Lights, Cameras, Action!

16. July 2015 16:40 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
Rare Spares have wonderful relationships with all the teams, events and series we sponsor. Our sponsorship of Brad Jones Racing or BJR as they are better known is a prime example. We get the privilege of seeing a highly professional race team in action behind the scenes. You may be surprised to learn that not only is BJR hugely successful at racing V8 Supercars, but also has a highly skilled video production unit within the team. Their latest release involves BJR’s relationship with fellow sponsor, Fuchs lubricants and includes a fascinating glimpse into what goes on behind closed doors to help make BJR one of the most successful teams in V8 Supercars. Rare Spares are extremely proud of our involvement with BJR, Jason Bright and the Team BOC V8 Supercars, just as we are extremely proud of our involvement with your project. For more information about Rare Spares, visit www.rarespares.net.au

Behind The Wheel

Screaming down Conrod Straight at 300 kph in a 650 horsepower V8 Supercar is not the time you want to be reaching for the windscreen wipers, or anything for that matter. At those speeds, you want both hands firmly on the wheel, and this is the philosophy behind the modern day V8 Supercar steering wheel. Many of us would be familiar with the personal controls incorporated into our steering wheels, although it wasn’t that long ago when the horn was its only additional feature. Nowadays, you can find cruise control, controls for music and maybe hands free phone functions. Step into the world of V8 Supercars, and it’s an entirely different ball game. Allowing the driver to have both hands on the wheel while attending to vital tasks throughout a race is a huge leap forward in driver safety. Well over a dozen controls that would normally require a “hands off” approach can now be safely performed by the driver with just the flick of a finger. Controls for the headlight, windscreen wipers and radio buttons are all fairly simple and within easy reach, but it’s the amazing array of race only controls that separates these V8 brutes from even the most modern day road cars. The pit switch for instance, which limits a drivers’ speed in pit lane. Or the cool suit, helmet fan and drink switches. Temperatures inside a V8 Supercar are stifling, often reaching over 50 degrees. Cool suits, helmet fans and driver hydration are essential and can all be controlled by the driver’s thumb to keep him as comfortable as possible. Then there’s the controls for the mini dash display perched towards the top of this amazing piece of technology. Drivers need to be able to process and monitor huge amounts of information. From speed, gear selection, RPM, oil pressure and brake rotor temperature to lap times and G-forces, all this information and more is available to the driver via the steering wheel. And finally, if that wasn’t enough, at the very top of this marvel of motorsport is a row of coloured lights, all displaying to the driver even more information on the performance of the car. Revs too high, the lights will tell him. Pit lane speed too low, the lights will tell him. Front left wheel starting to lock under brakes, the lights will tell him. A lot to take on board when you’re covering over 80 metres per second, but not for the men that wrestle with these monsters at every race. Indeed, Will Davison says it “makes life a lot easier”.  

Leo Geoghegan

29. June 2015 09:32 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
For many a racing driver, to compete in the famous Australian endurance event at Bathurst is just a dream. To drive for a factory team is reserved for a special few. To drive for three factory teams is pure fantasy, except that is for the only racing driver to have accomplished this amazing and still unbroken record. That driver is Leo Geoghegan, who sadly passed away due to illness in March earlier this year. For most drivers, this would be a career defining achievement, and rightly so. What makes Leo’s achievement even more astonishing is that he was actually better known for his achievements in the open wheeler classes instead of touring cars. In a Vintage Racecar interview, he remembered how delighted he was when he first raced at Mount Panorama. “I drove at Bathurst for the first time in 1956 in the Holden. Bathurst was marvellous, all that I expected and more. I loved it! Loved the challenge. To cut a long story short, it was a handicap race and we started at the back but managed to win the event with Bob Holden not far behind in a Peugeot.” Leo’s open wheeled opponents read like a “Who’s Who” of the racing world. From Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart and Stirling Moss to Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme and many more, Leo raced with them all. Leo started his motor racing career in 1954 at the former Gnoo Blas motor racing circuit at Orange when he was 17. In 1965, Leo and his brother Ian famously wore business suits as part of a sponsorship deal for Grace Bros when they drove their Ford Cortina GT500 in the Armstrong 500 at Bathurst. His best finish at Bathurst for the endurance race was a contentious second in 1967 driving a Ford XR Falcon GT with his brother Ian. The pair were flagged in first, but a protest by team mate Harry Firth saw the brothers officially place second after a re-count of the lap charts. Disastrously, two hours after the start, their Falcon ran out of fuel after it had passed the pits. Leo drove through the back gate into the pits to be refuelled, however the lap scorers credited their Ford with a lap it didn’t complete. The race was then awarded to Firth and Fred Gibson. Leo believed that the lap scorers were correct the first time and that he and his brother should have been awarded the win. Although he never won the Bathurst 500/1000, he did win thirty one races at the legendary venue. 1969 saw him win his first race outside Australia when he drove a Lotus 39-Repco V8 to victory in the very first JAF Grand Prix at Fuji. Archrival Kevin Bartlett said Leo was “very intense though not like Allan Moffat, but focussed”. “Leo would stand around and talk, and tell a joke,” recalls Bartlett. “But as soon as he sat in the car, the race face would come on. He’d lick his lips.” “I always knew I was in for a hard time when Leo, Spencer [Martin], Harves [John Harvey] and then later Max [Stewart] were on the grid”. “But Leo would never grab a car by the scruff. He understood it never paid to drive a Lotus at 11/10ths.” Paul Cross, the well-known motor sports historian and photographer described Leo “as an absolute gentleman, a great driver, fantastic company, always willing to give of his time, and never critical of his rivals – not even Harry Firth. He will be much missed.” He is survived by his widow Del, two sons Steven and Shaun, and two daughters Roslyn and Naomi.

A Winner of a Month!

May has been a massive month here at Rare Spares. Another super popular VIP Night was held at Bayswater in Melbourne’s east. This was followed by Round 3 of the Touring Car Masters at Winton. As a major sponsor of the TCM series, Rare Spares is always heavily involved, however the Winton round was extra special as star driver and Rare Spares Ambassador, John Bowe was in top form all weekend. And to top off the month, Rare Spares is helping to give away an Australian automotive legend to one lucky person. To find out how you could be that winner, read on. Even Melbourne’s notorious weather couldn’t keep the crowds away from the Rare Spares Bayswater VIP and Club Night, held at the store recently on the 13th of May. Over 50 guests attended the evening, including members from The EH Holden Car Club of Victoria, Yarra Valley Chrome Bumpers, The HD and HR Club of Victoria and The East Side Cruisers. Manager Dylan Boyes has been at the Rare Spares Bayswater store for the past fourteen months and even though this was his sixth VIP night, he said it was the best one so far. “These nights are very beneficial for building customer relationships and for us to be able to put names to faces,” said Dylan. “I only heard good feedback from club members last night, and our people all agree it was definitely as successful as we could have hoped. And it’s always great to hear about the projects club members have been working on,” he added. Some awesome prizes were up for grabs as well. A Winton Hot Lap, Winton Double Passes and a $100 Rare Spares Voucher went to the lucky winners. If you missed out this time, you’ll have another chance to win some more fabulous prizes at the next Rare Spares Bayswater VIP Night on the 19th of August. The following weekend, the fun and action continued just a couple of hours north of Melbourne. Rare Spares Ambassador and driving legend John Bowe swapped his Ford Mustang for a Holden Torana SLR 5000 recently at Round 3 of the Touring Car Masters at Winton. And not only did he blitz the field in practice and qualifying to grab pole position, he went on to win both races! “It’s been a great day and a great little car,” Bowe said. “I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be this good, though if there was going to be a track that suits the car, it’s here. We’ve made a few changes but nothing that has required us to think outside the usual parameters – the car is great.” “I’m most pleased for Gary O’Brien and his team. It’s been a two and a half year process to build the car and a real labour of love, it’s great to be able to reward that.” Gary O’Brien played a major role in the third big event for Rare Spares. It’s not every day you get the chance to win a car. And not just any car, but a true Australian icon. This legendary Holden HQ GTS Monaro can be all yours and all you have to do is fill in the entry form inside Street Machine magazine, subscribe or enter via the Street Machine website. Born in 1972, it started out as a 253 V8 four-speed HQ SS and ended up as a Group Nc race car. In 2003, Bendigo racer Gary O’Brien bought a share in it and upgraded it to run in the Touring Car Masters series. It retired from racing and became the new Street Machine Unique Cars project car, getting a full rebuild courtesy of Gary’s business, Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars and his project partner, Rare Spares. After hundreds of hours of blood, sweat and tears, not to mention countless new top quality parts from companies such as Rare Spares, this reborn Aussie icon is back to being “significantly better than new.” If your own project is in need of some top quality parts, then look no further than Rare Spares. Head to www.rarespares.net.au

Rare Spares Welshpool VIP Event.

17. June 2015 15:46 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
On the evening of Thursday 30th of April, the Rare Spares team at Welshpool in Perth hosted their very first VIP night, which was a huge success. Rare Spares Welshpool store owners Todd and Teena Gardner, have been selling Rare Spares products for over 20 years and two years ago became an authorised Rare Spares distributor. Todd was delighted by the turnout for their first Rare Spares event. “I literally opened the door at 5:30, let a whole pile of people in and I didn’t get to look up from the computer until 7:30 when it was all over! We were that busy,” Todd said. “It was great to hear everyone had a great time so it's likely we'll host another VIP night next year,” he added. Sausages weren’t the only thing to sizzle on the night with all Rare Spares products massively discounted by 20%. There were even Superstar drivers on hand for customers to chat to, with appearances from John Bowe and Jason Bright. To top off a wonderful night, there were some amazing prizes to be won, including double passes to the Perth Supersprint and a $100 Rare Spares gift voucher. For your chance to attend the next Rare Spares VIP event near you and get some huge savings, join the Rare Spares Rare Owners or Loyalty clubs at www.rarespares.net.au.   

RARE SPARES CONTINUES WITH THE 'BRICKLAYER' AFTER 22 YEARS

One of Australia’s longest running motorsport partnerships has strengthened with Rare Spares increasing its presence on Australian drag racing legend Graeme Cooper’s iconic ‘Bricklayer’ Holden EH Premier Station Wagon.  The long-standing partnership began in 1992 when Rare Spares provided Cooper with parts to rebuild his famous car – the Rare Spares logo featuring on the bonnet scoop of Cooper’s Bricklayer ever since.   “I told [Rare Spares director] David Ryan at the time that I’d keep the signage on the car for as long as they wanted, and we’re now entering our 23rd year together,” Cooper said.   “I don’t think David ever imagined the original Rare Spares stickers would still be on the car after all this time, but they are, and it makes me proud that he has recognised our commitment.”   With their extended arrangements, the Rare Spares logo will now also occupy the side rear windows of the wheelstanding EH wagon for the 2015 season – Cooper’s 40th year of racing the ‘Bricklayer’.   “Rare Spares’ support has helped make the ‘Brickie’ one of our sport’s most identifiable cars and I look forward to continuing the great success we’ve had together,” Cooper said.   Cooper hopes to add to his 34 ANDRA National event wins when he and his Rare Spares ‘Bricklayer’ Holden EH Premier Station Wagon contest this weekend’s third round of ANDRA’s Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, at Adelaide International Raceway, near Virginia, South Australia.  

The Holden HD 50th Anniversary

Fifty years. Half a century. That’s a long time in anybody’s language. A significant milestone to be sure. Halfway to getting a Birthday card from the Queen herself! When we hit the big five o, it’s usually accompanied by celebrations with friends and family, party poppers and champagne. Well, put the bubbly on ice because the Holden HD turns 50 this year! Released back in February of 1965, the HD was described as Holden’s first true six seater sedan. Wheels Magazine called the HD “A dash of Buick, a scoop of Pontiac, just a whiff of Opel and lots of Holden. 1965’s HD Holden retains its Holden character while getting a glamorous new styling for the swinging sixties.” The new wider and longer kid on the block had a host of new improvements compared to the recently superseded EH. Upgrades to the chassis, suspension and equipment came as standard. There was also significant improvements to both passenger and load space. However most importantly and for the first time for Holden, disc brakes were offered as a factory fitted option. Also optional was the new 2.95 litre ‘X2’ engine, delivering an extra 19kw over the standard 2.45 litre ‘179’ power plant, which produced 86kw. This was courtesy of a new sports exhaust, twin carburettors, a modified camshaft and new ignition. A more reliable two speed Powerglide automatic transmission replaced the outgoing three speed auto, however a three speed manual transmission was still an available option. The list of models was also impressive. Not content with offering just a 4 door Standard sedan, Holden also offered the HD as a Special and Premier sedan. The 5 door station wagon also came in Standard, Special and Premier variants. There was even a Premier Panel Van and Ute option available. As a result of all these improvements and options, the HD was a sales success and the new model flew out the door at Holden dealers around the country. Such was the demand that it broke the previous sales record, held by the Holden EH, making it the company’s biggest seller to date. In spite of this sales success, the HD was never the most favourably remembered Holden. However, it is still an absolute Australian classic with pristine examples fetching well in excess of $20,000. That’s almost ten times the original asking price of $2320 which makes the Holden HD extremely collectable. And if you’re lucky enough to own one of these classics, but it’s in need of some love and attention, then Rare Spares has you covered. Rare Spares has literally hundreds of parts available for your HD restoration. To find out more about Rare Spares and for a full list of parts, visit www.rarespares.net.au 

Sands of Time Revive Sandman

11. May 2015 16:02 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
The Godfather: Part II was on at the Drive-In and Stevie Wright’s “Evie” was blaring out over AM radios across the land. The year was 1974, and just as movies and music were being re-defined, the motoring landscape of Australia was about to change forever with the introduction of a soon to become legend and icon: The Holden Sandman. Zoom forward to 2015, and the legend is back. The 2015 Sandman Special Edition is derived from the award winning VF Commodore SV6 and the sporty SS-V, and is available as a ute and or sleek Sportwagon. Whilst the Sandman is much more advanced than its predecessor it still retains the instantly recognisable surf livery and the groovy, orange shagpile floor rug as an additional accessory. The original classic was available as a panelvan and a ute between 1974 and 1979, and buyers had a choice of six-cylinder or V8 power. Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley, said the opportunity to revive the legendary Sandman was too exciting to resist. “The Holden Sandman has been synonymous with the great Australian surf safari for decades and perfectly reflects our country’s laid back, yet adventurous attitude to life. When the opportunity came to revive Sandman, we jumped at it,” Mr Keley said. “The reborn Sandman is a statement and reflection of the Australian way of life. Most importantly, it’s about having fun.” After a twenty plus year hiatus, Sandman was finally revived as a concept car at the Sydney International Motor Show, 2000. Based on VU Commodore, this Sandman was a Holden built, Mambo designed project that won wide acclaim. The new 2015 Sandman was first unveiled to coincide with another Australian Icon, the Bells Beach Ripcurl Pro surf competition, on the 4th of April. Taking place at the at the beautiful Elephant Walk Reserve Torquay Esplanade, the Holden Sandman surf live site gave a new generation of car lovers the chance to see what all the fuss was about. Holden’s Director of Communications, Sean Poppitt said “Holden knows Australia and Australians better than any other company and the Sandman is a perfect reflection of the Aussie culture and attitude. I’m sure it will spark great memories for a lot of Australians and help create new memories for others. Let the good times roll again.” The Sandman will go on sale in June, however people are advised to contact dealers early to avoid disappointment. While the new Sandman is destined to become a future classic, the original Sandman has become a true collector’s item. Back in the day, they cost between $3500 and $5000 brand new. Today, immaculately restored examples of the Sandman and ute can fetch more than $35,000. For those fortunate enough to have an original Sandman in need of some TLC, Rare Spares can offer some parts for these rare machines. For more information, go to www.rarespares.net.au  

Falcon GT Nationals

27. April 2015 15:25 by Rare Spares in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
 Once every 10 years, a very special motoring event takes place and this year, it was the 30th Anniversary Falcon GT Nationals event.  Held at Sandown International Raceway over the Easter weekend, April 2 – 6 and hosted by the Falcon GT Club of Australia, the Falcon GT Nationals is a celebration of everything Ford Falcon GT. Entrants and enthusiast travelled from all over Australia to the once in a decade GT celebration. A total of 300 Ford’s entered, with 250 of those Falcon GT’s, so it was one of the larger collections of GT Falcon’s ever assembled in Australia. More than 3,500 spectators attended the main Saturday show day, revelling in the best of Ford’s special model designation. The weather was kind to the GT faithful throughout the weekend, which culminated in some on track action on Sunday for a number of machines and their drivers, as they took to the famous Sandown circuit for some sprints, giving them the chance to stretch the legs of their high performance GT machinery.   Rare Spares were on site displaying its large marquee and showcasing the GT Flacon parts available plus they were offering a $200 parts voucher via a special event promotion. There was strong interest in the stand and 116 people entered the promotion. “It was a great event, with nothing but positive feedback. Everyone enjoyed themselves and it was the best crowd we have had a for a Nationals event,” said Falcon GT Club of Australia President Darrell Mitchell. “I want to thank all the club members who helped promote the event and also assisted in the running of the event. I also want to thank all the sponsor, including Rare Spares who supported what is a fantastic event. Finally, thank you to all the entrants and spectators who made it an event to remember,” said Mitchell. For all your Ford Falcon parts, head to www.rarespares.net.au