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I Like Cars because of Bathurst

Posted 02-01-2016 at 08:50 AM by .Cotties
Updated 02-13-2016 at 11:35 AM by .Cotties
You'll have to let me explain australian car racing to you because I do love cars and for all the southern car racing fans here I've seen none that want to get nitty gritty talking about cars.

Bathurst Mount Panorama racetrack is extremely iconic to us in Australia but fear not, even you girls would like some aspects of it. You never have to watch it and there is only one race a year anyone ever cared about and everybody did. Nothing like nascar or european countries racing against each other. Anyone can feel like a winner.

In primary school we drove like 400miles so two bus loads of kids could scream in joy. Some fake gold shop was the excuse the teachers gave to organise it. I bought quartz for 20cents in the gift shop. Sister took me one year and she couldn't give a rats ass about racing but it was the first time I got to drive a car on a football field but not the last. We had to camp in a soccer field outside someones home it gets that busy. No planning required. Its a trip to the country side to kill time.

Getting there is half the journy and its a beautiful drive trying to get over our mountain ranges then into green flat farm land.

The thing is it must be an everyday car that can drive up and down a mountain for 700 miles. Roughly the distance between our cities and larger inland cities. No big fuel tanks or fancy mechanics or millions of dollars spent. Just a road car that you knew you wouldn't have to service if you were to buy one and it had to be cheap. It also had to have so many go off a production line before it could qualify so no farraris and foreign cars had to prove they could do the business before we would buy them. No one could beat us and we welcomed the challenge.

Chrysler, ford and GM had everything riding on one race for the next years sales. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday. Our 3 homegrown cars by design with just US engine blocks.

Today we get a 7 year warranty. Takes the fun out of what you are buying. You could even watch a little mazda or nisson or BMW blow up after 2 hours. But still, mums car was in it for 2

One year dads shameful Datsun got pole position. No more neighbours thinking we had Jap crap in the driveway with their big V8's. It blew up but the first lap was fun.

The mini beat all the big US/Aust muscle cars in 66. We don't drive british cars or small ones. 3 kids in a mini on holdidays would be the death of us. We had to wake up. The big US cars would drive into the first wall coming down the sharp mountains. Too heavy for the breaks.. Mustang did ok in the 80's but didn't finish the race.

by the late 70's it was just gorgeous american muscle engines in Ozzie designed cars that could turn a corner separating us from nascar and american design but still it had to be a car to go shopping in. European cars couldn't get up the mountains then would overheat on the big straights after the mountains.

This would be my favorite. Yes if you paint it black its mad max's Ford car from the original movie. But some other models were gorgeous instead of brute.

But the byproduct of that being the number one family saloon is you could buy one when you were 15 for a few hundred dollars. Thats right..your very own race pedigree car bought from an old lady to learn to drive in.

and its a pretty race track as tracks go. People just camp and do singalongs for 3 nights. The track is just suburban country roads the rest of the year. my father went to a boarding school somewhere along the racetrack. Some of the biggest sex scandals came out of that school 40 years later. Mom asked dad if he noticed anything when they revealed the years it happened on the news. I've never seen him looked so horrified but thats not the reason he doesn't go to church.

Jaguars did well one year but fell behind production numbers deeming it a race car first and foremost. Ford Cosworth did well from the Brits and the Skyline named godzilla got the race once but in order for them to win it had to be a race model. Our cars are family cars [irony huh]. mass produced with no afthermarket stuff. They introduced racing seats and roll cages as people would fall off the mountain. Other than that back seat, door trims, am radio all had to stay.

the Datsun that got pole

this was initially on Jillians wall but its really for me so got out of control

One lap around the mountain in 78 when all they had were drum brakes and balls. Saw a mustang out there. The two Fords are up against an army of GM cars we call holden or Eurovision people call Opel. GM had a new concept. Make all there models have 350 chevs and let them drive out the showrooms with those chrome drop tanks.
Our chrysler charger never won but was beautiful. My friend rode his off when he drove past his girlsfriends front door. Slammed it in reverse spinning his wheels and destroyed it on her fathers car parked outside their home.

Mainly the car dealers sponsored and provided the cars so if it won people knew where to buy one.

Edited. Can't help it especially as I didn't think anyone would even read the blog. Its hard to find footage I want but I enjoyed the first few minutes of this race. Every car race in the world makes you go wow but this is a personal experience of a man at work having a chit chat. Bugs on the car window and a car playing up. You see XD Ford Falcons in 84. I owned an XF 87 model. Over excited showing the girlfriend for the first time she looked upset. She said its white!

Always better to have the end of a cars production line and not the first. They fix the flaws, make it great then re-invent it with flaws again.

So Grice is interesting, his car won't turn into corners. Its understeering as he mentions. So at 130mph flying down the mountain with worn out tires and brakes that just want to snap in two, he has to do a little burn out at 130mph and flick the ass out to turn into a corner or hit the wall. Its an inside view thats lasts 5 minutes. Still a pretty view I guess and I love when he gets asked. Whats Bathurst mean to you. He says, well its a Sunday and I come out and get all sweaty and try to beat these turkey's.

Also the blase humor early on when he says look at this guy driving into Bathurst to go get a drink.[ he means the town to get a beer]

He mentions foreign drivers and we had a great Canadian driver you saw before in the white Mad Max Ford but he raced here all his life. So they say qualifying is intense if you are from overseas trying to get down the mountain.

When the race begins and 50 cars are all screaming at you and crazy Aussies won't brake facing those downhill corners even if there is a 1000km to go. They get terrified by there own admission. Grice talks about what its like to drive on two and 3 wheels without any bravado.

Its called Chasing Brock. Brock was our legend for years and always the guy to beat. He passed away a few years ago. Kind of stunned the nation as he drove for 20 something years.

warning: this could bore people very easily
Total Comments 7


stu472004's Avatar
Some nice memories there . I'm a big Motorsport fan from the UK, and I remember some of the cars that you talk about , like the V12 Jag Xjs and Godzilla , the Nissan that made us sit up and take note of the Japanese .

But Bathurst is the most brilliant track out , I play racing games just to drive round that awesome circuit , it's so good !!

You lucky guy ..
Posted 02-01-2016 at 05:12 PM by stu472004 stu472004 is offline
hijiller's Avatar
What a terrific blog! Almost makes me not afraid of going over 70mph. But, not quite.
Posted 02-01-2016 at 07:30 PM by hijiller hijiller is offline
.Cotties's Avatar
thanks jill, I had nice old fiats and the prettier cars with little stories but only 4 images allowed. I had to hack parts out.
I think you might like the little english mini that won with all the big car drivers teasing him
Posted 02-02-2016 at 06:04 AM by .Cotties .Cotties is offline
.Cotties's Avatar
stu? you play assetta corsa

Brilliant little ford escorts that always held their own and Ford capri's went the distance. Escorts sold very well here and owned a british cortina

Its a real shame the British gave up building cars or anything. You guys were good compared to your neighbors.
Posted 02-02-2016 at 06:12 AM by .Cotties .Cotties is offline
stu472004's Avatar
Is asseta corsa a game ?
Yeah those cortinas were real classics , they look great cars to race , and if you look up "Goodwood revival" you might be able to see what I mean .
I think unions , and poor quality metals did for the uk car industry , in our climate the cars turned to rust far too quickly .
Posted 02-03-2016 at 05:05 PM by stu472004 stu472004 is offline
artemis's Avatar
Kickass blog Cotties & you are so lucky you got to race around! I'm going to look at details of this race with my son & watch clips on YouTube. Thanks!
Posted 02-04-2016 at 03:45 AM by artemis artemis is offline
hijiller's Avatar
Just spotted your edited version with the pictures. this is a perfect blog..full of enthusiasm and details and lively descriptions of something i never would have know about.

btw, my father bought me a gold datsun station wagon as my first car..i felt like a dork until my friends realized how much crap we could load into that little thing. it ran good.
Posted 02-28-2016 at 10:17 AM by hijiller hijiller is offline

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