Legend of The Bear Lives On
NZ car racing great Denny Hulme was the subject of a retrospective article on the sport in the Guardian. Known as The Bear for his rugged looks and gruff manner, Hulme dominated Formula One and Can-Am sports car racing in the late 1960s. His winning streak began in 1967; the same year F1 became the big money business it is today. Guardian: “Grand-prix racing became ‘Big Time’ but the reigning champion as motor racing entered this new era was possibly the most low-key driver ever to win the title.” Hulme was crowned F1 World Champion in 1967 and Can-Am champion in 1968 and 1970. Despite his personal successes on the track, Hulme was dogged by tragedy throughout his career. In 1970 he was rocked by the death of mentor and fellow New Zealander Bruce McLaren, of McLaren Racing. Hulme went on to lead the team and hold it together, despite his reluctance to assume a centre-stage position. He retired from F1 in 1974 but continued to race trucks and touring cars in Australia. In 1992 he suffered a fatal heart attack at the wheel while competing in the Bathurst 1000.