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Last updated 05:00 15/01/2014
PROUD FAMILY: Bruce McLaren’s sister Jan, left, and Ryman retirement village sales adviser Chrissie Baker stand on the construction site of Dannemora’s newest retirement village.

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The family of racing legend Bruce McLaren always knew he was special.

Now more than 40 years after his death, Mr McLaren's memory continues to be immortalised in New Zealand and across the globe.

The $100 million Ryman retirement village in Dannemora will be named after the former formula one driver.

Sister Jan McLaren, who runs a family trust dedicated to her brother, says naming the village after him is something to be proud of.

"He's recognised worldwide so it's very gratifying to see more recognition in his home town. It's such a wonderful tribute."

Ryman often names its villages after famous New Zealanders including Sir Edmund Hillary, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Dame Malvina Major.

She says it's unclear what interaction the trust will have with the Bruce McLaren Retirement Village.

"But we do look forward to a wonderful working relationship.

"That will bring the whole situation to life."

And although Mr McLaren was raised in Remuera, his sister suspects he often whizzed around the streets of East Auckland.

"We had cousins out here so I'm sure he made the most of the roads in the area."

Other tributes to Mr McLaren's legacy include Bruce McLaren Intermediate School in West Auckland and the Bruce McLaren Scholarship for up-and-coming New Zealand racing drivers.

Ryman sales adviser Chrissie Baker says a number of people who have come to look at the village went to school with Mr McLaren, who would have been 75 this year.

"They love to make that association."

The village will eventually house about 400 residents with the first lot of apartments scheduled for completion in July.

A hospital and dementia unit will also be built on the Chapel Rd site, formerly home to the Howick Country Lodge.


At 22, Auckland-born Mr McLaren became the youngest driver to ever win a World Championship Formula One race, a record he held for 43 years.

Formed Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1963 – a team which still competes in formula one today and celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

At 32 his life was cut short when the can-am car he was test driving crashed at high speed. He was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990, into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame the following year and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1995.

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- Eastern Courier

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