After buying a new PC i was going through some old hard drives and found a heap of content from before I was contributing to Speed Nation. This is one of the most exciting shoots i had ever been on. We get to shoot and get up close and personal with some of the biggest and best cars, drivers and race teams in the world. But having so much history in one place makes is what makes this day so special, Bowdens is the largest personal collection of famous racing and sports machinery.
A couple of times a year Dan and his Dad open their shed to a lucky few hundred customers of their Bowdens own car care business. This gives them a golden ticket in a willy wonker type draw to be one of the few let into this exclusive world tucked away in the bush on Queensland Sunshine coast. I must admit i was nervous driving the two hours north i end up arriving over a hour early and was raring at the bit to be let loose inside.
After a quick chat and some house keeping about what i was and wasn’t aloud to take photos of the roller door was being lifted on what is a time capsule of my childhood. I have been a massive fan and grew up watching Brock and Johnson battling it out and swapping blows on the couch and attending the local rounds at lakeside and the streets of the Gold Coast. As we started to walk through Dan becomes almost super human and starts talking about each and every car with stats, dates and a unquestionable knowledge that just really blew me away.
On each open day, Dan brings a special guest for the second part of the day. On this particular day it was Colin Bond. Shortly after lunch our ears were left ringing by the rumbling Cleveland of Colin Bonds 1977 XC hardtop Falcon coming down the driveway. This car is synonymous with Ford lovers and took part in what is probably the greatest moment in Bathurst history. The 1-2 finish with Allan Moffat and finishing a lap ahead of the 3rd placed Torana. It drove the 100 or so metres down and turned into the shed where the rumbling was interrupted by three or four solid revs. A few seconds later Colin himself jumped out of the drivers seat with a grin from ear to ear.
Colin was swamped by the crowd signing everything and anything fans had brought along. Posing for photo after photo for about half and hour. Then it was time to take a trip down memory lane as Colin took the mic and began talking about the “good old days” . As the day wrapped up and the crowd dwindled i hung around to give Dan a idea of what i had shot on the day. I was then placed in a surreal moment when Dan and Colin asked for a hand to push the XC forward to make room for some other cars. I remember looking over at Colin and he sad “You know i reckon this is the first time ive ever pushed this old girl” being a motorsport photographer has its perks but to share a moment like that with a legend of the Australian Touring car racing is a moment il cherish.
As i drove away later in the afternoon i found myself humbled by the work Dan and his Dad do. Its been a struggle to keep these cars and their history in tact and in Australia. Alot of these cars would have been auctioned and sold to overseas buyers and disappear along with their history. Dan’s passion is alive and well and i have faith that as long as his heart is ticking these cars and countless others that will pop up in auctions and sheds around Australia will remain here for the up and coming generations to enjoy. To have a chance to attend Bowdens or help fund keeping these cars and others like it in Australia you can find everything you need to know here : http://www.bowdensown.com.au/