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Thread: The New Zealand built Ford...'Sports Sedan'.........'Gentleman' Jim Richards

  1. #1
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    The New Zealand built Ford...'Sports Sedan'.........'Gentleman' Jim Richards

    ..Spoke with Graham Booth of 'NSW' fame....Owner/Restorer,.."some people say I'm Crazy" !!!....of the Jim Richards. 'Mighty' Falcon 'Sports Sedan', he rang to tell me he has joined this great Forum, to talk, show pictures of the build process, find parts and imformation, so now I've 'OUTED' him ...watch this spot................regards thunder427/MJ
    Last edited by thunder427; 07-07-2011 at 02:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Thats an amazing car, will be great to see its restoration progress. I know Graeme has owned it for several years, and it'll be great to have him on board here filling us in.

    To kick things off, here is some neat video footage of the car racing at Sandown in 1980. Turn the volume up, these cars sound incredible.


  3. #3
    Does it still have the 351C with Gurney Weslake heads?

  4. #4
    Those things look twitchy don't they? Must be a real handful.

    But how's the pseudo-posh announcers? They don't sound like Ozzies at all. Fawlcon.....

  5. #5
    Wow. Brilliant video clip. They're twitchy alright - looks like great fun. I bet ya Jim enjoyed every second of that ride!!!!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Shano View Post

    But how's the pseudo-posh announcers? They don't sound like Ozzies at all. Fawlcon.....
    And go back another 20 years and they all sound like members of the Royal family.

  7. #7
    Here is Jim chasing Leo Leonard in the spectacular Manfeild round of the no-holds-barred 1979 Open Saloon series. Remember how good those cars sounded with their open pipes as they boomed down the Manfeild back straight with the corrugated iron fence that made the noise bounce back into the crowd?

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  8. #8
    Bry3500 found this piece of footage and posted it on another thread, but it seems like a good fit for this thread too. No sound sadly, but still interesting, even if there are only five cars in Jim Richards (Falcon hardtop), Brad Jones (Mercedes Benz), Garry Rogers (Torana), Bob Jolly (Commodore), and John Briggs (Monza). Check the straight line squirt of the Briggs Monza!


  9. #9
    A couple of photo's of the Jim Richards Falcon.
    The first is being driven by Tony Hubbard in a support race for the Aust.GP (domestic version) at Calder Park in the early 1980's.



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    This one is at Oran Park driven by Graeme Booth.



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  10. #10
    These are cool photos Timbo, thanks for posting. The red and blue colours of Hubbard were how the car looked when it was involved in the massive startline shunt at Adelaide in 1983. I think it ended up on its roof didn't it?

  11. #11
    A bit more has been unearthed on the Jim Richards falcon.
    After the big crash at Adelaide, it was repaired to the new sports sedan regulations of the day, and painted green and yellow.
    It supposedly ran with a 253c.i. Holden V8 motor with twin turbochargers for a while also.
    In 1989 Robin Doherty, who bought the car from Hubbard, pulled most of the good bit from it to go towards a VN Commodore sports sedan he was building.
    In 1992, the shell was sold to Graeme Booth, who fitted some McLaren and Lola parts (suspension etc) and fitted a 6litre Nascar based
    V8 in it. I have been told (via google) that Graeme has located the Doherty Commodore and plans to return the original parts to the car.
    The original Cleveland based engine went to Paul Halstead to go in the DeTomaso Pantera he built and which Kevin bartlett drove.

    The Doherty Falcon just behind Des Wall in Bob Tindals TWR Commodore, note the lack of wings.


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    The Paul Halstead owned Pantera.



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  12. #12
    Thanks again Timbo for the awesome photos. Graham should hopefully be on here in the not too distant future to help fill us in on some of the details and a few progress reports. I'm sure the car raced with box-flares in the early 80s, when Hubbard had it? Could it have been 1984 or 84? It was red at the time.

    I see Des Wall has popped up again. He clearly loves his big bangers!

    That De Tomaso is a spectacular car! I believe its currently for sale?

  13. #13
    I drew the XC Falcon some time ago in Winfield colours racing at Manfeild. I took the original to Eastern Creek in 2009 and Jim kindly signed it for me... and then commissioned his Falcon Sprint from me... great memories (already)...
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  14. #14
    Steve, your right about the Falcon being red at one stage, and having boxed flared guards. I don't have any photo's of it like that and only found one photo of it like that on the Autopics website. It says the year was 1987.
    I suppose the constant changing of specifications of Sports Sedans is one of the problems owners have when restoring cars, especially with Sports Sedans having their own Historic category now. The Bob Jane Monaro now owned by Des Wall had been through many stages of development and I only remember it as a sports sedan, but it was taken back to Improved Production specs.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by faminz View Post
    I drew the XC Falcon some time ago in Winfield colours racing at Manfeild. I took the original to Eastern Creek in 2009 and Jim kindly signed it for me... and then commissioned his Falcon Sprint from me... great memories (already)...
    Brett, thats awesome! And very cool that JR signed it for you.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by timbo61 View Post
    Steve, your right about the Falcon being red at one stage, and having boxed flared guards. I don't have any photo's of it like that and only found one photo of it like that on the Autopics website. It says the year was 1987.
    I suppose the constant changing of specifications of Sports Sedans is one of the problems owners have when restoring cars, especially with Sports Sedans having their own Historic category now. The Bob Jane Monaro now owned by Des Wall had been through many stages of development and I only remember it as a sports sedan, but it was taken back to Improved Production specs.
    Thanks Timbo, I just found that photo on Autopics you mentioned. I'm pretty certain the car ran the box guards much earlier than 1987 as they've listed it as. I thought it was somewhere around 1983-85 when Sports Sedans in Australia became that crazy GT championship, with the 935 Porsche's etc that wiped the floor with the traditional cars. The owner of the car, Graham Booth, is a member on here, and I spoke to him yesterday. He is supposed to post some info on here so hopefully he isn't too far away.

    I agree with you the challenges an owner of a historic car faces when restoring it, especially one with such a long history. Its probably made easier if the car has won a national championship, but other than that, I guess sometimes it comes down to personal preference.

  17. #17
    Jim Richards NZ Falcon Sports sedan

    I am the current owner Of the great N.Z. built Jim Richards Big M Falcon sports sedan. I bought it minus mechanicals in 1993. When I got it home and unpacked everything I had a good look at it all [in pieces] and thought what have I got myself into. At the time I was racing a full bodied Falcon XC coupe sports sedan which was simple, so when I looked at this space frame chassis with holes and mounts and brackets where an engine and transaxles had to somehow mount, I was lost. So I started reading how to build racecar books, how to make youre car handle books, looking at pictures, looking at other cars and taking photos, and fortunately being a metal fabricator it began to not look so hard.
    So to cut a long story short, it ended up with the 351 Cleveland and Top Loader gearbox that was out of the old car, a CAE quick change independent diff with Lola rear uprights and I was racing with pretty good success [ at club level] on a low budget.
    I eventually updated to a Nascar style Jerico transmission and later an SVO Nascar style engine.
    In around 1995 I had an engine failure, and so decided it was time to start restoring it back to JRs 1980 days, as by then I was able to get hold of a lot of the important original bits of the car from the Brian Walden ex Robin Doherty VP Commodore to which they had all gone. So since then its been a long hard road but it is all coming together including the Gurney Eagle headed Cleveland with Lucas mechanical fuel injection.
    In issue #18 of Australian Muscle car they did a story in the Missing in action section which led Murray Smith who was an apprentice working on the car to contact me, who has been of great assistance with advice, of which I am very thankfull, and I must also thank Jim himself for pictures and advise when I annoy him asking for help, Bob Gill, Prahans fastest plumber who has been a great source of parts, advise and contacts, which leads me last but not least Myles, aka thunder427 for lots of inspiration on doing things properly, and getting me going on this forum [what a gem].
    Last edited by Graham; 07-07-2011 at 02:32 AM.

  18. #18
    Graham, its great to finally hear from you! We'll be looking forward to your updates and details about the Falcon. Its a really great car with a fascinating history.

    Of the people involved in the car during its long history, have you ever tracked down Brent Bullivant? He was a Kiwi racer who built a very fast V8 powered Capri Sports Sedan when he was just 19. He debuted the Capri in early 1975, and was working for JR by 1978, having moved from NZ to Australia, preparing the Falcon. He would have only been 22 by this stage, so was obviously a pretty talented young guy, but he seems to have quickly vanished from trace.

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  19. #19
    Graham, any news on how the restoration is coming along?

  20. #20
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    Scanned from magazines over the years.....so photographer unknown




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