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How did Peter Brock die?
Brock was killed in an accident on the Targa West road rally on September 8 2006. He was driving a Daytona Coupe, a locally-made sports car based on the Shelby Daytona Coupe of the 1960s. According to reports Brock lost control on a bend and hit a tree.
He was 61 at the time of his death. He was born February 26 1945.
He had many nicknames but the most famous were ‘Brocky’, ‘Peter Perfect’ or ‘The King of the Mountain’ - thanks to his success at Mt Panorama.
Brock was born at the Epworth Hospital, Richmond, Victoria. He grew up in Hurstbridge to the north-east of Melbourne.
Exact details of his financial affairs aren’t clear as there was a legal dispute between family members after his death because he had multiple wills. Best estimates are that he had somewhere in the region of $5 million in money and assets in 2006.
Geoff and Ruth Brock.
Yes, he had three brothers - Neil, Phillip and Lewis. Phil Brock became a racing driver like his brother and competed for the Holden Dealer Team at the Bathurst 1000 in its second-entry while Peter drove the lead car.
Yes and no.
Brock was married twice early in his life. In 1967 he married Heather Russell but they divorced in 1969. He married 1973 Miss Australia, Michelle Downes, in 1974 but the couple divorced after only a year.
In 1977 Brock began a de-facto relationship with Bev Brock, and although the couple never married she changed her surname. The pair split in 2005 with Brock becoming engaged to Julie Bamford shortly before his death.
Peter and Bev raised three children, James (born 1976), Robert (born 1980) and Alexandria (born 1983). Although James was not his biological son, he raised him as his own and the pair raced together in the final years of Peter’s career in the Nation’s Cup GT championship.
Peter himself didn’t write any books but there have been countless written about him. Some of the more successful ones include ‘Peter Brock - How Good is This! The Real Story’ by Wayne Webster and ‘Brocky: Peter’s Own Story, A Life in Top Gear’ by David Hassall, which was the last one officially approved by Brock before his death.
Bev Brock wrote her own book about her long-time partner, ‘Peter Brock: Living with a Legend’ and there are numerous others.
Network Ten made a two-part television movie titled, ‘Brock’ in 2016 starring Matt Le Nevez as Brock and Ella Scott Lynch as Bev.
More recently there have been two documentaries about his life, King of the Mountain in 2014 and 2020’s ‘Brock: Over the Top’. The latter included interviews with the people closest to him throughout his life including Bev, Craig Lowndes, Dick Johnson and long-time PR man Tim Pemberton.
Some of his most famous sayings and autographs included positive phrases such as “Live your dreams” and “Enjoy life” but he’s also famous for the humorous line “Bite off more than you can chew, and chew like hell.”
Depending on who you talk to it was either a device that ‘transmits a high energy field’ that helps make a car perform better or a box of crystals that caused the most controversial split in the Australian automotive industry.
While you could write a whole chapter of a book on the Energy Polarizer incident (and people have), here’s the brief history. In the early 1980s Brock became involved with a chiropractor named Dr Eric Dowker, who not only helped him live a healthier lifestyle (Brock quit smoking and alcohol) but also got him interested in the power of crystals.
Brock believed in the crystals so much that he began to experiment with them in his race cars and eventually the high-performance road cars of his burgeoning Holden Dealer Team (HDT) operation.
Brock and Dowker claimed a car fitted with an Energy Polarizer would perform better, ride more smoothly and even run on lower octane fuel that it was rated for. They also claimed you had to lower the car’s tyre pressures significantly for the Polarizer to work at its best.
The issue came to a head with the launch of the 1987 HDT Director, the latest road car that would be sold by Holden dealers around the country, backed by a Holden warranty.
Unsurprisingly, General Motors wasn’t keen to financially support an object they didn’t understand and, as far as any empirical measurement could tell, provided no benefit.
Brock was told not to launch the car but did so anyway, resulting in the company splitting with him at the height of his racing career.
Ultimately the two sides reunited in 1994 with Brock joining the Holden Racing Team for the final four years of his primary career.
Too many to list here. Some of his most famous include the Austin A30 that he began his career in before he became a factory-backed Holden driver. During this period he raced some of the brand’s most famous models including the HK Monaro GTS 350, Torana XU-1, Torana L34, Torana A9X, Commodore VB and Commodore VL SS Group A.
After his split with Holden he raced a BMW M3 and Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 for three seasons before switching back to the Holden Commodore VN SS Group A.
He also competed in the short-lived Australian Super Touring Championship driving a Volvo 850 and then a Holden Vectra in the 1997 Bathurst 1000.
He also drove at the Le Mans 24-hours, first in 1976 in a BMW 3.0CSL and in 1984 he made an outright bid for victory in a Porsche 956.
After his primary career was over he drove a variety of cars in different categories including a Holden Monaro 427C in Nation’s Cup GT competition as well as Monaro CV8 and then the Daytona Coupe in tarmac rallies.
He won ‘The Great Race’ nine-times. His first victory came in 1972 when it was a 500-mile race (driving solo in a Holden Torana XU-1 GTR), but he won it as a 1000km event eight more times in 1975 (Holden Torana SL/R 5000 with Brain Sampson), ‘78 and ‘79 (in Holden Torana A9X with Jim Richards), ‘80 (in Holden Commodore VC with Jim Richards), ‘82, ‘83 and ‘84 (in Holden Commodores with Larry Perkins) and ‘87 (in a Holden Commodore VL SS Group A with Peter McLeod and David Parsons).
While he never won the 1000km race again after ‘87 he did capture a 10th Bathurst endurance race victory in the 2003 Bathurst 24-hour, sharing a Holden Monaro 427C with Greg Murphy, Jason Bright and Todd Kelly.
Three - in 1974, 1978 and 1980. He also finished runner-up in the championship five times, in 1973, ‘79, ‘81, ‘84 and ‘90.
He also won the 1970 Australian Rallycross Championship.
The good news is, while your money might be buying you a smaller car, it will...