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October 16th, 2012 by mcowner | No Comments | Filed in Features |

Celebrations at Bathurst 2012 weren’t confined to marking 50 years of the Great Race. Muscle Car Events Australia put on a sizeable shindig to commemorate Peter Brock’s first Bathurst victory, at the wheel of an LJ GTR XU-1 Torana in 1972. That year’s Hardie-Ferodo 500 saw the beginning of a legend and vindicated Holden’s belief that a small and nimble car could triumph over the might of Ford’s 5.8-litre GT-HO Falcons.

XU-1s on the Mountain, organised by Todd Martin, celebrated the 40th anniversary of that achievement, as well as recognising the role played by others in the success of the XU-1.

Some 150 GTRs and GTR XU-1s from all states and territories converged on Mount Panorama, with registrations completed in time for the Thursday night welcome dinner.

Friday had the ground reverberating as drivers prepared themselves for the ‘Shannons Touring Tarmac Rally’, with cars departing at 20-second intervals. The sight of so many Toranas, with over 30 different colours represented, must have given locals flashbacks to the psychedelic ’70s. Route instructions saw participants arrive at Carcoar Dam for brunch, with the second leg returning participants to home base at the Bathurst Showgrounds.

The Thursday, Friday and Saturday night dinners saw participants regaled with stories of the glory days from Bob Morris, Colin Bond, Ian Tate and Bev Brock. The Saturday night affair saw trophies awarded and also featured an auction of some rare and desirable items.
The cars were displayed in front of the National Motor Racing Museum on Saturday and Sunday, giving trackside fans the opportunity to see them. For owners, it was a chance to reflect that their pride and joy was very much as raced back in the late Series Production and early Group C eras. Hopefully the 50th anniversary event in 2023 will see them receive due recognition with parade laps around the track, which were culled when the on-track program fell behind schedule.

Story and images Phil Walmsley

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