Historic Monte Carlo Rally Holden 48-215

This Holden 48-215 (FX) has been built to tackle the 2013 Historic Monte Carlo rally, re-enacting the 60th anniversary of the first Holden used in international motorsport, and to date the only ever Australian entry in the Monte Carlo Rally.

In 1953 the Australian team of Tony Gaze, Lex Davison and Stan Jones shipped the 48-215 to Europe to take part in the famous event. It was a vastly different challenge back then as compared to the special stages of today; participants started in a wide range of cities all over Europe, and navigated to the single finish line in Casino Square, Monte Carlo.

This isn’t the actual car that raced in Europe in 1953, rather it is an exact replica built by a team led by Gary Poole. It will be driven in Monte Carlo in January 2013 by project leader Gary Poole, Richard Davison (original team member Lex’s son) and Craig Lowndes. “I was delighted when I was asked to be part of this project… it’s one of those fun things you do, and I think it’s important to recognise such an historic occassion. I’ve never driven a Holden FX so that’s going to be a challenge, especially on snow!” said Lowndes. 

It’s exact down to every last detail. The original car was beige and was hurriedly re-painted green, so Poole’s team went to the effort to make sure the door jambs and engine bay were beige, just like the original.

Rally cars need clean windscreens, so luckily the 48-215 has an Electric Screen Jet!

The only conscessions to modernity are a pair of Willans harnesses, no doubt to stop the driver from sliding into the co-driver around bends. It is even fitted with an original rally computer and trusty map light.

I believe these badges on the front are off the actual 1953 car. The Australian Racing Driver’s Club on one side…

… and the famous British Racing Driver’s Club on the other.

The only surviving member of the original team, Tony Gaze, was present at the replica’s launch and was delighted by the project.

Any Given Reason will be watching the Historic Monte Carlo Rally keenly, and will make sure to post an update of how the car went, some sixty years later.

– A huge thanks to Luke Jaksa from City HSV for showing me around the car.

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  1. Tom Gilbert August 23, 2012 Reply

    Andrew, great story. We are driving with this car in Targa. It is superb and is no doubt going to get s fair workout over the next four days.

    • Richard Davison August 24, 2012 Reply

      Great feature Andrew. I cut my teeth in an FX as my first car back in '72 and am thoroughly enjoying my reunion in Targa Adelaide this year. My biggest complaint is that I have to back off to make the vacuum wipers do a wipe. I'm sure they seemed modern back then, but a bit of a worry over the French alps in middle of winter!!
      Richard Davison.

      • Andrew Coles August 27, 2012 Reply

        Thanks Richard, I'm glad you enjoyed the event! Did you have any mechanical problems on Sunday? I recall that you were late arriving at the Gouger podium. I'll have to stay in touch with you and find out how the French alps treat you!

  2. John Barney Now in Perth Brian Bartlett's brother in law.. October 13, 2012 Reply

    OMG this takes me back to my Apprenticeship at W Christian and Co in Mortlake. A man called Rob Jamieson used to let us work on his 48-215 race car .he raced at Calder. Great job guys and all the best
    John Barney...

    • Gary Poole February 20, 2013 Reply

      Well, that is a time warp, Jamo still has that 48-215 or FX and still gets it out. Last time was the Geelong Sprints in Dec 2012. Yes it was like a 'V8 touring car of today in the early 1960's, the premier class of the day"

      • Barry Minster July 25, 2013 Reply

        Sadly Rob Jamison passed away in June 2013, after a short illness.

        • Andrew Coles July 30, 2013 Reply

          That's very sad, but thanks for passing on this unfortunate news. At least he was able to see this project through to completion.

          • Barry Minster July 30, 2013

            More sad news I'm afraid..

            Tony Gaze passed away on 29/7/13

            See family notice below GAZEF. A. O. (Tony)DFC and 2 Bars OAMThe Davison family mourn the loss of our beloved stepfather. Son of Irving Gaze a member of the Shackleton Trans Imperial Antarctic Expedition 1914/17. Tony was educated at Geelong Grammar and from there attended Christ College, Cambridge. In 1940 he joined the RAF and flew Spitfires scoring 12.5 kills against the enemy, yet had to endure the heartrending experience of finding his brother Scot, who had been shot down and killed at the age of nineteen. Some time later Tony himself was shot down over France, but escaped the Gestapo via the French underground and returned to England. After the war he became Australia's first Formula 1 driver and via motorsport befriended our father the late Lex Davison. In 1977 he married our mother Diana, Lex's widow and resided at Nagambie and of recent years Barwon Heads. In saluting Tony's heroic life I wish to recognise the efforts of my brother Chris who was always there to provide support and dignity to Tony, whose passing marks the end of an extraordinary era. The Davison family salute you and will cherish our time with you always. Jon, Charles and James Davison - See more at: http://tributes.heraldsun.com.au/notice/1439032#sthash.Gd8UYAAX.dpuf

  3. Santiano Philippe January 2, 2013 Reply

    Nous sommes heureux d'accueillir Monsieur Craig Lowndes, et toute son équipe en France.
    Nous ne manquerons d'aller les voir à Valence et sur les routes de l'Ardèche pour cet évènement.

    • Andrew Coles January 3, 2013 Reply

      Merci pour l'accueil chaleureux Philippe bienvenus! L'équipe a été la lecture de ce post, donc je suis sûr qu'ils vont voir votre accueil. Et comment vous êtes chanceux pour voir l'historique de Monte-Carlo en personne! Ce qui concerne l'Australie, Andrew.

  4. paul hill January 17, 2013 Reply

    saw the old girl in bury st edmunds in suffolk uk, this afternoon - good luck fellah's and enjoy your trip up the Glasgow

  5. Boib Watson January 19, 2013 Reply

    Good luck, Gary Craig and Richard. I wish I was there. Treat the old girl nicely and she will do the right thing by you. Cheers, Bob Watson.

  6. Gary Poole February 20, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for your good wishes, Andrew will post up an updated blog. Car on its way home, but the cup from Auto Club de Monaco was carried home as hand luggage....! Gary

    • Andrew Coles February 26, 2013 Reply

      That's brilliant! Will hope to get the update post out in a couple of weeks. Cheers, Andrew

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