HOLDEN LH TORANA SL/R 5000 L34 1975 SANDOWN 250 WINNER – DRIVER: PETER BROCK
Product Code: A87561
Limited Edition of 1,008pcs
1975 was always going to be a year of great challenges for Peter Brock. Having left the familiarity of Harry Firth’s crack Holden Dealer Team, and the security of Holden factory funding at the end of 74, Brock struck out on his own to further pursue his dream of racing overseas. Yet it was circumstance, not ambition that prevented Brock from winging his way to Europe, ultimately electing to remain in Australia to work through pressing personal issues off the track.
The question remained, just how was Brock going to defend his 1974 Australian Touring Car Championship, with no car and no team? The answer came in the form of Gown-Hindhaugh Engine Developments, a small Melbourne privateer race team comprising engine builder Norm Gown and team manager Bruce Hindhaugh. In their workshop sat a yellow Holden Torana L34. This car and the team that built it, combined with Brock’s unquestionable talent and experience with the Holden product, would form the basis of a solid privateer campaign for the 75 ATCC. That was the plan anyway. Many had already written off Brock and the fledgling Gown-Hindhaugh team, and a string of mechanical failures throughout the championship only sought to reinforce this view. But reliability wasn’t the team’s only concern. Sponsorship money was drying up, leaving them with little to spend on developing the car. The situation was dire, with Brock having to resort to borrowing secondhand tyres at the latter rounds from former HDT boss Harry Firth just to make it to the grid.
Brock and the Gown-Hindhaugh team certainly had something to prove heading into the endurance races. While a broken axle off the line at Round 1 in Adelaide robbed the team of a result, hopes were high for September’s Sandown 250, the traditional curtain raiser to the fabled Hardie-Ferodo 1000 at Bathurst. Brock had put aside four sets of Bridgestone 534 compound tyres, which he believed would make the difference in the long distance races. By this stage a race result was vital. The bank account was dry and the team was relying on prize money from Sandown just to be able to make it to Bathurst.
The 1975 Sandown 250 was an important race in the history of Australian motorsport given it was the first-ever where Brock’s car was adorned with the now famous ‘05’ race number. The number was issued by the Victorian Road Safety & Traffic Authority in recognition of Brock’s work in campaigning for road safety and creating awareness of the .05 blood/alcohol limit. The Sandown 250 was the only race in Brock’s career where the “point” was featured before the ‘05’.
Brock qualified second on the grid with a time of 1m 16.6s, only marginally bettered by former team mate Colin Bond in the HDT ‘factory’ Torana. At the flag fall the typically ‘pro Holden’ Sandown crowd was overjoyed to see Bond, Brock, Bob Morris and Allan Grice gap the field in their Toranas. You can just imagine their reaction when, on lap 25, Ford hero Allan Moffat rolled his overheating Falcon Hardtop to a stop. Running second to Bond, Brock pitted on lap 65 where the Gown-Hindhaugh pit crew affected the ‘under-cut’ on the more fancied Marlboro HDT crew, to give Brock a 15 second lead over the now chasing Bond. The factory team’s chance of victory disappeared with Bond’s brakes only laps later, virtually handing Brock the win, his second Sandown enduro crown after also winning for HDT in 1973.
The 1975 win in the Gown-Hindhaugh Torana L34 began a streak of seven consecutive Sandown enduro crowns for Brock. The prize money bought the team an entry to Bathurst, all the latest L34 development parts and a page in history, with Brock going on to win the Bathurst and Phillip Island races to complete the ‘Grand Slam’ of enduro victories.
Produced in die-cast with fully opening parts and high detail, the replica of Peter Brock’s 1975 Sandown 250 Winner is another important release for collector’s and shouldn’t be missed.