Australian Muscle Car Issue 121

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

John Harvey passed away late last year. We weren’t able then to pay tribute to the man, as the magazine was being printed when we heard the sad news. So this issue we look back at a great and remarkably varied career. Readers of this magazine will be familiar with Harvey’s touring car exploits and his time at the Holden Dealer Team – both under Harry Firth in the ‘70s and with Peter Brock in the ‘80s. But Harvey’s career took in a lot more than that. When he first joined Firth’s HDT in 1976 he was already something of a veteran of the sport – and of two distinctly different disciplines, because before Harvey made his road racing debut in 1965 in a Mini he’d already done eight years in…

1 Min
chrysler gets the chop: 300 srt gone from oz

The Chrysler 300 will soon no longer be sold in Australia. Even though it’s expected that importer Fiat Chrysler Australia will fulfil existing 300 SRT orders from the NSW Police Force (the NSW Highway Patrol uses the 300 SRT as well as the BMW 530d), it has told its dealer network not to take any new orders for the big Chrysler four-door V8. The only way to buy a Chrysler 300 SRT in 2021 is to find a dealer that happens to already have one in stock. The axing of the Chrysler 300 SRT down under means the end for the only remaining ‘affordable’ (under $100,000) rear-drive V8 sedan on the Australian market. The 300’s exit from Australia is mainly the result of a shortage of Chrysler Hemi V8 engines amid a surge…

1 Min
arg opens season at symmons

Despite various Covid outbreaks in various states across the summer, the Australian Racing Group managed to get its 2021 season under way at Symmons Plains on Australia Day, as scheduled. The spectator-limited (but with a sell-out crowd) Symmons season opener hosted the first rounds of TCR Australia, the Australian Drivers’ Championship for S5000 openwheelers, Touring Car Masters Series and the TA2 Trans-Am Series. Jordon Cox and Supercars refugee Lee Holdsworth shared the honours in TCR, while Nathan Herne topped them in Trans-Am after a hard battle with Aaron Seton in all three race. The S5000 races culminated in an inspiring victory for Thomas Randle in the feature race, Randle triumphing in style just weeks after completing cancer chemotherapy treatment. Tim Macrow and Joey Mawson shared the honours in the earlier two races. Mawson,…

4 Min
bmw’s magic bathurst milestone

There is no more successful European manufacturer in the history of the Bathurst classic than BMW. The Bavarian marque is one of just three ‘continental’ brands to win the race outright – Jaguar and Volvo are the other two – after the Brabham brothers, Geoff and David, claimed the 1997 AMP Bathurst 1000 in a 320i. Factory-backed efforts were mounted in the October classic’s Group C, Group A and Super Tourer eras, while private entrants flew the spinning propeller flag at other times. The first of these was 50 years ago, a milestone that went largely unnoticed, understandably, in 2020. But not by AMC. Victorian car dealer Jack Nougher had the honour of debuting the German brand in the 1970 Hardie-Ferodo 500. His ride was a BMW 2800, a full-sized four-door sedan…

2 Min
moffat at macau

While researching our cover story for the previous issue of AMC we stumbled upon some video footage from the 1971 Macau touring car race. About 16 minutes into the Japanese movie Hairpin Circus is a few seconds of vision of what appears to be the opening lap of the race, showing Peter Brock’s HDT Torana XU-1 and Allan Moffat’s Falcon in action (with a slip-sliding Moffat struggling for grip on road tyres and almost taking out the camera operator!). We already knew that Brock’s car was not his then-current (white) race HDT machine, but rather the yellow one he’d raced in Australia the year before, dusted off (and then sold off) for Macau. But the footage also showed that the car Moffat was driving was not the current model Falcon. At…

1 Min
speed kings

How will Scott McLaughlin go in the Indy 500 this year? How ever the reigning Supercars champ fares, he won’t be breaking new ground as a driver from the Antipodes taking on Indy – no less than 17 drivers from Australia and New Zealand have tried their luck in the past in the Indy 500. They include Sir Jack Brabham and son Geoff and grandson Matthew, plus Kiwi F1 legends Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme and Chris Amon. Scott Dixon and Will Power are the only Indy 500 winners from our part of the world – although way back in 1912 Australian Rupert Jeffkins came within 5km of victory. His story is told for the first time in John Smailes’ new book, Speed Kings – along with that of all the…