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Australian Muscle Car Magazine

September 26th, 2011 by Luke | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized |

The Chickadee Commodore turned laps at the Muscle Car Masters

The September October edition of Australian Muscle Car magazine celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Chickadee Commodore’s victory on the Mountain on October 5, 1986.

Allan Grice and Graeme Bailey were motor racing’s odd couple and their unorthodox ‘team’ arrangement with master race car builder Les Small netted a Bathurst victory against the run of play. Specifically, against the might of the Peter Brock-led Holden Dealer Team.

Car owner Bailey was the last privateer (non professional driver) to win the Great Race. He was a businessman racer who drove his own car and bankrolled the operation.

Grice did the bulk of the driving and Melbourne-based Small built, updated and prepared the machine for its date with destiny.

Incredibly, the car spent the first half of the season in a modest NSW Central Coast backyard garage being fettled by Bailey’s main man, Peter Pattenden.

In other words, this was not a team in the traditional or modern-day sense. It was a set-up best described as a co-operative effort. Each major player had what the others needed and they decided a few short months before the big race that they would attack it together. The fact that this bits and pieces approach worked, is, upon reflection, something of a minor miracle.

Edition #57 of AMC details this and provides a fitting tribute to the last of the breed of privateers whose dream of winning Australia’s biggest car race actually came true.

AMC outlines how the planets aligned to give a former chicken farmer the biggest day of his life.

The Chickadee Commodore was a tough old bird and has now come out of hibernation as a museum-piece to turn laps at gatherings like the Muscle Car Masters.

The latest edition of AMC also heavily features Jim Richards. The seven-time Bathurst winner is profiled, as is his 1964 Falcon Sprint, which won the 2010 Touring Car Masters title.

AMC also looks back at the glory days of Australian rallying and checks out the classic muscle cars still threading the needle in forests around the country. Drag racing fans should check out the profile on drag racer Norm Oakey and see some of his precarious seating positions – such as with his head poking through the windscreen.

AMC also features many previously unpublished images from the dramafest which was the 1976 Hardie Ferodo 1000.

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

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