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Australian Muscle Car Magazine

Pocket rockets!

by mcowner

Pocket rockets!

The latest issue of Australian Muscle Car magazine examines the controversial topic of ‘Bathurst XU-1’ specials.

Peter Brock’s win in the 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500 immortalised the XU-1, yet it’s the ‘1973 Bathurst XU-1s’ that are the fastest and most revered road versions of Holden’s hot six. AMC #93 puts the spotlight on these often misunderstood cars to explain all. With the help of surviving HDT personnel, XU-1 owners, Holden experts and our pristine, unmolested and matching numbers feature car, AMC puts the facts down on paper about the ultimate ‘Amendment 9/2E’ machines of 1973.

We explode myths and attempt to set the record straight on these highly sought-after XU-1 roadcars. While very few of these have come up for sale in recent years, they have traditionally changed hands for figures as much as 50 percent greater than earlier LJ XU-1 models of comparable condition.

Continual changes were made to the LJ XU-1 over the two years it was Holden’s high-performance model, many of them to homologate parts for the racecars under both Series Production and, from the start of 1973, Group C production touring car rules. These upgrades came at the request of HDT chief Harry Firth, who worked with Holden’s engine department and management to get them on the road and, therefore, on the track.

Of course, such upgrades have become the stuff of myth, legends and endless scuttlebutt in pubs, at car club meets and, more recently, on social media. Claims, counterclaims and conflicting evidence are all par for the course. Good luck finding period magazine test reports on these cars given that Holden was still publicity shy in the wake of the Supercar Scare of June 1972 – an episode that directly contributed to the very existence of these cars.

As the men who created them age or pass on, digging up the truth becomes increasingly difficult. Nonetheless, there’s enough of the key players still around and available documentation to paint an accurate picture of the batch of 150 cars produced in the third quarter of 1973 that very nearly gave Holden a second consecutive giant-killing victory on the Mountain.

Outside of our cover story, the new issue also outlines how the original model BMW M3 beat its V8 and turbo opponents to claim the 1987 Australian Touring Car Championship. Our story celebrates the 30th anniversary of this feat by visiting Jim Richards’ workshop and chatting to the racing great about his time in the pocket rockets.

Richo is such a fan of the M3 racecars, he now owns one of the chassis he used during that 1987 ATCC campaign. Naturally, that’s our feature car.

For Ford fans, we’ve tracked down the XT Falcon GT that won the 1969 Surfers 12 Hour. The XT GT is famous for failing at Bathurst in ’68, but the XT Falcon GT model did go on to win the (much longer) Surfers Paradise 12 Hour race in early ’69. Incredibly, the actual winning car from that enduro survives, as you will see when you pick up your copy of issue #93. All that and much more in the latest issue.

Back from the dead

by mcowner


Back from the dead! If there’s one famous racecar motorsport fans have yearned to see returned to a racetrack it’s the groundbreaking McCormack Charger. AMC #92 outlines the herculean restoration effort for this and another of Mac’s Sports Sedans, the Repco V8-powered Celica.

The restoration of the Celica and Charger means the ‘Super Mac’ collection of Sports Sedans is now complete, as McCormack’s Unipart Jaguar XJS has been well-preserved throughout its 36-year life.

“There are so few surviving frontrunning Sports Sedans from that era, much less meticulously restored examples,” John McCormack told AMC magazine for our feature stories. “That all three of the cars I was responsible for have survived is remarkable. To have all three of the cars together in the one place for the first time was really something.”

That ‘place’ was Sydney Motorsport Park at Eastern Creek for the recent Muscle Car Masters, where we shot the three Sports Sedans for our stories in issue #92.

“I suppose we’re fortunate that the right people have the three cars – Mark [Trenoweth] and Bruce [Gowans]. They are such enthusiasts. By ‘they’ I mean Mark, Bruce and all of those who put so much time to get them here.”

As to the Celica, it received a painstaking, ground-up restoration by its original owner which has returned this sweet-sounding Repco V8-powered Sports Sedan – a more compact version of its creator’s famed Charger – to the racetrack.

Beyond our cover stories, issue #92 also celebrates the Brock VL Group A’s 30th birthday. AMC presents 30 reasons to love this most, erm, polarizing of homologation models.

This issue also profiles the greatest Aussie racing export you’ve probably never heard of. Brian Muir is. It’s amazing what ‘Yogi’ achieved and drove.

Elsewhere in the magazine we outline the latest news, including the closure of Holden’s engine plant, how muscle car auction prices are up, the crowning of the new TCM champ and a Pontiac GTO racing in the USA that salutes the 2016 Bathurst-winning Commodore.

And wait till you see the aerial photography taken above Nambucca Heads RSL Club’s carpark. Plus Shane Jacobsen goes on the Aussie Muscle Car Run.

Finally, we farewell racing legend Fred Gibson who has filed his last ‘Right Said Fred’ after three years as AMC’s esteemed columnist.

’66 Clickety-click

by mcowner

Asset image for blog AMC 91 1 smallerAMC #91 rewinds 50 years back to 1966 and the dawn of the Muscle Car era as the previously conservative Big Three manufacturers – Ford, Holden and Chrysler – geared up for a colourful period of performance motoring.

1966 saw the introduction of decimal currency, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and American influence on our motoring scene.

We check out the Big Three’s performance offerings in ’66: Ford’s newly introduced V8-powered XR Falcon; Holden’s HR X2 and Chryslers VC V8.

1966 was also the year the mighty Mini Cooper S triumphed at Bathurst. We chat to the winner of that race, Bob Holden, who tells us how he and Finnish flyer Rauno Altonen went from being the third-string BMC combo to the local factory team’s spearheads. Bob opens up on the demon tweaks he made to the #13C Cooper S in the week leading up to the big race.

Speaking of Minis, AMC #91 puts the spotlight on the Aussie-built Cooper S model. Few car enthusiasts know that the long list of cars built in Australia includes the 1966 Bathurst-winning Morris Cooper S model. The Aussie-produced Cooper S – which was far more than a local assembly job – was made within a well-hit cover drive of the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Motor racing was changing rapidly in 1966 with a series of firsts and lasts – and unprecedented success for those from the antipodes. AMC presents six images from season ’66 that sum up racing in the period.

Beyond our 1966 content, we tell the story of a pioneering A9X Torana. Just when you thought all of the Group C Torana racecars were either lost forever or already found, another one has emerged – Warren Cullen’s rare four-door A9X from 1977.

All that and much more in the latest issue of Australian Muscle Car magazine.

Lowndes, Murph & HRT 033

by Luke

9609_SD500_GT-1082 smallerAMC spotlights the 1996 Bathurst 1000 – when Aussie touring car racing changed forever. Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy were elevated to superstar status, ushering in a new generation of driver. Issue #90 tracks the life story of the car they drove, HRT 033, and its place in racing history.

To say that one single car made a driver’s career or its creation can be pinpointed as the key pillar upon which a team’s ascension to the throne as ‘V8 Kings’ was built is most certainly a big call. But when Lowndes and Murphy both agree that the Holden Racing Team’s ‘Supercar’ VR Commodore built in 1996 fits the bill for both of those assertions, it’s bloody difficult to argue the point.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the duo claiming the endurance double at Sandown and Bathurst. It’s also the 20th anniversary of a breakthrough blue ribbon season for HRT where it also claimed the Australian Touring Car Championship for the first time, with Lowndes, as well as the end-of-year Mobil Series in New Zealand with Murphy.

At the core of it all was HRT’s Chassis 033, commonly known as ‘Gabrielle’; a car that gave the previously troubled Melbourne-based team its mojo.

It created headlines, pushed the envelopes of technology of the time and won its fair share of races – not bad for a VR Commodore body shell that began its life on the Holden production line at Port Elizabeth in South Australia.

It may not be a Torana XU-1, Falcon Phase III, or even a Group C Commodore or Ford – the types of cars that live firmly in the hearts and minds of Bathurst tragics as absolute pieces of classic muscle car history – but there’s no doubt this Bathurst conqueror is a piece of modern Australian motorsport, and indeed, modern muscle car, history.

“That car is definitely the car that made me and it made the Holden Racing Team,” Lowndes tells AMC. “I’m really blessed to have been a part of that era. It carved a path for the team and me.

“If I could have any of my old cars in my garage, that car is definitely one of them.”

His partner in crime from ’96 fully concurs.

“I think that car really made HRT,” says Kiwi Murphy, who made his last Bathurst 1000 start as recently as 2014.

“Effectively before that they (HRT) were on the ropes at the end of 1995. After Bathurst I remember there being a fair bit of angst and concern over the whole continuation of the operation and money from Holden. It was a terrible result with both cars not finishing either enduro; it wasn’t good.

“1996 was key. The fact Craig was so strong and won the championship and then we went and did the Sandown and Bathurst double, you could almost feel the relief with it all and it cemented HRT into being the powerhouse that we all knew it was for so long.”

Nicknamed ‘Gabrielle’ by HRT new car build chief of the time Tony Frederiksen, the ‘033’ chassis only ever made one trip to Bathurst in its racing career. But it can lay claim to a 100 percent Bathurst winning record, the sort of stuff other race cars can only dream about.

It provided a couple of young guns with the opportunity of a lifetime and they grasped with both hands. Pairing two young bucks together today is nothing out of the ordinary, but 20 years ago many pundits believed the factory Holden outfit was crazy for doing so. The gambled not only paid off, it changed the face of local touring car racing forever as other teams soon adopted a youth policy as the owner/driver era wound down.

HRT’s stellar 1996 season also laid the foundation for the team’s domination of the rebranded V8 Supercar series, winning six titles in seven years and six Bathurst 1000s between 1996 and 2011.

Beyond AMC #90’s cover story, what better way to mark October 7’s passing of Ford’s Aussie manufacturing than to highlight some great servants and unsung heroes of Ford’s recent history.

Meantime, it’s 30 years since the most-capped combination in Bathurst history appeared on the touring car scene. AMC catches up with Trevor Ashby and Steve Reed.

Our other big feature focuses on the many obstacles Wayne Draper faced in bringing his automotive dreams to reality and how a small band of enthusiasts are ensuring his muscle car legacy lives on.



Peter Brock: the untold stories

by Luke

Rear_FlatAMC marks the 10th anniversary of Peter Brock’s passing with our ‘Brock: The Untold Stories’ issue. We put the spotlight on Brock’s virtually unknown VH Group 3 High-Output Commodore; investigate the disappearance of his 1975 Bathurst-winning Torana; meet his first apprentice; and review his greatest overseas drive.

The first of these is a story on the hottest version of the most overlooked Brock Commodore, the VH Group 3. As the owner of almost half of the known surviving High Output-optioned versions of the VH Group 3 told us, “It’s the most powerful of the Brocks. Just like the GT-HO Phase III is the king of Ford muscle cars, the High-Output is the king of the Brocks,” says feature car owner Rob Losurdo.

Then there’s PB’s 1975 Hardie-Ferodo 500-winning Torana SL/R 5000 L34 that’s long since ‘gone to God’ and fallen off the radar. The fact this chassis was destroyed in the late 1970s has contributed to a lack of attention for its achievements. Understandably so, we guess, as it’s the surviving Bathurst-winning Brockmobiles, such as the A9Xs, that are focal points for on-track celebrations and media coverage. This exposure then perpetuates their fame and mystique.

In short, Bathurst ’75 is Brock’s forgotten Bathurst victory. No surviving car; no #05 on the door; no glamour HDT assault.

And, until now, no images in circulation showing what became of the car. In an exclusive, AMC publishes photos of the ’75 winner when it was turned into a black road car and subsequently written-off. For the first time we tell the complete life story of the first V8 Torana to win Bathurst.

Meanwhile, there’s our story on Brock’s first foray to the Spa 24 Hour race, which generated about 0.1 percent of the attention of his mid 1980s adventures to Europe’s tin-top classic. Yet his first, in 1977, was the most successful.

Beyond Brock we feature the only automatic R/T Charger ever built and track its life and recent restoration. Plus we review how Phillip Island was saved from near certain death. Ford fans will enjoy our story on the first XE Falcon to hit the touring car trail – the maroon machine of Brian Callaghan.

All that and much more in the latest issue of Australian Muscle Car magazine. On sale now.

Out of Africa: Super Rhino GTs

by Luke

Stampede! AMC #88 hunts down the real story behind the so-called Super Rhino GTs – the early 1970s Fairmont GTs assembled by Ford South Africa and now in the hands of Australian poachers. For so long the XW and XY Fairmont GTs were the red-headed step-children of the Falcon GT world. Today, these South African-assembled cars are increasingly recognised as a quirky chapter in Australia’s performance car and manufacturing heritage. Our 20-page cover story tells all.
AQ0Q0233 small
So why were these genuine GTs rejected by the herd? Much of it was driven by ignorance, as very little was known about these cars. Also working against them was the desire by some owners of Australian-assembled Falcon GTs to maintain their cars’ exclusivity and value.

Slowly, though, those barriers have come down. Not completely, mind you, and it hasn’t come easy, but there’s a growing recognition of these cars.

“They are part of the history of the Falcon GT and built in Geelong but assembled in Port Elizabeth,” the Fairmont GT Register’s Darryl Rule says.

Many Fairmont GTs filtered back to Australia in the period between 2000 and 2007. This was when prices for classic Australian muscle cars went through the roof, before the bubble burst as the Global Financial Crisis hit. With values of Falcon GTs skyrocketing in the early years of the new millennium, the South African equivalents were seen as a cheaper alternative.

Who wouldn’t fancy owning a classic GT for a lot less than the local market price?

“These are real GTs, just marketed in another country,” says Rob Macedon, owner of our Wimbledon White XW cover car. “The differences are miniscule and they deserve to be included as GTs.”

Beyond our cover story, the latest AMC also features Allan Grice’s surviving A9X, the wildest Jaguar to race in Oz and the top 25 Bathurst privateers.

Tony Sawford’s ex-Allan Grice, Craven Mild A9X Torana has led a very interesting life, as our story tells.

Mark Trenoweth’s ex-John McCormack’s Jaguar XJS is one Big Cat that is both pure-bred and feral. It’s most certainly a rare breed of Historic Sports Sedan in being prolifically raced for much of its life but surviving unmolested today.

Meantime, AMC presents the best – and best remembered – privateers to have tackled the Bathurst 1000. If you think we’ve overlooked anyone, drop us an email.

Our Muscle AQ0Q0368 smallMan this issue is Alan Hamilton, who  very nearly pulled off the biggest upset in ATCC history. He was also central to two of Ford’s most dramatic moments at Bathurst. Not bad for a bloke who imported and sold Porsches for a living. Hamilton, who is still active on the Historic racing scene, tells us all about his remarkable career.

We remember the doyen of motoring journalists Bill Tuckey and Peter Williamson, who both passed away over the last two months. ‘Willo’ was the public face and voice of Racecam and a highly successful driver in his own right. He had a role transforming the television coverage of car racing can’t be under-estimated, took us for a lap of his racing career a few short months before his passing.

The subject of our Sacred Sites section is the original, 4.82km incarnation of the fabulous facility we now know as the 4.45km Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Of course, it’s essentially the same circuit, give or take 370 metres in length.

As to our posters, it’s a case of Oh Captain, My Captain. Everyone loves Peter Janson. His 1979 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 runner-up A9X is a thing of beauty. The flipside features a 1972 Valiant Charger R/T E49.

Finally, a parallel universe existed in the United States in the 1960s via an event with uncanny similarities to the Bathurst classic. And it all played out – with some Aussie flavouring – in Marlboro country.

All that and a whole lot more!

The Cars of the Greats

by Luke

AMC #87 1984-ashines the spotlight on six surviving racecars of the biggest names of the 1970s and ’80s – the cars of Peter Brock, Jim Richards, Allan Moffat, Dick Johnson, Allan Grice and John Goss.

The feats of this sextet will live on forever. With 159 starts and 27 victories between them in the Bathurst classic, their immortality is assured. Helping the cause is the survival today of the cars they raced.

This issue AMC features a hexad of Group C touring cars raced by these greats of that ultra-popular era, 1973 to 1984 – two Falcons, a Torana, a Commodore, a Mazda RX7 and a BMW.

What differs wildly is not just the badges on grille. It’s how each of these cars has reached this point in history. For some it’s been a case of preservation, others resuscitation. Two of them are time-capsules. Of these, one has a led a high-profile life as a museum-piece in Queensland, while the other
lived a private and low-key existence for all but the last few years. Neither has been raced in over 30 years.

In contrast, another of our feature cars has been raced almost continuously since the early 1980s. In this time it’s had more hits than Elvis and more rebuilds than Steve Austin.

Another two cars covered in the latest AMC have returned to the racetrack in 2016 after comprehensive restoration programmes. Despite vastly different countries of origin, mechanical specs and colours, they are set to become Historic racing drawcards for their stunning looks and glorious accompanying sound tracks.

Meanwhile, the oldest vehicle featured – driven by the most famous name of all – completely slipped off the radar for many years. Its survival survives today is a matter of good fortune, an
eagle-eye and input by one of its creators.

As we mentioned earlier, six machines with very different life stories – regardless of whether they turn laps in Historic racing or sit as static displays.

The latest issue of AMC also hails the HSV GTS-R. World’s fastest taxi? Hardly. But polarising style – along with dazzling on-track results – put Holden’s opposition in the shade.

Our ‘Muscle Man’ 83-Enduro-Sandown-87profile this issue is cartoonist John Stoneham – an Australian motoring institution. Allow AMC to paint the picture of his near 50-year publishing career.

Our equally popular Sacred Sites section heads to Tasmania for issue #87 and finds that Baskerville Raceway is certainly no basket-case. In fact, big things are happening at the little Hobart track that hosted the top names of the 1970s. Wait til you see the photos kindly supplied by Bruce Smart of

All that and a whole lot more in the latest issue of AMC.

Allan Moffat’s exotics

by Luke

Issue #86 of Australian Muscle Car magazine rewinds 40 years to when Allan Moffat shocked local motor racing fans by importing an exotic Chev racecar. Moffat used this hi-tech DeKon-built Chev Monza and his equally outrageous Cologne Capri to secure the first Australian Sports Sedan Championship, of 1976.

This was a turbulent period for Moffat, as running the GM machine shocked Blue Oval devotees and helped jolt Ford Australia into backing its former factory team spearhead. When the Monza was parked, the Capri was again pressed into action to seal the deal.

The Capri RS3100 was the product of a heated arms race in the early 1970s in Europe between Ford and BMW, while the Monza was developed on the other side of the Atlantic, in the United States. Moffat called on his many contacts in the international racing community to secure these cars for the Aussie scene.

AMC spoke to76-AM-Geoghegan-Moffat--001 Allan about both cars and his recollections make for fascinating reading. He opens up on how he came to secure the rare Cologne Capri.

“I was fortunate enough to do a lot of racing in Macau. Every year the Ford dealer of Hong Kong hired me and I raced a variety of cars at Macau for him,” Moffat explains. “They had no trouble with money in Hong Kong! This fellow, Bob Harper, had been there all of his life – and his father before him had sold the first Model T in China, in the 1920s – and you could say he was the link [to the Capri].

“Bob Harper had the resources to bring anyone in the world – the Ford world – out to Macau for the touring car races. So he brought the Germans out [in November 1973 with the RS2600 Capri ] and I did a good job for them [Moffat won] and got to know those guys [from Germany]…”

Beyond our cover stories, AMC #86 also spotlights the White Hot Special Holden. Much mystery surrounds Holden’s first option-package special – largely because survivors are thin on the ground – which played an important role beyond boosting sales of V8 models generally.

750608_WN-0705The other Holden feature car in issue #86 is the Max Wright Torana. The L34 Torana was the weapon of choice for all the big Holden names in the mid-1970s, and plenty of privateers too. AMC profiles a unique car whose story has just been waiting to be told.

Barry Ferguson is a rarity among 1960s and ’70s motorsport legends: a white-collar employee who lived a double life contesting Australia’s most challenging events.

Meantime, in another personality profile, we present one of the unsung heroes of the local automotive industry. If you reckon there’s no point re-inventing the wheel you should meet Kevin Drage –creator of the most famous alloy wheels adorning factory muscle cars.

Starting with this issue we pay homage to the great survivors. First up: Lakeside’s Lazarus act.

Mustangs in Australia

by Luke

If you love Ford Mustangs you’ll love the latest issue of Australian Muscle Car magazine.

AMC #85 celebrates the 2016 Mustang’s local arrival by highlighting the first Ford Australia-delivered Mustangs – the little known cars converted to RHD at Ford’s Homebush (Sydney) factory 50 years ago.

Mustang has a long history in Australia, dating back to an in ingenious marketing ploy back in 1965 and 1966 that was more about Falcon than that first ponycar. The plan was simple: place one new Mustang into every Ford showroom in Australia. Use the car that had taken America by storm to sprinkle its magic on the upcoming, 1966 release, XR model Falcon.

Easy in theory; a nightmare in reality.

AMC85_CobraThe scheme was one of those occasions when a car company’s marketers forged on with a project that left the engineers cursing their interdepartmental colleagues. Converting those image-building machines to right-hand drive once they landed from the States would prove far more difficult than anyone within Ford believed.

Yet, they did it. Not quite in the numbers originally hoped for, but in sufficient quantity to achieve the objective.

It stands as a landmark event – albeit little known – in local muscle car history. Those Ford Australia delivered cars are known today as the ‘Homebush Mustangs’, as they were converted at Ford’s Sydney facility, which lay just a stone’s throw from the future site of the 2000 Olympics.

AMC has the full story on these Homebush cars.

Our Mustangs in Oz issue also features the 2002 Tickford Cobras converted to RHD in Melbourne and sold through Ford dealers nationally.

Tickford Mustangs are now being appreciated more widely.

So you want to buy an old Mustang? Import or buy locally? Convert or leave as a left-hooker? These, and other curly questions, are fielded by an enthusiast who’s ‘been there and done that’.

Elsewhere in issue #81985-835 we name the top 25 competition Mustangs with Aussie connections; some more successful than others, but all notable contenders.  A good example is Dick Johnson’s green Group A cars of the mid 1980s.

Our Mustang content is topped by our posters! From the Bowden’s Own collection is Pete Geoghegan’s 1965 mount. It’s back-to-back with the 1966 Homebush-converted 4-speed.

Beyond Mustangs we profile Tasmanian Garth Wigston, who made his mark in touring cars and paved the way for other Tassie wheelmen like Bowe, Parsons and Ambrose.

Year four of this fun event saw the South Aussie fundraisers head into Mad Max territory. AMC was lucky enough to tag along.

Then there’s the ultimate barnfind: we confirm that the Group A VK roosting in a Victorian farmer’s chicken shed really is Brocky’s 1985 Bathurst entry.

Finally, we detail the extraordinary career of quite simply the most succcessful Sports Sedan of all time.

Great Escapes issue now on sale

by Luke

Don’t let Australian Muscle Car magazine issue #84 escapAQ0Q0243e you! That’s because the four cover stories are all about Great Escapes. Here’s the line-up of escapees.

GREAT ESCAPE 1: The latest AMC’s cover car is the machine that went from last to first at Bathurst 20 years ago – Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall’s VR Commodore. This was the car in which Perkins and Ingall snatched the 1995 Tooheys 1000 victory from the jaws of defeat. They reveal the secrets behind their success on that dramatic day. We interview LP, The Enforcer and their crew chief Dean Orr and get the technical lowdown on a win that remains a triumph for smart engineering, ‘press-on’ driving and peerless workshop preparation.

GREAT7010_BH_RB-0665 ESCAPE 2: AMC #84 recalls a high-flying XW Falcon GT-HO Phase II from Bathurst 1970 that lived to race another day. This was the Tony Roberts-driven car that flew off the side of the Mountain backwards late in the race, when running an impressive third, and plunged down the hill. Roberts escaped unhurt. “It’s so quiet in mid-air,” he said. The car was subsequently repaired by its new owner, Denis O’Brien, and raced successfully for several years afterwards, often mixing it with the works cars of Ford, Chrysler and Holden.

GREAT ESCAPE 3: We’ve tracked down the survivor of the Bathurst 1000’s most violent, but virtually unseen, non-fatal crash. His name is Rod McRae and he spun out of the 1974 Hardie-Ferodo 1000, rolling then hitting a tree six feet from the ground. With the help of the only witness, Jim Richards, we’ve recreated the accident via diagrams to illustrate what still photographers and TV cameras failed to capture. “He hit an old rotten tree – the tree was dead, but it was about two feet thick – with the floor pan of the car, and put the floor up where his head was,” Richards recalls.

GREAT ESCAPE 4: 100_1972Shrouded in mystery and subterfuge ever since lunchtime on Friday June 30, 1972, the great escape and survival of the Strike Me Pink LJ GTR Torana V8 prototype can at last be told. So how did this top-secret V8 prototype escape the ‘Dead Sled’ at Holden’s proving ground? After 43 years the truth is out and the story is in AMC issue #84. This is a story that’s sure to ruffle some feathers and start many pub arguments. So make sure you read it! It’s also likely to see Holden enthusiasts on the hunt for its sister car.

Beyond our quartet of Great Escape features, there’s plenty in the new issue to interest enthusiasts of Australian motoring and motorsport history.

The 10th anniversary Australian Muscle Car Masters celebrated 25 years since Sydney Motorsport Park’s first big touring car bash. The AMC team takes you on track, into the pits, round the paddock and back in time, for this extended report.

91-HRT-24Our latest Muscle Man is V8 Supercar commentator Neil Crompton. He was the aspiring race driver who fell into commentary and got pigeonholed as a talking head thereafter despite his accomplishments on the track. It’s still easy to overlook his on-track achievements, which we discuss in detail with ‘Neil’s on Wheels’.

Meantime, it’s 30 years since a sleek, ground-effects de Tomaso Pantera with a Ford V8 briefly hit Aussie tracks… before exiting stage left. We revisit the Toy Shop Pantera driven by Kevin Bartlett.

R-Rated features a Valiant Charger hatchback with Aston Martin looks – another 1970s flash of brilliance that Chrysler put in the ‘too hard’ basket … or should that be boot?

We nominate our second batch of Aussie-built cars in plain wrappers that go like the clappers – our Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing. They are cars that are faster than their looks suggest, at least.

As to our ultra-popular Sacred Sites section, this edition we head to the NSW/Victoria border. Hume Weir circuit really was between a rock and hard place, but gave local motorsport enthusiasts two decades of top name action before it was dammed to closure.

As to posters, the 1971 Stirling Moss Pacer – as featured in issue #82 – is back-to-back with Allan Moffat’s Coca Cola Mustang from 1969.

All that and a whole lot more.