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Australian Muscle Car Australian Muscle Car

Australian Muscle Car

Issue 110

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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7 Edities


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steve normoyle

Rice burners. Jap crap. These are among the not-very-nice terms some fans used to describe Allan Moffat’s Mazda RX7 (and Nissan’s Bluebird Turbo) when Moffat dared to challenge the home-grown V8 supremacy with, of all things, Japanese rotary power. To many Ford fans, this was unthinkable. But such was the harsh reality that had to be faced at the end of 1980: there was zero prospect of Moffat racing a Falcon full-time the following year and beyond. As Dick Johnson slipped into the role of new Ford folk hero, neatly replacing Moffat, the arrival of Mazda was the only thing that kept Moffat in the game. What followed was a four-year, rollercoaster ride of excitement, elation, disappointment and controversy – more or less just like any other period in Moffat’s career! As detailed…

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zl1 sledgehammer

Brauwahhhhh, bup, brauwahhhhh. As the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 goes up in tyre smoke on Sandown’s front straight, exhaust bellow reverberating through the empty grandstand, somewhere up there in racer’s paradise Bob Jane is surely smiling. Jane, an all-time racing legend, died last year and is sadly missed. But there’s no doubt he’d have cheered on this rubber-melting display. Jane raced the original first-gen ZL1 Camaro to victory in the 1971 and 1972 Australian Touring Car Championships. It was the 1969 model with a 427 cubic inch big block V8 engine and he won the Sandown round in ’71 and finished second in ’72 – but that year with the small block 350, which Jane had been forced to fit as part of CAMS’ (futile) attempt to handicap the Camaro. So it’s appropriate we’re…

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set for a retrial

The 1979 Repco Round Australia Trial is regarded as the last great Australian motoring adventure, capturing the attention of the general public like nothing since. I was in my first year in the workforce, and remember the radio’s hourly news including event updates. Holden famously proved the durability of the recently-released Commodore with the HDT’s 1-2-3 result, with Peter Brock considering it as his finest win. When it was announced that there was to be a ‘Retrial’ to commemorate the 40th anniversary event, I thought it would be the adventure of lifetime. I just had to do it! I was fortunate to have good mate Jason Ashcroft jump onboard to share the fun and that left the question of what car to use. We threw around a number of ideas, but…

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fast facts

The 40th anniversary Repco Reliability Retrial begins in Melbourne on Monday August 5, 2019, returning to the Melbourne Showgrounds on Sunday September 1 after a 28-day clockwise circuit of the nation retracing much of the original route. The route covers over 14,000km, with a daily average of 623km. The shortest day (Day 28: Lakes Entrance to Melbourne) is 328km, while the longest is 1044km (Broome to Fitzroy Crossing). There are rest days in Perth, Darwin (two) and Cairns. Over 40 vehicles are entered including several original cars and/or crews from the 1979 event. This includes Barry Ferguson and his #17 HDT Commodore that finished second in 1979. Holdens dominate the entry. The oldest car will be a 1929 Chrysler Tourer, while one adventurous crew has nominated a Jaguar XJS. Four Volvos have been entered,…

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the silver mule tribute

Fellow BCOAA member Ashley Steers has taken a very different approach to Phil Walmsley for the 2019 Repco Round Australia Retrial, with the build of a tribute to the ‘Silver Mule’ which was the first car built by the HDT in preparation for the 1979 event. The theory was to build it, test it to see what broke, then build the three Marlboro cars applying the lessons learnt. It was also used for reconnaissance on the event by the HDT. The name ‘Steers’ may sound familiar, and it was his uncle Grant ‘Spear’ Steers who was a close friend to Brock and an integral part of the HDT and the Repco preparations. With the assistance of his father, Phil, the tribute car is being built to as closely as possible replicate…

access_time2 min.
sometimes you kick...

David Clement made five starts in the Bathurst 1000 between 1973 and 1988, along with countless other races over a 20-plus year career in touring cars and production cars. If his name isn’t ringing bells, you might know him as the bloke who had sponsorship from Aussie rock band INXS for many years. Sponsors don’t come much more glamorous, especially those that actually, erm, kicked the tin. Not only did Clements receive genuine sponsorship money from the band, he got to tag along with them on tour, receiving the same rockstar treatment. Incredibly, INXS’s backing grew out of the support he gave the unknown six-member outfit back in the late 1970s on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Clement provided the band with rehearsal space at his automotive business for a peppercorn amount. It…