A Quick His­tory

The lat­est word on the His­toric mo­tor rac­ing scene

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Sport - Chris David­son

The Syd­ney Retro Speed­fest pro­vided noth­ing but sat­is­fac­tion for this jaded scribe. The sheer joy on the com­peti­tors’ faces was clearly ev­i­dent on a beau­ti­ful Sun­day af­ter­noon, es­pe­cially af­ter dodgy weather on Satur­day. Stun­ning open-wheel­ers were present, but it was the tin-tops and sports cars that had the num­bers. Group S continues to kick goals and at the very front of the large field was a Porsche Car­rera bat­tle. Mean­while, the 1966 GT350s of Lau­rie Sell­ers and Chad Par­rish did the mus­cle car fans proud in the crowd favourite Sb class.

The Her­itage Tour­ing Cars ac­tion was turned on its head early, with favourites Terry Lawlor, Carey McMa­hon and Craig Mark­land all re­tir­ing be­fore things got se­ri­ous. In­ter­est­ing, the Satur­day af­ter­noon race turned out to be an evening race with plenty of head­lights blaz­ing. Mean­time, a few com­peti­tors found out the hard way that their rarely used lights didn’t ac­tu­ally work! The dark race was very re­ward­ing for both com­peti­tors and spec­ta­tors, as flames were il­lu­mi­nat­ing each cor­ner and brake discs glowed red. The Good­wood Re­vival runs a race into the evening that is very pop­u­lar with the fans; so per­haps our own Aus­tralian Mus­cle Car Masters could have a look into adding this spec­ta­cle to the billing? Cer­tainly race win­ner David Towe (JPS BMW M3) would be in favour.

Speak­ing of the Good­wood Re­vival, now that the North­ern Hemi­sphere has emerged from its win­ter, it’s time to pre­view the up­com­ing His­toric rac­ing sea­son. There are three ‘must do’ events for 2014, start­ing with the bi-an­nual Le Mans Clas­sic, July 4-6. This is the world’s largest and most pres­ti­gious His­toric meet­ing, with races on Satur­day evening and Sun­day for six eras of cars (1923-’39, ’49-’56, ’57-’61, ’62-’65, ’66-’71 and ’72’79). It should be on ev­ery fan’s bucket list. For the more dis­cern­ing racer, it’s about the only chance a mere mor­tal will ever get of hav­ing that sem­i­nal Steve McQueen mo­ment: belt­ing down Mul­sanne Straight at 300km/h. Like Aus­tralia’s Her­itage Tour­ing Cars, the Le Mans Clas­sic is con­tended by cars with pe­riod his­tory, so you know ev­ery car you’re watch­ing is some­thing very spe­cial.

Sec­ond ‘must-do’ on the cal­en­dar is the Rolex Mon­terey Mo­tor­sports Re­union, Au­gust 14-17. The races them­selves are mind-blow­ing, with the su­per­star Trans-Am cars from 1966 to 1971 head­lin­ing this year to tie in with the 50th an­niver­sary of the glob­ally pop­u­lar Mus­tang. All of the mind-bog­gling events that sur­round the Mon­terey his­torics make for a week any car guy will never for­get, cu­mu­lat­ing in the world’s most pres­ti­gious car show, the Peb­ble Beach Con­cours.

If your wife has not changed the locks and you still have some money, get yourself along to Chich­ester in the UK, for the Good­wood Re­vival, Septem­ber 12-14. The fea­ture race this year is the pre-1966 V8 Tour­ing Cars of USA ori­gin. Along with all the other events that make Good­wood spe­cial, 2014 and the V8 tour­ing cars sound like a per­fect fit for AMC read­ers. Com­peti­tors and spec­ta­tors alike dress in pe­riod cloth­ing.

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