He was a champion, a hero to many, entertaining and humble.
He was Barry Hunter Snr - a true Rotorua legend.
Described as one of the best stock car drivers in New Zealand, Hunter Snr put up a good race when it came to his health but lost his battle with a long-running illness on Tuesday.
Hunter Snr was 67 when he died. He is survived by his wife, Paige, and four children - Gary, Russell, Barry Jnr and Sheree.
Almost every New Zealand stock car title has Hunter Snr's name on it, including winning the New Zealand Championships in 1990 and going on to race in the world champs in England.
In 1986 he was the captain of the team that won the New Zealand Stock Car Teams Event for the Rotorua Rebels and last year he was inducted into the Team Champs Hall of Fame, the only Rotorua person to have received the honour.
Off the race track, he was a larger than life consummate entertainer with an incredible voice. When he threw on his Elvis costume, he would bring the house down and was often called upon to perform alongside his fellow legendary friend the late Bea Yates, who was a Tina Turner impersonator.
This week friends and family are gathering at the Hunter family home to pay tribute to the great driver.
As they sit around telling stories and remembering great moments, eldest son Gary Hunter hit the nail on the head.
"Our dad, yeah, he was the man."
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Gary Hunter said his father was told three years ago he had just three weeks to live.
"That shows you what sort of person he was."
By day, Hunter Snr ran his family logging truck firms - firstly the Hunter Brothers which he owned alongside his father and brother, and later when he bought his own trucks for Tuihana Logging.
Gary Hunter said it wasn't just his children who looked up to Hunter Snr. He was also influential in the career of his nephew, legendary driver Darcy Hunter, who died aged 42 in 2017 from cancer.
Gary Hunter said all the kids and their cousins admired his father's skills.
"People flocked to come and see him.
"He always wanted us to be the best and always pushed us to be the best we can. We all have cars, it's in our blood."
Rotorua Stockcar Club secretary Sonja Hickey described Hunter Snr as a "real character".
"I don't use the word lightly but he was a real legend. It wasn't just his ability to drive a speedway car but his charisma as well, and his Elvis impersonations. He had the most amazing and beautiful voice."
She said there would be drivers all around the country who would come to pay their respects to Hunter Snr this week.
Family friend Ngahi Bidois described Hunter Snr as his "hero".
"When I was a child at the speedway track, all of us Māori kids had one person who we supported and that was Barry Hunter.
"He comes from a humble logging truck family, he was down to earth and it was a privilege to get to know him over the years."
Bidois said when Hunter Snr raced in the world champs in England, his car had power steering, one of the first drivers to use that new technology at the time.
"He was one of the first to do that and I remember at the time the Poms were like 'those Kiwis, what are they doing?'. He was highly skilled and one of the best drivers to come out of New Zealand."
One of the last phone calls Bidois had from Hunter Snr was just a few weeks ago when he called to congratulate Bidois on his son, Eruera, who is a new doctor at Rotorua Hospital.
"He just made the call to say 'you've got a great boy there' and he explained everything to him well. I said to him 'Barry, I'm just pleased that my family is able to give you something back because you have given so much to me'."
Bidois said Hunter Snr was one of the sole reasons many people became hooked on speedway.
"They would go just to watch Barry. He was such a good driver, he was so full of life, a hard case and never arrogant. He was just a real champion."
Hunter Snr's funeral will be held at the Rotorua Stockcar Track on Paradise Valley Rd on Friday at 11am followed by a burial at Pukepoto Uru Pa. A hākari (meal) will follow at the Rotorua Stockcar Club clubrooms.