New Zealand Classic Car - - READERS' WRITES -

Ire­ally en­joyed your ar­ti­cle about the Ben­son and Hedges sa­loon car races ( Nz­clas­sic Car, June 2015). Great mem­o­ries. Our fam­ily would go ev­ery year and brave the Pukekohe weather. With four boys in the fam­ily, Mum would spend many hours cook­ing the day be­fore so we could have well­-stocked chilly bins. Her ba­co­nand­egg pies and meat­loaf were leg­endary and much ­an­tic­i­pated treats dur­ing the race. No mat­ter how much we ate, they just never seemed to run out. In­ter­est­ing to read the writer’s com­ment about cars be­ing sold on sales yards af­ter the race. Our Mum pur­chased a Simca 1000GL af­ter John Ri­ley and De­nis Hamill raced it. It went on to be our fam­ily trans­port for years af­ter­wards.

The car did not fin­ish the B&H as it had the nose wiped off by a way­ward Vaux­hall on the Loop. It was re­tired, and went back to the New Zealand fac­tory to be re­aligned and made as new.

It also sur­vived be­ing crashed by my brother, Shane, who spun it in Pa­p­a­toe­toe on a wet road and col­lected a lamp post down the A-­pil­lar. It was close to be­ing writ­ten off again, but sur­vived.

Mum ear­lier had a Simca 1000 (993cc, small head­light/tail light ver­sion) for a cou­ple of years, which was front­and back­ended in a 30­-car pile­up on the South­ern Mo­tor­way. She needed a new car and we saw the op­por­tu­nity — the new 1100cc en­gine, all blueprinted, and sus­pen­sion with bet­ter shocks and a slight neg­a­tive cam­ber set­-up. New Dun­lop SPS all round too.

Not that she un­der­stood all of this, or was nec­es­sar­ily told. I think that our plan of at­tack was sim­ply that 5 Star Mo­tors was sell­ing it cheap, but still with a full war­ranty.

It was a great car, and of course per­fect for Auck­land Car Club days at Pukekohe, where a bit of mask­ing tape on the headlights and white shoe cleaner to put a num­ber on

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