Graeme ‘Mort’ Brown

Australian Muscle Car - - Immortal Muscle -

Graeme

‘Mort’ Brown was part of the Holden Dealer Team when the Big Bangers were built and raced. He later ran Brock’s race op­er­a­tions in the Mo­bil-era post-HDT prior to work­ing for Bridge­stone Mo­tor­sport.

He is adamant the 1984 Bathurst-win­ning car went to Perth and later Eng­land.

“I know ex­actly that was the car,” he told AMC.

“I never, ever wanted it to go to John Far­rell. He and Brock were tied up with deals on boats.

“Far­rell got the real car. It was crap. I can re­mem­ber see­ing him driv­ing it around Wanneroo and I’m think­ing ‘this is not right’. It was the same as when Brock sold the A9X.

“Like with all of those deals on old race cars, noth­ing was ever done on pa­per. That’s where it be­comes even harder to ver­ify what went on.

“I’ve got some good pho­tos of when we did the ac­tual de­sign­ing of those cars and stuff like that, but noth­ing that would stand out and shut up all the peo­ple who say he [Peter Cham­pion] hasn’t got the right car.”

Brown was re­spon­si­ble for de­liv­er­ing one of the 1984 VKs to Bathurst coun­cil and drove the other to Perth in 1985 in the HDT trans­porter to the Wanneroo ATCC meet­ing.

He also con­firmed to AMC that there were in­deed two brand new VK Com­modore ‘Big Bangers’ built.

“(The) bot­tom line is I know what I de­liv­ered to the Bathurst Mu­seum,” he says. “I also ne­go­ti­ated after I de­liv­ered it to the fel­low in charge of the re­build of it.

“My rec­ol­lec­tion is we had to give the Mu­seum an 05 Com­modore. We were asked by Holden through the Mu­seum that they wanted the win­ning car from 1984. And we couldn’t give it to them so we have them the car that looked the same.

“Be­cause no one was pre­pared to pay any money, we couldn’t build a com­plete car, so we had to give them what we had. That was the plan – give them the shell and what parts we had and it was a job for their ap­pren­tices to put to­gether and put in the Mu­seum.

“It was miss­ing a lot of stuff. I had to on-send a few parts years later. I got Ron Har­rop to make up a set of brakes for them. So the car in the mu­seum had brand new, never used brakes on it.

“It’s stretch­ing my mem­ory to re­mem­ber all this stuff, but that stood out. It was ba­si­cally de­liv­ered to them almost as a shell.

“I also know what I de­liv­ered to John Far­rell in Perth. It was the real deal. John wasn’t Fan­gio and I felt sick to see him driv­ing it around the race­track.

“On the day we took it there he drove it on the track that day. I’m not 100 per­cent on what num­ber was on it (when de­liv­ered) but I know what I de­liv­ered.

“I re­call he didn’t do much rac­ing with it and it was on-sold to Eng­land. The next thing I had heard that some­one had seen it in Eng­land with a 350 Chev and John Cle­land was rac­ing it as a Su­per Sa­loon.

“The next time I heard of it was when Brock came to me and he said he’d found the 1984 car in Eng­land and it was com­ing back (to Aus­tralia). By then it was the 1990s and I was work­ing for Bridge­stone. Brock hounded me a few times to have a look at it, which I never did I must ad­mit. “The fel­low put in charge of it did a great job of restor­ing it and Brock came and got me to have a look at it when it was on dis­play at Sandown.

“I was tak­ing Brock’s word for it. I knew the car was in Eng­land so I didn’t ques­tion any of that.

“If I could have got hold of my old records, I could have proven which was what of just about any of the cars. But I’m not privy to those now. When we closed the team down I handed records over to stor­age but I wouldn’t have a clue where they ended up. They in­cluded hand-writ­ten lap charts from the 1970s through to 1990. “That’s my rec­ol­lec­tion. I’ve got no pa­per­work to support that though. “But 100 per­cent, the real car went to Eng­land. I guar­an­tee it. But as far as I am con­cerned, none of them are orig­i­nal any­more. They’ve been crashed, bashed, with pan­els re­placed, etc.

“In a way, Peter Cham­pion hasn’t got the real car ei­ther be­cause it was so bas­tardised. It came back a body shell and had to be re­built.

“The ‘real’ car I re­mem­ber, won the race and I de­liv­ered it to Far­rell.”

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