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Gallaher GTs at the Farm Your Gallaher story in issue #96 prompted me to send you this photo of my sister and I and the Gallaher XR GT Falcons at Warwick Farm. I am not sure what meeting they are from, probably mid 1967 to promote the Gallaher 500 in October. Unfortunately I was only seven so I don’t remember the day. I have great memories of a few years later attending Warwick Farm, Oran
I must admit I enjoyed circuit racing a lot more back in the 1970s and ’80s compared to nowadays. I tend to go to speedway and drag racing now, circuit racing has become too hi-tech and less entertaining. Bo/Bos first outright winners Loved
the series of features on the 1967 Ford XR Falcon GT and other stories in issue #96. On page 30 you state that the XR GT has the distinction of being the first car acknowledged as being the outright winner of the Bathurst 500. In fact, the outright winner was first acknowledged in 1965, the Seton/Bosworth Ford Cortina GT500.
I remember it well from my attendance at the meeting and collection of motorsport books and magazines, as per the specific references below. Wheels’ July 1965’s issue highlights that the Cortina “is called – naturally enough – the ‘GT500’ and with it Ford hopes to clinch its first official outright win in the classic.”
Australian Motor Manual’s
August 1965 story headlined as ‘Important changes for 1965 Armstrong 500’ states, “An award for first car home, inclusion of fully imported vehicles... are features of the regulations for this year’s Armstrong 500. The new line honours award – The Armstrong Trophy – is to be a perpetual trophy held for a year by the current winning entrant.”
David McKay’s race report in Modern Motor’s December 1965 issue also states, “Most interest lay in the outright win, officially recognised for the first time.”
Beyond that point, Harry Firth implied that Fred Gibson hadn’t any touring car experience at Bathurst as he was a sportscar driver. Harry forgets that Fred finished second outright in 1966 in a private Morris Cooper S and in fact, finished four places better than Harry himself. Fred first appeared in the Bathurst enduros in 1963 codriving a Morris 850.
The three colours of the three works XR GTs were green for Firth, red for Jane and white for the Geoghegans, follows a tradition started in 1964. Before advertising was allowed on the racecars, the arrangement was that the car colour would reflect the oil company sponsorship of the main driver. In the case of Harry Firth, it was green for BP, for Bob Jane red for Shell and in 1967 the Geoghegans car was white with green stripe for Castrol. In 1964 the colour schemes were more subtle. For example, the Geoghegan Cortina GT wore red, white and blue stripes in recognition of their sponsorship from Total.
Thanks for your great magazine.
ED: We are never too proud to stand corrected, Ken, especially when put straight by readers as knowledgeable and thorough as your good self. Our incorrect fact came from Bill Tuckey’s report on the 1967 race in the official book, although I now note Tuckey’s 1965 chapter also states ’65 was the year the first outright winner was recognised.
Iwas at school when the XR GT came out. There was nothing else like it. Then the XW and XY came out. And GT-HO variants. The XR soon became yesterday’s hero and you almost couldn’t give them away. Gary Starr Via Facebook
Tricky Dicky XE GP Turbos
Iimagine you get heaps of car show photos for your magazine although four Dick Johnson Grand Prix XEs together was something extra special that you may be able to sneak into your magazine. Photos were taken at Lakeside in late June. Fords truly Geoff Droughton ED: Geoff, your image of the quartet rams home the slightly different specs of these cars caused by the disjointed production and the fact they were made in small batches over a period of time, as our issue #82 story outlined.
Super Blue VJ E49
to your VJ E49 story, attached is a letter to the long defunct Sports Car World in 1975 from a Tom Cutler, Kingsgrove, Sydney (where is he and car now?) who bought a new VJ 6 Pack Charger in July 1974 built Dec 1973 and stored in Brisbane. Well worth a read, especially the mention of the 8¾ diff fitted.
I wanted to trade my VH 265 XL Charger in on an XL 6 Pack Charger as per the VJ sales brochure, which I still have, but was told by the Gladstone dealer that none were available. Apparently 6 packs didn’t meet January 1, 1974 pollution regs, so none were made after December 30, 1973. So I test drove an SL/R 5000 Torana, a 350 GTS 4-door and an XB hardtop, which I eventually bought, with 351, 4-speed, LSD, GS pack.
This was March/April 1974 and in May/June, after picking up my 351, the Chrysler salesman rang to say he’d finally found a blue XL 6 Pack. I was ropeable, but the car seems the same one bought by Cutler. The helpful salesman then offered me a 360 770 Charger for the same dollars as I paid for the Ford, however I was less than impressed with a 360 Mopar truck motor! Little did we all know, in hindsight, that only 77 360 Chargers were made and would be rarer than any VH 6 Pack.
I kept the XB for 21 years of satisfying motoring, the surge of torque from 351 Clevelands is intoxicating. What about the rumoured VJ 6 Pack utes, wagons and Regal sedans? Dave Rasmussen Email
Park and Amaroo Park. Ken Marsh Email
Neil Stratton Email