When the race begins, the history begins. When the race ends, the history begins to live.
The National Motor Racing Museum began as a vision for the future of the circuit by the members of the Bathurst Light Car Club (BLCC).
With an address the envy of motor sports clubs Australia-wide – Conrod Straight, Mount Panorama – the BLCC had access to the famous circuit to conduct its events since the foundation of the club in 1953.
The club’s vision started to come together in 1986 with a feasibility study into the establishment of a temporary display in the old James Hardie Media Centre on Pit Straight. This study was assisted by Mr Bruce Ballment of James Hardie Industries, the naming rights sponsor of the October touring car race at Mount Panorama since 1968.
Bathurst City (now Regional) Council’s Chief Engineer at the time, Mr Peter Gannon, was also very keen to have a home for the 1977 race winning Ford Falcon of Allan Moffat and the 1984 race winning Holden Commodore of Peter Brock that had been donated to Council. The BLCC had already helped in the restoration of Allan Moffat’s Falcon by purchasing a full-race specification engine for the car.
The idea just wouldn’t go away, and in December 1987 a committee was formed within the BLCC. In February 1988 a full-time manager, John Dunn, was employed to set up the display for the permanent Museum and to expand the content to include the history of Mount Panorama. The committee settled on the name of Bathurst Motor Racing Museum, with the motto – “When the race begins, the history begins. When the race ends, the history begins to live.”
The world’s wildest dreams without money mean nothing, and perhaps one of the greatest injections of money into this motor racing project at Mount Panorama came from the Bathurst City Council, James Hardie Industries and Bathurst Light Car Club who each donated $3,000 for the establishment of the Museum in the James Hardie Media Centre.
Forward: The Dream