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What made Ama­roo spe­cial

Having just read is­sue #103 of Aus­tralia Mus­cle Car, I re­ally felt that I needed to write some­thing. See­ing those old pic­tures of Ama­roo and the AMSCAR se­ries re­ally brought back mem­o­ries. I don’t think I missed a meet­ing through­out that time, liv­ing in Syd­ney, Ama­roo and Oran Park were must at­tends. Sit­ting on the hill go­ing up Bi­tu­pave was just an ex­cel­lent view­ing spot. Then a walk to Dun­lop Loop al­though a bit iso­lated was still a great place to see the ac­tion.

I have vis­ited the old site and if you use your imag­i­na­tion, you can still make out where the track was. On my last visit the park­ing at­ten­dant’s shed for the carpark was still stand­ing, bat­tered, but still there. I could still make out the carpark as well as Stop-Go Cor­ner al­though there were horses around it and a ten­nis court up on the rocks. What a waste.

I re­alise that a lot has been writ­ten about the past rac­ing at Ama­roo, but I re­ally wanted to high­light some­thing that I feel is miss­ing today.

Ama­roo was a nat­u­ral am­phithe­atre and as such you could re­ally watch and en­joy the whole race, ex­cept for that breather you had when they went out of sight around the loop. Your photo of the start­line at Ama­roo showed the place’s view­ing from the rocks and hills. A re­ally ex­cel­lent at­mos­phere and it didn’t cost the na­tional debt to at­tend. No grand­stands, just sit­ting on the ter­races.

Today, I am still a mem­ber of the ARDC, but Eastern Creek, al­though still ba­si­cally an am­phithe­atre, the struc­ture in the mid­dle stops you watching the whole race, un­less you can see a TV screen from your van­tage point, they are out of sight for most of the lap. I feel that the spec­ta­tor ar­eas are too far from the ac­tion to re­ally get the feel of mo­tor rac­ing and even though you can walk all the way around the track, the at­mos­phere just is not there.

I love your mag­a­zine and have most copies. I es­pe­cially like the in-depth ar­ti­cles on the past and glo­ri­ous cars as well as drivers. Keep it up. I will keep buy­ing un­til I die. Bob Macarthur Email

Monaro 1

As a young­ster I was a Ford-only kid, un­til our neigh­bour down the street brought home his new War­wick Yel­low HK GTS Monaro. The neigh­bour, Colin, gave me and my fa­ther a lift up to the lo­cal shops. I can still re­call the ac­cel­er­a­tion shov­ing me back into the back­seat. It was awe­some!

Of course, as I grew older, I came to ap­pre­ci­ate all cars. Well, most cars (Hill­man Hunters still make me nau­seous) and I just love the Monaro shape.

When it came to the Monaro’s drag rac­ing his­tory in is­sue #103, I was sur­prised you didn’t men­tion ‘The Shaker’. I can still re­call gap­ing open mouthed at the green aked mi­rage in front of me at the Mel­bourne Hot Rod Show. Of course, it wasn’t very suc­cess­ful as a drag racer,

but it sure looked the part... Phil Minns Email

Monaro 2

For all the rea­sons AMC lists in its 50th an­niver­sary trib­ute to the HK 327 Monaro, it truly was an iconic ve­hi­cle. To have been a young petrol­head back then, one was surely blessed. Clever design work had the ap­pear­ance of chang­ing ev­ery­thing from the wind­screen back in a seam­less way. Al­though the HK sedan main­tained Holden’s rep­u­ta­tion, as a

vis­ually at­trac­tive mar­ket­ing propo­si­tion it ran sec­ond to the ‘Mus­tang Bred’ XR. So, yes, the game had changed when Monaro ar­rived and even the al­le­giance of many Ford own­ers was se­ri­ously chal­lenged.

The au­dio/vi­su­als of the GTS 327 from street side were great to take in; im­pres­sive! The cred­i­bil­ity mir­rored that of the XR GT when it was rst re­leased. Eric Waples Al­bion Park, NSW

Monaro 3

My per­sonal favourite of the po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect ad­ver­tis­ing for the Monaro was the one that stated, “The Monaro move­ment is of­fi­cially open to women.” The last sen­tence stated: “If you know you’re as good as a man, Monaro will help you prove it.” Even the cin­ema ad­ver­tise­ment starts with a wo­man shop­ping and com­ing out to her “best ac­ces­sory, a Monaro”. It’s a shame you missed the other HK Monaro ad­ver­tise­ment aimed at women, more po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect than any of th­ese. They were also ad­ver­tis­ing six-cylin­der and V8 GTS, not the GTS 327. What is in­ter­est­ing with the ad­ver­tis­ing is that the sports stripes, in more con­ser­va­tive mag­a­zines like Time,The Bul­letin, Reader’s Digest and Life, the blue GTS 327 has no bon­net stripe, but in Wheels, Modern Mo­tor, etc it does. Mo­tor­ing mag­a­zines, like you would ex­pect, have ad­verts show­ing per­for­mance, while news­pa­pers and other mag­a­zines em­pha­sise life­style, glam­our, etc. War­ren Turn­bull From Face­book

Fea­ture car’s early his­tory

Re the Fal­con XT GT fea­tured in is­sue #102 and a let­ter from Brian of Wol­lon­gong in the pre­vi­ous is­sue, you will be in­ter­ested to know that my son, David, was the sec­ond owner of this car in the mid 1990s. We have a photo of the car, orig­i­nal owner and his wife and David.

I can’t re­mem­ber the rst owner’s name now, but the car was bought from McLuskeys at Mt Gra­vatt. His daugh­ter was with him and picked the colour.

When his fam­ily de­cided to sell it in Au­gust 1996, he had al­most lost his eye­sight and the car had not been used for some time. His daugh­ter was a friend of a friend and whilst we had been look­ing for an XW, we took one look at it, went ‘WOW’ and bought it for $14,000.

He had used it as a daily and towed a van hence tow­bar/sun­visr/bon­net or­na­ment/ mud aps/weath­er­shields, etc.

We sold it in Bris­bane in late 1999. Jeff Os­borne Mt Coolum, QLD

This is­sue’s Mus­cle Mail best let­ter win­ner re­ceives a copy of The Passion for Mus­cle Cars book by Joel Wakely. The hard­cover book takes a per­sonal look at the golden age of Aus­tralian car man­u­fac­tur­ing. It’s avail­able from all good book stores and on­line at­

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