For the last two years the Hulme.F1 Champion 1967 has been developed in secrecy,
but now Supercars Limited is ready to show the world what it has been creating.
Named in honor of New Zealand’s only Formula One World Champion Denny Hulme the Hulme.F1 Champion 1967 is a jaw-dropping racing machine designed for road use.
Coordinating the design team is Tony Parker, Associate Professor and head of the University’s Industrial Design department.
“New Zealand has established a reputation for building the best yachts in the world. I believe we also have the technical capabilities and the industrial infrastructure to create a quality, hand-built performance car,’’ says Mr Parker.
At the unveiling Greeta Hulme said that her late husband would have been “really chuffed” with the spectacular design.
The concept of the Hulme supercar is a mid-engine design with a high-tech powertrain and chassis that gives the driver the feeling of driving a Formula One car on the road. The car features a modified BMW M5 engine joined to a specially designed transaxle, wrapped in a carbon fibre body.
Supercars Limited plans to produce a number of cars for crash testing, with production to start in 2006.
They will then produce 100 cars a year. A minimum of 500 will be built.
A price has not yet been set, but it is expected to sell for somewhere between $400,000 and $600,000.
The idea for a Kiwi-made supercar first came to Auckland entrepreneur Jock Freemantle, who approached Mr Parker in 2002 to co-ordinate the design team.
Tony Parker has been passionate about cars since he was a boy. For many years he indulged his enthusiasm by sketching car designs during weekends. It was only in 2003 when he met Jock Freemantle, fellow car enthusiast and serial entrepreneur, that he began to see how far his hobby might go. Together Jock and Tony not only improved the design, they also developed the dream of recapturing New Zealand's leading position in car design that was lost overseas in the late 70s.
Jock formed SupercarsNZ Ltd with financial backing from a global network of angel investors. Now, two years on, Tony's design has been transformed from paper plans to a revolutionary supercar constructed of the finest lightweight materials. The design captures the essence of Formula One for ordinary road users – albeit wealthy ones.
Massey University is supporting the events, which will raise the funds necessary to complete the development path to market. But this is only the first of what is planned to be a long series of world-beating car designs emerging from New Zealand. This vision will be achieved by consistent and significant reinvestment in the knowledge base in New Zealand – enter Massey University. SupercarsNZ Ltd has committed to reinvest a significant percentage of all profits in the School of Transport Design at the Wellington campus.
Professor Nigel Long (Assistant Vice-Chancellor - Research) says, "It's a great example of what can be achieved when academic expertise is matched by entrepreneurial drive and enthusiasm. This is an innovative partnership whose value in the long term lies with the critical mass of funded scholarships which not only create knowledge but also maintain it within New Zealand."
Also speaking at the unveiling was Charles W. “Chuck” Pelly.
Mr Pelly is a leading American industrial designer. He has worked on everything from go-karts, racing cars, snowmobiles, farm equipment, catamarans and vehicles for GM, Chrysler, American Motors, Mazda, Subaru and BMW.
“New Zealanders are true leaders in innovation and design, We’ve seen that in the yacht industry and now we have a New Zealand design and built car to compete against the best,” he says.
Mr Pelly is the founder and former President of Designworks/USA, which he grew from a staff of three to one of the world’s best industrial design offices and BMW’s U.S. design studio. Under Mr Pelly’s leadership, in 1998 Designworks/USA was rated one of the Top 10 World’s Best Industrial Design Offices, by D.C. Groupe in Frankfurt, Germany. Mr Pelly is now a consultant with Pelly Design Management, serving as a corporate strategist on design and creative development.