Robin Pare, Pete Geoghegan in Ford Mustangs, Bruno Carosi Jag Mk2, Frank Gardner Alfa GTA and Robin Bessant Lotus Cortina on the downhill plunge towards The Viaduct, Longford Improved Production Touring Car race 1967 (oldracephotos.com)

Pete Geoghegan did so many times too! The Sydneysider is here doing his stuff aboard the first of his two Ford Mustangs at Longford during the Tasman round in February 1967…

The Brothers Geoghegan, Leo and Ian or ‘Pete’ were stars of Australian Motor Racing from the late-fifties into the mid-seventies, Leo in single-seaters and Pete in ‘taxis’, touring cars of all pursuations. When he was a youth Pete was quick in a brief career in single seaters and a Lotus 23 Ford but he became a ‘big unit’ so his girth meant he was best suited to cars with a roof.

Geoghegan , Gardner and Carosi off the front row, no sign of Pare- perhaps not the same race grid as above ? (oldracephotos.com)

A supreme natural, Geoghegan made a car sing with flair and feel blessed to some from above. Every car he drove. His band-width extended from GT’s to Sports Cars, Production Tourers and very highly modified Sports Sedans- sedans of considerable power and performance.

His CV included some of the most iconic cars raced in Australia over the decades above including a Lotus 7 , 22, 23, the Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 250LM, Holden ‘Humpy’, Jaguar 3.4, Morris 850, the two Mustangs, Cortinas- both GT and Lotus variants, Falcon GT’s, Falcon GTHO’s, Valiant Charger E49, highly modified Porsche 911’s, his iconic, Ford factory built and later Bowin Cars modified Ford Falcon GTHO ‘Super Falcon’ and the superb John Sheppard built Holden Monaro GTS350 Sports Sedan.

That car was as conceptually clever, beautifully built and presented sedan racer as any ever constructed in Oz. Lets not forget his late career drives in Laurie O’Neill’s Porsche 935, a notoriously tricky device to master. Much earlier on he drove O’Neills Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, every bit as exotic as the 935.

Big Pete finesses the Mustang into The Viaduct (oldracephotos.com)

Geoghegan, five times Australian Touring Car Champion 1965-69 was an immensely popular racer with the fans, his bulk, manner and ‘stutter’ part of his appeal. He was not without his issues mind you. Touring Car racing is a religion in Australia, our sedan racing has been the equal of the best in the world for decades and arguably for the last 20 years our V8 Supercar category has been consistently one of the Top 5 sedan racing contests on the planet.

A touch of the opposites on the exit to Newry (oldracephotos.com)

So, the pantheon of talented touring car aces is large, and membership of the Top 10 a subject of much informed pub chatter, tough. Most knowledgeable touring car observers would have Geoghegan in their Top 10, if not Top 5, along with the likes of Norm Beechey, Peter Brock, Allan Moffat, Dick Johnson, Jim Richards (a Kiwi but we take him as our own) Mark Skaife, Glenn Seton, Craig Lowndes, Garth Tander, Jamie Whincup and others.

(oldracephotos.com)

Photo Credits…

Oldracephotos.com- Harrison and David Keep

Tailpiece: Came, Saw, Conquered and then returned to Sydney…

Other Reading…

Pete Geoghegan and his Falcon GTHO ‘Super Falcon’

https://primotipo.com/2015/10/15/greatest-ever-australian-touring-car-championship-race-bathurst-easter-1972/

Pete’s 1965 Mustang notchback

http://www.bowdensown.com.au/collection/ian-pete-geoghegans-1965-mustang

Finito…

Comments
  1. I had the privilege to meet ‘Pete’ when he was judging the Peter Jackson Search for a Champion competition, what an absolute gentleman he was! Yes I did that another to be taken in by it!

    • markbisset says:

      Mike,
      They should have stopped at you for that search! Who got the gig?!
      Unfortunately by the time I got interested in racing Pete G didn’t do too many meetings in Victoria- I certainly saw him race the Monaro a few times at Calder and Sandown and was impressed bigtime.
      Mark

      • Thanks Mark, can’t remember who won it but I do remember they entered multiple times! I think it was someone Gazzard who was one of the winners!
        Pete was awesome to watch I didn’t see him that often, and when I met him his racing was well over!
        Mike

  2. Hoi Polloi says:

    Wut? No Gricey in the top 10??

    BTW from personal experience, the Stang is a delight to race in the rain also 🙂

    • markbisset says:

      Gricey,
      Up there isn’t he- always epitomised a ‘tiger’ of a driver to me. Not a natural but made up for it by being on it all the time. He drove Gardner’s Corvair very nicely and that wasn’t a soda to drive. Had the Nissan works thing too didn’t he later in his career. Top 20 for sure, not my Top 10 tho!
      Mark

      • Hoi Polloi says:

        I like “Tiger” drivers, they add spice to the race. But I think you underestimate Gricey, isn’t he the first one who did a 100 mph lap on Bathurst? And, as privateer without the vast financial and supportive means of big sponsors and car brands like Brock, he many times upset the powers to be, which I’ve personally experienced in 1986 in Europe. Also I’m missing Larry Perkins frim your list.

      • Hoi Polloi says:

        BTW Grice also having to overcome a handicap like Graeme Bailey (Chickadee owner I believe) as a co-driver

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