Archive for June, 2015

turner hill indy

Graham Hill in his ‘American Red Ball Special’ Lola T90 Ford leads the latter stages of the 1966 Indianapolis 500 from Joe Leonard’s Eagle and Jim Clark’s Lotus 38. Fabulous Michael Turner painting…

Hill won the race from Clark and Jim McElreath’s Brabham. Graham lead the most critical part of the race, it’s last 10 laps after teammate Jackie Stewart slowed and retired his Lola T90, the BRM teammates also ‘roomies’ and Indy debutants in John Mecom’s Indy Team.

stewart hill broadley indy 1966

JYS, Hill and Eric Broadley giving GH a few tips about instrument location before the off…Note seatbelts, still 2 years away in F1, a bit earlier for Jackie after his big Spa shunt a fortnight later. (Autoextremist)

The race was not without controversy with more than one lap timer giving victory to Clark, who spun twice during the race without hitting anything on each occasion but causing some lap scoring confusion.

Hill was doubly lucky; he was not entered to race until the unfortunate Walt Hansgen was killed in the LeMans test weekend in a Ford MkII, the Brit taking the unfortunate Hansgen’s place in Mecom’s factory Lola entry, Mecom the American Lola importer at the time.

hill on qually day

One of my earliest motor racing memories is of Hill’s car, the Lola featured big time in one of those ‘Boys Own’ type books we were all given as stocking fillers at Christmas. I have always had a soft spot for these big Lolas’ as a consequence. I still have the book but its in storage, i can’t remember what happened yesterday but the book’s articles on Hill’s Lola, the equally new curvaceous Lola T70 and Tony Lanfranchi’s psychedelic helmet livery i adopted as my own in 1979 stick in my mind. Come to think of it my Lola fetish started then!

lola t80

Lola T80 being assembled at Slough in 1965. T80 unsuccessful, the T90 was an update of this car with the suspension geometry which held it back in 1965 addressed. (Lola Heritage)

The mid-engined invasion of Indianapolis was started by Cooper, Jack Brabham raced at Indy in 1961, Lotus had their first start with the pushrod-V8 Ford powered 29’s driven by Clark and Dan Gurney in 1963. Ferguson and Lola joined the stampede with mid-engined victory finally achieved by Team Lotus in 1965. Clark victorious in the Ford four-cam 4.2 litre V8 engined Lotus 38.

The US was a big market for Lola’s Eric Broadley, he achieved much success with the Group 7/CanAm T70 from 1965, USAC was another great opportunity. Broadley built the T80 for Indy 1965, but the car was late, wasn’t tested and was let down by suspension geometry shortcomings which gave the cars poor and unpredictable handling.

t 90 cutaway

Lola T90 Ford cutaway drawing. Car also designed for Offy 4 cylinder engine. Aluminium ‘full monocoque’ chassis, offset suspension; front top rocker operating inboard mounted spring/damper and lower wishbone. Rear, inverted lower wishbone with additional locating link, single upper link, single radius rod and coil spring/damper units. Adjustable sway bars front and rear, rack and pinion steering, 2 speed Hewland transaxle, Ford DOHC 4 valve, Hilborn fuel injected 4.2 litre V8. Circa 425 bhp @ 8000 rpm in 1965


stewart fettling

Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill helping Mecom’s mechanics with the fettling of the rear bodywork of Jackie’s T90 #43, the Scot and the other Scot, Clark, both unlucky not to win the race…Graham’s #24 Lola behind. (LAT)

The Lola T90 which followed for 1966 addressed the T80 shortcomings…

The T90 chassis was an aluminium monocoque constructed from Indy mandated 16-guage aluminium. Sheet steel diaphragms front and rear provided additional internal stiffness, externally a sloping scuttle in front of the instrument panel gave additional rigidity.

Lola Heritage ‘Tubular steel subframes were attached to both the front and rear of the chassis, the front subframe carrying the oil tank, radiator and the forward mountings for the lower wishbone. At the rear there were two subframes above and below the two-speed Hewland gearbox, the upper one carrying the attachment point for the single top link and the top spring/damper mounting. The lower subframe had the mounting points for the lower wishbones’.

‘The T90 was designed to accept either the 2.8-litre, 4-cylinder Offenhauser engine or the 4.2-litre 4-cam Ford V8. The Offy, built by Meyer-Drake in California was fitted with Hilborn fuel injection and a Paxton Roots-type supercharger and gave some 520 bhp, the Ford, whilst slightly less powerful, was a more known quantity having won the 1965 race in Jim Clark’s Lotus 38’

t90 build

Lola T90 build,  Slough 1966. Looking very sexy in its Specialised Mouldings body. Distinctive Lola ‘knock-offs’. Fuel cells still to be inserted into monocoque. (Lola Heritage)

The cars front suspension was inboard with fabricated rocker arms at the top operating coil spring/damper units and wide-based lower wishbones.

‘Rear suspension was fairly conventional with one departure from the norm. At the top of the upright was a single adjustable top link attached to the top chassis subframe whilst at the bottom a wide-based wishbone (reinforced on the left), mounting to the rear of the upright, was mounted to the lower chassis subframe. There was a single adjustable lateral link running from the lower front of the upright to the subframe that allowed for toe-in alterations. The unusual feature to the design was the single top radius rod, a lower rod was not used to to the difficulty of a suitable chassis attachment point due to the fuel tank design. As was the norm at this time front and rear suspension was offset to the left by three inches, the theory being that this helped the car through the left-hand turns at Indianapolis.’

t90 drawing

These drawings as well as showing the T90’s lines also nicely show the suspension, offset to the left, as was the convention of the time on speedways. (unattributed)


ford indy engine

Ford DOHC Four-Cam Indy V8 Engine…

Ford’s 1963 Indy engine fitted to the Clark and Gurney Lotus 29’s was an aluminium variant of its 260cid Falcon/Fairlane small block V8, it developed 350-376 bhp at 7200 rpm on 103 octane fuel fed by 4 Weber 58mm carbs.

Ford, after Lotus’ great showing (they was robbed) in 1963 decided to build an engine capable of developing 50bhp more but with a weight gain of no more than 50 lbs over the aluminium pushrod engines 345lbs.

Ford evolved, using many parts from the earlier engine, a DOHC motor with four valve heads, the combustion chamber ‘pent roofed’. The engine had ‘between the Vee’ exhaust as tests showed power was optimised with this setup. Hilborn fuel injection was used, in 1965 the engines developed 425bhp @ 8000rpm.

The block was cast of aluminum alloy using patterns modified from the production 289cid production ‘small block’. Cast iron cylinder sleeves were a shrink fit in the block and were sealed at the heads with copper laminated steel O-rings. In order to clear the two banks of camshafts in the heads, the 10 attaching studs were moved closer to the cylinder centerline. An additional 8 studs protruded from the heads maintained clamping force needed to seal the combustion chambers. The space occupied by the camshaft in the normal production engine was replaced with an oil tube. This acted as a gutter and collected oil as it drained from above to keep it off the reciprocating assembly.

The bottom end was beefed up considerably. The special forged steel crankshaft was held by 4-bolt bearing caps on numbers 1 through 4. Main and rod bearing journals are the same size as the 289, as is the engine’s stroke – 2.87″. The rod journals are crossdrilled for better oiling at high engine speeds. The rods are from the 289 HiPo, modified for floating pistons pins. The pins are 289 HiPo pieces. The oil pan is cast magnesium and is a structural part of the engine. ‘Ears’ cast integrally with the pan provide the engine/chassis mounts.

As summarised above, the cam-ground forged aluminum pistons have a pent-roof dome to closely fit the combustion chambers. Compression is 12.5:1. The cylinder heads housed 4 valves per cylinder with a central spark plug. The plugs are canted toward the 1.64″ diameter intake valves. Exhaust valves are 1.36″ diameter. The camshafts run in bearing bores in the cylinder heads directly over their valve banks. Valve clearance is adjusted by the selective fitting of the followers. Intake ports are between the cams with exhaust out the top of the heads between the vee. This was done to do away with the nightmare of exhaust tubing normally required. Hilborn injection is used having been selected for its light weight and simple low-pressure design.

The 255 CID engine weighed 406 lbs and produced in excess of 425 BHP at 8000 RPM. Useful power/torque was developed from 6000 with a rev limit of 9000 RPM

Once developed by Ford the engine was sold and serviced via Louis Meyer. In 1966 Ford built 20 engines which retailed at US$23000. The wonderful engines evolved over the decades, in both normally aspirated and turbo-charged form as Indy rules changed.

Checkout this website which gives an in-depth account of both the DOHC engine and the pushrod V8’s which preceded it, click on this link for an interesting read;

66 indy start

Indy 1966 first lap shunt. Hill #24 Lola, McCluskey #8 Eagle Ford, Joe Leonard #6 Eagle Ford , Al Unser Lotus 38 to the left of his side-on car, Gary Congdon #53 Huffaker Offy, Don Branson in the sideon #4 Gerhardt Ford and the rest…(unattributed)

1966 Indianapolis 500…

Lola Heritage ‘Learning the lesson from 1965 Lola made sure the T90 was ready in plenty of time for the 1966 Indy 500, the John Mecom Racing Team-entered car made it’s debut at the March season opener at Phoenix International Raceway. Success was immediate with Roger Ward finishing second in his Offenhauser-powered T90 and a month later Ward took the winner’s laurels at Trenton’s 1-mile paved oval when he won a rain-shortened race ahead of Gordon Johncock.

Come the month of May and there were three T90s, all entered by John Mecom’s Houston-based team, ready to run at Indy qualifying, Roger Ward in his successful Offenhauser-engined car and Rookies Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill who were both Ford-powered. There was nothing much between the cars at the end of qualifying, Stewart was 11th fastest at a speed of 159.972 mph, Ward 13th at 159.46 mph and Hill 15th at 159.243 mph.’

The Indianapolis Star called the 1966 Indy 500 ‘the most fantastic, confused and incredible 500.’ And it may have been. This was the ‘500’ marked by a 16-car crash at the start when Billy Foster’s car hit the rear of Gordon Johncock’s Gerhardt setting off a violent chain reaction that eliminated 11 cars, including those of A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, Don Branson and Cale Yarborough.

Foyt suffered minor injuries, a cut finger and a bruised knee when he climbed out of his car and scaled a fence to get away from the scene.

clark pits

Jim Clark’s ‘STP Oil Treatment’ Lotus 38 Ford in the Indy pits 1966. Andrew Ferguson at left. I put a can of the stuff in Mums Morrie 1100 but it didn’t seem to go any quicker…the sticker on the rear window looked good tho. I thought so, she didn’t! #12 the car behind Clark is the Chuck Hulse driven Watson Ford. Lotus 38’s well raced, Lotus Indy tool ’65-’67. (unattributed)

The race was red-flagged for the second time in three years and was re-started after a one hour and 23 minute delay.

Mario Andretti took the lead at the restart but retired shortly thereafter with engine failure. Clark lead but spun twice with handling maladies without hitting anything, pitting on each occasion to have the car checked.  Stewart and Lloyd Ruby in an Eagle diced for the lead before fuel stops put Clark back in the lead.

broadley and hill

Great shot of Hill and Lola Supremo Eric Broadley discussing the cars setup during Indy qualifying 1966. See the quick change safety fuel cells/filler cap. Ignition cutout wired to steering wheel beside drivers thumb. (unattributed)

Ruby took the lead but his car was then black-flagged for the loss of oil, leaving Stewart in the lead from Clark and Hill. Hill had progressed through the field without making mistakes and benefiting from others errors or misfortunes, by lap 175 he was past Clark for 2nd. Stewart lead, until with 25 miles to go his oil pressure diminished, his engine scavenge pump failure gave Hill the lead he was not to relinquish.

Despite protests by Lotus’ Colin Chapman and sponsor Andy (STP) Granatelli that Hill had been incorrectly scored with an extra lap, the unofficial results stood. Hill won $156,297 for his victory, Jim Clark finished second battling an ill-handling car the entire race, Jim McElreath’s Brabham Ford was third and Stewart was classified 6th.

hill in the race t90

Hill drove a quick, clean race. He stayed out of trouble and was in front for the final laps which mattered, putting lap scoring disputes to one side…What a gorgeous looking, in a brutal kinda way, car! (unattributed)

YouTube Race Footage…


1965 LolaT80.

t80 tingelstat

Bud Tingelstad in Lindsey Hopkins Lola T80 Ford, Indy 1965. (

1966 Indy Race.

indy start 66

Another start shot; Cale Yarborough #66 Vollstedt Ford and Dan Gurney’s #31 Eagle Ford. Indy 1966. (unattributed)

Jackie Stewart.

steawrt bowes seal fast

Jackie Stewart in the ‘Bowes Seal fast’ John Mecom owned Lola T90 Ford Indy 1966. Eric Broadley front lower left, chief mechanic George Bignotti in the Texan hat, Mecom in the tan short sleeved shirt in front of Bignotti (unattributed)


stewart indy 1966

JYS with the face of a man focused on the qualifying task at hand. He qualified 11th, he was classified 6th after an oil scavenge pump failure caused his retirement. Lola T90 Ford, Indy 1966. (Dave Friedman)

Graphics and Imagery Hill/T90.

hill pic

Lovely artwork of Hill and his Lola T90 (D Sire)


red ball colors

1967 Lola T92 Ford.

The successor to the Lola T90 was the mildly updated in bodywork T92 for 1967, here raced by John Surtees in his one and only USAC race, the ‘Rex Mays 300’ held at Riverside in November 1967, a road course John knew well from his CanAm campaigns. His John Mecom entry DNF’d with magneto trouble in the race won by Dan Gurney’s Eagle Ford. The car did not use offset suspension on road circuits…

surtees t 92

John Surtees, Lola T92 Ford. Riverside 1967. (unattributed)

American Red Ball Company.

Even though the name has been in my brain since 1967, i had no idea what they do, clearly not the case in the US as they are an old established well known global removalist and transit organisation. So now i know!


hill in car

Hill looking the focused driver he was. Interesting shot shows the conventional rear suspension albeit with 1 rather than the usual 2 radius rods to locate the suspension fore and aft. Seat belts, roll over bar too low in the event of a rollover and cross-over exhausts all clear as is all enveloping bodywork of the T90 to smooth air flow and top speed, F1 cars at the time largely devoid of rear bodywork. (unattributed)


indy 66 color

Nice bit of modern art; Top>Bottom; Stewart, Clark, Hill. Friends and Champions all. (


Michael Turner;,, GT40 Archives, Dave Friedman, LAT,, Dennis Sire

Lola Heritage; ,, Autoextremist



This years running of the Endurance Classic is this coming weekend, i like ‘Car’ magazines to the point summary of the contenders, pictured above is the Toyota TS040 and below the Audi R18…



lago in servo (nat library oz)

Doug Whiteford was one of Australia’s racing greats, he won the Australian Grand  Prix thrice- in 1950 aboard ‘Black Bess’ his Ford Spl and in 1952/53 in this Talbot-Lago T26C ‘110007’ here on the forecourt of his ‘BP Servo’, 200 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Melbourne in 1957…

I tripped over the photograph in the National Library of Australia archive, it’s clearly a BP promotional shot, the ‘Snapper’ was Wolfgang Sievers. ‘COR’, the other brand on the pump, is the acronym of the ‘Commonwealth Oil Refineries’, which was acquired by BP some years before, the pumps were co-branded for a while as part of the evolution of one brand to the other.

These establishments are all of an age aren’t they? The owner operated service station with generalist mechanics working on all makes and models is sadly a thing of the past. The ‘counter jumper’ in the average ‘Mega Servo’, if you can make yourself understood at all, is unlikely to know a dipsticks location let alone anything of real use.

The shot didn’t make sense actually.

By 1957 Doug had well before sold this car to Owen Bailey who owned and raced it at the time, Doug had acquired an older, but more advanced in specification T26C, chassis ‘110002’.

Owen’s son Rob is a fellow racer/Alfista, he and Stephen Dalton have helped with the facts or a theory anyway… we think the car is at Doug’s ‘Temple of Speed’ for fettling, Whiteford was the expert on these cars in this part of the world.

‘110007’ is in BC Ecclestones’ collection, ‘110002’ still in Oz. I am beavering away on an article about these two fabulous Lagos which should be finished soon…

whiteford lago

(Clem Smith via Ray Bell)

Doug Whiteford’s T-L ‘110007′ leads Stan Jone’s Maybach onto the main straight at Woodside, the Adelaide Hills road circuit in October 1951, Whiteford won the race with Stan second.

Just look at the nature of the place- ‘Stobie’ telephone poles, fence posts, railway crossing etc. A tragic accident in a motor-cycle handicap race where an early starter completed his first lap before the scratchmen had gotten away and killed two people in the starting area gave rise to police and State Government concern causing the imposition of a ban on racing on public roads in South Australia.

owen bailey fishos 1958

Owen Bailey, Lago Talbot T26C ‘110007’, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne 1958. (autopics)


I wrote an article about Whitefords’ Black Bess Spl:


Wolfgang Sievers,, Clem Smith/Ray Bell. Stephen Dalton and Rob Bailey for research assistance


Mark Hughes ‘MotorSport’ coverage of Grands’ Prix is my favourite, ’twas not the greatest of contests, victory for Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes…

Hughes…’Long straights, slow corners, the tiny rear discs of the hybrid cars, degrading rubber that cannot be pushed for the full distance, the absence of safety cars giving no margin on fuel and brakes: on this occasion these things combined to neuter one of the calendar’s traditional highlights’.

Click on this link for Mark Hughes’ race report;


heuer ad

‘Automobile Year’ Ad for Heuer stopwatches of the 1950’s…

By the time i started racing in 1979 the day of the digital ‘Accusplit’ had arrived, but no way known was i going to have one of those new-fangled digital devices. My heroes had been timed by Heuer, so too were to be my humble Formula Vee efforts.

Dad was duly despatched to buy a pair on one of his Hong Kong trips, i still have them of course, complete with the boxes in which they came and the blue ribbon to which they were attached to the girlfriend of the day.

Liz had many talents not the least of which were her race weekend skills, all encompassing, inclusive of lap timing as they were.

Its a bit like chronographs really, yer can buy one with a digital movement but its not the same as a beautifully hand crafted Swiss piece filled with tiny, complex, exquisitely engineered mechanical ‘gubbins’ contained in a sculptured metal shell…

The Casio which followed the Heuers needs a battery! More functional and accurate than the Swiss items but nowhere near as beautiful or evocative!

d mc kay with stop watches

Australias’ ‘Scuderia Veloce’ supremo, David McKay practising the noble art of multiple stop-watch operation at Warwick Farm in the mid ’60’s. (David Mist)

heuer stopwatch

Photo Credit…David Mist, Automobile Year



agp 67 hill and clark

(Graham Howard ‘History of The Australian Grand Prix’)

Jim Clark and Graham Hill swap notes prior to the start of the 1967 Australian Grand Prix, Warwick Farm, Sydney. It would be a good season for them both…

Their new F1 Lotus 49’s await their return to Europe, the Ford Cosworth powered cars established a package of integrated design which became the F1 standard for the duration of the 3 litre formula. Their is plenty of press interest in the two stars, teammates for the first time in 1967 and Hill’s #5 Lotus 48.

Behind them in the ‘Farm pitlane is Kevin Bartlett’s Brabham BT11A Climax, KB just in shot with his foot on his front Goodyear. Sixth in the race for him, an excellent result in the old car.

agp 67 start

Start of the 1967 AGP. #5 Hill Lotus 48 FVA 1.6, #6 Clark Lotus 33 Climax 2.0 V8, #3 Jackie Stewart on pole, BRM P261 2070cc V8. (

The 48 was Lotus’ new car for the inaugural 1.6-litre F2 1967 season. Designed by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe, it was in essence a ‘mini’ Lotus 49 which made its successful debut in the ’67 Dutch Grand Prix on June 4.

Keen to get in some early season testing of the new car, Colin Chapman sent the first chassis to Australia for the Warwick Farm round of the Tasman Series, the Australian GP that year, held on 19 February for Graham Hill to drive. Hill was popular at the Sydney circuit, the promoters paying plenty of money to get the Brit and his new Lotus to New South Wales for just one race. Of added local interest was that Hill had just returned to Lotus having been a BRM driver since 1960. Mind you, in Australia he raced in our internationals the Ferguson P99, Brabham Climaxes owned by ‘Scuderia Veloce’ as well as various BRM’s.

Jim Clark did all of the Tasman rounds in New Zealand and Australia that summer. He won the title in a Lotus 33 Climax, his 1966 F1 mount ‘R14’ fitted with the 2 litre Coventry Climax FWMV V8 engine with which he started the 1966 F1 season, the first year of the 3 litre F1. He used the car until the BRM engined Lotus 43 was ‘ready’ to race.

The new 48 F2 car had a full monocoque chassis made from aluminium sheet with steel bulkheads front and rear. Bolted to the rear bulkhead was a tubular steel subframe which carried the unstressed FVA engine and ZF gearbox. Front suspension used top rockers operating inboard mounted springs and dampers. The rear suspension was also conventional; single upper link, reversed lower wishbone, twin radius rods and coil spring/ damper units.

The 48 used the Ford Cosworth FVA, one of two engines contracted from Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin by Ford. Significantly the engine proved Duckworth’s design direction for his F1 V8, the Cosworth DFV which made its race debut at Zandvoort in the back of the equally new Lotus 49. The FVA’s design commenced in July 1965, its first bench test was in March 1966 and its first race in July 1966. The engine was well tested prior to its trip to Australia in the summer of ’67.

The remarkably successful unit combined a four-cylinder cast iron Ford Cortina block with an aluminium Cosworth head. FVA was an acronym of the ‘four valve assembly’ or ‘four valve type A’ of the engine’s new head. Twin overhead camshafts were used of course, driven from the crankshaft by gears. Equipped with Lucas fuel injection, the dry sumped engine developed circa 220 hp @ 9000rpm.


Ford Cosworth FVA Engine Cutaway drawing by Theo Page.

Graham Hill qualified Lotus 48 chassis ‘R1’ well amongst the Tasman Formula 2.5 litre engined cars, 3rd on the grid with only the V8 engined cars of teammate Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart’s BRM in front of him. He may only have had 1.6 litres but the chassis was clearly good and Hill was always been quick around Warwick Farm, the Sydney circuit a very technical one.

Stewart was very fast throughout the Tasman, he won it in ’66, but the BRM’s gearbox was at its limits with the greater stresses of the P60 BRM V8, now at 2070cc and developing much more power and torque than the same engine in its original 1.5 litre F1 guise ever produced. But the car held together at the ‘Farm, Jackie won from Clark and Frank Gardner in a Brabham BT16 Climax FPF, the old 2.5 litre F1 Climax four cylinder engine well and truly outclassed by ’67.

Hill’s new Lotus 48 expired with gearbox maladies on lap 25 but he gained valuable miles on the brand new chassis in advance of the European F2 season, which both he and Clark contested.

Intended as a customer car, the 48 was exclusively campaigned by Team Lotus during 1967, privateers used uprated 41’s. The new Lotus was quick but encountered the Brabham BT23, one of Ron Tauranac’s most successful designs. The 48 won four F2 races in 1967, three in Clark’s hands, the fourth by Jackie Oliver in the combined F1/F2 German GP at the the Nürburgring.

Whilst the Brabham BT23 was the car of the season many of its victories were taken by ‘graded drivers’, notably the ‘King of F2′ Jochen Rindt, whilst graded drivers did win races they could not score championship points. The 1967 title was won by Jacky Ickx using both Matra MS5 and MS7 chassis’, FVA powered.

Lotus continued with the 48 in 1968, 4 chassis were built in total, but struggled again with the dominant Brabham BT23’s. Jean Pierre Beltoise won the ’68 title in a Matra MS7 FVA. 1969 would be a ‘different kettle of F2 fish’, the Dave Baldwin designed Lotus 59 a much more competitive tool.

gh lotus 48 cockpit

Graham Hill tucked into the comfy cockpit of his beautifully finished Lotus 48. He is on the grid of the ‘Guards 100’, Snetterton in March 1967. Hill was 2nd to Rindt’s Brabham BT23. (Max Le Grand)

III Gran Premio Barcelona, Montjuic, Spain 31 March 1968…


Jim Clark, Lotus 48 FVA, Montjuic, Barcelona 1968. (Unattributed)

Jim Clark aviating his Lotus 48 during practice for the first European F2 event in 1968.

He started the season strongly with victories in his Lotus 49 in both the South African Grand Prix held at Kyalami on 1 January and the Tasman Series, including the Australian Grand Prix at Sandown Park, Melbourne. Jim won 4 of the 8 Tasman rounds, his Lotus used the 2.5 litre Ford Cosworth V8 variant, the ‘DFW’ so he came to this F2 event ‘razor sharp’.

Despite Clark’s speed, Jackie Stewart won the race in his Matra MS7 FVA, Jim was tagged by Jacky Ickx at the first turn, a ‘bonzai’ move down the inside taking out the innocent Scot, deflating a tyre and rearranging the rear suspension. Ickx was involved in another accident on lap 2 and retired. Karma at play!

The shot below is of #1 Clark, with Hills nose in shot, in the middle is an innocent Jochen Rindt, Brabham BT23 FVA. Ickx shot off down the road in his Ferrari 166. The next F2 round was the ‘II Deutsche Trophae’ at Hockenheim the following weekend.

mont clark

Hill’s Lotus 48 nose, Jochen Rindt caught up in the melee in his Brabham BT23 FVA and Clark, Lotus 48 FVA. (Unattributed)


mont clark 2

End of Clark’s race, flat tyre and shagged rear suspension. Lotus 48 FVA. Barcelona 1968. (Unattributed)

YouTube Footage of the Barcelona Race;

Hockenheim 7 April 1968…

Jim Clark before the off and (below) in the early stages of this fateful, awful race and the probable high speed tyre deflation which caused the accident that claimed the champions life.

clark and sims

Jim Clark, relaxed before the off and Dave Sims. Hockenheim 7 April 1968. Lotus 48 FVA. (Rainer Schlegelmilch)


clark lotus 48 hocken 68

Clark, Lotus 48 FVA, Hockenheim 7 April 1968. (MotorSport)

Lotus 48 Technical Specifications…

Chassis; aluminium monocoque with rear subframe. Front suspension; lower wishbones, top rocker actuating inboard coil spring/dampers, roll bar. Rear suspension; reversed lower wishbones, top links, twin radius arms, coil spring/dampers, roll bar
Steering rack and pinion, Brakes, discs all-round, Gearbox ZF 5DS12 5 speed.
Weight 420 kilo / 926 lbs. Length / Width / Height 3,797 mm (149.5 in) / 1,727 mm (68 in) / 762 mm (30 in)
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r) 2,330 mm (91.7 in) / 1,473 mm (58 in) / 1,473 mm (58 in). Wheels (fr/r) 13 x 8 / 13 x 10

Ford Cosworth FVA

Pretty much the ‘engine de jour’ of the 1.6 litre F2 from 1967 to 1971, the FVA won all of the European titles in that period.
Cast-iron Ford Cortina 1600 ‘116E’ 5 bearing block, aluminium head, 1,598 cc. Bore/Stroke 85.7 mm/69.1 mm, DOHC, 4 gear driven valves per cylinder, Lucas fuel injection and electronic/transistorised ignition. Circa 220 bhp @ 9000rpm.

Those with a strong technical interest in the Cosworth FVA and its role in relation to the subsequent Cosworth DFV V8 Design will find this treatise of interest;

Click to access cosworthstory.pdf


clark pau 1967

Mini Lotus 49 indeed! Clark in his svelte Lotus 48, Pau GP 1967. 4th behind 3 Brabham BT23’s; Rindt, Hulme and Alan Rees. (Unattributed)


clark jarama 67

Clark in his Lotus 48 from Jackie Stewart’s Ken Tyrrell entered Matra MS7, both Ford Cosworth FVA powered, 1st and 2nd, Chris Irwin’s Lola T100 3rd, Jarama, Spain July 1967. (Unattributed)


oliver german gp

Jackie Oliver jumping his works Lotus 48 into 5th place, and first F2 finisher, German GP August 1967. He drove a great race, Hulme victorious in his Brabham BT24 Repco. (Unattributed)


hill oulton brian watson

Hill on the way to 3rd place in the Oulton Park ‘Gold Cup’ in September 1967 amongst the F1 cars, Jack Brabham won in his BT24 Repco from Jackie Stewart in a Matra MS7 FVA F2 car. (Brian Watson)


hill 48 in 68

Graham Hill in the Tulln Langenlbarn, Austria paddock in July 1968. NC with insufficient laps. Rindt won the race in a Brabham BT23C. ‘Chequered Flag’ truck contained the McLaren M4A driven by Robin Widdows also DNF. (Unattributed)


lotus 59

For the sake of completeness…this is the Dave Baldwin designed, spaceframe chassis F2 Lotus 59 which succeeded the 48. ‘Twas an FF/F3/F2 car, much more successful than the Lotus 48 but again the Brabham BT 28/30 gave it a good run for its money! Here G Hill at the Pau GP in April 1969 with high wings having only weeks to run before being outlawed by the FIA during the Monaco GP weekend. Hill DNF with fuel metering unit failure, Jochen Rindt victorious in the other Winkelmann Racing 59B. (Unattributed)


Graham Howard ‘History of The Australian Grand Prix’

Max Le Grand,, MotorSport, Rainer Schlegelmilch, Theo Page, Brian Watson, Roger Linton

Tailpiece: 1967 AGP Warwick Farm…

(R Linton)

Start of the race from the pit counter.

Hill’s Lotus 48 FVA at right, Clark, Lotus 33 Climax and Jackie Stewart, BRM P261 on the front row. Brabham is behind Stewart and Denny Hulme behind Jack in Repco ‘640’ V8 engined Brabhams


capelli cg 901 LH

Ivan Capelli in his Leyton House CG901 Judd, 1990…

It’s been interesting to learn about and admire the careers of the sports’ outstanding contemporary engineer/designers and those of the decades which pre-date my interest in the sport.

It’s the ones who have enjoyed enduring success I have been most drawn to. Janos’ and Chapmans’ contributions over 30 years truly amazing.

Dr Porsche, Vittorio Jano and Jim Hall predate my period of interest but Colin Chapman, Mauro Forghieri, Gordon Murray, John Barnard and Adrian Newey i have followed since 1972.


CG901 monocoque inside the teams autoclave, Bicester 1990 (Pascal Rondeau)

Newey has been ‘the man’ in F1 for the better part of 25 years with ten constuctors titles for three teams; Williams, McLaren and presently Red Bull.

Like the others he is degree trained and his practical experience is rooted in time spent as a race engineer. He is different though, in that his primary degree is in Aeronautics and Astronautics. It was the application of the science of aerodynamics, increasingly important in the overall F1 design package as regulations progressively became more restrictive in other areas, at March nee Leyton House in 1988-1991 which first brought him to the attention of Patrick Head, Frank Williams and others.


Race prep of 3 CG901 chassis in June 1990 (Pascal Rondeau)

The overall pace of the March 881 and it’s successors top speeds at different circuits made it clear they slid through the air rather nicely, better than many other cars with the same engine or considerably more grunt.

That the cars ‘batted above their weight’ made it clear he could do more with greater resources, as has been proven the case.

The 1988 March 881, powered by John Judds’ 3.5 litre V8 finished 6th in the constructors championship, in 1989 the March 891 Judd  finished 12th, drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Ivan Capelli retiring from most of the races.

hutton cg901 LH cutaway

Drawing of the LH CG901 Judd…engine 3.5 litre V8 not 3 litre…(Peter Hutton)

In 1990 March F1 morphed into ‘Leyton House’…the Japanese company acquired the team it had previously sponsored. Neweys’ Leyton House CG901 Judd was quick in the hands of its two drivers after a mid year update of the aero package to correct ‘erroneous wind tunnel data’. Capelli lead the French Grand Prix for many laps before being passed by race winner Alain Prost. The team finished 7th in the Constructors Championship, Newey was fired and quickly hired by Williams all the same.

And the rest, as they say, is history. The 1991/2 Williams FW14 Renault, Neweys’ first Williams won 17 Grands’ Prix and Leyton House, amid allegations of financial misdemeanours and the arrest of its CEO disappeared without trace in early 1993 having changed it’s name back to March F1 for the 1992 season…

capelli from prost

Ivan Capelli LH CG 901 Judd leads Alain Prosts’ Ferrari 641 during the 1990 French GP. Wonderful 2nd place for the Italian ahead of victor Prost. (Unattributed)

capelli Lh suzuka 1990

The gorgeous lines of Capellis’ LH CG901 at Suzuka, Japanese GP 1990. Q13, DNF with ignition dramas on L16. (Unattributed)


Leyton House workshops in June 1990 (Pascal Rondeau)

cg 901 designey stuff

LH CG901 design elements. Carbon fibre chassis, suspension double wishbones, pushrod and rocker actuated coil spring/dampers front and rear. Judd EV 3496cc 76 degree DOHC 4 valve N/A V8, 660bhp. March 6 speed manual transaxle. carbon ceramic brakes. 520Kg. (Unattributed)


Estoril 21 September 1990, a practice Judd V8 engine change during the Portuguese GP weekend (Pascal Rondeau)


Peter Hutton, Pascal Rondeau

Tailpiece: Ivan Capelli, Leyton House CG901 Judd at the Allsport Studios on 15 May 1990…





1938 Phillip Island 1

Ewald Kluge, DKW SS 250, Phillip Island 31 January 1938 (Earle Vienet)

I love some of these evocative older shots of a time in motor sport such a long time ago, this series of shots at Phillip Island in 1938 are some of those…

These photos were taken by Earle Vienet, father of a friend of mine, Trevor Vienet, at Phillip Island in 1938. By then the original rectangular, dirt, incredibly dangerous 10.6km circuit, host of the first eight Australian Grands’ Prix, had been replaced by a shorter 5.3 km course using part of the original track.

Phillip Island plays an important role in the pantheon of Australian Motor Racing History, not only did it hold the events described above, it was the place road racing first occurred in Australia. You can still drive the original road course, it’s well marked. There is also the current ‘modern’ purpose built circuit built in 1956, well known to International readers via its globally televised V8 Supercar and Moto GP events.

Cowes Pits the baron 1938

Cowes pits, Baron von Oetzen of Auto Union (left), see text below. Cowes is the main village on Phillip Island (Earle Vienet)

Many international and interstate visitors have made the trip to the ‘Island to see the ‘bike GP, historic car event in March or perhaps a V8 Supercar race. These days the tourist playground is well serviced from Melbourne with freeway-highway access and a bridge (opened in November 1940) from San Remo on the mainland to Newhaven on Phillip Island.

But back when Earle, his wife and thousands of other fans made the raceday/weekend pilgrimage it was literally a ‘cut lunch and camel ride of a trip’.

A train was taken from Flinders Street Station, Melbourne to Stony Point on Westernport Bay, then a very crowded ferry from there to Cowes on the island and finally a walk, bus or horse-drawn cart ride to the track on the outskirts of Cowes. These photos are from their trip on 2 January 1939.

(Earle Vienet)

(Earle Vienet)

Prominent Australian Motor Racing Historian/Author John Medley said of the shot above ‘The Baron was Baron von Oetzen from Auto Union who with his wife accompanied world champion Ewald Kluge and two DKW race bikes around Australia racing in 1937-38, using DKW (and other Auto Union vehicles) as support vehicles. Les Friedrichs rode one of the DKWs. The Baron promised Auto Union racing cars in Australia (as he already had done in South Africa) before the war intervened’.

Medley, ‘It is a story worth telling. We know some bits, and South Australian Eric Williams made a film about it, partly used in Tony Parkinson’s ‘History of Racing at Lobethal’, pearl handled revolvers and all!’

See ‘Etcetera’ below for more details on both Kluge and The Baron.

kluge 2

Ewald Kluge, Baron von Oertzen and Mr Green the Melbourne DKW agent. This shot is in Northcott Avenue, Canberra before their unsuccessful attempts to raise the Australian 250cc Land Speed Record in 1938. DKW SS 250, 2 stroke supercharged machine. These were annual events in Canberra at the time (The Velobanjogent)

Click here for an interesting article on Kluge’s DKW SS 250, 2 stroke supercharged racer at Lobethal, SA…

Ewald Kluge, DKW and the Lobethal TT

Great Australian Motor Racing Historian Graham Howard published an article in ‘Motor Racing Australia’ magazine some years ago about The ‘Island pre-war. He wrote that the triangular layout was used twice per year from 1935 to the final meeting on public roads at Phillip Island in November 1938, it would be interesting to know if these shots are from that last meeting?

Interested to hear from any of you who could help with the details.

the Straight cowes 001

The straight Cowes 1938, any assistance in ID’ the cars gratefully received (Earle Vienet)

brooklyn speedway

Earle Vienet was a motor racing entrepreneur in the 1960/70’s as the promoter of the Brooklyn Speedway as it was called then, located on Melbourne’s western outskirts. The difficulties of making a buck in motor racing on ‘that side of the fence’ have always been extreme, but Earle worked hard, in fact he toiled at four jobs to put his five children through private school.

The speedway was built on land first used a greyhound track. The original owner, a Mr Wilson built the track, installed wooden fencing and named it ‘Brooklyn Speedway’. The enterprise was then purchased by three partners; Ezmat Haken, Earle Vienet and Laurie Rowland. In the initial stages Earle and Laurie built up the speedway infrastructure, including putting in the lighting. They bought an old tip truck and made many trips to the local quarry to create spectator mounds. Ez was the marketer and Earle the promoter.

The business was very much a ‘do it yourself affair’, some of the stories about the contribution the Vienet boys, particularly Graeme, the elder made shows the level of commitment required to make a buck and the cavalier way in which things were done in those far away days. Occupational Health and Safety? What’s that!?

Barry Watt Qld in pits for 1969 Speedcar champion ship

Barry Watt all the way from Queensland for the 1969 Speedcar Championship. Brooklyn pits(unattributed)

Trevor recalls the English Motor Cycle Test Team slept ‘in our 20 foot caravan which was parked at the side of the house in suburban Balwyn. Nigel Boocock (the captain) gave my mum a pair of pantyhose. I don’t think she had ever seen a pair before. The night the test team raced was the biggest crowd we ever had, approximately 10,000 people. Sadly, we didn’t get those numbers on a regular basis so the speedway, in my dad’s time was not a financial winner.’

Elder brother Graeme was Earle’s right hand man though ‘As a youngster at 13 I used to go to the speedway every single week with Dad. Initially I sold programs and ice-creams. A few years later I graduated to being the guy who pulled the elastic cord across the track and engaged it in the old bomb release mechanism mounted in the fence for the starting of solos and sidecars. I of course also used the watering can to mark out the white lines. I was paid $5 per night.’

‘When Speedcars came to the Speedway I also drove the black and yellow Holden panel van to start the cars. After race meetings I would often jump onto the Fiat tractor and do a rough grade of the track, pulling the dirt away from the fence line. I remember once a car going off the track and dropping a wheel into a small hole where the taps were for watering the track and the tap being broken and a huge spout of water shooting into the sky and out onto the track. Dad told me later that all the officials were saying to him that the race had to be stopped. Dad said, just give it a moment knowing I was outside the track at this stage. I was half way round the track from the main water valve and I ran like hell through the crowd and turned off the water at the main.’

‘I almost lost my eye sight one night when I was switching off the track lights (24 poles, 48 lights at 1,500 watts per light, 72,000 watts on three circuits) up in the judges box when one of the switches broke apart inside as I threw the switch.It arced and threw a massive fireball at me, hitting me in the neck just under my chin. If it had been dad, it would have hit him right in the eyes. Great ride in the ambulance though with full lights and sirens and dad following behind in his ’66 Studebaker Cruiser with 283cid V8 in close attendance’.

Working Bee Melb speedway 1968 copy

Love this shot which captures the entrepreneurial hands on zeal of the partners, Earle Vienet on left of the tractor bucket. Working bee at the Speedway (Earle Vienet)

Other classics of impecunious entrepreneurship included;

‘The yellow and black panel van donated by a car dealership as a push car, which could never be registered again as it wouldn’t have passed a road-worthy. The Fiat tractor which Steven Walker rolled one night whilst doing a series of fancy one wheel brake turns in front of his mates, whilst dragging some dirt back into a small hole on the main straight was a sight not forgotten by spectators there on that particular night!’

Trevor, ‘One year we entered entered a float in the Moomba procession to promote the Speedway ( a big annual festival of activities over a fortnight the highlight of which is a huge procession through the streets of Melbourne) with a Speedcar on top of a huge trailer surrounded by some pretty girls one of which was my elder sister showing off ‘her assets’. It was pulled by a Super Modified with a special fan which overheated, the whole rig had to be pushed at times by a bunch of mechanics during the procession, causing a good deal of chaos!’ All with 100.000 spectators on Melbourne’s CBD streets closed for the Public Holiday.

The partners sold the business in 1972 after six years of ownership. Earle died, very young at 51, the year before. The Speedway closed in 1988.



Ewald Kluge.

cowes race meeting 1938.2

Ewald Kluge or Les Friedrichs DKW, Cowes race meeting 31 January 1938 (Earle Vienet)

‘The Canberra Times’ 0n 15 January 1938 reported that Kluge successfully broke the Australian 250cc Flying Quarter Mile in Canberra on 14 January 1938. Further, whilst in Australia Kluge won the South Australian Lightweight and Junior TT’s, on the same DKW SS 250 at Lobethal on December 27 1937. Elsewhere it was reported that Ewald attracted a lot of attention from the German speaking locals, many people from Germany emigrated to South Australia and settled in the Barossa Valley, near Hahndorf in particular. The Authorities  gave him attention in relation to the displaying of Nazi Swaztikas. Whether he liked it or not he was a member of the N.S.K.K., the ‘Nationalist Socialist Drivers Club’, difficult for the German racing heroes of the day to avoid. In Victoria he won the Lightweight TT at Ballarat Airfield, he also raced at Phillip Island on January 31 1938, as reported here, returning to Germany on February 8.

The Brisbane ‘Courier Mail’ on 15 June announced plans for Kluge to return to Australia in December 1939 but war put paid to that.

Ewald Kluge was born on 19 January 1909. After leaving school he was apprenticed as a mechanic. Kluge soon bought a Dunelt motorcycle, entering the 1929 Freiberger Dreiecksrennen, starting first and finishing in third place. Over the next few years, Kluge rode a private DKW before joining the works team in 1934 as a mechanic and backup rider. In 1935 he was made a full member of the team.

From 1936 to 1939, Kluge was German champion in the 250 cc class and in 1938 and 1939 he was also European champion. In June 1938, He won the 250 cc Lightweight TT at the Isle of Man. He was the first German and only the second rider from continental Europe to win the race.

During the War Kluge was a Sergeant in Leipzig at the school for army motorisation in wunsdorf In 1943, he was released from his role at the request of Auto Union, for whom he went to work in their testing department. After the war, the Russians denounced him as a Nazi and between 1946 and 1949 he was imprisoned.

From 1950, Kluge once again rode for DKW, often riding in both the 250 cc and 350 cc classes. In 1952 Kluge competed at the German GP finishing fifth in the 350 cc race and fourth in the 250 cc race. In 1953 he had a serious crash at the Nurburgring in which he fractured his thigh, ending his riding career. Later he worked in public relations for Auto Union.

Kluge died on 19 August 1964 from cancer. He was married and had a son and a daughter.

kluge 2

Ewald Kluge on his DKW SS 250, Lobethal, South Australia, December 1937. (Tony Parkinson Ray Trevena Collection)


Baron von Oetzen (unattributed and undated)

Baron Claus von Oetzen.

During 1932, four German motor manufacturers; Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer merged under the pressures of the depressed German economy to form Auto Union. The new company’s four-ringed emblem is credited to von Oertzen.

von Oertzen, in charge of sales at Wanderer, became sales director and chairman of the board of Auto Union.

Von Oertzen wanted a showpiece project that would bring fame to his new firm. Together with Ferdinand Porsche and Hans Stuck (senior), one of Germany’s most successful racing drivers, they began work on a new ‘people’s car’ and also a government-sponsored racing program.

Initially a sum of 500,000 reichmarks  was pledged to Mercedes Benz but Dr. Porsche convinced the government that two programs were better than one, and the 500,000 RM would be split by the two competing firms.

Von Oertzen had to leave Germany as his wife was a Jewess, in 1935 they relocated to South Africa away from the Nazis view. From 1936 he initiated the export of the DKW saloon car to South Africa and Australia, the visit by he and Ewald Kluge in 1937/8 was partially about racing but largely to establish export and distribution arrangements for Auto Union products. In 1937 he arranged for the Auto Union racers to be brought to South Africa for promotional purposes.

In addition to South Africa and Australia, von Oertzen also worked in Indonesia, where he and his wife, Irene, were interned in separate prison camps during the War.

After the cessation of hostilities Volkswagen Germany appointed him as their representative in South Africa. He was instrumental in the early stages of negotiations to bring Volkswagen to South Africa.

In Australia von Oetzen appointed his pre-war DKW partner, Lionel Spencer’s Regent Motors as the local VW importer and distributor, the first cars arrived in October 1953.

Oetzen was born in 1894 and died in 1991.

baron 3

‘The Canberra Times’ report on the Kluge/ DKW 250cc Australian Speed Record attempts on 14 January 1938.

pi circuit

Diagram of the original Phillip Island, ‘gravel surface with some blue metal stone chips rolled in’ road course. The roads, now bitumen, still exist, the circuit is well marked including signs which explain the locations historic significance (kolumbus.f1)

waite 1928 agp

Capt Arthur Waite, the Australian born son in law of  Herbert Austin, on his way to winning the first AGP in 1928. Phillip Island in his factory backed Austin 7 s/c, specially developed for Brooklands. Event has become known as the AGP but was called the ‘100 Miles Road Race’ by The Light Car Club of Australia, the promoters at the time. March 31 1928. Race 16 laps, total 170Km(unattributed)

Rugby or chrysler at cowes 1938 001

Caption; ‘Rugby or Chrysler at Cowes 1938’.Speedway cars, these two (Earle Vienet)


Earle Vienet Collection, Trevor and Graeme Vienet, Motor Racing Australia Magazine #35 ‘Phillip Island Pre-War’ article by Graham Howard, Wikipedia

melbourne, Kolumbus.f1, Stephen Dalton and John Medley for research assistance

Tony Parkinson Ray Trevena Collection, The Velobanjogent