a first shakedown at Calder Park this week, racing legend Peter Brock
says he is highly impressed with a racing-modified version of Holden’s
first car, the 48-215, which he will drive at the Goodwood Festival
of Speed in September.
Holden, dubbed the “FX” model, has come together under the expert eye
of Kilsyth panel beater and early-model Holden enthusiast Phil Munday
and former Holden Dealer Team engine builder Ian Tate. The Calder Park
shakedown this week will be followed by more testing at the Phillip Island
grand prix circuit, prior to the car’s departure for the UK next month.
a bodyshell as stiff as the regulations would allow it and then Ian Tate
took a stock ‘Grey Motor’ and built an engine that’s about as good as
an (Torana) XU-1,” Brock said.
put it all together and take it on to the racetrack, it feels remarkably
fast. It makes good noises and stops quite well. The handling is still
unsorted but even at this early stage it inspires a level of confidence.
It feels like it wants to go!”
gave a thumbs-up to the car after its first outing. “It handles so well
– the old “Humpys” weren’t exactly known for it but this thing is stiff
and tight,” he said. “When you see it cranking around, it looks great
on the road and punches out of the corners well.”
dyno cell testing of the modified engine revealed an output of approximately
188hp – comparable to a Torana XU-1 and three times the output of a stock
Grey Motor – and an estimated top speed of 210km/h.
the process of building a racing version of Holden’s first car had been
challenging, in attempting to keep the car as “stock” as possible. “No
one has ever built one of these before, in the sense of putting modern-day
specs into such an old car,” he said.
kept the steering column and linkages, the diff, the springs, that’s all
stock FX 48-215 gear. We had to add a couple of things to bring it up
to Goodwood specifications, such as a Muncie 4-speed gearbox and disc
“We had to
put disc brakes on it, so amazingly you have disc brakes on an FX front
end. That’s quite an engineering feat in itself.”
the lack of a blueprint meant that the team had to turn their thinking
to the nearest example they were familiar with – the Torana XU-1, a car
in which Brock won the 1972 Bathurst 1000.
us have had much experience with the 48-215. I began my career with the
HK Monaro and later the Torana XU-1, so there’s a bit of ‘Torana thinking’
in the car,” he said.
the feedback from the shakedown session would be analysed prior to next
week’s outing at Phillip Island. “We’ve got plenty to look at from today
and we’ve done nothing on the shockers and suspension as yet so we’ve
still got a fair bit of work to do at Phillip Island.”
race the car in the Revival Historic Circuit Race Event at Goodwood against
other classic marques including Mk.1 Jaguars, Zephyrs and Austin A30s.
In his first trip to Goodwood last year, Brock drove in the Hill Climb
section of the event in another milestone Australian car, the 1984 “Big
Banger” VK Commodore in which he and Larry Perkins won the 1984 Bathurst
goes across to Goodwood will tell you it’s one of the greatest motor racing
events you will ever go to and that they can’t wait to get back there
again,” he said. “It’s damn good racing, some very interesting people
and amazing machinery there.
me last year if I could bring back the car I started racing in, which
was an Austin A30 with Holden mechanicals. But the car they wanted was
a long, long way outside their regulations, so I asked them about a 48-series
Holden. They said ‘what’s that?’ I told them that it was where it all
started over here.
know if they know what to expect. On paper it doesn’t appear to be the
world’s fastest car but they were good cars and I think on the track it’s
going to surprise a lot of people.”
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