Af­ter rac­ing

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Man -

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.

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