Mus­cle Ma­niac

Australian Muscle Car - - Contents -

The day the cops mis­took Bob Mor­ris for Kingsley Hib­bard, the day John Goss met the GG.

Fred Mor­gan is a largely un­sung hero in the his­tory of Holden at Bathurst. Not only is he not as widely known as his achieve­ments would war­rant, but for many years (un­til we tracked him down for our feature story in AMC #68), mo­tor­sport and Holden en­thu­si­asts who aware of him in­cor­rectly knew him as ‘Frank’ Mor­gan – which was how the press er­ro­neously de­scribed him in re­ports of the 1963 Bathurst 500.

It was in that very rst Great Race at Bathurst that Fred Mor­gan (along with co-driver Ralph Sach) wrote him­self into the records books as the rst driver to score a top-three re­sult in the Oc­to­ber clas­sic in a Holden, nish­ing sec­ond in a Holden EH S4 (to­day we’d say Fred and Ralph Sach scored Holden’s rst Great Race podium, but at the time the outright re­sult was not recog­nised: they would have been of­fi­cially recorded as hav­ing nished sec­ond in class C).

In ad­di­tion to the Bathurst class plac­ing, Mor­gan and the EH went on the fol­low­ing year to win class B in the Sandown 6 Hour (this time with co-driver Bruce McPhee – the race was won by Mor­gan’s ’63 Bathurst run­ning mate Sach, in an Alfa). That ’64 Sandown en­duro is gen­er­ally re­garded as the rst of what we know to­day as the Sandown 500 – so Mor­gan can be cred­ited as de­liv­er­ing Holden its rst suc­cess in that iconic tour­ing car en­duro also.

Fred’s EH S4 was ac­tu­ally his work ‘com­pany’ car. Pics from prac­tice day at Bathurst in ’63 show the two-way ra­dio ae­rial still in­stalled (scru­ti­neers or­dered its re­moval for the race) – in the pre-mo­bile phone era, a two-way ra­dio was how Fred kept abreast of busi­ness in his day job as a real es­tate agent.

Fred was best de­scribed as an am­a­teur driver, with a ca­reer span­ning the veyear pe­riod from 1961-’64. Other than the EH, he raced ‘Humpy’ Hold­ens, a 48-215 and an FJ.

Fred died on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 6 af­ter bat­tling alzheimers and de­men­tia for a pe­riod of some years. He was 87. Fred’s brother Tommy, who worked on his car and had a ma­jor role in his rac­ing, also passed away three weeks prior.

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