John Lovelady – 13/3/1961 – 12/4/2021
John Lovelady always had an interest in cars from an early age. His childhood was spent tinkering with cars on the family block in the hills of Adelaide, and when the family moved to NZ in 1976 Johns interest developed into the building of his first racecar in 1980 to race at Woodford Glen Speedway in Christchurch. A request from a fellow driver in 1984 started the path to building cars for other people and in June 1987 John and wife Chris started Lovelady Racecars. The business was immediately successful and also included a long standing partnership in the Modified class with Greg Keegan. This partnership was one of the most successful of its time with Greg piloting a Lovelady modified to NZ championship, Grand Prix, South Island and provincial championships. Throughout this period Lovelady Racecars grew to build many racecars for customers throughout New Zealand.
In 1993 the family moved the business to Darfield, 35km west of Christchurch and has been based there ever since. John has lost track of the number of cars that have been built through the workshop – well over 100! While most of the cars have been for dirt track racing there have also been some interesting one-off projects including a door slammer, rail dragster, altered dragster, pre 65 saloon, OSCAR, TransAm, Hot Rod and a drag bike!
The majority of cars have been for the modified, saloon and super saloon classes, and these continue to be the most popular today.
John is on a continual path of learning and always looking at ways to develop the cars for better performance. He was given his mantra – PLAN, DO, MEASURE, IMPROVE by Graham Lockie (ex PPG sponsor) back in the early 90s and it’s something that he keeps with him in his daily work.
Quality and attention to detail have always been paramount in design and manufacture and this shows in the performance and longevity of the cars with some still racing in some form more than 25 years after they were built.
Hand spun wheels are also a specialty of the business with steel sheets carefully moulded over dyes on the largest lathe in the workshop.
Lovelady Racecars continue to present quality cars and components to the track and welcome your enquiry on how our services can help you.