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John McCormack and his 1970s beast will be in Sydney next weekend …

ONE of Australia’s most famous Sports Sedan race cars of the iconic 1970s will make its first public appearance since being restored at next weekend’s Muscle Car Masters event at Sydney Motorsport Park on October 29-30.

The famous Ansett Valiant Charger driven by three-time Australian Drivers Champion John McCormack and now owned by former racer Mark Trenoweth will be on static display after many years unseen by the racing public.

As a special bonus, McCormack himself and two of his other groundbreaking Sports Sedans from the period – the Repco V8-powered Celica now owned by Bruce Gowans and the Jaguar XJ-S now also owned by Trenoweth – will be on hand at Muscle Car Masters.

Powered by a Repco-Holden five-litre V8 engine mounted right alongside the driver in a bid to optimize weight distribution – a practice adopted by virtually all successful Sports Sedans in the years that followed – McCormack’s Charger debuted in early 1974 and was instantly a success.

Built in Adelaide by former Chrysler engineer Harry Aust, the Charger used many components taken from an Elfin Formula 5000 open wheeler including fully adjustable twin wishbone suspension, powerful disc brakes and a Hewland five-speed gearbox.

The Tasmanian won the prestigious Toby Lee Sports Sedan Series at Oran Park in 1974 aboard the Charger, which remains one of the iconic cars from the early era of Australian Sports Sedan racing.

McCormack, who won the Australian Drivers Championship in 1973, 1975 and 1977, was one of Australia’s top open wheeler drivers of the 1970s and is among a long list of famous racing names to attend this year’s Muscle Car Masters.

The list includes Allan Moffat, Jim Richards, John Goss, Kevin Bartlett, John Bowe, Colin Bond, Fred Gibson, Bob Holden, Glenn Seton and many more.

Muscle Car Masters is a celebration of Australian motorsport history, heritage and passion jointly promoted by the Australian Racing Drivers Club and Chevron Publishing, a division of nextmedia.

First held in 2005 it has become a permanent part of Sydney Motorsport Park’s calendar and this year moves from the Father’s Day weekend to October 29-30.

The 2016 event will feature an all-star racing line-up of Historic Group A and C Touring Cars in the Heritage Touring Cars class, Australian Trans-Am, Group N Historic Touring Cars and Group S as well as the new Sports Racing Car Invitational demo category featuring thumping Sports Cars, GT, Can-Am and Historic Sports Sedan machinery.

Making their first appearance at the event this year are the Kumho Tyre Australian V8 Touring Car Series as well as the Australian 5-Litre Touring Car Association, featuring a range of impressive Commodores and Falcons from the early V8 Supercar era.

Tickets are now available for Muscle Car Masters with online purchases offering a significant saving compared to on-the-day prices.

Further details are available at: www.musclecarmasters.com.au

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