1968 Experts Trial

The Experts was held on 6 July

VRC  Round 4   –   1968 LCCA Experts Trial

Jeff Beaumont tells the story…

Bob Watson and Jim McAuliffe swept through a high class field to take out a muddy Experts Trial in their new HDT Holden HK V8 automatic. Brian Amey / Tony Wunderlich ( Peugeot 404 ) came second, followed by Bruce Wilkinson / Ian Inglis in the Datsun Rally Team 1600.

After twelve months of dust and drought, Victorian events were now being affected by rain and thick mud. The conditions reflected in the very high scores in this Experts event.

The assembly stage ran from Melbourne to Gembrook, where the competitive started. Crews then plunged into the Forest and emerged from the other end  at Bunyip North, with minimal points losses. Then it was down into the drain country south of Drouin and to the foothills at Coverlea, where fog and slushy roads hampered progress.

The runs down to Yarragon then back to the break at Moe South saw the Mini Coopers of Bob McInnes and Roger Bonhomme matching Bob Watson’s Holden for the lead, from the ex-works HR Holden of David Forster / Jeff Beaumont and Reg Lunn and Mike Osborne in the small 4 cylinder Torana.

Immediately after the break Bonhomme’s Cooper retired with the gearbox stuck firmly in gear, a pity after such a fine run.

During the second division Watson / McAuliffe were never headed, despite the challenging navigation, combined with heavy fog, particularly around 10 Mile Creek.

But the third Division started with the leaders missing a check point in the Moondarra Dam area. Whilst Watson scorched through the next few sections, they were next challenged by a slippery hill. Fitting a chain to one rear wheel, the big Holden managed to claw its way uphill, with the help of their rear Limited Slip Differential.

Andy Chapman put up an impressive and brave run from Neerim East to Black Sands via Gentle Annie, by being fastest in the heavy fog.

The last competitive ran to Yellingbo, then a transport to Lakeside Hillclimb, where a  couple of cars actually ran out of fuel on their run up the Hill.


1Bob WatsonJim McAuliffeHolden HK130
2Brian AmeyTony WunderlichPeugeot 404149
3Bruce WilkinsonIan InglisDatsun 1600195
4Andy ChapmanClark BallardHunter195
5Max JackmanIan JohnsonBellett205
6Brian WookeyRoss MiddletonHolden358