Brock’s emotional tribute
The ace driver’s beloved Daytona goes on display, writes Mark Hinchliffe
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.