Queensland Motorsport Museum owner Ian Bone will showcase a replica of the famous A9X Holden Torana that took Peter Brock to Bathurst glory in 1979 if he’s successful in racing in an iconic motorsport event returning to Brisbane this year.
The 63-year-old car aficionado has been eyeing off the Cootha Classic – Brisbane’s Festival of Motorsport in September since organisers announced it was being revived.
The event will see around 100 of the country’s rarest and most expensive premium and classic cars race the clock and other competitors in each competition class in an exciting 1440-metre hill-climb sprint up and down the winding roads of Mount Coot-tha.
Mr Bone, who entered the event when it last ran in 2009 in a BMW2002 and in 2010 in a reproduction of the Dick Johnson Tru Blu XD Falcon, is hopeful he can once again wind back the clock for on-lookers.
“The Cootha Classic is all about the individual driver and the theatre you’re creating,” he said. “When I saw this event was coming back it became mandatory on our calendar.
“The downhill side of the track was the original track the very first motorsport event in Queensland used almost a century ago. It is fairly steep and quite narrow with very little run-off, presenting an enormous challenge for drivers.
“But the event’s charm is in showcasing both modern and historic race cars in an exciting format for the spectators. When you add the location to it, it’s just brilliant.”
Mr Bone runs the Queensland Motorsport Museum at Ipswich City Plaza, a gallery of road and race history which he said continued to grow in popularity with an upward trend in people interested in the history of motorsport.
“There are a lot of older blokes in their twilight years who have knowledge and understanding of the past, so it’s great to be able to showcase the cars and capture the stories behind the teams that would otherwise be lost.
“People come in to the museum to just touch cars they wouldn’t or can’t otherwise buy themselves. We’re about to undergo an upgrade to larger museum to allow us to display more cars.”
Among the current raft of vehicles is a Dakar Rally car built for Peter Brock but unfinished at the time he died. The collection also includes visitor favourites such as a rare XB Falcon GT, Lotus 7 replica Clubman, a rare 1971 Honda N360 barn find and Lloyd Robertson’s Precision driving team Commodore.
“One of the oldest cars we have is the 1937 ‘Etter’ Ford V8/60 Speedcar, which still runs in the veterans competitions. We also have a 1955 Nota Major.”
However, it’s the replica Torana built and owned by his good mate Dale Booth that he has been entrusted to take on the Cootha Classic.
“It’s such an iconic car and people will recognise it instantly. When they see it at Mount Coot-tha, they’ll look at it and just go ‘yes’.
“It’s such a raw motor vehicle – when you drive it, there’s a reality check as to the brilliance of guys like Peter Brock, Jim Richards, Bob Morris, Allan Grice and others who drove these 500 plus horsepower missiles.
“We’ll give it a test run at Leyburn Sprints in August ready for the Classic.”
The Cootha Classic will be held on Saturday, 5 September, coinciding with Father’s Day weekend.
Event director James Payne said the event would bring a sense of refinement to motor racing while celebrating Brisbane’s festive spirit in one of the city’s most iconic locations.
“This is a truly unique event taking place right where motorsport started in Brisbane in 1916 and we’ve revived it with a fine-tuned format designed to thrill mainstream audiences both on and off the track,” said Mr Payne.
“It’ll be a master showcase of exotics, classics, competition and hypercars as well as entertainment, food and drinks – all right in the heart of the city.”
The Cootha Classic – Brisbane’s Festival of Motorsport will be held on Saturday, 5 September, coinciding with Father’s Day weekend and the opening day of Brisbane Festival.
For further details and to register to race visit www.cootha-classic.com.au