Un­der the crusher & ham­mer

Australian Muscle Car - - Stillborn Muscle -

Mike Breen has vivid mem­o­ries of work­ing at Ley­land Aus­tralia in the early to mid 1970s. “I was still an ap­pren­tice when the Force 7 was be­ing built,” re­calls Breen, who now works for Toy­ota Aus­tralia. “I re­mem­ber watch­ing the first ones com­ing down the pro­duc­tion line. Then, when pro­duc­tion stopped, see­ing all the flat­tened bod­ies sit­ting on the back of flat bed trucks at Zet­land wait­ing to be taken to Simsmetal.”

Th­ese were the cars, sans en­gines and seats, crushed by a 13-tonne die-press. Thank­fully there were a hand­ful of sur­vivors, in­clud­ing our fea­ture car.

“I was in charge of get­ting the eight cars around to Ge­off K Grays [ED: now GraysOn­line] near Rose­berry for the auc­tion. We moved them around to the auc­tions very early on a Sun­day morn­ing, so as not to raise too much at­ten­tion.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the guy from Grays didn’t turn up on time, so we un­loaded the cars and parked them in the street. Within 30 min­utes crowds of lo­cal res­i­dents turned up to look at them; I was on my own try­ing to stop peo­ple from sou­venir­ing pieces. I think it was 1975, not ex­actly sure. Those were the days!”

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