Car enthusiast builds a replica of the legendary 1976 Peter Brock’s Holden Torana after unwittingly purchasing the original bike
- Rod Bowen bought a Torana bike from a friend without realizing its importance
- He googled the engine number and found that Peter Brock was driving it in the Bathurst race
- Bowen had watched the iconic race on black and white television in 1976
A man rebuilding an old Torana engine got a huge surprise when he googled the engine number and discovered that it belonged to a famous car he had seen on black and white television more than 40 years ago.
Queenslander Rod Bowen discovered that nine-time Bathurst 1000 winner’s engine plate was Peter Brock and that the same bike entered the prestigious 1976 L34 Torana race.
The engine was considered one of the greatest mysteries of Australian motorsport after it went ‘missing’ after being removed from the Torana before the car was sold in 1979.
Rod Bowen rebuilt a Torana around the bike he bought, completely unaware that it was one of Peter Brock’s Bathurst race cars.
Brothers Peter and Phil Brock had fuel line problems at Bathurst in 1976 and finished third – a race that Mr Bowen saw on black and white TV.
“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 due to a bent fuel suction line and the car came to a stop near Forest Elbow.
Brothers Peter (pictured) and Phil Brock had fuel line problems at Bathurst in 1976 and finished third – a race Mr Bowen saw on black and white TV
“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 the win.”
Mr. Bowen bought the engine from a truck driver who was completely oblivious to its history.
His friend suggested Googling the engine number – and 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 due to fuel line issues
“Buddy, I have one of the best 308 bikes I know on the planet!” He told 7 News
Mr. Bowen planned to race the bike, but instead decided to faithfully rebuild it to the specifications of Brock’s L34 Torana from 1976.
He also painted the car to match the original red, white and blue paint.
“I want to take it up to Mount Panorama myself and go around the track so the people of Bathurst can actually see it and hear it again,” he said.
Peter Brock died in 2006 when he lost control of his car during a rally in Western Australia.