WITH AARON NOONAN
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 email@example.com and keep reading future issues for stories that could sometimes be deemed stranger than fiction…