Auckland, August 24. Legendary New Zealand engineer, Ralph Watson, who created the Lycoming Special sports racing car in the 1950s, has died in Te Aroha.
The Lycoming, which still runs today in historic racing, was a stunningly-effective car in its heyday, initially in Watson’s hands, then driven by Malcolm Gill. It was even driven by Bruce McLaren.
It had a second career in the 1960s, in the hands of the ebullient Jim Boyd.
The late Mt Roskill, Auckland, garage proprietor drove the NZ-built special in a series of furious battles with Andy Buchanan’s ex-works Ferrari 250 LM sports car, Boyd never giving an inch to the factory car.
A memorial service for Watson is being held in Auckland on Friday.