On Saturday 27th November 1982 a meeting of HDT Owners was organised (with permission) in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens of HDT Owners. 13 Brock VC’s arrived and an election took place to start off the first HDT Owners Club in Australia – the HDT Car Owners Club of Queensland. The first committee was Brian Frawley (President), Colin McIlwaine (Secretary/Treasurer) and Judy McIlwaine (Newsletter & Social Secretary).
In July 1983 a few owners of SS Commodores were talking in the Red Door Cocktail Bar of the Canberra Travelodge and convinced Paul Dillon to form a club for SS Commodore owners. Paul then made an approach to Paul Wakeling Campbelltown (then Beazley & Bruce) for sponsorship capital to start the club off. This formed the basis of its very first meeting in August 1983 where a large response by Peter Brock Commodore owners decided that such a Club was worthwhile. Accordingly The SS Commodore Owners Club was formed by Paul Dillon as a common interest group for owners of HDT SS Commodores and the first build of Brock VC Commodores. Until 1986 the Club was informal (ie no elected Committee) and had an emphasis on family participation.
In 1984, HDT moved to its new complex at Bertie Street North Melbourne after outgrowing its previous premises in just 18 months. From there HDT launched the WB Statesman based Magnum and the VK Calais Director.
That same year, in recognition that HDT was producing more than SS Commodores, the Canberra SS Commodore Owners Club changed its name to the “HDT Owners Club” and the Club motto “We Drive Excitement” introduced.
Eligibility of membership then became open to owners of all vehicles leaving HDT Special Vehicles with an official identification plate in the engine bay.
Geoff Paradise, Editor of “Street Machine” magazine wrote in the October/November 1984 edition that “Commodore SS and Group 3 owners will be interested to learn that a very active club has been established in Canberra for the marque. Paul Dillon, the main man in the club is an enthusiast of the first degree and presently owns a Group 3, with a special build Black five speed is on its way to him from HDT Special Vehicles. The Club is called the SS Commodore Owners club and Paul can be contacted on…”
Paul then became inundated with calls from all over Australia and New Zealand, including calls from Sydney HDT owners Warren Jenkins, Jeff Kelly, Brian Cassell, Mark Hitchenson and Les McClelland all of whom had joined this Canberra based Club by December 1984.
In the Christmas 1984 edition of the club’s magazine Paul Dillon placed a flyer inviting the NSW based members to meet with the Canberra members on May 5th 1985 at the Briar’s Inn (Burradoo) for their first combined get together.
NSW members Warren Jenkins, Brian Cassell, Jeff Kelly, Tricia Kelly, Mark Hitchenson and Les McClelland got together on this day and became the foundation members of the HDT Owners Club of NSW .
After that first meeting at Burrado, things began to happen.