like a lot of privateer Holden teams, were slow in building up VB Commodores in 1980 to meet the more stringent Group C rules. Philips had departed the scene and only one car was built initially for O’Brien, whose major success was winning the Surfers Paradise enduro. This was Roadways’ first outright win and came only weeks after team co-owner Bruce Hindaugh took his own life. Wigston remembers it as a very sad time.
O’Brien left the team in 1981 and was replaced by a young Steve Harrington, son of Roadways owner Ian Harrington. Again Wigston sat out the ATCC to let Harrington
Rgain some much needed experience. The two drivers combined to finish a fine third outright in the Sandown 400, which would stand as Wigston’s best ever finish in this endure. The result augured well for Bathurst, where Wigston announced he would retire to concentrate on his business interests.
In time, Wigston was talked out of retiring completely and returned for the 1982 Sandown and Bathurst enduros with Harrington junior, where another big dollar sponsor in STP came on board.
For 1983 the STP Roadways team ran two cars in the ATCC for Harrington and new signing Allan Grice and excelled in finishing fifth and fourth in the championship respectively.
Wigston missed the Sandown 400 but fronted up to Bathurst for his last race before retiring for good. the previous year. The duo qualified 12th just behind the ill-fated Jack Brabham/Stirling Moss Torana but retired after a troubled run on lap 56 with a broken cam drive. Wigston
had an auspicious debut with his new A9X hatchback at Sandown, where it was an early DNF. With Hindhaugh at Bathurst, Wigston qualified in 14th. An early pitstop to replace a harmonic balancer put the team out of contention but a steady run had them firmly in the top ten until late in the race when Wigston crashed at The Cutting and retired after 144 laps. The
Roadways team was ‘loaned’ the experienced West Australian HDT refugee Wayne Negus for Bathurst. They also had the luxury of having a spare A9X for practice. This was the first year in which the Hardies Heroes top ten shoot out was run. Wigston made the cut, as he would for the next three years. In the race the pair were running a strong fifth two laps behind Peter Brock when they broke their crankshaft after completing 118 laps. With
Phillips sponsorship and gun ex-HDT driver Charlie O’Brien on board, 1979 Bathurst was a ‘what if’ year for the Roadways team, who bought three(!) A9Xs to the Mountain. Wigston remembers qualifying the spare car third fastest (O’Brien was fifth) and having to withdraw it from the race. Of course history was written that year when Peter Brock and Jim Richards won the race by six laps, but O’Brien/Wigston were a comfortable second, albeit four laps behind the leaders at lap 130 when they pitted with a leaking diff, the result of a failed pinion seal. The team replaced the rear axle, lost a heap of laps but still finished eighth on 147 laps.