NEW ZEALAND CLASSIC CAR READERS’ WRITES B&H Memories
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