If you attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2006, you may well have spotted a striking machine called the Hulme F1 in the supercar paddock. Then it was just a concept car and Goodwood an exercise for its Scots-born but naturalised Kiwi creator Jock Freemantle to see if there might be sufficient demand to put it into production.
It seems there was because in January a clip appeared on YouTube of another Hulme supercar, this time the open ‘Can-Am’ version being hurled around the Taupo race track by Chris Amon. Of course Amon (with Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme) was one of the three bright talents to emerge from New Zealand in the 1960s and the sole survivor since 1992. Now 65, he drove with relish and clearly appreciated being part of such an exciting, home-grown project.
As for the car itself, Freemantle says it’s on course for production next year and prices it at around £280,000 with current exchange rates. That’s a lot of money even taking into account its carbon tub and body, hand-built LS7 General Motors engine and the fact that just 25 will be made per year, but Freemantle is confident he can sell them.
I hope so: I’ve been in touch with Jock and his enthusiasm for the project is infectious. Besides, he says he’s coming over next year with the Can-Am and I can have a go in it. I’d say the wait is going to be worth it.
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