KINGS OF THE MOUN­TAIN: IN­SIDE STO­RIES OF THE LEG­ENDS OF BATHURST

Gor­don Lo­mas Pub­lished 2017 by Pen­guin, re­viewer’s own copy ISBN 978014379203 Re­viewed by: Mark Hol­man

New Zealand Classic Car - - Automobilia -

In this well-il­lus­trated 242-page hard­back, au­thor Gor­don Lo­mas cov­ers all as­pects of Bathurst’s touring car races, through the driv­ers and their teams, as well as those who worked be­hind the scenes, such as long-term gen­eral man­ager Ivan Stib­bard, the Stone Broth­ers, HRT supremo John Cren­nan, and the race com­men­ta­tors.

Start­ing with the Minis that took nine of the top-10 places in the Gal­la­her 500 in ’66, the book fills out many of the dra­mas over the fol­low­ing 50 years, up to Messrs Morris and Mostert, who started last and made 13 pit stops but still won in 2016. It’s not a race-by-race summary, but there are chap­ters on the Bathurst days of guys like Gib­son, Brock, Grice, John­son, Steven, and Jim Richards, Longhurst, and Win­ter­bot­tom (who won for Ford in the year I was lucky enough to be at ‘The Great Race’).

No race at Bathurst, win or lose, is easy, and the book cap­tures much of the drama that took place on the track, in the pits, and even be­fore the race started. How the Win­field money was at­tracted to fund Nissan’s race teams, Brock’s En­ergy Po­lar­izer, and the dras­tic im­pact on Holden’s rac­ing fu­ture of Walkin­shaw’s un­suc­cess­ful at­tempt to go For­mula 1 rac­ing are just three of the fas­ci­nat­ing back­ground sto­ries, straight from the peo­ple in­volved.

Most of the book re­volves around the V8s, but the ear­lier years of more var­ied fields of very pro­duc­tion-look­ing cars, the rapid Sier­ras, and the two-litre su­per tour­ers haven’t been for­got­ten. All in all, Kings of the Moun­tain is a very en­joy­able book at a de­cent price.

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