March 2017
Welcome to the new Matters of the Mount
Welcome to matters on the mount March addition. We have had a very busy start to the new year with just over 4800 people visiting the museum.  The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour provided a lot of excitement in February with a record crowd of around 40,000 attending the race.  The museum had an overall increase of visitors of 20% over the four days.  We are now looking forward to the Hi-TEC Oils Bathurst 6 hour event at Easter.  If you are in Bathurst over this period please take some time to come in say hello and have a look at our current exhibitions.
Janelle Middleton, Acting Manager Museums Bathurst Regional Council
In this edition of Matters of the Mount: 


Bathurst Mount Panorama Coffee & Donuts
Car Enthusiast Club
Bathurst Mount Panorama Coffee & Donuts car enthusiasts meet at the National Motor Racing Museum to talk cars, drink coffee and eat donuts. The club meets every third Sunday of the month.


This bike is one of the most famous motorcycles in Australian road racing history being the very first factory superbike based on a true homologation special.  In 1981 the bike was transformed into the full superbike spec CB1100RB.  The chassis was built by Chris Dowd and engine by Tony Haton and Honda Australia.

Honda built this stunning superbike for Dennis Neill to race in the Arai 500 Endurance at Mt Panorama but Neill suffered a career ending crash on Mountain Straight when the front wheel came off at over 200 kph.  He was to compete for Honda in the 1981 Isle of Man TT later that year.

This beautifully restored bike will be on display at the Museum until mid 2017 and has been kindly loaned by an anonymous enthusiast along with Dennis Neill’s leather and memorabilia.
Lap of Bathurst on a Honda 1100 (1981)
Lap of Bathurst on a Honda 1100 (1981)

The build up to the 1976 Hardie
Ferodo 1000 was incredible as three times World Formula One champion Sir Jack Brabham and Grand Prix great Sir Stirling Moss were teamed together in the Great Race.  It is said that an additional 30,000 spectators turned up to watch Brabham and Moss race this car.

All expectations were quickly dashed with the competitive race over for the two legends within seconds of the start.  As the race field took off from the starting grid Brabham found the Torana stuck in gear and in the confusion that followed a Triumph Dolomite Sprint slammed straight into the back of the stationary vehicle.  

The Torana was hastily repaired and re-joined the race several hours later, primarily for appearance purposes, but only completed 37 laps. This vehicle has been kindly loaned to the museum by owner Tim O’Brien and can be viewed at the National Motor Racing Museum daily from 9am to 4.30pm.

The winning Morris/Fitzpatrick L34 Torana from that year is also on display and forms part of the Museum’s permanent collection.

Bathurst 1976 Race Start
Bathurst 1976 Race Start

Feature Story by
Jim Scaysbrook

A Global Classic
Everyone knows the Australian MotoGP is the biggest bike event on the annual racing calendar, but what comes second? It may come as a surprise that the Phillip Island Classic, now in its 24th year, holds that distinction, and has done for some time. Every January Australia Day weekend, a huge international contingent arrives on the island, bringing with them containers full of rare and expensive historic racing motorcycles.

Heat two of the International Challenge blasts off with McWilliams, Alex Phillis (20) and Ireland’s Paul Byrne (52) best away.

For 2017, multiple British Superbike Championship race winner Peter Hickman was lured into the fold, further strengthening the UK team. Not that the locals are short of talent; triple Australian Superbike Champion Shawn Giles, Isle of Man TT winner Cameron Donald, and former World Endurance Champion Steve Martin are just three of the big names. And while the machines are limited to Pre 1984 (or replicas thereof), they are anything but slow. The fastest riders lap in the low 1 minute 30 second mark – good enough to qualify mid-field to the World Superbike Championship, held on the same circuit each February! With rules permitting engines of up to 1300cc, most of the top bikes are putting out just shy of 200 horsepower.



Northern Irishman Jeremy McWilliams was once again top scorer in the International Classic.

And so to the event itself. Australia’s hopes literally evaporated in the opening race when both the Melbourne-built Irving Vincents of Beau Beaton and Cam Donald suffered engine failures which put them out for the weekend. McWilliams, now 52 years of age, showed he is as fast as ever by winning the first three heats. Sunday’s final encounter restored some honour to the local side when Alex Phillis, son of veteran Superbike star Robbie, claimed a narrow victory over McWilliams, with team mates Shawn Giles, Jed Metcher and Steve Martin storming home in a finish that just fell short of the required points tally for Australia.

Frantic opening lap in the first heat of the International Classic as Beau Beaton (186), Jed Metcher (22) and Chas Hern (2) lock horns over Lukey Heights.

And so, for the third year in succession, the UK squad claimed the International Challenge, with the impressive Irish team third ahead of USA and New Zealand. It is clear that the pressure of this competition, with the top riders turning in laps in the mid 1 minute thirties (times that would qualify them for the World Superbike grid at the same track in February) places an enormous strain on the machinery, and wrecked engines are not uncommon. But there’s also no doubting that the event format is tremendously popular with fans; the circuit is bedecked with national flags and placards urging the teams onwards. If Australia is to regain its place at the top for 2018, a dash of reliability is needed, to compliment the obvious speed.

The New Zealand-built Britten V1000, one of the world’s rarest racers, made several demonstration runs at the Island Classic in the hands of former NZ Superbike star Andrew Stroud.
(Photo by Damir Ivka)

Up Coming Events @ The Mount

Venue Hire @ the Museum

The museum has played host to a wide range of functions, cocktail parties, corporate events, training activities, launches and guest talks.

The museum offers a conference room that allows seating for up to 50, large function spaces and a 40 seat theatre. 

For further information visit


The National Motor Racing Museum offers a wide variety of souvenirs and giftware ideas for motor racing enthusiasts.

Call into the museum and check out the extensive range of souvenirs.
Phone orders and postage options are available. Contact the friendly staff on 02 6332 1872 for further information. 

Motorcycles - 19cm 

Volkswagen Classic Beetle (1967) - Scale 1/32

A Selection of 'The Great Race' Books
From $66.00





1 YR 2 YRS
Single $41.00 $77.00
(full time student/pensioner/unemployed)
$34.50 $64.50
(up to 2 adults & all students up to 18yrs at the same address)
$61.00 $115.00
Household Concession
(all adults atsame address as full time students/pensioners/unemployed)
$54.50 $102.50
Corporate Member $402.00 $763.00
Life Member $2,674.00  


What you get:

* Free unlimited admission to the Museum

* 10% discount at the Museum shop

* A quarterly action packed newsletter

* Access to the Museum's area at major race meetings at Mount Panorama

* Invitation to most Museum events and functions

* A chance to win free entry to major race events at Mount Panorama
For more information phone the
National Motor Racing Museum 02 6332 1872


The National Motor Racing Museum is open everyday from 9am and 4.30pm, except selected public holidays. 
The Museum may extend hours during selected events, such as the Bathurst 1000 - for details check the website closer to the event date.
Copyright © 2017 National Motor Racing Museum, All rights reserved.

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