Penrite Broadford Bonanza – the countdown is on
In line with the 2015 theme, “A tribute to Bathurst 1938-1988”, the mouth-watering array of bikes with a Bathurst history or connection continues to expand as the 2015 Penrite Broadford Bonanza draws near. Latest confirmation is the original Vincent/Norton raced to five Bathurst Sidecar wins by Queenslander Sandy McCrae. Reputedly the world’s first Vincent-engined Norton, the McCrae Special became the star three-wheeler at the Easter Bathurst meetings, winning the Senior Sidecar event for five years straight: 1958 to 1962. McCrae already had two Bathurst titles under his belt on a standard-spec Vincent when he constructed the Vincent/ Norton, and he added an eighth title in 1969 at the age of 43 on another Vincent Special that he built in conjunction with Brian Payne.
The original McCrae Special was sold in the mid ‘sixties to South Australian Don Willison, and was acquired by Nat Saunders following Willison’s death in 1973. Still owned by the Saunders Estate, the famous black McCrae Special has been on exhibition at the National Motor Racing Museum in Bathurst for the past ten years. It will join another NMRM resident, the famous Henderson Matchless 4-valve raced by Ron Toombs. Dozens of ex-Bathurst motorcycles and sidecars will form a colourful display at Easter, many taking to the track during special sessions. Numerous former Bathurst stars will also be present, including John Woodley, Graeme Crosby and Ron Boulden, who staged what has been termed as Bathurst’s greatest race – the 1979 Unlimited Grand Prix. The trio will appear on track, and on stage at the Gala Dinner on Saturday night at Broadford Memorial Hall. To cope with the expected massive entry, an extra class has been created for the road bikes, splitting the Intermediate class into two. “Last year we had difficulty accommodating all the road bikes, so this should please everyone, “said organiser Peter Drakeford. “We had over 1100 bikes out on the various tracks in 2014, and I am sure that number will be reached or exceeded this year. As well as the Bathurst theme, we also have the Metisse/Rickman tribute and a celebration of what we have called ‘English Oddities” – we expect to have over ten CCMs out on the scrambles course, plus other lesser known names like Elstar, Hagon, and some of the English trials machines.” Entries for the 2015 Penrite Broadford Bonanza are now open, and tickets for the Gala Dinner on Easter Saturday 4th April are on sale, but are limited to 150 places. For further details contact the event organiser Peter Drakeford on (03) 9684 0515, 0422 299003 or email [email protected]
Sandy McCrae and passenger Des Carmody at Fishermen’s bend in 1959 on the famous McCrae Vincent Special.