Aussie Muscle Car Run

17. August 2015 14:52 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
The Leukaemia Foundation is calling for car enthusiasts to take part in its Aussie Muscle Car Run events in WA and SA this year and Rare Spares is proud to be a supporting partner of this wonderful event. This unique fundraising event provides owners of cars manufactured during the period 1963-1977 with an opportunity to show case their cars in a seven day cruise throughout Western Australia in October and throughout South Australia in November. The Leukaemia Foundation’s Aussie Muscle Car Run has been held in South Australia since 2012 and has been a huge success, raising over $1.1 million to support people with blood cancer. This year is the first time the event will be held in WA and the Foundation invites Australians to get involved in both events and help raise funds to support its important work helping people with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders. The events are leisure paced motoring runs, providing Aussie Muscle Car owners with the opportunity to show case their cars to the wider community while having an adventure of a lifetime. “We invite car clubs and car owners to sign up and register for our events in WA and SA. It is an iconic event for car owners from this era and with places limited, it is an event not to be missed,” said Adrian Collins, CEO of the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia. The registration fee covers accommodation, breakfasts, dinners, motor sport, car livery, overnight security for the vehicles and more. Once registered, participants are then required to fundraise a minimum of $4000 per car to be eligible to participate. There are also places open for ‘special interest’ cars to participate (as determined by the event organisers). Modern muscle cars and other racing vehicles will be considered for entry. “Across both states, we are aiming to raise $500,000 from this event, to invest in the provision of accommodation at no charge for families from regional Australia who need to relocate to capital cities for blood cancer treatment,” said Adrian Collins. For more information about the event or to register visit www.aussiemusclecarrun.com or contact the Aussie Muscle Car teams on 08 8169 6042 for SA or 08 6241 1000 for WA.

Resto My Ride with EJ and an EJ

29. July 2015 12:09 by Rare Spares in   //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
Rare Spares has kindly donated an EJ Holden for restoration to the EJ Whitten Foundation to raise awareness for the Men’s Health. Resto my Ride, a documentary currently being filmed at Bodymaster Prestige Paint and Panel is embarking on an Australian first by donating a fully restored EJ Holden to the EJ Whitten Foundation. Owner of Bodymaster, Declan McKearney says on how the project came about “ What can I do to raise awareness for men’s health. Cars is what I do and that’s when I came up with the idea to restore an EJ Holden for the EJ Whitten Foundation” The entire restoration is being filmed and will be the launch pad for a new show called “ Resto my Ride”. The first show will follow the restoration journey of the EJ Holden from the ground up whilst also raising awareness for Men’s health and the EJ Whitten Foundation. The team at Resto my Ride has gained the support of industry heavy weights including 3M, Rare Spares and PPG who have recognised the power is supporting such an initiate. Lance Corby from Rare Spares is excited to be working with Resto my Ride. Rare Spares have generously donated the EJ Holden and will work closely as official advisors on the build. “ Hopefully this will enable the Foundation to raise awareness and funds for Mens health” says Lance. A first for Australia, Resto my Ride will be made in to a documentary following the build and the auction at this year’s Grand Final luncheon on September 30th. “We have approximately 9 weeks. I may have bitten off more than I can chew but we will chew as hard as we can and we will get it done” says Declan. EJ Whitten Foundation Ambassadors and AFL legends Billy Brownless, Robert ‘Dipper’ Dipierdomenico, Doug Hawkins, Russell Gilbert and Ted Whitten Junior will join together to “ work” on the restoration before it goes to auction at the EJ Whitten Grand Final Luncheon in September. “I’m told that 9 weeks is going to be achievable. We have to have it at our Grand Final luncheon in September, so they are under the pump“ says Ted Whitten from the E J Whitten Foundation. To find out more about the project, including videos, head to www.restomyride.com  

The Assembly Line

In May 2013, Ford Australia announced it would close its Australian plants by October 2016. A similar announcement from Holden was to follow, which put shock waves through the Australian automotive industry. With such massive change facing the industry, it’s timely to reflect on a cornerstone of the industry, which in itself has seen massive change; the assembly line. Henry Ford will always be associated with the assembly line, and although he didn’t invent it, he helped sponsor its development so he could mass produce his famous Model T, which in turn revolutionized the world. Before the Model T, cars were made individually by hand. This was prohibitively expensive for all but the very wealthy. Ford’s assembly line changed all that because the cost of production dropped dramatically. The very first Holden to roll off an assembly line in Australia was the FX at Fishermen's Bend on 29 November 1948. For the time, it was as cutting edge as you get but more importantly, it was affordable. At £733, it still meant the average worker would take a whopping 94 weeks to save up for one, however it was now achievable and this was all down to the assembly line. In 1948, approximately ten cars per day would roll off the line at Fishermen’s Bend. During the 1950s, the industry as a whole was producing approximately 160 cars per day. Fast forward to the 1970s and thanks to technology coming along in leaps and bounds, that figure got as high as 1300! Whilst technology, due in no small part to computerization has helped increase production, the actual tooling used in the assembly line, the moulds and presses that actually make the parts and panels for the cars we drive, still need to physically do their job. Understandably, these are very expensive pieces of equipment. The tooling required on an assembly line to press out a simple bumper bar will cost $200k plus. Multiply that cost by every panel on every model and we are talking serious money. With the industry’s announcement that it’s about to shut up shop, one might think it will be a sad day for us the car enthusiasts. Surely if the assembly line stops, the tooling gets put in moth balls and will last person to leave please turn off the lights? Well, not quite. This is where Rare Spares comes to the rescue with its line of Holden and Ford Restoration Parts (HRP and FRP), a line of parts, where products are built as close to the original specifications as possible and comprise the use of genuine Holden and Ford drawings and original Holden and Ford tooling where available.  Rare Spares has acquired as much of the original tooling as possible to provide its customers with parts that are as close as possible to what rolled off the original assembly line. The industry’s closure will be the end of an era and a sad day, however Rare Spares will continue to keep the restoration market alive with a continuing growth of parts incorporating the HRP and FRP range.

New 2015 Ford Mustang

20. July 2015 15:12 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
When it comes to motoring legends, they don’t come much bigger than the Ford Mustang. Ask any car or movie buff for a short list of the greatest ever Hollywood car chases and invariably at the top will be Bullitt, the cult classic starring “The King of Cool” himself, Steve McQueen, driving the other star of the show and poster pin-up car of the sixties, the Ford Mustang. Released in 1964, it has truly become a motoring icon and now the legend returns with a brand new version for 2015. The new “Stang” started making waves before it was even built. "The buyer response for the 2015 Ford Mustang has been extraordinary," says David Blackwood, Dealer Principal of the Bayford Group in Victoria. "As soon as Ford announced Mustang was coming to Australia (in December 2013) our phones started ringing. A few customers even made deposits before pricing and specifications were confirmed. I've never seen anything quite like it." Indeed, when the first batch of 500 became available in Europe, they all sold out in 30 seconds! If you would like to get your hands on one, then be prepared to wait. Put an order in today and you probably won’t see your new car until next June, such is the demand. You won’t even get to see one in the showroom until December. So, what’s all the fuss about? Well, quite a lot actually. The new Mustang will be available in two variants; the EcoBoost model featuring the all-new twin-scroll turbocharged 2.3L I-4 engine pumping out 310 horsepower, giving you awesome performance (0-100kph in about 5.5seconds) with reduced fuel consumption. The other option is the 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 engine, putting out a whopping 420 horsepower launching it to 100kph half a second quicker than its smaller sibling. While sports suspension is an option in the US, all Australian cars will come with the performance pack (stiffer suspension and limited slip diff) as standard. The technical advancements found in the new Mustang are just as impressive. Keyless entry and push button start is just the beginning. Selectable Drive Modes let you dial in handling dynamics to your liking. The system adjusts its handling and response characteristics for enhanced control in changing conditions. Toggle between “normal”, “snow/wet”, “sport”, and “track”. Mustang’s SelectShift gives you the thrill of using a manual transmission with the ease of an automatic. Simply toggle the race car-inspired Paddle Shifters on the steering wheel to shift gears up or down, for smooth and effortless gear changes without having to use a clutch. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System (TCS) work in unison to understand changing road conditions and your responses, reducing the risk of skidding, sliding sideways and over- and under-steering in corners. Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) balances brake force between front and rear wheels, while the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) prevents wheels from locking. And Electric Power Assisted Steering lets you adjust your steering effort between comfort, sport and normal. Inside you’ll find all the creature comforts you’ll ever need. From the fully integrated voice activation system that lets you use your favourite devices while your hands stay firmly on the wheel, satellite navigation system, customisable 8” colour LCD touch screen and rear view camera, to MyKey, where parents can program their key to restrict driving modes that promote good driving habits, the new Ford Mustang looks set to continue the legend. I think Steve McQueen would be impressed, don’t you? The 2015 Mustang ranges in price from $44,990 for the four-cylinder manual coupe, to $63,990 for the V8 automatic convertible.

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.