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Australian Muscle Car Magazine

’77… Muscle Car heaven

September 7th, 2017 by mcowner | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

The latest AMC celebrates the two biggest muscle car events of 1977 – the A9X Torana’s launch and Allan Moffat’s famous Bathurst 1-2 victory. We present stories on the first A9X to record a win (in the hands of Peter Brock), the A9X racecar that never raced and 40 reasons to love the ultimate factory Torana V8. Let’s walk through each of the above in more detail…

It’s 40 years since our main cover car, the Peter Brock-driven ‘Patto hatch’ won on debut in the 1977 Hang Ten 400 at Sandown in Melbourne. This stunning blue and gold machine then sat on the Bathurst pole and led the most memorable of races early, before the plans of the Brock brothers unravelled. You’ll have to read our 8-page ‘life story’ feature on this car to find out why it dropped out of contention on October 2, 1977 – and why it dropped out of public view for a long period. This machine has long been overshadowed by the Moffat team’s triumph and Brock’s subsequent victories in HDT versions in 1978 and ’79.

After 20 years in virtual hibernation, the ‘Patto hatch’ has returned to prominence and now for the first time AMC details its long overlooked history.

Our other cover car is Greg Hayes’ stunning Palais White Torana. This sits somewhere between the surviving racing A9Xs and the 405 factory-spec road cars produced. We photographed it on the shores of Canberra’s Lake Burley-Griffin, but perhaps it would have been more appropriate to shoot it outside the nearby National Museum of Australia, or, better still The Treasury!

The latest AMC also names and proclaims 25 notable Torana A9X racecars that live on today.

AMC #97’s other major focus is Allan Moffat’s form-finish. He welcomed us into his home to view and photograph his personal scrapbooks from season ’77.

We had to travel to Le Mans to interview his winning co-driver from Bathurst ’77, Belgian Jacky Ickx. The endurance race specialist has only been back to Australia a couple of times since playing his part in arguably the Great Race’s most famous victory. So to hear his recollections we had to catch-up with him, fittingly, at Le Mans.

Fresh imagery of Bathurst 1977, especially the 1-2 ‘form finish’, is hard to come by for mags like AMC. So it was like a breath of fresh air when we first clapped eyes on Keith’s pics which form this issue’s Punter Pics section.

To continue the Bathurst ’77 theme we profile fabrication genius George Smith. George has built about 80 famous racecars, including nine Bathurst winners and three rally champions, for the likes of Allan Moffat, Nissan, Peter Brock and HRT. He was also part of Moffat’s pic crew at Bathurst in ’77.

For Chrysler fans, we present a very special tribute Charger. The Kaleda family has decked out a genuine E38 in the livery of patriarch Ray’s most successful Bathurst challenger. The E38 has proven a hit at car shows as it helps keep memories alive of an unsung privateer’s Great Race feats.

Onto our regular track-focused Sacred Sites section now, which this issue zooms in on South Australia. For the last two decades Adelaide International Raceway has been something of a Clayton’s circuit – the racetrack you have when you don’t have a racetrack. It’s still sitting out there in the sun as we point out.

Finally, MIA is back for one issue only, as the V8 Sleuth’s detective work has uncovered a surviving A9X Torana with an amazing history and several claims to fame. Its life story includes being the very first GMP&A racing chassis built and the last A9X to win an ATCC race.

All that and a whole lot more in issue #97 of Australian Muscle Car magazine.

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