A9X 1: 40 reasons
The Torana A9X turns 40 this year. To celebrate, AMC presents 40 reasons to love the ultimate factory Torana V8.
1984 Cannonball website
I know issue #56 is a long way in the past now, but since learning about the 1984 Cannonball Cup that was mentioned in that issue, I have become a bit obsessed with collecting as much information as possible about the race.
I have now put together a website to record the history of the race before it is completely forgotten about.
Getting the story straight from the drivers is the best way of finding out what really happened on the race and I have now managed to contact a significant number of the drivers and people involved. In addition to their recollections many have been able to provide photos, newspaper articles, original documents from the race organisers, route maps, and even video. One even had a copy of the official race results. All of this is now available to see on the website.
Many stories have now been uncovered, including the fact that the original winners were later controversially disqualified and the second placed team were awarded the win as they managed to make it to Perth without getting fined for any driving offences.
The story about the supercharged Ford breaking down and the team buying another car to complete the race is not quite correct. The Ford did break down but it was fixed at the road side and did go on to finish the race. There was another team in a Ford LTD which bought a car to get to the finish after the LTD blew a head gasket.
There’s so many other great stories from the race, like the team that dressed as newlyweds and painted “just married” all over their car, and another team that dressed as priests.
I would love to hear from any drivers who I haven’t managed to contact, or anyone who has any information about the race to share. John Avis email@example.com www.cannonball.info
That’s gotta be...
Iwas fascinated by the photo on page 23 of AMC issue #93 of the Geoghegan Sports Car yard, circa 1967. In it we see assorted Porsche, MG and Lotus vehicles and perhaps not surprisingly a row of new or near new 1966 and ‘67 Mustangs.
This photo appears to have been snapped right at the time Big Pete was changing from his tried-and-true ’65 Mustang to his latest ’67 model. There can be little doubt it is the two-times Australian Touring Car Championship winner sitting second from the right, sans numbers but with the telltale Castrol striping in lace, awaiting its new owner, Kiwi Rod Coppins.
But it wasn’t this car that piqued my interest, but rather the white ’67 Fastback parked alongside. Pete famously brought not one but two white Mustangs over from the US in early 1967. The ’67 GTA coupe that he famously went on to win three consecutive ATCC titles together with a bog standard 289ci manual fastback that was supposed to be his racecar. Legend goes that the Geoghegans were unsure whether the fastback would be accepted by CAMS and brought the GTA over as insurance. Sure enough CAMS rejected the fastback as ineligible to race, so Pete then swapped the top loader 4-speed from the Fastback to the Coupe, stripped out all the GTA fancy gear from the coupe (auto transmission, console, driving lights) and dropped them into the fastback. And there sitting on the Geoghegan sales lot is (I believe) that Mustang. The colour, the GTA spotlights and the fact that it is in the sales yard alongside Pete’s previous racecar makes it a near certainty that this is it.
If only its whereabouts could be traced today. It would be even more famous than the Goss Falcon recently uncovered in AMC. At the very least it is possibly the only known photo of the car that almost became the legend. Russell Unitt firstname.lastname@example.org ED: Good pick-up, Russell! You should be on that TV show Have You Been Paying Attention?
Addicted to slot machines
Just like to say how much I’ve enjoyed the magazine and the articles on slot muscle cars. I bought a Scalextric Bathurst Legends set thinking it would be fun for the kids, before becoming engrossed myself. Sound familiar? I’ve extended the track, added a laser timer and synthetic grass, hedges and trees. We’ve had some great races. On one occasion I overtook my mate halfway through the last lap. He then crashed at the last bend before barrel rolling down the straight to the finish line; nearly taking my car out in the process.
For a brief moment in time you enter a parallel universe and come out feeling totally refreshed. Everyone’s a winner! Brian Breakey Kelmscott, WA
An explosive read
Ibought the new ‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray book a few weeks ago, and am so pleased that his son Phil has put pen to paper with this definitive biography. A lot of the stories I had heard in the past, but there was lots of new stuff I didn’t know, such as his appearance on This Is Your Life.
Previous to this, I had only seen a few short articles in the like of Modern Motor, and the exploits that have been featured in Evan Green’s books about their journeys together.
I was fortunate enough several years ago to buy a copy of Journeys With Gelignite Jack by Evan Green, which is a really fascinating story about their figure-ofeight crossing of Australia in a Austin 1800 and a Morris Mini, while testing a new oil (GTX?) for Castrol. When I spotted an autographed copy of the book on Amazon about three years ago, I jumped at the chance to grab it, which upset one or two veteran Aussie motoring journos when they found out!
This copy had been signed by Green, Murray, Scott Polkinghorne (who filmed the whole trip – it is available from Duke Video on a DVD called Epic Road Trips 1965-1970), and Alan Kemp, along with Bob Graydon from Castrol, and two others who I don’t know where they fitted in (refer photo).
If you haven’t read this book, you really should try and search it out – it really is a good read.
Malcolm McLeod Papakura, NZ