Vale Wayne Ne­gus

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Sport -

For­mer Holden Dealer Team driver and me­chanic Wayne Ne­gus died un­ex­pect­edly in Septem­ber. He was 69.

Ne­gus is best re­mem­bered for his stint with the le­gendary HDT dur­ing the mid-1970s. A stal­wart of the West Aus­tralian mo­tor­sport scene, Ne­gus was the king of the Street Cars at Wan­neroo, in­clu­sive of rac­ing a dealer team To­rana A9X tour­ing car on ra­dial tyres!

Ne­gus honed his skills at an early age aboard his fa­ther Syd’s Ply­mouth Spe­cial, be­fore his first se­ri­ous foray into cir­cuit rac­ing, which was aboard a light­weight Mini. The Mini was later mod­i­fied for speed­way com­pe­ti­tion, as was an early To­rana model.

Ne­gus ven­tured back into cir­cuit rac­ing with a Se­ries Pro­duc­tion XU-1, run­ning among the lead­ers in the 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500 be­fore los­ing con­trol at the end of Con­rod and re­tir­ing from the race. None­the­less, he caught the eye of Harry Firth, who of­fered him a job as a race me­chanic at the HDT in Mel­bourne for 1973. He also helped Bob Forbes pre­pare his L34 To­rana for the 1974 and ’75 Bathurst clas­sics. Although he missed out on a seat with the HDT for those events, his per­for­mances with Forbes – es­pe­cially in fin­ish­ing sec­ond in ’74 in the wet – saw him pro­moted to the fac­tory-sup­ported squad for the 1976 race, fin­ish­ing fourth with Charlie O’Brien. By this time Ne­gus had re­turned to live in WA where he cam­paigned a string of ex-HDT To­ranas in lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion while also mak­ing cameo ap­pear­ances in se­lected na­tional events, in­clud­ing Bathurst. He also fa­mously played a part in a rare 1-2-3 fin­ish for the fac­tory squad at Wan­neroo Race­way’s ATCC round in 1978, fin­ish­ing third be­hind Peter Brock and John Har­vey. Ne­gus made his fi­nal ap­pear­ance in the Bathurst 1000 in 1980, team­ing with Trevor Hine for 10th in his own VC Com­modore. Along­side his rac­ing ex­ploits, Ne­gus op­er­ated a suc­cess­ful au­to­mo­tive busi­ness in Perth and served as a board mem­ber of the Mo­tor Trades As­so­ci­a­tion of WA, as well as a mem­ber of the Ro­tary Club for more than 40 years.

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