Denny Hulme was the son of World War II Victoria Cross winner Clive Hulme. In 1960, aged 24, he won a Driver-to-Europe scholarship, and worked for F1 driver and constructor Jack Brabham in England.
Hulme won both the 1967 Monaco and German Grands Prix, and ultimately the World Drivers’ Championship – the only New Zealander to achieve this. The 1967 Monaco Grand Prix was arguably New Zealand’s most successful F1 race, with Chris Amon third in a Ferrari, and Bruce McLaren fourth in a McLaren.
In 1968, Hulme joined McLaren’s team, winning in Italy and Canada. Driving with Bruce McLaren, he won all 11 races in the 1969 Canadian-American Challenge Cup – a series which became known as the ‘Bruce and Denny Show’. He won the Swedish Grand Prix in 1973, and retired from F1 in 1974.
While Hulme was racing, the chances of an F1 driver being killed were two out of three, but he defied the odds. He died of a heart attack while driving in the Bathurst 1000 in Australia – the first F1 World Champion to die from natural causes.
Motor racing is my life. If I should by chance become World Champion this year I’ll still keep going. But I’m a New Zealand boy who just likes driving. Racing won’t change me – I won’t let it.
Denny Hulme, London, 1967, quoted by Desmond Mahoney in his book Trio at the Top. The story of Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme, Chris Amon (1970)
In the exhibition you will be able to see excerpts of the following race footage:
Denny Hulme winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, 7 May 1967.