Brock’s emo­tional trib­ute

The ace driver’s beloved Day­tona goes on dis­play, writes Mark Hinch­liffe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Cars -

TEARS flowed when the re­stored Day­tona Coupe race car in which le­gendary racer Peter Brock died was un­veiled at the Cham­pi­ons Brock Ex­pe­ri­ence mu­seum at Yep­poon in cen­tral Queens­land.

‘‘It’s a beau­ti­ful race car and Peter loved driv­ing it,’’ mu­seum owner and long-time Brock friend Peter Cham­pion says.

The nine-time Bathurst cham­pion died in Septem­ber 2006 when the Day­tona slammed into a tree dur­ing a rally near Perth.

Cham­pion says most of the 40 peo­ple at­tend­ing the un­veil­ing last Satur­day night shed a tear.

‘‘It is an emo­tional thing but some­thing had to be done to pre­serve his me­mory,’’ he says.

‘‘I’ve been liv­ing with it for four years but I still shed a tear. It’s sad but it’s a part of his­tory.’’

Cham­pion had the wreck­age re­stored to its rac­ing glory by the orig­i­nal builder, Richard Ben­dall, and his com­pany, Day­tona Sports Cars, at Dro­mana.

Cham­pion would not dis­close the cost of restora­tion for the 1960s-style mus­cle car.

‘‘Put it this way, you could have bought a new one for the price we paid to re­store it,’’ he says.

A new coupe can cost up to $200,000.

James Ben­dall, who did most of the restora­tion, says it took about 800 hours over two years.

‘‘It was very grat­i­fy­ing to see it back in one piece and a bit sad when it left the fac­tory,’’ Ben­dall says.

‘‘We were very proud of how it came up in the end.’’

Cham­pion says it was dif­fi­cult to de­cide how to dis­play the car.

‘‘We thought about putting it in a room on its own, but it would have be­come a shrine and I don’t think there is any place for a shrine among over 40 of his cars.

‘‘It’s like the last chap­ter of a book. It has to be part of the same story.

‘‘A good friend of mine was against restor­ing and dis­play­ing it, but he changed his mind af­ter vis­it­ing the Henry Ford mu­seum in the US and see­ing the car JFK was shot in. He said it was a tragedy but part of his­tory.’’

Re­birth: the re­stored Day­tona on dis­play in Queens­land and (left) af­ter the fa­tal smash.

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