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Infamous Torana to join Repco Bathurst 1000 exhibition

A CAR that hosted one of the greatest driver pairings in the history of the ‘Great Race’ is the latest to join a special display marking Repco’s 100th anniversary at this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000.

The Holden Torana L34 raced by Sir Jack Brabham and Sir Stirling Moss in the 1976 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 will form part of the ‘Repco in Motorsport’ exhibition at the National Motor Racing Museum as the company continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Three-time Formula 1 World Champion Brabham and Moss, the driver regarded as the greatest never to win the F1 title, drew plenty of publicity and attention in the lead-up to the event.

What began as an idea over a long lunch between motorsport magazine publisher Gabriel Szatmary and racer Jim Hunter suddenly became very serious when the former’s European connections got the former Grand Prix heroes involved as drivers.

Moss hadn’t raced a car in anger since the infamous 1962 crash that prematurely curtailed his career, and limited preparation time in the lead-up meant precious short time for the then 47-year-old to get up to speed.

Brabham had been able to do several test days at Oran Park in the car prior to heading to the Mountain and qualified a respectable 10th.

Moss steers the wounded Torana through Murray’s Corner during the race. Pic: Supplied

Infamously, it all went wrong when the race began.

The #17 Torana’s gearbox inadvertently selected both first and reverse gears as Brabham prepared for the start, leaving him stranded as the 62-car field erupted around him.

Most managed to avoid him, but the Triumph Dolomite Sprint of John Dellacca hit the Repco-sponsored car squarely in the tail.

Rules were bent to allow the Torana to be repaired so that Moss could complete some laps, but a dropped valve put the car out for good after just 37 laps.

Evan Green’s dramatic TV commentary of the start-line shunt means the incident remains an immortal part of Bathurst 1000 folklore, but it’s rarely remembered that Brabham raced the repaired car to fourth place in a subsequent 300km endurance race at Surfers Paradise.

The car is the latest to be announced for the ‘Repco in Motorsport’ exhibition with more to be revealed in the lead up to this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000, held on October 6-9, 2022.

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