Cel­e­brat­ing the Mcrae GM1

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News -

To some peo­ple the ’70s was the decade that fash­ion for­got, but for oth­ers, it was the dra­matic fi­nal chap­ter in the golden age of New Zealand mo­tor sport — an age that saw some of the great­est names in in­ter­na­tional mo­tor sport com­pet­ing on New Zealand cir­cuits in cur­rent F1, F2 and FA/5000 cars, while New Zealan­ders com­peted at the top level all over the world as driv­ers, me­chan­ics and con­struc­tors — in­clud­ing Gra­ham Mcrae and his Mcrae GM1.

The Mcrae GM1, orig­i­nally mar­keted as the Leda LT27, was the prod­uct of a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween New Zealand driver/ con­struc­tor Gra­ham Mcrae and F1 designer, Len Terry, and the lat­ter’s Leda cars out­fit. The de­sign owed much to Mcrae’s ex­pe­ri­ences rac­ing the Crown Lynn–backed Mclaren M10B, which he mod­i­fied sig­nif­i­cantly be­fore tak­ing all that hard-won knowl­edge and in­clud­ing it in the GM1. With this car Mcrae dom­i­nated the 1972 Tas­man Se­ries, win­ning both the Lady Wi­gram Tro­phy Race and the Aus­tralian Grand Prix along the way. In the eight-race se­ries Mcrae started from pole po­si­tion three times, had four wins, and came fourth in his only other fin­ish. He went on to dom­i­nate FA/5000 in the rest of the world, win­ning the 1972 For­mula A L&M Con­ti­nen­tal Se­ries in the USA with four vic­to­ries and two third plac­ings, and be­ing the fastest com­peti­tor in the Roth­mans F5000 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship se­ries, win­ning at Brands Hatch and Sil­ver­stone (twice each), Niv­elles and Oul­ton Park, and fin­ish­ing third in the se­ries — which he would un­doubt­edly have won if he had not missed races due to com­mut­ing from the US. Mcrae brought a GM1 down un­der again for the 1973 Tas­man se­ries and again won the se­ries, this time scor­ing three wins, a sec­ond, third and fourth. He man­aged pole four times in the eight-race se­ries, and recorded fastest lap once.

Fif­teen GM1S were built, and for two years this car, de­signed and de­vel­oped by Gra­ham Mcrae, was the class of the field in one of the most com­pet­i­tive and ex­cit­ing sin­gle-seater mo­tor­sport se­ries ever de­signed.

To cel­e­brate this car and its Kiwi con­struc­tor, Steve Bul­lôt has cre­ated a 1:43 scale model of the Mcrae GM1 — and it is now avail­able as a limited-edi­tion hand-built model with an RRP of $120 each.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Steve Bul­lôt at To­hora En­ter­prises, ph. 021 0226 7176 or via email, To­hora.ent@gmail.com.

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