New Zealand Classic Car 159, March 2004

New Zealand is full of specialist automakers and, historically, Kiwis have always been able to turn their hands to almost anything – usually because, due to NZ’s geographical remoteness – the most up-to-date cars were unavailable. One such manufacturer is Auckland’s F40 Development, and this month we take a close look at their fabulous Silhouette F40 Modelled on the Ferrari F40, this masterpiece of Kiwi ingenuity is powered by a ferocious, turbocharged Lexus V8 – making it one of the very fastest cars in New Zealand. Apart from its owner and creator, no one else has ever driven the Silhouette. We change all that this month when we take an exclusive drive in the F40 Development’s Silhouette – and come away both shaken and stirred.

Cosworth – the Magic of a Name: On its first appearance, the Ford Sierra was instantly dubbed ‘the jelly-mould’ due to its rounded styling – so unlike the outgoing TF Cortina. While enthusiasts mourned the passing of the Cortina, Ford and Cosworth got stuck into their unloved people-mover and, together, produced a modern classic – the Sierra Cosworth RS500. With its plethora of aerodynamic aids, rorty engine and balanced handling, the Sierra was reborn as a performance car par excellence. This month we take a look at all the Cosworth-powered Sierra variations and take them for a test-drive.

McLaren and Mercedes: With the recent launch of the sensational Mercedes McLaren SLR, we look back in time to some other McLaren and Mercedes sports coupes that, sadly, never got beyond the prototype stage. Eoin Young examines the still-born 300SLR coupé and shares his memories of Bruce McLaren’s legendary M6GT.

Everyday Classics: Away from the more exotic cars featured in this month’s NZCC, Tim Chadwick takes a long, lingering look at the Jowett Bradford van. A genuine ‘classic commercial’ the Braddie is a source of amazement for many younger classic car enthusiasts – mainly because of its novel, horizontally-opposed engine; made in an era when Subaru had never even thought about producing a boxer-engined car.

This month we open up the competition for the NZCC Classic Car of the Year Award. Over the next few months we’ll take a closer look at just a few of the cars which entered last year’s competition.

This month our Dunedin correspondent, Mark Wright, checks out an Oamaru-based 1947 Plymough coupe, which took out sixth place in last year’s COTY competition.

Dunlop Targa Bambina 13-14th March: This month we present our exclusive Dunlop Targa Bambina 2004 mini-programme. NZCC is the only place you’ll find full route/stage maps, stage timings and driver’s listing for the Dunlop Targa Bambina. Once again, with a packed field, the Bambina promises an action-packed weekend of motorsport mayhem. Grab your programme now and be prepared for the fun!

Classic Motorsport: If you like your classic action to be fast, we have plenty to keep you interested: First up, Steve Holmes starts a two-part story on Robbie Francevic’s Phase III Falcon GTHO – illustrated, as usual, with a series of historical photographs from the camera of ace racing photographer, Terry Marshall.

For those with longer memories, Eoin Young traces the racing career of Harold Heasley. Best remembered for his exploits in a Humber 80, Harold is now retired but still likes to visit local race tracks – the scene of his triumphs in the past. Eoin catches up with Harold at Ruapuna and talks to him about racing and Humbers.

Michael Clark looks back at the ’84 GP season – a time when McLaren dominated F1 with a team led by Niki Lauda and Alain Prost. We also feature coverage of the 2003 Adelaide Classic Rally with s story from a NZ competitor