For New Zealander Ken Smith, his racing career spans more decades than many people have working lives. Born in 1942 Ken is able to boast an unbroken 48 seasons behind the wheel.
Having raced against the best drivers New Zealand has produced, Ken is also well known on the international stage for wins such as the 1982 Malaysian Grand Prix and three times winner of the Penang Grand Prix. His start in the sport was at a time when names such as Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon and Denny Hulme were also emerging.
Well known by iconic names like Jackie Stewart and Stirling Moss, Smith has the honoured distinction of being one of the last few standing among his fellow aged peers.
The only event that nearly thwarted Smith's career behind the wheel was a triple heart bypass operation in 1987. While many thought his career was over, his return three months later saw him carry on where he left off. The perfect example of the determination and courage required to be successful.
Starting with an Austin Ulster that he first raced in the 1950's, Smith has owned and raced a huge range of cars. One of very few who can boast they have owned a Formula One car, the Leyton House March was one such time in history where Ken Smith was once again the feature.
Inducted in to the MotorSport New Zealand hall of fame in 1995, he was also honoured in the Queen's birthday honours list by being awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire) in 1988.
While it's more than just a way of life for Ken Smith, his attitude has inspired more than just his own career. Regarded as a foster father to many talented drivers in New Zealand, Ken Smith was instrumental in helping Scott Dixon into a career abroad - where Scott now races professionally in the Indy Racing League.
Other drivers he has been involved with include Matt Halliday, Christina Orr, Nelson Hartley and his younger brother Brendon.
A long time campaigner of the current premiere open-wheel class, Ken Smith has yet to win the Formula Ford Championship. Instead, he has had to play bridesmaid (runner-up) a total of four times. "It's an incredibly hard championship to win and after all these years you'd think I'd get a turn!" said Smith recently.
That aside, Smith has a string of titles and awards to his name. One of only three drivers who have won the New Zealand Grand Prix three times, his most recent victory in January 2004 has again proven he has lost none of his ability behind the wheel.
The owner of a number of current and classic race cars, Smith has had a huge number of priviledged drives throughout his driving life, both in New Zealand and overseas.
While currently looking to contest the Toyota Racing Series championship for 2005, Smith has a number of cars, memorabilia and engines all suitable for a good home.