The scene of one of the most famous crashes in Bathurst history. Bill Brown's destroyed Falcon sits upside down after its famous 1971 roll over. Photo: Russell.

AUSSIE motorsport legend Bill Brown has reportedly passed away in Sydney this morning at the age of 81.

One of the sport’s most well-known amateur drivers of the 1960s and 70s, Brown didn’t start racing until he was 21.

Bill Brown. Photo: Luke West/Chevron Publishing.

After starting in a 1600 Super Porsche, he formed a relationship with David McKay via Spencer Martin and drove for McKay’s team. He won the Surfers Paradise 12 Hour with Greg Cusack in a Ferrari 250LM in 1967.

Brown made 10 Bathurst 500/1000 starts, making his debut in 1964 at the wheel of a Vauxhall Viva alongside Martin and the duo took a class victory.

He raced a range of Falcons and Toranas in the ‘Great Race’ as well as a Charger, Escort and Capri, his last start coming in 1978 in a Capri with Sue Ransom.

He and then-wife Ransom (they were divorced before they then again drove together in the race in 1978) finished 11th in 1975 in an Escort RS2000, marking the best-ever finish in the race’s history by a husband and wife combination.

However, he’s best known in Bathurst history for rolling along the McPhillamy Park fence in the 1971 race after a tyre had blown on his Falcon GTHO and sent him into one of the most spectacular accidents in the race’s history.

The accident was caught on Channel 7 cameras and, amazingly, Brown emerged largely unscathed while the V8 muscle car was bent like a banana and declared a write-off.

It wasn’t the first time he had found himself on his roof at Bathurst. In 1969 Brown’s Falcon flipped at the top of the Mountain as a huge multi-car crash on the first lap unfolded around him.

He continued racing into the 1970s, including spending time racing a Porsche 911 sportscar, before giving the sport away before the close of the decade.

V8 Sleuth passes on its condolences to Bill’s family, friends and racing fans.

V8 Sleuth strives to both preserve and celebrate Australian motorsport’s rich history, from tracking and tracing the race-by-race histories and changing ownership of individual cars, to capturing and retelling the stories of the people who made our sport what it is today.