The History of the Bathurst 1000

As one of Australia’s premier motorsport events, the Bathurst 1000 brings thousands of local and international revheads to the legendary Mount Panorama every year. With some of the best and most celebrated drivers making their way to the Mountain to take part in this globally celebrated race, it’s come a long way from its humble beginnings – and its original location.

At Airport Metals we love all things motorsports, so buckle up for the history of the Bathurst 1000.

The early days

Amazingly, the Bathurst 1000 wasn’t originally held in Bathurst; if you were participating in the very first race in November 1960, you’d be making your way to the starting line in Phillip Island! Originally known as the Armstrong 500, the race was proudly advertised as ‘the world’s premier production saloon car race’. The prize money up for grabs was around £11,000.

Arriving at Bathurst

The move to Bathurst occurred in 1963, but the race was still known as the Armstrong 500 for many years to come. It was rapidly becoming one of the biggest events on the Australian motorsport calendar, and manufacturers were swift to climb aboard the popularity of this race. However, having been entering standard cars since its inception, this period signaled the beginning of race-modified cars.

A global attraction

Looking at the lineup of races in the late 1960s reveals the influx of foreign-made car manufacturers taking their place on the starting line. Brands like Audio, Fiat, and even Datsuns were a strong presence on the track. During this time the race underwent its first name change and became the Gallaher 500; however, this didn’t last long and soon was renamed the Hardie-Ferodo 500. Regardless of the name change, motorsports fans continued to flock to the track year after year.

Bathurst in 2020

Today, the race at Bathurst is still one of Australia’s most popular and talked about motorsports events. Currently named the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, many enthusiasts consider the annual trip to the Mountain a religious experience – a pilgrimage where they get to see their heroes battle it out for supremacy and glory in a race that the world watches.

At Airport Metals, we’re huge supporters of the Australian motorsport industry,having worked with many manufacturers over the year providing high quality materials that go into building elite race cars. Learn more about our relationship with the motorsport industry by chatting to our team today.