Archive for December, 2016

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Pascal Rondeau is one of the more recent generation of photographers whose work I admire…

This shot is at the US Grand Prix in 1989 at Phoenix, Arizona. No details on which car it is, which is a bumma.

Credit…

Pascal Rondeau

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(David Van Dal)

Morry Maurice competing in the the ‘Goomalling Speed Classic’ 7 June 1954, HRG 1500. Goomalling, Western Australia…

The two wonderful color photographs in this article are by David Van Dal of Morry Maurice’ HRG 1500 at Goomalling and Narrogin. Both are towns in Western Australia’s wheatbelt around 200km southeast of Perth. The  shot above is quintessential Australian country town, even today. The beautiful blue racing car and upright, stylish driver a contrast to the drab coloured background buildings and gum trees.

‘Round The Houses’ Racing in Western Australia…

WA has a rich history of ‘Round the Houses’ racing, such events were held on street circuits in many country towns there in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s. The first of these was held at Albany in 1936 and planned to emulate the style of racing common in Europe at the time.

The towns of Pingelly, Bunbury, Dowerin, Northam, Goomalling and Narrogin all held meetings with Narrogin hosting the Australian Grand Prix in March 1951. That event held in very hot conditions was watched by 35,000 people a long way from Perth, and won by Warwick Pratley in the Ford V8 powered ‘George Reed Special’.

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Maurice at Northam, WA in 1954, HRG 1500. ‘Northam Flying 50’ 19 April 1954 (Ken Devine)

Maurice’ HRG was originally bought to Australia in 1949, it was one of an initial shipment of three chassis imported by Brown and Dureau, the Melbourne based distributors of the marque. The bodies for the cars were built locally. Like so many cars in Australia it was constantly modified in an effort to keep it competitive throughout the 1950’s as technology rapidly advanced. Click on this link for a good summary of the life and times of the 1948 HRG 1500 chassis #174 aka 1958 HRG Buchanan Holden ‘Godfrey Spl’;

http://www.buchananmotorcompany.com/HRG%20Buchanan%20Holden.htm

Goomalling…

Racing at Goomalling took place between 1949 and 1961. It was a prominent motorsport venue in the postwar years, taking over from Dowerin as one of the WA wheatbelt’s motorsport hubs. Motor racing was a reason for creation of the circuit but so was fundraising to pay for a new swimming pool in the town. Its scorching during the long, hot, dry summer months there!

Three racing mad returned servicemen; Milton Royal, Ted Nicholson and Charlie Dent were behind the track, the trio originally formed the Goomalling Sporting Car Club in 1939. That year the club held a small event at the abandoned Goomalling horse racing track before its three founders were called away to fight for their country over the skies of Europe, all were Air Force Officers. It wasn’t until 1949 that motorsport returned to Goomalling, the last ‘in period’ meeting the 1961 ‘Flying Fifty’.

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(David van Dal)

Maurice’ HRG 1500 again, this time at Narrogin in ‘The Great Southern Fifty’ meeting on 2 March 1953…

My brother lives in Perth, WA, I spend a lot of time there and in the Margaret River region down south, this topography and soil is so WA. The parched earth, brown grass and green eucalypts are so Oz and WA in particular. I can feel the summer heat just looking at this shot! It looks like an outer suburban street scene, love the ‘International’? truck in the background and cream brick house.

Bibliography…

‘Goomalling Classic Racers’ by Graeme Cocks, Ken Devine and Ray Bell on ‘The Nostalgia Forum’, terrywalkersplace.com-great site for all things WA motor racing history, ‘Around The Houses’ by Terry Walker

Credits…

David van Dal via Ken Devine and ‘Repco 22’ on The Nostalgia Forum for the photos. David Van Dal was a West Australian racer, who between events in his Morgan took some amazing photographs, many in color, so rare for the period and therefore to be savoured for the lifelike time capsules they are.

Tailpiece: Goomalling Speed Classic summary and circuit…

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(‘Around The Houses’ Terry Walkers )

 

 

 

 

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This photo of the ‘Lady in Red’ was originally published in the UK’s ‘Picture Post’, but the caption is devoid of all the information we want; car, driver, place. The date of the pic is 20 September 1952…

It’s a C Type Jag, it looks like Stirling Moss, maybe some of you Brits can help with the meeting place and date?

Reader David Scothorn got in touch to advise that the photo, taken by Zoltan Glass, was probably during the August 1952 meeting at Boreham.

The lady is ‘…wearing a Dior style coat, modelling it to show off a winter collection. As far as the lady is concerned we have no leads there. We’ve tried various Google searches and face recognition but nothing has turned’. Its great that part of the mystery is solved!

Credit…

Zoltan Glass, David Scothorn

 

 

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Dave Charlton fettling his Brabham BT11 to which he has just bolted a ‘brand spankers’ 3 litre Repco F1 RB620 V8…

I must admit this shot as a ‘who, what, where and when’ had me tossed! I thought the face was familiar, but given it was from Nigel Tait’s Repco Photographic Archive I figured it was an RBE technician installing the little V8 into one of Jack’s Tasman cars in Melbourne. Completely wrong! The installation of engine to chassis was done in South Africa, exactly where I am intrigued to know.

But at the back of my brain I did recognise the driver although its Charlton’s Lotus 72 days which resonate with me most. This Brabham, the BT11 was a very successful ‘Intercontinental’ model in Tasman racing and in South African National Formula racing. Bought for Charlton by South African enthusiast Aldo Scribante, it was originally delivered with the ubiquitous 2.5 litre Coventry Climax FPF 4 cylinder engine.

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Charlton in the Climax engined Brabham BT11, Q8 and unclassified. Pedro Rodriguez won the race in a Cooper T81 Maserati, South African GP 1967 (Dave Kent)

Dave did the full South African season in it in 1966, not really challenging local rival John Love’s Brabham BT20 Repco. After cranking in the Repco V8 he won the ’67 Rand Autumn Trophy race. Into 1968 he raced on in the BT11, Love updated to an ex-works Lotus 49, the rivalry between the two drivers over the years intense and fair.

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1968 South African GP, Dave in Scribante’s Brabham BT11 Repco. Q14 and DNF gearbox, the race won by Jim Clark’s Lotus 49 Ford, the great Scots last GP win (Doug Brown)

Charlton was a South African citizen but was born in Yorkshire in 1936, migrating to SA with his mother in his early teens.

He first rose to prominence after winning the 1960 SA GP sportscar supporting race in an Austin Healey 100/6. He later raced an ex-Whitmore Lotus 22 in Europe without much success and returned to SA with a depleted bank balance. Some great drives in a Lotus 20 Ford twin-cam bought him to Scribante’s notice and the rest as they say is history; South African F1 champion from 1970-75, 13 championship Grands Prix appearances. He died in February 2013.

After claiming a number of wins in the Brabham over the following season Charlton upgraded to a Lotus 49C Ford taking the 1970 South African F1 title (and 12th place in the South African GP). In a renta-drive he drove a factory Brabham BT33 in the ’71 South African GP, his engine failed mid-race.

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The two great rivals in South Africa for over a decade; John Love March 701 Ford 2nd and Charlton Lotus 49C Ford 1st, Leeukop Corner, Highveld 100, 1971 Kyalami (Brian Watson)

He went to to the UK to collect a Lotus 72D, racing it in the 1972 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, in spite of losing practice time to mechanical issues he qualified 13th.  His engine dropped on to seven cylinders on the warm-up lap, but the car won him the domestic SA championship for three consecutive seasons.

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1972 British GP, Charlton leading one of the McLarens into Druids Hill, Lotus 72D Ford, DNF gearbox, the race won by Fittipaldi’s works 72D (Brian Watson)

For 1974 Charlton’s Scuderia Scribante team acquired McLaren M23/2, which Peter Revson had driven to victory in the 1973 British Grand Prix. Charlton dominated the domestic scene to a new level despite Ian Scheckter’s pace in a Lotus 72. Charlton took six wins and won a fifth consecutive championship.

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Kyalami 1972, perhaps the Highveld 100 but help welcomes from South African enthusiasts. #2 John Love Surtees TS9, #1 Charlton Lotus 72D and #3 Willie Ferguson Brbham BT33, the blue McLaren M10B Chev perhaps Kipp Ackerman (Brian Watson)

The following year Scheckter raced a Tyrrell 007 and Charlton won twice but eight podiums in a year of consistency won him the title again. He sold the M23 on to Aussie John McCormack, who converted it to Formula 5000 spec and notched up further successes in the domestic Gold Star championship, while Charlton switched to Formula Pacific and won that for four consecutive seasons.

Click here for my article on McLaren M23/2 which has some material on Charlton’s racing of that great car; https://primotipo.com/2014/07/24/macs-mclaren-peter-revson-dave-charlton-and-john-mccormacks-mclaren-m232/

Charlton died in February 2013 aged 77.

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Charlton during the 1973 South African GP @ Kyalami with his Lotus 72D all nicely balanced on the throttle (Stuart Dent)

Etcetera…

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Charlton at Kyalami in the BT11 still Climax engined in 1967 (Ken Stewart)

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Charlton this side in the BT11 Repco with John Love in his BT20 Repco in 1968 (Dave Kent)

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Carlton again in the BT11 Repco (Deon Smit)

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Paid guest drive of the works Brbham BT33, inside Denny Hulme’s McLaren M19, SA GP 1971 (Deon Smit)

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Charlton at the wheel of a factory Lotus 72, 1971 British GP (unattributed)

Credits…

Nigel Tait Collection, Repco Ltd Archive

Tailpiece: The flag drops-Luki Botha Brabham Repco, John Love Cooper Climax and on the far side Dave Charlton Brabham BT11 Repco, 1967 Coronation 100 …

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(Deon Smit)

 

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The spectator is keen, his bravado enhanced by copious amounts of chianti during the long Sicilian afternoon…

The 13th placed #88 Eberhard Sindel/Dieter Benz Porsche 911S ahead of the similar #100 Dan Margulies/Robert Mackie car which was 20th. Oh to have been a privateer and raced an event like this, so relatively easily at the time, errant spectators notwithstanding!

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The Mitter/Schutz 908/2 won the race from three other factory 908’s in a Porsche rout.

Credit…

Rainer Schlegelmilch

Tailpiece: The winning Porsche 908/2, not a bad panorama…

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