Between a Barrel and a Soft Place

1955 New Zealand GP

I think one of the things I like most about historic motorsport is the makeshift facilities. New Zealand didn’t have a purpose-built racing course to host this GP in 1955, but did it stop them? No.

Prince Bira’s 250F Maserati (#1) was perfectly welcome to mix it up on the runways of Ardmore Airport with Lex Davison’s HWM-Jaguar (#77) and Tony Gaze’s Ferrari (#4) just the same. Sure, there’s good reason why 55-gallon drums and haybales don’t serve as today’s racing course construction but there’s a spirit of improvisation that I appreciate.

DISCUSS (3 Comments)

  1. Mike Jacobsen

    What a great picture. I did not know Bira raced in New Zealand nar the end of his career. I wonder if the HWM has the Jag engine yet; the carb box looks to me like it still has an Alta in it; the Jag also would require a bulge in the bonnet for for the cam covers? Who knows for sure?

  2. Hervé Smagghe

    They are only New Zealander for a few:
    ** barrels for the cars.
    ** haybales for them !!!
    Thank you for this good shot.
    Alta or Jag engine for HWM ? Il could easier to find a shot if it ran in GB, but I think no.
    Sorry for the english, I’m french.

  3. DD

    ” 44’s ” aka 44 gallon drums are twice that the size.

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