Above our weight

New Zealand Classic Car - - EDITORIAL - Ash­ley Webb Ed­i­tor

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?

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