Australian Muscle Car

Australian Muscle Car Issue 119

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

This year’s Bathurst 1000 was Holden’s last Great Race. While ZB Commodores will race into 2021 in Supercars, Holden won’t be a part of it. By then, for all intents and purposes, Holden will cease to exist. The end for Holden also means the end of what has been an unbroken presence in racing (even if for some years it was an unofficial involvement) for more than half a century. That’s a remarkable record not just in Australia but in motorsport across the globe. Is there another manufacturer anywhere that’s stayed in touring car racing continuously for longer than that? Along the journey there have been so many glorious moments on the Mountain. Of course, so much of that is intertwined with Peter Brock and his nine victories, the one man who’ll…

1 Min
lang lang sold

Holden is soon to be no more but its iconic Lang Lang proving ground facility in Victoria will remain in operation, following the news of its sale to Vietnamese manufacturer, VinFast. Holden’s interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina said that the sale of Lang Lang to the fledgling Vietnamese car maker would ensure the facility will remain a centre for automotive research and development. “The Lang Lang Proving Ground will continue to shape the global automotive industry,” Aquilina said. “Over the past five years, GM has invested in the laboratories and tracks at the site, which will now be well utilised by its new owners. “This deal hits a sweet spot of a fair sale value, a ready-made facility for VinFast’s needs, ongoing employment for departing Holden employees and the preservation of…

1 Min
mclaughlin’s third

Scott McLaughlin secured his third consecutive Australian Touring Car Championship crown after a near perfect score at the 10th round of the series at Tailem Bend. At The Bend the DJR Team Penske Ford Mustang driver put the issue beyond doubt with a pair of wins and one second placing. McLaughlin went to Bathurst, the final round in this year’s Covid-19 disrupted season, 305 points clear of Jamie Whincup. With only 300 on offer for winning the Great Race, the Red Bull Racing Commodore driver’s hopes of an eighth title will have to wait for another year. No doubt Whincup (and most of the rest of the Supercars) field will be hoping his Ford rival’s debut IndyCar race at St Peterburg the week after Bathurst goes so well that McLaughlin ends up there…

3 Min
sign sign of of the the times times

These days Supercars teams usually secure their endurance race co-drivers before the season even starts. That’s because experienced and capable part-timers – who can steer the tricky V8 beasts swiftly and safely with minimal practice laps – are in short supply. Such was the case with 10-time Bathurst co-driver David Russell, who was announced way back on December 19 last year as Garry Jacobson’s partner in Matt Stone Racing’s #35 Commodore for the 2020 enduros. That’s 10 months before the big race! Contrast this to his father Geoff Russell’s 11th-hour call-up from Rusty French in 1984 to contest the James Hardie 1000 in the John Sands SEGA VH Commodore. Despite the last-minute arrangement, the pair finished a stunning sixth outright, Russell Senior’s best Bathurst 1000 result. Not bad for a then Lismore publican…

2 Min
thanks for the donation, officer

Last issue we focussed on Dick Johnson’s rise to fame during the 1980 Hardie Ferodo 1000 at Bathurst. As has become Australian motoring folklore, Johnson hit a bowling ball-sized rock that rolled onto the famous circuit while he was running away with the big race. When it looked like the car-destroying incident would terminate Dick’s career, donations flowed in via an impromptu telethon. Money pledged by the public (and the odd police officer – stay with us here) was matched by Ford Australia. The final sum was enough to get Dick back on track the following year in a new XD Falcon. Dick and the Tru-Blu Ford went on to win the ’81 Australian Touring Car Championship and that year’s Bathurst classic. As it turned out, one police officer’s donation turned out…

1 Min
new skaife book

These days Mark Skaife has become such a familiar face on FoxSport’s Supercars coverage that perhaps we ought to remind ourselves of his on-track career – which ended more than 10 years ago now. Because with his six Bathurst win, five ATCC titles and three Australian Drivers’ Championship crowns, Skaife is one of our greatest ever racing drivers. It’s all here in the newly released Mark Skaife illustrated autobiography. Coming 10 years on from on from Andrew Clarke’s Skaife biography, the new book boasts a wealth of photos from Skaife’s personal collection, and a series of ‘roasts and toasts’ from former rivals, team-mates, friends and sponsors. John Bowe describes him as ‘very fair but hard and tough, and goes on to say he he’d love to be racing against Skaife…