One of South Canterbury's "good blokes" has finished his final lap.
There was standing room only at the Caroline Bay Hall yesterday as hundreds of mourners paid their respects to Timaru businessman and car enthusiast David Brown.
Mr Brown, 58, died at Timaru International Motor Raceway last weekend, while racing in the classic and historic car meeting.
At yesterday's service "Brownie" was remembered by family and friends as a devoted family man with a quick wit and generous nature.
His wife Julie was described as "his soulmate".
Daughter-in-law Natasha Brown spoke of a man who had been the leader of a tight-knit family. "David was always a big softie, with a huge heart. He was a straight-up person and fun to be around."
Friends told of how Mr Brown's passion for cars was exceeded only by his love of his family. For every tear, there seemed a moment of laughter, as mourners were told of Mr Brown's fear of heights, white legs and dislike for the water – he was described as a "dry boatie".
South Canterbury Car Club secretary Karen Paddon spoke of the loss the club felt. "David was a beloved friend, and fiercely competitive. David's passing will leave a huge void in our club."
She spoke of his love of Datsun cars. "He was an unofficial ambassador for Datsun, choosing that brand ahead of all others."
It was his pride and joy, a 1976 Datsun Cherry 100a, that Mr Brown was racing when he died.
Fellow drivers, some who had raced with him since the 1970s, remembered a man always willing to help other drivers with advice or with his tools, repairing damaged cars.
Mr Brown's coffin was led from Caroline Bay Hall by a lone bagpiper and through a guard of honour formed by South Canterbury Car Club flag marshals.
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