The reader’s let­ter that is judged to be the best in each is­sue will win a Meguiar’s de­tail­ing pack.

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Mail - Rob Brown Vice Pres­i­dent Stan­thorpe Sport­ing Car Club Queens­land

HQ GTS 253 4-door

Ire­ally en­joyed the story on the auto HQ GTS 253 4-door in AMC #75 and I thought you might like to hear the story of ours. We owned one of th­ese back in 1984 and for a 24-year-old me­chanic it was an af­ford­able dream car. Mine was pur­chased from an older cou­ple who bought it to tow a car­a­van.

It was on the show­room floor at City State Mo­torcity in Ade­laide and they needed it straight away so it was pur­chased and driven home. It was a 253 V8 auto with power steer­ing, hound­stooth trim, sin­gle ex­haust and delete op­tion ra­dio.

We pur­chased it with about 90,000km on the clock. They had trou­ble sell­ing it as ev­ery­one who called wanted a coupe and wouldn’t

Triple end

Many years ago, I had the plea­sure of meet­ing Doug Mul­ray at Ama­roo Park. Doug was at the time Syd­ney’s lead­ing break­fast ra­dio an­nouncer on 2MMM. He was try­ing at the time to get some Triple M spon­sor­ship of rac­ing to hap­pen, but it was not to be.

You see, sta­tion boss Rod Muir (and Mul­ray’s brother-in-law) had been bit­ten three times by then. As you de­tailed last is­sue, he was be­hind 2SM’s spon­sor­ship of the doomed Brab­ham/ Moss Bathurst 1976 chal­lenge.

A few years later Rod, now at Triple M, backed up with spon­sor­ship of Terry Fin­ni­gan’s Com­modore (and that car looked GREAT) but that car too went out right at the start of the 1982 Bathurst race. Their third strike was with the John Goss/Tom Walkin­shaw Jaguar, which lasted un­til the Aus­tralian flag dropped. Three races, three lap one DNFs.

Rod Muir hasn’t been seen much around even come to look at the car. It was ad­ver­tised in the pa­per ev­ery week­end for about a month.

We owned it for about nine months be­fore it was sadly writ­ten off about 25km on the Syd­ney side of Gun­ning, NSW, with just less than 100,000km. Due to the high cost of get­ting the ve­hi­cle back to Ade­laide and then the re­pairs, we took the in­surance pay out and made a small profit. Had it been closer to home I would have kept and re­paired it and I would like to think we would still own it. As you could imag­ine it drove re­ally well as to be ex­pected with such low kilo­me­tres.

The last we saw of it was in the tow yard at Gun­ning. I don’t know if it was re­paired or wrecked. The dam­age was mostly un­der the ve­hi­cle and it can be seen in the en­gine bay photo by com­par­ing the height of the in­ner guards.

There was a big rock stick­ing out of the side of a cut­ting and that was hit by the pas­sen­ger-side front-wheel and this is what caused all the dam­age. David Fitzger­ald Email mo­tor rac­ing since the mid-1980s – other sports, in­clud­ing yacht­ing, beck­oned. Bruce Moxon Email

ED: Not for­get­ting the Triple M-backed Sch­nitzer BMW 635 that crashed on lap three in 1986. Then there’s the Triple M-backed Gul­son/ Geoghe­gan Com­modore that fin­ished third in 1980, but some­how es­caped the TV cam­eras.

Stir­ling per­for­mance

After read­ing the ex­cel­lent story on the Brab­ham/Moss 1976 Bathurst cam­paign in AMC #75, l re­called there was an ar­ti­cle by Peter Robin­son in the De­cem­ber 1976 is­sue of Wheels mag­a­zine.

The ar­ti­cle points out that Brab­ham, when the car re­turned to the race at lunchtime, com­pleted 13 laps in the race, then handed over to Moss who com­pleted 24 laps. It lists all of Stir­ling Moss’s un­of­fi­cial lap times in­clud­ing a 2:32.2 lap which was not bad in a dam­aged car con­sid­er­ing Mof­fat and Brock shared the equal fastest race lap of 2:28.4. Scott Mackay Email

Wolves in Sheep’s Cloth­ing 1

Iwas a mem­ber of the Vic­to­rian Po­lice for 46 years, in the traf­fic branch from 1971 to 2011, driv­ing the pow­er­ful XW and XY K-Code 500 Fal­cons through to the SS Com­modore V8 sedans and wag­ons and XR8 and XR6 Turbo Fords.

I re­mem­ber when we were is­sued with the VL Com­modore Turbo. We all thought, “What’s this toy?” We were pleas­antly sur­prised as the lit­tle car could hold its own pretty well with the big boys.

In 2004 I opted for a Magna VRX AWD as an un­marked ve­hi­cle. It was an ex­cel­lent ve­hi­cle for po­lice work with its power and han­dling. It was main­te­nance free, un­like the Hold­ens and Fords that were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing diff and gear­box trou­bles. The only fault with the Magna was, be­ing a fron­twheel drive, it had a ter­ri­ble turn­ing cir­cle mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to do a U-turn on the high­way.

The force also used the Subaru WRX, which were like go-karts on steroids. We also had a Mit­subishi Lancer EVO loaned to us which was one of the quick­est cars I have ever driven due to its power-to-weight ra­tio.

Given a choice I would still opt for a K-Code XY 500 with all the GT specs as it was an ex­cit­ing ma­chine to drive. At the time I felt like ‘King of The Road’ in my patch. David Carey Email

Wolves in Sheep’s Cloth­ing 2


Wolves in Sheep’s Cloth­ing is­sue was a great way of giv­ing some lesser known mus­cle cars some well de­served re­spect.

I know the list could go on and on, but one car that jumps to mind was back in the VX Com­modore-era, where if you looked closely enough you could ac­tu­ally op­tion a Ex­ec­u­tive Sedan or Wagon to SS specs. Com­plete with the Gen 3 V8, man­ual trans­mis­sion and LSD diff, it was a op­tion avail­able to the gen­eral pub­lic and not a po­lice spec.

I be­lieve only a hand­ful were built as, right­fully, ev­ery­one just bought a SS or Monaro. But I do re­mem­ber work­ing on a cou­ple of Storm Grey ex­am­ples when I was a first year ap­pren­tice.

On the flip side, I have a cou­ple of sug­ges­tions for fu­ture Sheep in Wolves’ Cloth­ing. The John Goss Spe­cial hard­top sprung to mind. They cer­tainly looked the part with the paint schemes and 302 de­cals, but that’s about where it stopped, as the 302 was pretty tame with a sin­gle ex­haust and emis­sion gear. I be­lieve they were nick­named at one stage “The Goose That Didn’t Fly”.

No dis­re­spect to any­one that owns one of th­ese, as they are a great car and very sought after to­day. They no doubt would make a great high­way cruiser. Luke Char­teris Email

Wolves in Sheep’s Cloth­ing 3

Ihave a cou­ple sug­ges­tions for Wolves in Sheep’s Cloth­ing. I might add that I’ve owned both of th­ese cars in stan­dard form – and over 90 other Aussie cars, both Hold­ens and Ford

Firstly, the ZC Fair­lane with the 351 Wind­sor 4V. The one I had was stock and I couldn’t be­lieve how it went for what it was.

Se­condly, there’s the 1984 model VK 5.0 with the ‘B Cast’ heads, man­ual trans­mis­sion. I took one to a street meet in 1991 with 80,000km on the clock and ran a 14.9. Didn’t even have ex­trac­tors and it was so quiet.

I’ve had a few stan­dard VL tur­bos and this car was just as quick. I cur­rently own a VK SS and I’m wait­ing for the fi­nal Fal­con XR8 to come out, so

that I can buy one of them. Al­lan Burns Email

Wed­ded bliss


wanted to send you a cou­ple of pho­tos of my daugh­ter Si­mone and now son-in-law Tyler’s mus­cle car wed­ding. Si­mone in­sisted on us­ing LJ To­ranas, as they have al­ways been part of her life.

The white one is an auto I re­built and was Si­mone’s first car, driv­ing it to school while fin­ish­ing Year 12, then uni. The green XU-1 To­rana is also mine, since 1983. The Gold is a po­tent XU-1 looka­like, the yel­low is an XU-1 and the pink a daily drive looka­like.

We couldn’t find a sixth car, so used an SL/R 5000. Un­for­tu­nately, dur­ing the photo shoot I was down the road look­ing for a thrown fan belt...

It was Si­mone’s idea for the un­der the bon­net shot; good for a laugh, but she is pretty handy with the span­ners.

The lit­tle coun­try church shook as the cars rolled in. Then later at the re­cep­tion, it was like a mini car show every­body check­ing out the cars. Oh yes, and the bridal party too! Paul At­tard Email

Car­nell knowl­edge

Re­gard­ing your Sa­cred Sites sec­tion, as a com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Stan­thorpe and Dis­trict Sport­ing Car Club I would like to in­form read­ers that clo­sure of tracks is still hap­pen­ing.

Car­nell Race­way, which dates back to the early 1970s, is one such cir­cuit un­der threat.

The track was orig­i­nally around 800m in length and at­tracted a huge fol­low­ing of tour­ing cars for the clay-based cir­cuit. The track was made by lo­cal con­trac­tors, busi­nesses, com­mit­tee mem­bers and driv­ers. All worked tire­lessly for months on end to en­sure that the first meet­ing was a suc­cess.

The track re­mained rel­a­tively un­changed for many years, un­til the early 1990s, when the cir­cuit in­creased in length to 960m, had a 200m drag strip im­ple­mented into the main straight and the clay sur­face was re­placed with as­phalt.

The track has 15 days a year for rac­ing, di­vided into drag, short cir­cuit meets, motorcycle meets and sta­dium drift events.

We are cur­rently in a bat­tle with a to­tal of five house­holds and coun­cil about the race­way. It started back in 1996 when re­stric­tions were placed on the club be­cause of res­i­dents com­plain­ing about noise.

The first of­fi­cial meet­ing was held in 1974 and no res­i­dents were near the track at this stage. In ap­prox­i­mately 1983, the sur­round­ing land was sub­di­vided. The lo­cal dump was placed be­tween the track and the sub­di­vi­sion as to make some sort of buf­fer zone.

As more peo­ple moved closer to the track, more and more pres­sure was placed on the club. In 1996 rates, in­surances, af­fil­i­a­tions were noth­ing com­pared to the costs of run­ning a race­way to­day.

This leaves the club in a doubt­ful po­si­tion as to whether it can sur­vive. We have a pe­ti­tion on­nell­race­

Wild about Harry

Ijust thought I’d pro­vide a few words and a pic or two as a trib­ute to Harry Firth. I com­peted with my stan­dard 1962 1200cc 40bhp VW Bee­tle in the 1996 Bathurst Leg­ends Rally and won class A to re­ceive the Harry Firth Trophy. This is some­thing mem­o­rable that will live with me for the rest of my life!

The Rally, which jour­neyed from Mel­bourne to Bathurst ahead of the 1996 Great Race, fea­tured a line-up of Bathurst leg­ends com­pet­ing. This in­cluded Frank Coad, Bob Holden, Pete Geoghe­gan Bruce McPhee, George Reynolds and Harry him­self.

One thing I es­pe­cially re­mem­ber is the talk Harry gave dur­ing the lunch break at Win­ton to tell com­peti­tors how they should drive around the track. Let me tell you, ev­ery­one lis­tened; you did not in­ter­rupt! Ev­ery­one’s lap times im­proved in the af­ter­noon. John Watt Deep­wa­ter, NSW

Sir Jack por­trait

I'm a bit of an am­a­teur artist and with the pass­ing of Sir Jack I was in­spired to do this trib­ute. Martin Davies Email

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