Harry Firth

H.L. Firth
Henry Leslie "Harry" Firth (18 April 1918 – 27 April 2014) was an Australian racing driver and team manager.wikipedia
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Ford Works Team (Australia)

Ford Works TeamFord Motor CompanyFord Motor Company of Australia
Firth was a leading race and rally driver during the 1950s and 1960s and continued as an influential team manager with first the Ford works team and then the famed Holden Dealer Team (HDT) well into the 1970s.
Drivers for the works team included Allan Moffat, Fred Gibson, Harry Firth, Bob Jane, Barry Seton, Bruce McPhee, John French, Ian Geoghegan and his brother Leo.

Holden Dealer Team

Marlboro Holden Dealer TeamMobil 1 RacingMobil Holden Dealer Team
Firth was a leading race and rally driver during the 1950s and 1960s and continued as an influential team manager with first the Ford works team and then the famed Holden Dealer Team (HDT) well into the 1970s.
Holden appointed former Ford Works Team manager Harry Firth to run the operation.

Southern Cross Rally

SCRSouthern Cross Rallies
He also won the Southern Cross Rally and the Australian Rally Championship.
The inaugural Southern Cross Rally was won by Harry Firth in a works Ford Cortina.

Bob Jane

Bob Jane RacingBob Jane Racing TeamBob Jane T-Marts
Firth then teamed with Bob Jane in a Mercedes-Benz 220SE to win the 1961 Armstrong 500 at Philip Island.
In 1961, Jane and co-driver Harry Firth won the Armstrong 500 at Phillip Island, Victoria, driving a Mercedes-Benz 220SE.

1962 Armstrong 500

19623rd Armstrong 500
Firth and Jane drove a Ford Works Team Ford Falcon XL to victory in the 1962 Armstrong 500 at Philip Island.
Officially, only class placings were awarded but the No 21 Ford Falcon driven by Harry Firth and Bob Jane was recognised as "First across the line".

1963 Armstrong 500

19634th Armstrong 500Armstrong 500
Firth and Jane recorded the races first hat-trick of wins when they won the 1963 Armstrong 500 driving a Mk.I Ford Cortina GT at Bathurst (the race had moved to Bathurst that year due to the poor state of the Phillip Island Circuit following the 1962 race).
Bob Jane and Harry Firth were the first team to complete the full race distance, taking victory in Class C in their factory backed Ford Cortina GT, the change of both vehicle and circuit making no difference to their result of the previous year.

Australian Rally Championship

Australian Rally ChampionARC
He also won the Southern Cross Rally and the Australian Rally Championship.

1961 Armstrong 500

19611961 edition2nd Armstrong 500
Firth then teamed with Bob Jane in a Mercedes-Benz 220SE to win the 1961 Armstrong 500 at Philip Island.
Bob Jane and Harry Firth were the only combination to complete the full race distance, earning the pair the first of their four outright race wins, although the concept of outright race win would not be officially recognised until 1965.

1964 Armstrong 500

19645th Armstrong 5006th Armstrong 500
Firth and John Reaburn finished 3rd in the 1964 Armstrong 500 in a Cortina GT, while Bob Jane won his 4th in a row, teaming with George Reynolds, also in a GT.
Barry Seton and Herb Taylor finished second ahead of Jane's former partner Harry Firth co-driving the third factory Ford with John Reaburn.

Allan Moffat

AllanAllan George MoffatAllan Moffat Enterprises
As part of his work with Ford Australia, Firth was recommended as a driver by a young Canadian born Aussie racing in the new Trans-Am series in the United States named Allan Moffat, and he traveled to the US and co-drove with Moffat in an Under-3 litre Lotus Cortina in two races, a six-hour race at the Green Valley Raceway in Smithfield, Texas, and a four-hour race at Riverside in California.
Moffat returned to Australia but also spent more time in the US, continuing to drive the Cortina as well as Ford Mustangs for Carroll Shelby in Trans-Am with various Australian co-drivers including Trans-Am regular Horst Kwech and Ford Australia's, and future Holden rival, Harry Firth.

1967 Gallaher 500

1967Gallaher 5001967 race
1967 saw Firth notch up his last victory as a driver in the annual 500 mile race at Bathurst, winning the 1967 Gallaher 500 with a young Fred Gibson in a Ford XR Falcon GT, the first Australian made Ford Falcon to use a V8 engine.
In a race long duel against three Alfa Romeo 1600 GTVs, two entered by Alec Mildren Racing and one by M.W. Motors, the Ford Motor Company-entered Falcon GTs achieved a one-two finish with Harry Firth and Fred Gibson acknowledged as race winners after confusion over lap-scoring briefly left uncertainty over the results.

1965 Armstrong 500

19651965 Bathurst1965 Bathurst 500
Firth and Reaburn also teamed in the 1965 Armstrong 500, but while the winning Ford Works car of Barry Seton and Midge Bosworth was the Harry Firth developed Ford Cortina GT500, Firth and Reaburn finished only 14th outright but won Class A for cars priced under £920 in a Mk.I Ford Cortina 220.

Midge Bosworth

Firth and Reaburn also teamed in the 1965 Armstrong 500, but while the winning Ford Works car of Barry Seton and Midge Bosworth was the Harry Firth developed Ford Cortina GT500, Firth and Reaburn finished only 14th outright but won Class A for cars priced under £920 in a Mk.I Ford Cortina 220.
It was Bosworth's second, and last, start in the Bathurst 500, giving him the distinction along with Harry Firth (1967) and Graham Bailey (1986), of winning the event in his last drive at Mount Panorama.

Leo Geoghegan

Leo
Firth and Gibson were actually flagged in 2nd behind their Works Ford team mates, Ian and Leo Geoghegan but following a re-count of the lap charts (after Firth protested the result resulting in long term animosity between himself and the Geoghegan's), were correctly awarded 1st place later that night.
The pair were flagged in first, but a protest by teammate Harry Firth saw the brothers relegated to second after a re-count of the lap charts.

1966 Gallaher 500

1966Gallaher 5001966 Bathurst 500
The Ford Works Team didn't enter any cars for the 1966 Gallaher 500 at Bathurst and Firth teamed with Ern Abbott in a Morris Cooper S to finish in 6th place.

Supercars Hall of Fame

V8 Supercars Hall of FameV8 Supercar Hall of Fame
He was inducted into the V8 Supercars Hall of Fame in 2007.

George Reynolds (racing driver)

George Reynolds
Firth and John Reaburn finished 3rd in the 1964 Armstrong 500 in a Cortina GT, while Bob Jane won his 4th in a row, teaming with George Reynolds, also in a GT.
With three time winning partners Bob Jane and Harry Firth split amongst the entries of the factory supported Ford touring car team both Jane and Firth needed co-drivers for the 500 mile classic.

Ford Falcon (XR)

Ford XR Falcon GTXR FalconXR series
1967 saw Firth notch up his last victory as a driver in the annual 500 mile race at Bathurst, winning the 1967 Gallaher 500 with a young Fred Gibson in a Ford XR Falcon GT, the first Australian made Ford Falcon to use a V8 engine.
Ford Works Team manager/driver Harry Firth, and a young Fred Gibson won the 1967 Gallaher 500 at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst driving an XR Falcon GT.

1968 Australian Rally Championship

1968
Firth won the 1968 Australian Rally Championship driving a Ford Cortina Lotus.
Harry Firth and navigator Graham Hoinville won the Champion Driver and Champion Navigator titles respectively with a Ford Cortina Lotus.

Colin Bond

Caltex CXT Racing Team
That year (1969) Firth was instrumental in launching the professional careers of two soon to be famous drivers – talented up and coming rally driver Colin Bond and young tearaway Peter Brock whose feats in an Austin A30 had brought him to Firth’s attention.
Bond reached the highest levels in Australian motorsport in 1969 when he was recruited by Harry Firth to the newly formed Holden Dealer Team.

Orbost

Orbost, VictoriaOrbost-Snowy Rovers
Firth was born in Orbost, Victoria.

Round Australia Trial

Redex TrialRedex Reliability Trial1979 Repco Reliability Trial
In 1964 Firth and Hoinville won the Ampol Round Australia Trial in a Cortina GT.

1969 Hardie-Ferodo 500

196910th Hardie-Ferodo 5001969 Bathurst 500
Bond and Tony Roberts won the 1969 Hardie-Ferodo 500 for the HDT in a Holden Monaro GTS350, with Des West and Brock finishing third in a similar car.
Brock with Harry Firth's Holden Dealer Team, and Moffat driving a works Falcon GTHO with Alan Hamilton.

Tony Roberts (racing driver)

Tony Roberts
Bond and Tony Roberts won the 1969 Hardie-Ferodo 500 for the HDT in a Holden Monaro GTS350, with Des West and Brock finishing third in a similar car.
In 1969 Roberts, then a prominent rally driver competing for a major Holden dealership, and with just a single season of circuit racing experience, was invited by Harry Firth to join his newly formed Holden Dealer Team and went on to take victory co-driving with Colin Bond in the 1969 Hardie-Ferodo 500 HDT Holden HT Monaro GTS350.

Holden Monaro

Holden HQ MonaroMonaroHolden HT Monaro GTS350
Bond and Tony Roberts won the 1969 Hardie-Ferodo 500 for the HDT in a Holden Monaro GTS350, with Des West and Brock finishing third in a similar car.
The Holden Dealer Team was formed in 1969 by longtime Ford Works Team boss Harry Firth with the team using the GTS350 in competition.