George Begg is a name those with even a fleeting interest in 1950s and 1960s motorsport admire. Begg had an illustrious career racing motorcycles in Britain and, famously, on the Isle of Man, before he returned home to Southland to open an engineering business.
At his workshop in rural Southland Begg built 18 racing cars that went on to challenge – and beat – the best marques in the world. His cars bested some of the finest automotive names in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and throughout Europe.
Transport World owners Jocelyn and Scott O’Donnell are excited to bring Begg’s story to the public. Scott O’Donnell is a huge fan of racing vehicles: at Bill Richardson Transport World, the area dubbed ‘Pit Lane’ has a revolving display of them, many of which are owned by O’Donnell himself – including one of Begg’s vehicles. O’Donnell is a well-known endurance and classic car racer and still actively competes, both in New Zealand and overseas. Now, the idea to celebrate one of the greats in Kiwi motorsport history is turning into a reality.
“We think there are three great automotive personalities who have carved their names into Southland’s history books – Bill Richardson, Burt Munro and George Begg,” Scott O’Donnell says. “The Begg exhibit will pay homage to a story of Kiwi ingenuity taking on the world, and coming out on top.”
Southland Sports Car Club publicity officer Lindsay Beer says after holding a Speedfest event at Teretonga Park for the last 25 years, it was exciting to work together with Transport World to bring the George Begg Classic Speedfest to life.
“George Begg is an iconic figure in motorsport and we are looking forward to bringing spectators a unique experience and a fantastic weekend of racing,” he says.
Competitors and spectators alike are encouraged to get into the spirit of the weekend-long festival of retro racing. George Begg Classic Speedfest organisers are hoping they will do so by dressing up to match the era of the vehicle they are supporting on the track.
VIP Hospitality and Driver’s Lounge access packages will also be available for the event.
For more on the exhibition and event, like the George Begg Classic Speedfest page on Facebook.