UPDATE Jan 8, 2014: We are pleased to report that the Rennmax has been found, parked - remarkably - on the side of the road in Belgrave South, Victoria. We understand the vehicle was unharmed.
Thieves yesterday broke into the workshop of local historic race driver and design engineer, Jay Bondini, and made off with a part of Australian motorsport history - Jay's immaculate Repco-engined Rennmax.
In what was clearly an organised heist, Jay's car and trailer were stolen in the early hours of Sunday morning. The racecar and trailer had been stored wedged between two cars. It didn't stop the thieves who dragged the trailer sideways to extricate it.
Unfortunately, because of the provenance of the car - it's very rare and also very well-known (both in Australia and overseas) - police fear that there may be little chance of getting it back intact.
If it shows up on a racetrack anywhere in the world it will be readily and quickly identified. So what were these thieves thinking?
The trailer is registered T39795. If an alert TMR reader happens to spot either car or trailer - both are very distinctive - please report any sighting to the police (Crime Stoppers number below).
Australia has few enough indigenous race cars, we can't afford to lose any.
This Rennmax, constructed by Rennmax Engineering in Sydney in the late 60's, was the first of only four 'sports cars' built by Bob Britton, and the only one in the world fitted with a Repco engine.
It was rear-ended in only its second outing and was rebuilt with the Repco engine (number RB740 E16C) out of Leo Geoghegan's Lotus 39.
The same engine had previously seen service behind the great Sir Jack Brabham in 1967.
This Rennmax has a long racing history in Australian motorsport, remaining in the racing Gibson family's hands from 1975 to 2011.
Jay Bondini supervised a 12 month rebuild after purchasing it in 2011. It is too important to be lost.
To report a sighting of either car or trailer:
Call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.