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Rare race car abandoned by thieves after they struggled with manual transmission

Melbourne car thieves have met the ultimate Gen Z car protector – 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 went up in smoke when it was stolen from a home in Toorak sometime between Thursday night. Wednesday to Thursday morning this week.

However, the blatant theft was short-lived, with the thieves struggling to start the vehicle properly. The end result was a failed clutch and a dumped car a few streets away, much to the owner’s relief.

“I don’t think they know how to turn all the switches on 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 left in existence, it’s likely the theft was staged by an organized group – albeit one with no manual driving experience.

Victoria Police detectives are appealing for witnesses and asking anyone who saw the clumsy thieves trying to drive a manual race car to provide any information.

In the interim, the BT21’s owner hopes to get the car back so it can race again.

According to ABC, there are only 6 BT21s left in the world.

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