Foundation’s Edge – Motor Heritage in ASEAN

Written on 27 March 2023

By Eli Solomon

Hugh King’s emails usually arrive at dawn local time. That’s probably because he’s three hours ahead of the time zone I live in. Today’s email contained a synopsis of an article that appeared in the Australian Financial Review’s Life & Luxury section of the papers (, penned by Tony Davis. Tony’s dad is Pedr Davis OAM, renowned motor journalist and author of numerous books, two of which I have (Rear Vision: An Auto-Biography; and Sarich: The Man and His Engines). Tony’s article is well timed – this, after all, is F1 GP week at Albert Park in Melbourne.

If you are not a subscriber to the AFR’s online edition, or don’t have access to the printed edition, there’s a good chance Tony Davis’ article will slip into oblivion. Hugh, Chairman and driving force of the Australian Motor Heritage Foundation, kindly included the essence of the article in his email. Perhaps it’s because we both share a fondness for history, perhaps it’s because we were once (and still are) devotees of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy and the work of Hari Seldon.

Needless to say, I have been a follower of the AMHF’s development since my introduction to the Foundation during our painful lockdown. And, as a believer that our motoring/motor sports heritage should not be relegated to a mere footnote in history simply because it is not deemed “popular culture”, I have been pondering over this dilemma for years – and how we can possibly maintain a half-decent record of this history locally and regionally at the private level (rather than depending on a top down approach). The work of the AMHF resonates with my own interests in establishing a repository of material and while the AMHF’s present focus is on Australasian motor heritage, the overlap between Australia/NZ and South East Asian motoring and motor racing history cannot not be ignored. Which is why a recent invitation by Geoffrey Piggott, the AMHF’s Chief Operating Officer, to present to the volunteers of the AMHF at Sydney Motorsports Park made a lot of sense.

My presentation at the AMHF’s offices consisted of photos and film footage spanning over 80 years of South East Asian motor sports history.

Once more I digress… The point of this short piece is to highlight what and where the AMHF are going, and see if we can learn a thing or two from the efforts of our Australian friends. Sure, it’s not a commercial enterprise, and so will not rank in the scheme of things in my neck of the woods, where KPIs and ROIs dictate matters. Like the website and its content, our efforts offer different rewards (some say it’s just plain dumb!).

Here’s the PDF of Tony Davis’ article. If you can’t access this link, drop me an email @[email protected].


If you are interested in the work of the Australian Motor Heritage Foundation, check out this website:

Eli Solomon

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