Mini Mus­cle

Australian Muscle Car - - Contents - with Bruce Moxon

If you didn’t re­alise it be­fore­hand, I guess by now as you ip through this is­sue of AMC you’ll be aware that it’s been 40 years since Peter Brock and Jim Richards fa­mously won the Bathurst 1000 by six laps in their HDT To­rana A9X. Who re­mem­bers it? I was there – took the train up from Sydney for the day, when I re­ally should have been study­ing for my HSC… This car and race have been writ­ten and spo­ken about ever since – Brock and Richards win­ning by six laps and Brock thumb­ing his nose at ev­ery­one by set­ting the fastest lap of the race on the last lap – and a new lap record to boot. Think about that – in traf­fic, with worn brakes and tyres, on a greasy track – the most magni centl­yarro­gant thing I’ve ever seen in all my time watch­ing motorsport.

Clas­sic Car­lecta­bles has an­nounced a 1:18 scale model of this leg­endary car. This model shows the Group C days well – a full in­te­rior with a pretty ba­sic roll

cage, lots of en­gine and not too much in the way of brakes. And it’s a fan­tas­tic-look­ing model: seat belt made from cloth, the bolted brace on the cross­pieces in the back of the roll cage, the ex­ter­nal oil tank/cooler – the de­tail is su­perb. These will sell very, very quickly, so get your pre-or­der in now. And while you’re there, ask them where to get de­cals to ll in the Marl­boro signs. No word on re­lease date and ex­pect to pay around $280.

That year, 1979, re­ally was, as they used to say, ‘For­mula To­rana.’ It made sense – Ford had taken their leave of the sport at the end of 1978, leav­ing the likes of Al­lan Mof­fat high and dry. Ford wasn’t both­er­ing with ho­molo­ga­tion up­dates, while Holden via the HDT were bring­ing along new bits here and there and drip-feed­ing them to the pri­vate teams.

There were only a few de­cent Fords and those cars were pretty un­der­done come Bathurst – only Mof­fat and, to a lesser ex­tent, Dick John­son were re­ally able to take it to the Hold­ens (in his pre-‘Rock’ pri­va­teer days Dick rarely had the funds to ven­ture south, but when­ever the ATCC and en­duro cham­pi­onship vis­ited Lake­side and Surfers Par­adise, the south­ern stars al­ways knew they’d have their work cut out get­ting on top of the big blue Bryan Byrt Ford Hard­top).

Now, mod­els of the ‘other’ ’79 To­ranas are about – some of them, any­way. Biante in par­tic­u­lar has made lots of them in the three main scales of 1:18, 1:43 and 1:64. But if you want a model of some of the pri­va­teer cars, you’ll have to do it your­self.

Here we go back to Bruce Pat­ter­son (www. pat­tosplace.com.au) who makes af­ter-mar­ket wa­ter­slide de­cals. He’s got quite a few cars you can do – Cullen/McRae, Jan­son/Perkins, Rogers/ Stevens among about a dozen all up. He can also sup­ply de­cals for the cig­a­rette-spon­sored cars, to ll in those an­noy­ing gaps.

Prob­lem is, you’ll have to buy one of the pre­vi­ously-made mod­els and re­paint it to get the pri­va­teer car. The mod­els can be pretty pricey now, de­pend­ing on what you’re af­ter – I’ve seen 1:64 cars for over $50 – a lot for what’s es­sen­tially a Hot Wheels or Match­box car.

As for ‘how to’ see the break­out on the Mof­fat Mus­tang.

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