By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Motorsport legend Peter Brock’s first racing car was an open cabin “paddock basher” without brakes, his last was a 1948 Holden ‘Humpy’.
Unbelievably for Brock fans, both will be together on public display with up to 400 other stunning exhibits at a custom vehicle show at Akoonah Park Men’s Shed.
Both cars will be loaned from the same anonymous collector, who keeps them and other Brock memorabilia in a private museum.
The paddock basher is a 1938 Austin 7 that Brock used to race like a go-kart on his family farm and the back roads of Hurstbridge. Being without brakes, Brock would throw the car into a slide to stop it.
The other specimen is a Holden 48/215, modified for Brock’s final track race in Greenwood, UK, before he fatally crashed in a car rally in Western Australia in 2006. It still sports the famous 05 decals.
Brock stands in a realm of his own as an Australian racing car driver, who won the Bathurst 1000 nine times. He’ll remain as one of Australia’s folklore heroes, show organiser Nick Bolis said.
“These cars don’t go out on display but they’ve been kindly lent to us for the day.
“We are so privileged to have these.”
Mr Bolis said the collector had a jaw-dropping set of racing and classic cars. Some that sprung to mind was Brock’s Austin A40, EH Holden and famous 05 racing Commodore, as well as rare Cadillacs and Dodges.
Mr Bolis himself collects striking classic cars, such as a short-deck-tailed 1961 Cadillac de Ville.
He bought it from the original owner in California three years ago.
Though less luxurious than the Cadillac El Dorado, the car would have originally sold for close to the cost of a house, he says.
Its extravagance was emblematic of the post-World War II boom and became a status symbol.
Its awkwardly large turning circle and immense length makes it difficult for suburban outings but it still handles the corners during a Dandenong Ranges cruise.
Also on display is a two-toned 1949 Pontiac with a five-litre Chevrolet motor and smart chrome bonnet emblem that looks just like the original. It’s owned by Akoonah Park Men’s Shed member Len Vidler.
Another is the bold, red 1965 Mustang coupe with red leather cabin and seats owned by Maurice Hall.
Classics In the Park is at Akoonah Park on Sunday, 29 October, 8am-2pm. Entry: $5 adults, $10 show cars, children under 16 free. It is sponsored by Neilson Partners First National Real Estate. Details: Nick Bolis 0417 500 198 or facebook.com/Akoonahparkmensshed