Su­per fin­ish

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Man -


pur­chased both of the ex-JPS/Brock/ Doul­man-Cot­ter BMW M3s early in the Su­per Tour­ing era, when he raced with Justin Matthews and Paul Nel­son. The lat­ter was Faber Castell Aus­tralia’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and their ar­range­ment gave Holden a real shot in the arm. Nel­son was only in­ter­ested in run­ning NSW rounds, so he came to an agree­ment that Holden would race at the in­ter­state rounds in lieu of prepa­ra­tion costs.

The mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial ar­range­ment would net con­sec­u­tive top 10 fin­ishes in the two Su­per Tour­ing Bathurst 1000s: seventh in 1997 and ninth in 1998.

These races would be the last Bathurst 1000 starts for Holden, though he would make one fi­nal start in the 2010 Bathurst 12 Hour, fin­ish­ing 22nd in a diminu­tive Toy­ota Yaris with Matthews and Craig Brad­shaw. This was 50 years af­ter his first en­durance fin­ish in the 1960 Arm­strong 500 driv­ing a Peu­geot 403.

Bob’s as­so­ci­a­tion with Matthews con­tin­ues with the pair’s in­volve­ment in the Her­itage Tour­ing Cars cat­e­gory at events like the Mus­cle Car Masters.

Bob Holden Q&A

AMC: You have pre­dom­i­nately raced with the ‘un­lucky’ #13. Why is that? Bob Holden: I al­ways made num­bers my­self and kept them on the car. The po­lice didn’t like it! I got sick of chang­ing num­ber ev­ery week, so I thought I’d get the num­ber no­body wants.

AMC: I un­der­stand Rauno Aal­to­nen wasn’t im­pressed when he saw #13 on the Cooper S you shared at Bathurst in 1966. BH: I think his words were; ‘I think I go home.’ I con­vinced him it was a good omen and of course it was.

AMC: You’ve raced ev­ery­thing in­clud­ing sin­gle seaters. You even com­peted in the 1973 For­mula 2 Championship in a Brab­ham BT6. How did that come about? BH: It was a cus­tomer’s car. It had a Dat­sun en­gine in it but I re­placed it with a Lo­tus Twin Cam. He couldn’t drive it, so I did!

AMC: You moved to a prop­erty just out­side of Ta­ree in 1993. Tell us about the big shed that was built to house your work­shop? BH: Peter Brock or­gan­ised the shed for me from one of his sponsors Tru-Steel.

AMC: What do you think of the Her­itage Tour­ing Car (Group C and A) scene to­day? BH: I think it is the best class out there. Only prob­lem is that there is too much money in­volved to­day. Not so much for our ‘shop­ping trol­leys’ down the back. It’s good fun and good peo­ple.

AMC: I un­der­stand that Justin Matthews and Greg Keam, who own a cou­ple of your old cars, help you out these days. BH: With­out their help I sim­ply wouldn’t be able to get to the race meet­ings these days. I hope to keep rac­ing for as long as I can. It’s like rac­ing with fam­ily. We do the best we can with what we’ve got.

Top: Bob fin­ished in the top 10 in the Su­per Tourer 1000s when he was in his mid-60s. Be­low: There’s a story be­hind his sig­na­ture #13, in­clu­sive of his time in F2 (here in 1973).

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