What a couple of pert, perky, taut little tooches!? I do like a finely formed little rump, the Lotus Elan and Jag E Lwt, two of the tightest…

Its Leo Geoghegan chasing Bob Jane through Hell Corner for the blast up Bathurst’s Mountain Straight, I’ve my money on the punch of the Jag’s mid-range torque not to forget its beefy top end over the delicate little Elan. Timeless, twin-cam designs both.

I’ve written about these blokes often enough for international readers to know they were both prominent Australian champions- Bob best known for exploits in touring cars and Leo in open-wheelers. Here they are on ‘neutral ground’, sportscars, during the Easter meeting in April 1965.

(unattributed)

Jane got the better of Leo in both the 5 lap preliminary and 13 lap NSW Production Sportscar Championship, winning both races from the Sydneysider, top speeds of the cars were 147.05 and 142.85 mph (Elan) on Conrod Straight.

I notice Bob’s Jag has a Victorian number plate. The successful businessman lived just off Kew Boulevard in Melbourne’s leafy inner east, no doubt the racer was exercised on that marvellous stretch of road from time to time.

I’ll get around to a comprehensive article on Jano’s Lwt E Type one day, for now enjoy these snippets and shots great sixties sporties.

Etcetera: Jano and his E Types…

(D Lupton)

The Jane Jag E Lwt and Mk2, plus Fiat 2300 at Calder 1964- the E Types first race was here on 8 December 1963.

Its said that the car was a gift from Sir William Lyons via Australian Jaguar importer Jack Bryson. Bob was a Jaguar sub-dealer and had done amazing things to promote the marque in Australia via his race exploits in his Mk 2, an Australian developed car.

Bob and his brother Bill Jane later raced the car in the UK- Jane retained it until 1980 when it was reportedly sold at auction for $A80,000- his ex-works Maserati 300S was sold for a similar figure. He said ‘it was the biggest business mistake i ever made’…

 

Jane at Bathurst looking fairly hot and dry, Easter 1966 perhaps (T Smith)

 

(B Caldersmith)

Cracker of a shot above appears to be a lap one horde at Warwick Farm’s Homestead Corner.

Spencer Martin is aboard the Lwt from Leo Geoghegan, Lotus Elan 26R, Kevin Bartlett in Alec Mildren’s Alfa Romeo TZ2 and Andy Buchanan or Greg Cusack in David McKay’s Ferrari 250LM- then the dark top of Fred Gibson’s Elan and a gaggle of ‘Sports Racing Closed’ Minis.

Spencer is driving for Bob so it’s 1966 or 1967.

(H Schendzielorz)

Jane in the Lwt heading up Templestowe Hillclimb in Melbourne’s outer east, circa 1964.

Bob’s Lightweight was his second E Type, as most Australian enthusiasts would be aware.

He bought his first, a series 1 red-roadie in the UK in 1961 complete with Warwickshire rego-plate ‘2152WK’- the car’s chassis number was RHD 621.

It was continually modified and as a consequence was a more successful racer than the Lightweight which competed against sportsracers rather than production sportscars. It competed in 21 race meetings in only 15 months, incuding third in the 1963 Australian GT Championship when driven by Bill Jane, Bob’s brother.

Jane at Longford circa 1963 (unattributed)

 

Lakeside 1963. Bob’s multi-Oz touring car championship winning Mk2 and E Type FHC (J Psaros)

When Bob bought the lightweight in late 1963 he sold the Fixed-Head E to Adelaide’s Clem Smith, prominent racer and Mallala circuit owner- he raced it twice more.

Soon after it was sold to a member of the RAAF and disappeared, presumed crashed in the Adelaide Hills in the 1960’s or 1970’s.

In more recent times research via Jaguar racer, Mark Trenoweth and Jaguar Magazine have tracked the car to Toowoomba, north of Brisbane where it was owned by a group of enthusiasts- still fitted with is aluminium bonnet and other goodies.

The magazine reported that the car had several owners after that and at one stage was fitted with automatic transmission- the ‘case’ has now gone cold again, do get in touch if you can shed some light on its whereabouts.

(Nantes)

The photograph above is unmistakenly Sandown’s old pits, and one of the first shots of Bob’s FHC, the car still looks in standard specification- more than likely this is the circuit’s opening meeting in March 1962.

(unattributed)

Wet Lakeside meeting above and Bob is alongside Frank Matich in his Lotus 19B Climax, wet international meeting in 1963 at a guess. Elfin Streamliner on the second row plus other cars you pick yourselves. Matich might have won this race…

And below at Mallala, circa 1963, with Bob ‘half-out-the-window’ as he is in quite a few shots of this car!

(Smith Family)

Etcetera…

 (unattributed)

Lightweight E Type at Mallala.

(unattributed)

The red E FHC, i suspect after Bob had sold it, but where, when and who is the driver are my questions!?

Superb shot of Jane heading for the apex of Pub Corner in Longford Village circa 1963.

 

(unattributed)

Low down shot perhaps taken at Warwick Farm.

Credits…

autopics.com.au, ‘Bathurst: Cradle of Australian Motor Racing’ John Medley, Dennis Lupton, Heinz Schendzielorz, Jock Psaros, oldracephotos.com, Nantes Family, Clem Smith Family Collection, Terry Smith, Brian Caldersmith

Tailpiece: Geoghegan and Jane leaning into Hell Corner, April 1965…

Finito…

 

Comments
  1. David Thompson says:

    The knock-off (on knonk-on, if you will) wheel nuts on the Elan are straight out of Ben-Hur/James Bond.

    • markbisset says:

      Such a period fitment aren’t they David?
      When were they mandated out of racing existence I wonder? Or were they.
      The great shot catches the fine detail of both cars, beautiful as they are!
      Mark

  2. […] Whilst most folks wax lyrical about the Elite as one of the best looking cars ever, I agree, for me the slightly more butch Elan 26R is a contender albeit not strictly a road car of course. See this short article about the car here; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/15/perk-and-pert/ […]

  3. steve geoghegan says:

    The elan was on pole (have photos of the start) . the story dad told , always bought a good laugh, when he went under the jag into forest elbow, Bobs jaw dropped the elan broke a rubber doughnut which restricted the drive.He swore if not for that he could have beaten Bob in the 13 lapper as the jag was out of brakes. Both great mates and the best years of motor racing.

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks for getting in touch Steve,
      Great story, I was a big fan of your dad albeit I was late to the party only seeing him race in 1973/4 in the two Birranas. A great champion, key ‘Leo Geoghegan’ into the primo search engine, there must be 4 or 5 features at least.
      Go well, and thanks again for your input,
      Mark

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