From the shed
Following on from the article in OBA 41, I recently spoke to an old mate of nearly 40 years, Alan Hunt. He was at one time a Velocette enthusiast having a Thruxton, Venom and two Classic Racing MAC 350s. Alan sadly suffered several strokes in December 2012 and had kidney failure about 8 months later. He is now resident in a Taree nursing home. Sad to think that just prior to his first stroke he was an active member of our local Classic and Vintage Motorcycle Club regularly riding his Nortons. Alan was raised in what was then the outskirts of Sydney, Rouse Hill, and did his apprenticeship as a Sheet Metal worker at Harvey’s Parramatta. His father Bill was a Boilermaker who worked for Oscar Glaser’s company, North Sydney Traders. This firm hired out machinery and tools for those in the building construction industry and was located at the top of the hill at what was later to be the entrance into Amaroo Park. Glaser was a Jewish immigrant who Alan describes as a shrewd but genuine person. Alan’s father undertook maintenance on machinery and other chores. Alan commenced working for Glaser when his parents went on a short holiday and stayed when his father returned. He seems to think that the scrambles and dirt track were already established when he started there. Alan had at least two years working at Amaroo and did similar work to his father maintaining machinery for both his hire company and that working on the track site. Glaser built the track with his own cash as it became available and had no debts in doing so. Alan recalls a huge bulldozer, possibly a D9, hired from Langlands P/L which arrived on a low loader. A second low loader conveyed the blade and ripper. This machinery was expensive and he fondly recalls calculating that the machine, with driver, was costing Glaser 6 shillings and 8 pence per minute. This bulldozer removed a lot of soil from the right side of the track area at the top of the hill. Initially there was bitumen laid down for the Hill Climb and Alan often competed there in his Austin Healey Sprite. Glaser had grand visions of building a U.S. – style Country Club and the buildings constructed near the entrance were to be part of that establishment, however time and money ran out. Alan tells me he believes that Glaser handed Amaroo Park over to the ARDC about 1969 with a handshake. However his thoughts are that the buyer, the ARDC did not have a great deal of money at the time and that some payments were later made “under the table”. He believes that more importantly, Glaser was out to avoid paying any Capital Gains Tax. Glaser later moved to a property in the New England Region. When it came time for Amaroo Park to be sub-divided and sold Alan’s son Shane drove earthmoving machinery and took part in the demolition of the once renowned race circuit. Later still Alan visited the site with his mother. He struck up a conversation with a resident. He then took him to the rear of his premises where a hole had been dug for an Enviro Cyccle Toilet System. Here was part of the concrete wall at the left side of the track with the Coca Cola mural still intact and in good condition. The hole was being filled in shortly afterwards and so disappeared another part of Sydney’s once well known race track, Amaroo Park.
Alan Hunt today.