Brock's biggest fan puts his hero's fleet up for sale
Pssst, wanna buy a piece of Australian motor racing history? Mostly only driven on Sundays, around Mount Panorama at 250km/h.
The Holden Commodore driven to victory by Peter Brock and Larry Perkins in the 1982 and 1983 editions of the Bathurst 1000 is one of the stars among 40 cars on offer after the largest collection of Brock memorabilia ever assembled was placed on the market on Friday.
It has been put up for sale by Queensland-based coal mining magnate Peter Champion, who has spent the past 20 years assembling everything he could lay his hands on from his hero's career.
Champion's Brock Experience was housed at a museum in Yeppoon. A downturn in visitors following floods in 2011 and Champion's recent ill health contributed to the decision to shut the museum and sell the collection.
Cars on sale include a replica of the 1956 Austin A30 that kicked off Brock's racing career, a 1969 Holden Monaro GTS 350 he raced at Bathurst, the 1982-83 Bathurst-winning VH Commodore, a 1984 "Big Banger" VK Commodore (a dispute continues over whether it is the Bathurst-winning car), the 24-hour race-winning Monaro and various rally cars.
Oddities include two Fords from the time of the racer's estrangement from Holden in the late 1980s - a 1989 Ford Fairmont Ghia he built plus a Ford Sierra Cosworth - and even a Russian-built Lada Samara, for which Brock briefly held the importation rights. A number of models from Brock's successful HDT road car operation in the 1980s are also looking for new homes.
Evoking sad memories of Brock's death in a West Australian rally in 2006 is the Daytona Coupe in which he died, restored to its pre-crash condition. It, too, is up for sale.
Race suits, trophies, helmets and even the Olympic ambassador uniform worn by Brock at the 2000 Olympics are included as is at least one "polariser", the extremely rare box of crystals Brock swore made cars drive better and which led to the split from Holden.
A spokeswoman for Mr Champion, Heather Allen, said a heart attack last year, combined with his interests in coal mining and building HDT-branded road cars, meant something had to give.
It was rumoured that the value of genuine Brock-driven racecars increased five-fold after his death. Ms Allen declined to comment on the value of some of the star cars in the collection but said Mr Champion was remaining realistic about what he could realise from the sale.
Inquiries are pouring in. "Peter has a strong desire to keep the collection together but if he can't, he wants it to go to people who will appreciate it," Ms Allen said. "It's a bit like giving away puppies, you want them to go to a good home."