• Classic 1980 Australian Sports Sedan Race

    1980 wasn’t a vintage year for the Australian Sports Sedan Championship. Front-line competition in the once highly popular series had died off with the arrival of Frank Gardners radical F5000 based Chev Corvair in 1976, and that car dominated the category until it was eventually banned from competition at the end of 1979. By this stage, Gardner had stepped down from driving, and had plugged Allan Grice into the hot-seat, but by now, the competition had largely dried up.

    However, new cars were still appearing on the scene, including Jim Richards’ XC Falcon hardtop, which debuted in 1978, and almost won the Australian Sports Sedan Championship at its first attempt. Then, the following season, Tony Edmonson arrived in Don Elliotts newly built Chevy powered Alfetta.

    For 1980, Gardner replaced his outlawed Corvair with a European sourced Group 5 BMW 325, while John McCormack had built a V12 Jaguar XJS. Bob Jane, Allan Moffat, Graeme Whincup, and John Briggs were all competing in Chevy Monza’s. However, most of these cars ran only limited campaigns, and the championship was won by Edmonson, a fairytale ending in itself given he narrowly escaped death, and had his car destroyed at Surfers Paradise just one year earlier in a vicious high speed crash.

    This video is of the final race of the final round of the 1980 Australian Sports Sedan Championship. The front-line competition is a little depleted by this stage, with the early laps being a four car battle between Richards in his New Zealand built Falcon, Briggs in his American IMSA Chevy Monza (DeKon 1001), Grice in his European BMW, and Edmonson in his Australian built Alfetta. But the sound is fantastic, and the cars themselves provide a real spectacle, as they buck and slide around the high speed Sandown circuit. Crank it up and enjoy…..
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Classic 1980 Australian Sports Sedan Race started by Steve Holmes View original post