Australian Muscle Car - - V8 Sleuth -

Aques­tion I was asked re­cently helps give us a Ford ‘blue oval’ spring­board into my col­umn this is­sue. The rise of the Aus­tralian 5 Litre Tour­ing Car As­so­ci­a­tion has put plenty of fo­cus and at­ten­tion on the his­to­ries of these more mod­ern V8 ‘clas­sics’ and plenty of eyes will have spotted the Peter Jack­son Fal­con EF (orig­i­nally an EB) owned by An­dre Mathe­son and pre­pared and driven by as­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Troy Kelly.

A few people have asked me re­cently (some on the look out for restora­tion projects, oth­ers sim­ply out of in­ter­est) where did all of the PJ/ Glenn Se­ton Rac­ing EB Fal­cons go? As Se­ton’s EBs were the early pace­set­ters of the cat­e­gory that be­came known as V8 Su­per­cars, they are of con­sid­er­able sig­nif­i­cance to many stu­dents of Aussie mo­tor rac­ing his­tory.

The sad an­swer is that most of the GSR EBs have gone to the five-litre scrapheap, mak­ing the sur­viv­ing ones all the more valu­able.

A to­tal of five Se­ton EB Fal­cons were con­structed and only two sur­vive to this day.

The orig­i­nal car (GSR1) – de­buted at Sandown in 1992 – was crashed at the Ade­laide Grand Prix meet­ing and writ­ten off. Mean­while the sec­ond car, GSR2, was smashed to smithereens in a test­ing ac­ci­dent at Phillip Is­land the fol­low­ing year with Drew Price at the helm. This was the car that Alan Jones used for the first half of 1993.

The third chas­sis – used by Se­ton for all bar one round of the 1993 Aus­tralian Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship on his way to his maiden ti­tle – has sur­vived but sits as a bare shell. More info on that fur­ther into this col­umn…

The fourth chas­sis was Se­ton’s Bathurst 1993 and ’94 ATCC car. It was writ­ten off in a test­ing crash at Lake­side in early 1999 in the hands of pri­va­teer Charles Ry­man.

The fifth Se­ton EB is the afore­men­tioned Mathe­son car. GSR5 is now in the EF body­work as it fin­ished sec­ond at Bathurst in 1995 with Alan Jones and Al­lan Grice at the helm, but was an EB II the year be­fore when it de­buted and was put on pole for the 1000 by Se­ton him­self.

There’s been some re­cent move­ment in terms of col­lectable Ford race­cars too, that I thought our read­ers would be keen to know about.

Kerry Tur­ley’s ex-John Goss Fal­con XB GT Group C car ( AMC cover story car in is­sue #39, 2008) has found a new home with col­lec­tor Dean Mont­gomery, with some­thing of a ‘chang­ing places’ sit­u­a­tion un­fold­ing as Tur­ley has now taken own­er­ship from Mont­gomery of the ex-Jim Beam/Dick John­son Rac­ing Fal­con BF, which fin­ished third at Bathurst in 2007 with Steve John­son and Will Dav­i­son.

Mont­gomery has also re­cently se­cured the GSR3 Se­ton 1993 ATCC-win­ning chas­sis. This car was also the win­ner of the 1993 Sandown 500 en­duro, in its dis­tinc­tive blue (with yel­low and red) liv­ery, in the ca­pa­ble hands of Ge­off Brab­ham and David Parsons.

The car was sub­se­quently owned by John

Sid­ney Rac­ing and Toll Rac­ing (Anthony Tratt).

It lay dor­mant for the best part of fif­teen years with a restora­tion project un­der­way. It’s a long road ahead (as you can see from the photo), but to see the car that won the first cham­pi­onship run un­der five-litre rules that we now know as V8 Su­per­cars will be a very spe­cial sight in­deed.

Speak­ing of restora­tion projects, you may re­mem­ber in late 2012 (is­sue #65 to be ex­act) we went on a mis­sion to find the ex-Bob Jones Am­pol Max 3 Com­modore VP and sub­se­quently found it in Tas­ma­nia.

I’m pleased to tell you that owner Gary Can­nan has com­pleted a restora­tion back to the fa­mil­iar black liv­ery with red wheels as the car ran in 1993 – and it looks a treat!

Work be­gan on the car not long af­ter our fol­lowup story ran in AMC with quite a bit of work to con­vert the Com­modore from VR spec back to VP.

The 1993 Sandown 500 run­ner-up broke cover re­cently at Baskerville with plenty of people thrilled to see her back in fa­mil­iar colours.

“I’m thrilled with how it’s come out,” Gary told the V8 Sleuth re­cently.

“I couldn’t be­lieve how much in­ter­est there was in the car at the track – it was amaz­ing. I heard one bloke say ‘gee, not a bad im­i­ta­tion’ and then an­other bloke quickly cor­rected him and said ‘no way, it’s the real deal car’!

“I’m plan­ning to take it to the Win­ton Fes­ti­val of Speed in Au­gust (the first time the car will have been to the main­land since 1996!) to run with the Aus­tralian 5-Litre Tour­ing Car As­so­ci­a­tion guys and I’m also keen to bring it to Sandown in Novem­ber for the His­toric event there.

“Now I want to do an­other one – I’m in­spired! I’m think­ing about an­other Com­modore, per­haps a VP or a VR or VS. The Am­pol car can go into moth­balls now as there’s nowhere to re­ally race it in Tas­ma­nia any­way.”

Many read­ers have been ea­ger to learn about our next batch of re­leases in the Seven Sport Magic Mo­ments of Mo­tor­sport DVD se­ries.

I am thrilled to con­firm a to­tal of five re­leases for the up­com­ing year – one more DVD than 2012 and 2013.

We’ll have Bathurst 1979 in its en­tirety with the whole nine-hour race tele­cast on a two-DVD set. It’s the 35th an­niver­sary of Peter Brock and Jim Richards’ stun­ning six-lap win so it’s a re­lease to be savoured.

Bathurst 1976 will also be re­leased with the five hours of avail­able cov­er­age from that race, com­plete with Jack Brab­ham be­ing rammed on the grid and Bob Mor­ris in tears as John Fitz­patrick limped to the line.

Three of Dick John­son’s best ATCC race wins will be pack­aged to­gether in an­other re­lease, while three ‘Great Grand Fi­nals’ will fea­ture in an­other re­lease fo­cus­ing on the ti­tle-de­cid­ing ATCC rounds at Oran Park in 1987, 1990 and 1995.

There’s more Group A Tour­ing Car Clas­sics with Vol­ume 2 fo­cus­ing on the first round of the ATCC run to Group A rules at Win­ton in 1985 fol­lowed by the fiery Lake­side 1989 event and Ama­roo Park in 1992 – the fi­nal year of Group A in Aus­tralia.

There’s also a spe­cial bonus race – the World Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship Calder 500 race on the com­bined road course and Thun­der­dome – it’s the full four-hour en­duro and a real must for tour­ing car con­nois­seurs! Keep your eyes peeled for the on-sale dates via my so­cial me­dia chan­nels in up­com­ing months and in the pages of this very mag­a­zine. So

far no luck with leads on the early 1960s vi­sion at the Na­tional Mo­tor Rac­ing Mu­seum I men­tioned in my last col­umn. Some sug­ges­tions have come in that the vi­sion was Ci­ne­sound/ Movi­etone News, but I can 100 per­cent guar­an­tee the vi­sion I saw was broad­cast Chan­nel 7 vi­sion. We will keep Sleuthing and see what we can come up with!

As al­ways, I love hear­ing from AMC read­ers with ques­tions, in­for­ma­tion or feed­back, so shoot me a note to aaron@v8sleuth.com.au and keep read­ing fu­ture is­sues for sto­ries that could some­times be deemed stranger than fic­tion…

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