The 1960 Armstrong 500 was an endurance motor race for Australian made or assembled standard production sedans. The event was held at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria, Australia on 20 November 1960 over 167 laps of the 3.0 mile circuit, a total distance of 501 miles.

The race was organised by the Light Car Club of Australia and promoted by Armstrong York Engineering Pty Ltd.[1] Jim Thompson, managing director of the shock absorber manufacturer, was encouraged by his PR man Ron Thonemann to increase the company's business with major carmakers, particularly Ford and Holden, by sponsoring a race.

This was the first event held in the history of the race later to become known as the Bathurst 1000, the race that would come to dominate Australian motor racing.

Outright controversy

Officially only class placings and prize money were awarded, with no outright winner recognised.[1] In later years as the fame of the Bathurst 1000 grew, outright placings, particularly the outright winner, became more widely recognised. John Roxburgh and Frank Coad have been widely acclaimed as the outright winners of the event, and have been recognised in CAMS motorsport manual in more recent times. This has been the source of some controversy as claims the winners of Class C, Geoff Russell, David Anderson and Tony Loxton covered the race distance in a faster time. The source of the discrepancy arises from the starting procedure which saw the classes released at ten second intervals, with the Class D Roxburgh/Coad Vauxhall starting the race ten seconds[2] before the Class C Russell/Anderson/Loxton Peugeot. A comprehensive investigation in 1992 by Graham Hoinville, utilizing the record of individual lap times from the race, concluded that the car of Frank Coad and John Roxburgh was the first to finish the race.[2]

Class structure

Class A

Class A was for cars with an engine capacity of 750cc or less. The class featured Fiat 600, Lloyd Alexander, NSU Prinz and Renault 750

Class B

Class B was for cars with an engine capacity of between 751cc and 1300cc. The class featured Ford Anglia, Renault Dauphine, Simca Aronde, Triumph Herald and Volkswagen Beetle

Class C

The Brian Foley / Alan Edney Austin Lancer competing in the 1960 Armstrong 500.

Class C was for cars with an engine capacity of between 1301cc and 2000cc. The class featured Austin Lancer, Hillman Minx, Morris Major, Peugeot 403 and Singer Gazelle.

Class D

Class D was for cars with an engine capacity between 2001cc and 3500cc. The class featured Ford Falcon, Humber Super Snipe, Mercedes-Benz 220SE, Standard Vanguard, Vauxhall Cresta.

Class E

Class E was for cars with an engine capacity over 3500cc. There was only one entry in the class, a Ford Customline.

Results

Class results were as follows:

Pos. No. Entrant[1] Drivers Car Laps
Class A
1 1 Continental & General Dist. Doug Whiteford
Lex Davison
NSU Prinz 155
2 2 Continental & General Dist. Bruce Walton
Paul England
NSU Prinz 151
3 3 Continental & General Dist. Hoot Gibson
J Gorman
NSU Prinz 150
4 10 W. McB. March Bill March
John Connolly
Renault 750 145
5 15 Wal Gillespie Fiat Services Wal Gillespie
Lou Sinclair
Fiat 600 138
6 4[1] Finlay Bros. P/L Kevin Lott
G Petty
Lloyd Alexander TS[1] 135
7 16 Torino Motors P/L Brian Pyers
Frank Elkins
Fiat 600 135
8 5 Finlay Bros. P/L Graham Levingston
Peter Candy
Lloyd Alexander TS[1] 134
9 7 Finlay Bros. P/L R Slaney
G White
Lloyd Alexander TS[1] 132
10 8 B.P. Batteries P/L Les Park
J Fleming
Renault 750
DNF 9 Monash Service Station Rex Emmett
A Hawkins
Renault 750
DNF 6 Finlay Brothers P/L Tony Thieler
Frank Kilfoyle
Lloyd Alexander TS[1] 120[3]
Class B
1 24 Melody Motors P/L Murray Galt
Bill Murray
Simca Aronde 164
2 23 Chrysler Australia Ltd. (Eiffel Tower Group) Jack Nougher
Lionel Marsh
Simca Aronde 161
3 22 Chrysler Australia Ltd. (B.J. Autos Service) Bob Brown
Michael Lempriere
Simca Aronde 161
4 27 Australian Motor Industries Jack Maurer
Ern Abbott
Triumph Herald 158
5 20 Orman's Service Station Rex Orman
Max McPherson
Volkswagen 158
6 18 Lanock Motors Ltd. David McKay
Greg Cusack
Volkswagen 158
7 19 Spencer Motors P/L Arthur Wylie
Ken Wylie
Volkswagen 157
8 29 Nalders Garage Bill Nalder
John Ampt
Ford Anglia 156
9 14 Ecurie Dauphine J Leighton
Alan Ling
Renault Dauphine 154
10 12 Ecurie Dauphine Des West
Ian Geoghegan
Renault Dauphine 152
11 11 Ecurie Dauphine Bill Pitt
Leo Geoghegan
Renault Dauphine 151
DNF 17 V.W. Motors P/L Eddie Perkins
George Reynolds
Volkswagen 151[3]
DNF 26 Australian Motor Industries Graham Hoinville
Austin Miller
Triumph Herald 100[3]
DNF 25 R. Christie Ray Christie
George Hughes
Simca Aronde 66[3]
DNF 21 Chrysler Australia Ltd. (J.E. Murray) Jack Murray
W Murison
Simca Aronde
Class C
1 34 Continental & General Dist. P/L Geoff Russell
David Anderson
Tony Loxton
Peugeot 403 167
2 41 British Motor Corp. Peter Manton
Barry Topen
Morris Major 164
3 38 British Motor Corp. George Spanos
Leo Taylor
Austin Lancer 161
4 35 Continental & General Dist. P/L Bob Holden
Ken Brigden
Peugeot 403 160
5 42 British Motor Corp. Brian Muir
Jim Smith
Morris Major 160
6 43 British Motor Corp. Rod Murphy
John Callaway
Morris Major 159
7 45 Rootes (Aust) Limited Harry Firth
John Reaburn
Singer Gazelle 159
8 36 Continental & General Dist. P/L Ron Lilley
Jim Gullan
Peugeot 403 157
9 39 British Motor Corp. Brian Foley
Alan Edney
Austin Lancer 155
DNF 44 Rootes (Aust) Limited Bill Clemens
Don Dunoon
Hillman Minx
DNF 40 British Motor Corp. Barry Gurdon
Clyde Miller
Austin Lancer 59[3]
Class D
1 37 S. A. Chenery P/L John Roxburgh
Frank Coad
Vauxhall Cresta 167
2 28 Australian Motor Industries Norm Beechey
John French
Standard Vanguard 162
3 30 Autoland P/L Bob Jane
Lou Molina
Ford XK Falcon 161
DNF 46 Rootes (Aust) Limited Bill Graetz
Fred Sutherland
Humber Super Snipe 125[3]
DNF 47 Smith Street Motors P/L Gavin Youl
John Youl
Mercedes-Benz 220SE 67[3]
DNF 31 Wangaratta Motors Ron Phillips
Ern Seeliger
Ford XK Falcon 49[3]
Class E
1 32 Sabina Motors P/L Ray Gibbs
Murray Carter
Ford Customline 154

Statistics

  • Fastest Lap - #47 Youl/Youl - 2:41 - Laps 15, 45 & 62[4]
  • Race Time of Car No. 37 : 8:20:45[5]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Official Programme, The 1960 Armstrong 500, Phillip Island, Sunday, 20th November
  2. ^ a b Paul Watson, The debate over the first Armstrong 500, www.pccv.org, as archived at web.archive.org
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h David McKay, Cresta wins production "500", Modern Motor, January 1961, pages 14 to 17 & 81 to 82
  4. ^ Armstrong 500 20 November, 1960 - www.nmrm.com.au via web.archive.org Retrieved on 23 October 2013
  5. ^ Armstrong 500 - 1960, Official Results, The Australian Light Car, Jan - Feb 1961
  • A History of Australian Motor Sport, © 1980
  • Australian Motor Sport, Dec 1960 - Jan 1961
  • Tuckey, Bill (1981). "1960: It seemed like a good idea at the time...". Australia's Greatest Motor Race The Complete History. Sydney: Lansdowne Press. pp. 66–73.
  • Australia's Greatest Motor Race, 1960–1989
  • The Age, Monday, 21 Nov 1960
  • The Book Of Australian Motor Racing, © 1964
  • Greenhalgh, David; Thomas B. Floyd; Bill Tuckey (2000). "1960 It seemed like a good idea at the time...". Australia's Greatest Motor Race 1960-1999 The first 40 years. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing Group Pty Limited. pp. 96–101 & 451. ISBN 1-875221-12-3.

External links