Beechey, Geoghegan & Jane: The Racing Mustangs of 1965
Norm Beechey’s ’64 Mustang in typical pose at Warwick Farm.
In this first edition of our series of stories from the Shannons Club we head back to 1965 when Beechey, Geoghegan & Jane were kicking off a golden era of muscle cars in Australian touring car racing.
Ford Australia boss Bill Bourke’s decision to import small numbers of the new Ford Mustang from the USA to Australia in 1965 – and convert them to RHD for a few well-heeled Aussies to drive on local roads – was a typically shrewd marketing decision (see Joe Kenwright’s story on these rare imported Fords).
Bourke wanted Australia to get a taste of the euphoric ‘Mustang-mania’ that was sweeping across the USA at the time, as Americans in their hundreds of thousands scrambled to buy one of Ford’s sensational new pony cars.
With the impending local launch of the new make-or-break XR Falcon series in 1966, Bourke wanted to maximise the positive image rub-off the new Mustang could bring to his new Aussie Falcon using the clever ‘Mustang-bred’ marketing theme he adopted.
What Bourke probably hadn’t counted on, though, was the massive free kick his marketing campaign received from three of Australia’s biggest names in motor sport at the time – Norm Beechey, Pete Geoghegan and Bob Jane – when all three chose to race Mustangs in 1965.
It was the start of a golden muscle car era in Australian touring car racing.
Images thanks to: autopics.com.au