Longford Revival Festival 2012
31 March 2012
For the second year running we have made the trek across the Tasman to the Apple isle for the fantastic Longford Revival Festival. And again it has lifted the bar on what we see as the best grassroots Australian historic motorsport event, taking many cues from the big Goodwood UK festival of speed event, but giving it an Aussie element and when combined with the rustic charm of the Tasmanian countryside, it feels just right.
Dick Johnson was finally reunited with Tru Blu once again.
Longford was one of Australia?s most famous racetracks, a fast and exciting road course that some of the worlds greatest cars and drivers raced on from 1953 till 1968, when the course was finally closed. The most famous part of the track was it?s flying mile, which is what the revival festival now uses today as it runs close to 100 selected cars down this historic bit of tarmac. The festival area is put in the same area that the original pits were housed, adding even more to the historic aspect of the event.
Big crowds and a great pit area helped make the event a success yet again.
This year the organisers, Mark Perry and his dedicated team from Octagon, went over and above to make the event even better than last year, with hay bales laid down the mile, picket fences, better pit and access roads and the festival element was brought in close to the pits, allowing easy access to the two areas, quite popular for both competitors and spectators those attending the two days.
After the fun we had last year taking the Moffat Mustang down we thought it would be good again to bring something extra special, but could not make a choice on just one car, so we chose two of the best in our shed. We got wind that Jim Richards would be there for the weekend, so the 1978 Brock A9X was chosen as one car for the trip and having just finished Tru Blu, the legend Dick Johnson made himself available from his busy schedule to be free for that weekend (I think the carrot of Tru Blu being finally done made him clear his schedule!) it joined the A9X in the transporter for the run across Bass Straight.
We flew in early after a week at the AGP to visit the most southerly store that stocks our range, AutObarn Moonah, Hobart. Casey and new recruit Henna (She is Finnish, not Russian, ask her about it?) had their first trip down that way, loving the visit to the Cadbury chocolate factory before we made our way to Longford for Friday. Our team had the cars all ready to go, so we gave them a quick clean and setup our Bowden?s Own area in the tent. Our good mate Joe joined us in the tent with some of the coolest muscle cars from his collection, including the 427 and 289 Cobra?s (Yes they are real ones, which Chris sourced through Ecurie Investments), the Brock Vette and a new 458 Ferrari, John Bowe was on hand all weekend to drive these beasts down the flying mile. That night was our annual meet and greet event at the Newstead pub, always great fun to catch up with people and let them know what we are up to with the collection and car care range.
The 427, 289 and Brock Vette were popular additions to the event.
Our meet and greet night was great fun.
Casey and Henna keeping DJ warm between runs.
On Saturday we were honored by sharing breakfast with Dick Johnson, (Casey was a little bit excited and Henna met her first Aussie race legend, as she only knew Finnish drivers!). Dick left us a little bit early as he was keen to go and check out Tru Blu! We arrived to find him standing about 3 metres away from her, just checking it all out, the huge smile on his face told us he was delighted to see her once again back to a familiar livery of Bathurst 1981. Our boys then kicked her over, slowly warming her up and I swear I saw a tear in Dick?s eye, the old girl still means a lot to him. Jim Richards turned up shortly after, checking out the A9X and talking to us about the few races he did in it, again you could tell he was equally happy to be there for the weekend.
Jim running the A9X flat strap, sounded great!
Both cars ran great all weekend, Jim respectfully took it pretty easy, just enjoying his time in the old Holden beast, getting a best speed just over 200km/h and Dick ran Tru Blu at his speed on 228km/h, which I have to say sounded pretty epic as they ran down the mile. The team that did the Longford revival had onboard cameras on both cars, so the event DVD should be pretty good again this year!
DJ was loving running Tru Blu full belt down the flying mile, Tru Blu did not mind it much at all either!
Gasolene TV's great segment from their Longford Revival on Dick running Tru Blu again.
We had some real fun, from the super cool open air cinema on Saturday night (even the Finnish thought it was cold) watching the classic Talladega Nights, to letting more Tasmanian's know about our Aussie car care is not really ?Tested On Animals?, but the beasts in our sheds, As well as getting to take a few of our team for drives during the days. Henna got her first run in the 289 Cobra with myself at the wheel, all I will say is that there was a lot of screaming coming from the passenger side when we got a little bit airborne over the humps (I thought Finns liked to get air and go fast?) and Casey finally got her lifetime dream run in the Brock A9X, her favorite car in our sheds.
Dan about to give Henna her first lesson on Muscle/ Sports cars.
A sneaky pic taken from the Brock A9X before the fun begins..
Casey borrows Jim Richards helmet for her run of a lifetime down the mile.
Our main spanner turner Kingo was given the keys of Joes 427 Cobra and as you can imagine he is still beaming after that run! David Bowden was not one to miss out either, getting chauffeur driven by Aussie Ferrari racing legend Spencer Martin in Joe?s 458 at a fantastic 248km/h on their run?I dare say the 250LM Ferrari he raced down the same straight back in the day would have been doing similar speeds as well?.
Spencer Martin at the wheel, about to give David a memorable run in the new Ferrari.
All over I have to say yet again it was a brilliant event and one well worth the trip to Tassie for, it was great to see a lot of people who made it down and all are giving rave reviews of the event. I hope to see a few more of you make it across after the AGP, its more than worth the easy effort to get there. We are already thinking about what we could be bringing for next year?..
Check out even more photo's from our big weekend away on our facebook page photo album, by clicking here.
Love the flying Longford mile,