HD not the worst Holden
Great issue and I have all of them. Particularly liked the ‘1966: the year in racing’ pictures and article. Regarding the ‘The Big Three in 1966’ article, I loved the VC Valiant, HR Holden and XR Ford, but thought the author’s comments on the preceding HD Holden was a bit strong. Gavin Farmer wrote that the HD, released in February 1965, “was probably Holden’s worst car ever from several points of view”. Remember the 1.9-litre Starfire 4 Sunbird? What about that for Holden’s worst? HD outsold the record breaking EH during the first three months it was on sale and had a record registration of 19,000 units during May 1965. There was also a significant 20,000 exports of this model, so someone must have liked them! The HD released in February 1965 had the initial X2 140hp motor available, but because of this should be more fairly compared with the 121hp 200 Super Pursuit XP Falcon of the same time and year, not XR Falcon with 289 V8 and HR Holden (HR had 145hp X2 and later 186s with same output and 2-barrel carby). Also the HR Premier was available with a bench frontseat as a no-cost option in sedan and wagon. And what of the limited run factory S4 EH which pre-dated all of these ‘performance specials’ in 1963?
The buck stops here
I’ve enjoyed every edition of AMC. However, a small error appeared on page 35 of issue #91. The reverse of the $20.00 note is correct for 1966, probably a Coombs-Wilson signed note, but the $2.00 note depicted on the same page is incorrect. That particular note with ‘Australia’ as the title was not released until 19 June, 1974. ED: Phil, my good man, the next time I’m a contestant on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ and Eddie Maguire asks me a question I can’t answer, I’d like you to be my ‘Phone A Friend’ option. You’re payment? A crisp $2 ‘green and gold’ note.
Valerie, call on me
I had the pleasure of driving my tribute VC #05 Commodore (Valerie! Every car has gotta have a name) to Bathurst for the 10-year anniversary of the king’s passing. What a great week and a half my wife Sandie and I had.
On our way to Bathurst from our home town of Ballarat we called into Winton Motor Raceway where the wonderful people there let us drive onto the track and get some great pics under the old start finish line.
We arrived at the mountain the Thursday week before the Great Race so we could take some pics of Valerie and hang a few laps around the iconic race track which was a great treat.
She was also present at the driver’s signing on the Wednesday and with the help of some great people, Mag Elshaar and Dale Sudholz, Valerie got her dash signed by the great Jim Richards and Brocky’s apprentice, Craig Lowndes.
All in all, a fantastic race week for us to share our beautiful car with everyone. She sure did get a hell of a lot of attention from Holden and Ford fans alike which made us very proud.
On the track the 48 TCM cars with 24 of the field from NZ was most definitely the highlight. They sounded awesome.
FYI, Valerie has a pretty much stock 308 at the moment. That will change next winter.
Iread with interest your story about the move from Group A to the V8 category. I think that move was a huge missed opportunity and never can I remember a governing body implementing rule changes that forced manufactures out of the sport.
I think the first three years of Group A, 1985 to 1987, were good in terms of the racing, variety of cars, etc, but the following three years I think most people got sick of only Sierras winning. I think the rule makers got the turbo equivalency rule wrong which allowed the Sierras to dominate.
I was happy to see another car beat them, being the GT-R. However, I remember being taken aback by the biased Channel Seven commentary during 1991 and ’92. At every start we heard the words to the effect of “4WD no advantage; don’t you believe it”.
This I think must have had some influence on fans. The change in equivalency rules in ’92 improved the racing, which saw GTRs, M3s and Sierras all winning races. I believed at the time and still believe today the GT-Rs and M3s should have been allowed to continue beyond 1993 with all cars be subject to restrictions/freedoms to ensure all were competitive. The weight put on the M3s in ’93 rendered them uncompetitive. I thought it was unfair and a tragedy.
My point is if Nissan and BMW had been allowed to continue competitively we would have had at least four manufacturers, with three very different types of cars creating unpredictability in races, different sounds and more passing, thus better racing.
Possibly Audi could have even run a A4 Quattro turbo instead of the A4 they did in Super Touring.
The Supercar formula has been allowed to evolve into what is effectively a sports sedan formula, with the result that all the cars are equal, consequently it creates close racing, but not great racing in terms of passing and re passing.
The races tend to be processional and predictable. The cars are too expensive, and there is not enough of them. And really, a V8 Altima?!
There was a time when the cars on the track were aspirational and representative of what you could go out and buy. The rule changes for next year, I can’t see changing much. And with the aero and shorter braking distances the cars are too fast, making overtaking harder.
I hope one day they will wake up and go back to standard bodies, with engines representative of what you can buy, allowing cars with different strengths and weaknesses that will create better racing, with cheaper cars.
Paul Oliver Email