EARLY PORSCHE 356 RACING IN NEW ZEALAND
In our introduction, we mentioned that the first recorded win for a Porsche in New Zealand came at Ardmore in 1956. Driven by Alex Stringer, the car was a Porsche 356 Super coupé — one of two 356 Super coupés taking part in that day’s racing. It was painted azure blue and wore the chassis No. 53945. Stringer finished first in the division-one class — for cars up to 2000cc — in the 10-lap saloon car race. The legendary Stirling Moss, driving a Porsche 550 Spyder, won the sports car race at the same meeting.
On January 14, 1956, Stringer drove the Porsche Car Distributors New Zealand Limited Porsche Pre A 356 1500 coupé in the inaugural meeting at the new racetrack at Levin, with the day proving to be highly successful for Stringer and his Porsche 356.
Stringer was back on form at Wigram on January 21, 1956. In the 12-lap saloon car race supporting the Lady Wigram Trophy race, he finished first ahead of Vic Neate’s Borgward Isabella and Ian Archibald in his Citroën Light 15. Stringer and his 356 notched up another victory at the Dunedin street race held on February 28, 1956, when the pairing won the saloon car handicap race.
Stringer’s success at the wheel of the Porsche 356 continued at Levin’s Labour Day race meeting in 1956. Later, at the NZIGP held at Ardmore on January 12, 1957, he would score a creditable second place in the saloon car race behind Frank Cantwell’s Jaguar MKVII. Continues page 74...