NA­TION­WIDE NEWS Clas­sic news and views from all around New Zealand His­toric Mus­cle Cars Up­date:

Ivan Segedin Mus­tang

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News - Words: Steve Holmes Pho­tos: Steve Twist and Alex Mitchell

Just a few days af­ter fil­ing the last His­toric Mus­cle Cars (HMC) re­port for NZ Clas­sic Car fo­cus­ing on the fa­mous Red Daw­son 1967 Shelby Mus­tang join­ing the class for the 2016 Porsche Fes­ti­val, Neil Tolich con­firmed plans to en­ter his equally sig­nif­i­cant and his­toric ex–ivan Segedin Fleet­wood Mo­tors Mus­tang in the same event.

The Segedin ma­chine holds a hugely im­por­tant place in lo­cal mo­tor sport his­tory — this was New Zealand’s first cir­cuit rac­ing Mus­tang. Af­ter work­ing through the huge pile of red tape that made car im­por­ta­tion so dif­fi­cult back in the ’60s, and with the task of ship­ping the car taken on by Bruce Mundy of the Tony Shelly– owned Fleet­wood Mo­tors, Segedin was able to ac­quire a brand new 1965 Mus­tang GT K-code road car in the US. An im­port bond was re­quired, which was put up by the Bri­tish Pe­tro­leum Com­pany.

While in the US buy­ing the Mus­tang, Mundy vis­ited Car­roll Shelby’s work­shop in Los An­ge­les and bought the re­quired speed equip­ment to con­vert the Mus­tang into a race car, which made its com­pe­ti­tion de­but at the Three Hour Chal­lenge race at the Wills Six Hour event, held at Pukekohe in Oc­to­ber 1965. Segedin had Den­nis Sim­mons, who’d pre­vi­ously pre­pared his Anglia, do much of the con­ver­sion and prep work. For the 1965–’66 sea­son, even though the wild All­com­ers were still el­i­gi­ble to con­test the New Zealand Sa­loon Car Cham­pi­onship, MANZ al­ready had one eye on the fu­ture and in­tro­duced a se­cond cham­pi­onship to be run un­der in­ter­na­tional FIA Group 2 rules, and it was to th­ese rules that the Segedin Mus­tang was built.

Shat­ter­ingly quick

Had the team man­aged to squeeze just a lit­tle more re­li­a­bil­ity from the Mus­tang, Segedin would prob­a­bly have won the 1966 Group 2 cham­pi­onship. From the eight rounds, he took four wins and one se­cond place, but his three did-notfin­ishes (DNFS) pushed him down to third in fi­nal points, be­hind the Mini Coop­ers of Jim Mullins and Brian Innes. The fol­low­ing sea­son, the Mus­tang was mod­i­fied to All­com­ers rules, but Segedin had an un­happy sea­son, with ex­pen­sive en­gine fail­ures early in the sea­son forc­ing him out. He sold the Mus­tang to Red Daw­son in 1967, and Daw­son con­verted it to the new Group 5 rules MANZ had adopted to re­place All­com­ers for 1968. But again, while Daw­son was of­ten shat­ter­ingly quick, he strug­gled with re­li­a­bil­ity, and a sin­gle third plac­ing was

his cham­pi­onship high-point. At sea­son’s end, Daw­son pur­chased the Frank Bryan 1967 Shelby Mus­tang fea­tured in last month’s NZ Clas­sic Car, and the exSegedin ma­chine was con­verted to a road car and sold.

Af­ter hav­ing sev­eral more own­ers, in 1986, the Mus­tang was pur­chased by Glenn Larsen, who faith­fully re­stored it back to its orig­i­nal 1965–’66 Fleet­wood Mo­tors guise. How­ever, Larsen didn’t race the car, and it didn’t hit the track in anger again un­til it was bought by its cur­rent owner, Neil Tolich, in 2004. Tolich made the nec­es­sary changes re­quired to make the fa­mous old racer track wor­thy once more, and has en­joyed rac­ing it spo­rad­i­cally since at his­toric events, in­clud­ing in the UK and Europe in 2009. To race in the UK/ Europe, Neil had to change the car again to fit FIA His­toric Group 2 rules and gain a His­toric Tech­ni­cal Pass­port. He then con­tested events at Snet­ter­ton, Don­ing­ton Park, and the fa­mous SpaFran­cor­champs, in Bel­gium.

Af­ter re­turn­ing home, the Mus­tang raced with HMC at the 2011 Chris Amon Fes­ti­val, with Paul Ra­disich at the wheel; but, in its milder FIA spec, the car wasn’t a match for the faster

2016 MG Clas­sic

The other big news is the con­fir­ma­tion that HMC and His­toric Sa­loon Cars (HSC) are head­ing south(ish) and will race at the 2016 MG Clas­sic at Man­feild. Since its in­cep­tion, other than a few Aus­tralian ad­ven­tures en­joyed by some mem­bers with Aussie Trans-am, HMC has only raced at Hamp­ton Downs and Pukekohe.

But with the class ex­pand­ing, and par­tic­u­larly now with HSC also com­ing on board, the 2016 MG Clas­sic will be the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to show­case gen­uine pe­riod-cor­rect pre-1977 his­toric sa­loon car rac­ing in front of an all-new au­di­ence, with the David vs Go­liath bat­tles that typ­i­fied New Zealand sa­loon

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