Racing in ‘66
Motor racing was changing rapidly in 1966 with a series of firsts and lasts – and unprecedented success for those from the antipodes on the international scene.
Motor racing was changing rapidly in 1966 with a series of firsts and lasts – and unprecedented success for those from the antipodes. AMC presents six ‘clickety-clicks’ from season ’66.
Just as car manufacturers were gearing up for a new era of performance motoring with larger capacity machines hitting the road, motor racing was starting to reflect the ‘bigger is beautiful’ mantra. Internationally, the 1966 World Championship was the first of the three-litre formula, with maximum engine capacity doubled from the previous season. The change caught traditional racing car constructors on the hop and created the opportunity for an engine-building subsidiary of Repco in Melbourne that was grasped with both hands.
Ford had its eyes on the ultimate sportscar prize, supporting an eight-car armada for the twice-round-the-clock classic in France. The 16-strong driver line-up comprised a trio of Australians and three New Zealanders; the latter celebrated the hardest.
Drivers of both nationalities were prominent in the first runnings of a pair of short-lived series that kicked off in ‘66 in the United States, burning brightly for a few short seasons before dying out.
On the domestic scene, the discernible popularity shift from events for racing cars and sportscars to touring cars continued. That said, the Tasman Series and other international events on the Australian racing calendar still attracted the biggest names on the global scene with public attention to match. Even the odd Gold Star round attracted hotshots like Jack Brabham and Jackie Stewart (pictured, colour, at Surfers Paradise).
Over the following pages AMC presents six spreads – snapshots that we reckon really capture the essence of motorsport in this edition’s feature year.
We’ve purposely avoided including the Gallaher 500 here as that’s extensively covered elsewhere in this edition.