Australian Rally History

by Tom Snooks
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1971 Southern Cross Rally

6 – 10 OCTOBER 1971


Colin Bond/George Shepheard in the Holden Torana XU1 – from the 1972 regulations booklet


79 competitors started the rally and Doug Chivas got to the front at the end of the first night (with 19 points lost) and stayed there until he hit a rock in the third division. Edgar Herrmann and Stewart McLeod were equal second and right behind him, on 21 points followed by Frank Kilfoyle and Barry Ferguson (23). Colin Bond was well down in tenth place on 28 points. Andrew Cowan, driving a Morris Mini Cooper S, was equal with Bond.

When the scores were tallied at the end of the second night Chivas’ Galant led Herrmann’s Galant 49 points to 57, and the latter closely followed by Bond (XU1) on 58 and Kilfoyle (XU1) on 59. Barry Ferguson (Galant) and Peter Lang (Datsun 1600 – 9th the previous night) fought each other to both be on 62, then McLeod (XU1) 7th with 70, followed by Hilton (Peugeot 504) and Arthur Jackson (Datsun 1600) on 86. The regulator in Cowan’s Mini shorted out and burnt the wiring loom to put him out of contention.

In the background was Yoshio Iwashita and Noboru Ishikawa in their Datsun H510 SSS who had by now settled into the event after losing time earlier due to navigation errors. Cutting his driving teeth on the East African Safari, Yoshio was to compete in numerous Southern Cross Rallies and become one of the best of the Japanese drivers to contest the event.

On the very first section of the third night Chivas hit a rock and was outed from the leader board (he did run on the last night and finished the event), and this allowed Bond to move up from third to be equal first with Herrmann (75 77

points) when the cars returned to Port Macquarie. Kilfoyle (87) moved to third, McLeod to fourth on 92, equalled by Lang, Ferguson sixth (103) and Iwashita, surprising everyone but not himself, to seventh with 119.

With the scores so close, the last night had to make for brilliant driving and so the drivers gave it all…… but misfortune had to happen of course. On a very hard right-hander after a grid, which held no caution (there was a lot of debate on this afterwards) Kilfoyle, McPherson and Herrmann all went off, with the first two suffering front suspension trouble; Kilfoyle’s XU1 axle slowly worked its way loose and the differential chewed off the splines, so that was the end of his event; McPherson fell well back in the field; and Herrmann lost time and dropped back to fourth. Peter Lang also left the road and this cost him heaps of time.

So, Holden Torana XU1s swept the field as Colin Bond won, and little was it realised that it would be 1978 before another Australian (George Fury) would win the event again! McLeod was second; then followed the Mitsubishi Galants of Ferguson and Herrmann; Lang recovered somewhat to take his Datsun 1600 to fifth, then Iwashita consolidated his overnight sixth place and a range of vehicles took out seventh to tenth.

Final Placings

1Colin BondGeorge ShepheardHolden Torana XU1113
2Stewart McLeodAdrian MortimerHolden Torana XU1133
3Barry FergusonGarry ConnellyMitsubishi Galant139
4Edgar HerrmannBob RileyMitsubishi Galant159
5Peter LangEd O’ClearyDatsun 1600174
6Yoshio IwashitaNoboru IshikawaDatsun H510 SSS189
7Peter HoughtonMick NeilsenMitsubishi Colt 1100198
8Richard HarrisNigel CollierMazda 1300203
9Bob HoldenJohn Dawson-DamerFord Escort TC208
10Bruce HodgsonMike MitchellFord Escort TC209


Read about the 1971 Southern Cross Rally in the document below.

1971 Southern Cross Rally