First it was the Hardie-Ferodo 500, then the James Hardie 1000 ( I'm know that sometimes there were other sponsors, however I can't remember those titles in the name of the races).
The Hardie-Ferodo 500 was a great race because any of the cars could be bought by Joe Ordinary and driven on the road.
The Armstrong 500, which became the Hardie Ferodo 500/1000 and later the Bathurst 1000, was first held on 20 November 1960 at Phillip Island in Victoria over 500-mile (800 km) to determine which car had the best combination of speed, performance and reliability. It was also a tool for Armstrong to promote its products such as shock absorbers. Entry was limited to standard, unmodified production saloons built or assembled in Australia. The race was won by Frank Coad and John Roxburgh in a Vauxhall Cresta, the only Vauxhall in a field of 45 cars.What I loved about the race was the competition, yes, there were different categories for cars in the race, but that's what made it so interesting. I could watch every type of car from Minis to the larger cars made by Holden and Ford, and it was exciting because of the competition within the categories and also between the categories.
In 1986 I was at Bathurst for the race. It was fantastic, the atmosphere was brilliant and I had a great weekend with friends.
These days I don't bother much with the Bathurst race. Since it's become a two-horse race between Holden and Ford it's just not that interesting any more. Times have changed and drivers still need to have their skills, but these days the cars are made for the race and I just don't find it as riveting as it was before all the specialisation of the cars.
I think F1 is suffering from a similar ague.