NMRM car: photo anal­y­sis

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pho­to­graphic anal­y­sis of shots from the 1984 James Hardie 1000 and sub­se­quent events show stone chips and marks that are eas­ily iden­ti­fi­able and matched on the Mu­seum car as it sits to­day un­re­stored, al­beit with some body­work hav­ing been touched up. For this to be sim­ply a co-in­ci­dence would be quite un­fath­omable.

Dif­fer­ences in the hand-painted sig­nage of the #05 and #25 cars in 1984 is also clear upon close anal­y­sis of images from the pe­riod.

A good ex­am­ple is the ‘Marl­boro’ sig­nage on the bon­net. On the 1984 #05 car the ‘l’ sits to the left of the swedge line of the bon­net. On the 1984 #25 car it runs partly through this ver­ti­cal line. The NMRM car as it sits to­day cor­re­sponds with #05 from 1984.

Of course, pan­els (and pe­riph­er­als such mir­rors) can be swapped be­tween ve­hi­cles rel­a­tively eas­ily and there­fore don’t, on their own, pro­vide con­clu­sive proof. How­ever, match­ing hand-painted sig­nage does help to present an over­all pic­ture.

It’s a sim­i­lar story inside the cabin, with cor­re­spond­ing mark­ings.

We’ve dug deep into the AMC photo ar­chives in our of­fices and dis­cov­ered a shot that clearly shows the cock­pit of the #05 car with Brock at the wheel at Bathurst 1984. Com­par­ing this im­age with a shot of the in­te­rior as it sits in the NMRM, it’s clear to see that they match.

As Terry Mor­gan men­tioned, many very small items have been ‘sou­venired’ from the car over the pe­riod when Mu­seum vis­i­tors were per­mit­ted to sit in the car. How­ever, many of the hand-painted in­stru­men­ta­tion mark­ings have sur­vived.

You can see the ‘ALT’ sign on the in­stru­ment panel re­mains as per the orig­i­nal, while the ‘Fuel’, ‘Wat’ stick­ers on those di­als have been re­moved.

Note the slight brush mark above the hor­i­zon­tal in the ‘L’ in ‘ALT’ in both the 1984 and 2014 shots. There is the tell­tale mark to the left of the in­stru­ments where you can clearly see the mark left from the re­moval of the in­struc­tion panel for light sig­nals (as clearly vis­i­ble in the 1984 shot).

If you look at the 1984 in­te­rior photo closely, you can see the white (with red text) sticker just to the left of the steer­ing wheel. It is the CAMS ap­proval sticker with space for the log­book num­ber. Sadly the left side of the steer­ing wheel is block­ing that de­tail…

The most con­clu­sive de­tail ev­i­dence we’ve found is vis­i­ble in a photo we have dug out of John Goss kneel­ing next to the #05 car with Brock at the wheel. This im­age, taken as Brock waited for pit exit to open ahead of prac­tice or qual­i­fy­ing at Bathurst in 1984, clearly shows the roll-cage just be­hind the B-pil­lar on the driver’s side. Com­pare the pho­tos to the car to­day in the NMRM and you can see the scuff marks on the roll-cage and the welds are the same.

We’ve in­cluded a 2014 shot of #05’s pas­sen­ger side B-pil­lar roll-cage to il­lus­trate that no two welds are the same.

Be­fore you ask, we looked for a photo from 1984 that showed #25’s roll-cage weld but none of the 2000 images in our ar­chive from that event showed the cor­re­spond­ing area. In any case, the orig­i­nal roll-cage in #25 was re­moved dur­ing its time in the UK after a heavy hit and sub­se­quent re­build.

Above: The ‘l’ in the hand-painted ‘Marl­boro’ sits to the left of the swedge line on the NMRM car, as it did on #05 in 1984. On #25 (pic­tured on race week­end) the swedge line passes through the ‘l’. wwTop right: The hand-painted in­stru­men­ta­tion mark­ings on the dash of NMRM car to­day (right) matches the dash mark­ings from #05 in the 1984 James Hardie 1000 (left). This is de­spite almost three decades of mu­seum vis­i­tors sit­ting in the car. Note the brush strokes. Cen­tre right: B-pil­lar black paint over­run.

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