Y the time this issue of
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.