On 30 September 1973, the first Bathurst 1000 (kilometres) motor race was held at the Mount Panorama Circuit, just outside the city of Bathurst, NSW.
The winners were Allan Moffat and his team mate, Ian Geoghegan, in their Ford XA Falcon GT Hardtop (of the factory Ford Australia racing team).
Holden legend, Peter Brock, with his team mate, Doug Chivas, came second (same lap) after leading the race but running out of petrol and having to push their Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1 to their HDT pit bay to re-fuel.
Then called the “Hardie-Ferodo 1000” (now the “Supacheap Auto Bathurst 1000” after its current sponsors), it was the first Bathurst race held under the new metricised distance of 1000 kms (cf the 500 miles previously contested since 1963).
The Mount Panorama track was opened in 1938 for that year’s Australian Grand Prix and is noted for its 6.2 km street circuit, 174-metre winding climb and descent, 23 turns including its famous Esses and the Dipper, and long (Conrod, 300 kph, nearly 2 km) straight, kinked by the Chase since 1987.
Significantly, the Bathurst 1000 race for many years was traditionally a duel between the dominant Ford and Holden brands. Fans would attend or spectate with their Ford or Holden livery, readily available at all good retailers. Both manufacturers were producing cars in Australia until the sad demise of Australian automotive manufacturing early in the 21st century.
This annual race has become a great Aussie sporting institution enjoyed each year by hordes of keen race goers, motoring enthusiasts and those simply up for a bit of entertainment on the tellie for the day, whether in a lounge room, at a barbie or down at the local.
Celebrate the beginning of an Aussie car racing institution – our first Bathurst 1000 – by:
- getting into the spirit and watching this footage of the 1973 race
- viewing a documentary of this iconic event of the Australian motor racing calendar
- checking out the current Mount Panorama Circuit and its history
- booking tickets and organising a road-trip for this year’s race of next weekend
- organising a race-day barbie with some mates and maybe a few long-necks
- arranging the living area and stocking the fridge for the big day, and/or
- sharing this Action Plan post on social media with family, friends, red pill Aussies, motoring (or just sporting) enthusiasts and those still into our famous, remaining sporting and cultural institutions.
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