Resur­faces

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Maniac -

and Tony Far­rell. Davies was in charge of ad­min­is­tra­tion and fi­nance, while Far­rell was the designer. Davies was manager of Davies Craig Pty Ltd, a busi­ness mak­ing ther­matic fans for fans, which sur­vives and thrives to­day. Far­rell had worked for the Bris­tol car com­pany in Eng­land and, upon mov­ing to Australia, be­came a noted cir­cuit racer and the designer/builder of club­man-style sportscars.

The pair had work­shops in South Mel­bourne and liked to have a beer at a nearby pub and talk cars. It was over such an af­ter-work beer that the Ilinga was con­ceived.

The ini­tial con­cept was for a four-per­son luxury coupe ca­pa­ble of ac­cel­er­at­ing from zero to 60mph in un­der eight sec­onds, with a top speed of 135mph (217km/h). It had to be ca­pa­ble of trav­el­ling be­tween Syd­ney and Mel­bourne with­out re­fu­elling.

That top speed was ex­ceeded at Ford’s You Yangs prov­ing ground dur­ing testing.

Af­ter $200,000 had been spent on the two pro­to­types, one of the project’s ma­jor back­ers pulled out, and the com­pany was un­able to fi­nance on­go­ing devel­op­ment and over­come the in­evitable hur­dles that popped up.

Aus­tralian mo­tor­ing his­tory is lit­tered with sim­i­lar at­tempts to cre­ate in­de­pen­dent car com­pa­nies. In­evitably, the high cost of de­sign and man­u­fac­ture could never be spread over the small pro­duc­tion vol­umes that the lo­cal mar­ket could sup­port. If it was dif­fi­cult last cen­tury, imag­ine the im­pos­si­bil­ity of the task to­day.

If multi­na­tion­als like GM, Ford and Toy­ota can no longer af­ford to build cars in Australia, what chance a tiny in­de­pen­dent?

Ilinga is an Abo­rig­i­nal word mean­ing ‘to­wards the hori­zon’.

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