Above our weight
In last month’s editorial, Kiwi Spirit, I touched on the incredible achievements of Bruce Mclaren — a humble New Zealander who took on the ‘big guns’ at their own game and won. A man who knew that he couldn’t match the larger factorybacked teams such as Ferrari in the financial sense, and yet — after having to test drive for the likes of Ford to fund his racing team — he applied good old Kiwi ingenuity to build a better race car than his opposition. His unwavering tenacity and engineering expertise, together with a team of equally talented Kiwis, eventually put his Mclaren team on the podium in fine style.
This month marks 80 years since Bruce was born, so we felt it only appropriate that we feature an F5000 M10B — the last one he built — back where it all started, at the original Mclaren garage in Remuera. I have to admit that, after watching the Mclaren movie, I left the theatre feeling proud to be a Kiwi.
That same feeling was evident recently when Emirates Team New Zealand won the America’s Cup in Bermuda. Against all odds after that crushing defeat to Oracle in San Francisco four years ago, the Kiwi team — powered by their posse of pedalling sailors — claimed the 35th America’s Cup in emphatic fashion.
Grant Dalton and his crew knew that they would never match their opposition dollar for dollar this time around, especially against their old foe Oracle, funded by billionaire Larry Ellison, so that left them with only one option — to apply good old Kiwi ingenuity and outsmart the opposition with a better boat.
Actually, when you look at how Kiwis perform in the world’s sporting arena across the board, it’s fair to say that, as a nation, we undoubtedly punch well above our weight, to say the least.
The same can be said for our classic car hobby. You only have to wander around any number of classic car shows around the country to appreciate the level of quality vehicles on display. From engineering to fabrication, restoration, and virtually every other facet of our hobby, the workmanship lavished on many of these prized possessions is indeed world class. And let’s not forget those unrestored rare exotics that would be welcome in any international car buff’s collection.
With this in mind, we also take a look at Rodney and Zeta Holland’s outstanding 1966 Dodge Charger in this issue. This Hemi-powered muscle car is a rare piece of kit that’s been further enhanced by Rodney. Anyone who knows him knows that he is the consummate perfectionist, and his wizardry with a spray gun is recognized by many across the country. It’s humble enthusiasts like Rodney, who go about their business on a daily basis producing world-class results, that keep our hobby alive and well in this country.
Isn’t it great to be a Kiwi?