Garry Rogers – Eccentric and Supercars Legend
2018 RETRO ROUND
In 2018, we have paid tribute to Garry’s history in Australian motorsport.
Garth and Chris will be racing the unmissable 1978 Holden Torana A9X raced by Garry and Pete Geoghegan. James and Richard will hit the track in the slick 1983 Soundwaves Holden Commodore raced by Garry and Clive Benson-Brown.
We’re going back to 1978 and 1983 to share a small part of Garry’s motorsport history.
A LITTLE HISTORY FROM GARRY
HOLDEN TORANA A9X
“It’s quite interesting how this car came about. I had built another A9X Torana during the year and was planning on entering it for the 1978 Bathurst 1000. Earlier in the season I was racing my Torana Sports Sedan and a car salesman working for me at the time (John Andrew) drove up to Amaroo Park after work on the Saturday to watch me. When arriving at the track on the Sunday morning he had a disagreement with a gate attendant and he knocked the attendant out! When I put my entry in for Bathurst, Ivan Stibbard the manager of the ARDC (Australian Racing Drivers Club) rejected my entry saying that my nominated co-driver Darryl Wilcox did not have enough experience. I was quite friendly with the girls in the office of the ARDC and they told me otherwise, and that my entry had been rejected because of John Andrew’s behaviour at Amaroo earlier in the year. I was determined to make the start line at Bathurst as I had told my sponsor and my friends that I was going to be racing in “The Great Race”. I came up with the idea that if I bought somebody else’s entry and put a driver name change in as the event got closer that I could avoid Stibbard. I spoke with Bob Jane and came to an agreement to purchase his entry and I raced alongside Geoghegan. Things did not go as I had hoped with engine failures in practice, qualifying and the race.
I purchased the car off Bob and in 1979 I had a big crash at Amaroo Park and it was written off.
As much as the Bob Jane A9X did not provide any great memories with regards to results, it does remind me of the persistency and never give up attitude that is required in Motorsport and more particularly, life!
HOLDEN COMMODORE VH
This car was the very first so-called new race car that I raced. I didn’t have the money to build it, but I did have the people required and I found the guy with the money. Clive Benson-Brown was an English aristocratic type who I met through Peter Janson. Clive lived in the fast lane with his disco businesses and always believed he could drive. I helped him along with that belief. We raced together in 1981 and unfortunately that car (VC Commodore) was destroyed in the crash that stopped the race. By 1983 we had regrouped and Bruce Garrett who looked after my sports sedan and helped in the car yard built the VH Soundwave Discos race car. Bruce spent a week at the Holden factory in Dandenong building the shell as it progressed along the production line. When they returned it to the car yard in Glen Waverley, he meticulously built the car using many of the parts from the damaged 1981 Commodore. In 1983 I qualified the car 7th at Bathurst and after experiencing some mechanical issues throughout the race, we finished 12th.
I hope everybody enjoys the little bit of history that we are reminded of with this round but looking back it certainly highlights to me how GREAT our racing is today. We all love to reminisce and admire the feats of Brock, Moffat, Richo and so on but many of the events were non-events where the winner would regularly win by laps not seconds, let alone tenths of seconds.
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