Suiting up Brock
It has been 15 years today since we lost Peter Brock.
Dale Rodgers was then the MD of Revolution Racegear and had a decade long involvement with Brock with all his personal safety gear and various projects.
This tribute was first published in 2006 and is a reminder of the legacy left by Brock and how he touched so many people.
Peter was a ‘regular’ at Revolution, we looked after his safety gear requirements for many years, and he always greeted us with that Brock smile, his eyes shining brightly. He will be missed by us all. Dale Rodgers shares some thoughts on his time working with Peter.
The phone call usually started like this:
‘Dale, I need to come and see you. I have something going that I think you will be interested in…’
It was the voice of Peter Brock, and I knew we were off on another great journey together.
Within a day or so Peter was sitting in my office, after spending at least 30 minutes in the Melbourne store talking to staff and any customers who were obviously thrilled to see Brock at the counter.
I can vividly recall this happening every 6 months or so since Peter ceased full time driving after that fabulous 1997 season.
Peter Brock has been a part of the fabric of Revolution Racegear since 1996. This is no idle claim. We looked after his personal safety needs in every car, in every event since that time. Even when racing for HRT in 96 & 97 Peter would call to ask for specific requirements to his race gear. We even made an RPM race glove which we called the RPM Brock Group A glove back in 1997. Such was his interest and passion in the safety and production of his own gear.
He was never a driver to allow safety to be near enough. He had an inquisitive nature as to what and why we were making his race suits in a particular material, how we could change this or look at that as an option. It was Brock. Demanding yet totally involving of those who were working on his personal race gear.
I recall such diverse tasks put on my desk by Peter. Helping son James in the Future Tourer race at Bathurst, rejecting a major Euro deal for the Super Tourer Bathurst 1000 so he would use our RPM Racegear, comeback drives for the 2002 Bathurst ‘Autoart’ Commodore and again in 04 with the HRT team.
I did only once beat him to the phone on a project. After hearing of the 1984 Marlboro Commodore being entered and shipped to Goodwood in 2005, I jumped on the phone to Peter and asked which suit he would wear? Did he have the old Bathurst suit? “No” was the reply. “I was going to take the Team Brock suit” PB said. I then suggested we replicate the HDT Marlboro suit, and he was over the moon.
He called me to say how the Spectators at the Goodwood Festival loved the Commodore and that he was glad we have made the Marlboro replica. I took that as a big win!
But 2006 was special. Around March I sat waiting for the great man to arrive once again.
He was really excited on the phone and had two big projects to discuss. I listened with all my normal joy as PB ‘sold’ me firstly on the Daytona replica project for Targa Tasmania and then as if to top it on a very left field FX Holden concept for the Goodwood Revival meeting in the UK in tandem with Phil Munday.
He really did not need to do say more than just outline his requirements, but Peter was never like that. He always visited personally. He never took one piece of equipment that we supplied for granted and he was so genuine in fulfilling any request we had of him.
So we started work on the RPM suits for Brock and Mick Hone for Targa. “I’ve driven the car at Calder” Brock said ‘It’s a weapon and should be a good thing” I recall him saying.
We watched the progress at Targa then spoke again prior to the recent Lake Mountain event. The FX for Goodwood project was still on the go.
“I really want to go with the retro look for Goodwood” Brock said. Emails with period photos of drivers and crew followed. He visited many times to check the exact colours and designs. It was Brock at full noise, and we loved it.
I spoke to him just before he left for the UK. He had promised to drop in to tell me all the stories from Goodwood after the Targa West event.
‘’I’ll make sure I have some pictures for you as well from Goodwood” he said.
Of course, the rest is history.
I will miss the phone calls, the visits, and his friendship. But I am more the better for the experience.
Peter Brock has been an ambassador for Revolution Racegear of the highest possible level for over 10 years. Like all fans and friends, we grieve the loss of a true icon and a great Australian.
TRT and the author would like to thank Steve Nally for his generosity in allowing us to run his incredible photo of Brock and the Big Banger at Goodwood.