Holden Dealer Team days

When Holden with­drew from rac­ing at the end of 1979, Shep­pard in­tended con­tin­u­ing, but couldn’t get a com­mit­ment from his star driver and even­tu­ally – as he’d done many times be­fore in his ca­reer – de­cided to sim­ply walk away. He sold the team to Brock fo

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Man -

Harry Firth had been con­vinced to re­tire at the end of 1977, and Shep­pard – who de­scribes Firth’s pre­sen­ta­tion as “a dis­grace for a fac­tory team” – was se­lected by Holden to take over. He found new premises in North Mel­bourne and took the sport to new lev­els of pre­sen­ta­tion

“A few peo­ple had ex­pressed an in­ter­est – Colin Bond, me and Frank Gard­ner – and when noth­ing had hap­pened to­wards the end of the year I rang the Holden chair­man and told him you couldn’t ex­pect a new team to start pre­par­ing in Fe­bru­ary. They had to make a de­ci­sion, and it all just hap­pened. It was a hand­shake deal, which was good enough for me.”

Holden also signed Peter Brock to re­turn to HDT and pro­vided the Marl­boro spon­sor­ship. Shep­pard in­stalled his dyno and brought with him en­gine builder Neil Burns. Holden sup­plied count­less parts, pa­per­work and ho­molo­ga­tion. “If we wanted some­thing to hap­pen, it hap­pened. So much stuff would just ar­rive.”

Sheppo and the crew pre­pared the two ex­ist­ing Firth A9Xs – a de­cent four-door and

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