In the Christmas 1984 edition of the ACT HDT Owners 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 member Warren Jenkins took the initiative and rang the four other NSW members and arranged for them to meet so that they could all travel down to Burradoo together.
Brian Cassell remembers: “The day arrived and Warren Jenkins, Mark Hitchenson, Les McClelland and I exchanged introductions at the start of the expressway just south of Liverpool. Les McClelland had to return to Sydney to work and after waiting in vain for a few minutes for Jeff Kelly who was travelling down from Forster the remaining three families set out.
Underway and the drive was a very casual affair with the three cars holding station at 100- 110 kph, the last time that Warren travelled at such speed on a club outing. The Sunday drivers going past us were really taking notice of the cars – was this our first early morning run?
Sometime into the journey a silver VK SS sauntered up alongside and stayed for at least 1 minute (we were to later learn that such a time frame was an eternity for the driver) before roaring off into the distance. It was all too much for Hitchenson and we saw what was to become a very familiar sight – the Kelly VK being pursued at some speed by the Hitchenson VC.
On arrival at the Briar’s Inn the NSW drivers were first. Not that many minutes later, a stream of Brocks arrived from the south including the first Magnum I had seen in captivity. I don’t think I will ever forget the sound as they one after the other, almost as if rehearsed, changed back into second gear to enter the car park.
What happened next? Firstly, Tricia and Jeff Kelly went into a huddle and I’m sure the discussion was on how soon on Monday morning they could book the car into a muffler shop to replace the standard VK exhaust system. Then, after various introductions, we from NSW all swarmed around Paul Dillon’s new black VK Group 3.
Onto lunch, then relaxing in the garden in the autumn sunshine with a beer/wine and everyone was talking about the common god good (Brocks) – even the majority of the women joined in! What a breakthrough this was, at least in my household.
Lunch almost digested and all into the cars for a casual drive down to Kangaroo Valley for some sightseeing, coffee etc. Well it did start out that way. A soon as we were off the main road, Paul Dillon disappeared into the distance and, you guessed it, Kelly was immediately on his case.
Late afternoon, farewells were exchanged together with promises that we would get together again soon. This was simply too good to not develop into bigger and better things.”
Warren Jenkins, Brian Cassell, Jeff Kelly, Tricia Kelly, Mark Hitchenson and Les McClelland thus became the foundation members of the HDT Owners Club NSW Branch on 5th May 1985.
After that first meeting at Burrado, things began to happen thanks largely to Warren Jenkins who was regularly spurred on by Tricia Kelly.
Warren’s first big success was achieving club sponsorship of $1,000 from Tony Packard Holden. Not bad for half a dozen members. Linbar Industries were also convinced that it would be good for their business to sponsor the acquisition of a tent in club colours. It was first used at our Oran Park motorsport event on 17th July. This was the second motorsport event attended by the club, the first being at Amaroo Park on 7th July.
The NSW Branch’s first newsletter also hit the streets in July – all one page of it. The calendar of events included three items – two race meetings and a weekend away at Binnalong organised by the Canberra club. The second edition in September stretched to six pages and listed 16 members.
The Branch also became affiliated with the Confederation of Australian Motorsports so that it could start to plan holding its own motorsport events the following year.
September saw the NSW Branch’s inaugural cryptic trial, which was won by the Kelly’s. This was followed by the first of the combined NSW and Canberra club weekends to the Mount Panorama races in early October.
The NSW branch’s first weekend away was organised for November, and the event of the year was the Christmas weekend hosted by the Canberra club.
All in all, a very fitting finale to the first year of the HDT Owners Club NSW Branch which had grown rapidly from its small start of 5 families in May 1985 to over 40 financial members just one year later.
Club Run to ATCC Round at Amaroo Park (7th July), Club Run to ATCC Round at Oran Park (14th July), Weekend Away at the Black Swan Binalong (July), Club Run to the Endurance Championship Round at Amaroo Park (August), Cryptic Trial starting at Luna Park (September), Weekend Away to Mount Panorama Bathurst 1000 (October), Weekend Away at Spanish Motel Forster (November), Christmas Party Weekend Away at Canberra including Hill Climb Saturday and Drag Racing Sunday (November), Sydney Christmas Party at West Pennant Hills (December).
Drag Racing at Oran Park (September & November).
1985 Committee: President Warren Jenkins, Vice President Jeff Kelly, Secretary Brian Cassell, Treasurer Mark Hitchenson, Social Secretary Tricia Kelly, Sporting Secretary Terry Short, CAMS Delegate Chris Stott, Editor Julie Cassell.
1985 Club Magazines:
Paul Dillon published a magazine relative to HDT Owners in the ACT with contributions and updates from the NSW Club (in the format pictured below). This magazine included lots of press and motoring magazine clippings keeping members up to date with happenings with Peter Brock and HDT. An HDT Owners Club (NSW) newsletter (an example is pictured above) was also published to keep NSW members up to date in between receiving the Canberra publication. NSW Club members were still on the Canberra Membership register at this point in time.