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New Zealand Classic Car - - Letters -

New Zealand Clas­sic Car hits the shops, His­toric Mus­cle Cars (HMC) and His­toric Sa­loon Cars (HSC) will have just com­pleted their se­cond week­end of rac­ing at the 2016 New Zealand Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor Rac­ing.

At the time of writ­ing, there were 18 HMC cars and 13 HSC cars en­tered. Some of th­ese en­tries will only con­test one week­end; how­ever, there will un­doubt­edly be some late en­tries. So, 30-car grids for each week­end are a great out­come, and fur­ther ev­i­dence of the grow­ing mo­men­tum for build­ing and rac­ing pe­riod-cor­rect his­toric sa­loon cars in an en­joy­able no-pres­sure en­vi­ron­ment with like-minded en­thu­si­asts.

The com­bined HMC/HSC field harks back to the glory days of New Zealand sa­loon car rac­ing dur­ing the late 1960s and early ’70s, and it’s al­ready pro­duc­ing a fas­ci­nat­ing and var­ied mix of cars — in­clud­ing a cou­ple with prom­i­nent New Zealand rac­ing his­tory — John Den­nehy’s ex–hal­l­i­day brothers Es­cort and Ray­den Smith’s ex– Jim Richards Es­cort. In ad­di­tion, there are some beau­ti­ful and in­ter­est­ing Sched­ule K cars, like Howard Wood’s BM 2002 and the Alfa Romeo GTAM owned by In­ver­cargill­based Scott O’don­nell.

An­other ex­cit­ing trend is the grow­ing num­ber of Ja­panese clas­sics that are also en­tered, in­clud­ing the Mazda RX-2S of Bob Hys­lop and Ian Wil­liamson, Den­nis Mills’ Dat­sun 510, and Mike Coory’s Dat­sun 240K.

A wel­come ad­di­tion to the group is Grant Sprague, who hails from the fa­mous rac­ing fam­ily that harks back to his father Ernie, him­self a driver who achieved great­ness in New Zealand mo­tor sport.

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