Top 25 Brock pics

AMC presents 25 shots of Peter Brock and his race­cars that you’ve prob­a­bly never seen be­fore.

Australian Muscle Car - - Contents -

25 shots of Peter Brock that you’ve prob­a­bly never seen be­fore. So go fill up the urn, grab a cuppa and check out shots of his Ford T-bird NASCAR, bucks night and Dicky John­son knee­ing the King in his crown jew­els.

With this is­sue’s cover story theme be­ing ‘Brock: the un­told sto­ries’, what better topic for our reg­u­lar Top 25 sec­tion than ‘Brock: the un­seen photos’? Our com­pi­la­tion here has been put to­gether by long-time AMC con­trib­u­tor Aaron Noo­nan’s AN1 Me­dia team mostly from the com­pany’s own photo archives. Visit an1im­ages.com AN1 Images has ac­quired a num­ber of pho­to­graphic col­lec­tions in re­cent years, in­clud­ing Ian Smith’s Au­topix ar­chive and Graeme Ne­an­der’s Con­ven­try col­lec­tion. These con­tain many images that have not pre­vi­ously ap­peared in the pages of AMC. In fact, some may not have seen the light of day at all be­fore.

On the grid

As­tudy of con­cen­tra­tion. Brock sits on the grid in prepa­ra­tion for the 1977 Aus­tralian Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship’s fi­nale. This was the Novem­ber 20 Ready Plan In­sur­ance Phillip Is­land 500K, a race from which his To­rana A9X re­tired. Per­haps he is con­tem­plat­ing his fi­nale points-pay­ing drive with Bill Pat­ter­son Rac­ing be­fore head­ing back to the Holden Dealer Team for 1978.

Mum’s the word

Our man, com­plete with ever-present cup of tea, sits next to his mother, Ruth, in Calder Park’s grand­stand watch­ing the track’s 1975 ATCC round sup­port races. His par­ents were fa­mil­iar fig­ures at Vic­to­rian race meet­ings as well as Mount Panorama through the 1970s and ’80s. Mean­while, mid-1970s fash­ion­ista took in­spi­ra­tion for head­wear from many sources, in­clud­ing, it seems, gar­den gnomes.

Me­dia mag­net

Al­ways a mag­net for the me­dia, Brock re­ceives the pole po­si­tion win­ner’s cheque on the grid be­fore the start of the 1989 Tooheys 1000 at Bathurst. NSW Pre­mier Nick Greiner (far right) looks on wish­ing he was as pop­u­lar as Peter Per­fect. Not that Brock was par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar with Holden fans that year, as his Bathurst as­sault was aboard an #05 Ford Sierra. Lots of Brock fans refuse to ac­knowl­edge his Blue Oval dal­liances.

Thun­der­bird on the Thun­der­dome

Few peo­ple re­mem­ber Brock’s short lived NASCAR ca­reer. The #05 Mo­bil 1 Ford Thun­der­bird is seen here at the Calder Park Thun­der­dome in 1988. Brock also raced a 351-pow­ered XF Fal­con in the sec­ond-tier AUSCAR class on the Thud­er­dome. This was dur­ing the pe­riod when Brock en­hanced road­go­ing Ford Fal­con B8s from the Austech Au­to­mo­tive De­vel­op­ments busi­ness in Mel­bourne.

Be­tween HDT stints

Brock shares his Bill Pat­ter­son Rac­ing To­rana A9X hatch­back with some in­ter­ested young fans at a pri­vate prac­tice day at Calder in 1977. This was a very busy time in Brock’s life, as he pre­pared for a three-car To­rana at­tack on that year’s Bathurst 1000 after a mid-year trip to Europe to join English­man Gerry Mar­shall for the Spa-Fran­cor­champs 24 Hours. See our ‘Mag­num Force’ story else­where in this is­sue.

Po­lar­is­ing fig­ure

Apub­lic­ity shot of Brock and con­tro­ver­sial chi­ro­prac­tor Dr Eric Dowker, is­sued be­fore the HDT VL Direc­tor’s ill-fated launch in Fe­bru­ary, 1987. Brock and Dowker were part­ners in Peri In­te­gra­tion, the com­pany which de­vel­oped and mar­keted the in­fa­mous En­ergy Po­lariser de­vice. Read what Brock’s 1987 Bathurst co-driver David Par­sons thought of the new-age ap­proach in this edi­tion’s Mus­cle Man pro­file.

Hill­climb­ing

In the early days of the Holden Dealer Team, Brock took on all forms of motorsport, in­clud­ing cir­cuit rac­ing, ral­ly­ing, ral­ly­cross and hill­climbs. Brock is seen here in a HDT LC To­rana GTR XU-1 at the Lake­land Hill­climb, near Li­ly­dale in Mel­bourne’s east, in 1971. He won his class in six suc­ces­sive meet­ings at Lake­land over 1971 and ’72. Imag­ine a V8 Su­per­car star com­pet­ing in four dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines to­day!

Quick Dick knees up

The first ATCC round of the new 5.0-litre V8 tour­ing car cat­e­gory was at Ama­roo Park in 1993. This new era be­gan with a photo op­por­tu­nity for Brock and John­son and their new winged Com­modore and Fal­con on the grid. John­son has some fun... and knees Brock in the plums! Their ri­valry in the early 1980s breathed new life into tour­ing car rac­ing and they were still the star at­trac­tions un­til the mid 1990s.

King on the throne

where else would you ex­pect the King to be, than pos­ing on the throne in a light mo­ment dur­ing the stu­dio photo-shoot for his 1982 Sandown/ Bathurst cam­paign. We’re not quite sure what the PR op­er­a­tives were think­ing in snap­ping him on a dunny. It only made him the butt of jokes, de­spite him be­ing flushed with suc­cess. Please ex­cuse our potty mouths, as we’re sure we haven’t bowled you over with our toi­let hu­mour.

1979 ATCC de­cider de­cided

Abe­mused Brock looks on as To­rana A9X ri­val Bob Mor­ris (un­seen, on the vic­tory dais) is pre­sented with the 1979 Aus­tralian Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship tro­phy. No one ex­pected Mor­ris and the pri­va­teer Ron Hodg­son team to beat the might of the Holden Dealer Team over a full cham­pi­onship, but Mor­ris’s ti­tle, clinched in Ade­laide, stands as one of the great­est achieve­ments in the 57-year his­tory of the se­ries.

They don’t know what’s they’re in for

Brock with nav­i­ga­tor Noel Richards and co-driver Matt Philip in the 1979 Repco Re­li­a­bil­ity Trial-win­ning VB Com­modore. This is ob­vi­ously very early in the event, prob­a­bly the ac­tual start in Mel­bourne, as they and their car look fresh. Brock wasn’t re­ally ex­pected to match it with the more ex­pe­ri­enced and spe­cial­ist rally driv­ers. Our guest colum­nist, Ray Berghouse, fol­lowed their progress and re­calls Brock’s drive well.

First over­seas foray

Brock raced this LC To­rana GTR XU-1 in the In­ter­na­tional Group 1 sup­port race to the 1971 Ma­cau Grand Prix. Harry Firth had or­gan­ised the drive through the Hong Kong Holden agent. Yes, they sold Hold­ens in the Far East! Brock fin­ished sec­ond to a works pre­pared Capri 2600 V6. This was his ear­li­est foray rac­ing over­seas. Else­where in this edi­tion you can read about his most epic off­shore drive.

Hunt­ing in South Africa

Brock checks out the race pro­gram for the Kyalami 1000. He flew to South Africa in late 1975 to take in the race and hunt down an ex-BMW Motorsport 3.0 CSL ‘Bat­mo­bile’ that was for sale. He duly pur­chased the BMW and raced it at Le Mans the fol­low­ing year, the first of his three at­tempts on the twice-round-the-clock marathon. Brock ob­vi­ously still had in­ter­na­tional as­pi­ra­tions at this stage of his ca­reer.

Back in the fold

Brock, team man­ager John Shep­pard and team­mate John Har­vey check out the en­gine bay of the HDT A9X To­rana at Brock’s re­turn drive for the team, in the Roth­mans Se­ries’ tour­ing car sup­port races at Sandown in Fe­bru­ary of 1978. This event is also no­table for Brock’s vic­tory in a four-door A9X, as op­posed to the hatch­back. This unique car lives on to­day and has com­peted in the Her­itage Tour­ing Cars class.

Now UC it

A late 1970s Holden pub­lic­ity shot of Brock and his HDT To­rana A9X hatch­back and a UC hatch road­car. There were no sports ver­sions or V8 en­gine op­tions for UC To­rana/Sun­bird range, so Holden milked the Brock/HDT as­so­ci­a­tion for all its worth. This was when Brock’s skills were at their peak. He was ar­guably the best thing Holden had go­ing for it as the com­pany be­gan a pe­riod when it lost mar­ket share.

Le Mans here we come

Nice threads! The Le Mans BMW 3.0 CSL ‘Bat­mo­bile’ pulled down at the Team Brock work­shops in Bun­doora, Vic­to­ria in 1976. Brock, ex­pa­tri­ate Aussie Brian Muir and French­man Jean-Claude Aubriet cov­ered 156 laps at Le Mans in 1976 be­fore me­chan­i­cal grem­lins could no longer be over­come. The Bill Pat­ter­son-owned BMW ul­ti­mately raced as #46 in the French clas­sic. Love the gi­ant cut­away on the wall.

Brock off

Brock’s off-track ex­cur­sion dur­ing the Phillip Is­land round of the 1975 Man Champ in the Bathurst-win­ning Gown-Hind­haugh To­rana, which is fea­tured else­where in this is­sue. He re­cov­ered to win the race by four laps and claim the fi­nal leg of the Sandown 400/Bathurst 1000/Phillip Is­land 500 ‘Grand Slam’. Mind you, an Es­cort RS2000 fin­ished third out­right in the Is­land en­counter, so the field was a bit on the thin side.

Spa-ing down into Eau Rouge

We’ve in­cluded this clas­sic an­gle of the HDT #5 Com­modore head­ing into Eau Rouge (it’s the sev­enth dot) to com­ple­ment the opener to our story on Brock’s 1977 Spa as­sault. De­spite all of the Brock Com­modore team’s suc­cess at home in en­duros in the Eight­ies, the squad’s 1986 and 1987 Spa as­saults re­turned lit­tle, aside from a King’s Cup team’s tro­phy. His VK was 22nd in 1986; while the ’87 VL DNFed.

Brock’s bucks night

Look out... it’s Brock’s bucks night! Fa­mous for rest­ing his el­bow on the win­dow-sill of his race­cars, Brock was pre­sented with this arm shield at his ‘bucks’ in 1974. It was pre­sented by Howard Mars­den and was made by Ford Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles. We can only imag­ine what else went on at a Brock bucks party! Ac­tu­ally, we don’t want to know. The (head­less) bloke in the back­ground is a bit over-dressed for a bucks night...

Fancy a cig­gie, Brock?

Dick John­son of­fers Brock a smoke, fol­low­ing their fierce bat­tle at Sandown’s Aus­tralian Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship opener in 1982. The race was won by John­son, from his great ri­val. They were both part of Marl­boro’s so-called ‘Team of Cham­pi­ons’ that year, wag­ing a war for the hearts and lungs of rac­ing fans against ri­val brands such as Peter Stuyvesant (Mof­fat’s Mazda) and John Player Spe­cial (BMW).

Camira pi­lot

Brock in the one-make celebrity ’Camira Race’ sup­port­ing the Aus­tralian Grand Prix at Calder in 1982. The star-stud­ded field fea­tured in­ter­na­tional F1 driv­ers Alain Prost, Jac­ques Laf­fite and Nel­son Pi­quet. One won­ders what the lat­ter pair thought of Holden’s 1.6-litre Cami­ras, as both had raced in the ul­ti­mate one-make se­ries, in Europe: the BMW M1 Pro­car Cham­pi­onship with its 470bhp M1 su­per­cars.

Another job for Brock

A rare shot of Brock pos­ing with Bob Jane’s Chev Monza Sports Sedan at the 1982 Aus­tralian GT Cham­pi­onship’s Calder round. Brock raced this be-winged 6-litre be­he­moth with Jane’s trade­mark num­ber 7 in­stead of his own 05. Brock had a hand­ful of starts i n the car, most fa­mously (or in­fa­mously) caus­ing a gi­ant prang off Ade­laide In­ter­na­tional Race­way’s start­line in 1983 when an axle broke.

Ex-com­mu­ni­cated

The press launch of the new-look Mo­bil VL Com­modore in early 1987. By this time he had been ex-com­mu­ni­cated from Holden and the fa­mous Holden Dealer Team name was no longer dis­played on #05. The launch took place at The Dorch­ester, in Mel­bourne. David Par­sons points to the C-pil­lar, while Brock is in­ter­viewed by Ken Sparkes, in (cue the voiceover) another pre­sen­ta­tion for Nine’s Wide World of Sports.

Bleary-eyed won­der

The strain of two weeks ral­ly­ing over 20,000km with very lit­tle sleep clearly shows on Brock’s face as he crosses the fin­ish line of the gruelling 1979 Repco Round Aus­tralia Re­li­a­bil­ity Trial. It would the last time com­peti­tors would be ex­pected to push them­selves to the point of ex­haus­tion, as a more ‘PC’ era beck­oned when do­ing stupid hours be­hind the wheel at high speed would no longer be so­cially ac­cept­able.

Hardies hero

Brock poses with #05 on Pit Straight at Mount Panorama in the lead up to the 1980 Hardie Ferodo 1000, most likely ahead of Sat­ur­day morn­ing’s Hardies He­roes run-off. He would qual­ify third be­hind Kevin Bartlett and Dick John­son. He won the race that year with Jim Richards, record­ing the Com­modore’s maiden Bathurst win. News Lim­ited went on a re­cent, but fu­tile, quest to find this car - it’s long since ‘gone to God’.

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