(Glenn Murphy)

Max  Stewart enjoying the trip back to the hotel aboard his evergreen, fast Mildren from Singapore’s Thomson Road Circuit 8-11 April 1971. Note the tow-rope!…

Max failed to finish in his Mildren Alfa that year, a successful one in which he won the Australian Gold Star Championship, albeit the car was Waggott 2 litre rather than 2 litre Alfa GTAm powered as it is here.

The Singapore race was won by Kiwi, Graeme Lawrence in a Brabham BT29 Ford FVC  from the Australian duo- John Walker’s Elfin 600 Ford twin-cam and Bob Muir’s Mildren ‘Yellow Submarine’ Waggott third. It was Rennmax’ galore in this race with Ken Goodwin 6th in his BN3 Ford with Stewart a DNF, his Mildren chassis also built by Bob Britton’s Rennmax concern.

Stewart on the way to his 1972 Singapore GP win, Mildren Ford, behind is Leo Geoghegan in Graeme Lawrence’s Brabham BT30 Ford (SMI)

In 1972 Max brought this car in which he had so much success over so many years back to Singpore and won the race held on 2 April…

The race had depth- Vern Schuppan ran a March 722, Garrie Cooper, the Elfin boss converted his Elfin 600D from Repco V8 to Lotus/Ford twin-cam spec, Leo Geoghegan raced Graeme Lawrence’s Brabham BT30, Bob Muir a Rennmax BN3 and Sonny Rajah his ex-Ronnie Peterson March 712M.

In fact that was the big change to the meeting- the organisers effectively adopted Australian National F2 engine regs which in a practical race winning sense mandated the use of the Lotus/Ford 2 valve, twin cam engine. Max’s car was fitted with a Paul England built mill in place of the Waggott 2 litre 4-valver with which the car won so many events.

Click here for my article on the 1972 Singapore race;

Max receives the booty and tells all after his ’72 Singapore GP win (SMI)

Their is a story to tell about fitment of the Alfa GTAm engine to the Mildren for its Asian Tour in 1971 though, and i would love to hear it!

The Singapore GP race in mid-April was well before the start of the Australian Gold Star Series at Lakeside on 6 June. So why was the Alfa engine, no doubt provided by Brian Foley, the only chap in Oz with a GTAm, fitted instead of the usual Waggott 2 litre with which it raced right through the 1971 season by Max and then the 1972 Australian Tasman rounds in Tony Stewart’s hands?…


Etcetera: Stewart, Mildren Waggott, Singapore Grand Prix 1970…

Max during the 1970 GP when the little Mildren was powered by Merv Waggott’s TC-4V 2 litre engine. The race that year was dominated by Stewart’s teammate in the Mildren Alfa 2.5 V8 ‘Yellow Submarine’- Kevin Bartlett won the 20 lap preliminary and led the GP until a valve spring let go, Graeme Lawrence’s ex-Amon Ferrari 246T with whom KB had been dicing throughout, took a popular win. GL won many races in South East Asia for the best part of a decade from the mid-sixties to the seventies. Not sure where Max placed.


(K Wyndham)

One article, one car, three pictures- three different engines.

Here is Max’s Alec Mildren owned machine- that’s Mildren talking to Glenn Abbey, his longtime friend and Chief Mechanic behind the truck in the Oran Park paddock in June 1970.

A successful weekend for the team as Max won the Gold Star round powered by a 2 litre Waggott engine from Leo Geoghegan, Lotus 59 Waggott and Garrie Cooper, Elfin 600D Repco 2.5 V8. The dude tending to the front Goodyear is Derek Kneller (his book is on the way and will be a beauty) with Stu Randall at the rear. I wonder who the pretty Missy is with an interest in all things mechanical?

The engine count for this chassis (in fact one car- two chassis frames) is something like- Alfa Romeo 1.6 twin-plug 2 valve DOHC F2, Waggott 4 valve DOHC- 1600/1860/2000cc, Lotus Ford 1.6 litre 2 valve DOHC and Alfa Romeo 2 litre 2 valve twin plug DOHC.


Glenn Murphy, Singapore Ministry of Information/Arts, Ken Wyndham,, National Archives of Singapore




  1. prn31 says:

    Hi Mark, are you sure that the GTAm engine was fitted to the Mildren for the Singapore GP in April 71? I interviewed Foley back in 2014 and he made no mention of this. In any case Foley first raced the GTAm at Oran Park in March 71, in April he was at Lakeside for the Craven Filter series and back north in May for the Surfers ATCC round where he finished 6th. At this time he was still developing the Alfa so I would be surprised if he lent it to Stewart for Singapore. He did lend the GTAm engine to David McKay for his entry in the Dulux Rally – a Chesterfield sponsored 1750 GTV – and missed the final ATCC round at Oran Park. By this time Foley conceded that the GTAm was not competitive with the 2.0 Autodelta engine so transplanted the Tasman 2.5 V8 for sports sedan racing in 1972.

    • markbisset says:

      Great to hear from you Paul, I’m not at all sure the engine was Foley’s just putting two and two together- you have shown unless it was a spare it couldn’t have been Brian’s engine. I do recall the McKay GTV loan you mention. Maybe someone with a complete set of RCN’s can solve the mystery. Various sources say the car was powered at that event by a GTAm engine, if that is right whose engine was it? Why not have run the Waggott fitted normally to the chassis since early 1969? Perhaps the Waggott was being rebuilt at the time of the Singers GP and the GTAm was an easy solution given the bell-housing used to mate Hewland to the Alfa 16 valve F2 engine this chassis was fitted with when built in 1968 (same block) was still kicking around Mildren’s workshop? It is an interesting one- be nice to solve it! Maybe Vin Sharp can shed some light on it from amongst the records he has with the Foley machine…Mark

  2. Martin says:

    Hi Mark,

    That was rather brave, trying to work out all the engines fitted to the little Mildren Rennmax. Surely must be a record for any local chassis.
    From my hazy recollections ….
    The first time it ran, it was fitted with a Alfa 1.6 4 valve. I sort of remember it racing against a couple of FVA’s at Warwick Farm ie Neil Allen’s McLaren and Glyn Scott’s Bowin.
    I think Mildren only used the 4 valve Alfa engine for a few races, as the car very soon had the first of the 1600 TC4V Waggots fitted.
    Now, looking at the first photo of Max at the Singapore GP, it certainly appears to be a Marelli Twin Plug Distributor behind Max’s shoulder.
    However, for 1971, Singapore and other Asian GP’s changed their rules to match ANF2, ie 1600 4 Cyl 2 Valve.
    So could Max have been using a Twin Plug GTA engine, as a GTAm would exceed the capacity limit? If so, I don’t recall this engine configuration ever being used in Australia.
    As you mention Max went back to Singapore in 1972 and won the GP with a Ford Twink fitted.
    So my count is – 4 and 2 valve Alfa’s, Ford TC, numerous Waggot TC4v, whew!


    • markbisset says:

      Brave and stupid- that’s me! It is a knotty problem I am intrigued to solve. I’ve another article finished on the car, just not uploaded yet which is about it in its original Alfa 4V F2 guise- it appears its first race was @ WF on 8 September 1968 with this engine, and as you say the Waggott TC-4V 1600 was popped in shortly thereafter.
      I am very confused about the ‘Formula Asia’ of 1971-,, F2Register and all have 4-valve engines in their 1971 Singapore GP results. However, The Roaring Season say that GL won both the ’71 Singapore and Shah Alan GP’s with the Brabham BT29 Ford FVC replaced with a twin-cam, with the FVC going back in before the Japanese GP. If the formula was 1.6, twin-cam, 2-valve then the GTAm is not possible as you say and your 1600 GTA twin-plug is a possibility- and there may have been still one of those at Mildren’s or he could have borrowed one from John French. Big tall motors tho- and was the GTA dry-sumped? At this stage using photographic evidence the only thing I am certain of is what the engine isn’t! Not the Alfa 1.6 4V F2, or Waggott TC-4V or Lotus/Ford twin-cam.
      Someone out there knows, really appreciate your input, a definitive source as to ‘Formula Asia’ in 1971 would be great if you have it.

      • markbisset says:

        Have just had a trawl thru the National Archive of Singapore and found a shot of GL’s Brabham BT29- close enough to see the Webers on his engine- its not a Cosworth FVC- am liking your GTA engine theory more and more…

  3. Martin says:

    You are not the only one! I didn’t bother to check with Dr. Google for the results of the 1971 Singapore GP. I now see where the GTAm engine idea comes from.

    I do have Eli Solomon’s “Snakes and Devils” book, and in the first paragraph of the 1971 GP report, he mentions the rule change to 1.6 2 Valve, and that more than half of the 1970 starters were now ineligible, with many cars requiring an engine change from FVA to TC. Annoyingly there are no grid tables, nor a comprehensive list of finishers. Now that I’ve re-read the report, even more confusing is that there is no mention of Max in the 1971 race, did he even start?
    It’s troubling that almost all the online sources mention 4 valve engines being used in 1971, not sure how you are going to get to the bottom of this?

    Looking forward to your article on the Mildren Alfa F2.
    Back in the day, they where my favourite team, always hoping they could manage to win a Tasman race or two, the series was probably out of their reach!
    I’m curious to know what happened to the 1.6 4V engine. Did it end up as being the basis for the engine in Brian Foley’s Lightweight GTA based Alfa?


    • markbisset says:

      Eli will be right re the formula change- the results sites are like lemmings- one follows the other. Allen Brown- who goes back to source has not covered these pre-Atlantic Era races on yet sadly!
      I’ve sent you the Singapore GP ’71 F2Index results to your email- in those Max is 9th, DNF with oil loss Mildren Alfa (not GTAm like most of the other sources), the only 4 valve engine in these results is Lawrence’s Brabham BT29 FVC- which we know is wrong via GL’s own feedback on The Roaring Season and the visual evidence I sighted today.
      Huge Mildren, Bartlett, Stewart fan.
      Pretty sure the F2 Alfa 1.6 4 valve engine is in Vin Sharp’s hands, will ring to ask.
      Finally the ‘Australian GTA Story’ is here;
      I must buy ‘Snakes and Devils’ too!

  4. […] The tale of ‘Max’s’ car is long, successful and slightly tortuous with the appearance of a second chassis, the provenance of which is not in doubt,  in the last decade or so, but is not for now- i did write a ‘quickie’ about it a while back though; […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s