Race across the Great Divide
By Darryl Flack and Don Cox Hardback 320 pages Published by Bellbird Publishing $68.00 plus $12 P&P within Australia To order: visit www.bellbirdpublishing.com.au Enquiries: bbpublish[email protected]tusnet.com.au This is a big book in every sense of the word; it weighs nearly 3kg! And the subject matter is just as weighty – exploring Australian motorcycling’s boom days of the ‘seventies when everyone went racing both on and off road. The authors have dug deep to interview both stars and the relatively unknown, all of whom have their stories to tell not just of the racing but the sometimes hair-raising road trips and the equally hectic social scene that was an integral part of the sport. 330 photographs illustrate the book, many from the cameras of the legendary snappers like John Ford, Barry Marshall, Rob Lewis, Michael Andrews and Allan Rooney. Naturally the Kiwi scene is a major component, given the invasion of names like John Woodley, Stu Avant, John Boote, Graeme Crosby, Dennis Ireland, Brian Martin, Rick Perry, Geoff Perry and others. The annual Bathurst races are extensively covered, along with the Castrol Six Hour and the other major Production races that were such a feature of the ‘seventies. Sections of the book also touch on the exploits of Australian and New Zealand riders overseas in this time, among them Ken Blake, Warren Willing, Gregg Hansford, Ray Quincey, Kim Newcombe, Murray Sayle and a young Wayne Gardner, who says in his foreword to the book, “It is interesting that I was the first Australian World Champion to come from a regional centre. “Funny, I thought that honour would have belonged to 1938 World Speedway Champion Bluey Wilkinson, who was born in Millthorpe and raised in Bathurst. The book is a mighty effort and one that deserves a place in the library of anyone who was fortunate enough to be there in what is rightly called the Golden Age of motorcycle racing. Get a copy before it sells out.