Australian Touring Car Championship 1962: Longford, Battle of the Jag’s…

Posted: October 20, 2014 in Touring Cars, Who,What,Where & When...?
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1962 Longford touring cars

Start of the 1962 Championship race held during the Longford Tasman Series meeting, an all Jaguar  front row. Bob Jane Mk 2, Bill Pitt and Bill Burns in Mk 1’s from left to right…

The race was close fought with Jane winning from Pitt and Burns. Jaguar dominated the early years of the ATCC, winning the championship in its first four years. In those far away days the event was decided in one race!, a huge difference to the contemporary ‘V8 Supercars’ title which is decided over fourteen rounds, using three different race formats in Australia and New Zealand.


Fantastic and unusual shot of Bob Jane in the winning Jag Mk2 entering ‘The Viaduct’ at Longford. Hay bales and the ‘stout’ (its still there) brick structure encouraging purity of line and application of power on entry! (Geoff Smedley)


Bob Jane Mk2 ahead of Pete Geoghegan Mk1, 3.8 and 3.4 respectively in the Monday, Longford touring car race, Mountford Corner. Jane won, Pete DNF after leaving the road near The Viaduct. (Keverell Thomson Collection)

The inaugural championship was held at Gnoo Blas, Orange NSW, with victory going to David McKay’s Mk1, Bill Pitt prevailed at Lowood, Qld in 1961, similarly mounted and Bob Jane at Longford and Mallala, SA Mk2 in 1962/3.

1969 was the first year the title was decided over multiple rounds in five states, ‘Pete’ Geoghegan winning in his famous, second Ford Mustang.

Touring cars are not my thing, but these shots well and truly capture the ‘fun of the fair’ and a sense of Longford which is spoken about in reverential terms, if also in awe of its danger and technical difficulty by those lucky enough to have been or raced there.

As a postcript, Bill Burns very luckily survived a high speed multiple rollover in those pre-seat belt and rollbar days, two years later, 1964 at the end of the ‘Flying Mile’ just before Mountford Corner.

Burns Jag Longford 1964

Longford map

Photo Credits…

Unattributed shots via Ellis French, Geoff Smedley, Keverell Thomson Collection

  1. […] Gardens at Carrara. The raceway was sold in 1984 and closed soon after. This was one of the last Australian Touring Car Championship meetings at the multi-functional but often waterlogged Gold Coast […]

  2. Rob says:

    Given that the Jaguar in the second image has wire wheels and doesn’t have a “J” on the door, I would suggest that it is not competing in the 1962 ATCC. A damn nice shot though.

    • markbisset says:

      Rob, the color shot under the viaduct; Bobs car does have the ‘J’, blow the shot up. I agree re wheels, I suspect it’s the same weekend but different races, good spot! M

  3. prdave2016 says:

    Can you guys, Rob & Mark, tell me when Bob Jane started to run his Jags with the red/yellow racing stripes? And can you answer these 2 questions?

    So, if I am understanding correctly the:

    1962 ATCC Winner was white, No# 7J, Jaguar Mark 2 3.8
    1963 ATCC Winner was white, No#71, Jaguar Mark 2 4.1 – maybe the same car?

  4. derek wright says:

    I heard a story that someone crashed at Longford Crn, and casually went to the Longford Pub to wait to be picked up…. is this true
    Derek Wright

    • markbisset says:

      Yes, you are right, it was Lex Davison circa 1962 in his Cooper which finished up against the wall of the pub…after which, Lex, raconteur that he was retired to the bar- he was a very lucky boy that day!

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