Conceived as a Formula One car for the road, and named after famous Kiwi racing driver Denny Hulme, the Supercars NZ Hulme is a new contender in the UKP300,000 plus European exotica category. Unveiled to the local New Zealand media in mid 2005, the company had its initial European tour-de-force over the last few weeks at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the ultra-exclusive Salon Prive. The Hulme SuperCar is powered by a BMW M5 V8 producing 550brake horses running through a six speed sequential gearbox, and weighs in at the curb with all bodily fluids topped up at a very slim 1175 kilograms. The body is a carbon fibre shell and will be produced in limited quantities of up to 30 a year in the Koeniggseg and Pagani category of high end exotica.
The two events chosen to unveil the new car were in keeping with its exclusive character – the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Salon Prive, which deserves mention in its own right as an astoundgly clever idea.
Salon Privé is an exclusive viewing of the world's greatest luxury supercars set in the beautiful grounds of The Hurlingham Club, a private members club in South-West London.
It is society garden party in the middle of London by day and a glamorous cocktail party by night; an opportunity to celebrate, admire and view the best that the automotive industry has to offer – spectacularly rare and exotic cars.
The clientele are equally as rare and exotic. Jock describes the attendees as “perfect” for the market the vehicle is seeking. The show takes place over four days and features eight unique events during the days and evenings, offering bespoke hospitality and entertainment to accompany the display of cars.
More than twenty car manufacturers were on display, including the Bugatti Veyron, Koenigsegg’s CCX, Bentley’s GTC, Flying Spur and Continental GT models, alongside Rolls-Royce’s 101EX, the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, McLaren SLR, Mosler MT900S and the Shelby Daytona Coupe … and a new car from a long way off, the Hulme.
“I won’t say I was reticent, but I wasn’t entirely sure how the establishment would receive a new competitor from a place they’d never heard of, but the response was very warm hearted,” said Hulme CEO Jock Freemantle.
“We spoke with so many of the people from the industry during Goodwood, all calling past to see what we had done and we were amazed at how willing so many people are prepared to share their knowledge, to suggest how we might do something different or better in a certain spot, or ways to achieve more efficiencies of manufacture, or just to have a chat and celebrate the achievements of the community. These were people such as Jack Brabham, Peter Stephens, Christian Koenigsegg, Lee Noble, the people from Spyker, and Moesler, the Maybach Fuda.
“They were supportive and complimentary and we have had a lot of interest from both investors and purchasers. We’ve accounted for most of our first year of production (2008). We’d be happy at 20 and exceedingly happy to build 30.
The most promising market is Germany where of course, you can drive a car like this at its full speed. The company will have representation in the UK and in Germany.
Oh, and the reference to middle earth? New Zealand’s rugged terrain was used as the backdrop in making the Lord of the Rings motion picture series. New Zealand is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places on the planet and needed little enhancement to substitute as the fantasy land portrayed in the film.