And not for­get­ting...

Australian Muscle Car - - Sacred Sites Special -


for­got­ten to­day is the ex­is­tence of the fab­u­lous Arthur Park speed­way in a sec­tion of bush­land near Beaudesert Road at Calam­vale, on the out­skirts of Bris­bane. Does any­one re­mem­ber go­ing there?

This unique track was built in 1966 by speed­way pro­moter Frank Arthur, a cham­pion mo­tor­cy­cle racer who made a fortune rid­ing in Eng­land be­fore the war. Old Frank had a hand­son ap­proach. He per­son­ally drove the grader that carved this cir­cuit out of the scrub. This was a new con­cept, a one-mile speed­way in­clud­ing dif­fer­ent ra­dius cor­ners and up­hill and down­hill sec­tions. It was wide enough for cars to race six or seven wide. Some spec­tac­u­lar crashes oc­curred, no­tably a Mini which ended up up­side down in a dam. The un­con­scious driver was res­cued just in time.

As good as it sounds, Arthur Park never took off, partly be­cause of the un­pre­dictable Bris­bane cli­mate, which in­cluded the oc­ca­sional flood. Most com­peti­tors de­cided that it was too dan­ger­ous to race here, es­pe­cially the few brave souls who tried the cir­cuit in an open-cock­pit speed­car.

When Queens­land de­vel­oper Keith Wil­liams’ built the Ade­laide In­ter­na­tional Race­way com­plex on the Main North Road on the out­skirts of Ade­laide he in­cor­po­rated a banked half-mile speed­way as part of the road race cir­cuit, with a con­nect­ing link to the main straight. Speed­way cars ran in the op­po­site di­rec­tion to the cir­cuit rac­ers. The Su­per­bowl, as it was called, was first used for rac­ing in March 1974. A large crowd at­tended although most of them never re­turned.

A few driv­ers built cars es­pe­cially for the Su­per­bowl, no­tably John Hughes and his light­weight HX Monaro. This ma­chine was closer to a sports sedan than the typ­i­cal dirt track ma­chine. It soon be­came ob­vi­ous that you’d have to build a spe­cial unit for the pave­ment. A dozen or so pave­ment sedans were built but never enough to make the Su­per­bowl a vi­able con­cern.

The AIR speed­way was later used for NASCAR and AUSCAR rac­ing. A fea­ture story on the Su­per­bowl was in AMC #55. These days the com­plex is oc­ca­sion­ally used for drag rac­ing and drift­ing.

This fea­ture was not meant to be an al­len­com­pass­ing, de­fin­i­tive his­tory of met­ro­pol­i­tan speed­ways in this coun­try, as there were many more with fleet­ing his­to­ries that we could not il­lus­trate.

Next is­sue we’ll look at some of the more no­table re­gional and coun­try speed­ways from the mus­cle car pe­riod.

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