Harry Firth 1918-2014. A true legend of Australian motorsport and a patron of CMOOC passed away at the Tattersalls palliative care centre in Frankston on the 26th of April. As most of you will know Harry’s achievements in motorsport and team management but also of his exploits with the Cortina on the world stage form racing a Lotus Cortina in the US with Alan Moffat to rallying in Africa to winning the Australian rally championship. There is so much to read about him and it is all out there, so if you don’t know take the time to have a look.
Many of you that went to the 2012 Cortina Nationals will also remember how passionate he was with the Cortina and how he spoke at the dinner for over an hour at the age of 94. Something that we all took home, real inspiring stuff. Many knew him as a cranky old man but those that knew him well had the utmost respect for him and listened to what he had to say. Another side of Harry that not many people know is that he was a keen fisherman as well as a great
cook, writing his own book of recipes. He also dabbled in fine art and had an impressive art and memorabilia collection.
I first knew Harry when my father used to talk to him on the Warneet foreshore when he went fishing. I didn’t take much notice then and only really got to know him when I got into the Cortina. I even remember him bringing Peter Brock and John Harvey fishing once and we had to push his bogged trailer out of the mud before the tide came in. I last went fishing with him when he was 90 and he sat in the boat for 5 hrs. not moving just concentrating on the job and telling us where to go to the good spots in Westernport. We caught many whiting.
Harry was well looked after in the later years by his wife Janet and his friend Mark that always took him to the race meetings where he would sell his memorabilia. No one can deny he made his mark in Australian Motorsport and will be missed by CMOOC as one of our most famous enthusiasts. RIP.