Bathurst 500: Your memories.



I love this photo. What make and model of car are they? The mini is obvious. But what’s the other one?


What are your memories of Bathurst?


  1. Matt Watson says

    1963 Dodge Phoenix?!?!

  2. Earl O'Neill says

    That photo sums up what it used to be like, when there were different classes of cars, when a 1963 Dodge Phoenix could compefe against Minis. Too much like watching taxis these days.

  3. Matt, it may well be. Are you confident?

    I suspect you are at Bathurst today. Where are you? Have you spotted Blundstone Bend. Where exactly is it?

  4. My first blink was Dodge Phoenix too, but not expert enough to put a year on it.

  5. Back in the day the first 6 laps were compulsory viewing. Limited warm up laps. Cold brakes. Standing starts meant someone would drop the clutch and stall with resulting dodgems on the grid. I can recall when cars still had brake pads instead of discs, and the mechanics had asbestos gloves and tongs to remove the red hot used pads. Yikes. The number of brake stops rather than fuel stops was the big deal in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Leaders crawling around at the end with the car running on vapours as fuel ran out. Get to the top of the mountain and you could roll home on the final lap. Pit corner at the bottom of Conrod Straight was a 90 degree left hander with no escape road in the early days.
    As a public road for 51 weeks of the year Dad took us on a lap on a family holiday to Sydney in 1967. 20mph in second gear coming of the mountain in second gear – and that was bloody terrifying enough for a 12yo! My car racing exploits were confined to the sofa in October and gravel roads after 6 king browns! How we survived those crazy years with no seat belts in the old cars with crap suspensions etc is astonishing.

  6. Bob Morrow says

    Peter B they still have a standing start & they used linings not pads. How about going back further. The Bathurst race came from the Armstrong 500 [miles] starting at Philip Island in 1960. After 3 years the cars had wrecked the track & PIARC couldn’t afford to fix it , the track lingered until Lukey of Lukey mufflers bought it . The race then moved to Bathurst The original race was in classes & for absolutely bog standard cars. The only modifications allowed were exhausts, to make them sound better,& the fitting of the sponsors’ shock absorbers.In fact in the first 100 miles if any work had to be done on the car you could only work on it with the tools that came with the car when bought new. Just about every car manufacturer [remember them ] & importers entered at least 1 car. The glaring non appearance was Holden. At private practice at Philip Island they had huge oil sur
    ge problems that cut out the big end bearings in 2 laps. As no modifications were allowed they were history. Ahh those were the days.

  7. I’ve gone to the bookshelf to refer to ‘American Car Spotters Guide 1940-1965’ by Tad Burness. It’s a 1963 Dodge .

    Gold star to Matt Watson for his quick, correct call.


  8. I’m no rev-head, but I remember the days when there were different classes of cars?
    The Toranas would race around with the bigger cars etc

  9. Yep, there was Class A, B, C, D, E, but I forget which were the big boys and which were the littlies. Think Class E was the Monaros, Chargers and Falcon GTs. Not sure the Leyland P76 ever started….. Minis were a pretty good goer, Peter Manton springs to mind, but the big boys usually got them on Conrod. Black and white TV, rocks falling on Dick Johnson, great days, they do look like taxis these days and worse this year with some Commodes having last year’s body and some with the new model. What’s going on there?

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