Mad Max Film 40 Year Anniversary

Ford Australia was heavily involved in the film, with the MFP cars being XB Falcon sedans. An XA sedan, the car that popularised the “coke bottle” shape of the XA/XB/XC Falcon shapes, was used. [More]

Corvette C8

27. August 2019 09:33 by Rare Spares in General, Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

General Motors have confirmed details and American pricing for its forthcoming 2020 Corvette Stingray. It's a mid-engined machine, will come in a couple of trim levels, and will kick off at under USD$60,000. The engine configuration puts it into the same sphere as Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini. Importantly, it will be produced in factory fitted right hand drive, and is due to start production later this year. [More]

Rare Spares Top Five Bathurst 1000 Races

Motorsport in Australia, as a topic of conversation, is one that’s up there with like/dislike Ricky Gervais, should pineapple be on a pizza, is Peter Helliar actually funny, for dividing people’s opinion. Who’s the greatest driver, was the 1978 Torana the best car, which was the greatest of the great races at Bathurst? Given the history of the yearly event that is “Bathurst”, pinning down a top five most exciting races from over fifty races is always going to be fraught with danger. We don’t expect our list to be yours. But we would love to know what you think your top five are. [More]

Round 4 Super2 Series – Queensland Raceway Race Report - Adam Marjoram

Round 4 of the Super 2 Championship was held at Queensland Raceway, or the paper clip as it’s affectionately called. It’s a track that I have practiced at a few times but never actually raced at in a Supercar, so it was new for me and the team as the Dunlop Super2 Series has not raced at QR since moving to the car of the future. The team having never raced there means we have no previous set up data for the car, so we will have to work it out as we go. [More]

The technical side of the Mustang in Supercars

Sports have rules, regulations, guidelines. Sometimes they’re easily interpreted and implemented, sometimes they’re not. Motorsport is a great example of this, and in 2019 there’s been a measure of controversy about a new entrant to the category now known as Supercars. Ford’s Mustang is the new kid on the block, and it’s been greeted with both open arms and raised eyebrows. The main cause of its mixed reception has been to do with the regulations that Supercars run and this has affected the aerodynamics of the car that’s been built. [More]

Townsville Race Report 5-7 July 2019 - Adam Marjoram

Round 3 of the Championship, which was held on the streets of Townsville, far North Queensland has always been a favourite of mine with great success there in recent years, big crowds and an overall great atmosphere. As mentioned Townsville has been a fairly happy hunting ground for me in the past and because of the brake failure in Perth that resulted in a DNF, dropping me from 6th in the Championship to 12th, I needed a good round to get me back in the points. On a personal note Townsville is also the round that allows me to escape the Perth winter, and suck up some sunshine and get a tan, although that was not to be this weekend with colder than normal weather and rain.  So this is how the weekend unfolded. Thursday 4th After a long and badly delayed flight yesterday, I was a bit shocked to wake up to very dark and cloudy skies and a weather forecast of a wet weekend. We got to the track by about 9.30 to unload the Transporter, set up my pit bay and get everything ready for racing practice tomorrow. I spent the afternoon doing my customary track walk and final review of last years’ data and vision. On the track walk it was hard to imagine that only a few months prior, parts of the track were well and truly submerged due to the floods. There are still hundreds of people yet to return to their houses that were inundated with water and mud. We left the track early to get a good night’s rest before the action begins. Friday 5th Today we have 2x 40 minute practice sessions to get myself and the car dialed back in after a two month break between race weekends, one at 10.00am and one at 1.30pm. These sessions are about tuning the suspension to ride the curbs, the road cambers and the bumps and give me the turn and power down I need to go fast. Unfortunately the rain started to fall with about ten minutes to go, and after a fairly scary moment over the back I decided to pit and wait the session out as there was no benefit to be gained on a wet track. I ended the session in 13th but this session was not about lap times it was about getting the most out of the car, which we obtained a lot of data to help us with. After a data and debrief session the boys made the necessary changes to the car and it was time for practice 2. Luckily the sun was back out again and the track dry. During a 40 minute session you may pit as many times as you want to allow the mechanics to make the adjustments required. Initially the car had a fair bit of oversteer on the high speed corner entries, so we played with Ride Height and Roll Centre to tame this. Roll Centre is an imaginary axis at which the car pivots around when cornering. After raising the Roll Centre the car got worse so we boxed again and put it back where it was. Once I was happy setting consistent fast laps I boxed for my first set of greens. On my second lap on new tyres I went to the top and purple  which denotes the fastest anyone had been so far, I ended that session in 3rd only 2 tenths off the fastest time after making a mistake into Turn 1. We were looking strong. At 3.50 pm it was time for sponsor rides and although it was raining the whole time, everyone enjoyed the skid fest.  Saturday 6th This morning we woke up to rain, we have Qualifying at 9.15am and Race 1 at 1.50pm. The last thing anyone wants is to qualify in the wet. Lucky enough the rain stopped about an hour before we were due out and the track had pretty much dried out except for a few puddles against the kerbs in corners.  We decided to try a different strategy for qualifying. Normally we go out on a good set of used tyres to set a banking lap and get the driver and car up to speed then about 5 minutes before end of session, box for a set of greens and have only two laps to set a time. This time I was going to go out hard on my new set of tyres do two laps and then sit the remainder out. This strategy would either make or break Quali.  As I entered the track I worked my tyres and brakes really hard swerving and braking to get them up to temp for the first flyer. I did a pretty good job but there was not enough heat in the tyres to really put me at the top. I decided to go again on another flier, I put it all on the line, as I crossed the first sector the time went purple, at the second sector we went purple again, and we held that all the way to the last corner when pushing hard I pushed a little too deep and stuffed the last corner costing me about 0.8secs and unfortunately losing my chance at getting my first Pole Position! But as I have explained before you only get two good laps before the best part of the tyre is gone and they lose about 0.3-0.4secs. I boxed in 5th place but the other guys had not had their green tyre run yet. As the minutes ticked by and the tracked temp rose with the sun the track went faster and I had fallen to second last, I had no option but to give it another go on used tyres. I only had enough time for 1 lap and pushed as hard as I could and went p13, with a faster time on used tyres than new. I was devastated that I threw away a potential Pole with a silly mistake. After reviewing data, without the mistake we would have started on the front row at worst. On the positive side we had a car capable of doing the job. As I sat on the grid for the start of Race 1, with all the cars in front of me I could not help to think, I have really made my race harder than it needed to be. As the lights went green I got a reasonable start and made the charge down through the kink into turn 2, which is always tough at this track with cars jostling for position. I was sitting about mid track when the cars around me started spearing each other and taking evasive action managed to pick my way through. I was now in 8th with good pace and the safety car was called. We spent about 4 laps behind the safety car before the lights went green again and it was back to racing. I made up another position with a very late lunge, pulled a gap and was faster than the guys in front, when the yellow flags waived and the safety car was called again! The restart was a mess with cars swerving everywhere to miss the compression created by the pole sitter. There is a natural phenomenon in motor racing that safety cars breed safety cars, as the cars are all bunched up, especially when there is only a few laps to go.  Lucky we all escaped any potential Safety Cars and we raced to the flag and I finished 6th which is a great recovery after starting 13th.  Sunday 7th Today we have Quali followed by Race 2, it was supposed to be wet again all day, but it was dry when I got to the track and the amended forecast was for rain at 1.30pm, just when my race was about to start. For Quali we decided to go back to the tried and true method of starting on used tyres and boxing for the greens towards the end of the session. After a few laps I was 7th which was good enough to bank, I then boxed to count the clock down.  With five minutes to go I was pushed out for my green run. On my first flyer I made a couple of small mistakes so had one more chance, I overshot Turn 5 which put me a little off line into 6 and sprayed out the back of 6 onto the grass, finishing the session in 11th. With hindsight I over drove the car trying to make up for yesterday’s qualifying and was untidy and it cost me time.  It was also a busy day off the track with an autograph session, pit tours and a radio interview with Triple M live from the track. The weather was threatening as we hit the track for Race 2, and started to fall as we sat on the grid for the start. But it was only wet in the braking zone of Turn 2 through to the exit of Turn 3 and the rest of the track is dry! It is really tricky to read differing grip levels! Over the next few laps, the wet weather would extend out to Turn 6.  This made it an interesting first few laps.  The light went green and I got an amazing start and made two positions before the kink at T1! I got another at turn 3 and the safety car was called due to an accident behind me at turn 2. A few laps later and it was back to racing where I set about making up a few more positions. I was in 7th when the yellow flags waved with Safety Car boards again with a car in the wall at T1. Back to racing and I was faster than the guys in front so should be able to make a few more positions. Unfortunately due to time spent behind the safety car, the race was called “time certain” and finished 6 laps early preventing me from gaining many more positions. I finished in 6th again. I was probably hoping for a little better this weekend, but a pair of 6th’s gives me a fair points haul and puts me back to 6th overall in the championship - so I shouldn’t complain.  Running through the championship points back in the Transporter, if we had not had the DNF at Barbagallo due to the brake failure we would be sitting 3rd in the Championship right now!! But that is all a bit ‘Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda’. We are getting better with each round and learning from some small mistakes this round I think we can improve at Queensland Raceway in a few weeks’ time. 

Super2 Mid-Season Recap

Super2 is the name given to the second level of Supercars racing in Australia. It’s undergone a number of name changes in recent years, but the level of entertainment and gripping racing hasn’t. It’s provided a home for superseded top tier Supercars, and is a place for drivers aiming to enter the big league to test themselves in close quarter racing. Naturally there is some big money being moved around on track in the form of Commodore, Falcon, and Nissan shaped cars. All of these are draped in sponsorship logos and proudly representing Rare Spares is Perth born Adam Marjoram. The West Aussie is no stranger to high performance racing. The Saloon Cars category and Porsche GT3s have felt the Marjoram touch, before finding a place in the biff and barge that was V8 Utes. The talented Marjoram quickly caught the eye of Erebus Motorsport and the dynamic Betty Klimenko. After rapid growth in racing stature here and almost winning the V8 Ute Championship in 2015, Marjoram entered the Super2 category and raced the Ford FG Falcon in a tough competition in 2016. 2017 and Marjoram moves into a Holden VF Commodore, where he remains but now with the Image Racing/Erebus Motorsport team. There have been two rounds of the Super2 with Adelaide and Perth having seen the cars on circuit so far. Qualifying for the Rare Spares backed driver wasn’t kind for his first 2019 race, starting from 11th, but did manage to make his way up through to 9th. Race 2 was a better result, with Marjoram getting good pace on the tight Adelaide street circuit and finishing in 6th. Round 2 saw the category head to Barbagallo, a circuit that Marjoram knows well. Up against some serious competition, and just weeks away from his 26th birthday, Marjoram’s first race was forgettable, with no result against his name after reaching 7th. Brake failure took him out of a top 8 finish on the last lap and took him out of serious points contention. Race 2 saw Adam climb from 10th to 6th off the start, only to be muscled off the track on lap 3, dropping to 12th and driving back through to 10th. Round 3 was held in rainy conditions in the normally sunny town of Townsville. Race 1 Adam qualified 13th and was in contention for pole but a last second error took that out of his hands. The race itself saw him finish as high as 6th. This would be where he would finish in Race 1, and in Race 2 just had nowhere to go. Most of the second race was held under safety car conditions due to the inclement weather. A second 6th will be in his history books for the third round of Super2s in 2019. Adam says of Rare Spares that he aligns with them due to their passion for motorsport, and enjoys their like minded attitude when it comes to cars and the aftermarket automotive industry. For the rest of the year he says a podium is well and truly within sight, and by continuing to harass the top five, he’s certain that a podium finish and a chance to spray the champers is his! Are you a follower of Super2 and/or Adam Marjoram? Let us know your thoughts on the category and this talented and engaging Perth born driver via our blog feedback section.       

VT Olympic Edition Commodore

“And the winner is....Syduhknee” And with those words in the early 1990s the Olympic games were heading to Australia for the first time in over forty years. They kickstarted a revamp of a tired section of Sydney, reinvigorated Little Athletics, and would give Australia’s own, Holden, a chance to showcase its home grown hero, the Commodore. In 1997 Holden released the VT Commodore. In a program that would ultimately cost around $600 million, Holden took the outgoing VR/VS sheetmetal  and revamped both exterior and interior. Taking Opel’s Omega B, a brand and car that Holden used previously for its Commodore designs, it was widened, strengthened, and given a substantial increase in electronics. Underneath was a work in progress for the IRS or Independent Rear Suspension and the front MacPherson struts. Both had changes that would contribute to a ride and handling package widely regarded as being far better overall than the previous model. The Commodore Executive was the door opener to the VT range, followed by Acclaim, S, SS, Berlina, and Calais. All models received a driver’s airbag, with a passenger airbag an option on the S and Executive. Safety items such as ABS were an option on the base model Executive, but standard on the rest of the range. Traction control was standard on the Acclaim and Calais. Power was courtesy of a 3.8L EcoTec V6, or Holden’s own 5.0L V8. At the time, the Series 1 V6 could also be specified with a supercharger as a factory fitted item. In 1999 the range had a slight update, dropping the supercharged V6 and slotting in the Chevrolet sourced 5.7L V8, which saw the end of Holden using its own 5.0L. The Olympic Edition was like most of the other limited edition cars made available from Holden.  Badges denoting it was part of the Sydney Olympics were fitted to base model cars, and bumpers were body coloured. Wheels were sourced from the higher spec Berlina, aircon was standard as were power windows, and the exhaust was given a chromed tip. Inside a bespoke Olympic Edition cloth was used for the seats and the key came with an Olympic Edition badge. Finally, a dash mounted plaque stated that these cars were of the 3500 cars supplied by Holden and used during the Olympics for official duties. Being little more than a cosmetically enhanced Series 2 VT means that prices for these are on par for the everyday version. But who knows, if you have one it may have been the car that had Cathy Freeman or Ian Thorpe as a passenger. Do you own one a VT Olympic Edition Commodore ? Tell us your story via our blog comments or drop us a line via our social media links. 

The ‘Welcome Strangers’ and the 10th Annual Shitbox Rally

A convoy of 275 cars and 550 participants left Perth on Wednesday May 8, 2019 to start the 10th Anniversary Shitbox Rally. The 10-day rally travelled via Uluru and finished up in Sydney on Friday May 17th. The Rally challenges teams to drive cars worth less than $1,000 across some of Australia’s most formidable roads, all in the name of charity. Like other teams, Aaron Barnes and the ‘Welcome Strangers’ took on the challenge in a VS Commodore Ute, spending countless hours sourcing and decorating their shitboxes, furiously fundraising and preparing for the epic Aussie adventure. “The rally went really well for our first attempt.  The Ute made it through in one piece although looking a little worse for wear now.” Aaron Barnes “We travelled over the Nullabor first travelling the best part of 4,000km before the rally begun and then once the rally started we travelled 5,500km over the middle of remote WA, ULURU in NT, Camerons Corner on the QLD/SA/ NSW border, then on to Sydney to cross the finish line.” “The Ute performed pretty much floorlessly over the 10,000km with only 2 punctured tyres and an ignition issue based on using Opel fuel in the Northern Territory. The Opel fuel has less Octane, so it can foul up the injectors and fuel filters etc creating ignition and fuel issues.” Rare Spares are proud to have sponsored Aaron and the team for such a worthy cause and great adventure.           

1970s Aussie Street Machines

Street Machine. Two words that, for a slowly diminishing band of brothers, mean a lifestyle, a form of rebellion, a chance to self-expression via changes to sheetmetal, shoehorning into a tight engine bay a donk that shouldn’t fit but does, or layers of luscious custom “kandy” pearl paint. Although largely a forgotten scene in the eyes of the public, street machine aficionados will be happy to tell you the cars and the lifestyle are alive and well, and that there are names as revered in the field as McCartney is in music or Hawking in science. One particular magazine, born of the era, and still living in an age of electronic media, was originally called Street Machine and Van Wheels. That second part provides an echo of the past, with panel vans from Holden, Ford, Chrysler, and a smattering of others, part of street machining history. One such entry was the 1977 HZ Holden panel van of Greg Mercer. Starting with a clean sheet, Mercer and his dedicated team reworked every aspect of the humble HZ. Gull wing style doors, flares, a TV in the interior watched whilst one relaxes on shagpile carpet and an enlarged rear window in the tailgate, plus a huge mural on the rear flanks, mark this one as having history in both the panel van era and as a street machine.  Rodney Neal cast his eyes over the coke-bottle flanks of an 1973 XA Falcon “tudor” in bright yellow, liked what he saw, but thought to himself it’s lacking in.....big rear rubber, a lowered road scraping stance, and a “Clevo” fitted with one of the biggest “huffers” available at the time, breathing through a scoop big enough to catch whales. Rodney dreamt, and his dream came true in the form of the eyeball searing “Lethal Weapon”. Kevin Monk etched his name into street machine history with a car so good, its American based body has many thinking it was modified in the States. Nope. His 1970 Dodge Challenger is a work of art and all homegrown down under. Slammed to a floor meets tarmac stance, coated in a red paint so deep one could drown in it, Monk’s epic work was powered by an engine Thor was scared of. Packed with all of the proper go-fast good bits, the alloy 426ci monster churned out a massive 1000 ponies in its time. Sometimes a street machine can look for all the world like a car that’s had some big tyres melted on to the rims and not much else. Craige Wood had a Falcon XW/XY ute that looked a little like this, with the addition of a pair of oil refinery draining carbies bolted to the top of a meaty 429ci engine. A resprayed body hides hundreds of hours of painstaking work underneath, chromed bumpers were filed and straightened to look like new, and huge Cragar 15x12 alloys at the back add up to a noticeable yet subtle looking piece of street machine history. Our final pick is one that Australia had never seen the likes of before, and has not seen since. Allan Cooper had a philosophy that mirrored the two “O”s in his name. Cooper took a Holden HQ ute, painted it black and called it Blo Bak. He added an extra pair of tail lights for a 2x2 look, filled in the tailgate’s gaps and added a spoiler to crown the tail lights, added fins from the ute’s roof down to the spoiler and that was almost enough. No sir. Clad in silver paint and slotting in a 253ci up front, Blo bak 2 was born. Out back, slap bang in the middle of the ute’s tray, is a heavily reworked and blown 350ci Chev carried over from the first version. Power goes to the ground via a TH425 transaxle “tranny” and the rubber wraps Moon wheels. Are you a street machiner? Own a car that is a street machine? Tell us your story via our blog comments or drop us a line via our social media links. (Pictures courtesy of Which Car and Street Machine)