFMR, the HMC sea­son fin­ished off in March with the Leg­ends of Speed. For this event HMC re­verted to rac­ing with the His­toric Sa­loon Cars group for pe­riod cor­rect (mostly small-bore) pre-1977 his­toric T&C and Sched­ule K rac­ing sa­loons. A healthy grid of around 20 cars en­tered the event and put on some great rac­ing, with the small cars nip­ping away at the big bangers, just as they did in pe­riod.

Head­ing into win­ter, and for some HMC teams the hec­tic sched­ule will con­tinue, with a planned re­turn to Australia to race once again with ATA at Queens­land Race­way, and Lake­side. In 2013 eight HMC cars made the trip, but on this oc­ca­sion the adventure extends to the 2015 Aus­tralian Mus­cle Car Masters at Eastern Creek, where ATA will also com­pete.

More info on His­toric Mus­cle Cars can be found at the HMC web­site, his­toric­mus­cle­cars.co.nz, or through the HMC on­line dis­cus­sion fo­rum at The Roar­ing Sea­son, theroar­ingsea­son.com.

Steve Holmes Phil Noble

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