Ten-year wait for HRG to return to family fold

| 13 Nov 2010

While based at Westhampnett airfield on the Goodwood estate during WW2, Australian pilot FAO 'Tony' Gaze bought HXR 519, the first HRG Aerodynamic sold to the public.A year later he took it back to Australia with him. "Tony raced the HRG successfully in Australia, but concluded that it was over-bodied and needed more cooling. He asked the Head Brothers in Victoria to build a lightweight two-seater body with open wheels," said HRG historian Ian Dussek.Gaze imported 10 HRG chassis; one bodied as a copy of his racer and the rest were variations on the theme. One was fitted with the old Aerodynamic body.He sold his HRG in 1949 and by 1953 it was bought by Eric Senior, who raced it until 1957 then stored it. In 1968 it was owned by Athan Pangus.Fast forward to 1992, and current owner Jeff Senior's mother was walking through a Sydney suburb when she saw a wheel poking out of a pile of rubbish in a workshop. She recognised it as her husband's old HRG.Jeff tried to persuade Pangus to sell, but to no avail so he left his phone number.Ten years later he got the call, and now he's restoring the car."Apart from a few dents and paint drips, the HRG is as it left the track in 1957," said Jeff. "It has done 4679 miles and there was dirt in the chassis rails from the last race at Mount Druitt. It has the original paint - Dad had a can in his shed!"Unusually for an Australian HRG, the car still has a Singer engine: most were modified to stay competitive and many failed.