(DIMIA)

Queensland single-seater pilot Henk Woelders adjusts his helmet, probably Lakeside, 1967…

I was musing online with some ‘Nostalgia Forum’ buddies the other day about the effectiveness of the Castrol liveried brothers Geoghegan racers of the late sixties and early seventies. The commercial message was delivered well because of the elegant simplicity involved.

Woelders, Elfin 600E Ford Waggott, Calder 1971. Engine is a Merv Waggott prepped Lotus-Ford twin-cam (J Lemm)

Henk Woelders’ Elfin 600 liveries are other fine examples of ‘getting it right’.

He raced two of the spaceframe cars, both ANF2 machines, the second to the 1971 Australian Formula 2 Championship, taking four of the six rounds in his Bill Patterson Motors sponsored car. This chassis was a 600E, Garrie’s you beaut late F2 machine which had magnesium front uprights and revised suspension geometry front and rear.

Henk’s cars had Patto’s simple light blue stripe on a white background, Patterson’s own racing colours from his Cooper Gold Star winning days a decade before.

(DIMIA)

 

Sometimes photographs appear from the most unlikely of places, the inspiration for this article was two shots taken by the Australian ‘Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs’- catchy innit?

It seems the DIMIA were running some articles at the time about migrant success stories in Australia, as you may have gathered from the Woelders name he hails from the Netherlands- one of millions who came to The Great Brown Land post-war in a ‘populate or perish’ policy by our national governments. It would be intriguing to know where these photos were first published.

The shots are dated 1967 and refer to Henk with his Lotus Super Seven- which the first opening photo may be but the second most certainly is not. Lotus 20 FJ maybe?- did they have rear drum brakes?, intrigued to know what the car is if one of know what he was racing at the time.

Woelders in his first 600, a 600B chassis ‘6806’ at Calder before the hi-wing ban imposed over the ’69 May Monaco GP weekend. A moveable aerodynamic device too- clever setup has the wing feathered on the straights as here- with incidence created when required- interested to know who engineered this clever setup (B Mills)

What limited information I have indicates Henk was employed by Patterson during the Elfin 600 period, so at some point he moved from Queensland to Melbourne, presumably working at Patterson’s Holden empire based in Ringwood, an outer-eastern Melbourne suburb.

Harry Firth rated him as a driver, Henk and Peter Macrow were the ‘open-wheeler’ duo in the Holden Dealer Team’s first successful, three car 1969 Bathurst 500 assault- Colin Bond and Tony Roberts won, Des West and Peter Brock were with Woelders/Macrow sixth.

Woelders/Macrow HDT Holden HT Monaro GTS350 (R Davies)

Henk’s career seems to have ended after his F2 win but he was reunited with his championship winning 600E ‘7024’ many years later and still retains it, and a very nice car it is too.

Henk and Malcolm Ramsay- in 600E and 600C ‘6908’ get set for the August 1971 Glynn Scott Memorial Trophy Gold Star round at Surfers Paradise. The F2 Championship race was run concurrently with the F5000 cars- Henk won the F2 section finishing 6th and Frank Matich was first outright in his McLaren M10C Repco. Ramsay DNF with a broken throttle cable- both these cars were powered by Merv Waggott built Lotus-Ford twin-cams (S Johnson)

Credits…

Department of Immigration Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, John Lemm, Bruce Mills, Robert Davies, John Stanley, Stewart Johnson

Tailpiece: Woelders, Elfin 600B, Lakeside 1968…

John Stanley’s photo above is of Henk’s first 600 coming out of Lakeside’s Eastern Loop in 1968, he raced this car from 1968 to 1970 before replacing it with the later model.

Elfin 600’s won goodness knows how many F2 races in the hands of drivers like Garrie Cooper, John Walker, Tony Stewart, Ivan Tighe, Maurie Quincey and Australian Championships for Cooper, Woelders and Larry Perkins in Gary Campbell’s 600B/E in 1968 (ANF 1.5 C’ship shared with Max Stewart) 1971 and 1972 respectively.

Elfin’s Australian F2 dominance is amply demonstrated by the 1971 championship table- the first eleven placegetters raced Elfins- Woelders, Tony Stewart, Jack Bono, John Walker, Ivan Tighe, Garrie Cooper, Vern Hamilton, John Ampt, Ken Hastings, Ross Ambrose, Clive Millis and Don Uebergang!

Of those, all raced 600’s with the exception of Ampt who was aboard a Mono- the monocoque Birranas finally rained on the Elfin F2 parade from 1973…

Finito…

Comments
  1. Rob says:

    Mark,

    oldracingcars.com has Henk in Brabham BT6 FJ-15-63 from mid-1967, however I can’t claim that I know if the car in the DIMIA image is a BT6 or otherwise! They have it listed as an 1100cc “ANF2” car.

    Rob

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Rob,
      I thought the image had what looked a bit like a Lotus boss on the steering wheel. I’ve posted the link on FB, let’s see what comes back from the Queenslanders during the day.
      M

      • David Thompson says:

        Looks just like the Lotus 20 pictured first in the Wikipedia article. ‘Cept Henk’s has a finned brake drum. The 20 originally came with drums all around, but was updated to front discs.
        The wiki-pictured 20 is said to have a 1340cc Mk.VI Cosworth, frequently used in Tasman racing. I don’t suppose those Cosworth Kent OHV engines differed to much in appearance between IV and VI.

    • David Thompson says:

      The Brabham had a top link on the rear suspension. Like the car pictured here, the Lotus 20 did not, using a fixed-length driveshaft in place of a top link.
      And the BT6 has a rubber doughnut where this car has a drum brake.

      • Ian Hill says:

        The clever double wing in the 1969 photo was designed, built & tested at Calder by two Formula Vee guys called Graham Cullen of Cullen Marine Service (That is of CMS Formula Vee) and Ian Hill who raced with wings on his Formula Vee throughout 1969.

      • markbisset says:

        Hi Ian,
        Thanks for getting in touch, I well remember you as a Vee Ace. Please send some pics of your winged Vee- would love to run the shots, did it work?
        And great to know who built Henk’s wing- spoke to him yesterday in brief and have organised a long chat next week to flesh out the article. I’ll ask him about the wing then. Is Mr Cullen still with us?
        I remember both the ladder-frame CMS and the later very quick spaceframe cars of Peter Ward and David Eyre-Walker during the couple of years I ran Vees- Wardie prepared my Venom in the workshop behind his home in Balwyn.
        Mark

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