A Quick His­tory

The lat­est word on the His­toric mo­tor rac­ing scene

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Sport -

There has been a flurry of Her­itage Tour­ing Cars swap­ping hands, with many restora­tion projects mak­ing their way into other peo­ples’ sheds, as ris­ing prices flush them out. Let’s start with Ford Sierra Cos­worths. Chris Still­well, al­ready the owner of Dick John­son’s 1990 Sierra (aka DJR #6), has pur­chased another RS500, of Colin Bond, Alan Jones and Cal­tex fame from 1988. Chris is sell­ing his po­tent Tour­ing Car Masters Mus­tang to con­cen­trate on His­torics, an area his fa­mous fa­ther Bib en­joyed ex­ten­sively. Mean­time, a bloke usu­ally seen pi­lot­ing an im­pres­sive ex-Vic El­ford McLaren M8E, Queens­land’s Dun­can MacKel­lar, has pur­chased an ex-Ja­panese Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship Rouse Sierra RS500. It will be get­ting a go­ing through, be­fore hope­fully de­but­ing at Bathurst in April.

Let’s switch at­ten­tion to the Ja­panese cars chang­ing hands. Garry Rowe has pur­chased the ex-Gerry Burgess and Roger Man­dev­ille BF Goodrich/P&O Cruises Mazda RX7. His de­but event at Sandown was a great ex­pe­ri­ence for him, with more time needed to de­velop the car and its unique Mazda han­dling traits. Nis­san tragic Tony Al­ford, is start­ing to get to grips with his ex-Gib­son Mo­tor­sport HR31, with ev­ery­one wait­ing to see his 1992 Bathurst-win­ning Godzilla stretch its pow­er­ful legs.

BMWs on the move now, firstly the first BMW M3 built by the JPS team, which is now in Queens­land own­er­ship. The Bow­den fam­ily’s business, Ecurie Bow­den, has got the job of restor­ing the car to the stan­dard JPS Team BMW’s Frank Gard­ner al­ways ex­pected. The new owner, Peter Jones, once owned the ex-Gard­ner Ben­son and Hedges 1992 M3, so is well versed in fast BMWs. Not all sales have been lo­cal, as the global Group A scene starts to boom. The ex-JPS 635 that was raced by Kevin Bartlett and Trevor Crowe at Bathurst in 1986 has been sold from New Zealand, go­ing to the USA, where Group A never raced but where all things BMW have a strong fol­low­ing.

The in­au­gu­ral Day­tona Clas­sic 24 Hour, event held at Day­tona Beach, Florida USA, was a great suc­cess. Im­i­tat­ing the suc­cess­ful 24-hour His­toric for­mula used by the fa­mous Le Mans Clas­sic, where cars run in groups for 45-minute races around the clock for 24 hours, giv­ing the driv­ers that max­i­mum en­durance feel­ing, but not run­ning the valu­able and oc­ca­sion­ally frag­ile cars into the ground. A few Aus­tralians made the jour­ney, with Queens­land’s Rus­sell Kemp­nich (teamed with Wayne Park) fin­ish­ing third in the 1983-1993 Group C pe­riod in his ex-Schup­pan 956 Porsche. WA’s Chris Wilson also man­aged a very im­pres­sive third in the 1960-1972 Group A pe­riod in his ex-Shelby Amer­i­can Ford GT40 and fourth in 1973-1982 Group B in his 1974 RSR 911 Porsche. Such a great ef­fort has the event pro­mot­ers, the HSR, keen to get other Aus­tralians sup­port­ing the now iconic event.

Syd­ney Olympic Park played host in early De­cem­ber to two cat­e­gories cater­ing for gen­uine rac­ing cars of past eras not usu­ally seen on the V8 Su­per­cars un­der­card. Her­itage Tour­ing Cars, show­cas­ing Group C and A, got a guernsey for a se­ries of demon­stra­tions. Mean­while, com­peti­tors from the Kuhmo Tyres Aus­tralian V8 Se­ries, which picks up where Group A left off, en­joyed full-on races around the tight Home­bush precinct. This cat­e­gory en­com­passes gen­uine V8 Su­per­cars from 1993 on­wards – up to BF model Fal­cons and VZ Com­modores. More ex­cit­ing news for Home­bush is that Shan­nons In­surance, stal­wart of the clas­sic car move­ment, con­firmed it will be nam­ing spon­sor of the Her­itage Tour­ing Cars in 2015. Shan­nons support of His­toric mo­tor­sport makes them a nat­u­ral fit and will help get the Shan­nons name out fur­ther to the masses. Shan­nons can also open some doors to other events for the HTC.

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