(AMC)

George Fury on Conrod Straight in his works Nissan Bluebird turbo during the September 1984 Bathurst 1000 weekend…

Touring Car Racing in Australia has always been tribal. From the sixties it was Holden vs Ford, later Holden vs Ford vs Chrysler/Valiant. Then there was the locally manufactured stuff vs foreign cars including ‘Rice Burners’, then a disparaging descriptor for anything from Japan. Its amusing now given Japanese dominance of our market but this kind of stuff aroused the passions as much as an afternoon at the footy, whatever your code (Aussie Rules, Rugby, Soccer).

Fury/Scott Bluebird thru The Dipper, chassis the third and last Bluebird built by Nissan Motorsport Oz. Z18T 1.8 litre SOHC, 2 valve, twin-plug 4 cylinder turbo engine giving circa 350 bhp. Car still exists (supercars)

 

Fury exits Murray’s on ‘that lap’. It was an extremely cold day- it snowed in Bathurst that morning, getting heat into the tyres during the Hardies Heroes 2 lap top 10 qualifying format was tough for all- cold conditions suited the turbo-Nissan whatever tricks were also pulled (autopics)

Whilst the first Japanese outright win didn’t occur until the Jim Richards/Mark Skaife 1991 victory aboard a Nissan R32 GT-R ‘Godzilla’ (what a car!?) Nissan certainly signalled their intent with Australian Rally Champion turned racer George Fury’s splendid pole in the 1.8 litre, turbo-charged four cylinder Bluebird sedan on the mountain in 1984. His 2:13.850 ‘Hardies Heroes’ qualifying lap in the last season of the Group C era (Australian adopted Group A from 1985 noting their was a Group A category in the 1984 1000) was not beaten until 1991 when Skaife’s 2:12.630 R32 GT-R time bested it.

The Bluebird’s first Australian Touring Car Championship round win was at Lakeside in June that 1984 season. Pole on the mountain was a magnificent achievement, albeit the car, co-driven by Queenslander Gary Scott lasted 146 of the 163 laps in the race won by the Brock/Perkins Holden VK Commodore, the third win on the trot for that combo.

Lap 1 into Hell Corner: Fury Nissan from Brock VK Holden Commodore, Johnson XE Ford Falcon, Allan Grice white/yellow VK Commodore with Richards BMW 635 CSI and Masterton’s XE Falcon putting the squeeze on Moffat’s Mazda RX7. First start, race restarted and Brock got the jump (supercars)

Early laps Skyline: Fury, Moffat, Brock, Richards, Masterton (supercars)

Still, in some folks minds they stole pole given Fred Gibson’s admission some twenty years after the event (FG drove for the team and was Nissan Team manager by 1986) ‘that the Bluebirds had an illegal turbo-boost adjuster on the dashboard, as well as having the engine bay’s fire extinguisher spraying super-cooled Halon at the cars intercooler increasing horsepower’. It was the first time since qualifying first counted for grid positions in 1967 that a V8 had not been on pole, and a V8 would not sit on pole again at Bathurst until 1993.

Bloody rice-burners. Mind you, other than the Japanese body-shell the car was built entirely in Australia…

Credits…

Supercars Australia, autopics.com.au, Australian Musclecar

Tailpiece: Front row before the off, Bathurst 1984…

(AMC)

 

Finito…

 

 

 

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