The Bbrothers Tilley
The Tilley name is synonymous with historic touring racing and Chryslers.
paid them a visit.
Anyone with a passing interest in Group N historic racing or the Touring Car Masters series will know the name Tilley. Brothers Brad and Cameron Tilley have been around the historic touring car racing scene pretty much ever since there was an historic touring car racing scene. Their involvement started in the early 1980s with their legendary S Series slant-six model Valiants (push-button automatic and all), before eventually progressing through to Falcons, Mustangs and Pacers.
The brothers have been hugely successful over more than 30 years and they’re still racing today. And still winning.
About the only thing that’s changed is that they’re now providing others with the benefit of all they’ve learned over the journey, be it building cars or engines, or helping others to get the best out of their machines or themselves as drivers.
The Tilleys are a motorsport family, but they are also Chrysler people. Their love of Valiants stretches back a generation. Their father, John Tilley, is himself a Chrysler aficionado.
Back in the day, John Tilley raced a Holden 48-215 at Oran Park. But drag racing was more his thing.
“He was circuit racing Holdens and drag racing Main: The Tilley brothers, Cameron (left) and Brad. Left: Old Valiants never die... The Tilleys’ S Series in action at Oran Park in 1987 (far left) and at Sydney Motorsport Park in the 2005 Masters(right). Valiants,” Brad Tilley says.
Their mother, too, went drag racing, in an S Series Valiant. Mrs Tilley also drag raced the family Falcon, an XY GT-HO Phase III…
“I remember seeing photos with us kids at Castlereagh in prams while they’re out racing!” Brad laughs. “So I think racing was always what we were going to do.
“Dad did rock excavation, but on the side he was a mechanic. He did a lot of work from home and helped out a lot of people. Then he got involved in a shop called Valspeed at Manly Vale.”
This was the Valiant speed shop on Sydney’s Northern Beaches run by Des Leonard. AMC readers may recall Leonard as one of the owners of the three Plymouth ‘Ramchargers’ (featured in AMC #47) that found their way downunder in the mid-1960s. John Tilley worked there when Leonard was racing the Ramcharger (inset below).