After spending the last eight years overlooking the Cardrona Valley in Wanaka, the statue of late rallying great, Possum Bourne, has now ben re-located to Pukekohe, Bourne’s original home–base.
As part of the local celebrations leading up to this weekend’s ITM 400, the statue has been completely refurbished – and now looks as good as it did when first shown to the public.
The restored statue now watches over the Massey Walkway in Pukekohe town centre and was officially unveiled by members of the Bourne family.
So, if you’re planning to take in the V8 Supercars at Pukekohe Park Raceway this weekend, take time out to visit the town centre and pay tribute to one of our all–time rally greats, Possum Bourne.
For all those planning a visit to the UK next month – this year’s Donington Historic Festival has to be high on the priority list. Scheduled to take place at Donington Park over the weekend 3–5th May, as well as a packed programme of historic racing, the event will also feature a Ayrton Senna tribute and historic rally car action.
Kevin Wheatcroft, the Chairman and owner of Donington Park, will take to the track each afternoon, giving demonstration laps in his replica of a 1937 Mercedes-Benz W125 Grand Prix car. This exceptional machine is the result of a long and extraordinary labour of love started by Kevin and his late father Tom, the founder of Donington Park and the Donington Park Grand Prix Collection.
This wonderful replica doesn’t just look exactly like the original, it also sounds and smells the same. The sight of it being driven around the Midlands circuit is sure to evoke thoughts of the late 1930s, when the Silver Arrows drove to victory at Donington as they continued their domination of Grand Prix racing across Europe.
Other event highlights will be the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – weather permitting, Festival visitors on the Friday will be treated to the sight of the magnificent Douglas C-47 Dakota in the skies above Donington Park, while spectators on the Saturday and Sunday will enjoy see the stunning sight – and sounds – of a Lancaster, a Spitfire and a Hurricane flying together.
Car club highlights will include the Porsche Club GB’s Sunday parade of 50 911s, celebrating that hugely popular model’s 50th anniversary, and the ‘Super Samuri’ gathering with the Classic Z Register and Z Club joining forces to bring together not just plenty of classic Datsun 240Zs and 260Zs, but also as many examples of the famous ‘Samuri conversion’ racing cars as possible. ‘Big Sam’ – the car in which Win Percy won the 1974 British Modified Sports Car Championship, before he went on to achieve Touring Car glory – will be there, as will Win himself, showcasing his own Samuri.
Advance tickets for the 2013 Donington Historic Festival cost £12 for the Friday, £20 for Saturday or Sunday and just £36 for a three-day weekend ticket. On-the-gate prices will be £15 for Friday, £25 for Saturday or Sunday and £45 for the three-day weekend. Children aged under 16 are admitted for free. Tickets can be bought via www.doningtonhistoric.com and through the 24-hour ticket hotline 0844 873 7355. To learn more about the Donington Historic Festival, please visit www.doningtonhistoric.com.
I’ve bought a few personalised plates since their advent in the late 1980s, but the costs associated with what are simply vanity plates are now out of the reach of many car and bike enthusiasts, and even a basic personalised plate is often almost half the value of the damn vehicle. On top of this, the Politically Correct Police have nobbled everyone’s fun and stopped certain combinations of plates from being able to be bought. When you try to buy a personalised plate with something the PC Police thinks is offensive, you get the, ‘Oops! we can’t sell this one because we have a high public profile, we are required by the Government not to sell plates that could cause offence to the wider public community.’
While surfing the internet recently, I spotted a Read full story…
Submissions are now open for the Castrol Edge / Teng Tools Custom & Classic Show, to be held at the CRC Speedshow on 20 and 21 July. If you’ve got a classic that deserves to be seen, get in touch — all the details are below!
SPR Models has just been appointed the NZ distributor for the Australian ARMCO brand of models. This relatively new company produces 1:43 models of iconic Aussie vehicles, including classic Holden cars, station wagons and utes; 1960s–’70s race cars, and even a classic FJ Holden drag car and GTR-X concept car. Production of each model is limited to a certificated 500 numbered units.
One of the first ARMCO models to arrive is this 1969 Boss 302 Trans-Am Mustang driven by Frank Gardner in the 1970 British Saloon Car Championship. As is the current trend, resin is used for the body, with fine photo-etched components completing the exterior. The paint finish is excellent, and the model has a detailed interior. It is supplied with a numbered certificate complete with Frank Gardner’s printed signature, and is packed in a black hinged-lid presentation case.
Go into the draw to win this 1:43 ARMCO model of Frank Gardner’s Boss 302 Trans-Am Mustang by answering the following question.
In what year did Frank Gardner win the New Zealand Grand Prix?
To enter this competition, enter your answer here. Competition closes on April 30, 2013.
These models, along with the rest of the ARMCO range, are available direct from SPR’s new online store – www.spr-models.co.nz – or from specialist hobby shops. For more information about the Spark, Bizarre, ARMCO or TrueScale ranges phone John on 09 845 4551, or visit the website.
This Vanguards 1:43 die-cast model is based on the baby-blue Triumph TR4 driven by Mike Sutcliffe and Roy Fidler to a class win at the 1962 Alpine Rally. Modelled to Vanguards’ usual high standard, this is a model that all Triumph TR enthusiasts will want for their collection. And, just to make it easier for one reader, NZ Corgi/Vanguards distributor, Toymod, had supplied us with one example of this delightful model to give away to a lucky reader. Just answer the following question to be in to win:
It wasn’t a Triumph, but which British sports car was overall winner of the 1962 Alpine Rally?
To enter this competition, enter your answer here. Competition closes on April 30, 2013.
Vanguards models are available from all good toy and hobby shops. If you have a problem locating them, contact Toymod Ltd (PO Box 18 263, Auckland, ph. 09 527 0122 or fax 09 527 0144) to find your closest retailer.
Once again, Graeme Rice looks back on the motoring worlds of 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago
Unlike a lot of its crude contemporaries, Swift’s second generation 972cc twin–cylinder 7–9hp cycle–car became less of a cycle and more of a car, in spite retaining two staggered seats. The typical cost cutting hallmark of cycle–cars, air–cooling was gone – now replaced with water. Right from the model’s introduction in 1912, the Swift had offered a proper three–speed gearbox with a gate change, semi–elliptic springs front and rear, a chain–driven camshaft, and rack and pinion steering, all of which probably explains why the company had sold a very respectable 600 cars by April 1913. Now new features, acetylene lamps, a flat radiator, a longer wheelbase and ‘H’ section front axle, were added to broaden the model’s appeal. Aftermarket sports conversions saw the Swifts reaching speeds as high as 90km/h.
It was a tumultuous time for Dr Frederick Lanchester as the bumbling company directors decided they were superior car designers and instructed the inventive brothers to make the new Sporting Forty as conventional as possible, right down to adopting an L–head side valve engine. Although an utterly frustrated George Lanchester stayed on to try and make something of the Sporting Forty, it was too much for the innovative and scientific Dr Fred who had set so many high standards for the industry to see his name attached to a car which no real Lanchester owner would be happy with.
The Autocar reminded drivers to always ensure they – “brought their gear lever back into neutral before getting out to crank the engine back into life especially if it had stalled in traffic and was still warm.” What prompted this warning was the report of the death of dancer Isadora Duncan’s two young children and their governess as the chauffeur had stopped their car suddenly along the bank of the Seine River, and leapt out to restart the engine with the car still in gear. The engine kicked into life, the driverless car ran into the river and the three were drowned. Just 14 years later in September 1927, Isadora Duncan would be killed when her scarf caught in the rear wheel of a friend’s Amilcar.
Big news this month was the announcement of John Cobb’s new world land speed record contender, the twin–engined Railton Special, named after its designer, the innovative Reid Railton. The car was utterly original and economical in its design. Economical? Well for a start, the engines were nine years old, taken out of a speedboat, and were donated to the project. They were the most highly developed version of the 12 cylinder, 23,936cc, Napier Lion engines, each developing 1250bhp (932kW) with their superchargers running at 30,000rpm. Nine years old they may have been, but these engines were reliable and light in weight, built in ‘broad–arrow’ configuration, with three, four–cylinder blocks mounted on a common crankcase. They were mid–mounted, off–set in a curved central backbone chassis, which allowed the rear engine to be mounted at an angle on the right driving the independently suspended front wheels and the front engine on the left, driving the rear wheels. The most peculiar feature was the crab–tracked layout of the front and rear axles; the front track was 1676mm the rear 1067mm but this meant no differential was needed at the back axle – a good weight saving. Two three–speed gearboxes were used, gear–changes being made from a single lever through rack and pinions to the selector mechanism.
Like its contemporary rival, George Eyston’s Thunderbolt, the Railton’s mechanicals were fully enclosed, although in the case of the Railton, the body was entirely separate from the mechanicals which meant it could be lifted on and off by six men for servicing. The body was wind–tunnel tested in the National Physical Laboratory.
There was no radiator, cooling being effected by a 75 gallon (338 litre) water tank with the water running through an ice compartment. Eighteen gallons (81 litres) of petrol was carried for the short runs and 15 gallons (67.5 litres) of oil. A special socket extended out to the rear of the body shell to enable a rod mounted on the front of a truck to be inserted to allow the Railton to be push started. Cartoonists enjoyed speculating on what would happen to a truck being towed at upwards of 300mph!
Seriously, this was a well designed vehicle, weighing only three tons – Thunderbolt weighed seven tons – with 2500bhp (1864kW) driving all four wheels for better traction, whereas its rival Thunderbolt had 4700bhp (3,505kW) with only one driven axle and a less slippery body.
Hitler and his moves into Austria combined with the horror of the Spanish civil war unsettled the start of the racing season with the Monaco GP and Czech GP both being cancelled, although The Autocar’s columnist put the blame on the dollars being demanded by competitors, plus the reluctance of crowds to actually have to pay to see the racing.. Donington was delayed, even though the German teams had arrived, until the British PM reached his infamous agreement for “Peace in our time” with Hitler later in the year. To help the Austrians feel at home in the new Reich, Hitler’s staff moved the German Hillclimb championship to Austria.
A Fiat 500 tested by The Autocar this month was described as being a car that has instant appeal, owners referring to it as a clockwork mouse. The testers assured readers the four–cylinder, 570cc, two–seater Mouse was a serious proposition. It handled well, had light accurate steering and good roadholding. Just on 100km/h could be reached, it could put 60 to 70 kilometres into an hour with a fuel consumption of 43 to 53mpg. All this for just £126. It was a close run thing for the nickname ‘Beetle’ to be reserved for Dr Porsche’s immensely popular rear–engined, air–cooled car which became so popular in the 1950s and 60s. A suggestion in The Autocar was that the smallest Fiat, the 500, should be nicknamed “the Beetle” although, the writer admitted so many people were calling them ‘mice’ – that name would probably stick. All this because there was a one–make race at Brooklands for the 500s.
An unusual American was how The Autocar testers described the supercharged 3.6–litre, six–cylinder side–valve Graham saloon. While its top speed of 150km/h could just about be matched by the 3.5–litre six–cylinder Wolseley whose overhead valve twin–carburettor engine gave 108bhp (80kW), it would have been interesting to see how the Graham performed with a fourth gear. The extra power (116bhp–86kW) gave the Graham a big lead in the acceleration stakes – it reached 100km/h in 16.4 seconds, almost three seconds faster than the four–speed Wolseley, and 50km/h in 4.5 seconds against the Wolseley’s 5.8. The Wolseley gave 18mpg, while the Graham managed only 16. Both weighed in at around 32cwt ready for the road, but without passengers. Both were priced at £498, but appealed to very different customers. If the Wolseley could be said to represent the Cotswolds, the Graham was definitely a product of Gotham City with its futuristic shark nose styling.
Delage’s super car, the DB120 Coupe offered easy cruising at 100 –120km/h with a maximum approaching 160km/h. The Delage was a weighty car, 1938.6kg kerb weight, so acceleration wasn’t spectacular, with 0 to 50km/h taking 5.3seconds, and 100km/h taking another 12 seconds to come up. The big straight–eight engine developed 142bhp, and was coupled to a complex Cotal electro–mechanical semi–automatic gearbox which offered some fun with its superfast changes. Drivers only had to use the clutch to move off from rest then flick the small lever to change to the desired gear. 52km/h was available on first gear, with 75km/h in second and 117km/h in third. There was still a centrally mounted floor lever to enable the driver to select forward or reverse modes. Super car or not, the Delage cost a hefty £1370 with the English four–seater drophead body.
In England, Motor’s road testers puzzled over the fuel consumption of Jaguar’s new super smooth Daimler 2½–litre V8 saloon. Topping 109mph it was as quick as the Mercedes Benz 300SE, which had a similar fuel consumption at around 17.2mpg on a final drive ratio of 18.5mph/1000rpm. This was much the same as the 6.3–litre Chrysler V8–engined Facel Vega Facel 2’s thirst on a final drive ratio of 27.4mph/1000rpm and the 4.6–litre Pontiac Parisienne V8 with 22.7mph/1000rpm. The testers finally agreed the 29cwt Daimler was intended to offer the touring motorist turbine smoothness and effortless top gear performance – hence a final drive ratio of 16.6mph per 1000rpm.
“Cedric is no cissy!” This was the rather unkind headline to Cedrics everywhere that Australia’s Modern Motor ran for their road test of Nissan’s new 1.9–litre 95bhp Cedric saloon. Despite its namby–pamby name (they said) the Cedric combined ruggedness and eager performance plus lots of luxury features for its asking price of £1375, just £45 less than a Holden Premier. It was the list of standard fittings that impressed. Included in the price were twin fog lights, twin external rear view mirrors, two speed windscreen wipers, electric screen washers, reversing lights, green tinted anti glare windscreen and rear window, a power point under the dash, a vanity mirror in the passenger’s sun visor, courtesy lights on the rear doors and chromed wheel discs with whitewall tyres. They also liked the rear suspension with its long leaf springs, the independent wishbone and coil front suspension, the Detroit–sized boot and the clean unfussy styling.
Chevrolet’s advertising people were finding it hard to repeat their jingle of previous years. It had run “Every five seconds, Every working day, Somebody buys, A Chevrolet.” Trouble was that when the 1962 sales figures came in over two million Chevrolets had been sold – one every 3.74 seconds of every working day, somebody bought a Chevrolet. Nonsense, but gives the volume of sales some sort of proportion doesn’t it?
One of those little spats that gets everyone excited for no good reason sprang up this month over which FoMoCo car was first with a reverse slope rear window? Ford execs had said the new Mercury’s reverse slope rear window was pioneered by Ford’s Anglia, launched in the UK in August 1959. Others rushed in claiming the October 1958 Lincoln was first to use the reverse slope rear window so it should take the honours. What in fact happened was that the idea for a reverse slope rear window first appeared on paper as the Anglia design before being picked up by the Lincoln designers. So the Anglia was drawn first, but the Lincoln was the first one into production with the feature. OK? Feel better now?
Finally, 13 years after the launch of the XJ–S, Jaguar released a genuine convertible to replace the awkward XJ–S cabriolet. Reporters suggested that here at last was a really good–looking car. No concave rear window and no clumsy flying buttresses. It was a very thorough conversion. Karmann had done the work in conjunction with Jaguar, fabricating 108 new panels and modifying 48 more. The result was a well built convertible with just a little scuttle shake and a minimal 2cwt increase in weight. Still powered by the 5.3–litre, 291bhp (217kW) V12, the only criticism was that with the hood down the engine occupants couldn’t hear the engine.
There were troubles at Porsche as the European recession hit home. First of all development on the 924 Targa Top was shelved. But the real shock was that the seemingly impregnable Porsche concern was to shed 1,000 workers out of their workforce of 8600 over the next 15 months! Company spokesmen assured the motoring world that this staff reduction would come from non–replacement of staff who resigned, early retirements and just a few redundancies.
If things weren’t too good at Porsche, they were buzzing over at Volkswagen with motoring writers suggesting the new VW Corrado, undergoing testing in a very wintery Canada, was a more than adequate competition for the Porsche 924. Said one writer, “The Corrado looks better, performs better and is priced better than the 924.” Customers could choose between the basic 83kW 1.8–litre engine, the 103kW 16 valve GTi motor or the supercharged 112kW 1.8–litre G60 engine which offered a top speed of around 130mph.
There was speculation that the 126kW 2.4–litre V6 would be available as an option from late 1989 complete with VW’s Synchro four wheel drive unit. These options would give the Corrado a maximum speed of 150mph.
Motor magazine decided to pit the new Honda Legend against the Mercedes, the mightiest of the Teutons! They chose the six–cylinder sohc 3–litre 138kW 300CE to go head to head with the 130kW, 2.7–litre V6 Legend. Predictably the Legend lagged behind the 300CE in performance. Its maximum was 129mph compared to the 300CE’s 135, it took about the same time, 3.5 seconds, to get to 30mph. Sixty miles an hour came up in 9.3 seconds compared to the 300CE’s time of 8.5, and it took 28 seconds to reach 100mph – over 4 seconds slower than the 300CE. Beyond straight line performance there was no doubt the Legend was the more luxurious of the two, offering headlamp wash/wipe, stereo cassette, alloys, cruise control and air con as standard for £24,000, whereas they were options on the £31,000 300CE. In fact the testers admitted that, compared to the Legend, the 300CE felt “stripped to the bone.” Even the 300CE’s seats came in for criticism, being labelled rather flat and unyielding compared to the sumptuous driving position of the Legend. The downsides for the Legend were its jerky gearbox and high probability of a short production run, which would mean higher depreciation.
Juan Manuel Fangio drove this 1954 21⁄2-litre straight-8 Mercedes-Benz W196 to win both the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races and this historic F1 racer (chassis number ‘00006/54) is now being offered by auction from Bonhams.
Last night, at their New Bond Street sales room in London, Bonhams unveiled this incredibly important motor car, announcing that it will be offered for auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday 12 July. The car will become the most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever entered into public auction. Juan Manuel Fangio’s wins in this car at the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races were the first two to be achieved in succession by the frontier-technology Mercedes-Benz factory Formula 1 team in its postwar racing come-back. Chassis ‘00006’ also has special significance as the first open-wheeled slipper-bodied postwar Mercedes-Benz ever to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix race – having made its debut in that German GP.
Initially, Mercedes-Benz designed their all-new W196 cars with all–enveloping-‘Stromlinienwagen’ bodies – however, the W196 Stromlinienwagen cars with their enclosed wheels proved difficult to place upon the more twisty venue of the following British Grand Prix at Silverstone and Fangio requested an open-wheeled, W196 variant for the following German Grand Prix on the twisty 14.2-mile Nurburging road circuit. Mercedes-Benz reacted instantly, tailoring new cars ‘00005’ and ‘00006’ to Fangio’s recommendation. And it was in this actual car – chassis ‘00006’ – now to be offered by Bonhams at Goodwood – that Fangio immediately won the German Grand Prix. He then repeated the feat in the following Swiss Grand Prix on the daunting Bremgarten forest circuit at Berne – storming round at uncatchable pace in ‘00006’ to win by 58.7 seconds from Argentine compatriot, Jose Froilan Gonzalez’s out-classed Ferrari.
This Bonhams sale of the ex-Fangio 1954 German and Swiss GP-winning Mercedes-Benz W196 is – on so many fronts – a classic car auction first. Robert Brooks, Chairman of Bonhams and handling the sale of the Mercedes-Benz, comments, “My motoring auction career spans five decades and I have been privileged to have handled some of the world’s most desirable and important motor cars. To handle the sale of this legendary W196 Grand Prix Car – the only one out of captivity– could well be the pinnacle. Our Goodwood Festival of Speed auction is shaping up to even eclipse the record breaking sale of last year.”
Start saving your pennies now!