Studebaker Car Club Of New South Wales

 

 

SCCNSW Club Run


1st September 2013

Muscle Car Masters - Sydney Motorsport Park

 


Many thanks to Rick for the report and photo's plus 'Gazza' and Dan T for their photo's.


This event was not on our Activities Calendar, but one of our members represented Studebaker and our club at this annual event, so it is fitting that we present Rick's report and photo's here.

 

Muscle Car Masters 2013 – Bathurst Grid Spectacular


This year at Muscle Car Masters one of the features was a Grid Spectacular of 60 genuine Bathurst race cars representing 50 years from 1963-2012. I was invited to participate with my ex Needham’s Motors 1964 Studebaker Commander which competed in the 1967 Gallagher 500 (#55D) and the 1968 Hardie-Ferodo 500 (#21D) driven both years by Warren Weldon and John Hall. I have presented the car in its 1967 livery in which race it finished 3rd in Class D and 11th outright.

 


Unfortunately, Warren Weldon passed away last year from pancreatic cancer, however, it was terrific to have co-driver John Hall join me on the grid with the Studebaker as the Bathurst “legend” with his long term mates and motor racing enthusiasts Dick Israel, Gary Treloar and Neil Wanstall as my “crew”.

 


As the oldest car there and representing the 1967 Bathurst race, I would have thought the Studebaker would have been on pole for the spectacular.  However, the front row was given to car #9D, the Gibson/Seton XT Falcon GT and #23D, the Hawkins/Brown Monaro GTS327 from the 1968 Bathurst race. Ironically, the Studebaker (which was on row three alongside Steven Richards in father Jim’s JPS BMW 635 from the 1985 race) finished the 1968 race ahead of both the Falcon and the Monaro on the front row! Row two had the pole sitting Nissan Bluebird Turbo of George Fury from 1984 and the Perkins/Ingall Commodore from the 1997 race.

 


Behind the Studebaker was a further 50+ genuine Bathurst racers with their own legends and crew – it was a fantastic sight. As we motored down the main straight to the grid, each of the cars was introduced over the PA and while I couldn’t hear the announcer from within the car I am told the Studebaker was given a great wrap including acknowledging that John Hall was present for the festivities.

 


After all the hoopla of the brass band and dancing girls etc the grid was cleared and we proceeded to demonstrate the cars for two laps of the full Brabham Circuit. This gave the public an opportunity to see all the cars perform at a reasonable pace. While I have been racing historic cars for the past 30 years, I must say I am in awe of the guys that punted cars such as the Studebaker around Bathurst with no rollbar, bench seat, huge steering wheel and drum brakes! I said this to John Hall and he said the Studebaker was an absolute pleasure to drive at Bathurst, mechanically reliable and steady as a rock. While a lot is made of its brakes, wheels and tyres, John said the major mechanical components were very tough and the car just kept going. This is attested to by the fact that it finished both the 1967 and 1968 races.

 


The cars were displayed in the pits both before and after the Grid Spectacular and it was pleasing to receive a great deal of positive feedback about the Studebaker from enthusiasts both young and old. Apart from having John Hall reunited with the car after 45 years, another highlight for me was Jim Richards coming over while we were lined up on the dummy grid, introducing himself and being genuinely excited that the Studebaker was there in all its glory. He looked all over it and expressed his admiration at its original condition and current presentation. I can tell you this meant a lot.
 

Rick Marks

 

Photo' courtesy of Sydney Motorsport Park facebook page.

 

 

 

 

Rick and John

 

 

 

 

John Hall

Driver with Warren Weldon in 1967 Gallagher 500, and the 1968 Hardie-Ferodo 500.

 

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