1974 Talon MR1A-03 F5000
Owner: Peter Burson, New Zealand
The Talon MR1A Chev F5000 was a production version of the McRae GM2 designed by New Zealand’s Graham McRae.
American-based Jack McCormack purchased the GM2 project from McRae and built five Talon MR1A cars, but these were some 50kg heavier than the GM2 that McRae drove himself.
Chris Amon drove a Talon MR1A in the 1975 International Tasman Series. At the first event held at Levin on 5 January 1975, Chris blew the engine in practice and could qualify no better than ninth place of 15 cars. After suffering further engine problems, he retired from the main race after only 15 of the 84 laps. At the New Zealand International Grand Prix (NZIGP) meeting held at Pukekohe on 12 January 1975, he qualified second to McRae but finished down in seventh place after tyre changes in the wet/dry race. In the Lady Wigram Trophy race held on 19 January 1975, Chris qualified with the same lap time as McRae, so they tossed a coin and unsurprisingly Chris came 2nd. In the main race his engine soon dropped to only seven of the 8 cylinders, and he retired after only 19 of the scheduled 44 laps with a cracked cylinder
head. Chris qualified in second place again to McRae at the Teretonga International held on 26 January 1975, and held on to finish first by 20 seconds.
On to the Australian legs of the 1975 Tasman Cup, Chris finished fourth on 60 of the 61 laps at Oran Park on 2 February 1975, before heading on to Surfers Paradise a week later where he retired after only 26 laps with engine trouble. One week later he was at the Adelaide Raceway on 16 February 1975, where he again finished fourth. The final race of the 1975 series was at Sandown, near Melbourne, on 23 February 1975 – where he finished fifth. Chris took an overall fifth place in the Tasman Cup to first-placed Warwick Brown (Lola T332 Chev) followed by joint second places to Graeme Lawrence (Lola T332 Chev) and John Walker ((Lola T332 Repco) with John McCormack (Elfin MT6 Repco) in 4th. Chris remembers the series as one in which he drove a ‘good car but with a lousy engine. He was always struggling for engine power in his Talon compared to the power of other cars, and of course his car was 50kg heavier than the similar car of McRae’s.
Chris was reunited on 21 December 2010 with the 1974 Talon MR1A F5000 Peter Burson. This car was brought to New Zealand and raced by Tony Roberts before the car was purchased by Peter and raced by his son Aaron Burson. The Talon will be raced at the first weekend of the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing celebrating Chris Amon by Aaron Burson. Aaron is hopeful that Chris will do some demonstration laps in the Talon on the second weekend of the Festival.