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HomeNewsBathurstHolden chief’s ‘cutting’ sledge after Nissan’s Bathurst triumph

Holden chief’s ‘cutting’ sledge after Nissan’s Bathurst triumph

NISSAN Australia chief Leon Daphne had plenty to be happy about after the 1991 Bathurst 1000.

His company had finally conquered the race after over a decade of trying with various turbocharged Bluebirds and Skylines.

Nissan’s four-wheel-drive twin-turbo Skyline GT-R dubbed ‘Godzilla’ had just delivered an emphatic victory, Jim Richards and Mark Skaife winning by over a lap from its nearest challenger.

AMC Issue 135

The trophy had been hoisted and champagne sprayed on the podium alongside mock-up newspaper front pages that proclaimed ‘Nissan wins Bathurst 1000’.

And then Daphne bumped into his opposite number at Holden.

“After Bathurst ’91 I met Bill Hamel, the president of Holden. We met in the toilets actually,” Daphne told Australian Muscle Car Magazine.

“I said bad luck to Bill; he said, rather cuttingly, ‘it doesn’t matter, you’ll never own the Mountain.’

“I was taken aback at the time but he was probably right, looking at the traditional Ford vs Holden rivalry. I respect that.”

Daphne revealed the brutal sledge as part of a feature on the 100 GT-Rs that were sold in Australia through Nissan dealers, machines that have gone on to become valuable, sought-after collectibles.

AMC Issue 135 also features stories on the first Holden Torana A9X Hatchback built by the company, Ford’s aborted move to resurrect the ‘GTHO’ name plate in the mid-2000s, the 50th anniversary of the XA Falcon Hardtop, Malcolm Ramsay’s Improved Production Holden HQ Kingswood, while the Muscle Man feature looks at open-wheel hero John Smith.

Click HERE to buy Australian Muscle Car Magazine Issue 135.

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