Peter Geoffrey Brock - 26/2/1945 - 8/9/2006
Peter Brock grew up in Hurstbridge, an outer eastern suburb of Melbourne. With his parents and three brothers, they lived in a tight-knit community and were involved in all types of sport. He commenced his schooling at Hurstbridge Primary School and then went on to Eltham High School. In 1960 he was school football captain and graduated from Eltham High School the following year. His mother was a very good tennis player and his grandfather was a great cricketer. His family emphasised that it took commitment to become successful.
His father ran the local Hurstbridge Motors back in 1948 into '51, and was in fact a Holden Dealer. Brock recounts the day he saw the very first brand new Holden, being delivered, he stood on the side of the road and thought "wow, a bit of Australian history was being made".
As a 13 year old, Brock constructed his little Austin 7. The paddock bomb served him well and whet his appetite to get on the track and race. "I wanted to be on the other side of the guardrail' he remembers. He bought a wrecked HD Holden and an Austin A30 body shell. He said "it served its purpose, it was an ugly car, difficult to drive. I loved it and got great results out of it".
He had been winning a lot of races, but in Brock's words "no one knew if it was my car or me". A local Holden dealer rang him and offered him a car that had been traded and they couldn't sell. He asked him if he wanted it to take it racing. Brock jumped at the opportunity and began racing the Holden.
Around this time, Harry Firth who created the Holden Dealer Team had been hearing about the young lad called Brock. He offered him a drive in the 1969 Bathurst, in a HT Monaro. That was the start of the change in his career. Brock later said " It was the plum drive in Australian motor sport at the time. I was very fortunate having Harry, because he taught you about mental strength, focus. He wouldn't book any favour".
Harry Firth was known to put old tyres on Brocks car and new tyres on his team mates, when Brock was able to match his team mates times on old tyres, he would give him new tyres. He pushed him hard and at the time Brock thought he was unfair, but in hindsight he was very clever. He believes it taught him to dig deep and respect the machinery. He knew he had to impose rigid disciplines upon himself if here were to become successful and achieve the results he wanted to. This rigid discipline stood him in good stead for his future career.
He had married and divorced twice by 1974, when he met a young lady Bev MacIntosh, they met through mutual friends and became very good friends over 18 month period before finally "getting together" in 1977. Peter became an 'instant father' to Bev's 1 year-old son James, and the couple went on to have two other children together. Robert, born in August, 1980 and daughter Alexandra, born in 1983.
In 1980 Brock started a company called HDT Special Vehicles Operations. In a 'partnership' of kind with Holden, Brocks' key intention with this business was to sell enough performance road cars to allow him to put those 'road cars' on the race track. The company sold a lot of motor vehicles and became very sought after because people could own and drive the type of car Brock was racing on the track. They went to produce some 4200 odd individually numbered vehicles. As time transpired, the relationship with Brock and Holden met its expiry date and they parted company. A HDT numbered vehicle today are considered a 'collectors item' and can fetch in excess of $100,000.
After the collapse of HDT, Peter made his business relationships elsewhere, but he always managed to be succeeding on the race track. His huge public following became legendary. Everyone from young kids, gorgeous girls and men of all ages loved Brocky. He became the peoples "King of the Mountain", and that never ended. At any race meeting or public event that Peter attended, the fans always followed and he never left them disappointed. There are many stories about PB signing autographs well into the night so no fans were turned away.
Peter made a successful reconciliation of sorts with Holden in 1994 and once again raced under the banner of Holden Racing Team. He retired from V8 Supercar racing in 1997, and became busier if that was even possible. He started the Peter Brock Foundation and saw it as a way to give back to his many fans. He's enormous popularity made it possible to harness the energy and good will people bestowed upon him and share it with people who may be disadvantaged or struggling with things in their lives. Peter was very passionate about the foundation and through corporate sponsorship and amazing voluntary contributions of the people around him at the time, the foundation was able to achieve many great things that made a difference to peoples lives.
Even though he no longer raced V8 Supercars, he seemed to be always in some sort of machine, on some sort of track, doing what he loved - racing. From Outback Safari in a Holden Jackaroo to the Targa Tasmania rallies in a Holden Monaro, Brock not only raced, but continued to be extremely competitive. In 2003, at the age of 58, he and his team went on to win the Bathurst 24 hour race. His racing statistics are unparalleled in this country.
It was around this time that Peter Brock and Peter Champion were already formulating the idea of a 'shed' of Brocks cars. Peter Champion had been collecting these cars for some time and restoring them to peak condition. In 2005 and again in May 2006, Peter Brock visited this site that was in progress of what is now known as 'Champions Brock Experience'. He relished seeing 'his' cars again, shared many great stories about racing in them, and sketched his ideas for the shed and how it may look.
If you speak to anyone who knew Brocky on a personal level, most of them would tell you that not only was he a passionate, talented and fascinating person, but also frustratingly stubborn, impulsive and above all very human.