AMC: How did the distinctive Everlast blue come about?
Bill O’Brien: All my work cars including the tow trucks were a pale blue from early on. It was a Dulux fleet colour but I registered that colour with Dulux as ‘Everlast Blue.’ Everyone knew the colour. When I sold the business the colour went as well.
AMC: You always kept a low profile when you were racing. Why was that?
BO’B: I was never looking for publicity. The business was promoted by the car itself. Prime TV in Canberra was supportive and they appeared on the car for a while.
AMC: One of ‘your sponsors’ was the Steampacket Hotel?
BO’B: Yes, I owned the Steampacket in Nelligen for a few years. We used to hold country music festivals there. In fact, I owned the general store, the caravan park and even the wharf. About half the town!
AMC: You were a very generous team owner.
BO’B: I never asked co-drivers to bring money to the team. Only Ron Barnacle bought money because he insisted.
AMC: At Bathurst 1979 you had your share of scrutineering issues with your XC Falcon?
BO’B: I knew that the car had been prepared for Moffat and had (highly illegal) lightweight panels. The bumpers were half the weight! Scrutineer Harry Firth was onto the car. ‘Take the door trim off,’ he said. There were no intrusion bars, which weighed nine pounds. We had to do something about it. We put a brick in it and he okayed it!
AMC: In 1983 Garry Willmington ran his XD Falcon at Bathurst in Everlast colours?
BO’B: He came and saw me. He said I was getting plenty of exposure and did I have any objections with him coming along with me. I said, ‘No worries I’ll sponsor you.’
AMC: In later years you used a number of co drivers. Did any stand out?
BO’B: Young Brian Callaghan was always the quickest, but he was on a knife edge and sometimes spun as a result. AMC: You held onto both your Group C Falcons for a time and then sold them on.
BO’B: My son Peter raced the Falcons in Group C Historics, but then in 2002 one of my businesses failed and I lost most of my money. The Harrises came along and offered me a good deal for both Falcons. When I had plenty of money it didn’t worry me to hold onto them.