Lockwood behind the wheel fulltime
Matt Lockwood's dream of being a fulltime professional driver is close to fruition.
Except that every time the Palmerston North racer stops in a public area, he will have to pay $100 for a weekly permit. He now has a Bedford truck in the garage alongside his Ford Falcon V8.
Lockwood is starting his own business after converting a retro 1974 Bedford campervan into a mobile beverage truck.
He plans to be on the streets of Auckland next month selling homemade fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, soups and hot drinks.
Lockwood's previous employer - he was a sales representative - went into liquidation, and he had no plans to follow his father, John, into the McMillan and Lockwood company.
"Many people thought I would take the reins from dad and carry on the family name," Lockwood said.
"I have always wanted to own my own company; I'm not much of an office man."
He might even give himself some free advertising on his race car.
He plans to race in the V8 SuperTourer enduros event later in the year for an as-yet-unconfirmed team.
Until now he had been competing in the SuperTourers V8 Challenge Cup series, which he won last year.
That cost about $15,000 a round so he has opted for the enduros instead this year, at about the same cost.
"I had to pick and choose the one which was more valuable."
His Mazda RX 7 was sold last year to Brodie Scott and the Falcon V8 is for sale.
Lockwood is a three-times national champion, in New Zealand V8 utes and twice in the Mazda Pro7 Plus series. He spent more than four months converting the Bedford at McMillan and Lockwood's premises in Palmerston North.
"I stripped it to the bare shell and built it from there."
He replaced the old diesel engine with a Holden V6.
"It's got quite a bit of grunt, to be honest.
"The nose of the truck comes down a bit like driving a drag car."
It will be slower with two full-sized fridges inside.
The idea came from a mate who returned from overseas and fancied selling smoothies and protein shakes; food trucks have become increasingly popular in Auckland.
He plans to set it up at motor-racing events, as well as at Sunday markets, outside firms and gyms.
Lockwood, who suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, is an ambassador for Arthritis NZ along with Olympic gold medallist rower Mahe Drysdale and former All Black Neemia Tialata.
- © Fairfax NZ News