The cars of the legends dinner

Even the biggest mysteries of the world have a way of explaining themselves. In a previous post I mused as to why there was a HDT Bathurst Torana sitting on the showroom floor of Adelaide BMW, and as it turns out it was merely there a little early for last night’s Legends Dinner. Any Given Reason reader Tom Gilbert tipped me off (thanks Tom!), and it seems that somebody had the brilliant idea to assemble some of Australia’s most important race cars in the same room as the drivers who drove them, and invite whoever was lucky enough to hold a ticket to have dinner with these automotive and human legends.

Unlike Tom I wasn’t lucky enough to hold a ticket for the dinner, so I did the next best thing – I dropped in for a 730am visit the Sunday morning after in the hope of catching a glimpse of some of these cars. There were a couple of guys from Adelaide BMW cleaning up around the showroom, and they very kindly allowed me to come in and have a look around. The solid lineup of HDT cars was very impressive.

This Torana has lived many lives. It was originally used as a rally car by Colin Bond, and was then transformed into an unbeatable sports sedan and driven by Captain Peter Janson. It’s been restored but a small patch on the roof has been left showing the many historic layers of paint that lay beneath. Does anyone have any more info on this car?

This LJ XU-1 is Colin Bond’s 1972 Bathurst car. Sadly the ’72 Bathurst didn’t go at all well for Bond…

… and ended like this. I gather the poor XU-1 has had an extensive rebuild since this photo was taken! Notice how the chains used by the towie’s are just ruining the roof even more.

Colin Bond and John Harvey drove this L34 Torana SLR5000 to second place in Bathurst 1976.

This isn’t the actual A9X Torana driven to Bathurst victory by Jim Richards and Peter Brock, but rather it is one of 4 genuine A9X hatch’s built as race replicas in period by General Motors Holden for display in dealerships and shows. And what’s more, it is in completely original condition! I guess that just show’s what happens to race cars that don’t actually get raced!

This is the XA Falcon Coupe driven to victory in the ’73 Bathurst by Ian Geoghegan and Alan Moffatt.

Especially in Bathurst trim but even not, the XA Coupe is hands down the best looking Australian built car ever. I mean, just look at it.

The actual car in action at Bathurst in ’73.

You can really see the age of these cars in the safety gear. Road seats and a single hoop, without any side impact protection! Nuts!

The lone Ford in a sea of Holden. Kind of ironic really, because when this car won at Bathurst in ’73, the next four places were Holden.

Out the back, the workshop was filled with more Aussie muscle. GTS Monaro sedans…

… and Chargers in both road…

… and Bathurst spec.

Hello 1980! The unique HDT VC Commodore, Peter Brock’s attempt at building a euro-rivalling high performance luxury car for the 80’s.

You can easily pick the 70’s design cladded with 80’s plastic and filled with velour. I’m loving the headlight wipers and Irmscher wheels.

This is one of 8 Falcon XR GT’s produced in 1967 by Ford for Phillip Morris Tobacco, to cash in on their Gallaher brand’s sponsorship of that years Bathurst, the Gallaher 500.

Most of the cars were driven hard by Gallaher sales executives before being sold at auction.

Another XR GT, this time the Geoghegan brother’s 1967 entry which finished second at Bathurst. I’m not sure if this is the actual car or a very good replica.

Back in the day.

And the Falcon’s traditional rival, the 327 HK Monaro!

And proving that there’s still competition life left in old Falcon’s, this XW GTHO competed in the Targa Adelaide rally just a few weeks ago. I’ve heard this beast in anger and it sounds positively knee trembling. A hairy chested car if there ever was one.

And the lone Euro car in a sea of Aussie muscle was this BMW M Coupe. Figures I guess, being a BMW dealership and all.

And as I was heading away, probably the ultimate Aussie classic was being loaded onto a tilt tray – the XY GTHO.

It was a privilege to be able to get up so close and personal with these cars, thanks to the guys at Adelaide BMW for giving me the opportunity!

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1 Comment

  1. Tom Gilbert September 10, 2012 Reply

    Good work Andrew, great to see pics of those cars in action.

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