Preparations are well tuned for this year's Te Puke Float Parade.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Te Puke's Denny Hulme winning the Formula One world championship - and float parade organisers have pulled a few rabbits out of the hat to celebrate the occasion at the December 2 parade.

"How cool that Te Puke has a champion race car driver to celebrate," says Epic Te Puke marketing manager Rebecca Larsen.

Three cars owned by the great driver have been secured to be part of the parade:


• An MG TF lent by Hulme's widow Greeta Hulme, the first car he owned

• A Mini is lent by sister Anita Hulme. It was used by Hulme as his personal transport when he was in the UK

• A M23 McLaren, owned and raced by Hulme on loan from Sir Colin Giltrap

The red Mini was bought new by Hulme in 1960 when he first arrived in London with George Lawton, who bought an identical car. Lawton would be killed in a motor racing crash in Denmark later that year.

Anita was also in London at the time and when Hulme was away, she drove the car, which was later shipped back to New Zealand and has remained in the family. It was Anita's son Paul's first car when he was 15.

Anita drove the car at Hampton Downs at the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing's celebration of Hulme in 2013. It has rarely been driven since.

The float parade will be a celebration of the racing star's life and achievements and Rebecca encourages those decorating floats to follow the motor racing theme.

The parade will once again commence outside Te Puke Service Centre and travel east down Jellicoe St to the Oxford St roundabout and return along Jellicoe St to turn at RD1 to make a second circuit.

The parade starts at 11am.

The day will also include, as last year, a multicultural food festival.

It's easy to register a float or group.

Registration forms can be picked up from either the Te Puke Times office on Oxford St, or Te Puke Library on Jellicoe St or by contacting to have one emailed to you.

There will be the Eastpack supreme theme prize as well as three prize categories at the Seeka-sponsored parade: Affco Rangiuru Community Organisations category, Business Results Group Educator Sector category and Zespri International Business and Commercial category.

People are also invited to dress up themselves and their pets and walk with the parade.

Denny Hulme
Denny Hulme won the 1967 Formula One World Drivers' Championship for the Brabham team.

Between his debut at Monaco in 1965 and his final race in the 1974 US Grand Prix, he started 112 Grand Prix, had eight wins and was on the podium 33 times.

He also dominated the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) for Group 7 sports cars and was a member of the McLaren team that won five straight titles between 1967 and 1971.

He won the individual drivers' championship twice and was runner-up on four other occasions.

Denny Hulme's M23 McLaren, now owned by Colin Giltrap, that will feature in this year's Te Puke Christmas Float parade. Photo/Supplied
Denny Hulme's M23 McLaren, now owned by Colin Giltrap, that will feature in this year's Te Puke Christmas Float parade. Photo/Supplied

He raced for McLaren in multiple formats including Formula One and Can-Am, and at the Indianapolis 500.

Hulme retired from Formula One at the end of the 1974 season, but continued to race Australian Touring Cars.

He died after suffering a heart attack while driving a BMW M3 during the Bathurst 1000 in Australia in 1992.

He was born in Motueka in 1936, but was raised in Pongakawa, attending Pongakawa School and Te Puke High School.