For brothers Brad and Kim Jones, their 2018 retro Freightliner Racing livery provides a throwback to one of the Australian motor racing greats – Bob Jane and his stunning Holden GTS350 HQ Monaro. Like they did in 2017 with their Norm Beechey tributes, this year provides race fans with another great insight into the brothers’ early years in motorsport and precious family moments.
Bob (Robert) Jane, a Supercars Hall of Fame member, won the Australian Touring Car Championship four-times, and was a four-time winner of the Armstrong 500, which is now known as the great Bathurst 1000.
“We chose to replicate the Monaro because Kim worked on that car back in the day. It was a stellar GM product and it will really resonate with the Holden fans. It’s been a busy week for our panel and paint team preparing the retro car in its new colours, and as always they have done a fantastic job to bring this car to life in PPG and I believe it will really shine on track.” Brad said.
Kim was working as an apprentice mechanic when the opportunity came to work with Bob. Kim naturally jumped at the chance to get involved and work alongside one of the greats.
Kim added “Working for Bob was my first real experience in a professional race team. I remember riding my pushbike from Tullamarine to Brunswick every day because I didn’t have my licence. It was a very steep learning curve, one that saw me have a big improvement in my skill sets. At that point in motorsport in Australia, Bob Jane was one of the few fully professional race-teams. He had access to all the best equipment and technology at the time. It was a life changing experience for me.”
“To give you an overview on that era of racing, originally it was Pat Purcell and myself doing everything, later Harvey Spencer came along, but we did everything from sweeping floors to cleaning lathes, tyre fitting to car assembly and running the cars at the race track.”
“As you age in life, its great to be able to revisit things that are vividly engrained in your memory from the past. I will always remember Bob’s Repco McLaren turning up at the Hume Weir and to me the most striking features of that car was the green tinted Lexion windshield and the chrome exhausts running over the rear of the car.”
“As with last years livery of Norm Beechey’s Monaro, these cars were always prominent at the Hume Weir where Brad and I spent a lot of our early years. On Sunday nights after the Hume Weir races, the likes of Bob Jane, Norm Beechey, Peter Manton, Jim McKeown and Bryan Thompson used to come over to our house for a BBQ.”
Brad added “Bob was a close friend of our family, and most people wouldn’t know this, but he was our Godfather. If anything were to happen to our parents back then, he would have been stuck with Kim and I. Bob has had a big impact on our careers in motorsport.”
“My first memory of Bob Jane was at the Hume Weir when he was driving his orange Mustang. He was always one of my heroes growing up as he always had the most beautifully presented cars – the Mustang, the Camaro and Monaro, however his McLaren has to be one of my favorite race cars of all time.”
“Our lives really intertwined with his, as kids we would spend time at his holiday home at Mulwala. Then as our racing careers grew there were plenty of connections. Kim’s first Formula Ford was purchased from Bob, the first production car series we competed in was the Super Series that Bob ran at Calder Park and Adelaide Raceway. Then, there’s the Thunderdome which Bob was responsible for opening in 1987. We had great success there over the years in the AUSCAR and NASCAR; those memories will stay with us forever.”
Freightliner Racing driver Tim Slade added “I believe the team have nailed it again this year with the Bob Jane retro livery. It’s a simple design, and the history behind it is what really connects with the fans. The Jones brothers have many great stories to tell, and this is another one of them.”
Published: 11 September 2018.