Q&A

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Man -

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.

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