Bathurst pri­va­teers

Australian Muscle Car - - Top 25 : Bathurst Privateers -

AMC’s presents the best – and best re­mem­bered – pri­va­teers to have tack­led the Bathurst 1000.

His­tor­i­cally, a pri­va­teer was a pri­vately-owned ship or sea­man of­fi­cially sanc­tioned to at­tack en­emy ves­sels and take posses­sion of their cargo. It’s a word blended from ‘pri­vate’ and ‘prof­i­teer’. The lat­ter is apt as mo­tor­sport’s most fa­mous en­durance events have long been richer for the in­volve­ment of the ama­teur. As to what con­sti­tutes a mo­tor rac­ing pri­va­teer, the cri­te­ria are far from etched in stone. To some, a pri­va­teer is merely a driver or team with­out man­u­fac­turer back­ing. But by that defini­tion reign­ing V8 Su­per­car cham­pion Mark Win­ter­bot­tom’s team, Pro­drive Rac­ing Aus­tralia, would qual­ify. Oth­ers con­sider a pri­va­teer to be a non full-time pro­fes­sional team or racer. For the pur­poses of this ar­ti­cle we’ve loosely adopted the sec­ond of these def­i­ni­tions.

In list­ing our top 25 most suc­cess­ful, colour­ful, mem­o­rable and pro­lific pri­va­teers we’ve avoided fac­tory driv­ers. We’ve ex­cused a one-off or twooff works drive over an oth­er­wise long ca­reer bat­tling the fac­tory teams and have fo­cused on those com­peti­tors who made a liv­ing out­side the rac­ing game. Re­gard­less of the defini­tion, Bathurst’s Great Race of­fered plenty of names to draw from as we salute, in no par­tic­u­lar or­der, those am­a­teurs who en­riched Mount Panorama by their pres­ence.

Peter Jan­son

The Cap­tain! The prince of pri­va­teers bagged top re­sults with his speed and me­chan­i­cal em­pa­thy. In 20 colour­ful at­tempts, 1973-92, he twice fin­ished sec­ond (’79 and ’80). Yet, re­sults are a bit player in Jan­son’s story. The deer­stalker-wearer is un­doubted the Group C era’s big­gest char­ac­ter. His lark­some be­hav­iour, un­ortho­dox life­style and com­mer­cial savvy en­sured he stood out in an era of big per­son­al­i­ties.

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