A birthday salute to McLaren's third-ever employee

©McLaren

A veteran of 41 Grands Prix starts, Howden Ganley was born on this day in 1941 in Hamilton, New Zealand, and unbeknownst to many the Kiwi was actually McLaren's third-ever employee.

A trip to the 1955 New Zealand GP sparked Ganley's interest for the sport and incited him to become a young reporter for the Waikato Times before he took to the track at the wheel of a Lotus Eleven.

At just 19, Ganley moved to England where he attempted to further his racing career but was also offered a job as a mechanic by Bruce McLaren, or rather as a 'gopher' until he proved he was competent enough to thread a nut onto the end of a bolt.

But racing beckoned once again and from the late sixties there was no looking back for Ganley who made his F1 debut with BRM in the 1971 South African GP.

Ganley soldiered on for another couple of seasons, with BRM and Frank Williams' team before he concluded his career in F1 with March in early 1974.