The Australian Racing Drivers Club has just celebrated seventy years of life and love of motorsport. Fittingly it hosted a superb ‘birthday’ race meeting at Sydney Motorsport Park on the Fathers’ Day weekend (3-4 September). In the paddock and the pits classics merged with some of today’s most innovative and competitive machinery.
As a Strategic Partner of the ARDC, we were featured with a big marquee in pit lane showing how the innovators in the past seventy years have created a motor heritage which the AMHF collects and makes available online. We do it for the benefit of motor clubs which look to future needs, and for our researchers and educators who know that innovators today must understand the past.
We placed a selection of pristine cars of the past seven decades, all of them manufactured in Australia and classic examples of their times. This display was brought together with painstaking effort by AMHF Fellow, Rod Chivas.
It attracted constant curiosity and questions from the visitor stream – dads with the children taking it all in, mature enthusiasts loving the Buckle coupe or just glad to see the classics, fans fascinated by Sir Jack Brabham’s dirt track racer, young people getting up close to the ICE vehicles like the Vanguard Spacemaster and the Chrysler Valiant commonly used not so long ago, a couple of restoration experts checking the quality on show.
Our Volunteer Brian Goulding has a very long and deep history with the ARDC. He was asked by the organisers to write the highly detailed piece for the race program on the history of the ARDC’s time at Sydney Motorsport Park. As it happened, Brian G was a virtual partner with Rod Chivas in organising the AMHF presence on site.
And AMHF Ambassador and Gold Star champion Spencer Martin was with us on each day, says “it was a great event even with the lousy weather”. Both he and our Volunteer John Murn were guests of the ARDC at the special ‘birthday lunch’ on Saturday when Glenn Matthews the CEO spoke to the special invitees on the theme of the ARDC’s past 70 years and strategy for its bright future.
The slide show on the big TV was popular, which demonstrated how Australian society has altered and progressed over the seven decades since the ARDC was brought into being. This was ‘Heritage’ in its purest and most comprehensible form. Many passers-by found it irresistible and stayed on to shuffle through the literature on sale and discuss what we do at the home base just across the track. Some came along later when the building was open for limited visits. There was a lot of curiosity about the collections and the work we do.
The AMHF was very well represented in all the electronic signage around the precinct with coverage trackside, in the pits, on the large screens, overhead arches and internal screens. With 20 different images displayed throughout the weekend, it certainly lifted the awareness of our organisation.
We congratulate our friends at the ARDC firstly on the great weekend so well organised and enjoyable, secondly on achieving yet another milestone in years while showing us something of the strategy for a great future, and for contributing so much to the wellbeing of the motor clubs and enthusiast groups who derive big pleasure, good fellowship, and skills from what is done at SMSP.
And we thank the many AMHF Volunteers, Fellows and supporters who contributed so much to our own show on site over the weekend, starting early and finishing late. All enthusiastic for the cause and understanding how the AMHF is working hard in its chosen role as a Partner of the ARDC.