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Australian Muscle Car - - Immortal Muscle -

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cial pa­per­work on the two 1984 HDT Com­modore VKs seems to be thin on the ground. Sadly, the where­abouts of the two orig­i­nal log­books is un­known.

In the ab­sence of a car’s log­book, the next best thing is the log­book ap­pli­ca­tion made by a team to the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Aus­tralian Mo­tor Sport prior to the ve­hi­cle’s rac­ing de­but.

Pre­vi­ous AMC re­search into HDT Com­modores for other projects on other team cars of the pe­riod shows that sim­ple de­tails re­fer­ring to chas­sis or body num­bers weren’t in­cluded in log­book ap­pli­ca­tions to CAMS, though they were recorded in the ac­tual log­books them­selves.

Our sources have con­firmed this was the case for the two log­book ap­pli­ca­tions made for the two day-glo VKs with ‘NIL’ listed in the crit­i­cal chas­sis num­ber field.

In any case, the first com­pleted Big Banger car – con­firmed by a range of sources – was known as HDT COM 6 with a mark­ing as such made in the strut tower. That same mark­ing is ev­i­dent on the car in Bathurst’s NMRM.

The sec­ond car was known as HDT COM 7 and, given that the front end/strut tow­ers of that car were re­placed at some stage after ac­ci­dents over­seas, it has had a small ‘HDT COM 7’ plate added to it that is not orig­i­nal from 1984.

HDT me­chanic Jeff Grech vividly re­calls that the first com­pleted car was Brock’s and stayed as #05 for its en­tire, al­beit brief, rac­ing life. This in it­self is sim­ple ev­i­dence that the first com­pleted car would be the ear­lier chas­sis num­ber – and that had been #05. “Yes, the 05 car was the first built,” he says. “To be fair, when you mean ‘first built’, they were ac­tu­ally built along­side one another to­gether.

“But the car that was in the photo shoot was #05 and it stayed #05. It was the pri­or­ity and it was im­por­tant to have it done.

“I re­mem­ber we didn’t shake the #25 car down at Calder; it wasn’t ready. From mem­ory, Larry [Perkins] was still do­ing the sec­ond man­i­fold and the adap­tor plate for it and a few other things.

“We fi­nally made Sandown. The #25 car didn’t

run un­til then. It didn’t get a shake­down but they were sim­ple cars and it re­ally didn’t need it.”

Grech sup­plied AMC with a photo of an en­gine bay of one of the HDT cars from Sandown 1984. It clearly shows a date writ­ten on the bat­tery in texta – ‘6/9/1984’ – which was the Thurs­day of race week at Sandown given the race was on Sun­day Septem­ber 9.

Another photo shows the #05 car be­ing pushed back into the bay near­est pit exit of the two used by the HDT that week­end (and we also have another photo taken by another pho­tog­ra­pher from the rear of the garage show­ing the same), mean­ing we’re 99.9 per cent sure the en­gine bay im­age is of #25.

The mark­ing of such a late date of the bat­tery would line up with Grech’s rec­ol­lec­tion that the sec­ond car was fin­ished only just be­fore Sandown and did not run prior to head­ing out there for the Cas­trol 500. The last minute scram­ble didn’t stop the HDT fin­ish­ing first and third.

Top: This pre-Sandown shot sup­plied by Neill Burns shows the two VKs ready for the short trip to their first race. Cen­tre: The NMRM car dis­plays the COM #06 stamp on the strut tower. Be­low: En­gine-builder Burns in the HDT work­shop.

Top: Brock and Perkins gave the new #05 a de­but win at Sandown. Cen­tre: #25 en­gine’s bay at Sandown with the bat­tery’s date-mark­ing ev­i­dent.

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