The JMW story

Line up of JMW vehicles spanning 40+ years.
Early vehicle - left, last 2001 model (No.80) - centre, 1997 model (No.76) - right

 

JMW cars was started in 1954 by John Wynne and has farther primarily to cater for John's passion to build and race cars.
In the first year of operation, while holding down a full time job and attempting to build a house, John and his father managed 
to construct no less than 6 cars from their facilities in Essendon, just outside Melbourne.
The early cars where primarily small, lightweight, motorcycle powered machines. A formula that John was to revisit in later years.

John Wynne in early JMW at Rob Roy hill climb, circa 1957.
This vehicle is now believed to be in Melbourne somewhere.

 

 

Jack Smith in JMW circa 1960 at Wangarratta.

 

 

John Wynne once again at Rob Roy circa 1961.
This car was very successful and is still owned by John.

 

 

A Channel 7 publicity shot for a Fisherman's Bend race meeting.
John pictured here with 2 Channel 7 dancers.



Despite their small size, these early cars were extremely competitive. John and his vehicles have held many class records over 
the years (primarily in the sub 500cc classes).

One particular car that John speaks fondly of, and he still owns today (2006), was powered by a highly tuned 250cc Adler twin cylinder 
motorcycle engine. Weighing just 350 lbs it could reach speeds of over 120mph.

Early JMW in foreground, late (No.80) at rear.
Note tuned pipes. Later mufflers added to combat noise.

 

Details of early JMW showing simple construction and hand built spoked wheels.

 

As time moved on, the JMWs evolved from humble small open wheelers into clubman sports cars, sleek closed body sports cars and 
later back to high performance, motorcycle powered, open wheel, hill climb specials.

The JMW marque continued for many years as a low volume race car format with the last JMW being constructed in 2001.
In all, over 80 JMWs were produced, essentially on a part time hobby basis.

Unfortunately John's father was only able to provide assistance during the very early years, prior to being killed in a motor racing accident
in an early JMW at Fisherman's Bend.

The JMW vehicles usually sported a number of effective, simple and innovative ideas. The early vehicles of the 50's included such features as:

 

John affectionately tells a tell of a time when he entered in an International race meeting at the Ballarat airfield in about 1960. Because of his vehicles 
small size, John was asked, politely, to start at the back of the field (to which John took some offence). It was only within a few laps that John had 
fought through the pack and was up with the leaders, to the surprise of the organisers.

John in early JMW at Ballarrat International meeting circa 1960.
JMW in front. Rear tyre growth gives an indication of speed.


The JMWs of the 80s were primarily Sports 1300 style vehicles. Usually powered by modified Datsun 1200 engines that would spin through to 11,000 rpm and attain speeds of 230 kph.

John driving Sports 1300 race car circa 1995 (second in class).
This car is now owned by Ash Lowe (QLD) and actively raced.

 

Another JMW Sports 1300 (No 72). Won class event of first day out.

 

Later JMW Sports 1300 (No. 79). Shown pre painting.



The last JMW included features such as a simple mechanical paddle shift gear mechanism and all wheel hand brake assembly to aide in rapid starts at hill climb events. This car weighs in at about 350kgs and is powered by the potent 170bhp, Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engine. The car was 
also once fitted with a supercharged Kawasaki 1100 engine.

Late model JMW (No.76 built 1997).
Owned by Peter Stone and actively campaigned at sprint events and hill climbs in Victoria.

MORE DETAILS ON JMW 76

 

As well as building his own race cars, John has worked for automotive coach/body building operations and during the early 70s worked for
the Ford motor company at Geelong. With his racing background, John clawed his way into Ford, initially as a test driver and then later being
selected to work on the then secret development of Ford's GT race Falcons. John was primarily responsible for the construction of the successful
Bathurst winning Falcons of Alan Moffat and Pete Geoghan during the early 70s.

 

John Wynne (left) with John French and the ex Moffat Falcon at Lakeside historic meeting.
(boy unknown). John Wynne once owned this car.



John's credits during his time at Ford included the construction of the awesome fuel injected Super Falcons for Australia Touring Car Championship 
events along with a number of developments that were used in the production GTHOs. He had a hand in the work that resulted in the 4 wheel disk 
brake assemblies that we all take for granted on modern Fords.

At one time John owned the legendary Bathurst winning Moffat, GT Falcon. He was also fortunate enough to be able to drive this vehicle again in
an historic race meeting at Lakeside raceway, QLD just prior to its closure in 2001.

It appears that John is never content to sit idle. Even now in retirement, he still shows a keen interest in following motor sport, although his 
competition days have past due to failing health and past race injuries. He still actively builds radio controlled model aircraft. Another hobby
that he has pursed for some years. John's planes are as interesting as his cars.

 

There was a time when he even built and sold model aero engines. His engines ranged from single cylinder to flat four configurations and were recognisable by the letters "JW" cast into the tiny crankcases. Only recently was one of John's aero engines located in Philadelphia, USA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Wynne with P51 Mustang model and JMW Sports 1300.



Thankfully, of the 80 plus vehicles built, there still remain a small number of JMWs in active use throughout Australia. Who knows how many more are buried in sheds and garages just awaiting a little tender loving care to bring them back to life.

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