Buzz Buzaglo : Australian International Racing Driver and the Eternal Racing Story of Talent ,$,Luck…

Posted: July 8, 2014 in Features, Obscurities
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

British gp support

British GP Meeting , John Player British F3 Championship round 1973. Fired up in his heat having been unable to fasten his ‘belts, Buzz’ March 733 Novamotor passes John Sheldons Royale RP11A on the outside of Woodcote. He was a DNF but made the final as one of the fastest non-finishers, coming 7th from the back of the grid against world class opposition..

Many a motor racing career has been inspired by racing films, perhaps the most iconic is ‘Grand Prix’, the 1966 John Frankenheimer epic,   Australian John ‘Buzz’ Buzaglo worked on ‘Grand Prix’ and was a Formula Ford ace in the UK shortly thereafter………

buzz

Brands Hatch , ’71 . Paddock, Palliser WDF3 KVG Racing

 Billycarts with Jonesy…

Growing up in Melbournes suburb of Balwyn, early ‘motoring’ exploits were shared with local lads including Alan Jones who took on THE billycart challenge of the Eastern Suburbs, the formidable drop from Belmore Road down Balwyn Road to Hyslop Park, enough to test the ‘gun suspension setup’ of pram wheels front and ball-bearings at the rear……….how many of us developed a love of oversteer in such sophisticated ‘machinery’?!

Jones and Buzaglo were to meet again in British F3 in 1973.

Kangaroo Valley & ‘Grand Prix’…

gp

Bored with his job he set off  for Europe in 1965 to see the sights and soon set up digs in Earls Court , ‘Kangaroo Valley’. A succession of jobs followed including film extra work. Whilst at Brands Hatch as an extra Buzz befriended one of the producers and was offered a job as a ‘Second Assistant Director’ on ‘Grand Prix’, at 150 pounds per week it was too good to resist, and off to Clermont Ferrand and Monza he and best mate Jeff Morrow went.

Their task was to manage  the cars into position to allow the shoot of the day to take place, in the process getting to know both cast and the drivers  well ; Jochen Rindt, Peter Revson, Bob Bondurant, Mike Spence, Chris Amon, Jackie Stewart and co-star James Garner . Much fun was had driving the cars into position and into ‘parc ferme’ in the evenings. James Garner asked the boys to take his Mustang GT350 from Clermont to Monza ‘which took a week , we did it ever so carefully’ .The most dangerous part of the job was an invitation  by Frankenheimer’s bored wife to visit her hotel suite, it was immediately clear Scrabble was not her game of choice ………..discretion was the better part of valour, and after one drink Buzz departed , job and hide intact!

mustang

Buzaglo in James Garner’s Mustang GT350 enroute from Clermont Ferrand to Monza in the Swiss Alps

garner

On the ‘set’ of ‘Grand Prix’ at Monza. In front, James Garner, Bob Bondurant, Buzz. Mike Spence is holding the yellow helmet, beside him Ken Costello (an F3 driver) Peter Revson wearing the white helmet with the movies Director John Frankenheimer behind Revson & looking ‘sideways’

‘ The Revolution Club’ & Merlyn FF

merlyn

Buzz on the Brands grid, Merlyn Mk11, June 11 1970, the day of his first win…

His competitive juices were fired by close proximity to ‘the scene’ and he was soon saving hard for a car , working in 2 clubs one of which , The Revolution Club was a haunt of racing people including Stewart, Rindt, Frank Williams, Bill Ivy, Mike Hailwood, Piers Courage, Emerson Fittipaldi, amd many others. Eventually he chose a Merlyn Mk 11 Formula Ford which was promptly loaded up for a  test session at Brands Hatch, Tim Schenken happened to be watching proceedings, having a quiet ale by the fire in bar. He soon  appeared in overalls lapping in the Merlyn and making various changes to the set up, Schenken had won the first British FF Championship in a similar car in 1968 and was running an F3 Brabham in that year ,1969.

He  launched a campaign of club events commencing at Brands finishing 5th, and  Castle Combe, ,3rd in late 69′ and soon established a reputation as a young man to watch from Oz…………having wound his actual age back at the time by 5 years in the best traditions of the sport………..

 Winning in Jochens Overalls…

jochen

A couple of happy chappies : Jochen Rindt, Buzz, Bob Bondurant…during the filming of ‘Grand Prix’ , Monza 1966

Into 1970 the car was raced frequently picking up several wins at Brands Hatch. His first win on 11 June 1970 was in a pair of overalls given to him by Rindt. ‘Jochen came into the club one night and asked if i had bought a car yet, he immediately offered me a pair of overalls and delivered them the following week telling me to make sure i had some wins in them.They were beautiful plain light gold, triple layer nomex, he had hardly worn them’.

brands win

First win , Merlyn Mk11 ,Brands June 1970

‘Emerson Fittipaldi offered to help me by talking to my sponsor after an enormous lose from bank to bank in the Snetterton Esses on some oil dropped by motorbikes in the previous practice session.I was sitting there in the middle of the tracjk thinking WTF!?, and he shouted down to see if i was alright. He was towing his F3 Lotus 59 back to the pits over the bridge and saw the whole thing. He walked me down to the track to show me the oil which was there in the earlier car session. It was a wonderful gesture, he and his wife Maria came into the Revolution Club for a meal on me a few nights later. An amazing, genuine and ever so friendly bloke’.

At Oulton Park Buzz and another car touched, the Merlyn being rolled into oblivion, fellow Aussie Brian Mc Guire extricated him from the wreck, he finally woke up in Cheshire & District Hospital on the following Wednesday. ……..he was out for 3 months. No racing, and no income.

Buzz saw Rindt ‘steal’ a lucky 1970 Brands Hatch British GP win from Jack Brabham , whose BT33 famously ran out of fuel on the last lap, an error ‘credited’ to Chief Mechanic Ron Dennis in later years. Very late for work in London, good mate Mike Hailwood gave Buzz the ride of his life making it back to London in record time, ‘the Honda 750/4 a stunning bit of kit’, he recalls.

Another memorable Brands day involved Buzz and girlfriend being picked up by Frank Williams in London and schmoozed in the plush Grovewood Suite in the belief The Revolution Club could assist in Williams’ future campaigns………FW was not too miffed to learn Buzz was the manager, such was his work ethic, Williams figured he owned the place!

brise

 Palliser in ’71

paliser

Palliser WDF2

Upon recovery from the shunt he and Richard Knight (winner of the first Australian FF Championship in an Elfin 600 in 1970) built up a pair of Palliser WDF3 Formula Fords to attack the 1971 season. Buzz continued his run of success, a win in a Championship round in front of Tony Brise and a BARC Silverstone round over Richard Knight in identical cars, both setting lap records were highlights.

KVG Racing & ’72 Success in an Elden Mk10a…

win 2

Victorius weekend in 1972 at Castle Combe, 2 wins and the lap record. Johnny Gerber between Buzz and the mechanics. Elden Mk10a.

Strong 1971 results attracted KVG Racing sponsorship in 1972, to support a 2 car team , a new Palliser WDF2 for Buzaglo and Buzz’ WDF3 for Ian Grob. The earlier model, the superior performer, was raced  by Buzz before being sold to Aussie Peter Finlay,  very competitive in it 1972/3  in Europe before being similarly quick in Australian Formula Ford as one of the Grace Bros Team entries in 1975.

mallory

In the KVG Elden Mk10a, Mallory Park hairpin, before the Falconer wide-body was fitted

Early in the season it was decided to replace the Pallisers with a pair of Elden Mk10a’s, the ‘ducks guts’ in FFequipment at the time. Buzz was having a strong season,being tipped to win the BOC Championship but a bad accident at Croft in March hospitalised him again with a broken leg and ribs . Ken Grob, KVG Racing, wanted to focus on Sports Cars for his son so Mexican driver Johnny Gerber bought Grobs car with the other  given to Buzz. .The cars were made more competitive by the purchase of 2 of Dennis Falconers very slippery and contentious bodies…’good for an extra 250 rpm over the standard Elden body down a decent straight and a tad more downforce depending upon how the bodywork was supported’ according to Buzz.. At this time  British businessmen, shipbroker Tony Vlassopoulo, Ippokampos Shipping, Johnny Gerbers sponsor , provided financial support.

Gerber and Buzz won many races that year with Buzaglo taking the Castle Combe FF lap record, which stood for 8 years, and the BRSCC South Western FF Championship.

paper article

silverstone

Buzaglo in the Elden Mk10a leads Rob Cooper and the rest of the pack for a Silverstone win. 1972.

There was a strong Australian contingent at Snetterton for the inaugural Formula Ford Festival in ’72 then as now the launchpad of many a Grand Prix career.  Larry Perkins’ Elfin 620, John Leffler’s Bowin P4a, and Bob Skelton’s  Bowin P6f, all entered, as well as the Finlay Palliser. Future F1 drivers Danny Sullivan, Patrick Neve ,Tiff Needell, as well as Perkins were also entered. Buzz qualified well, and finished 2nd to Sullivan in his Semi Final, and back in the pack in the final having initially run 3rd, off the front of the grid, and moving forward before the distributor moved causing a misfire which pushed him back thru the field. Best placed of the other Aussies was Perkins, 3rd in the final and at the start of a 5 year sojurn in Europe which took him all the way to F1.

perkins

Formula Ford Festival, Snetterton 1972.Doug Bassett goes straight on at the Hairpin, Larry Perkins Elfin 620 leads Tiff Needell’s Lotus 69, Chris Smith’s Elden & Buzaglo in the Ippokampos Elden Mk10a, and the rest…

Leffler and Skelton finished 4th in their respective heats, Buzz recalls the guys as being ‘great blokes with the cars creating huge interest, and making a strong impression’ in what was the global FF Grand Final for 1972.

festival

The FF year finished with a meeting at Zolder , ‘it was a 2 race format, in the first race Patrick Neve won, i was third , i won the second race and set the lap record winning overall’.

’72 had been a mixed year with the accident but a successful one despite the ‘might have beens’, particularly at the FF Festival.

 Lookin’ Good : F3 in ’73…

march

In the Peter Bloore owned March 733 Novamotor , British GP meeting 1973…an amazing weekend and ‘tigerish’ drive

Ippokampos were happy with the results of both drivers and provided some support to Buzz’ mount for the last year of the 1.6 litre F3, a March 733 Novamotor (Ford Lotus Twin Cam) owned by Kiwi Peter Bloore. The car and engine were great choices, in what would be a year of phenomenal F3 depth.

There were dozens of F3 races in England in ’73 with Alan Jones, Larry Perkins, Brian Henton, Richard Robarts, Tony Brise, and Mike Wilds to name the future F1  drivers running in the 3 main championships……..these fellows did the lot, Buzz did 6 selected rounds as funds permitted. Jacques Laffite, Lella Lombardi, Conny Andersson, Jean Ragnotti, & Michele Leclere  ran in occasional forays in the UK in the midst of their domestic European campaigns. Buzz’ first F3 year was an impressive one particularly given no testing pre-season and the self run , self prepared nature of the car. The first time he sat in the car was at its first race meeting.

Competing in 6 meetings, best results in the BARC Championship being 7th, 8th, and 2nd at Silverstone, Brands, and Castle Combe, also setting fastest lap and the lap record, behind winner Ian Taylor there at an average speed of 103mph.The Lap Record stands in perpetuity as the F3 1.6 litre record. Best in the Northern Central Rounds was a 9th at Brands Buzz memorably ‘saving Perkins life in the tunnel under the circuit’ as Jones threatened to ‘effin knock those ice cubes (glasses) off your nose’ if his Cowangie driving habits were not altered!

Contesting the British Grand Prix in the BRSCC F3 Championship round was a huge thrill with a strong 7th in a field which included 6 future F1 drivers, only 2 of them ,in works cars , Jones & Henton, finished in front of him in the leased March. ‘I started my heat on the second row behind Jones, before the start, for the life of me i couldn’t get the belts done up. While trying to do them up in a panic i missed the drop of the flag and just about the whole field passed me. I drove like the clappers and passed John Sheldon on the outside of Woodcote putting 3 wheels into the dirt. A stone went through the fuel filter a lap later so i DNF’d but i had one of the fastest non-qualifier laps so made the final. From the back row i worked myself up to 7th getting a European F3 Championship point. I remember AJ saying to me later you really had your eyes on this weekend.’

sideways

Caught it! Sideways at Woodcote corner sans seatbelts in the heat…Scheckter lost his McLaren M23 in the British GP @ the end of Lap 1 the following day here taking out half the field…

It had been a very promising first F3 season, his sponsor was happy, things were looking good, and on the rise. Australia’s ‘Sports Car World’ Magazine ran an article about Australian drivers doing well in Europe , Buzaglo was in the best of company being featured along with Schenken, Jones, Perkins, Vern Schuppan, Dave Walker, and the late Brian Mc Guire. Roll on 1974.

A Year which seemed full of promise…March Holbay in ’74…

743

Buzaglo in the Ippokampos March 743, following Luis Correia Moraes GRD 374 at Bottom Bend , Brands Hatch in a test session

Ippokampos provided a 150 thousand pound budget to run a 2 car team. Unlike today, when control classes largely hold sway throughout the open-wheeler world, the choice of chassis and engine was critical. 1974 was the first year of the 2 litre F3 Formula, the choice of a March 743 was a good one, the Holbay engine, based on the Ford Cortina SOHC unit, was not. The good ole Lotus Ford Twin cam, suitably bored and stroked and prepped by Novamotor in Italy would have been the better choice and therein lay the problems of the season. Buzz blames himself as the budget was adequate to purchase Novamotors , he knew them well and they offered their engines at a favourable price, but Holbay offered a ‘works deal’ with engines free…………it made sense at the time.

Some good qualifying results were ruined in races where the engine lacked competitive power and torque. Poor car preparation also let the team down with a bad run of results for both drivers early in the season, with Buzz’ best results 6th,7th, and 8th at Oulton Park, Silverstone, and Snetterton respectively. Next race, Monaco F3 ……………….

743 2

Buzz Ippokampos March 743 Holbay Ford in the Oulton Park paddock. He finished 6th, April 1974.

Monaco ..or not…

Buzz was excited, he was entered for Monaco, and picked up a ‘special engine’ from Holbay’s John Reed . ‘We have given you a special engine you can rev to 9000 rpm, you have had so much bad luck’ , which was fitted to the car the week before the event. Whilst helping the mechanics fit the engine Ron Dennis and Neil Trundle called into the workshop suggesting removal of the rear bodywork due to expected heat, and fitting a bigger rear wing, great blokes Buzz thought!

On the Monday before the event he was summoned to Tony V’s office to be told his seat was being taken by Tom Pryce for the Monaco F3 race, which he duly won. Rondel Racing (Ron Dennis and Neil Trundle) ran Pryce in their MotulM1 F2 car in 1973 , the Token was to be their Motul F1 car for 1974 but Motuls’ ( French oil company) withdrawal of funds meant the F1 project was sold by Rondel to Tony V and Ken Grob, re-naming it Token, an acronym of their names. The car was a dog, Pryce’s Monaco F1 entry was refused as a consequence of poor results in preceding Grands’ Prix, the F3 ride was a calculated way of re-launching his career…….Buzz, further down the ‘team’ totem pole was pushed aside.

Pryce won his heat by 16 seconds from Brise and the final by 20 seconds , again from Brise, unheard of margins at Monaco given the driver depth, and Brise another star of that generation was no slouch. Buzz wishes he had been in the car such was its pace. Unbeknown to Buzz, the engine was ‘a cheater’, with a device that allowed air past the restrictor, then as now mandated by the class, allowing more revs and power. He feels no ill will to Pryce, whom he knew and believes had no knowledge of the ‘special engine’ either . As Buzz put it ‘it was the one and only 2 litre F3 race Pryce ever did, he had no point of reference to the performance of a ‘normal Holbay’. No other Holbay engined car was in the top 15………..By the end of the year Holbays’ ruse was known, and Novamotor were dominating with their variant of the Toyota 2TG. What was memorable was Buzz and his girlfriend being being flown from Luton to Nice in Ken Grob’s Learjet and living it up for the Monaco weekend…

For Buzz it was all over though, Tony V was focussed on F1 not on his Formula 3 Team and no further ’74 appearances were made..

 ‘Brands 1000 Km…

chevron

John McDonalds’ Chevron B19/23 shared with Buzaglo , Brands 1000Km ’74

He had no money, his career was over  but for a one off drive in fellow F3 driver John Mc Donald’s 2 litre Chevron B19/23 sports car in the ’74 Brands Hatch 1000Km race.Mc Donald was struggling with the car in practice but eventually gave Buzz a few laps qualifying the car around 15 th ,’i was black flagged after 19 laps for dropping oil so that finished the race ,i was really pissed off as i was in my element driving this great handling car, from memory i was up to 17th at the time i was stopped’ Outright victors were the Beltoise/Jarier Matra MS 670, its banshee like V12 wail ‘enough to blow smaller cars sideways’, Buzz recalls.

Not forgotten by March, who had a high regard for his skills, he test drove the prototype March 75S 2 litre sports car in late ’74, giving his feedback about a car which ‘was not much chop’, subsequent results proving this analysis pretty correct.

chevron 2

John McDonald in the Chevron B19/23 he shared with Buzaglo, Brands Hatch 1000Km ‘ 74

Post racing and home…

And that was it, Buzz had run out of money and ideas. He had a reasonable  run being partially supported by sponsors along the way but did not have the chance to hone his skills and put aside a bad trot, maintaining enough support to go forward in the way Perkins and Jones did. It took them 4 and 3 years respectively to jump out of F3, incredibly competitive then as now………..he represents one of Australia’s might have beens’. He started his career late, won his first race within 6 months in a second hand, self run car and was beating future grand prix drivers with extensive karting experience by 1971. Buzz achieved 14 FF wins at a time it was at its most competitive anywhere in the world. He also set 4 lap records , 3 in FF ; Silverstone in ’71, Castle Combe and Zolder in ’72 and the Castle Combe F3 lap record in ’73.

You wonder what he may have achieved with a little more luck, or funds, or a mentor/patron? Buzz never raced in Australia other than a few Grand Prix Rallies, these fun events a contrast with the International races contested.

Wanting to stay in the UK, good friend and future F1 entrant/entrepreneur John (RAM Racing) Mc Donald organised a job at his Datsun outlet, from ’75 he worked for well known dealer/entrant ‘The Chequered Flag’ selling Lancias building it to be the # 1 Lancia dealership in Europe, before joining old mate, Richard Knight’s then fledgling Mazda dealership , finally returning to Australia in 1982/3 and joining Allan Johnstone’s Penfolds Dealership group selling Mazda’s in Melbourne’s Burwood before retiring to Albert Park and walking distance to the track…

Buzz keeps in touch with many of his UK racing friends, meeting the journalists Joe Saward and Mike Doodson each year at the AGP. Good friend Jo Ramirez , the well known ex Eagle/ McLaren Team manager gave Buzz his most prized possession , the empty Moet Magnum sprayed by Senna, and personally signed and marked Adelaide 1993, by him, after his last GP win.. Sadly ‘those overalls’, along with many other items were lost in a container which never arrived home from the UK .

jo 2

Ramirez with the Moet Magnum sprayed by Ayrton Senna after his last Grand Prix victory in Adelaide in 1993..one of Buzz’ most prized possessions

So many Aussies have taken the European racing plunge over the years, then as now success is difficult for even the well funded, ‘it was a blast, magic’ as Buzz puts it, and a great ‘might have been’ at the same time……………all fired by ‘Grand Prix’, and the enthusiasm of his Revolution Club racer mates.

Photo Credits…

Alan Cox, Mike Dixon, Buzz Buzaglo, Pinterest unattributed, Facebook

 


 

jo

Buzz with Jo Ramirez in recent years, a regular visitor to Australia for the AG Prix

druids

Buzz in the KVG Elden Mk10a , Druids’ Brands Hatch 1972

combe 3

Castel Combe 1972…last lap thrash to the flag, Buzz leading Roger Orgee, Gerber & Rob Cooper. Victory by 0.8 of a second and the lap record held for around 8 years. Buzz observed the falconer wide-bodied Eldens pulled an extra 250 revs at places like the ‘Combe but were banned as contravening the Ff regs in relation to aerodynamics the following year

leffler

FF Festival Snetterton 1972. Buzaglo’s Elden leads Aussie John Leffler’s Bowin P4a & Tiff Needell in his Lotus 69

fag

Nerve settling drag on the fag…11 June 1970…just before ‘the off’ and a race win. Merlyn Mk 11

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Comments
  1. Ron says:

    John worked for me at Penfold Mazda , what great story I only knew half of it

    • markbisset says:

      Sure did Ron, the first time i met him was when a mate bought an MX5 from him in the late 80’s at Penfolds Burwood, years later we met again and the article was the result. I must give him a yell, he was a serious talent!, with the right breaks, and enough funds to do another year or so in F3 the results could have been very interesting! mark

  2. Peter Finlay says:

    Great story on Buzz. One small correction is that the Palliser WDF2-19 I ran in the UK in 1972 & Europe in 1973 was not Buzz’s former chassis so far as I know. Buzz & Richard Knight recommended that I should buy a WDF2 as they handled better than the later design. Buzz tested the car which I bought from club racer Rod Smith if I recall correctly. I took the motor to Dennis Rowland, again on my Aussie friends’ advice. Given that Fittipaldi & Vandervell used this tuner to good effect I felt it was a sensible move. This was confirmed by taking pole position at my first event @ Mallory Park. The event was washed out but I backed this early promise with a win at Silverstone Club over John Stevens & by winning a heat at Brands. I covered myself in glory by winning a championship race @ Mallory later in the year watched by John Leffler, Larry Perkins, Bob Skelton & Paul Boulton all from Oz. I helped young Axel Gerber set up his car for his race. The following year my wife Gaye & I loaded the Palliser into a Bedbord bus to tackle the European FF championships. Starting with a strong second place @ Zolder, I led the championships after the Osterrichring round and finished the year one point and a foot behind the outright winner, Hans Binder. Hans went on to race in F3, F2 and F1. We returned home to eventually own a leading advanced and racing drivers’ school. I returned to hillclimbs in 1993, taking a brace of NSW hillclimbs championships in a modified Formula Ford. Later I co- drove the “works” Pilbeam MP 62 at the AHCC at Mount Panorama with former British HC champ, Alister Douglas-Osborn. In 1997 Gaye & I spent a month in the UK where I drove the Pilbeam MP 82 & another Pilbeam at Shelsley Walsh, Loton Park & Prescott. I have dabbked in aviation writing & photography for Aero Australia magazine & was the principal aviation researcher for Peter FitzSimons’ “Charles Kingsford Smith…” tome. I fly R/C model gliders & provide high-end chauffeur services.

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Peter, great to hear from you and get that summary of your career.
      I read with great interest the Racing Car News columns you wrote during your ’73 European Championship year, and saw several of your ‘Grace Bros Team’ drives in the Palliser in ’74. I always thought it a pity you didn’t do AF2 after that!
      And what a talented lot, that Aussie group were who contested the ’72 FF Festival!
      Peter Hill did a great job restoring your old Palliser and Andrew Makin made it dance after that, a tough competitor in HFF.
      If you ever feel like putting pen to paper about your exploits on the circuits or the hills I am sure we would all enjoy reading about it.
      Thanks again,
      Mark.

  3. Peter Finlay says:

    You are very kind Mark. I may take you up in your suggestion to write up an account of my second career in Hillclimbing. With regard to your lament that I didn’t move into ANF2 in 1976 this almost happened. Hans Tippermann agreed to keep me on the Grace Bros-Levi’s team and Terru O’Neill, the owner of GS Motor Bodies was prepared to buy the ex John Leffler Bowin P6 from Bob Jane. The pair discussed this idea a the last Calder meeting of 1974. Terry was going to use his HD or HR Holden ute for a tow master. BP would have renewed my fuel contract, also. The Palliser was sold to Richard Stigler and I could have contributed the cash to the deal. Then I came to my senses, announced my retirement from Motorsport & paid off the block of land which Gaye & I had bought during 1974. We still live in the lovely house which we built there and raised three children, Simon,

    • markbisset says:

      Peter,
      Happy to take your article and as many shots as you like, as you can see from my own rambling efforts, word limits are less important than the detail! And the folks who read this thing like the fact the ‘features’ explore topics at length unlike most publications these days.
      It’s a pity about the F2 Bowin but the house purchase can’t be debated in terms of logic!
      I had forgotten you guys took over the Wherrett school; my parents 18 year old birthday present to me was the course which I did in ‘me mums’ Morris 1100 at Sandown. She claimed the car was never quite the same after that day, Victorian Rally Champ Roger Bonhomme held the franchise then, I still have the certificate from that fantastic day somewhere, it was an important step in learning some skills, my next step was buying laps in Bob Janes School Elfin 620B FF’s…happy days, all my Monash Uni student earnings went on laps at Calder rather than fast women, a mistake!
      Mark

  4. Peter Finlay says:

    Felicity and Dominic. They are all adults now and doing exceptionally well in their respective careers. Gaye encouraged me to learn to fly (with Jack Brabham Aviation) and I progressed to a night instrument rating, CSU, retractable, tail wheel and twin endorsements with a Commercial ticket. I flew bank runs all over NSW under supervision and accrued about 500 hours total time. Later, I started sailing catamarans and hooked up with Bob Forbes who owned NACRA Australia at the time. One if his 5.0s was a rocketship and I won several National Title heats. All the while , Gaye and I ran the former Peter Wherrett Advanced Driving School renaming it Nationwide Defensive Driving School & the sister organisation grandiosely named Pete Finlay’s International Racibg Drivers’ School

  5. Peter Finlay says:

    Drivers’ School. We enjoyed the imprimatur of CAMS to train an evaluate applicants for racing and rallying licences. Four Formula Fords were obtained and these were used for our FF drive experience at Amaroo Park, Oran Park and one weekend at Wanneroo Park! One of the cars was the rebuilt Mawer 004 which Paul Bernasconi drove in the GB-L team with me. This was the car which I set up for Hillclimbing with slicks, wings & a supercharger to win three NSW state titles. Later, we sold the 1600 FFs: Mawer, Elfin 600, Van Diemen RF85 (ex Milldent UK), Reynard and RF89, and bought a pair of RF 99 Zetecs from the UK and two more locally modified RF98s. We sold the organisation when

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