(P Geard)

John Youl attacks Mountford Corner, Longford in his Porsche 356 during the late fifties…

John and his racer brother Gavin were scions of a prominent Tasmanian grazier family and very successful, competitive drivers until business pressures forced early retirement. Symmons Plains is a permanent legacy for the racing brothers built as it was on the family property.

(P Geard)

John proved his world level pace in several seasons aboard Cooper Climax T51 and T55 prepared by Geoff Smedley, whose just published book will be definitive on both drivers careers.

In the 1961 Longford shot below he is in the best of company (at right) aboard a Cooper T51 alongside #14 Brabham’s T53 with Austin Miller’s distinctive yellow T51 Climax behind.

(J Richardson)

Roy Salvadori won the South Pacific Trophy race that weekend from Bill Patterson and John with Austin fourth. Brabham was outed with a broken half-shaft on lap 16 of the 24 lap distance.

Here John’s appearance in the Porsche is a little earlier, the last photo below perhaps in 1957 and the others a little later- you can see the evolution from road car still fitted with hubcaps! to lowered rortier racer. I wonder what modifications were made to that 356 Super?


Paul Geard, Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania, Ellis French, Geoff Smedley, John Richardson

Tailpiece: Youl, White, Walkem on ‘The Flying Mile’, Longford circa 1957…


Youl in what looks like a motor-cycle racing helmet beside his Porker, the yellow machine is Graham White’s Vincent Spl and the obscured Cooper is Jock Walkem’s- the man in black. Delightful bucolic scene belies the high speeds and sound of straining engines which took place annually on this stretch of road over the March Labour Day long-weekend from 1953 to 1968…


  1. David Thompson says:

    What’s the gold name plate on the front fenders, just ahead of the door. Carrera?

    • markbisset says:

      Yes- appears so blowing the shot up, perhaps with the capacity alongside, it’s hard to fully read. Great shots aren’t they?

    • Greg Newton says:

      The script on the front fender is Continental. A very rare and short lived name that Porsche used before they were pulled up by Ford for using a trademark name.

      • markbisset says:

        Cheers Greg,
        Wow, one for the 356 perves!
        Am seeing a couple of them at a lunch tomorrow, shall ask them to regale me with stories about this bit of Porker corporate history.

  2. Terry Sullivan says:

    Mark, do you have any details of the Geoff Smedley book that you mentioned?

    • markbisset says:

      I just dropped Geoff a note, the first print run is sold already! He launched the book at the National Auto Museum of Tas on 25 August, it had sold out two days later. A reprint is underway and will be @ the museum in a fortnight- I’ll keep an eye on the website and keep you posted, I’m after a copy myself. Will be great for sure on a whole host of topics.

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