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Hulme CanAm now on sale

On sale: New Zealand's Hulme CanAm is powered by a big-bore Chev V8 - just like the McLaren CanAm race cars driven by the Kiwi ace.

Hulme Supercars opens order book for wild new CanAm, but it’s not for Aussie roads

31 May 2010

THE New Zealand sportscar-maker that takes its name from the nation’s only Formula One world champion, Denny Hulme, has finally thrown open the order book for its new CanAm supercar, but it will not be road-legal in Australia.

Formally unveiled as a prototype 12 months ago, the Hulme CanAm is aimed directly at Europe, where it has gained EU low-volume certification and will cost £295,000 (about $A503,000) plus local taxes.

Production of the Kiwi designed-and-built CanAm, which was revealed in hard-top concept form at the 2006 Goodwood festival of Speed in the UK, will be limited to just 20 examples.

Prospective buyers can pay a £10,000 ($A17,000) fully-refundable deposit to receive a private viewing and test drive at next year’s Festival of Speed, ahead of deliveries in the second half of 2011 and 2012 – the 20th anniversary of 1967 F1 world champion Denny Hulme’s death during the 1992 Bathurst 1000.

After confirming the specifications of their vehicle, CanAm customers will receive two business-class Air New Zealand flights to Auckland and a week’s luxury accommodation for their final fitting in the car and further road and circuit driving, before the car is freighted to their chosen destination.

All production cars will be individually numbered and accompanied by a guaranteed certificate of authenticity, a one-eighth scale replica with the same livery and specification, and a photographed dossier of the car’s build.

105 center imageHulme Supercars managing director Jock Freemantle said all 20 examples of the roofless CanAm open-wheeler would be coach-built to customer order, offering a Formula One-style driving experience in a street-legal package.

However, Mr Freemantle said the limited-edition CanAm, which will spawn full-time Hulme models including the fixed-roof F1 and convertible Spyder, was homologated for road use in Europe, China, Japan and the Middle East – but not Australia or North America.

Hulme Supercars says it has received interest in the CanAm from US parties despite the fact it cannot be driven on American roads, but Mr Freemantle said Hulme’s first model may not even be available as a racetrack-only model for Australian or US enthusiasts.

“We’re not being rude to Australians or Americans, but at this stage we’re only focussing on one (EU) certification, so we can’t see the car in the US or Australia,” said Mr Freemantle.

“If someone wanted to buy one in the US or Australia we’d look closely at it, but it can’t be guaranteed,” he said, adding that the cost of regulatory compliance could not be offset by a handful of models.

However, Mr Freemantle indicated that his company’s forthcoming Hulme F1 and Spyder models eventually would be sold globally.

Unlike them, the CanAm is not available with electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes or even weather protection.

The Can Am is powered by a 7.0-litre (427 cubic-inch) Chevrolet Corvette-sourced General Motors LS7 V8 (to honour Denny Hulme’s 1968 and 1970 championship wins in Chev V8-powered McLaren CanAm racecars) that delivers 442kW and 600Nm via a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission.

Hulme Supercars says the mid-engined, rear-drive CanAm roadster, which has a carbon-composite chassis and body and weighs less than 1000kg, can sprint to 100km/h in less than 3.5 seconds – on its way to a top speed of more than 320km/h.

Mr Freemantle said the 20 CanAms Hulme intends to build will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

“Jock Freemantle’s desire to honour Denny’s life with this unique car has been matched by his irrepressible enthusiasm and passion to create it,” said Greta Hulme, the widow of Denny Hulme. “I am both proud and immensely impressed with what he and the Hulme Supercars team have achieved.”

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