Mus­cle Ma­niac

Australian Muscle Car - - Contents -

The an­nual Brock­to­ber gath­er­ing, and the tale of Ron Dick­son’s ‘race­cam’ in the ‘73 Great Race.

At Bathurst in 1979, Pe­ter Wil­liamson fa­mously de­buted the con­cept of ‘Race­cam’, when footage from a cam­era mounted in­side his Toy­ota Cel­ica was beamed into the live tele­vi­sion broad­cast. It was an Aus­tralian in­ven­tion and a world- rst – it was such a big deal that it made in­ter­na­tional head­lines!

But it was not the rst time mo­tion pic­tures were recorded from a cam­era mounted in a car dur­ing the Great Race.

Six years prior to Willo’s pi­o­neer­ing ef­fort, Ron Dick­son’s Monaro car­ried a cam­era dur­ing the race, footage from which was used in the edited high­lights lm pack­age of the ’73 HardieFerodo 1000 that was put to­gether post-race.

As Dick­son re­calls, he was ap­proached by Ar­transa Park Stu­dios, a pri­vate lm stu­dio, with a re­quest to in­stall a cam­era in his car for the race.

“They con­vinced Chan­nel 7, I think, that they could de­velop a modi ed cam­era and put it in a car and lm it,” Dick­son says. “They con­tacted me – I don’t know why they chose me but they did. Ar­transa mounted it in the car, and Seven sup­plied the lm.”

Dick­son crew mem­ber Doug No­ble re­mem­bers it well.

“We had a big lm cam­era mounted in­side the car,” he says. “It was in­cred­i­ble – we went through scru­ti­neer­ing I think the rst day, and on the Satur­day the scru­ti­neer was in the back of the car look­ing for some­thing and then he’s hit his head on the cam­era. He said, ‘what’s this?’ – be­cause it was a huge cam­era, I don’t know how you could have missed it but we’d been there three days and they hadn’t even no­ticed it.

“I said to him, ‘it looks like a cam­era to me’. ‘A cam­era in the car?!’ he says. I mean, it was all bolted down se­curely, and there were no rules about cam­eras, be­cause no one had cam­eras…”

Doug re­mem­bers that it only had four or ve min­utes’ worth of lm, which meant the footage it cap­tured was only from the rst cou­ple of laps.

“Be­cause it only had a few min­utes of lm, we had to start the cam­era when we were or­dered off the grid. So we lost a minute of lm­ing be­fore the race even started!

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