Mallala Motorsport Park, South Australia
Mossgreen Collectors’ Cars is proud to have been appointed to take the fine and inspiring Collection of The Late Clem Smith OAM to auction on 20th August 2017. The auction and preview will take place at the hallowed Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia. Clem Smith is remembered as a loyal and passionate sportsman and entrepreneur and he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to Motorsport in 2000. His endeavours were also recognised with the Australian Sports Medal.
Smith spent his lifetime dedicated to motor racing. He cut his teeth as a driver at the legendary Rowley Park Speedway before he started racing a Hudson Terraplane at Sellick’s Beach in the early 1950s. He competed in the 1954 Redex Round Australia trial in a Fiat 1100 with Reg Sparks and drove in the 1955 Australian Grand Prix at Port Wakefield in an Austin-Healey. Smith established a Chrysler dealership in Edwardstown, in 1948, trail blazed Valiants in competition and championed Sports Sedans. He achieved third place in the single-race Australian Touring Car Championship at Mallala in 1963 and is identified, among so many other achievements, for the heavily modified Chrysler Charger, now an iconic machine in Sports Sedan history. In recent years, this spectacular space frame, mid-mounted 500hp engine racing car has been used as the parade car for the annual Clem Smith Cup Sports Sedan race at Mallala. It proudly sits as a centrepiece of this collection which is housed at its spiritual home at Mallala Motorsport Park.
Formally called The Mallala Race Circuit, the track was built on the former RAAF Base Mallala in 1961 by a group of enthusiasts to replace the Port Wakefield Circuit. South Australia had been allocated the 1961 Australian Grand Prix and the opening meeting for the new circuit was held on 19 August 1961 and won by Bib Stillwell in a Cooper Climax. The circuit’s second meeting was the 1961 Australian Grand Prix with Lex Davison winning his fourth and last AGP driving a Cooper T51 Coventry Climax. Ever since, Mallala has served as South Australia's home of motor sport, hosting a round of the Australian Drivers' Championship up until 1971 when the motor racing venue was sold and forcibly shut down. However, Chrysler Australia, being one of Adelaide’s leading car manufacturers at the time, continued using the technically challenging track as their proving ground. Legendary factory backed Chrysler production car drivers, Leo and Pete Geoghegan, tested the Chrysler Charger at the circuit. Mallala was also the test track for the Adelaide-based Elfin Sports Cars owned by Garrie Cooper. Clem Smith purchased the circuit in 1977 and after a lengthy court battle to prohibit its use, resurrected it from the ashes. It was redeveloped and opened for motorcycle racing in 1980 and for car racing in 1982. It has been known as the Mallala Motor Sport Park ever since and has witnessed the full complement of Australia’s champions race for honors. The place just oozes Australian motorsport history from its inception and right throughout Clem’s excellent tenure.
With all his passion and knowledge, this doyen of South Australian motorsport has created a simply fascinating collection, from Australian built Chryslers, Fords, Ramblers, Dodge, Holden and his highly styled and revered Hudsons. From veterans to moderns, Clem Smith’s understanding of the car manufacturing industry is exhibited in this quality collection clearly demonstrating the threads and links in motoring innovation through the decades.
This collection of more than 30 cars stands proudly as a rolling collection having always been maintained and serviced over time which continues to the present day. Its sale will mark the end of an era and the start of a new one for Mallala as it changes hands to a new promotor. This auction is offering discerning enthusiasts the opportunity to acquire a collectible car, or cars, that will always retain an historical and intrinsic connection to this important South Australian figure, his machines and his circuit.