Cars of Bendix – Rolling 30
Jun 25, 2019
The guys at Unique Autos brought together a great community of cars built before 1989 for a different kind of meet at Sydney Motorsport Park’s South Circuit called Rolling 30. Not only did owners get to park up their cars amongst like-minded enthusiasts, but they also got to cruise around on the track. The variety of makes and models was amazing, every owner (and passenger) there had a smile on their face; A great day out and no better place to hunt down some Cars of Bendix.
SHAD’S 1974 MAZDA RX-4
One of the first cars I heard, saw and smelt upon arriving at Rolling 30. It’s not often that you have the pleasure of seeing a street driven Luce Rotary; most are reserved for the drag-strip alongside the RX-2s & RX-3s. Shad was able to find his RX-4 about 5 years ago from south of the border, down Victoria way, already sporting a few mods with a Cosmo 13B Turbo engine and a Series 5 RX7 gearbox. Wanting to stand apart from the crowds, he went to PAC to help him build the car into a tough, reliable street car.
PAC Performance definitely built this car tough with a 13B bridge ported motor from a series 8 RX-7 with a tasty GT51R Turbo hanging off the side coupled with a Turbosmart EBoost 2 & Blow Off Valve. Underneath the car you’ll find a C4 Auto gearbox, 9” Truetrac LSD and 15” RC Components Fusion Street Fighter Wheels; customized by PAC Performance. This RX4 is now making 600HP thanks to a Microtech LT16C ECU and a custom PAC fuel tank housing triple pumps to push thatsweet E85 through. Of course, being a PAC car, it has taken a trip down the drag strip and joined the 9 second club running 9.7sec at 139 mph. The final thing Shad is looking to do is finish off the interior of the car, which currently houses a full roll cage as the main modification.
MARK’S 1973 VOLKSWAGEN KARMANN GHIA
The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is definitely an interesting sports car and Mark’s is a fine example of the 2+2 coupe. Built in Germany from 1955 to 1974, there were just over 445,000 cars produced, combining the chassis & mechanicals of a Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle with styling from Italy’s Carrozzeria Ghia and hand-build bodywork by Germany’s Wilhelm Karmann GmbH.
Mark purchased the car in 2008 and spent the next 5 years rebuilding the car from the ground up in his garage with the help of friends and family, including a full respray. The 1916 Type 1 VW Engine was rebuilt in October 2018 by WPVW to make 125HP at the wheels, with plenty of goodies from CB Performance including match-ported manifolds, wedgeport heads and 5.5 journal rods. The car is also running 40mm IDF Webers with 34mm venturis. Rolling around on 16” x 6” Porsche Fuch rims, Mark enjoys getting out and touring the car around NSW & Victoria.
JARED’S 1966 AUSTINHEALEY SPRITE MK III
The Austin-Healey Sprite is a small open sports car designed as a low-cost model that “a chap could keep in his bike shed”. The cars have quite a successful race-pedigree, placing 12th at Le Mans in 1965, and several class wins at Sebring with Stirling Moss, Bruce McLaren & Steve McQueen behind the wheel. Interestingly, the Sprites were imported into Australia as a completely knocked down kit and assembled in Enfield, NSW.
Jared’s Sprite, however, came from New Zealand, where it had done some classic Targa rallying. The factory 1.1L A-Series I4 engine, making a grand total of 59 HP, had already be ditched for the Toyota 4AGE engine, but the work was not up to Australian standards, so Jared spent a couple of years rebuilding the car with his brother Josh to get it to where it is today. The new 4AGE Big Port Engine is from an AE86, it’s had the EFI removed and converted to twin 40mm Dellorto side draft carby, to keep it somewhat period correct. The pistons, heads, camshafts & cam gears have all been upgraded to make 138HP at the rear wheels, but there’s still a bit more in the engine before Jared is happy with it. Underneath the car you’ll find a set of 13”x 6” Superlite rims, 2 piece full floating 4340 Billet Axles (with a lifetime guarantee), and a 3.7:1 LSD. The power is put to the ground through an AE86 T50 5 speed box with an Exedy heavy duty clutch and ultralight flywheel, and seeing as the car only weighs 695kg, it would definitely be a fun drive, especially through the twisties. Jared has a few more plans for the car, including a roll cage and some interior mods to go with the power plans.
BRETT’S 1978 MITSUBISHI LANCER A70
There are plenty of lancers on the road under different marketing badges around the world: Colt, Dodge, Plymouth, Chrysler Valiant, Hindustan. There’s been plenty of evolutions of the model, 9 in fact, so you’d be forgiven if you were to mistake Brett’s car for something else. The car started out new in the family where Brett’s father sold it at Pember’s Chrysler, but then had it traded back in 1984 for a Mitsubishi Sigma. It was given to Brett as his first car, and has been slowly modified over time, first as a daily driver and then to a super sprint car starting at Oran Park in 1987. The car now sees the track at Wakefield on a semi-regular basis where Brett’s son races it predominately. The original engine has been replaced with a Mitsubishi 2.4 Sirius 4G64 engine with dual 45mm Weber carbys, 12:1 compression forged pistons, a ported head and mild camshafts to make 180 HP with plenty of torque. The car has also borrowed several parts from a Sigma including the gearbox, a 4.9:1 LSD from a MK I Cortina and the brakes from a Scorpion. The 14” x 7” Performance Superlite wheels with Nitto Semi-Slicks keep the car firmly on the racetrack!
1972 FORD FALCON XA GT-HO PHASE IV
A piece of ‘almost’ racing history was out on track at Rolling30 – 2 of 4 XA GT-HO Phase IV sedans ever produced. The production of the car, for homologation to the Group E Series Production Touring Car series aiming for the 1972 Hardie-Ferodo race at Bathurst, was cut short when on the 25th June 1972 the Sun- Herald published an article entitled “160MPH ‘Super Cars’ Soon” sparked the New South Wales Minister for Transport, Milton Morris, to call for a ban on the supercars three days later.
On the fourth day the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) announced the end of the Group E regulations, replacing them with Group C regulations which allowed modified versions of road cars to compete, and thus removing the need for manufacturers to develop road-going race vehicles. Ford officially ceased production on Sunday 2nd July after one car had been produced, with three others in various stages of construction at Ford Special Vehicles; their internal race division. Hand built seam-welded and a blueprinted engine producing almost 400HP. This intact factory race car with under 5000 miles is one of the only three manufactured by Ford Special Vehicles for Allan Moffat & Fred Gibson.
AARON’S 1951 CHEVY 3100 PICKUP ‘MEMPHIS HELL’
Aaron’s 51 Chev is definitely a head turner, guaranteed to attract attention anywhere it goes, and when your business is building cars like it for a living, that’s a unique business card to hold. Aaron was lucky to purchase the car for $1,500, but has invested plenty into it since then, both time and resources. The roof has been chopped, doors and bonnet shaved, engine bay built and there’s plenty of work done in the rear tub too.
Underneath the car you’ll find a Holden Rodeo chassis & floor pan, keeping it in the GM family, with a 5L v8 engine and t56 6 speed manual box. The car sits millimetres off the ground thanks to the 4 link, air bagged suspension on the notched chassis and a set of staggered Simmons OM rims – 17”x10” on the front and 18”x12” in the rear.
Over the last 10 years the car has constantly evolved; starting out as an LPG at Ocean Grove in Victoria when he started building it with his dad, moving to Carby petrol, and now injected. The retro race style is Aaron’s latest, and who know where it will go next.
JASON’S 1982 HOLDEN VH COMMODORE – BROCK HDT RACE TRIBUTE
Jason had a couple of Commodores at Rolling 30, but this VH took our eye with the HDT Brock/Perkins livery of the winning car from the 1982 James Hardie 1000. The 308 under the hood with a cold air intake is all you need to make 215kW at the HDT 20” Aero wheels. Jason was super busy running his cars on the day so we settled on grabbing some detailed snaps of the car and listening to that tough 308 open up around the GP circuit.
1992 FERRARI 512 TR “TESTAROSSA”
Despite being outside of the 30 year limit for Rolling30, this gorgeous Ferrari 512 TR in Giallo Modena came by with the hopes of getting out on track to give the crowds the aural pleasure of the 4.9 litre rear-mounted flat 12 at full song. The car was also up for sale, and I’m sure plenty of people would love to have this beauty in their garages after years of it sitting on their walls growing up. This example finished in Ferrari Nero Stellato yellow withoriginal 5 spoke alloy wheels is a complete concourse car with no modifications. There is not a lot to say but wow!
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