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The Pinepac Group A Mustang
("Abe's Babe")

 
 Bathurst 84, in the cutting, Don Smith at the wheel; Photo  Barry Seton.


Bathurst 1985. Dipper. Photo by Autopics.

 The car started out as one of two Mustangs bought to Australia by Don Smith, This car is known as "Abe's Babe" as there is a plate affixed to the dash which is still there today.

Barry Seton built up the car for him and Smith to race at Bathurst in the Group A class in 1984.

1984 Bathurst 1000

Group A and C. Car # 69 Nu-Truck Spares livery and driven by Don Smith/Barry Seton. The car finished 18th overall and 3rd in Group A. (Group A proper was to start the following year).

 

1985 Don Smith entered the ATCC only to be plagued by a string of DNF's
The ATCC rounds and results for 1985 that Don Smith did are as follows:
Round 1. Feb 10th, Winton. DNF. (engine)
Round 2. Feb 24th, Sandown. DNF.
Round 5 April 23rd, Adelaide. DNF.

  

THE PINEPAC DAYS

In 1985, Wayne and Bruce Anderson saw the introduction of Group A touring cars as the opportunity to go to Australia and race at Bathurst. With a leaning towards Fords, they chose to go with the only suitable car, a 5 litre Mustang.

The Anderson brothers bought the car in 1985 complete with another body shell, and shipped it over to their Pinepac premises in Auckland to prepare it for Bathurst in October that year.  They completely rebuilt the car, upgrading it to the 1st July 1985 homologation rule changes, these allowed larger brakes, upgraded suspension components, different engine specs including a roller cam and tubular extractors, the body was also upgraded to a 1985 GT. An engine from Dick Johnson's workshops in Brisbane was built before the car was shipped to Bathurst.

1985 BATHURST 1000.

(The 1st full Group A race at Bathurst) The Andersons arrived at Bathurst ready to go and did plenty of practice laps with the spare engine. However a vibration problem saw them change to the Johnson race unit early and they qualified 27th. They started well but a broken oil cooler line and a blown head gasket saw them in for repairs and the car eventually retired out on the track after 17 laps.

 
Bathurst 1985


1985 Henson and Hedges: Bay Park

1986 BATHURST 1000.

The car competed in the Pukekohe 500km race at the beginning of 1986 finishing 9th, it was rolled in practise before the Wellington 500km race so the sister car was run there (this had been built up by the Andersons from the spare originally brought from Smith). Both cars competed at the Surfers Paradise round or the ATCC prior to Bathurst. Abes Babe was driven by Bruce up to sixth before a timing chain let go. At Bathurst in October the car practiced well, eventually qualifying 39th. They again ran well in the race but after 81 laps the engine broke a timing chain and lost its oil.


1986 South Pacific Touring car championship Pukekohe


Rolled in practice for the Nissan Mobil Street race in Wellington when a suspension part failed.
The sister car was then used and driven by Bruce Anderson and Leo Leonard.

 
Benson and Hedges Manfield and Pukekohe.

 
ATCC, Surfers Paradise 1986


The Pinepac cars: Abes babe on left, Sister car built 1986, and Grp A XE Falcon

 
Bathurst 1986

1987

Although they didn't go to Bathurst they competed in the Wellington WTCC race that year qualifying 29th and finishing 14th. 


Nissan Mobil 1987, Wellington street race round, Drivers Anderson and Francevic. and Anderson/Robertson in sister car.


Nissan Mobil 1987, Pukekohe round, Drivers Anderson and Francevic.
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GROUP A MUSTANG SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 5.0L V8, 390HP, cast iron block & cylinder heads, roller cam and roller rockers, factory Aluminium inlet manifold, 4 barrel carb, tubular exhaust manifolds.

Gearbox: Getrag 262 close ratio

Suspension: Front = fabricated fully adjustable McPherson strut & lower wishbone, Rear = Rigid axle adjustable 4 link with coil over, Bilstein gas shocks, adjustable front and rear swaybars.

Brakes: 331mm front rotors, 291mm rear rotors with AP 4 pot callipers and adjustable pedal box.

Wheels, tyres: 16inch Simmonds 3 piece, 265/630 Dunlop racing slicks.

Fuel tank; 120litre foam filled tank, 2 x Holley fuel pumps.

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THE REBUILD

The car was located in Timaru NZ; it hadnít turned a wheel for probably 10 years and was in need of some TLC but was very complete and unmodified from its early Group A days.

   
 The car as it was purchased in May 2005.

It was shipped to Ken Hopper Race cars in Auckland (Ken was the Andersons race engineer in the 80s &90s) where the rebuild was started.

This was completed late 2006 when the car was given a brief test at Pukekohe raceway before being shipped to Australia

               
Stripped body, July  |    Bead blasted, Aug | Interior and exterior Painted, Sept 05           


  Reassembly progressing.

Mid Dec 05: Car has just completed a test at Pukekohe.

   
19 Feb 2006: Queensland Raceway testing
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RACING AGAIN !


March 2006: Eastern Creek: Historic Group A & C races: F
inished 3rd Group A.

   
May 06: Glen Seton in the car at Queensland Raceway.

At the Shannonís insurance Queensland Historic race meeting 5&6 August 06, Glenn Seton drove the PinePac Mustang to pole position then carried on to win race one and two with a second in race three after a close battle with Rod Marklands winning Nissan Skyline.

    
Queensland Historic race meeting 5&6 August 06

  
 Muscle Car Masters Eastern Creek Raceway 2nd and 3rd September.2006 : 1st in Group A and 2nd overall.

 

  May 2007: Philip Island Historic meeting. Pinepac 1 and 2 together for the first time in 17 years.
 Ross Donnelley debuted the sister car (referred to as the black car or Pinepac 2) having just completed a full restoration.
Abes Babe won the feature race after some close dices with the Group C Falcon of Frank Binding.