Re-Car founder, visionary behind Mad Max vehicles remembered

Terry O’Hare, founder of the Re-Car Group, among his multiple business and sporting interests, has passed away peacefully aged 87.

O’Hare immigrated to Australia from his native London aged just 18 and after a number of odd jobs and a stint in the National Service, used his training as a cabinet maker to build a wooden car body on an old Ford chassis which he was able to sell at a profit before it was even finished.

That initial vehicle was put together in his mother’s back yard in St Alban’s and led O’Hare to establish his business Re-Car, named after reincarnation, which ultimately became one of Australia’s largest truck repairers employing some 250 people and utilised innovative production-line techniques to significantly shorten repair times.

Terry O’Hare, along with his son Stephen, built ‘Waltzing Matilda’, a jet powered Ford Louisville which achieved the World Truck Speed Record over a flying mile at 176.2 miles per hour (276.9 km/h) with champion drag racer Larry Ormsby at the controls in 1979.

O’Hare and Re-Car also built many of the unique vehicles used in the original Mad Max movie.

Terry also became a successful property developer with projects as diverse as Whitsunday Airport at Airlie Beach in Queensland and Truck City at Campbellfield in Melbourne.

His passion for sailing had him involved as logistics manager for Australia’s successful America’s Cup challenge in 1983.

Other business interests included the Anchorage Restaurant and Marina at Williamstown, the Citylink Property Group and Sea Air Pacific.

Terry O’Hare was inducted into the Australian Road Transport Hall of Fame in 2017.

“My father was a true entrepreneur, an innovator and a very proud Australian, who loved a challenge,” said son Stephen O’Hare.

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