Australian Muscle Car

Australian Muscle Car Issue 118

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
editor’s induction steve normoyle

Ask yourself this: which Great Race victory is the greatest? Easy, some would say: it has to be Larry Perkins’ 1995 last-to-first win. But what about the Holden Racing Team in 1990 – a victory against a huge field of faster turbocars? No one saw that coming. Then there’s Allan Moffat’s 1977 one-two ‘form finish’. Or for sheer breathtaking dominance, what about the Peter Brock/Jim Richards 1979 six-lap demolition job? But how about that combo’s follow-up win the next year? On the surface, the victory for Brock/Richards in 1980 isn’t a Bathurst win out of the ordinary. After all, Brock and his Holden Dealer Team Commodore VB (updated to VC for Bathurst) had won the championship; he Richards were the logical pre-race favourites. There were some other handy Commodores they’d have to beat,…

3 Min
gmsv is go

The deal has been done. General Motors has confirmed it will have a presence in Australia in a post-Holden future, in a new partnership deal with the Walkinshaw Automotive Group. The new venture, set to commence trading at the end of this year, will be known as General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV). It’s expected that a network of around 50 GMSV dealerships nationally will be established, some of which will be former Holden dealers. Helping to smooth that transition is the news that the acrimonious dispute between some outgoing Holden dealers and General Motors over dealer compensation arrangements has now been finalised. GMSV will initially offer the existing HSV range of Chevrolet Silverado utes currently being remanufactured for right-hand by the Walkinshaw group at its Clayton facility in Melbourne. The good news is that…

1 Min
the the repco repco bathurst bathurst 1000 1000

The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will be run for the last time in 2020. Next year it will become the Repco Bathurst 1000. As Supercheap’s 16-year spell as the Great Race’s naming rights sponsor comes to an end, rival automotive parts giant Repco has stepped in with a five-year sponsorship deal. Supercars CEO Sean Seamer said he was delighted to welcome ‘one of Australian motorsport’s most recognisable brands’ as naming rights partner for the October classic. Repco’s executive general manager Wayne Bryant described the sponsorship deal as ‘two iconic brands in one amazing partnership. “Repco has a long history in motorsport and so aligning with Australia’s most famous race was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” he said. The company boasts a long and illustrious history in the sport, dating back to 1947. It includes…

2 Min
‘chicken coupe’ rpo 83 attracts record sum

In what is possibly the Australian automotive barn find of all time, a Falcon road car which has spent more than 30 years rotting away in a shed has changed hands for an astonishing $300,909. It wasn’t any old Ford, of course, this being a genuine and unmolested (apart from the shed’s rats and the general ravages of time) XA GT RPO 83 Hardtop. RPO 83 was code for the 120 Falcon XA GT Hardtops equipped and sold with the mechanical components that had been earmarked for the stillborn XA model Falcon GT-HO Phase IV. The car was purchased new in 1973, but 15 years later ended up becoming stored in a shed (protected from the local pigeons by rows of chicken wire) at a time when increasing insurance premiums for V8 performance…

1 Min
valiant book

It’s been almost 40 years since the last Valiant CM sedan rolled off the Tonsley Park (above) assembly line. Our VG Pacer cover story by Gavin Farmer this issue is a reminder of time 50 years ago when Chrysler took the fight to Holden and Ford in the marketplace and, especially, on the race track, as the third player in what became known as the ‘Big Three’. For more on the history of the Valiant in Australia, check out Gavin Farmer’s book: VALIANT: Finest of the 3. It retails for $100 and can be purchased on-line at www.ilingabooks.com.au…

1 Min
cooking the books, er brakes...

In AMC #117 we profiled Digby Cooke, motor mechanic turned insurance broker, who famously had most of the field insured for the 1969 Bathurst 500. It has us wondering if any racer had made a claim back then – and how did they fare? Well, we don’t have to go far to find an answer. Indeed Digby provided us with a copy of a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim Form for his own, well actually his sponsor, Fair Deal Car Sales, HT Holden Monaro GTS 350, the very car he put on the front row of the 1969 Bathurst 500. As recounted in our Muscle Man feature, Cooke’s Monaro met its Waterloo at the 1970 Bathurst Easter meeting, Easter Sunday to be precise. The major weakness of the HT Monaro was its solid…