story would be incomplete without input from Big Banger VK owner and modern day HDT Special Vehicle’s proprietor Peter Champion.
It was Champion’s VK that AMC featured on issue #18’s cover back in 2005. And last year ‘Brock’s Best Car’ issue (#69) outlined the life story of the HDT’s only dual Bathurst 1000-winning chassis, the VH Commodore that was victorious in both 1982 and 1983, a car owned by the Queenslander.
AMC approached Champion, who has spent a great deal of money preserving Australian motorsport and HDT history, for his viewpoint.
‘PC’, as he is widely known, gave AMC several suggestions of avenues of enquiry, which we followed up. He also gave us the following statement: “We have been hearing from the ‘conspiracy theorists’ now for 9 years, and PB has been gone 8 years this month. It is a sad thing that we are still ignoring important information and statements from people in equally important roles within the team at the time. With flimsy hearsay at best, the conspiracy theorists will always be present, as in the JFK case.
“Peter Brock personally inspected this vehicle for myself when it was in England along with his family on a trip. He confirmed to myself that it was indeed the 05 car. The owner in England purchased this vehicle from Australia with the complete belief that it was the 05 winning race car.
“How did the person that I purchased the car off, have a CAMS re-issued logbook which I still hold currently with the COM.7 and a CAMS stamp and number. CAMS is the governing body of our holy motorsport grail; tell me fellas, are they too being untruthful, as this conspiracy theory article appears to be making Brock out to be as well?
“This 05 VK Big Banger has gone down in history as the most recognisable and loved race car of Australian motorsport history. I have personally gone to Goodwood Festival of Speed with the car, it has been modelled off by Biante Model Cars for the very successful run of 05 Big Banger.
“For the Brock Memorial sculpture in Bathurst we were asked to host the sculptor at our Museum, so she could cast the correct wheels for the sculpture. Why didn’t they go to the Bathurst Museum?
“Let’s just celebrate 30 years on from an amazing year of motor racing in 1984 with two very much loved icons.”
Brock provided this statement to Australian Muscle Car: “For many years now I have had to deal with people who make claims regarding the authenticity of the genuine 05 Big Banger. I have endeavoured to get the facts across as I know them to be, which is distinct from those who have ‘researched and investigated’ to try and prove that Peter was either lying or did not know what he was talking about. “I do not lie, nor did he! “I was with Peter when the car was sent to Bathurst museum and put in the hands of the then curator. I was sitting beside him when he phoned the museum to clarify that the car they had was never to be represented as the genuine 05 car.
“I was with him when he wrote the letter to Mark Oastler (as printed with this article) regarding the authenticity of the car and proof read it for him. He wrote this in his best handwriting as I usually had to transcribe his letters given that his writing was virtually illegible. He would never let me change a single thing in the transcribing process.
“I was with him when we tracked the car down in England after it had been sold by John Cleland’s father. I can assure you that the moment he hopped into the car and then looked under the bonnet he was as excited as a kid in a candy store.
“That car meant a great deal to Peter. He was a perfectionist who knew every intimate detail of the cars he raced. It wasn’t any particular thing that made him 100% sure, it was many things and he could not wait to call Peter Champion to tell him we had found the car.
“I know from discussing the situation with Mort, (our race team manager and Peter’s long time and trusted friend) what Mort went through to put the 25 car together to satisfy Holden’s request to have an 05 car in the Bathurst museum.
“Whilst it is interesting that this subject still evokes huge interest and emotion, I find it disturbing that people are intent on discrediting what is a clear and unequivocal statement by Peter that Peter Champion owns the genuine 05. It is time to stop the rubbish and understand that Peter would never misrepresent something as important as this to the people he so respected.”