Car thieves in Melbourne met the ultimate Gen Z car protection device – a manual transmission – after briefly stealing an ultra rare Brabham BT21 race car from a home in the Melbourne suburb of Toorak.
The stolen race car was set to compete at the Phillip Island Classic this weekend, but those dreams were dashed when it was stolen from a home in Toorak between Wednesday night and Thursday morning this week.
The brazen theft was only short lived though, with the thieves struggling to properly switch the vehicle on. The end result was a broken clutch and the vehicle being dumped a few streets away, much to the relief of the owner.
“I don’t think they knew how to turn on all the switches to be able to start it properly,” owner Peter Williams told ABC Radio Melbourne on Friday morning.
With only a handful of Brabham BT21 race cars still in existence, it’s likely this theft was orchestrated by an organised group – albeit one without manual driving experience.
Victoria Police detectives are appealing for witnesses and are asking anybody that saw bumbling thieves trying to drive a manual race car to get in touch with any information.
In the interim, the BT21’s owner is hoping to get the car back in order so it can get racing once again.
According to the ABC, there are only six BT21s left in the world.