And so it was underway – the dream had begun!
The Bathurst Motor Racing Museum was officially opened on Friday 13th May 1988 by the late Peter Brock, who was more than keen to help.
The Museum was run by the manager, an assistant and many volunteers, almost all of whom were members of the BLCC. The inaugural committee of the Museum consisted of Mark Blume (Chairman), Mick Williamson (Vice Chairman, and BLCC President 1988), David Robinson (Treasurer), Tony Hanrahan and Cheryl Gewin, all BLCC members.
A great difficulty was faced during race meetings at Mount Panorama, as the Museum had to be moved across the circuit to Harris Park, where it was housed for the weekend in a rented marquee. This nomadic lifestyle continued until 1992.
After the 1988 1000km race, the then current manager, John Dunn had resigned, and Sue Chapman was appointed as the new manager, a role that she continued in until August 1997.
Alderman Ray Bant was welcomed to the Museum committee and the Museum moved to a more community-based operation, with volunteers giving their time to run the Museum every weekend.
The Museum committee felt that the task of relocating the exhibitions each October was becoming too onerous. Alderman Ray Bant lobbied the Council to build a permanent structure to house the Museum, on Council-owned land alongside the Mount Panorama circuit. The Bathurst City Council, together with the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club, Channel 7, James Hardie Industries and Castrol each contributed $50,000 to establish a permanent home for the Bathurst Motor Racing Museum at Murray’s Corner.
In April 1993 the new Museum, soon to be known as the Mount Panorama Hall of Fame, was opened by Allan Moffat and Peter Brock.
The Museum had outgrown the community style of operation and negotiations commenced with the aim of Bathurst City Council taking over the complete operation of the Museum, giving it a much greater opportunity to expand. This was a logical development of Council’s role in assisting the establishment of the Museum in 1988, and also built on the longstanding support that Council’s Workshops had provided to the Museum during its entire existence. The BCC Workshops had carried out significant restoration and maintenance works on many of the cars on display at the Museum, and provided extra resources to assist for Museum relocations and exhibit set up around the October race weekends.
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