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Thread: 1976 Australian Sports Sedans

  1. #1

    1976 Australian Sports Sedans

    In 1972, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) announced major changes to touring car racing, following a media outbreak slating the high performance vehicles Ford, General Motors-Australia, and Chrysler were building to win the Bathurst endurance race. The Series Production rules allowed for very little in the way of modifications from the standard vehicle, and as such, manufacturers had to build race cars for the road that were made available to anyone who wanted them.

    And so, given each manufacturer quickly cancelled plans for their future Bathurst weapons and suddenly became very gun-shy towards motorsport following the media provoked ‘Supercar Scare’, CAMS decided to ditch the Series Production regulations, along with the Improved Production regulations, to which the Australian Touring Car Championship was contested, and introduced Group C, which would compete both for the ATCC and Bathurst. On top of this, they recognized the emerging Sports Sedan category for cheap, but heavily modified, and hugely popular sedans.

    The rapid rise of Sports Sedan racing brought about lucrative backing from menswear brand Toby Lee, who put up an impressive A$15,000 purse for a five round series in 1973 (and which they doubled to $30,000 for ’74), held at Sydney’s Oran Park, where Sports Sedan racing first flourished. The rich prize money on offer brought a raft of new machinery to the Sports Sedan ranks, and would bring about an even more lucrative $100,000 Marlboro series at Melbourne’s Calder Park, but CAMS didn’t give the green light for an official Australian Championship for Sports Sedans until 1976.

    This fantastic piece of footage was found online by Roaring Season member faminz. It shows the second of two races, from Round 2 of the 1976 Australian Sports Sedan Championship. The leading contenders are Ian ‘Pete’ Geoghegan in the amazing Laurie O’Neil HQ Monaro, with its fuel injected Chevy, twin Hewland transaxles, and beautiful GT40 ‘knock-off’ wheels, along with ex-pat New Zealander Jim Richards, in his second year racing in Australia in the Sidchrome Mustang, Colin Bond making his debut in the new Holden Dealer Team Beast MkIII Torana Sports Sedan, plus Ron Harrop in the incredible Repco Holden powered EH Holden.

    Moffat is racing his newly acquired Chevy DeKon Monza (DeKon chassis 1005) IMSA racer, which would create huge controversy in Australia. Moffat would race the Monza during the early rounds, before switching back to his ’74 model RS3100 quad-cam ‘works’ Capri, as he still had strong Ford support at the time. After Ford withdrew from racing in 1979, Moffat would dust the Monza off and race it again in 1980, but by this time the competition had progressed massively.

    This footage is just as fascinating for some of the cars and drivers further down the field, including Tony Edmonson in the ex-John McCormack Repco Charger, Bob Gill in the old Pete Geoghegan Mustang GTA which won the ATCC in 1967, 68, and 69, plus John Pollard in the old Frank Gardner SCA Freight Camaro, which our own Roaring Season member Aussiemonza once owned. Jim Smith can be seen in the ex-Bob Jane ZL/1 ’69 Camaro which won the ATCC in 1971 and ’72. Current V8 Supercar team owner Garry Rogers is competing in an Escort. Also in the pack is the relative unknown Queenslander Dick Johnson, still struggling to make a name for himself, and driving the Bryan Byrt XA Falcon Sports Sedan, which Johnson so eloquently described as a ‘stinking pile of puss’. The was formally one of six Ford Special Vehicles RPO83 Falcon hardtops that raced in 1973 during the first year of Group C, and of which none have survived. In fact, another of the RPO83s, that of Murray Carter, still in Group C guise but updated to XB sheetmetal, can also be seen.

    There were seven rounds in the 1976 Australian Sports Sedan Championship, and Moffat took three wins, a third, a fifth, and two dnf’s, and won the championship from Frank Gardner who debuted his new Chev Corvair at Round 5, which he won, along with the final two rounds, while Edmonson rounded out the top three in the Charger.

  2. #2
    Part 2 of the race here.

  3. #3
    calder 70s
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  4. #4
    more calder
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  5. #5
    Whose is the Anglia? Its a neat looking car, would be a great addition to the 70s and 80s Modified Saloons thread too: http://www.theroaringseason.com/show...Picture-Thread

  6. #6
    Hi Steve this Anglia is Triumph powered like the Triang, ran Calder, Hume Weir, Sandown,, Air, Heathcote,in under 2ltr ,as Sports Sedans started out it was an everymans entry point, this car was built by a talented guy,Eric Jordan,from an EX Cheltenam police car ,with the engine coming out of a clubman ,ran VDO sponsership will post a pic of there corporate set up in the day,Just finished resto for group U historic sports sedans after sitting out in a back yard for 30yr

  7. #7
    struggling to resise corporate shot
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  8. #8
    Philip Island 2011
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  9. #9
    Corporate Australia in the 70s the guy that looks like a Hells Angel in the corporate facality in the Kombi was VDO,s main man long necks was the brew
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  10. #10
    Thats a fantastic car! Can you start a new thread dedicated to it and its racing history, and restoration etc? I'd love to know more about it.

  11. #11
    Thanks for your suggestion, this car is a bit obscure and i doubt the thread would get much traction so i will post what i have and see If we get some feedback Eric Jordan is very unwell and has been super generious with is time making sure the car is authentic to its period
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  12. #12
    So how did you come to own it Angria?

  13. #13
    Son found it on Ebay have been going to car racing from the age of 8 Dunedin street races through the golden years at Wigram ,f5000 OSCA aussie 30yrs love Anglias [Breadvans] and Triumphs so a 95% complete race car was like the stars were in alignement ,lost the auction but persued the buyer as the car was a bit of a job if you wernt serious the gearbox [Cortina with a triumph bellhousing] didnt suit his clubman so the car was mine for the auction price,he even loaned me his trailer for the ride home 2yrs of Friday arvos and Sats luck to find Eric and his pics and its been a total pleasure

  14. #14
    Very cool. Looks like you've gone to a lot of trouble to get it as accurate as possible, right down to the wheels with the Hotwires on front and black rims on back. Is there much growth in Historic Aussie Sports Sedans? There must still be a huge number sitting in sheds around the country.

  15. #15
    I know of about 10 cars .then im not really in the car scene the JAG ,ALFA,some MINI,s a 120Y and IMP rotors the FIAT some TORANAS some other Anglias that could fit in period the CHARGER Ive got some pics of a Torana that sat in a transporter for 20yrs,
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  16. #16
    pics of Torana that had been in storage plus shot of Anglia engine
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  17. #17
    This is reallY great stuff Angria. Do you know the history of the Torana and Jag? Got photos of the others?

  18. #18
    The Torana appears to have a DeKon Monza body kit grafted on to it. At least the rear section looks like it.

  19. #19
    Yes I believe it a factory Torana race shell,with ex Kev Bartlet f5000 Mclaren rear suspension ,Moroso, motor, developed a noise in motor parked up20 yrs ago sold for 30 gs or there abouts there is a Torana thread somewhere ive seen with pic of the transporter as found dont quote me but the fiberglass bits came from the Garry Rogers sports sedan moulds,When the CAMs eligbility guys checked out my Anglia they made a coment thst this car was a massive expensive project,Ilike the way it is ,patina makes these cars to my way of thinking

  20. #20

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