When liv­er­ies go wrong

Australian Muscle Car - - Immortal Muscle -


first shake­down test of the first HDT Big Banger VK Com­modore at Calder went wrong – and not for the me­chan­i­cal rea­sons some­thing usu­ally goes wrong at a first test. Ex-HDT me­chanic Jeff Grech takes up the story. “We had a lit­tle bit of a hic­cup be­cause Phillip Mor­ris wanted the For­mula 1 day-glo Marl­boro liv­ery,” he re­calls.

“We got it out and HDT down in Le­vi­son Street (the road car di­vi­sion in North Mel­bourne) had a spray booth and they painted it and went out to Calder on the Wed­nes­day to give it a shake­down and the whole day-glo sec­tion on the front peeled off like plas­tic! It was be­cause we didn’t have the right primer or some­thing, I can’t re­mem­ber ex­actly why, but it was a hur­ried re-paint.

“When all of the orange peeled off it, the sign guy ‘Barnesy’, who was a com­mer­cial sign­writer, he was there un­til 3am in the morn­ing fix­ing it.

“We did the press photo shoot – the one of the car in the stu­dio that is on all of the Big Banger posters of that year and the shots in the var­i­ous mag­a­zines of the time – and the car didn’t have an en­gine in it then.

“The sig­nage wasn’t stick­ers back in those days. ‘Barnesy’ hand-painted both cars. He got the ‘O’ wrong on the flare in the Marl­boro sign (for the shoot, vis­i­ble in the press pho­tos) but we had to take the photo as it was in the stu­dio so he then got a pro­jec­tor and had to cor­rect it.

“There will be dif­fer­ences in ex­act po­si­tion­ing of lo­gos and sig­nage on the two cars be­cause they were hand-painted.”

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