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MGCC - Rob Roy Hillclimb - History

PBR Brake Shoes - History  
The "PBR Brake shoes" were originally built for the Templestowe Hill Climb. They have now been restored and mounted over the start line at Rob Roy. This page documents their history:

Planning and Construction - 1957 to 1958

Charlie Lee was the planning engineer at PBR, and was assigned responsibility for planning, construction and erection under the direction of Jack Pearce, who was the General Manager of PBR, and later a director of REPCO.
The "Shoes" were constructed on the premises of PBR in East Boundary Road, East Bentleigh during late 1957 and early 1958.

The structure is:
  • approximately 32 feet high
  • weighs 3 tons
  • constructed from 6' x 4' sheets of plate steel welded toether and cut to shape.
  • the plate thickness varied from 1/16th to 3/32nd of an inch
The shoes were laid flat on the ground on site, and joined at their apex by a large steel pin. Two thirds of the way down the structure, where there is the horizontal joining "START" beam, another two pins connect the arch.

(click on image for larger view)

Transport and Erection - 1958

The shoes were transported to Templestowe on semi-trailers provided by K P Neal Cartage Contractors.
They were erected in time for the 27th Templestowe Hillclimb event on the 27th March 1958.

(click on image for larger view)

Final event at Templestowe - 1987

The MG Car Club ran the last CAMS sactioned event at Templestowe in December 1987.

Acquisition by the MG Car Club - 1989

With the property earmarked for an exclusive residential development, the shoes were standing idle. The club approached the owners with the view to acquiring them for future use at the possible resurrection of Rob Roy.
The owners were happy for the club to have them, "provided that they were removed at the club's expense on or before the 1st September, 1989, failing which we will retain them and dispose of the arch for any other person or corporation we see fit."

Restoration and re-erection - 2007 to 2009

The club did eventually take out a lease at Rob Roy in 1992, with the first meeting being held in February 1993.
With the limited finances available, the restoration of the shoes was not high on the list of priorities. Over the years, planning permission and building permits were slowly acquired. Many promises re sponsorships were sought, only to fail.
Since 2007, with pledges of support from many individuals, and then a generous grant from PBR, the restoration seriously got under way. The intention was to have the shoes erected in 2008, being their 50th anniversary and also that of the club. Unfortunately this was not to be. All work has now been undertaken by volunteers, and projects like these take time.
The actual re-erection date was Wednesday 18th November 2009.
The important thing is that an iconic piece of Australian Motor Sport has been saved in a living motor-sport venue.


Photo Galleries

Coming soon! Browse complete photo galleries of the shoe construction, restoration and re-erection..
  1. Construction at PBR, and In place at Templestowe
  2. Shoe restoration
  3. Concrete plinth construction
  4. Erection