A statue commemorating New Zealand motorsport icon Chris Amon at Bulls’ new community centre is the pipeline.
Amon was born in the small Bulls town where he was taught how to drive by a paddock worker on his father’s sheep farm.
Upon leaving school, Amon looked to start a career in motorsport.
Starting with entering the odd Hillclimb in an Austin A40, Amon worked himself onto the Formula 1 grid. There, the Kiwi raced for the likes of Ferrari, Matra and BRM.
Amon is often considered the greatest driver to have never won a Grand Prix, such was his talent and his incredible misfortune.
In the 1972 French Grand Prix, Amon was almost destined to finally snare an elusive win. But on the 18th lap he was seen limping back to the pits. The left front tyre had been punctured by a loose stone.
Rejoining the race down in eighth, Amon went about with a stupendous recovery effort. He fought himself up to third, smashing the previous lap record by over seven seconds and coming tantalisingly close to snatching second at the line.
He would end his F1 career with 96 starts, 11 podiums, five pole positions and three fastest laps.
Still, Amon did win the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Bruce McLaren – a victory recreated in the recent Ford vs Ferrari film.
He would also win the 1969 Tasman Series, beating the likes of Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt and Piers Courage in his own backyard.
In 2016, the Manfeild circuit near Palmerston North renamed itself Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in honour of the motor racing legend.
Now, Bulls Museum committee members have approached the Rangitīkei District Council about erecting a statue of Amon outside its new community centre.
The hope is to have the statue as a drawcard for local and international motorsport fans.
The planned design will have a life-sized Amon donning a victory wreath, with two red and white panels on either side of him to recreate his helmet’s paint scheme.
Three-time F1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart is said to have thrown support behind the idea.
Stuff has suggested that the overall cost of the statue will be around $200,000.
Final confirmation on the statue lies in local iwi and council members’ hands as they decide on what artwork will decorate the green space.