A bit about me and this website/blog

By Ian Richards

A promotional shot taken of the crew of Car 81 prior to the event.
That's me on the left, Wes in the middle and Geoff at right

I have put together this website/blog to capture the history and stories of this event. By posting the detailed descriptions of stages, conditions and stories as blog posts, other competitors, officials, service crew and any one else involved can also contibute their stories and recollections. I have gleaned information from the various books and articles as well as from my own diaries and memories. There are nonetheless many gaps in the stories, so if you have information of memories, please share them for posterity!

I have organised the blog posts into sections that generally cover a logical part of the route, sometimes a single trial stage, sometimes several, often a day or night of trialling. These sections are accessible via the main menu that takes you to six static pages that cover each of the event's six divisions. Other pages provide access to material that is not specifically related to the stages themselves, such as the overall reflections on the event, event organisation, etc. If you are going to make a contribution please try to locate the correct section and add your contribution as a comment.

I was the co-driver of Car 81, the Toyota Celica entered and also driven by Wes Nalder of Stawell, Victoria, and navigated by Geoff Boyd, of Ballarat. We finished sixth outright and were generally considered to be the first placed private entry. For those who think I have a memory like an elephant, I should point out that I wrote up a detailed account of the event immediately afterwards and most of my recollections are based on those notes. My brother is Noel Richards who navigated for the winning MHDT Commodore driven by the late Peter Brock and co-driven by Matt Philip.

I would like to acknowledge the assistance of those who have provided valuable documentation and memorabilia for this website including my co-crew member, Geoff Boyd, the General Manager of the event, Tom Snooks, and his son Darryn Snooks, and the organiser of the 2009 re-run, Graham Wallis.

For those interested, the Google Map of the route has been developed using the Custom Map capabilities of Google Maps and I have generally sought to follow the aerial photography rather than the mapping. In a number of places roads have become disued, realigned or even obliterated but I have done the best I can.

Since the Repco I largely retired from rallying and pursued a career first in academia, then in the IT industry and then back into academia for the last decade or so. I moved to Queensland in 1998 (Hervey Bay, and now Pomona in the Sunshine Coast hinterland).

You can contact me here:

Alternatively, you can find me in the white pages!

1 comment:

Doug Johnson said...

Gidday Ian,
I really appreciate the time and effort you have put into this web page.

This was an iconic Australian rally of all time and it is great you have now preserved it into history with all this info and pics.

I was 13 at the time and it lined up with the Sydney Motor Show, where the rally had its Sydney pit stop at the old RAS showground. The cars were parked in one of the fields there and we had a look at them, and most of them were mobile wrecks! We also watched them leave there that night.

You are a very fortunate man to be there and witness it all first hand and get a good place to boot!