His­toric Mus­cle Cars

Words: Steve Holmes

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TPhil Noble

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.

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