Clas­sic Cob

From the shed

Old Bike Australasia - - CONTENTS -

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.

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