Australian Muscle Car

Mus­cle Ma­niac

- New South Wales · Driving · Peter Brock

Class Driv­ing with Brocky and GT-HO mishaps with Gossy

In 1975 the Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment en­gaged Peter Brock to lead a vig­or­ous new road safety mes­sag­ing pro­gramme. The deal saw Brock’s Gown-Hind­haugh To­rana L34 that year wear ‘Class Driv­ing’ sig­nage as well as the num­ber 05, sig­ni­fy­ing that state’s 0.05% max­i­mum blood al­co­hol driv­ing limit (if it had been a NSW ini­tia­tive, 08 rather than 05 might have gone on to be­come the most fa­mous race num­ber in Aus­tralian mo­tor­sport).

But it was more than just a spon­sor­ship deal. Brock was front and cen­tre in the cam­paign, ap­pear­ing in TV and print ads, and in per­son in road safety public sem­i­nars.

A glossy Class Driv­ing brochure was pro­duced in 1978 with a host of handy tips from Brock cov­er­ing top­ics like driver at­ti­tude, tness, cor­ner­ing tech­niques, brak­ing, tyre pres­sures and types of tyres. There was even a page with tips on mod­i­fy­ing your car for higher per­for­mance!

Brock also does a bit of crys­tal balling – and pre­dicts the ‘im­mi­nent demise of the Aus­tralian car as we now know it’! He says that with eco­nomic pres­sures forc­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers to stan­dard­ise ranges and en­gage in badge en­gi­neer­ing, ‘it’s un­likely that any­body will risk the enor­mous re­cov­ery costs re­quired for an all-Aus­tralian pro­duc­tion.’

That pre­dic­tion would come true, but for­tu­nately for Brocky his crys­tal ball was out by about 40 years – other­wise HDT Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles and the ‘80s Brock Com­modore era might never have hap­pened.

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