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2 November 2017

Bathurst's National Motor Racing Museum is the ultimate shrine to Aussie motorsport

By Mitchell TulkMitchell Tulk
The center of attention. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)

Moffat's XC hardtop? Brocky's VK 'big banger'? Perkins' last-to-first winning Commodore? Yes, this place has them all under one roof.

The National Motor Racing Museum is a car enthusiast’s wet dream. There is no other collection in the country that comes close to showing off our rich racing history.

Sigh. Get your ute out of the way. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) Sigh. Get your ute out of the way. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)

Conveniently located next to the Mount Panorama circuit in Bathurst, it's a must-visit before or after racking up a few laps on The Mountain.

As soon as you walk through the door, you’re greeted by a Holden VU/VY Commodore V8 ute racer, once driven by the 'Assassin’, Kim Jane and it's surrounded by a bunch of historic racing metal you've probably never heard of, like a ’65 Wolseley rally car.

Not the type of car you would think an Assassin would drive. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) Not the type of car you would think an Assassin would drive. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)

This museum has racers from all sorts of categories, there are even open-wheelers that span back to 1937.

The big names from the first display are easily Rauno Aaltonen and Bob Holden's Morris Cooper S that won the Gallaher 500 in 1966, a replica of the George Fury's Nissan Bluebird Turbo that set the fastest Group C qualifying lap time around the original Bathurst circuit and the ’63 Bathurst-winning Ford Cortina of Bob Jane and Harry Firth.

  • (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • Ford Mustang Sports Sedan. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) Ford Mustang Sports Sedan. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • Pontiac Trans Am Sports Sedan. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) Pontiac Trans Am Sports Sedan. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1925 Majola Type 'F'. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1925 Majola Type 'F'. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1937 Hudson Terraplane. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1937 Hudson Terraplane. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1947 Sir Jack Brabham V-twin. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1947 Sir Jack Brabham V-twin. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1951 Cooper MkV. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1951 Cooper MkV. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1952 Nota Forumla 3. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1952 Nota Forumla 3. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1963 Elfin Formula Junior. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1963 Elfin Formula Junior. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1963 Ford Cortina GT. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1963 Ford Cortina GT. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1965 Wolseley rally car. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1965 Wolseley rally car. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1966 Morris Cooper S. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1966 Morris Cooper S. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1969 Morris Cooper S. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1969 Morris Cooper S. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1974 Holden HQ Kingswood. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1974 Holden HQ Kingswood. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1976 Chevrolet Monza. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1976 Chevrolet Monza. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1984 Nissan Bluebird Turbo. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1984 Nissan Bluebird Turbo. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1986 Ford XG Falcon ute. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1986 Ford XG Falcon ute. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1986 Ford XG Falcon ute. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1986 Ford XG Falcon ute. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1987 Sunswift II. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1987 Sunswift II. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1991 Don Wright Special. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1991 Don Wright Special. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)

It’s not just a place for cars as there is a whole section dedicated to racing motorcycles as well.

The third and last section of the museum is by far the best, with a large selection of significant touring cars that raced at Mount Panorama.

Ford fans will be pleased to see a replica of the XR GT that was the first Falcon to win at Bathurst, along with Jason Bright and Steven Richard’s '98 winning EL Falcon, Craig Lowndes’ ‘green eyed monster’ AU and most notably, Allan Moffat’s XC coupe that lead home the 1-2 finish in 1977.

  • 1974 Ford XA Falcon GT hardtop. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1974 Ford XA Falcon GT hardtop. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • National Motor Racing Museum | Ford gallery | Mitchell Tulk National Motor Racing Museum | Ford gallery | Mitchell Tulk
  • 1965 Ford Cortina GT500. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1965 Ford Cortina GT500. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1967 Ford XR Falcon GT. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1967 Ford XR Falcon GT. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • The center of attention. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) The center of attention. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)

On the other side of the fence, Holden is represented by Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall’s last-to-first VR Commodore, Bob Morris and John Fitzpatrick’s ’76 winning Torana L34 and Allan Grice’s VH Commodore that scored pole in 1982.

  • 1995 Holden VR Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1995 Holden VR Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1999 Holden VT Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1999 Holden VT Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1968 Holden HK Moanro GTS327. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1968 Holden HK Moanro GTS327. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1976 Holden Torana L34. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1976 Holden Torana L34. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1982 Holden VH Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1982 Holden VH Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1986 Holden VK Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1986 Holden VK Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)

However, it isn’t exclusively Ford and Holdens, you'll also find Brad Jones' Audi Super Tourer and a replica of the John Goss 1985 Jaguar XJ-S.

  • 1985 Jaguar XJ-S. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1985 Jaguar XJ-S. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • National Motor Racing Museum | other gallery | Mitchell Tulk National Motor Racing Museum | other gallery | Mitchell Tulk
  • 1996 Volvo 850 R. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1996 Volvo 850 R. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1997 Audi A4 Quattro. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1997 Audi A4 Quattro. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)

For the Brock fans, there's his 1979 Repco Round Australian Trial-winning HDT Commodore, one of his ’84 Group C VKs, his ’91 VN and a Peugeot 405 Mi16 production racer to remind people that he didn’t exclusively race Holdens. 

  • 1991 Holden VN Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1991 Holden VN Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1992 Peugeot Mi 16. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1992 Peugeot Mi 16. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • 1984 Holden VK Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) 1984 Holden VK Commodore. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • When Brocky called it quits. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) When Brocky called it quits. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)
  • Legends never die. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk) Legends never die. (image credit: Mitchell Tulk)

The cars on display are consisently being rotated so we'll be going back for sure. 

Have you been to the museum? What was your favourite car? Let us know in the comments.