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Ford Cortina GT ‘Winner of first Bathurst’ 1963 (Harry Firth & Bob Jane)

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Vehicle Make Ford
Vehicle Year 1963
Scale 1:14
Brand Apex
Categories Die-cast Models
Tags Ford, Cortina, Bathurst, Harry Firth, Bob Jane, Mount Panorama, 1st Place Winner, Winner
Price $105.00
Description This is a 1:43rd Apex brand model of the #20 Ford Cortina GT driven to victory in the 1963 Armstrong 500 (the first Bathurst) by Harry Firth & Bob Jane.

Held on the 6th of October, the 1963 Armstrong 500 was the fourth running of the 500 mile endurance touring car race. After just three years of use (1960-1962), the track surface of the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit had broken up so badly, the Armstrong 500 was forced to move to the Mount Panorama Circuit just outside Bathurst, with a new organising club, the Australian Racing Drivers Club. The race was open to standard production sedans with four classes based on the purchase price (in Australian pounds) of the vehicle.

The factory backed #20 Ford Cortina GT driven by Bob Jane and Harry Firth was the first car across the finish line, taking victory in 'Class C'. While outright victories at Bathurst were not recognised until years later, their 1963 result completed a hat-trick of 'first across the line' wins. The three consecutive wins were all in different models for the Ford factory team.

The 1963 race was the first Ford vs Holden head-to-head fight, with the Jane and Firth Cortina winning by a lap over the EH Holden of Ralph Sach and Frank Morgan, with a second Cortina on the same lap. Jane and Firth completed 130 laps of the 6.2km (3.9mile) Mount Panorama track in 7hrs 46mins at an average speed of 103.39 kph (64.24 mph).
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