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Brock driving suit offered in mass clear out

Perfect memorabilia: Holden dealers will get first crack at pieces of memorabilia such as this Peter Brock Holden Commodore door and driving suit being offered in a clear-out by John Crennan.

50 years of memorabilia goes up for sale as John Crennan clears his HSV clutter

19 Mar 2014

A HOLDEN Racing Team driving suit worn by Peter Brock is among 250 items of memorabilia being put up for sale in 50 lots by former Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) managing director and chairman John Crennan after 50 years in the auto industry.

The items – many of which were once displayed in the HSV museum at its Clayton factory in Victoria – are being offered exclusively to Holden and HSV dealers, but might become available to the general public if not taken up in the initial offer.

Mr Crennan has promised that 50 per cent of the proceeds of the sale will go towards a road safety and driver training program for 17-21 year olds and the production of a road safety educational video.

He hopes to kick off the training scheme later this year in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, turning out young road safety ambassadors to spread the good-driving message.

Mr Crennan, who founded HSV and HRT with Tom Walkinshaw after Peter Brock’s bust-up with Holden in 1987, is an inveterate accumulator of documents, posters, merchandise, models and almost everything else that came over his desk in his 50 years in the motor industry that started at Holden and now continues at Nissan Motorsport where he is CEO of the Nissan Altima V8 Supercar operation owned by John and Margaret Kelly.

Most of the items for sale relate to HSV’s motor racing activities via its championship-winning HRT and HSV Dealer Team V8 Supercar outfits, which Mr Crennan managed on behalf of Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) and, later, Walkinshaw Racing.

These items include the last driving suit worn by Tom Walkinshaw – for the SV Racing team in 1988, the year the Scot took over Holden’s special vehicles operations – and an HRT driving suit worn by Craig Lowndes before he left the team in acrimonious circumstances to join Ford at Gibson Motor Sport in 2001.

The most expensive item listed for sale is the Peter Brock HRT driving suit from 1995, emblazoned with the touring car racing legend’s autograph and Brock’s “live your dreams” mantra. Mr Crennan is asking $8500 for the suit, which dates from the period when Brock returned to the Holden fold.

If that is too much, perhaps a pair of jackets from Brock’s Holden Dealer Team for $750 might be more appealing.

One of the most in-demand items might be a door from one of Brock’s famous Group A 05 Holden Commodores – complete with racing scars – for $1250. This almost certainly will end up gracing the wall of a Holden dealership.

The memorabilia has been gathering dust in storage since Mr Crennan retired from HSV in 2007. Now, he has decided to have a clean out, giving the task to son Jonny to co-ordinate.

Mr Crennan said he was “over” the collection, which he said was just gathering dust and potentially deteriorating in storage.

He said he was offering the memorabilia first to Holden and HSV dealers because he thought they would appreciate the heritage and be able to make good use of the items, perhaps in their showrooms where the public could enjoy them.

However, the 250 items – ranging from pieces valued at thousands of dollars to General Motors-Holden manuals – are just part of the 1500 items that Mr Crennan estimates he has in storage.

A further 500 pieces in 50 lots will be put up for sale later this year, timed to coincide with the annual Bathurst 1000 in October.

Many of the pieces went to Mr Crennan in a deal with Mr Walkinshaw in 2003 when Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) went into liquidation, forcing the sale of HRT, first to Holden and then driver Mark Skaife.

But not all items will be offered for sale by Mr Crennan, who said he would not part with some personal pieces given to him by various people over the years.

One item that Mr Crennan has – a draft manuscript for a tell-all book on Holden and HSV from his perspective – is not for sale … yet.

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