Historic Muscle Cars
Words: Steve Holmes
he 2015/’16 Historic Muscle Cars (HMC) and Historic Saloon Cars (HSC) season finished off nicely at the Legends of Speed event, at Hampton Downs on April 2–3, 2016.
Eighteen cars made the Legends meeting, up significantly on the number of entries the year before, underlining once more just how quickly these two historic racing groups are growing. The weather threw up plenty of challenges for drivers, with a mix of both wet and dry conditions, but everyone kept their noses clean, and avoided rubbing panels with the other cars.
It seems that every time HMC/HSC races, there is at least one new addition to the line-up, and making their debuts this time around were Ian Williamson (Mazda RX-2), Rob Herbert (Alfa Giulia), John Hudson (BMW 2002), and Sean Mccaughan (XY Falcon GT-HO). Although now regulars with HMC/ HSC, Nigel Macdonald and John Dennehy were also in attendance with their very historic Ford Shelby Mustang (ex Red Dawson) and Ford Escort (ex Halliday brothers), as was Bob Hyslop in his incredible time-warp Mazda RX-2 former rally car, which he has owned since the late 1970s.
Given that several HMC teams attended Beach Hop, held the same weekend, the numbers at the Legends meeting were hugely encouraging and a clear signal of the strong growth in enjoying building and racing period-correct historic sedans.
Heading into the off-season, the future continues to look bright, with several new cars on the horizon and expected to be racing with the group in the 2016/’17 season. These include a 1967 Camaro, a Dodge Aspen, a pair of 1969 Mustang fastbacks, and a 1970 Mustang fastback. And that’s just in the HMC group. HSC is looking even stronger, as car owners continue to see the benefit in bringing their existing machinery back to either Schedule K or Historic T&C rules to increase their vehicle’s value and provide them a place to race against like-minded enthusiasts in a non-pressured, fun environment that’s designed to preserve these very special machines.
In addition to the growth in numbers for the 2016/’17 season, the number of events is also increasing. For the first time, HMC/HSC will take in the popular MG Classic, to be held at Manfeild in November. This event will see a combined entry of the two groups, and a healthy field is expected, with the planned addition of a couple of Australian Trans-am entries. The challenging Manfeild layout should provide some epic racing with plenty of variety.
But, while Manfeild is certainly further south than HMC/HSC has travelled to date, the group will venture even further south next season, as the plan is to take in a South Island tour for the first time, attending both the Timaru and Teretonga classic racing events in February 2017. The majority will travel down from the North Island, but the North Island cars will be supported by a handful of South Island–based cars, including Rodger Cunninghame’s Mustang, Colin Dawson’s Camaro, and Roy Macdonald’s Camaro among others. With a huge field of Historic Formula Juniors also attending these events, South Island historic race fans are in for a real treat next season. Be sure to mark these events in your diary.
More info on HMC can be found at the HMC website, historicmusclecars co.nz, or through the HMC online discussion forum at The Roaring Season: theroaringseason.com.