Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Revival -

When it comes to cel­e­brat­ing their mo­tor rac­ing past, Tas­ma­nian en­thu­si­asts grav­i­tate to a sleepy lit­tle town, south of Launce­s­ton, called Long­ford. As out­lined in our Sa­cred Sites se­ries in #75, Long­ford had a life­span of only 15 years with rac­ing ceas­ing in 1968. But what a glo­ri­ous 15 years they were; with two Aus­tralian Grands Prix and five Tas­man Se­ries meet­ings that drew a host of For­mula 1 World Cham­pi­ons to the ul­tra-fast road cir­cuit.

For­mer Targa Tas­ma­nia pro­moter Oc­tagon staged two re­vivals in 2011 and 2012 at the ‘Fly­ing Mile’ site. De­spite high-pro­file guests, the re­vival wasn’t held in 2013 and 2014 and there were fears that the Long­ford Re­vival had run its course. En­ter for­mer Oc­tagon mar­ket­ing manager Clint Pease and lo­cal en­thu­si­ast Greg Gar­wood. The pair bought the rights from Oc­tagon and ush­ered in a host of changes, in­clud­ing a new lo­ca­tion and fresh events.

“The time was right to bring the fes­ti­val into the town cen­tre,” Pease ex­plained. “It’s what the res­i­dents and lo­cal coun­cil wanted to see hap­pen.”

The 2015 Long­ford Re­vival Fes­ti­val was cen­tred on the Vil­lage Green, where com­peti­tor cars were dis­played in ‘parc-ferme’. There were other in­vited clas­sic cars plus trade and food stalls and a gi­ant screen to watch the com­pe­ti­tion, which con­sisted of three timed events. Satur­day saw the tra­di­tional Fly­ing Mile and a round-the-houses sprint that started near the fa­mous Long­ford pub and pro­ceeded in a horse­shoe, pass­ing the Vil­lage Green. Both events were tele­vised live on the big screen. On Sun­day there was a Quar­ter Mile sprint on the Tan­nery Road.

The star at­trac­tions were Will and Alex Dav­i­son and an Ere­bus Mercedes AMG SLS GT3. The Dav­i­son broth­ers were there to hon­our the mem­ory of their grand­fa­ther Lex who com­peted in open-wheel­ers in the 1950s and 1960s. Lex Dav­i­son, killed at Sandown 50 years ago this year, fa­mously crashed into the afore­men­tioned Coun­try Club Ho­tel in a Cooper in 1962 and then wan­dered into the bar where the lo­cals bought him a stiff drink!

“When­ever I come down to race in Tas­ma­nia I al­ways make a point of com­ing out to Long­ford to check out the me­mora­bilia at the pub,” Alex

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