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.

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