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1960 Armstrong 500
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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 on 20 November 1960 over a distance of 167 laps x 3.0 miles = 501 miles.

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.

Jim Thompson, managing director of shock absorber manufacturer Armstrong York Engineering, was encouraged by his PR man Ron Thonemann to increase its business with major carmakers (particularly Ford and Holden) by sponsoring a race.


Outright controversyEdit

Officially only class placings were awarded. 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 thirty second intervals, with the Class D Roxburgh/Coad Vauxhall starting the race thirty seconds before the Class C Russell/Anderson/Loxton Peugeot. With surviving records not sufficiently accurate to say whether the Peugeot was closer than thirty seconds behind the Vauxhall at the finish, the issue has petered out over time.

Class structureEdit

Class AEdit

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 BEdit

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 CEdit

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 DEdit

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 EEdit

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


Class results were as follows:

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


  • Fastest Lap - #47 Youl/Youl - 2:41 - Laps 15, 45 & 62 [1]
  • Race Time - 8:20:45


  • 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 linksEdit