Amon grew up on a farm near Ohakea Air Force base. He competed for 13 years in F1, surviving some serious accidents and gaining a reputation as an excellent driver.
As a teenager, he learned to fly and also raced old cars along the beach. He progressed to competing in hill climbs (a branch of motorsport), then in races in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe.
Although widely admired for his driving skills, an F1 World Championship win remained just out of his reach. Amon’s bad luck with mechanical problems in F1 events was legendary. Despite having pole position five times, he never won a world championship Grand Prix, but did win two non-championship F1 Grands Prix – Silverstone (1970) and the Argentine Grand Prix (1971). Sports car races he won included the Le Mans 24 Hours (1966), the 1000km Monza (1967), and the Daytona 24 Hours (1967). He also won the 1969 Tasman Series.
Amon retired from F1 at age 33 at the end of 1976, and returned to a career on the family farm. He continues his involvement in the New Zealand motor industry as a consultant for Toyota.
A lot of people have said I am unlucky … I was jinxed and things … there’s two ways of looking at that. Some of the lucky ones aren’t here. So … I’ve always balanced one against the other.
Chris Amon in Trio at the Top, TVNZ documentary, 2001
In the exhibition you will be able to see excerpts of the following race footage:
Chris Amon at the French Grand Prix, Clermont Ferrand, 2 July 1972.