Project Kaleda

Australian Muscle Car - - Contents -

The Kaleda fam­ily has cre­ated a very spe­cial tribute Valiant Charger in the liv­ery of pa­tri­arch Ray’s most suc­cess­ful Bathurst chal­lenger. The E38 has proven a hit at car shows as it helps keep mem­o­ries alive of an un­sung pri­va­teer’s Great Race feats. Ray’s is an in­cred­i­ble life story.

“They were no good from the start. But you have to be used to it.

If Al­lan was say­ing they were no good, I’m con­vinced they were no good.” But Ickx is not so sure. “Gen­tle? That was maybe my prob­lem,” he says.

“Al­lan did two-thirds of the job. He did the start, I did the mid­dle, and he fin­ished it.”

But he has no doubt about the chal­lenge at Bathurst.

“That Fal­con is the kind of car that forces you to be hum­ble. When you have a car that obeys, it is dif­fer­ent. Al­lan did things I could not do.”

“When I drove the IROC Ca­maro in the United States it gave me the same feel­ing. It is so soft it is un­pre­dictable, you never know where you are go­ing to stop.”

With the job done for Mof­fat in 1977, Ickx re­turned to his blos­som­ing sportscar ca­reer with Porsche. His long stint with the fa­mous fac­tory squad saw him in­volved in an­other 1-2 fin­ish in a 1000 kilo­me­tre race in Aus­tralia – Sandown’s 1984 World Sports Car Cham­pi­onship round – this time fi nish­ing sec­ond. He did not re­turn to Aus­tralia for al­most 30 years.

Ickx is now 72 and has a very philo­soph­i­cal ap­proach to life. He is a deep thinker and he has an im­por­tant mes­sage he wants to pass to all AMC read­ers

“To fi­nalise this con­ver­sa­tion, there is a very im­por­tant thing. When you grow up your spirit gets clearer about a lot of things,” he be­gins. “Of course, still to­day I am known, but don’t for­get that we are what we are be­cause it was made pos­si­ble by a lot of peo­ple that you never see. They have tal­ent and hu­mil­ity but they never get the spot­light.

“If you drive a Porsche in long-dis­tance rac­ing it’s a win­ning car from the start. So it makes the vic­tory easy.

“In the right car you only have to be fast, to stay on the road. The big part of the job has been made in ad­vance. You have to keep in mind that there were hun­dreds of tal­ented peo­ple, full of pas­sion, who cre­ated that car.

“We are fin­ish­ing a job in a way. But it’s so easy to drive a good car and it’s so easy to win when you have the right car. You have to be grate­ful, per­ma­nently. That’s the re­al­ity.”

Ickx’s and Mof­fat’s paths first crossed a decade be­fore their his­toric Bathurst win, dur­ing one of Mof­fat’s ear­li­est ap­pear­ances in the Trans-Amer­i­can Sedan Cham­pi­onship. The pair raced Lo­tus Corti­nas for ri­val teams in the ’66 Marl­boro 12 Hours, in Up­per Marl­boro, Vir­ginia, a week af­ter Ickx’s F1 de­but in the Ger­man Grand Prix at the Nur­bur­gring.

Their most re­cent catch-up was in New Zealand ear­lier this year, hot on the heels of a long-awaited re­union in the United States last Septem­ber at, ap­pro­pri­ately enough, La­guna Seca’s Mon­terey Mo­tor­sports Re­union.

“That Fal­con is the kind of car that forces you to be hum­ble. When you have a car that obeys, it is dif­fer­ent. Al­lan did things I could not do.”

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