His­toric Mus­cle Cars

Words: Steve Holmes Pat Lam­bert Col­lec­tion

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide Events - Photos:

As this is­sue of New Zealand Clas­sic Car mag­a­zine hits the shelves, the com­bined His­toric Mus­cle Cars (HMC) / His­toric Sa­loon Cars (HSC) will be just about to hit the track for the first time in the 2016/’17 sea­son.

The sea­son will kick off on Oc­to­ber 8, 2016 for the Thor­ough­bred and Clas­sic Car Own­ers Club (TACCOC) Clas­sic one-day event at Hamp­ton Downs. Like most events this com­ing sea­son, HMC and HSC will com­bine in the same grid. How­ever, re­laxed smaller events such as this pro­vide the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for teams to blow the cob­webs out fol­low­ing the win­ter lull and to do so in a low-pres­sure en­vi­ron­ment.

A new ad­di­tion to the HMC/ HSC cal­en­dar this sea­son is the in­clu­sion of the pop­u­lar MG Clas­sic event at Man­feild, where a healthy grid of cars is ex­pected, in­clud­ing sev­eral from the lower North Is­land that have not raced with the group be­fore.

Bruce Dyer from Feild­ing is the co­or­di­na­tor for HSC, and he has been busy drum­ming up in­ter­est for the HSC ranks, as well as help­ing own­ers to bring their ex­ist­ing cars into line with HSC rules and work­ing through their COD process.

The third event of the sea­son will see HMC/HSC take in its third dif­fer­ent track, for the one-day TACCOC Clas­sic at Pukekohe, be­fore re­turn­ing to Hamp­ton Downs for the backto-back New Zealand Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor Rac­ing (NZFMR) week­ends. At the time of writ­ing, it ap­pears pos­si­ble that these two fes­ti­val week­ends will be run by two dif­fer­ent or­ga­niz­ers, with the first rac­ing on the cur­rent shorter cir­cuit, be­fore the newly com­pleted full-length track is in­tro­duced for the sec­ond week­end.

Al­though still to be con­firmed, the wheels are in mo­tion to try to bring a group of cars across from the Queens­land-based Aus­tralian Trans-am se­ries for the fes­ti­val.

Fol­low­ing Hamp­ton Downs, HMC/HSC will head south once more, only this time way, way south, tak­ing in the back-to-back clas­sic-rac­ing events at Ti­maru In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Race­way and Tere­tonga Park, In­ver­cargill. This is gear­ing up to be an ex­cit­ing road trip, with the grid boosted by sev­eral South Is­land cars. Both of these events will also fea­ture the trav­el­ling his­toric For­mula Ju­nior group, which has been rac­ing a huge num­ber of cars at fix­tures all over the world and in­cludes some quite spe­cial New Zealand– owned ma­chin­ery. Cer­tainly, these will be epic events.

The sea­son will con­clude at Hamp­ton Downs on April 2/3, 2017, with the His­toric Rac­ing Club’s Leg­ends meet­ing.

The growth of HMC, and HSC, con­tin­ues with great mo­men­tum, with sev­eral new cars ex­pected to join the ranks this sea­son — in­clud­ing two — and pos­si­bly three 1969/’70 Mus­tang fast­backs, a 1967 Ca­maro, a Dodge As­pen, and a Ford Per­ana. Mean­while, the growth of HSC will be greater still, with sev­eral ex­ist­ing cars be­ing brought into line with HSC rules. In ad­di­tion, a pair of BDGpow­ered MKI Es­corts is cur­rently in the build stage, al­though nei­ther car is likely to ap­pear this sea­son.

But the in­ter­est in build­ing and rac­ing pe­riod-cor­rect his­toric sedans con­tin­ues to ex­pand at rapid pace. Hav­ing the two groups race to­gether pro­vides an ex­cel­lent spec­ta­cle, re­viv­ing the golden era of New Zealand sa­loon-car rac­ing dur­ing the late 1960s through early ’70s, when the likes of Paul Fa­hey, Rod Cop­pins, Jim Richards, Red Daw­son, Don Halliday, John Ri­ley, Den­nis Mar­wood, Jack Nazer, Alan Boyle, Rodger An­der­son, Dave Sil­cock, Rod Colling­wood, Barry Phillips, Reg Cook, and the like did bat­tle in all man­ner of pro­duc­tion-based ma­chin­ery, from thun­der­ing V8 Mus­tangs and Ca­maros, Fal­cons, and Monaros to Es­cort twin-cams, Vi­vas, BMW 2002s, and rau­cous lit­tle Mi­nis and Imps.

This is the era HMC/HSC cel­e­brates, and the com­bined group pro­vides a plat­form for en­thu­si­asts of this era who wish to en­joy their cars and com­pete in a low-pres­sure, en­joy­able en­vi­ron­ment with like­minded en­thu­si­asts. Ev­ery­one is wel­come — the only stip­u­la­tion is that all cars are 100-per-cent com­pli­ant with ei­ther the HMC or HSC rules and have an up-to­date COD.

More info on HMC can be found at his­toric­mus­cle­cars. co.nz or through the HMC on­line dis­cus­sion fo­rum at The Roar­ing Sea­son — theroar­ingsea­son.com.

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