Peter Brock AM (1945–2006), a professional racing driver from 1972 to 1997, was Australia’s most popular motor sports personality. Brock built his first racing car, an Austin A30 with a Holden engine, in a chook shed in his parents’ back yard. He first raced at the Mount Panorama circuit in Bathurst in 1969. Usually driving Holdens, he went on to win the Bathurst Enduro race nine times, the Sandown Endurance race nine times and the Australian Touring Car Championship three times. In 1997 the ‘King of the Mountain’ became the oldest driver to win a round of the Touring Car Championship. After retiring, Brock continued to race miscellaneous vehicles while developing the philanthropic Peter Brock Foundation and working with GreenFleet, encouraging investment in forests. Dubbed ‘Peter Perfect’ for his superb appearance as much as for his driving record, the gregarious hero was widely mourned after he died in a rally accident in Western Australia in September 2006.
Julie Edgar (b. 1951) is a Melbourne artist. A motor sport enthusiast, she chose to sculpt Brock because she admired his achievements and his ‘ability to inspire people from all walks of life’. Brock insisted that Edgar should portray him as he appeared at the time of their one and only sitting. The artist broadly complied, but admits to ‘just a hint of idealisation’ in his classical features and burning gaze. She infused the sculpture with a ‘heroic aspect’, which she reinforced with the asymmetrical placement of the racing suit collar and the angle of the head.