Peter Janson


Record updated 10-Apr-07

A true extrovert, Captain Peter Janson in an international socialite and was at one time a touring car racer. A bearded Wodehousian figure in a brocaded red velvet smoking jacket, he is a fan of foxhunting and friend of Prince Charles.

Peter Janson
International socialite Captain Peter Janson, a bearded Wodehousian figure in a brocaded red velvet smoking jacket. A one-time touring car racer, fan of foxhunting and friend of Prince Charles.

His living arrangements, first under a Baroque tower in the Old Federal Hotel and then at the Windsor, had long fascinated the Sunday papers in Australia.

The Captain competed in rallies and rally cross before turning to circuit racing and running a car called Saggy Sarah in Sports Sedans.

The car started life with the Holden Dealer Team and was driven by Colin Bond at the 1970 Bathurst 500. The car was the quickest of all the Toranas, lapping the Mount Panorama circuit in two minutes and 45 seconds. The car next found service as Colin Bond's Australian Rally Championship winning car in 1971 and 1972 before coming into the hands of the Captain with 45,000 miles on the clock from the Holden Dealer Team.

Janson also purchased the Holden Dealer Team LJ Torana rallycross car.  The car was stripped of its mechanicals and the body shell was scrapped, bits of it finding their way into Saggy Sarah.

At the Bathurst enduro in 1977 the Captain & Larry Perkins finished 3rd first time out. They returned in 1979 and finished second, picking up the dubious distinction of being the car that was 6 laps down in the year when Peter Brock and Jim Richards pulled away from the field at a lap per hour. A much improved result in 1980 saw the Captain and Perkins (Commodore V8) finish in the same position but on the same lap as Brock/Richards this time. 1981 saw their first DNF this time in a Commodore V8.

There are many tales about Peter Janson. Once, due to the regulations preventing any advertising on the plastic strip across the top of windscreens in Australia, the area being reserved for the driver's name, Peter changed his name by deed poll to NGK Spark Plugs. Another time at Oran Park in the 70's he took off when the 1 minute board was shown, apparently you could only get a maximum 1 minute penalty for a jumped start and Janson hoped to that he would benefit more than that.

What he hadn't counted on was being black flagged only to come into the pits to be apologetically told that it was a mistake and that it wasn't for him!

As to the Captain bit he was either a Captain in the Indian army while being the trade commissioner for Australia in India or he was a Captain in the Bhutan Air Force. Any information would be gratefully received.

Captain Peter Janson is still living the life of the society Gentleman in Melbourne, occasionally causing havoc with the Melbourne City Council by trying to get building permits to extend his apartment in ways the neighbours don't like.