Harves’ miss­ing plaque

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Maniac -

It’s taken over 40 years but Bathurst le­gend John Har­vey will fi­nally be pre­sented with a plaque for fin­ish­ing run­ner-up in the 1976 Hardie-Ferodo 1000. Har­vey and Colin Bond were sec­ond in the Great Race that year to Bob Mor­ris and John Fitz­patrick, but while Bob, Bondy and Fitz all re­ceived their right­ful tro­phies at a func­tion postevent, Harves missed out.

To­rana en­thu­si­asts in South Aus­tralia will ‘right this wrong’ at a spe­cial com­mem­o­ra­tive evening on July 8 to cel­e­brate the dra­matic 1976 Bathurst clas­sic. That year’s race, of course, saw the win­ning Ron Hodg­son Rac­ing L34 limp over the line to take the che­quered flag first, chased by the Holden Dealer Team ex­am­ple.

The evening’s or­gan­iser Paul Horner says the idea of pre­sent­ing Har­vey with a replica of the plaque stemmed from time he spent with the five­time Bathurst podium-get­ter last year.

“Last Oc­to­ber I spent some time with John and he showed me his Bathurst plaques and tro­phies – there were four of them,” Horner ex­plained. This had an in­quis­i­tive Horner ask­ing what be­came of the fifth.

The plaques were not pre­sented on the fa­mous Bathurst bal­cony im­me­di­ately af­ter the race, but at a tele­vised of­fi­cial prize-giv­ing func­tion at Chan­nel Seven’s Ep­ping (Syd­ney) stu­dios a month af­ter the race. English­man Fitz­patrick was flown back out to Aus­tralia for the oc­ca­sion, join­ing Syd­neysiders Mor­ris and Bond at the black-tie event. Har­vey, for rea­sons lost in the sands of time, did not at­tend that swish do and the plaque was ac­cepted on his be­half by a Holden rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

“John says he only saw the plaque once, at Holden’s Fish­er­mans Bend head­quar­ters in the 1990s,” Horner con­tin­ues. “I asked John if he wanted me to track it down. He said he did and the chal­lenge was ac­cepted!”

De­spite Horner’s best ef­forts to contact all rel­e­vant par­ties, in­clud­ing Holden, ask­ing for info on the plaque’s where­abouts to­day, he’s so far drawn a blank. Paul is still hope­ful of re­unit­ing Harves with it but in the mean­time has cre­ated a replica to be pre­sented to John in Ade­laide on July 8. Bob Mor­ris will also at­tend the func­tion as joint ‘headline act’ and sup­plied Horner with im­ages and de­tails of his own plaque so that a replica could be pro­duced.

The evening, to be held at the Walk­erville RSL Club, is be­ing called ‘The Last Lap: Bathurst 1976’. Tick­ets – $65 per per­son and in­clud­ing a spit roast din­ner – are strictly lim­ited and avail­able from www.brocky.com.au

For more in­for­ma­tion contact Horner via paul­horner79479@hot­mail.com or 0400 797 318. More spe­cial guests will be an­nounced be­tween now and July 8.

Bob Mor­ris is yet to con­firm whether he will don John Tra­volta’s white suit for the oc­ca­sion!

And those of you who think John Har­vey should ac­tu­ally be re­ceiv­ing the prize for win­ning the 1976 Hardie-Ferodo 500 must have missed AMC con­trib­u­tor David Green­halgh’s story in the 2016 Bathurst – The Great Race mag­a­zine. The Bathurst 1000 his­to­rian, armed with some new ev­i­dence, had an­other look at that epic 1976 race and casts se­ri­ous doubt on re­cur­rent claims that the sec­ond-placed Bond/Har­vey HDT To­rana had ac­tu­ally been one lap ahead of the win­ning Mor­ris/Fitz­patrick L34.

If you missed his story, that spe­cial mag­a­zine is avail­able via our back is­sues ser­vice at www. my­magazines.com.au

AMC will pub­lish that thought-pro­vok­ing ar­ti­cle next is­sue. In our opin­ion, Horner’s mis­sion to pro­vide Harves with a plaque for sec­ond place is 100 per cent the cor­rect thing to do – in more ways in one.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.