The 1979 Australian Championship of Makes consisted of three events taking place at Sandown International Raceway, Adelaide International Raceway and the original Surfers Paradise road course. The initial schedule called for four race meets. But the final event at Oran Park was cancelled when it became evident that Australian Touring car stars such as Pete Brock, Allan Moffat, Allan Grice, John Harvey and Bob Morris would not compete.

The series consisted of three classes which were determined by engine displacement. Class A - 3001 to 6000 cc engines saw the Holden Torana and Ford Falcon competing for top honours. The Ford Capri and Mazda RX-3 were the most popular cars in Class B for cars with an engine displacement of 2001 to 3000 cc. The final class was for cars under 2-litres and included makes such as the Toyota Celica, Alfa Romeo Alfetta and Ford Escort. In the end, Holden Torana and Toyota Celica achieved the maximum points in the three events but because there were more Toranas scoring points they were awarded the title.

The images below are from that final round at Surfers Paradise. The Rothmans 300 was the last race of the track's Speedweek which ran from October 27 to November 4 and included Motorcycle and Drag Racing.

Qualifying second for the Rothmans 300 was Australian racing legend Dick Johnson in a Ford Falcon XC. Johnson was very competitive in the early going but his promising start ended when he suffered distributor problems. This resulted in damage to the engine, however, he was able to return to the race. Johnson retired in 1999 after a career which included three Bathurst 1000 wins.
The Torana A9X was Holden's performance model and although it used the same engine as the L34 optioned LH it had some special features such as rear disc brakes, heavy duty axles and a 10-bolt differential. This Holden Torana A9X was driven Joe Moore. Moore just missed making the podium when he finished fourth overall and in Class A.
This Ford Falcon XC was entered by John Donnelly and driven by John English. The XC model was produced by Ford Australia between 1976 and 1979. The Class A Fords used a 5.8L V8 while their competition at Holden used 5.0L engines.
Colin Bond drove the Thompson Ford Falcon. He finished second overall and a lap behind race winner Charlie O'Brien. Early in his career Bond competed in Hillcimbs and Rallying. He won several Australian championships before retiring in 1994. His involvement in the sport continued as a driving standards observer for the V8 Supercar series.
Peter Williamson and his Toyota Celica dominated the 1979 season for under 2-litre class cars. At Surfers Paradise, he qualified at 1:23.8 to take the pole. Despite a 1-minute penalty for a pit speed violation, he finished 1-lap ahead of his competition to take the class win. His performance in the previous rounds and that of his teammate Mick Quinn in a Corolla gave Toyota the championship.
Queenslander Charlie O'Brien in Torana won the final round of the Australian Championship of Makes at Surfers Paradise. O'Brien qualified on the pole and finished one lap ahead Colin Bond in a Ford Falcon with Barry Seton third. O'Brien's win is credited with giving Holden their sixth Australian Championship of Makes.
Unipart Australia entered a Torana A9X which was driven by Barry Seton. He was the third-fastest qualifier with a time of 1:18.5s - just a couple of tenths quicker than Colin Bond. At the start, Seton jumped out front but one lap later Charlie O'Brien took the lead and Dick Johnson relegated him to third the following lap. At the end of 300-kilometers, Seton was third behind O'Brien and Bond.
Warwick Henderson raced this Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV. He completed 80-laps which resulted in an overall finish of twenty-first and a seventh in the under 2-litre class. This was quite a contrast to his results at Adelaide where he finished third in class.
Phil McDonnell ran the Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV for Brian Foley. He finished ninth overall and second in Class C. He was unable to match the speed of the very quick Toyota Celica of series champion Peter Williamson.
The 3-litre class was won by Steve Masterton driving a Ford Capri. After a race long battle Peter Hopwood in the No. 45 Capri MKIIS finished second in Class B and eighth overall.

POS.DRIVERCARCLASSLAPS
1Charlie O'BrienHolden Torana A9XA95
2Colin BondFord Falcon A94
3Barry SetonHolden Torana A9XA93
4Joe MooreHolden Torana A9XA92
5Allan TaylorHolden Torana A9XA91
6Steve MastertonFord CapriB91
7Peter WilliamsonToyota CelicaC91
8Peter HopwoodFord CapriB90
9Phil McDonnellAlfa Romeo Alfetta GTVC90
10Murray CarterFord Falcon GTA90
11Barry JonesMazda RX-3B90
12Graeme BaileyToyota CelicaC89
13Cam WornerFord CapriB88
14Graham SmeltHolden Torana A9XA87
15Arthur HardwickMazda RX-3B86
16Ray GulsonAlfa Romeo Alfetta GTVC85
17Evan ThomasMazda RX-3B85
18Bob HoldenFord EscortC85
19Alf GrantAlfa Romeo Alfetta GTVC84
20Ron WanlessFord Falcon XCA81
21Warwick HendersonAlfa Romeo Alfetta GTVC80
22Alan BrowneHolden Torana A9XA79


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