Bent­ley Boys at Bathurst

Australian Muscle Car - - News -

Call me a grumpy old git, but I’m over our cur­rent Su­per­cars for­mula at Bathurst. There, I said it. I’m sorry, but I get a bit cyn­i­cal when each and ev­ery year, the mon­ster that is tele­vi­sion wants the Bathurst 1000 to be the clos­est ever, to the sound­track of Holden and Ford fans yelling and get­ting mad in an au­to­mo­tive ver­sion of the World Wrestling Fed­er­a­tion.

Don’t they – ‘they’ be­ing the ones that have de­vel­oped the for­mat – re­alise that each year Bathurst 1000 can’t be the best ever? How can you ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­cel­lent ones, when there are no mun­dane ones?

I get the feel­ing that, while Brocky’s 1979 Bathurst vic­tory was one for the record books, ‘they’ mut­ter in dark cor­ners that it would be sui­ci­dal for the busi­ness if any­one ever won by six laps again. And so now ev­ery­thing about the Bathurst 1000 is about try­ing to make sure that the key play­ers have ‘bought a ticket to the end game’, and the race is sup­posed to come down to an at­tempted pass on the fi­nal lap. You may as well be asleep for the mid­dle of the race.

As a re­sult, ev­ery year I go to Bathurst in Oc­to­ber and watch a batch of highly tuned space­frame mo­bile bill­boards that look al­most iden­ti­cal to each other, race to make it to that fi­nal lap in a win­ning po­si­tion. And apart from the year of the Big Pot-Hole and the Big Wet this year, there is not much that sep­a­rates one race from an­other in the last 15 years, at least in my jaded mem­ory. There was a time I looked for­ward to new mod­els or at least new ho­molo­ga­tion pack­ages each year. Cars used to change sig­nif­i­cantly, more than three brands faced each other, and each year seemed fresh!

There is an an­ti­dote for my malaise – the Bathurst 12 Hour and the GT3 for­mula. OK, so I recog­nise that we can’t have show­room pro­duc­tion race­cars, and yes, it is a per­for­mance for­mula, but GT3 at Mt Panorama is some­thing that brings back the spark. Fer­raris, Audis, McLarens and Mercedes, to name but a few, swoop­ing around our best race­track in the dark and the light, each with their own in­di­vid­ual look and sound. This is a spec­ta­cle that is truly mem­o­rable.

What about rac­ing mus­cle, you ask? What about those Bent­leys, I say! Four litres of V8 be­ing punched along by twin-tur­bos. They tower over the low-slung sportscars with a brutish pres­ence, a mod­ern day rein­car­na­tion of the Speed Six Bent­leys that ruled Le Mans in the 1930s.

And the slot car mak­ers are in on it too. There are a whole range of GT3 slot cars be­ing made that match what we see at Mt Panorama ev­ery Fe­bru­ary, some with spe­cific Bathurst 12 Hours liv­er­ies. Audis, Mercedes and Porsches made by Scalex­tric, Car­rera and SCX, but not yet a com­mer­cially avail­able Bathurst-spe­cific Bent­ley model.

A quick look through the ex­ist­ing Bent­ley GT3 range pro­duced by Scalex­tric shows the 2015 Bathurst Bent­ley paint scheme is very sim­i­lar to that fea­tured on one of their range, the #7 raced in the Euro­pean Blanc­pain se­ries. Thanks to Patto’s Place de­cals, we can use that as the ba­sis of a Bathurst 12 Hour car, so I picked up a nice pearl-white Bent­ley to con­vert.

As Bruce Moxon has been point­ing out in the Mini Mus­cle sec­tion in the last few is­sues of AMC, Patto’s Place has been mak­ing high qual­ity de­cals for some time, and Bruce Pater­son’s prod­ucts are pop­u­lar all over the world. Not only can you choose from a range of scales, but the de­cals can be or­dered in sim­ple stick-on me­dia or mod­eller-pre­ferred wa­ter­slide. Glanc­ing through the Patto’s range shows that the #8, #10 and #11 MS­port Bent­leys have de­cal sets avail­able. I picked up a set for the Smith/Kane/Bell #10 car.

The thin yet rel­a­tively ro­bust wa­ter­slide me­dia flat­ten to the sur­face of the body very nicely. If you ap­ply them with care, you can barely make out the thick­ness of the de­cal paper once they are dry. For this car Patto has pro­duced them in an over-wrap style for clear slot bod­ies, so I cut out the bits and pieces needed. Good qual­ity scis­sors and de­cal so­lu­tions such as the Mi­croscale range help to en­sure a neat fin­ish.

Un­for­tu­nately, in a cou­ple of places the orig­i­nal de­cals are larger than the new ones. I used

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.