Celebrating 50 years of the Southern Cross Rally

Posts in category Memories

Behind the scenes to the Firth / Hoinville win… (Part 2)

The Melbourne control was at a BP service station in Church Street just up from the Hawthorn Bridge. That station has long since been replaced by ‘modern development’. Time allowed was generous so we prepared for our engine removal by removing three of the six bellhousing bolts, and two of the four bolts retaining each […]

Behind the scenes to the Firth / Hoinville win… (Part 1)

The motor sporting journals of the day comprehensively covered our victory in the Cortina GT500. What has never been recorded is the series of incidents which occurred during preparation and the actual event, any one of which could have caused us not to finish, let alone win the event. This is perhaps the occasion to […]

The Barr-Smith Incident!

One of the most talked about incidents from the original Southern Cross rallies was the Tom Barr-Smith adventure. In the 1971 event South Australian state champion Tom Barr-Smith was driving a Renault R16TS in the Southern Cross. Our Renault R12 Gordini had broken down early in the event and we hitched a ride with journalist […]

My Southern Cross Rallies – Bob Watson – Part 3

Welcome back! (Missed part 2? – find it here) My son was born in 1976 so that year became a non-rally year. I had plenty of domestic things to do, and there was no suitable ride on offer. However we ventured up to Port Macquarie as spectators (Daniel saw his first Escort BDA at age 4 months). […]

My Southern Cross Rallies – Bob Watson – Part 2

Welcome back!  (Missed part 1? – find it here) I missed the ‘Cross in 1967, having gone to England for twelve months to work at Vauxhall. My place in the Holden Dealer Team was taken by sports car racer Ron Phillips. I did manage to arrive back in time to drive one of the Holden […]

My Southern Cross Rallies – Bob Watson – Part 1

For rally drivers in the late 1960s and early 70s, there were two must do events: the BP Rally and the Southern Cross. The rallies were a total contrast – the BP very navigational, with roads that sometimes made a mockery of the term. That was not to say that drivers had no influence on […]