Bathurst & Gallaher Programmes - A guide to buying

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Updated 20-11-2006
This guide is designed for the new colector who has decided to start collecting programmes for that most famous of Australian Touring Car races - Bathurst. It has had the venue changes over the early years (Phillip Island) and many name changes over the more recent years (James Hardie, Tooheys, AMP...). It is fairly simple and I have tried to be definative so as such it is not aimed at those of you already passionate about our 'Great Race'. So here goes;

When searching for a program, make sure you know exactly what is on the front cover. You can do this by using Google or a collectors site to verify the actual publication. Some Bathurst touring car rounds were held at the circuit in the late 90's and these were generally early in the year in about March. These programs are not worth nearly as much nor are they as collectable, unless the right buyer is found. I have provided some dates and covers at the end of this guide to provide some assistance. Make sure the cover isn't too creased, though with some of these magazines they can be quite old so don't expect pristine covers.

The date for the Bathurst round is always in very late September or October, usually in the first two weeks. In the V8Supercar/2 Litre war of the late 90's the date shifted from the original date to a later date. Beware that you are not buying the program for the 2 Litre races, these are again not as collectable.

It is reccomended that you read the sellers description carefully, as some people like to write in their programmes and this can devalue the product. Another thing to watch out for is a mention of pages missing or cutouts which can render the program useless - you will have to make a decision on the value on a case by case basis. Remember, a serious collector always wants immaculate copies and is usually prepared to pay top dollar for them.

Before jumping in and buying the first program you find, be warned as the prices skyrocket for the older programs. Expect to pay well over $500 for a copy in reasonable condition from the 60's. Prices are a bit lower for seventies editions so expect to pay between $300 for a 1970 to about $50-$60 for a 1979 program. There are a few years that are hard to get hold of and these are 79, 80, 82  and of course 75 and earlier. Since the passing of Peter Brock (RIP) the prices for some editions have gone through the roof  - most noteably for the 97 issue which I have seen to be fetching $25 and above and the new 06 edition (with a Brock memorial feature) that is fetching $15 and above. I expect that prices will return to a more sensible level shortly.
I am not going to tell you how much to pay for any of these as I will probably be bidding against you!! More recent editions are more widely available and therefore not as expensive - maybe a good place to start off.
I would also reccomend that you steer clear of the fixed prices auctions unless you are after a particular year and have to have it. I have found the fixed auctions to be, usually, 50% higher at best and those same programs can usually be found, with some patience, within a month or so. There are always new programs being auctioned all the time.

I have found the easiest way to find the programs is to use the search function in Ebay and type in one of the following search words;
These keywords usually cover all headings people can come up with including missplelling of names.

A reasonable rate for postage within Australia is between $3-6.50 for a program including packaging. Anything above that and you should start asking questions as to why it has cost so much.

As promised, here are rough descriptions of a few covers to start you off on collecting the right programs;

30/091973   Brock Torana on predominantly orange cover       
06/101974   Red Chesterfield XB with Bathurst in rock behind
1975            Red with yellow writing and a Torana on the cover
03/10/1976  Craven Mild Torana with blue mountain behind and Bathurst in red lettering
01/10/1978   B&W drawn pic of many cars on grid (from above)
1979             Red and white background with Craven Mild Torana
05/10/1980   Brock drawn head and Marlboro Commodore
04/10/1981   Green Toyota w/National sponsorship
03/10/1982   Predominantly Orange with Maxda RX7 rounding Murrays corner
02/10/1983   Red helmet with start photo in place of visor
30/09/1984   Rear of Greens Tuf XE Falcon crossing start
06/10/1985   In car w/Brock chasing Jaguar (drawn)
05/10/1986   Black JPS BMW with Brock, Johnson and Volvo chasing
04/10/1987   Yellow cover. Drawn starting grid with Jaguar and Chickadee Commodore fighting for first corner
02/10/1988   Some of the winners and cars from the past years. Drawn on black cover
01/10/1989   'Who will be Top Gun' - 6 drivers standing under exhaust pipes - blue background.
1990             Blue cover with Dick Johnson sitting in a fighter plane cockpit. Called Bathurst "The Magazine"
1991             HRT VP Commodore and Skyline. Predominantly red and yellow in colour
1992             Winfield Nissan Skyline GTR in front with other cars behind. Predominantly red in colour and also advertising 30 years of Bathurst
03/10/1993   Brock (Mobil) VP and Seton (PJ) EB chased by pack (V8's back)
02/10/1994   Castrol VP chased by pack. V8 in rock behind
01/10/1995   Johnson (Shell) EF Falcon predominant on black cover
06/10/1996   Perkins (Castrol) VR Commodore and his head
19/10/1997   Brock's Bathurst Farewell - Car and head
1998             Larry Perkins Castrol VT Commodore photo
14/11/1999   Pirtek AU Falcon & Johnson's last Bathurst
07/10/2001   Lowndes 00 AU Falcon followed by Skaife 1 VT Commodore. Blue background
2002             40 year Feud, Holden Vs Ford
2003             Ambrose Pirtek BA Falcon
2004             Kmart Murphy VU Commodore
2006             Skaife VU Commodore predom. blue background.      
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