Bill O’Brien had always been a racing enthusiast, but when he hung up his race helmet that was it. He has never turned a wheel in a racecar since. Not that he hasn’t had the chance. His two youngest sons, Tim and Chris, are active competitors in (Historic) Group Nc with fire-breathing XY Falcon GTs apiece powered by 351ci Cleveland engines built by elder halfbrother Peter.
“I take an interest in the boys’ racing and go to their meetings, including the Muscle Car Masters, but I’ve got no interest in getting behind the wheel.”
Neither is he interested in buying back his old racecars or any classic muscle cars, despite owning a number of Falcon GT and GT-HOs in their heyday. Photos and memories of his Bathurst campaigns do the job nicely for him today. After all, he spent plenty during his heyday to ensure his racecars were as good as any other privateer out there. He wasn’t one to take shortcuts.
AMC shared a beer with him in his office in the ACT as he reminisced surrounded by such images and model cars. We found this modest man proud of his achievements and wellprepared for our chat with back issues of AMC at the ready for reference.
O’Brien, a fit-looking 75, is now semi-retired, having sold most of his Everlast automotive businesses in Canberra. He did buy back his smash repair business that specialises in trucks and buses, passing it on to sons Tim and Chris.
Sadly, the distinctive Everlast blue hue is no more. The only remaining Everlast business is a bumper exchange/replacement business in south-western Sydney that services the trade and employs around 40 people. With these businesses, the family house in Canberra and a farm at Nelligen, near Batemans Bay, Bill O’Brien is not about to slow down any time soon.