A man who was rebuilding an old Torana motor got a huge surprise when he googled the engine number and found it belonged to a famous car he had watched on black and white television over 40 years ago.
Queenslander Rod Bowen found that the engine plate belonged to nine-time Bathurst 1000 winner Peter Brock and that the same motor competed in the prestigious race in 1976 in an L34 Torana.
The engine was considered one of Australian motor racing’s greatest mysteries after going ‘missing’ having been removed from the Torana before the car was sold in 1979.
Rod Bowen rebuilt a Torana around the engine he bought completely unaware it was one of Peter Brock’s Bathurst race cars
Brothers Peter and Phil Brock famously had fuel line problems at Bathurst in 1976 and finished third – a race Mr Bowen watched on black and white television.
‘That was a real cooking car – I couldn’t believe it,’ Brock told author David Hassall in his book The Peter Brock story.
‘In ‘1976 the fuel stopped because of a bent fuel pick-up pipe and the car ground to a halt near Forest Elbow.
Brothers Peter (pictured) and Phil Brock famously had fuel line problems at Bathurst in 1976 and finished third – a race Mr Bowen watched on black and white television
‘I stopped to check the problem when I should have just rolled into the pits, that was my own damn stupid mistake – one that cost me victory.’
Mr Bowen bought the engine from a truck driver mate completely unaware of its history.
His friend suggested googling the engine number – so he did – and Brock’s name came up.
The original: Peter and Phil Brock drove the L34 Torana at the 1976 Bathurst 1000 finishing third because of fuel line problems
‘Mate, I’ve got one of the best 308 engines that I know of on the planet!’ He told 7News.
Mr Bowen had planned to race the engine but instead decided to rebuild it faithfully to the specifications of Brock’s 1976 L34 Torana.
He also painted the car to match the original red, white and blue paint job.
‘I want to take it to Mount Panorama myself and take it for a lap around the track so the people of Bathurst can actually see it and hear it one more time,’ he said.
Peter Brock died in 2006 when he lost control of his car during a rally in Western Australia.