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Local Bathurst Enthusiasts Part 2: Classic Restos - Series 45

By Shannons - Published on 18 September 2020

Fletch continues his visit to Bathurst, home to the iconic Bathurst Race Circuit at Mount Panorama and catches up with three local motoring enthusiasts. 

Ford GT's are synonymous with the great race, and local Dave had been chasing down his dream car, a 1968 XT Ford GT, for over thirty years. As a young boy, his late grandfather had an XT GT. They enjoyed time together in the car and watching Ford race at Bathurst. Dave finally found the XT GT in a barn, and the fact it was in the same colour scheme as his grandfather's car was the icing on the cake. Dave plans to keep the external appearance in 100% original condition and will modify the interior to make it comfortable for touring. This one is a keeper, and as Dave put it 'just keeping the dream alive as they were in their day'. 

They say the great race consumes the town every year and Dave recalls some great stories of what it was like back then as a young boy.

Another Bathurst local is Chris, who has always had a passion for all things motoring, but a young family, three-bedroom home, three kids, and small garage didn't allow for him to take on to many projects. But a shift just out of town to a few acres allowed Chris to create a whole new setup now popularly referred to as a 'man-cave'. When planning the job, he was given some good advice, whatever you're planning double it and then add some. Chris heeded the advice and now has a very well portioned garage with four bays along with room for all the tools, equipment and creature comforts of a good man-cave. 

The headline act of Chris' garage is a beautiful 1928 Hot Rod with a 289 Ford Windsor engine and C4 Auto that is still having the finishing touches to be added, but it looks stunning. The restoration started back in 2010 and is almost at the finishing line. 

Back at the track, Fletch chats with Dale who has brought along his 1974 LH Torana SLR5000, a car that was originally purchased new in Bathurst. The LH Torana was big news when it arrived at the mountain for the first time. Dale's SLR5000 had been beefed up from its original 4.2-litre engine to a 355 stroker and working in the muffler/exhaust industry it has some improvements in that area also. These cars are becoming difficult to acquire nowadays since the manufacturing industry closed, and have increased the value too. Dale has kept the exterior/interior of the vehicle in original condition, focussing on the mechanicals. The track at Bathurst is very familiar for Dale being a local, but for anyone experiencing it for the first time, it's awesome.