527 Moorhouse Musclecars
527 Moorhouse Musclecars
527 Moorhouse Musclecars


Selling Price: $115,000  |  527 Moorhouse Ave

Vehicle ID: #2597

Body Coupe
Engine 5358cc, Petrol
Transmission 4-Speed Manual
FuelSaver -1 out of 6 stars, $-1 p.a.

This historically significant survivor race car has a remarkable NZ history and is credited with being the actual car which launched the very successful tin top racing career of the late Irvine Ian "Red" Dawson.
Is has been well documented that Red enjoyed great success power sliding this lightweight Willys Coupe around the popular NZ circuits of the day, and if you could manage to catch it, this was The car to beat through the mid Sixties in Saloon car racing.
With experience gained from taming the wild Willys Red would go on to race successfully through the sixties and seventies behind the wheel of Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros, and would later retire after a serious accident in his Decon Chevrolet Monza at Manfield in 1976.
This rare Willys Coupe was a serious competition car in its day born out of pure experience, Kiwi ingenuity, and pure genuine driving talent, being a formidable opponent to all who raced against it.
The Willys was retired at the end of the 1964-65 season, and was sold to Lynn Neilson, and then onto CH CH local Joe Madsen, and then onto Mr DJ Heaton, who advertised the Coupe in the Star news paper in January 1973 where it was purchased by the late Mr Neil Johnstone for the princely sum of $30.00!
Most old race cars from this era would have their story end around this time.....but the role Neil Johnson would play in this cars survival would prove to be crucial, as he would be the one to tuck it away were it remained almost completely untouched for the next 53 years!
What could have quite easily become the last resting place of this iconic car was a well known secret around CH CH , but thankfully current owner Harry Orpwood persevered in many attempts to be the next care taker of the car after first seeing it in 1974!
The legend that is the Red Dawson Coupe has recently received a long awaited sympathetic and truly authentic detailed reconstruction back to its glory days at the hands of Harry ensuring that the essence of this undisputed genuine survivor racer was retained and nothing was lost along the way.
Period correct running gear including some of the actual period engine parts have been used with the car is running a hot 327 4 bolt main engine, with Carrillo rods, forged pistons, a steel crank, roller cam, roller rockers with screw in studs which has been fully balanced, with its original "as raced" manifold and rebuilt twin Fours, running into a rebuilt Super T-10 with a 39 V8 diff running hydraulic brakes, and the original Red built sway bars and tramp rods from the period.
This old girl has since proved herself more than capable with a few skids up Rod Millans Drive way at the Lead Foot Festival, but with other projects in the wings it's time to go on to the next chapter.
The prices of these cars in the US now unrestored and needing a lot of work reflect the desirability of this model, you couldn't buy and land a car like this for anywhere near the price with absolutely no history......so here's your chance to own a genuine Kiwi Icon that you can actually use the way it was intended.


Moorhouse Muscle CarsView Map
527 Moorhouse Ave

Phone: 03 982 2834

After hours call Darryn Harper 021 407 401 or
Steve Gardiner 021 1141760
Email darryn@ms527.net.nz

Welcome to 527 Moorhouse Musclecars - RMVT.