Big Pete's Mustang - Motorsport history for sale
By Mike Hanlon
October 6, 2005
October 7, 2005 In Australian motorsport history, one of the all-time crowd favourites was the late Ian ‘Pete’ Geoghegan sliding his famous 1967 Ford Mustang GTA around Australian racing circuits, tail well out, right foot buried, and rarely more than three wheels on the ground – and at all angles! Between 1967 and 1971, Geoghegan posted an amazing 75 wins and 20 second places out of 118 starts in the famous Mustang, winning three consecutive Australian Touring Car Championships in 1967, 1968 and 1969 in the process. This title hat-trick in the same car remains an unequalled feat and makes the Mustang arguably the most successful Touring Car in Australian history.
Now Geoghegan’s fabulous Mustang, which has recently been fully-restored to its former glory, is being auctioned by Shannons at the Australian International Motor Show auction in Sydney on October 23.
The Mustang burst onto the local Touring Car scene in 1965 in the hands of first Norm Beechey and then Bob Jane, with Ian Geoghegan equipping himself with a similar Mustang the following season to reclaim the title.
However for the 1967 season, Geoghegan replaced his original Mustang with the improved GTA model now being auctioned by Shannons, beginning an amazing partnership.
He took delivery of the car in April 1967 as an automatic road car, but legendary racecar builder John Sheppard used all the trick bits available at the time to create one of Australia’s fastest Touring Car.
The Mustang was an immediate winner, with Geoghegan victorious in the 1967 Championship after battling Beechey in his Chevy Nova at Lakeside, while he also took the 1968 title after Beechey’s new Camaro failed at Warwick Farm.
The 1969 title (which for the first time was decided on the results of a full season) was tougher, with Alan Moffat and Bob Jane in new Boss 302 Mustangs, Beechey in his Monaro GTS 327 and Alan Hamilton in a factory-built Porsche 911, all capable of victory.
It all came down to the final round at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains, with Geoghegan’s Mustang taking the title over Hamilton’s Porsche by a single point!
Pete Geoghegan and the Mustang continued racing until late 1971, when the Mustang was sold to Clive Green. And it was still scoring points in 1972 after six full seasons of racing!
The Mustang was purchased by the current owner in 2001 and totally rebuilt to its former glory, in which form it has successfully competed in Group Nc Historic Touring Car racing.
It comes complete with numerous spare parts worth over $50,000, Documents of Originality signed by the late Ian ‘Pete’ Geoghegan, a CAMS Certificate of Description and an Historic Logbook.
Shannons National Auction Manager Christophe Boribon expects bidding for this significant piece of Australian motor racing history to sell in the $280,000-$330,000 range.
The famous Mustang and 25 other vehicle and memorabilia lots in the auction can all be seen by visitors to the Shannons auction and insurance stand in Hall 6 at the Australian International Motor Show, Sydney Exhibition & Convention Centre from October 14-23. Shannons web site can be found here.