French machine ancient but it's very fast

Allan Dippie, of Dunedin, races his 1907 Sizaire et Naudin at the Leadfoot Festival at Hahei, in the Coromandel, in February last year. Photo: Supplied
Allan Dippie, of Dunedin, races his 1907 Sizaire et Naudin at the Leadfoot Festival at Hahei, in the Coromandel, in February last year. Photo: Supplied
A 109-year-old racing car as fast as a ''robber's dog shot in the bum'' is ready for the Brighton Veteran Car Rally on Saturday.

Rally organiser Colin Winter said more than 30 vehicles had been registered for the 64th annual event, open to vehicles made before 1919.

He was looking forward to seeing the light racing car, the 1907 Sizaire et Naudin, at the rally.

''It goes like a robber's dog shot in the bum.''

Car owner Allan Dippie, of Dunedin, said he was the third owner of the car and had entered it in the rally twice before.

The previous owner, the late Bob Turnbull, had also driven it in the rally, Mr Dippie said.

Mr Turnbull, of Ophir, bought the remains of the car from the owner of a farm in North Canterbury in the 1950s.

''The bonnet was being used as a dog kennel,'' Mr Dippie said.

Mr Turnbull finished restoring the car in 1965 and the engineer then put a lot of time into developing the car further to make it go faster.

Mr Dippie said the car was ''very fast for its age''.

''[I'm] still working out how to be brave enough to drive it at the speeds Bob used to reach,'' he admitted.

Mr Winter said the more than 30 vehicles registered for the Brighton rally included two trucks, cars made between 1900 and 1918 and five motorcycles made between 1905 and 1914.

The rally would proceed in ''rain, hail or snow''.

Participants would park their vehicles in the Octagon carriageway from 9.45am on Saturday. The first vehicle would be ''flagged away'' about 11am, he said.

The cars and bikes would putter to Leslie Groves Hospital in Wakari, where a time trial to Brighton Domain, via Green Island, would begin.

He expected the first vehicle to reach the domain by noon.

At the domain, the participants would be put through several ''field tests'' to assess their driving skills. The vehicles would remain at the domain until about 3pm.

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