Plans are already coming together for a huge celebration of 50 years of rallying in New Zealand.

In 2017, two tours are planned – one in the North Island in March, and another in the South Island in May.

Paul Smith, rally organiser, says, “Rallying has been in New Zealand coming up 50 years in 2017, and we plan to celebrate with two tours taking in some of the old roads, and by inviting people who have been involved in rallying for the last 50 years to come along. I guess it’s a reunion, with a social side of reminiscing.”

To date there have been 50 responses to the call for participants. While the tours will happen during working hours, Paul says they realise rallying is a social event. “The plan is at this stage to work the tours around office hours and to hook up with local car clubs at all the overnight stops.”

Rod Millen's Mazda RX3 (1976). Photo Paul Smith
Rod Millen’s Mazda RX3 photo (1976). Photo Paul Smith

To gain good interest in the event, the organising committee have drummed up some pretty famous names in New Zealand rallying. Paul adds; “The plotting group of John Coker, Dennis Green, Mojo and Rob Scott has probably, between them, the most rallying and plotting experience of any four guys in the country so I have every faith in their ability to come up with the goods.”

So far the event is looking to be an incredible two tours of history and camaraderie that New Zealand rallying has always been known for.

Autoclique will continue to promote the event as we get new information.

Malcolm Stewart's Audi Quattro, from the 1986 Hella Light Rally in Auckland. Photo Paul Smith
Malcolm Stewart’s Audi Quattro, from the 1986 Hella Light Rally in Auckland. Photo Paul Smith



History of rallying in New Zealand (to 2005)

New Zealand rallying history Facebook page

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


  1. Keen to have a chat with John Coker , as I have inherited the remains of a 120s Rallye works car from my father that I plan to rebuild , Ive been told you might have some parts that could help with the rebuild by Colin Waite . My name is Eddie ph 09 4834 576 or 027 217 6867 . Cheers Eddie


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