Peter Brock’s Blog

Peter Brock

Peter Brock has become a blogger!  Sometimes referred to as the Energizer Bunny, Brock continues to delight us with his designs, insights and stories.

Now you don’t have to go to an event to ask Brock a question. He will answer your questions online on his blog, which will also make the answers available for all to see.  You may want to ask questions about a project or vehicle Brock has worked on, a person he may have worked with, a design, his photography career or a question on current automotive happenings on which you would like his opinion.

Brock may not be able to get to all questions but he’ll try. Brock’s answers may be in various formats such as a text response or as video. Often Brock will have something in his archives or in the shop he will share.

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The Race - Trans Am 1971
Click for entire Autoweek Nov 6, 1971 article It amazes me how this race still sets off people’s passions. No one would probably even remember it today if it weren’t for those hard-core Alfa fans who mistakenly insist the cheating Alfa was robbed of the championship.  More than 10 years ago, after a Trans-Am panel discussion at the Petersen Museum, we sent out a newsletter that mentioned how the driver of the cheater Alfa admitted
laguna seca
Nurburgring The length, difficulty to learn, numerous turns, elevation changes, location in the woods of Germany, amazing history.  Gayle and I went there last year for the first time in almost 20 years. We couldn’t believe how built up it is now. It used to be a place in the middle of nowhere with one hotel.  Now there are many hotel choices, restaurants, shops, etc. In addition to the great track experience it is now
Bob Bondurant and Peter Brock
I was thrilled of course but by the end of the ’64 season the Coupe was already well-proven. What I felt most about the’65 Championship was elation for driver Bob Bondurant. He went to the mat with the Coupes in Europe. Alan Mann, team owner and manager for the Cobra team in ’65 in Europe, was rough on Bob. He made it clear to Bob his English drivers were to win over him. Bob employed
DeTomaso Award for P72
I’ve been lucky to have been invited to some great under-the-radar museums. Here are some of my favorites: •  The Chaparral Gallery in the Petroleum Museum in Midland, TX. Jim Hall’s collection of Chaparral’s is fascinating. Here you can see and compare how rare innovation and brilliance changed our sport forever. The oil field displays are pretty impressive too. This is where implausible inventions were created because no one had ever done what these wildcatin’
First, let me say that Baja racing is my favorite form of automotive competition. Baja racing culture is about life, speed, the beauty of the land and enjoying everything to its fullest extent. The fact that the rules are fairly free, with minimum oversight allows lots of innovation for the competitors. As for ourselves… with no fences, an open road and no self-inflated officials blowing whistles, screaming or telling you where you can’t stand means

6 thoughts on “Q: Recently a video of “Against All Odds”, the brief documentary on the BRE Datsun team in ’71-’72, was posted online. Some of the responses people posted reminded me of the controversy that keeps coming up about your BRE team winning the ’71 season-ending Trans-Am race at Laguna. The “winning” Alfa was disqualified in a post-race inspection with an illegal oversize fuel tank. What are your thoughts on this race; what happened and why do you think this story never dies down?”

  1. So nice to hear from so many nice people on PL510. As a then-young foreign student from Japan, I arrived in Seattle, WA in July of 1972. Immediately, I got interested in cars. But, it took me for a few years to get to know about BRE. My family in Japan had a brand new 1969 P510 SSS, and I wanted a used PL510 for my daily transportation.

    But, I got myself a used 67′ RL411 instead, because 510s are still quite expensive for me – a poor foreign student. Then, while I was in UW, I found a book titled “How to Make A Datsun Handle” or to that effect. That book taught me lots of things about cars, but also taught me English as well.

    Fast forward, in 1980, I found a nice inexpensive 1970 PL510 Four-Door. Then, I transformed it into a BRE copy, eventually with L20B, 5-Spd, Twin Mikuni Solex 44, Bored-Out Intakes, 240Z Water Pump, Lightened 240Z Flywheel, HD Clutch Pressure Plate, Racer Brown Cam kit, Front & Rear Sway Bars, Japanese SSS Instrument Panel, Electronic Ignition & Distributor from a newer Datsun. It was fun. Sadly, I had to let it go in 1992 when I returned to Japan.

    Again fast forward, in summer of 2014, I started working at Global Headquarters (GHQ) of Nissan Motor in Yokohama, Japan. It is a big disappointment that Nissan today doesn’t offer anything similar to the legendary 510. Sure, they revived the DATSUN brand, but the mark is used for cheap, boring, uninspiring econo-box cars for Asian and Indian markets. A very sad thing is that almost nobody really knows about the BRE achievement and story at Nissan GHQ. How about putting some exhibitions at their Nissan Gallery at the first floor of Nissan GHQ?

    1. Hello Shin….So nice to hear from you! You have some great history with Nissan racers. If you read “How to Hot Rod your Datsun” you’ve seen all the cool BRE parts and special way we built our cars. Nissan has in fact recognized what we did 50 years ago with the new special edition 370Z. I don’t know if these cars got much coverage in Japan but they were well promoted here in America. I was disappointed though that the Nissan IDX concept never made it to production. That car would really sell well anywhere in the world. I hope Nissan reconsiders it for the future. There is a big following for BRE in America. Many many BRE replicas are racing here and in Australia and Europe. The Nissan USA office keeps our 46 BRE 510 for permanent display. Kind regards, Peter Brock

  2. I met Mr. Morton on the grid when he was driving the BF Goodrich 962 at Road Atlanta. I walked up and introduced myself as a “510 guy” and told him how much he inspired me as a racer. Mr. Morton’s response: “That was a really fun car to drive”. Priceless coming from a fellow that was about to strap into a 962. Fond memory,

  3. A great story. I never doubted Alfa cheated and lost accordingly.

    As a lifelong fan of the BRE Team, John Morton and Peter Brock, I may be a bit biased.

    At a car show in LA, I ran into an Alfa guy. My Argentinian buddy noticed he had an Argentine flag on his Alfa and we started talking. Out of the blue he tells us this crazy, but plausible story about how Alfa was so hot to win the Manufacturer’s Championship, that they created a slightly oversized fuel cell box that they then packed with dry ice. When the fuel was added, the cooling contracted the fuel load and allowed extra gas to occupy the tank. As we now know, their ruse was discovered.

    Point is, this was a true-blue Alfa guy! But he didn’t think the Alfa Team’s action was right, and he was still talking about it 45+ years later.

    I met John Morton at a Vintage Race event; he kindly spent time with me gassing about the old days, a very fine fellow!
    The same weekend, I got to meet Peter and Gayle Brock, two very excellent people.

    The cars are the stars, but the people who make them go are the real story!

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