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Mount Panorama Bathurst

The regional city of New South Wales, Bathurst, is home to the widely renowned Mount Panorama Circuit - one of the most fearsome motor racing circuits in the world. The track, which is a public road for most of the year, holds the Bathurst 12 hour motor race each February and the Bathurst 1000 motor race each October. Mount Panorama is open to the public on non-race days, however if you intend on bringing out your inner ‘Lowndes’, unfortunately a strict speed limit of 60km/h is enforced (sorry!). Unique in its rural setting, the remarkable track is 6.213km long with a 174-metre vertical difference at its highest and lowest points. In its infancy, dating back as early as the 1960s, the race was dominated by the smaller cars until the development of Ford’s 289 cubic inch V8 Ford Falcon GT. The smaller cars were no match for the big V8 which dominated the Mount on the long up hills and down hills, ultimately changing the face of racing at Mount Panorama forever. Subsequently, manufacturers country-wide attempted to tame the mountain with their vehicles, as success at the track would greatly increase the car’s image and credibility in the Australian marketplace, thus increasing sales. Ongoing rivalry at this time between Ford, Holden and earlier Chrysler bred the era of our much-loved muscle cars including the Holden Monaro and Torana, the Ford Falcon GT and later GT-HO Super Falcon, and Chrysler's Pacer and Charger. It was also not long after where we were introduced to the late legend Peter Brock, crowned “King of the Mountain” after going on to successfully capture nine Bathurst 1000 victories. Since 1999, Ford and Holden have lead the pack by miles in the Bathurst 1000, with crowd numbers rapidly increasing each year… and this year was no exception. An enormous 201,416 fans joined the adrenalin rush and excitement of Bathurst, the second highest ever attendance topping last year’s crowd of 195,261!

The Vehicle Proving Ground

Have you driven a Ford or Holden that’s less than half a century old? If so, before that car made it to the showroom and then eventually to your good self, the first models of its type off the production line would have gone through testing, just to make sure everything was tickety-boo. But we're not talking about a couple of spins round the block and a “She’ll be right mate.” On the contrary, nothing could be further from the truth. Australia’s first automotive testing and development complex was Lang Lang, 95 kilometres south-east of Melbourne. The 2167 acre site was purchased by Holden in 1955 with the first testing of the FC in 1957. Still in operation, Lang Lang runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week apart from public holidays. The high security facility consists of 44 kilometres of roads, consisting of every conceivable road condition, from the high speed banked ring road to skid pans and ride and handling tracks with different levels of surface, grip and road noise. And those roads and tracks have been well used, with over 111 million kilometres of testing being accumulated over the years. The recent VF Commodore had racked up over 1.1 million kilometres of testing alone. Besides the massive network of test roads is also Australia’s most comprehensive vehicle safety and emissions laboratory. Ford’s version of its vehicle proving ground lies near the You Yangs, 55 kilometres to the south-west of Melbourne. The 2300 acre site which began operation in 1965 consists of over 80 kilometres of the same type of torturous roads and tracks found at Lang Lang. Cobblestones, corrugations and Belgian blocks are par for the course along with a low speed track, a high speed ride and handling course and sealed and unsealed gradients and skid pans. The fun continues with a salt and mud bath, an environmental exposure area, crash test site, climatic test chambers, anechoic dyno chamber, high speed wind tunnel and finally, an emissions testing laboratory. And what proving ground would be complete without a high speed test road? Well, Ford has that covered too with a 4.8 kilometer high speed circuit. So next time you take your pride and joy for a ride, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that it’s been well and truly put through its paces before getting anywhere near a dealership showroom.

Special Colour Vehicles

What’s your favourite colour? How many times have you been asked that question? Learning about colours would probably rank as one of the first things we learn as children. And we use colour so much, we don’t even know we are. Whether we know it or not, colour is an important part of our lives. Companies also know this and take advantage of the subconscious benefits it can provide. It wasn’t that long ago that a major confectionary company actually tried to copyright a shade of purple as its own. So we know companies place great emphasis on colour and its importance to corporate identity. Back in the 60s and 70s, big companies cared so much, they had the likes of Ford and Holden produce extremely limited numbers of vehicles painted in what could only be described as their ‘corporate colours’. Shell Oil, one of the biggest companies in the world, is easily identified by its yellow and red colour scheme. It had two XW GT-HO Phase2 Falcons painted in what is now known as ‘Shell Yellow’. Gallaher, a major U.K based multinational tobacco company wanted its then corporate logo colours, silver with red stripes, to adorn 8 Ford Falcon XR GTs in ‘Gallaher Silver’. Companies a little closer to home also started to get in on the act. Brambles, then only a transport and logistics company had its trucks painted in a unique shade of red. Que Ford with its four ‘Brambles Red’ XY GTs. And Waltons, a large department chain store founded in the 1950s, had a distinctive blue as part of its corporate identity. Here’s where Holden enters the fray with its ‘Waltons Blue’ Torana. And there’s many more examples of corporate colours infiltrating car manufacturer’s colour choices. From ‘Agfa Orange’, ‘Fanta Orange’ and ‘Ansett Blue’ to ‘Royal Automobile Association Yellow’ and ‘C.U.B Brown’. Chances are that if you were a company back in the 60s and 70s with a distinctive corporate colour, a Ford or Holden was driving around the country proudly displaying it for you.

Safety In TCM

The Touring Car Masters in recent years has become one of motorsports most loved categories. The series transports fans back to the heady days where names like Beechey, Moffat, Brock and Johnson were the gods of the racetracks. As much as the drivers were considered gods, the cars were almost on the same level. Moffat’s ‘Coke’ Mustang and Brock’s SLR 5000 Torana are now considered motorsport royalty and hold a very special place in the pantheon of great racing machines. But are today’s TCM cars just like the cars of the old days? The answer is not a simple yes or no. Really, the answer is “kind of”. Yes they look exactly the same, tough and brutish, with an engine note that makes motorsport fans run to the fence to see what’s making such a beautiful sound. However, one big difference between the old and new is the safety aspects of the cars... and thank goodness! Back in the heyday of the 60’s and 70’s, racing drivers took their lives into their hands every time they strapped themselves into their machines. While today’s racing is still dangerous, drivers stand a much better chance of emerging from an incident relatively unscathed. Some of the cars in TCM generate well over 600 horsepower and can easily get up to speeds in excess of 250kph, so although we might like these cars to be exactly as they were back in the day and stay true to history, keeping the driver safe is a priority. Today’s TCM cars feature cutting edge safety systems such as full roll cages as opposed to 4 point cages or indeed nothing at all and full side intrusion beams to keep the driver safe instead of just a door skin that came from the factory. Carbon fibre race seats are now used instead of the unsupported seat that came with the car from the showroom and of course 6 point race harnesses instead of a lap sash belt... and that’s just the cars! Drivers are now better protected by their racing attire too. Three layer flame resistant NOMEX race suits with fire proof gloves, boots, socks and underwear, carbon fibre helmets attached to head and neck restraint systems (HANS Device), are all a far cry from cotton race suits, no gloves, loafers and open face helmets which were the only available options at the time. So next time you’re at the track, make sure you go by the TCM pits and take a closer look at the cars of yesteryear with the technology of today and tip your hat to those brave souls of the past because back in its heyday, racing really was DANGEROUS!

NSW gets a Modified Classic Vehicle Scheme

Life for modified classic car enthusiasts in New South Wales just got a little sweeter recently. Up until now, if you drove a 30 plus year old modified car that was on a club registration, you were only permitted to drive to club events or for maintenance purposes, end of story. Well, thanks to some progressive politicians, that’s no longer the case. Duncan Gay, the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight recently announced a two year trial beginning early next year that will allow a car lover’s pride and joy to be used for 60 days every year, as long as it satisfies some basic requirements. "The current Historic Conditional Registration scheme remains unchanged as an option for enthusiasts but, this Government recognised that owners of conditionally registered vehicles had limited use," said Mr Gay. "We've incorporated safe, sensible additions in consultation with the community and stakeholders so owners and the wider community can revel in these vehicles' unique beauty more often," he added. As long as the car satisfies the requirements for either full registration or the Modified Classic Vehicle Scheme and their club is participating in the trial, car enthusiasts with a modified classic that is at least 30 years old will be able indulge in their passion far more than ever before. And the scheme also caters for our two wheeled friends as well because motorcycles are also able to take part in the two year trial. So with the opportunity to get that classic or restored beauty out and about more than ever, there’s never been a better time to make sure they’ll be ready for all that extra cruising. And the best way to do that is head to Rare Spares for all your classic car’s needs. Find us at

Toranafest 2015

Toranafest, proudly sponsored by Rare Spares, was recently held at the Maitland Showground, north-west of Newcastle. Taking place over the weekend from the 19th and 20th of September and billed as “the largest Torana only car show in Australia”, it has become one of the highlights on the car show calendar. From its humble beginnings in 1994 when 183 Toranas attended at Bar Beach to its recent record breaking year in 2013, when that number had grown to a massive 354, Toranafest has gone from strength to strength. And with entrants coming for the event from as far afield as Queensland, Tasmania and even Western Australia, Toranafest enjoys a truly national following. After having a year off in 2014, Toranafest 2015 promised to be massive and in spite of less than ideal weather, still managed to attract over 330 cars worth a staggering $16milion. First generation HBs to final generation UCs were on display in every possible guise, from just left the factory originals to street machine show cars and everything in between. Saturday kicked off with the Toranafest Cruise to Morpeth, where 150 cars took part. "We had a great cruise. The regular Saturday shopping crowd was blown away by the sights, the smells and the sounds of all these beautiful cars," said organiser Peter Morris. Sunday was the Toranafest Show and Shine, which also involved bringing these glorious cars to life so spectators could not only see these classics but also hear and feel them. Everything from A9Xs, L34s and XU-1s showed the crowd what they are really made of! The Club has always donated the proceeds to a nominated local charity or community group. Over the years the groups who have benefited from Toranafest included Neonatal Intensive Care Ward at JHH, Delando Cresent Special School and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter with this year’s proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House Newcastle, Riding for the Disabled and Dog Rescue Newcastle. With Toranafest turning to a bi-annual event, Torana lovers will have to wait until September 2017 for their next fix of Torana Nirvana. Let the countdown begin! And with Rare Spares being able to supply 1000s of parts for your Torana restoration, there’s no excuse for not seeing you and your Torana at Toranafest 2017. For all your Torana resoration needs, head to

Nominate a Mate's Worthy Winner!

Back in July, Rare Spares hosted the Nominate a Mate promotion on Facebook. It was a competition where entrants could win a $1000 Rare Spares gift voucher for their mate’s restoration. As you would expect, we were inundated with entries, however there could only be one winner, and what a worthy winner he was. Daniel Earle nominated his father and best mate Wayne in his touching entry. Wayne, not only battling a serious illness but also all of the other difficulties associated with having to take time off work for an extended period, had to sell his beloved Toranas. As part of his rehabilitation, Wayne was able to buy “a rusty old HQ” so he could get out of the house and have something to work on. The $1000 Rare Spares gift voucher will hopefully come in very handy not only for Wayne’s HQ, but also for Daniel’s LJ GTR Torana. In a heartfelt message on Facebook, Wayne let everyone know just how much it meant to him. "Hi Guys, I have just received my package in the mail. I am unsure if you would like to put it on your page with my massive thanks to my son Daniel and you guys at Rare Spares. I am lost for words for what Dan has done and I am truly appreciative of this,” said Wayne. From the team at Rare Spares, we hope your prize helps in an even speedier recovery Wayne and assists in finishing off the HQ restoration so you can get out and enjoy it.

Roxburgh Park Sandown Round Sales Event

Sandown Raceway, 25 kilometres south east of Melbourne has played an important part in Australian motorsport since the 1960s. The biggest names in the business, from Fangio and Moss to Brabham and Brock have all raced there. Only five races are allowed every year due to its suburban location which makes every event extra special and they don’t get more special than the V8 Supercars Sandown 500. To coincide with the Sandown 500, Rare Spares puts on one of its biggest annual events, the Rare Spares Sandown Sale. Held at Rare Spares Roxburgh Park recently, it was always promising to be an extra special sales event. “The Rare Spares Roxburgh Park VIP night that was held on the 9th September was another very successful event and a great turn out,” said Silvio Nanfaro, the 2IC at Roxburgh Park. With the doors opening at 6 o’clock, customers were greeted with a traditional Aussie sausage sizzle out front. Once inside, customers were treated to a massive 20% off all Rare Spares products. Not content with spoiling our customers with bangers and bargains, next was the chance to mingle with current V8 Supercar Star Jason Bright, along with Leo Tobin, Brett Youlden and Gary O’Brian from the Touring Car Masters (TCM) series. And if that wasn’t enough, everyone had the chance to win some truly awesome prizes. The lucky winners were: Sandown double pass – F. Carbone Sandown double pass – M. Weaver BJR Hot Lap –R. Jones BJR Hot Lap – J. Giroud $100 Voucher – C. Zahra TCM Merchandise Pack – G. Vlahos Rare Spares Merchandise Pack – C. Zahra “Many thanks to all the car clubs and Rare Spares loyalty members who attended the event, as well as to the drivers who made this night a success. We look forward to seeing you at our next event!” said Silvio. For your chance to win some fantastic prizes like these, make some huge savings and mingle with the stars of motorsport, register with Rare Spares at                  

Rare Spares Distributor of the Year

The Rare Spares Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on 29th August 2015 and is the yearly opportunity for the Rare Spares family of Distributors to come together from around Australia and New Zealand, celebrate, network and award their Distributor of the Year. Rare Spares has recognised the efforts of their network since 1981 with the Distributor of the Year (DOTY) award which recognises dedication, support, improvement and the desire to strive for excellence. For 2015, the award was presented to Rare Spares Christchurch and received by store manager and owner Ian King. “It’s a great feeling to be awarded Rare Spares Distributor of the Year and I and the team are very happy. We are very fortunate to have been awarded DOTY five times over our 28 year existence, but receiving it once again is much appreciated and still a surprise,” said Ian. Rare Spares Christchurch has been flying the Rare Spares flag for 28 years in New Zealand, as the country’s only Rare Spares Distributor. The team of eight provide a comprehensive range of Rare Spares parts as well as the relatively unique offering of a full mechanical workshop that specialises in classic vehicles.   “There is always room for improvement, but being passionate and having a team passionate about cars means we have the experience and expertise to provide great service and really understand customer’s needs,” said Ian. “Ian and the team at Rare Spares Christchurch are always operating at a high level and this year we are proud to honour them again for their commitment to both Rare Spares and their customers,” said Rare Spares Director Lance Corby, who presented the award. “Rare Spares Christchurch is regularly a contender for the award and this year showed why, thanks to their dedication, customer service and continual improvement,” said Melissa McVeigh, Marketing Manager/Director of Rare Spares. Rare Spares are proud of their Distributor network and want to congratulate Rare Spares Christchurch and also runner up DOTY Rare Spares Welshpool for their outstanding performances over the past year.  To find out more about Rare Spares and for a full list of Distributors, stockists and resellers across Australia, visit

Vale Bill Pye

On the 29th of July, the Australian Motorsport community lost one of its own when Bill Pye was tragically killed in a light plane crash near one of his properties just north of Deniliquin in New South Wales. Bill, 54, a competitor and race winner in the Touring Car Masters series since 2010, first drove the Chevrolet Camaro previously driven by John Bowe. He then went on to drive a Porsche 911 before returning to another Camaro. TCM paid tribute to Bill on the day of the accident. “The Touring Car Masters family is shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of our friend, fellow competitor and great racer, Bill Pye,” read the tribute. “Bill was a committed and competitive racer and was a fantastic part of the TCM paddock at every round. He was a fighter on the track, a great part of our paddock off it and he will be missed." “The Touring Car Masters management team, on behalf of the broader TCM family, offers their support and thoughts to the Pye family and their friends at this time.” As a successful sheep and wool producer, Bill was able to indulge in his passion for motorsport. He also competed in the Heritage Touring Cars series in an ex-Dick Johnson Ford Mustang, a car which he loved. He’d recently added an ex-Peter Jackson Glenn Seton two-litre turbo Sierra RS500 to his collection, which he had hoped to run at HTC’s Muscle Car Masters round in September. Bill also competed in the Targa Tasmania nine times between 1999 -2010 with his navigator and mechanic, Grant Geelan. The pair successfully placed many times in their Porsche 911 Carrera, highlighted by two second place finishes in the Classic Outright, and a win in 2007 in the Classic Handicap. Rare Spares would like pass on our sincere condolences to Bill’s family and friends.