The Connaught which Leslie Marr drove in Grands Prix in 1952-53 finally returned to racing in the VSCC meeting at Silverstone when new owner Grant Clearwater concluded a 10-year journey to return the car to the track.
UK-based Kiwi Clearwater unearthed the car in New Zealand before buying it. “We purchased the car in 2001 and it’s been a long process to get to this stage,” he said. “When I found out about it, it took me three years to buy the car. It was in Auckland, still with the family of the owner from the 1950s. It was sitting there as it had crashed at Dunedin in 1962. The body had been removed because it was later raced as a sports car with another body on it. The original body was standing beside it, waiting for me to come along!”
Clearwater had the car restored in New Zealand by Brian Taylor and Les Marshall. “We tried it out there a couple of times and then brought it to the UK,” he said. However, the car will soon return to New Zealand for good.
“We’d like to go to Goodwood and hopefully we’ll also do the Silverstone Classic with the car this year and then it’s going back to New Zealand, probably for keeps. It’s for me to use over there and no one else is allowed to drive it!”
Clearwater took the car to East Anglia recently for Marr to see it again. After Marr raced it in 1953, it went to South Africa for a while before ending up in New Zealand.