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An Armchair ride by Norm. 1978
All you need are the cans and a telly.

All roads lead to Bathurst, they say, for the October weekend. Well, all roads have been leading to Bathurst for me, until last year that is. That's when the missus presented me with a new driver for the team which relegated me to the armchair.
Knowing that I'd have to wave the mates goodbye as they set off for the mountain I decided to do it in style . . . armchair style.

Mates, I tell you, watching from the 'comfort' of the home is more of a hassel than the old '74 race was when I stepped into a puddle and ended up floating halfway down mountain straight.
If big Wally hadn't had hold of the other end of the esky I reckon I would have ended up on the start finish line.
Still that's history. Now, where was I. Oh yeah. First thing you do if you're going to watch on telly is make sure the set is spot on. So you call the service bloke a few days before. Take a tip, Make it a few weeks before.
First, when the bloke came he found that my service policy was out of date. So I'm up for the whole bloody cost. Then he wanted to take the set away. . . 'something's wrong with the left hand blurter and the shurdlu is out of whack. Have to go to the factory.'
Christ. it cost me another $20 sling to talk him out of that. It was Friday afternoon ~ And you just can't watch on the old black and white.
Well the $20 - plus half a bottle of scotch (telly repair men don't drink good old beer anymore) - got the set fixed. The total bill? $150. Could have stayed at the Bathurst Motor Lodge for that much.
Anyway, the set was right. Next. me program. Up to the local newsagents . . . sold out. Three more didn't know what I was talking about and it was nice and late Friday night before I snaffled one round at the local garage. (Had to pay four bucks for it too. . . . . Scalpers everywhere)

Down the pub Saturday for the supplies. Two cartons of cans, flagon of white and some Tia Maria for the coffee. Got to do it in style for the armchair luxury.
Food? Heaps of that mate. The Cheese cooked me a chicken between getting bottles for the brat (sorry junior Jack B). Two big packets of chips and a load of sandwiches in the freezer.
Must admit though I felt I'm miss those cold pies they serve up on the mountain. And the hot dogs covered in dirt where Jacko drops 'em on the way back - always.
But this was going to be luxury.
Only trouble was I got to arguing with some Ford freaks down at the pub who still reckoned Moff was going to make it again.
Hell, they give me a pain. All they think of is Ford. Don't they know about the Toranas. Toranas forever mate. Well.. Before I had got through telling them just how good the Toranas were it was throw out time and I'd missed the special show on the qualifying times.
Woke up with a roaring head too.. which reminded me of Sunday morning on the Mountain.

But I had plenty of time to get things right for the broadcast. Chair in the right possie, ashtrays all round. . . chips in a bowl. . . the flagon open and the tins in the esky.
If you're going to watch on telly you can't be wasting time running out to the fridge every five minutes for a refill.
Then came the big moment. . . Turn the set on . . . Christ mate, I had all sorts of heart failure. All I could get was a misty picture. I near youknowwhat myself before Evan Green came on to tell us that there was some fog on the mountain.
Good old Evan, calm as ever. Said something about starting a bit late, but couldn't hear him over the coughing. When you swallow half a beer with a smoke still in your mouth it tastes rotten. I tell you. Seeing that near black screen did give me a shake.
So it was sit around and twiddle the knobs for a while until they said go.
Who did win the bloody start anyway? There were only a couple of minutes to go when the Cheese brought the brat down to see the start. Got to teach "em young you know.
First off he wanted my Torana flag. No way. No-one gets that flag off me. Pinched it off Don Holland when he was arguing with his wife back in 1970 after running outright third.
He used to be a good bloke that Holland, but I cut him off my list when he decided to drive a Capri.
Well the Cheese and me were still arguing about the flag and the brat was crying like mad and Evan Green was shouting there's a minute to go and my beer was empty. . .when the fuse blew.
THE BLOODY FUSE BLEW.
Still, it all turned out for the best. By the time I got to the circuit (only copped one ticket on the way too) Belgian Bertie had managed to get the Fords retired and Brockie was out in the lead. . . The boys were a bit surprised to see me and I had to chip in again for the beer but it was worth it.
By the way, if you're looking for me this year, I'm the bloke in Reid Park wheeling the pram with the brat waving the Torana flag. Have to get myself another one.

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