Bob Jane has died aged 88

He died on Friday night "after a long and brave battle" with prostate cancer, his family confirmed on Saturday.

"It was our privilege to have had him as our dad, whom we loved and cherished. We will miss him deeply and he will forever be in our hearts," his children Courtney, Charlotte and Robert Jane said in a statement.


"As his family we ask for privacy at this devastating time."

Jane rose to fame as a champion race car driver, claiming the Armstrong 500 endurance motor race four times, between 1961 and 1964, at Phillip Island in Victoria and its eventual home of Mount Panorama, near Bathurst in NSW.

Harry Firth partnered him three times and George Reynolds for the final victory in a Fort Cortina GT.

The 500-mile "Great Race" concept is now known as the Bathurst 1000.

Jane also won four Australian Touring Car Championships between 1962 and 1972.

"Driving in one of Australian motorsport's greatest eras, his accomplishments on and off the track will long be remembered," Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer said in a statement, titled "Vale Bob Jane", on Saturday.

The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport said Jane was "an influential character in motor sport and made a significant contribution" while Supercars Australia called him "one of the greatest race car drivers the Australian Touring Car Championship has seen".

Jane will be honoured on the Mount Panorama circuit at this year's Great Race, running October 4 to 7, he said.

"Few will ever win four Championships and Bathurst crowns, let alone four 1000 titles in a row," Mr Seamer said.

After Jane retired from driving he remained involved in the sport through his Calder Park circuit complex in northwest Melbourne and Adelaide International Raceway on the outskirts of Adelaide, South Australia.

He set the foundations for Australia's first Formula 1 Grand Prix in Adelaide by bringing big-name F1 stars to compete in the Australian Grand Prix at Calder in the early 1980s, and also invested in Calder's Thunderdome oval, which held NASCAR races for over a decade from 1988.

In 2000, Jane and fellow race car driver Norm Beechey were among the first inducted into the V8 Supercars Hall of Fame. He was also included in Bathurst's new Legends Lane last year, alongside the likes of Peter Brock.

He is, perhaps, best known for his tyre chain Bob Jane T-Marts, which first opened in Melbourne in 1965.

But the multi-millionaire icon was mired in controversy in recent years.

His son Rodney took control of the company after his father suffered a stroke in 2006, and Mr Jane subsequently filed a $2.9 million lawsuit against his son in 2013, which was thrown out by the Supreme Court of Victoria.

He declared bankruptcy in 2016.