Clubs: Big Tickford Bathurst 2014
The T-Series Club salutes the muscle car Australia forgot...
Tickford T-Series Club: Big Tickford Bathurst
The Tickford T-Series Club of Australia meets biannually, with the 2014 edition held in Bathurst, NSW in February. The club is small but mightily passionate about their blue-blooded Lion-bruisers. Bathurst is as special for the AU as it is for any other Falcon, as it gallantly fought the Commodores in V8 Supercar competition.
The AU wasn't a supermodel start for a muscle car, but that didn't deter legends Glenn Seton and John Bowe from developing them. The T-Series Tickford Engineering cars were designed to take on HSV at their own game and it is their road-car rarity, along with the racetrack rivalry, that motivates this enthusiast club.
Whetting the appetite at the Bathurst Motor Inn, the T-Series folk got together for a cruise, taking their sprinted beasts along the twisty roads to Hill End, before a catered lunch at MacPhillamy Park.
From there they toured the National Motor Museum and ventured into the nearby Tarana for dinner, swapping anecdotes along the way.
The next day was given to a show ‘n’ shine at the Bathurst SuperCheap Auto, who awarded a range of trophies as the cars glistened in the sun. Kids, dads and many stickybeaks checked out these rare cars in town, the owners only too happy to share a yarn with the public.
From 1999 until 2001, the T1 and T2 series came with 5.0-litre Windsor V8s, the TS50 and TE50 gaining SVO alloy heads to spin 220kW and 435Nm through an ESS four-speed automatic with Xbox-style steering wheel-mounted buttons for shifting; a five-speed manuals was also available.
The T3 arrived in 2001 as a last hurrah before BA. The old 5.0-litre was replaced with a snorting 5.6-litre 'stroker' Windsor V8 for TE50, TS50 and the luxury TL50 model, giving owners 250kW and 500Nm to shred tyres. They came with big Brembo brakes, Koni shocks, 18-inch alloys and engulfing leather buckets. Options included those enormous rear wings, sunroofs and even GPS for TL50. AU drew tough love from the motoring press. Still does. But time's served them well. Hanging out with the T-Series Club, wide-eyed and smiling atop Mt Panorama at 6am, you realise what our motoring community is really about.
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