Insight Mark Walker April 15, 2022 (Comments off) (721)

NMRM: Our Top Ten

Forever one of our favourite things to do when in Bathurst is to spend an afternoon gawking at the displays in the National Motor Racing Museum.

And being in town for the Bathurst 6 Hour, during our quarterly visit to the museum, the author decided to rate his top-ten attractions currently on display.

And for some insider trading, there has been a new arrival added to the collection overnight – a Larry Perkins/Peter Janson Torana A9X – worth the price of admission on its own!

What’s your take? Hit us up on the socials @theracetorque with your best bits from this mega collection!

10. The crazy crap on the walls

All of the walls around the National Motor Racing Museum are covered in all sorts of displays, memorabilia and wadded up bits of race car.

Here’s one at random: check out the Win Percy bonnet, the Rod Nash bonnet and the Mike Quinn crushed Corolla amongst others.

Great memories.

9. The Gregg Hansford collection

How can you not be a fan of Gregg Hansford?

Five of his Kawasaki examples are displayed, each with a unique story to tell, including victories on the Mountain.

8. Craig Lowndes AU Falcon

This is a hot take, and I will accept that I’m absolutely wrong – but I prefer this version of Craig Lowndes’ 2001 AU Falcon over the later green-eyed monster.

This particular chassis was the former Stone Brothers Racing rig with which he started his Ford V8 Supercars career, after the machine had a winning spell at SBR in the hands of Jason Bright.

The car is still retained by Bob Forbes.

7. 1934 500cc KTT Velocette

We recently on these pages featured the original Bathurst street track, the Vale Circuit, with a segment dedicated to this particular ‘cycle.

It’s very cool to see it in the flesh, alongside some other significant pieces.

6. 1988 Bathurst 1000 winning Sierra

Growing up through the Group A era, I have indelible memories of the whistling Ford Sierras at Lakeside Raceway.

Earlier in 1988, Tony Longhurst campaigned in Freeport smokes colours, before taking on the famed B&H hues, with this version ultimately capturing the Bathurst 1000 crown for Tony Longhurst, Tomas Mezera and Frank Gardner.

Cool kit that went the distance.

5. Endurance Holden Gemini

I’ll let you in on a little secret – I am an absolute Gemini tragic, maybe less so for the later model boxy varieties.

This particular car was out to reinforce the legendary reliability of the Holden products, by being driven for 80 days and 80 nights straight, clocking up over 200,000kms – in essence, simulating 13 years of punishment.

Complete with an optional cassette player and mobile phone, the car was punted around the Lang Lang proving ground by numerous steerers, including Peter Brock, averaging over 100km/h for the journey, including stops and services.

An absolute oddity, but par for the course amongst a wide variety of machinery for various genres of the motorized world.

4. 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour Winning Monaro

We have featured this machine and its Mount Panorama exploits in-depth previously here on The Race Torque, including a comprehensive photo gallery of its victory in the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour, as well as this diary of an insomniac.

3. The Larry Perkins Exhibit

Much has been said about the mega Larry Perkins flavoured exhibit currently featured at the museum, but this cabinet is absolutely pure gold.

F1 helmet – check, Tooheys Top Gun leather jacket – check. Everything else is just a bonus…

2. 1976 Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34s

The 1976 Great Race was certainly greater than most, and these two Toranas starred at opposing ends of the contest.

Left, the Sterling Moss/Jack Brabham version, with the two F1 legends coming out of retirement for the occasion.

Of course, with Brabham taking the start, the car jammed in gear, and the stranded machine was successfully cleaned up by a Triumph Dolomite Sprint.

Right is the race-winning item, as driven by John Fitzpatrick, with an emotional Bob Morris watching on from the pits as the car limped around the final circuits.

The stuff of legend.

1. The Last of the Big Bangers

Peter Brock. Larry Perkins. The dayglo VK Commodore.

The last of the big bangers.

Of course, it gets number one here after being listed as one of our favourite ever Aussie built race cars.

You can check out Brocky’s VK, and so many other great motorsport pieces at the National Motor Racing Museum, just outside of Murray’s Corner on the Mount Panorama Circuit.

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