New Zealand Classic Car - - Words: Photos Courtesy - By Michael Clark

Above: Where it all be­gan for Kenny Smith — at the wheel of the ex–bruce Mclaren Austin for an early out­ing at the Os­trich Farm hill climb in Pa­tuma­hoe, 1959 (photo cour­tesy Ken Smith) Right: Kenny and the Lola T332 at Man­feild, 1973 (photo: Terry Mar­shall)

New Zealand, Aus­tralia, South Africa, and Canada were seen as mere ex­ten­sions of the Em­pire and so, in each case, were al­lo­cated green and ‘some­thing’ — gold for Aus­tralia, buff for South Africa, white for Canada, and sil­ver for us. So, not black and sil­ver but green and sil­ver, like the Foulkes Lotus liv­ery, so don’t be­lieve any­one who tells you oth­er­wise — re­gard­less of how ‘our’ A1 car was painted.

For the record, the Ital­ian A1 car was not red but ‘azure’, just like its foot­ball and rugby shirts — and you’d have been dis­ap­pointed if you ex­pected to see the Bri­tish A1 car in BRG: it was red, white and blue. Per­haps that de­ci­sion came af­ter a day-long com­mit­tee meet­ing at which the sole agenda item re­volved around the ques­tion, ‘Which green?’ By that I mean, should be it the green of BRM or Lotus, Cooper or Vanwall, Jaguar or As­ton Martin, Con­naught or Bent­ley, BRP or Napier?

I know that BRG has come to mean dark green to those who do not lie awake pon­der­ing over such things, but the truth is that the colour al­lo­cated to Great Bri­tain and Ire­land was ‘green’— not dark green, not deep sea green nor emer­ald green, just green. Which brings me back to Ker­mit the Frog who, by de­duc­tion, could be BRG, apart from one im­por­tant fact — whis­per it — there is no such thing.

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