International Motocross Series 1960-70s
AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL motocross TOURS
International motocross in Australia before Manjimup and Broadford
When we think of International Motocross in Australia, the Cosy Creek Manjimup and Broadford circuits in Western Australia and Victoria, respectively, immediately come to mind.
Since 1981, Australia’s premier International Motocross event – the Manjimup 15000 – continues to run and, in 1982 and 1983, the Manjimup Motorcycle Club hosted the World Motocross des Nations and 125cc World Championship.
Australia also held a round of the World 500cc Championship at Broadford, Victoria in 2000.
But Australia has actually been regularly holding International Motocross events since the early sixties.
In 1961 Australian scrambles rider Tim Gibbes, who raced on the continent and later moved to New Zealand, organised an International Grand Prix in New Zealand.
In 1964-65 he established the Gold Leaf International Motocross tour of New Zealand, bringing over three international riders from England and Europe – George Hauger (Germany – Wabeha), Authur Harris (England, Harris Triumph Special), and Max Morf (Switzerland – CZ).
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Australia New Zealand International Tours
In December 1966 Tim extended the International Motocross Tour to include Australia. Herne Hill (WA) was the first round, then Snake Gully (SA), Christmas Hill (VIC), followed by Woolongong (NSW) before crossing the Tasman for seven more events at different venues across New Zealand.
The 1966/67 Australian and New Zealand International Motocross tour featured international riders Freddi Postmann (Austria), Tim Gibbes (NZ), UK riders – brothers Randy Owen and Tony Owen, plus Gordon Adsett (See next photo).
A second tour was held in 1967/68 featuring these International riders: J. Lewis (Wales), G.Lindstom (Sweden), J. Roberts (USA), M. Sherriffs, G. Holland, Ivan Miller, Tim Gibbes (New Zealand), Laurie Alderton (NSW) and Ray Fisher (Vic).
From 1969 to the mid seventies the International tour became an annual event – but just on the mainland. Each year the first round was hosted by the AJS Motorcycle Club at the Herne Hill Circuit (WA). In 1971 the second round was held at Manjimup (WA).
1966/67 International tour
The 1966 delegation of International motocross riders and officials – possibly on arrival at Perth Airport. [Standing from left to right] Ray Duncan, Freddi Postmann (Austrian rider), Tim Gibbs (NZ rider), John Rock (WA rider), Alf Carstairs, Trevor Lawrence and Randy Owen (UK rider). [Front] Gordon Adsett (UK rider) and Tony Owen (UK). The woman in the photo could be the Austrian rider’s wife with their two children?
The international riders travelling across Australia by road
The international riders in Tasmania with their hosts
International riders at the airport in Tasmania on route to Victoria
1971 - Round 1, Herne Hill (WA)
The first round of the 1971 International Motocross attracted huge publicity and was filmed live on television by Channel 7, with the second round being held at Manjimup.
That year the riders in the International races included Jim Aird (Scotland), who won the event on a 400cc Husqvarna, Randy and Tony Owen (England), Australian and New Zealand Champion Ivan Miller (NZ) and Australian Champion Gary Flood (Victoria), and Laurie Alderton (NSW). The local riders to finish in the points were Philip Bruce, Richie Kings, Alan Reid, Doug Underwood and Laurie Johnson.
A documentary was also made from this series and mostly features the 1971 event, which has now been converted to digital by the AMX History website for you to view – see videos this page.
12M documentary – Australian International Motocross Tour 1960-70s
2M trailer – Introducing the International riders in 1971
2M trailer – The international race at
Herne Hill, WA in 1971
The first overseas visitors for the inaugural Gold Leaf International Motocross Series in 1964/65– George Hauger (Germany), Authur Harris (England) and Max Morf (Switzerland)
Ivan Miller (NZ) leads Jim Aird (Scotland) in a wheel-standing competition in front of 40,000 people at Perry Lakes stadium in Perth. The riders were promoting the 1971 International Motocross event at a big birthday party to celebrate Micky Mouse’s 40th birthday.
1968-69 International Motocross Series program autographed by the International riders
Great Britain’s Tony Owen at the start of the International race at Herne Hill, near Perth, in 1971
Winner of the 1971 round at Herne Hill Jim Aird (Scotland) accepts his trophy from WA celebrity Alexander the Great
Scotland’s Jim Aird at the Herne Hill circuit creek crossing at Herne Hill in 1971
(Photo: Tony Forsythe)
Five-times Scottish Champion Jim Aird at Herne Hill (WA) on his CZ machine in 1971 (Photo: Tony Forsythe)
New Zealand and Australian Champion Ivan Miller’s Husqvarna machine in 1971
1971 Round 1 Results
1. Jim Aird (Scotland) 22 pts
2. Ivan Miller (NZ) 20 pts
3. Randy Owen (England) 11 pts
4. Gary Flood (Victoria) 6 pts
5. Philip Bruce (WA) 3 pts
6. Terry Alderton (NSW), Ritchie Kings (WA), Doug Underwood (WA), Alan Reid (WA) 2pts
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