of us – and our fathers – can relate to John’s recollections of his first car, age 17. “This was my Dad’s VJ Valiant hardtop with 770 option. He didn’t stand a chance [of driving it much] after I got my mitts onto it,” John writes. “It had 14x7” US racing rims with Kleber V12 radials, front spoiler, stock 265 hemi auto with extractors, aircraft landing spotlights, tacho on top of the dash and a fashionable (at the time) white sunstripe across the front windscreen! How lucky was I; this car was a real tyre smoker!” John says it was sold to a Channel Seven producer in the early 1990s with an original 41,000km. “I wish we still had it! This photo was taken in Lilyfield in Sydney in 1978. The car was purchased new from a Chrysler dealer on Parramatta Road in 1973. I remember clearly that my Dad wanted a beige VJ Ranger sedan with a 318 V8 but we managed to talk him out of that and into this gorgeous VJ hardtop which was affectionately known around Sydney as ‘Big Val’.”
never cease to be amazed by the number of readers who snapped off photos from the early Bathurst 500s and who still have those images. Warren Martin kindly sent us these Studebaker shots, but couldn’t recall the year exactly. “The #7D Victorian Police club entry was kept from rolling off the side of the mountain, back to the pits, by the ‘safety’ wire fencing,” Warren advises. This is the Jim Ferguson/ Ian Wright Lark which crashed out of the 1963 affair, leaving the brakeless #2D Bert Needham/ Warren Weldon example to battle gamely on to 27th place. Warren’s action shot shows #2D being lapped by the Harry Firth/Bob Jane race-winning Cortina.