Australian Muscle Car Issue 116

Australian Muscle Car is a fresh, proudly Australian publication dedicated to preserving the legend of the unique ‘Australian made’ Ford vs Holden muscle car heritage. From 1960s classic Bathurst muscle to the super sophisticated Falcon and Commodore performance cars of the new millennium and everything in between.

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4 Min
steve normoyle

I have to say I’m pretty happy with how the cover of AMC looks this issue. The combined efforts of veteran motor industry photographer Graeme Neander and AMC’s artistic guru Chris Currie have produced what I reckon is a stunning looking cover. Mind you, it’s hard to go wrong when the star of the show is a gleaming Diamond White XW Falcon GT-HO Phase II. The XY Phase III might be the Big Daddy of GT-HOs (and probably of all Australian muscle cars), but to the eyes of a lot of Ford fans the XW is the better looker; its simpler, less cluttered grille giving it a more aggressive stance (which was also reflected in the way the Phase II drove – as a road car it was the least-civilised, most…

2 Min
gmsv… still waiting

Well, we thought the new structure General Motors would employ in Australia in the post-Holden era might emerge before the last issue of Australian MUSCLE CAR was published. And then along came COVID-19. There is every chance negotiations over what has been referred to publicly as General Motors Specialty Vehicles between GM and the Walkinshaw Group might have dragged out anyway, but there’s no doubt a global pandemic doesn’t help such things! All of which is a long-winded way of saying that by the time you read this GMSV might have been announced. Then again… Little by little, more is leaking out about what GMSV is going to look like. First off, we are hearing that Chevrolet is very much the focus of the new entity. So if you read about Cadillac, Hummer electric SUVs…

4 Min
supercars and the coronavirus

Could the Coronavirus do what no other external or internal force has ever done and extinguish V8 Supercars? The pandemic’s impact is reaching into all parts of global life and business, including professional sport. None are immune. But no professional sport could end up being more fundamentally affected in Australia than our V8 touring car formula. The managing organisation and its member teams rely on a high income to allay high costs, but the money has dried up from most sources. While primary broadcaster Fox Sports is still paying its rights fee, naming rights partner Virgin Australia is in voluntary administration with an uncertain future. Other championship and team corporate partners aren’t paying up either, as they try to avoid the same fate as Virgin. No races also means no sanction fees being provided by…

1 Min
peter perfect’s driving tips

In 1975 the Victorian government engaged Peter Brock to lead a vigorous new road safety messaging programme. The deal saw Brock’s Gown-Hindhaugh Torana L34 that year wear ‘Class Driving’ signage as well as the number 05, signifying that state’s 0.05% maximum blood alcohol driving limit (if it had been a NSW initiative, 08 rather than 05 might have gone on to become the most famous race number in Australian motorsport). But it was more than just a sponsorship deal. Brock was front and centre in the campaign, appearing in TV and print ads, and in person in road safety public seminars. A glossy Class Driving brochure was produced in 1978 with a host of handy tips from Brock covering topics like driver attitude, fitness, cornering techniques, braking, tyre pressures and types of…

2 Min
vale: stirling moss

Stirling Moss is widely regarded as the greatest driver never to win the F1 World Championship. In a career that brought widespread success in openwheelers, sports cars, touring cars and in rallying, Moss was runner up in the World Championship four times – between 1955 and 1961 he never placed lower than third overall. What the ‘62 F1 season might have delivered for Moss will never be known. His career ended at Easter that year in a heavy crash at the Goodwood track. Moss suffered a fractured leg (he had broken both legs in a shunt at Spa less than two years earlier) and a head injury which left him in a coma for a month and partially paralysed on one side. It took until the following year before Moss was fit…

3 Min
tell ‘em the price son!

For anyone who hasn’t noticed, in this issue of AMC we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Falcon XW GT-HO Phase II. Back in 1970 it was quite a machine: with its close-ratio gearbox, all-new rear axle and the new Cleveland 351 V8 engine, the Phase II was really a race-ready touring car masquerading as a road car. It also showed how far things had come since the first Falcon XR GT of five years earlier – from rest to 160km/h the Phase II was a full 13 seconds faster than original XR GT! What not long ago was the benchmark in affordable performance cars was now, with the release of the Phase II, suddenly looking rather inadequate. But for any early-model Falcon GT owners suffering an inferiority complex (and who didn’t have…