Motor Racing Legend indeed

Australia has long enjoyed a love affair with the motor car. The large land mass, coupled with a larrakin spirit (and some would say too much time on our hands) has meant the development of cars and their connection to our soul has embedded them within our psyche. Producer/Dircetor Paul Clarke & his collaborators from previous documentary series Bombora: The Story of Australian Surfing and Long Way To The Top now offer an insight into what connected us as a nation with the car in the new series Wide Open Road.

The 3 episode series makes great use of archival footage, with some tongue in cheek re-enactments, and many to-camera interviews with Australians that led the way in our motoring history, normal people doing amazing things with cars, and many famous faces and their history with cars (including the wonderful revelation by comedian Jean Kittson that she grew up with oil under her fingernails).

Cars have always played an important role in our society – as a status symbol reflecting who you were or what you did; as means to explore the wide brown land; and even in immigration during the 50’s & 60’s where at least one car manufacturer set up a booth at the docks to sign new Australians up to work in their factory. The competitive nature of cars & ownership reflecting the tribe you held to further embedded cars as an important part of Australian history.

Guests through the series include Paul Keating, Warren Brown, Steve Bedwell, Jean Kittson, Tim Ross, Sir Jack Brabham, Wendy Harmer, Steve Bisley, Vince Sorrenti and more. It’s a joy to hear their recollections and the role cars have played in their life. The series delivers a great insight to our motoring history as much as it reminds us of how important the car is to all of us… no matter how much out of vogue it may be at the moment.

Wide Open Road – Sun 7:30pm, ABC1.