Vale Harry Firth - 1918-2014
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  1. #1
    Simon's Avatar
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    Default Vale Harry Firth - 1918-2014

    Sad new today with the passing of Harry Firth aged 96.

    Whilst best remembered for his time as manager of the Holden Dealer Team from 1969, he was also a very successful competitor in rallies and on the circuit. Competing in all types of cars, from a supercharged Morris Utility, through, MG, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and various Fords, culminating in him winning the inaugural Australian Rally Championship in 1968 (with navigator Graeme Hoinville), as well as numerous wins in both Armstrong 500 and Bathurst 500 events.

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    Between gigs, when he finished with Ford Australia in 1968, and before commencing as manager of the Holden Dealer Team in 1969. He also competed in a Renault 8 Gordini and created the modified Renault 16TS works rally cars, featuring twin Webers and elaborate extractor exhaust systems.

    Well known for creative solutions and rule interpretation, he was also a good talent spotter, fostering the motorsport careers of both Peter Brock and Colin Bond.

    A sad loss for Australian motorsport, the likes of which are unlikely to be seen again.
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  2. #2
    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    Sad new today with the passing of Harry Firth aged 96.

    Whilst best remembered for his time as manager of the Holden Dealer Team from 1969, he was also a very successful competitor in rallies and on the circuit. Competing in all types of cars, from a supercharged Morris Utility, through, MG, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and various Fords, culminating in him winning the inaugural Australian Rally Championship in 1968 (with navigator Graeme Hoinville), as well as numerous wins in both Armstrong 500 and Bathurst 500 events.

    Between gigs, when he finished with Ford Australia in 1968, and before commencing as manager of the Holden Dealer Team in 1969. He also competed in a Renault 8 Gordini and created the modified Renault 16TS works rally cars, featuring twin Webers and elaborate extractor exhaust systems.

    Well known for creative solutions and rule interpretation, he was also a good talent spotter, fostering the motorsport careers of both Peter Brock and Colin Bond.

    A sad loss for Australian motorsport, the likes of which are unlikely to be seen again.
    Yes Simon it is a sad loss to Australian motor sport, an end to an era.

    RIP Harry. You will be missed.
    Last edited by COL; 27th April 2014 at 10:57 PM.
    Regards Col

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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to see Harry "missed control" in the Rally of Life. He was excellent in the preparation of motor cars and a good driver too. His influence in motor-sport was felt over a very long period, and his legacy still is.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Thanks Simon, not something we'd hear in the mainstream media.

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    1000+ Posts bluey504's Avatar
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    Very sad to hear that Harry has passed, a true legend in Australian motorsport.
    I'm friends with his extended family and they all loved Harry. He will be missed by them and many others.
    There are many stories about Harry and the most of the more outrageous ones are true; building an aluminium A9X body shell on a Sunday afternoon, getting a block cast so the Anglia based motor ended up near 1800cm3 after boring WAAAY oversize and as CAMS scrutineer back in the late '70's opening and closing Torana doors and by 'feel' saying which ones were under weight. (Nothing that Harry would of had first hand knowledge in! Use a Silver Fox to catch the other chicken thieves.)
    and Rest well Harry. Brendan.

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    dvr
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    I enjoyed a cute story told to me of one of the R8G competitors at the time, early 70's.

    During scrutineering Harry liked to hang around and observe each car as it went through the process. He also liked to make the occasional comment, on what could be questionable, within earshot of the scrutineers.

    When the R8G was being inspected Harry made some comment about its rear engine shields being modified. The comment floated past the officials but not the R8G driver. He took Harry aside for a quiet word reminding him of the "unusual" bits of angle steel protruding out of his rally XU1 sills, that had a recent off.

    Thereafter Harry and that driver enjoyed a gentleman's agreement that in future neither would "whiteant" each other's cars.

    RIP Harry, you did a wonderful job especially in those fantastic years when your little aussie sixes (XU1's) took the fight right up to yankee iron.

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