For me it all started in September 1954. For several years I had been reading every motoring mag I could get hold of and admiring the exploits of those ingenious Aussie Specials. While on school holidays in Sydney I persuaded my long suffering mother to take me to Mt. Druitt, and I was hooked.
The underlying impression was the smell of Castrol R and the noise from those stub exhausts. I had to find out more, so more motorsport mags were read. This led to regular visits to Bathurst, Warwick Farm, and Lakeside, but by then those great Aussie specials were being superseded by those mechanical mice; the Coopers. Such is evolution.
Stage two was being introduced to Historic Racing by Racing Roger Wells who was racing an Aussie Special – the MacHealey. So to Oran Park we went in 1978 and there they all were, those Aussie Specials I had read so much about as a kid. MG and Holden Specials, the Wylie Javelin, the noisy Zephyr Special, Monoskate, the PRAD, the Gladiator, the Sulman Singer, the Cooper MG, the Notas, and the Citroen Special to name a few. It only needed the Maybach to make it complete.
Those great pillars of Aussie resourcefulness. I had to do this too, so I found an Aussie Special which I went on to race for several years in the early 1980’s. The Sharp Holden, now a thing of beauty, but then a home built special; the culmination of a working man’s dreams to race his own creation built with his own hands in his own backyard.
At Wakefield Park on September 24/25 you will be able to see many of the above Aussie Specials, plus many more which you may have never heard of, but which nevertheless represent the fulfilment of the dreams of people who just wanted to go racing, before the days of sponsors and mega money put racing outside the means of the average enthusiast.
Dick Willis, HSRCA Group JKL Registrar.