At the end of the 1979 racing season GM-H withdrew their support of motorsport. To enable Peter Brock to continue to race in the 1980 season, GM-H gave him a contract to modify 500 VC SL/E Commodores for resale with full GM-H warranty through selected Holden Dealers. In turn, these Dealers would support his motor racing. The sale of these cars was so successful that further cars of various types and models were built.
1987 was the year when the start of the end came for Peter Perfect and the Club faced such issues as the status of VL Group-A non “Plus Pack” cars. The club’s February Newsletter introduced the first of the lively debates to enter the world of the HDT Owners Club – the question of eligibility for Club membership of the non “Plus Pack” VL Group A’s.
Newspaper and television reports in mid February were carrying even more information about trouble brewing between HDT Special Vehicles and GMH – and this culminated in the split between both parties on the 19th and 20th of February. In considering the impact on the Club, the March Newsletter said that it would be adopting a wait and see approach, including deferring any vote on the VL “Plus Pack” issue.
The basic reason for split was that Brock wanted to build meaner and wilder cars. GM-H knew they needed testing and ADR certification before they could be released to the public with full Holden warranty. In the past, Brock’s short cuts had been tolerated and GM-H was prepared to bend the rules on componentry, but not on completed cars.
Following the HDT split with GMH on 19th and 20th February 1987, the brothers (Peter, Lewis & Phil) Brock asked to address a meeting of the Club members in Sydney. This was arranged for the 8th of April and word quickly got around town as to what was going on. It was standing room only.
Peter informed the meeting that HDT had built over 4,500 cars since 1981 and gave his side of the story about the “under handed” tactics that he said that GMH had employed to discredit his operation after the split.
Mid 1987 saw the VL eligibility issue resolve itself. HDT Special Vehicles Pty Ltd, in its slimmed down state agreed that all VL Group A’s, with or without Plus Packs, should be regarded as HDT built vehicles.
On June 5th 1987 Tom Walkinshaw Racing was presented with a letter in intent by the Holden Motor Company to establish an organisation to develop, manufacture and market an exclusive range of body styling, suspension and engine packages for the Holden range of vehicles. This was effectively the birth of HSV. HSV commenced manufacturing operations in its Notting Hill, Victoria facility in July 1987 and built 1,191 vehicles in its first year of operation. Please click on the letter opposite to view a larger copy.
1987 also saw the first invitation to our Club to participate in was to become the annual Muscle Car Run to Bathurst. The faster cars made it a “cannon ball” run with a lot of street cred to the first arrival at Bathurst. The times it took these cars to reach Bathurst became legendary and would not be possible with current laws and in particular, the banning of radar detectors. President Jeff Kelly’s contacts within the NSW Police also helped on spirited club runs.
The HDT Owners Nationals were held in Victoria and included a Show n Shine at Werribee on the Saturday, Drag Racing at Calder on the Sunday – followed by a dinner and entertainment on the Sunday night with Bev and Peter Brock giving talks and handing out awards. Monday was back at Calder for “driver training” hot laps with Peter Brock entertaining 4 passengers at a time. Bruce Webb recounts his hot lap with Brocky:
“The slicks squeal, the gearbox whines, and my spine creaks all in unison as 44O neddies are let loose on the hot mix. The push in my back continues unabated until I am slammed forward in the harness as the slow pedal is tramped almost to the floor. I clamp firmly on the roll cage as a continuous power-on drift around the bottom 180-degree corner threatens to eject met out the door.
Power on again as we approach the right/left dogleg, hard on the anchors again, power on again as Peter sets the car up for exit. 0h – oh, here we go, we’re about to have an off into the paddock but that sticky rubber just sticks as we use up all the road.
A momentary scream from the engine as we f1y over the hump, traction comes on again and it’s flat out through the kink, down the back straight and around another right hander into the esses. The cornering forces are enormous – the kindergarten seat I’m on has no side bolstering at all and the esses are taken as a series of slides from one side of the seat to the other great stuff!!
It’s power on all the way through the sweeper right out to the far edge of the straight threatening to paint the concrete wall red, white and blue. Flat out past the engrossed crowd in pit lane the straight is disappearing at an incredible rate as I glance over at the tacho – it reads 5,200 RPM in fifth just before we hit the ridiculously short breaking area.
Peter stands on the brakes, the car weaving slightly as I strain against the harness, trying not to take yet another bite out of the dashboard.
Another adrenalin pumping lap and it’s back to the pits.”
Warren Jenkins resigns as President on 13th August 1987 having grown the Club from 5 members to nearly 200 members in 2 years, the new President was Jeff Kelly.
Also, in 1987 the NSW HDT Owners club commenced planning to hold the 1988 HDT Nationals over the Easter long weekend with motorsport at Oran Park on the Saturday, Show n Shine and dinner at the El Caballo Blanco on the Sunday; finishing with a Cryptic Trial on the Monday.
Later in the year long time club member & supporter, Ian Luff (pictured), wrote his first “Driving Torque” column in the September club newsletter.
Cryptic Trial (March), 1987 HDT Nationals in Melbourne (April), Run to Jambaroo with lunch at Onkle Tom’s Hutte (May), Club Day at ATCC Round at Amaroo Park (June), Early morning run south starting at Audley (July), Breakfast at Dennys’ before run to ATCC round at Orn Park (July), Family Ski Weekend Away at Smiggins Holes (August), Breakfast at Dennys before run to Oran Park for the Pepsi 250 (August), Weekend Away at the Sport & recreation Centre Point Wolstoncroft Lake Macquarie (September), Cryptic Trial (September), Annual Muscle Car Run to the “Top of the Mountain” Mount Panorama Bathurst (October), Run to Girrakool at the Brisbane Waters National Park for picnic lunch (October), Go Karts at Village Grand Prix (November), Adelaide Grand Prix Weekend (November), Christmas BBQ Meeting at Baulkham Hills Sporting Club (December), New Years Eve Pool Party (December).
Club Championship Pointscore:
A Club Championship was developed for 1988 based on points scores in Social Events and Motorsport Events.At the end of the year trophies will be awarded to (1) Best Attendance at Social Events, (2) Drivers Championship, (3) Ladies Championship and (4) Rookie of the Year for the most improved driver.
Oran Park Club Training Days (March & August), Car Control Course – Oran Park North circuit (April, August), High Performance Driver Training Oran Park South circuit (May, September), Drag Racing at Oran Park (March, July, November & December). The first CAMS permitted, Club organised Supersprint was held at Oran Park on Tuesday 11th August, 1987.
1987 Committee: President Warren Jenkins / Jeff Kelly, Secretary Alan Hughes, Treasurer Gary Benson, Social Secretary Tricia Kelly, Sporting Secretary John Magyar, CAMS Delegate Chris Stott, Central West Contact Stephen Friend, Newcastle Contact Dave Body, Wollongong Contact Wally Cardillo.
1987 Club Magazines:
The 1987 Club Magazines were all in a Newsletter format. The February edition was in A4, stapled at the top left corner as the 1986 Newsletters were. Commencing with the March 1987 Newsletter, it was in an A5 format, folded and stapled at the spine. Newsletter covers were as below: