1951 George Reed Special

George Reed was a local Bathurstian who built, and raced cars, in the late 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. He built a total of five Reed specials.

The ‘Red Car’ is a replica of his third car, which was built by mechanics at the workshop of Bathurst City Council (now Bathurst Regional Council), on a voluntary basis. The car is powered by a Ford V8 239 cubic inch side-valve engine with Offenhauser heads. The original car was constructed over a period of six weeks with the assistance of Cam Reed (George’s father), Allan Scott, Allan Morcom, Alex Hargans and John Woodward.

The ‘Red Car’s most famous win was the 1951 Australian Grand Prix in the hands of Bathurst driver, Warwick Pratley, at the Narrogin Circuit in Western Australia. The car also competed at Mount Panorama, winning the Bathurst 100 on three occasions.

Some of the car’s more notable successes include:

  • Fastest time of the day at the 1948 Hawkesbury Hill Climb
  • 1948 Hawkesbury unlimited Sports car record
  • First in the over 1500cc scratch race at Mount Druitt in 1949
  • Fastest time of the day at Foleys Hill, near Mona Vale in1949, just behind Frank Kleinig’s record.

The car returned to Narrogin for the 50th anniversary of the win in 2001.

George Reed was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for services to motor sports.

National Motor Racing Museum collection