Australian Muscle Car

Issue 127

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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in this issue

3 min
steve normoyle

By the time you read this, the December 2021 Bathurst 1000 will have been run and won. And on the Friday before that, the new Gen3 Supercars rules for 2023 will have been unveiled. Whatever the future holds for Gen3, one thing is certain: with the arrival of Chevrolet’s Camaro to take on Ford’s Mustang, it will mark the final end for Holden in top-level touring car racing and at Bathurst. Seeing all this unfold reminds me of how much things have changed in 30 years – and, sadly, not all for the better. Let’s not be too quick to reach for the rose-coloured glasses, though, because things actually weren’t all that good in 1991. The touring car racing scene back then was about as dysfunctional as it could possibly be. The international-based…

3 min
al turner: the passing of a ford legend

Al Turner died away on November 3 at age 89 in Florida, USA. Al Turner’s time here in Australia was only brief, but his legacy is huge. He presided over a hugely successful period for Ford’s motorsport effort in Australia in the early ‘70s, but more importantly was instrumental in the development of what even 50 years on are still regarded as the pinnacle of Australian Ford muscle cars. It is not overstating things to describe him as the father of the Falcon GTHO. ‘Big Al, as he was affectionately known, was neither a qualified mechanic nor engineer; all of what Turner knew about cars and high performance had been self-taught in a lifetime of driving, racing and tinkering with them. He was the perfect man for the job, which was to…

1 min
best seat in the house

Ever heard the one about the Holden Racing Team driver who was at Eastern Creek on stand-by to replace the injured Mark Skaife at Nissan, but then, after Skaife was declared fit, was invited to share Peter Brock’s Ford Sierra in the race after Brock’s co-driver was sidelined by a bout of diarrhoea? It’s one of the many ripping yarns to be found in Neil Crompton’s new book, Best Seat in the House. Crompton’s journey in Australian motorsport is quite unique, with lengthy spells behind the wheel in top level touring car racing as well as behind the microphone describing it for the Supercars TV broadcast. This is a terrific insight into a person who’s been a significant figure in our touring car racing for almost 40 years – a great…

1 min
hedley’s hornet

Elsewhere in this issue is part two of our McGee dynasty feature. Hedley McGee was a master engine tuner and an important pioneer in the Australian high performance aftermarket scene in the 1950s and ‘60s – for road and race. When it came to the latter, Hedley dabbled in hillclimbs and racing at Mount Druitt in a humpy Holden, although by all accounts his talents were better served back in the workshop than behind the behind the wheel on the track. When his wife, Lillian, had a go in the Holden and promptly went quicker than her husband, Hedley decided it was time to quit driving… Then again, Lillian McGee must have been a fairly decent driver. In early 1954 she won at Mount Druitt – and the following weekend went…

1 min
vale denis gregory

Denis Gregory, one of the veterans of the inaugural Australian Touring Car Championship race at the Gnoo Blas circuit in Orange, died in November, aged 83. Gregory drove a Morris Major to fourth in the 1301-2000cc class in that 1960 race, but it was off track where Gregory made his mark on the sport. An Orange local, Gregory was long-time president of the Gnoo Blas Classic Car Club and the driving force behind the annual Gnoo Blas Car Show held at the site of the old track. The 6km Gnoo Blas public road circuit was quite literally Orange’s answer to nearby Bathurst’s Mount Panorama in the 1950s. But where the Bathurst circuit prospered, Gnoo Blas ran its last race meeting in late 1961. Gregory helped maintain the legacy of Gnoo Blas with…

1 min
auction update

SOLD Who? 2021 Shannons ‘40th Anniversary’ Timed Online Auction What? Holden LX A9X Torana Sedan When? Tuesday 23-30 November 2021 How much? $290,000 Who? 2021 Burns & Co Classic Car Auction What? 2008 FPV GT Cobra When? Sunday 7 November 2021 How much? $82,250 Who? 2021 Shannons ‘40th Anniversary’ Timed Online Auction What? 1982 Ford XE Fairmont Ghia ESP V8 manual When? Tuesday 23-30 November 2021 How much? $62,000 Who? 2021 Shannons ‘40th Anniversary’ Timed Online Auction What? 1971 XY Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III When? Tuesday 23-30 November 2021 How much? $975,000 Who? 2021 Burns & Co Classic Car Auction What? 1974 Holden HQ Monaro GTS 308 manual When? Sunday 7 November 2021 How much? $169,000 SELLING Who? Burns & Co Classic Car Auction What? 1972 Holden Torana GTR XU-1 When? February 6, 2022 Who? Burns & Co Classic Car Auction What? 1983 Holden VH Commodore SL BT1 308 manual When? February 6, 2022 Who? Burns &…