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Former New Zealand racing drivers - where are they now?


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#1 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 07:55

I have started this thread because people often ask "What happened to..........."

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#2 Vicuna

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 09:30

Dave Saunders - Mid Canterbury farmer and former March Atlantic driver--very sick I'm sad to say

#3 hiteknz

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:05

Originally posted by Vicuna
Dave Saunders - Mid Canterbury farmer and former March Atlantic driver--very sick I'm sad to say

That I am very sorry to hear ,my best wishes under the circumstances
Bob Homewood

#4 thunder427

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:33

Seen at the race tracks of Australia,'Gentleman' Jim Richards (We had a chat while hiding from the rain at Phillip Island Historics recently ).......Grant Walker,( Ex NZ Formula Ford Champion ,If I remember correctly) Has succesful automotive parts business in Melbourne.................still thinking !!!!!!!!.......regards427

#5 David McKinney

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 11:42

I echo Bob's sentiments
Please pass on my best wishes if you're in touch

#6 Rosemayer

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 14:57

What is the latest on Chris Amon? I heard a rumor he retired off the farm.

#7 Gabrci

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 15:01

Yes, I understand he is not living there anymore.

#8 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 19:35

For those '70s, '80s and saloon-orientated; I had a great chat with Norris Miles the other week and he is now living in Australia.

#9 Michael Clark

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 21:22

Originally posted by Rosemayer
What is the latest on Chris Amon? I heard a rumor he retired off the farm.


Chris sold most of farm about 6 years ago and now he and Tish live in their new and very stylish house just out of Kinloch with a great view over the lake to the mountains beyond.

He is in great form and I'll be catching up with him over Easter.

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 21:33

Originally posted by Gregor Marshall
For those '70s, '80s and saloon-orientated; I had a great chat with Norris Miles the other week and he is now living in Australia.


Now there's a man who made his mark on Australian circuits...

#11 Tim Nevinson

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 21:54

Mike John the founder of NZ Targa often related to me about his times racing in the UK with Norris Miles, I think with a Group One Capri and Opel Commodore GS/E if I remember correctly, against your dad Gregor, and Tony Lanfranchi - great days! (I watched Kiwi Grant Clearwater finishing second in classic F3 at Donington yesterday upholding NZ honour in UK racing!)
Many NZ racers went sailing and still do as far as I know -Nev Chrichton, Jack Nazer, Merv Niel just some examples.
Dennis Marwood was still racing his Alfa GTV in NZ club events a couple of years ago, is he still racing?

#12 Michael Clark

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 22:12

Hi Tim - Marbles had a big crash on the front straight at Manfeild in the Alfa and, after 50 years of racing, decided to call it a day.

Grant Clearwater is a good driver - he goes very well in his Begg twin-cam and the beautiful Capella.

#13 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 23:30

Originally posted by Ray Bell


Now there's a man who made his mark on Australian circuits...


As a very UK insular racefan I don't know if that's sarcastic or not?! Norris seemed to have a good reputation when he arrived, he was pretty good in Prod Saloons (Commodore, Alfa GTV, Fiat Strada) and he got into Touring Cars (Rover) in the UK (he did Historics in a Mustang too) - maybe didn't do as well as he should of done but was blooming good on his day.
Please elucidate for me Ray?? :drunk:
Tim - Thanks for your comments - everyone I've spoken to in UK saloon car racing holds Norris in very high regard and from what I remember of watching him he was great and from talking to him on the phone he's a great bloke either way!! (If it helps, my Dad thought he was pretty good!!)

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 01:29

Originally posted by Gregor Marshall
As a very UK insular racefan I don't know if that's sarcastic or not?!


.....Please elucidate for me Ray?


He came here once, bought a local car with a lot of success behind it... and tipped it on its lid in that first meeting...

So he made his mark. Blue paint scraped across the circuit, a few minor gouges in the hotmix.

#15 hatrat

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 04:36

Many NZ racers went sailing and still do as far as I know -Nev Chrichton, Jack Nazer, Merv Niel just some examples.



Jim Boyd and Tony Shelly are other examples of NZ racers that went sailing after their motor racing days.

Marbles had a big crash on the front straight at Manfeild in the Alfa and, after 50 years of racing, decided to call it a day



Dennis got taken out when a Jaguar D type replica lost it on the front straight, hit the outside wall and bounced back into Dennis' path - it wasn't his fault but the Alfa would have been a right off.

#16 David McKinney

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 06:11

Before all those sailors there was Tom Clark and Buccaneer, always a challenge on the Sydney-Hobart and I think a multiple winner

#17 Rosemayer

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 18:24

Originally posted by Michael Clark


Chris sold most of farm about 6 years ago and now he and Tish live in their new and very stylish house just out of Kinloch with a great view over the lake to the mountains beyond.

He is in great form and I'll be catching up with him over Easter.


Thanks Michael :wave:

#18 Vicuna

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 10:34

I thought Allan Woolf went boating for a while.

But he's back - close to 80..amazingly I only ever remember him as a tintop driver yet since he turned about 70, all he races are open-wheelers!

First his BT9 and now he has the ex Geoff Manning Volpini. Still good.

#19 hiteknz

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 21:22

Brian Tracey,former NZIGP competitor and racer passed away on April 8th,Brian drove both the Ardun Special and P3 Alfa back in the late 50's early 60's ,he was also the father of well known Western Springs competitor ,Ted Tracey .maybe we should combine this thread with the forgotten NZ drivers one ,most of the content is the same and relevant
Bob

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#20 wenoopy

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:35

Whatever happened to the "other" Don Halliday?

Not the 1970's and 80's Saloon Champion and father of sometime A1 GP driver Matt Halliday, but the 1977 NZ Formula Vee champion who went to UK and designed/built/was involved in TDC sports 2000 cars and racing.

Did he later go to the USA?

#21 hiteknz

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:59

Originally posted by wenoopy
Whatever happened to the "other" Don Halliday?

Not the 1970's and 80's Saloon Champion and father of sometime A1 GP driver Matt Halliday, but the 1977 NZ Formula Vee champion who went to UK and designed/built/was involved in TDC sports 2000 cars and racing.

Did he later go to the USA?


Its a long,long time since I have had any contact with Don,at that stage he was with Kraco ,I just googled up Don Halliday plus Kraco ,there is a bit more on there you can follow up rather than me repeating it here
Bob

#22 wenoopy

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:05

Thanks hiteknz (re Don Halliday) - almost instant service, and on a public holiday too!

#23 Juihi

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 00:15

Originally posted by Michael Clark


Chris sold most of farm about 6 years ago and now he and Tish live in their new and very stylish house just out of Kinloch with a great view over the lake to the mountains beyond.

He is in great form and I'll be catching up with him over Easter.



One of my friends grandparents lived right next to Chris's farm and his grandfather was good mates with him, as a little kid my friend and his grandfather would go fishing with Chris, but he just thought of the Amon's as those weird people next door, it was only on the very day Chris was moving out and my friend was older and had became a motorsports fan that he found out who it actually was!!!

#24 wenoopy

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 08:55

How about Bob Blackburn? He performed well in the early '50's and later ran the old 4CLT Maserati.

He gets a mention in Yvonne van Dongen's biography of Ron Brierley. Apparently he worked for Brierley in NZ and Australia. The author caught up with him running a Marina or similar in Northern NSW or Queensland, but that would be in the 1980's.

#25 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 09:38

Blackburns
Bob Blackburn I do not know much about except he was involved with Mistral cars and at one stage raced one. He may have been the New Zealand agent and was involved in the plastics industry. by the time I started racing in the early ' 60s he was no longer racing
Brian Blackburn raced the ex Pat Hoare, Ernie Sprague 4CLT Maserati in the early ' 60s. It was owned by his father Vic Blackburn who raced in the ' 50s & ' 60s
At least one of Vic's daughters Nola also raced cars as did her husband Barry Brown and his brother Kelvin Brown who has writen a book on Buckler cars in New Zealand
My connection with Vic was I raced his Lotus 18 FJ several times in 1967/8
As far as I know Bob was not related to Vic

#26 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 09:53

Blackburns & Browns - Were Are They Now
Vic passed on a number of years ago
Brian I have not seen for many years
Nola and Barry I not seen for a few years
Kelvin I see from time to time

#27 wenoopy

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:01

Blackburns - Thanks Peter, I hadn't realised there were quite as many of them.

R.J. Blackburn won at Mairehau in 1951(on Handicap) in an Austin Special, and ran a few other races in it. Later he drove the "prototype Mistral" at Mairehau and Southbridge in 1957 and in early 1958 races. That appears to be the extent of his career.

Weltex Distributors Ltd of Christchurch had an advert for Mistrals in the 1958 NZ Grand Prix Programme, quoting bodies at 120 Pounds and chassis at 95 Pounds!

#28 David McKinney

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:42

Originally posted by wenoopy
R.J. Blackburn won at Mairehau in 1951(on Handicap) in an Austin Special, and ran a few other races in it. Later he drove the "prototype Mistral" at Mairehau and Southbridge in 1957 and in early 1958 races. That appears to be the extent of his career

...until he raced the first Lotus Seven in NZ, and also one of the very first Mini-Coopers in NZ ownership

Oh, and Peter's missed another of Vic's racing daughters - Shirley, was it?

#29 thunder427

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 12:15

wenopy,on the 'Money' again,Weltex(plastics)Distributors/Christchurch,My Uncle was a 'Sales'rep for the company for many years ,may have been importers of 'Fibreglass resins etc,hence the envolvment with the importation and sales of the Mistral,which I'm sure were produced in numbers in Christchurch,my Uncle involved in 'Operatic/theatre' was rather delighted that his 'Boss' was involved in Motorsport gave him 'common' ground with a pre-teens, car 'Nutter!!!!!!!!!!!!.............he did advise me, in depth,that the group called the "Beatles' would never make it past a couple of 'Top Tens',"They're rubbish!!!"...................regards427