New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents -

It’s hard to be­lieve it’s that time again. New Zealand Clas­sic Car mag­a­zine is once again proud to be associated with the 22nd an­nual Targa New Zealand event.

This year’s Targa will kick off from Taupo for the first leg then head south to Ohakune for the night. The sec­ond leg will head fur­ther south, fin­ish­ing in Palmer­ston North af­ter six gru­elling spe­cial stages, and re­sume the fol­low­ing day to head east­wards to Have­lock North on leg three. The fi­nal day, leg four, will be con­fined to the Hawke’s Bay re­gion, with the event fi­nally fin­ish­ing once again in Have­lock North.

This Targa’s 640km of spe­cial stages and al­most 1100km of tour­ing stages are sure to be hotly con­tested by the com­peti­tors, and will test man and ma­chine alike.

A full and com­pre­hen­sive of­fi­cial Targa pro­gramme, pro­vid­ing all the event de­tails — in­clud­ing a com­plete driver direc­tory, route maps, and route sched­ule — is in­cluded in this is­sue. This will al­low you to pick out a de­cent van­tage point to watch some of the best driv­ers in the busi­ness, such as Clark Proc­tor, Tony Quinn, Glenn Inkster, and Leigh Hopper — to name a few — as they dis­play their driv­ing prow­ess on some of the coun­try’s most test­ing and treach­er­ous tar­mac stages.

In ad­di­tion, we fea­ture Chris Alexan­der’s stun­ning Ford Cortina MKI. Chris is def­i­nitely no stranger to sit­ting be­hind the wheel of a rally car, and he’s com­peted — rather suc­cess­fully, I might add — in many gravel and tar­mac events. He has also built a num­ber of rally cars, pri­mar­ily Ford Es­corts, and this is his first Ford Cortina, a build that was in­spired by Alan Mann, who gained a rep­u­ta­tion for build­ing fast Fords wear­ing strik­ing red and gold liv­ery back in the 1960s.

Look­ing at this car leaves ab­so­lutely no doubt that Chris is a con­sum­mate per­fec­tion­ist in ev­ery­thing he at­tempts, and it was built es­pe­cially with this Targa event in mind, but he has been dealt a cruel blow. Chris was re­cently di­ag­nosed with can­cer, and, un­for­tu­nately, had to with­draw from com­pet­ing this time around while he re­ceives treat­ment and un­der­goes surgery. His prog­no­sis is pos­i­tive, thanks to early de­tec­tion, and he is look­ing for­ward to get­ting back be­hind the wheel of his beau­ti­fully pre­pared Cortina next year.

On be­half of New Zealand Clas­sic Car mag­a­zine and our read­ers, we wish Chris a speedy re­cov­ery.

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