Look back in history Sunday: The autobiographical world of motorsport memorabilia

IF you are even slightly interested in motorsport then there’s a very real chance that scattered around your place of residence will be an array of themed memorabilia showcasing your passion. 

Whether it is a hat from their favorite Formula 1 team, an autographed poster of their childhood hero or an overpriced T-Shirt secured at their one racing trip they get each year, everyone’s collection of motorsport paraphernalia tells a story about their passion. 

I’m always hugely interested in what people have tucked away because I think it helps understand where their racing interests lie – and I like finding out about what area of our sport people love the most. 

My own collection, if you can call it that, tells a story about where I’ve been and despite the fact that it very much abides by the old adage of ‘Junk filling the available space’, I’m quite fond of it. 

For instance, sitting propped in my office is a bent and twisted wheel rim, complete with tyre, from a Formula 3 car. It was gifted to me from the driver, a friend of my families, after his unfortunate involvement in a massive crash at Oran Park in 2008 that will remain entrenched in my mind for all time. 

The battered rim and very flat tyre is a reminder that he was fortunate to walk away from that one. 

Next to it is the carbon fibre nose box of a Dallara F307 F3 car, which is probably one of my favorite bits of broken racing cars I own. 

I had a long and passionate involvement in Australian F3 racing and this particular token of my time was presented after another hefty crash – this time on the Gold Coast – where my souvenir in question was implanted into the gearbox of the car in front;resulting in both cars being driven into one of the Surfers Paradise circuit’s unforgiving walls. 

Suffice to say, the crash was large enough to render this $4500.00 piece of beautiful Carbon Fibre worthless in a second; the large hole in the front removing its ability to be repaired. 

Fortunately for me it provides not only an excellent talking point, but when turned upside down, the hole in the nose – certainly not designed by Dallara – proves a perfect place from which to drain the water for when I fill it with ice and use it as the most expensive, outrageous wine and beer cooler I’ve ever seen. 

Many people have model car collections and I’m no different. 

Pride of place are the 10 most recent winners of the Bathurst 12 Hour race, each winner from the GT3 era of Australia’s International Enduro. As well as being my favorite race, the 12-hour has formed a massive part of my own career and keeping each of the winners’ cars on display is a reminder of that. 

Next to them are my other model car collection comprised almost entirely of old IndyCars from the 1990s; the best era of open-wheel racing there’s ever been. 

Like I said, it’s a very specific collection to yours truly. 

Above that sits the first autograph I got from my racing hero, Peter Brock, when as a 10-year-old lad I wrote to my sporting idol requesting a signed print. Brock, of course, delivered and the photo of the 1995 Holden Racing Team Commodore and the script ‘Live your dreams..’ alongside Brock’s famous scribble has remained one of my most prized possessions ever since. 

Spread across my office is the book collection – I call it a ‘library’ but that’s probably giving it too much credit – which also tells a tail of what I’m about. There’s not much in the way of fiction here; driver biographies, team histories and rows and rows of motor racing yearbooks coloring up the wall. 

What else? Up in the shed is a door from a Team Dynamik V8 Supercar – the only team to be based in my home state of South Australia. 

Hanging from a shelf is a nosecone from an old Formula Ford, the first racing car which carried my logo, broken, battered but still sporting my faded old logo from years gone by. I think it’scurrently the home for some unused screws and bolts, plus a small family of probably dangerous spiders. 

Spread throughout the office and shed are nearly 20 years of lanyards and hardcards or credentials from hundreds and hundreds of events I’ve been more than fortunate to attend over the years. Of anything, they are probably the most autobiographical thing of them all – each one an instant reminder of the cars, the races, the work I was there for and the people we did it with. 

The ‘collection’, as it were, spreads beyond all that with cupboards filled with old magazines, racing programs and more. 

One day I should probably catalogue it all and think about rationalizing all the stuff I’ve got lying around. 

But in the meantime it’s a nice reminder in quiet times of the journey to get to this point. 

What have you got in your memorabilia collection? I’d love to know: Jump on our social media channels or send an email to the editor and let us know what pieces of your own racing history you’ve got stashed away..

Working full time in the motorsport industry since 2004, Richard has established himself within the group of Australia’s core motorsport broadcasters, covering the support card at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix for Channel 10, the Bathurst 12 Hour for Channel 7 and RadioLeMans plus Porsche Carrera Cup & Touring Car Masters for FOX Sports’ Supercars coverage. Works a PR bloke for several teams and categories, is an amateur motorsport photographer and owns five cars, most of them Holdens, of varying vintage and state of disrepair.


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