Jim Smith 1935-2023

Jim Smith’s Rover V8

Prominent racer, team owner and administrator Jim Smith passed away recently at the age of 88 following a battle with cancer.

He raced a Ford Falcon XL in the 1962 Armstrong 500 with John Callaway and Frank Porter for a fourth in class. In 1967 he and John Colwell campaigned a Datsun 1300 for the Datsun Racing Team in 1967 Gallaher 500.

He had many a memorable battle with Ted Brewster in their Improved Touring Minis before Smith really came to notice when he brought the British works Rover. He raced it as a Sports Sedan with cigarette branding and adorned with cartoon camel on its flanks.

He then purchased the two-time Australian Touring Car Championship winning Chev Camaro ZL1 of Bob Jane in 1973. The car was running with its 5.7-litre powerplant, but was not eligible under the then-new Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) regulations due to the Camaro’s low sale volume in Australia. Smith raced it in the new Sports Sedans category. He also had a Holden Torana A9X with a Weslake-converted Chev V8.

Smith became second President of the Australian Sports Sedan Association Vic (ASSA) in 1974 and went on to later become President of the Light Car Club of Australia during the 1980s.

He was involved in the formation of the Volvo Dealer Team which was victorious in the 1986 ATCC, was the Australian Lotus distributor and had his own team with his son Andrew. The team ran a Lotus Esprit for Brad Jones who won the 1994 Australian Super Production Car Series with victory in the first three rounds and a second in the fourth.

Nine years later in Nations Cup, the team tasted success with successive titles in the final two years of the series. In their Lamborghini Diablo GTR, Paul Stokell won ahead of John Bowe in 2003, and Nathan Pretty in 2004.

Smith left his mark on and off the track and leaves a void in the automotive world.

Speedcafe sends it deepest condolences to Joan, his family and friends.

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