NMRM car: photo analysis
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.