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Highlands Festival of Speed teams up with Aussie Racing Cars

3 December, 2014

It’s been confirmed that the two-day Highlands Festival of Speed — Muscle Car Battle, to be held over the weekend of January 30–February 1, 2015, has been paired with the popular Aussie Racing Cars. 

Powered by 1.2-litre, 125hp, twin-cam, 16-valve engines and weighing only 450kg, the Aussie Racing Cars (ARC) will easily reach 230kph plus on the Highlands’ circuit straights. Constructed on a purpose-built space-frame chassis, the cars sport one of numerous composite panel designs, including the classic ’40 Ford and FJ Holden body styles, Ford Falcon, and Holden Commodore. This year ARC designers have taken inspiration from American muscle, including characteristics from Ford’s Mustang and Chevrolet’s Camaro.

All cars are approximately half the size of their full-sized counterparts and all mechanically identical. On top of that, Falcon GTs, Boss Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros, Chrysler Chargers, Holden Monaros, and the giant-killing Holden Toranas are just some of the iconic muscle cars you’ll see racing throughout that weekend. Then there’s the other categories competing — modern and classic saloons, vintage and classic single seaters, and Formula Libre open-wheelers.

Taking place at the world-class Highlands Motorsport Park, fans can enjoy classic car racing, classic and retro displays of cars, motorcycles, caravans, and boats, as well as other fun, classic entertainment for the family.  

Highlands’ General Manager, Mike Sentch, is looking for a range of vehicles, from hot rods to immaculate classics — if you reckon your car fits the bill, get in touch with him at [email protected]. There’s no charge, and you’ll be provided with one free weekend pass if your vehicle is chosen. 

Fear and loathing the blue oval – part one

The slogan went something like ‘There’s a Ford in your future’. ‘Bugger off!’ were always the words that sprung to my mind. Ford and I have never really got on in the manner of many of my friends, so I’d say my relationship to the brand was distant. The accelerating blur of passing time has helpfully blanketed memories of a few Ford encounters which I probably wanted to forget but I have to admit, now I look at them, they are re-appearing through the mists of time. What comes to mind more readily, to quote some uncharitable wit, is that the letters Ford could stand for ‘fix or repair daily’. Still, I have to ’fess up, there were several Fords in my past.

Class struggle

For a British car, it is huge; for those sitting inside, the bonnet seems to extend past the horizon. The front seats are very comfortable rather than body hugging. The dashboard and centre console cluster are beautifully laid out, reminiscent of a fighter plane cockpit, with acres of red leather all around. Its V8 burble is on show. It is not a car to sneak about in, and it gets attention wherever it goes.
The large back window, possibly the best-known feature of the Interceptor and one that sets it apart, has very good functionality, allowing greater access to the boot. It would not be an easy job to replace it, so Interceptor owners are careful about reversing and not hitting anything.