Len LukeyPrint Page
A monument commemorates Len Lukey, who was a champion racing driver.
The museum he designed contains several of his racing cars.
Determined and fiercely competitive, Lukey was one of only a few drivers who attempted to complete the grueling twelve race 1959 Australian Drivers Championship (ADC) schedule, at the time the longest in the championship's history. Lukey finished just two points ahead of his season long rival, Sydney based Alec Mildren and in third was Stan Jones, father of 1980 Formula One World Champion Alan Jones. Mildren raced to three wins that season, Lukey, Jones and Bill Patterson each took two victories, with single wins going to Jack Brabham, Bib Stillwell and New Zealand racer Ross Jensen. Make no mistake, there was no margin for error with competitors of this calibre during that championship.
Lukey continued to race competitively throughout the 60's in a range of open wheelers and touring cars, all fitted with his own specially engineered high performance exhaust systems manufactured from his Melbourne factory. This constant motor racing test bed ensured that all Lukey high performance exhaust products were in a class of their own and Lukey Exhaust became the brand of choice for motoring enthusiasts and Australian automotive repairers.
Len Lukey's special link to Phillip Island would continue during and well beyond his successful motor racing career. The running of the 1962 Armstrong 500 saw extensive track damage take place on the Victorian circuit and the Phillip Island Auto Racing Club (PIARC) could not afford to make the necessary repairs. The track then sat idle for two years. In 1964, Lukey bought the circuit and its surrounding property for $40,000, which was a massive amount of money back in those days. This investment provided a new lease of life to the majestic seaside circuit and the first public race meeting was held on the re-opened circuit three years later in September 1967.
Lukey passed away in 1978 still owning the circuit and it was purchased from Lukey's estate in 1984 for $800,000. In the decades to follow the popular Victorian motor racing venue grew to become an international standard Grand Prix circuit and one of the most popular motorcycle, sportscar, open wheeler and V8 Supercar circuits on this side of the world.
A permanent link to Len Lukey's Phillip Island legacy is the daunting Lukey Heights corner (Turn 9) that marks the highest elevation of the spectacular 4.4 kilometre seaside circuit.
|Address:||Back Beach Road, Phillip Island Racing Circuit, Cowes, 3922|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -38.496722|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Sunday 27th July, 1980|
To the memory of the late Len Lukey who in 1972 designed and conducted these gardens and museum which were officially opened by the Premier the Hon. R. J. Hamer E.D., M.P. on the 27 of July 1980.