Rob Jamieson came from a long line of farmers in which every generation had farmed as far back as 1694. He was also crazy about cars, fast ones.
Born in 1935 at Mortlake, Mr Jamieson loved to race historic motor cars when he wasn’t breeding fine Merino sheep, helping out the CFA or doing something useful for his beloved local community around Darlington.
Mr Jamieson clocked up an extraordinary 53 years with the Darlington Fire Brigade and was its captain from 1978 to 1986.
But motor racing was his greatest passion and every year he would drive in the Melbourne Grand Prix Shannon’s Historic Car Demonstration where, to the amazement of his oncologist, he raced in March this year — only two months before he died.
He owned and raced a variety of cars, including Austin Healeys, an M.G. TC and a white FX Holden he bought in 1960 and from which he never parted.
He passed his Confed-eration of Australian Motor Sport racing driver’s licence in 1958, aged 23. From then on he raced his green Austin Healey on a regular basis until he married in 1964 and had children.
He sold this Healey to purchase a family car and had a spell from racing for 19 years. In 1983 he dusted off the FX Holden and began racing again. He then bought another Austin Healey in the mid-1980s and regularly raced both it and the FX.
According to the Austin Healey Owners Club members, Mr Jamieson put in an extraordinary number of racing miles. He participated on a regular basis at race meetings near and far, from the local Camperdown Hill Climb to Eastern Creek in Sydney.
In the early years Rob would drive his Austin Healey to race meetings, which was a concern on the long journey home due to the wear and tear on the tyres during the races.
In later racing years, Rob built a trailer and hooked up the Austin Healey behind the farm ute.
His parents supported his passion for motorsport. In fact, it was his mother who taught him to drive as a young boy perched on her knee in the family Pontiac.
Although modest, he consistently won many of his races over the decades, recording the fastest time at the 1960 and 1961 Geelong Speed Trials. He also won the sports car scratch race at the first meeting at Sandown Park in March 1962 and won several races at Calder in 1962 and at Sandown in March 1963, where he had the fastest lap time.
Later that year at Sandown he had a busy weekend, racing both his Austin Healey and FX Holden. He won in his Healey and came fourth in the touring car scratch race against 25 GMH entrants. More recently, among other successes, he won his class at the Australian Hill Climb Championships.
Mr Jamieson’s ancestors were among the early pioneers in the Western District and Rob was the fourth generation to farm in the Mortlake area. Rob’s great-grandfather Robert Jamieson (1812-1894) was one of 12 children and was enticed to leave Scotland by the prospect of a better life in the colonies.
In September 1840 he emigrated to Australia from Carsphairn, Kirkcudbrightshire, in southern Scotland. He sailed from Greenock with his share of his late father’s modest estate and a loan of about £95 from his bachelor uncle. He joined his younger brother William in Melbourne, who had emigrated in 1838. The brothers settled on land in 1843 near Tyrendarra and called the run “Castlemaddie” after the farm where they were both born in Scotland. The two brothers had generations of farming experience in their blood.
Early records demonstrate that their great-grandfather, Richard Jamieson (1694-1761), was a tenant farmer in the Tweed Valley near Peebles, Scotland and every generation had farmed since.
Rob was laid to rest in the Jamieson family plot at the Mortlake cemetery alongside his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Rob is survived by his wife of 49 years, Rosalind, sister Joanne, his three children Wendy, Clive and Belinda and four grandchildren.