Archive for September, 2019

(J Wright)

Competitors assemble for a Queensland Motor Sport Club’s Currumbin Hillclimb circa 1960…

Most east coasters will have holidayed on Queensland’s Gold Coast, visited the Currumbin Bird/Wildlife Sanctuary and no doubt had a surf on the beach close by. Currumbin is 20km from Surfers Paradise and a ‘drop kick’ from Tweed Heads- the Queensland/New South Wales border.

This venue has proved a bit of a mystery though.

I popped an article on Lakeside circuit up last week but was uncertain about the photograph above given the wise owls of The Nostalgia Forum could not reach a consensus on where it was. A very rare occurrence i might add. I then uploaded the photograph onto the primotipo and Old Australian Motor Racing Photographs- Australia Facebook pages. The Lakeside article is here; https://primotipo.com/2019/09/23/lakeside-early-days/

After four or five days and 8,027 hits/views Quentin Miles is the ‘winner’ with photographic evidence to back up his nomination of place- Currumbin.

Porsche 356 on full assault. Note the corner marshal in safety overalls and the sea in the distance (B Miles)

 

(B Miles)

Information about the venue is scarce- do get in touch if you know about the interesting venue or ran there, it would be great to identify the stretch of road used. Racer Dick Willis believes the roads used were created for a housing estate and that the Gold Coast club got some events in before the influx of residents precluded further use. Brian Lear has found records of events run in December 1958, 1960 and 1962 and Stephen Dalton’s discoveries indicate the strip of bitumen used was 750 yards in length with Ivan Tighe the record-holder in 1959 with a time of 47.5 seconds in his Vincent Special.

In Quentin’s case his father Bill attended a meeting and took these shots- its not the first time i have used the late Bill’s great material.

Several folks have identified the red ‘Rice’ trailer in the opening shot as ‘Autoland’- one of Bob Janes enterprises. Contained therein is Bob’s voluptuous Maserati 300S. Its a long way from Melbourne to Currumbin to contest a club ‘climb though. My theory is that Bob would have beeen racing not too far away, at Lowood and did the Currumbin event whilst in the ‘hood.

Anyway, many thanks to Quentin and do get in touch with whatever information you may have inclusive of competitors and their tools of choice.

Credits…

Quentin Miles and the late Bill Miles, John Wright, Stephen Dalton, Dick Willis, Brian Lear, The Nostalgia Forum

Tailpiece…

Wolseley 1500 attacking the downhill right-hander, tyres mark the apex (B Miles)

Finito…

(R Dalwood)

Frank Matich, Brabham BT7A Climax leads Jim Clark’s works Lotus 32B Climax into Pub Corner at Longford in March 1965. A ‘take your breath away shot’, composition and execution by Reg Dalwood is something special…

I suspect this is lap 2 with the leading trio of McLaren, Brabham and Hill further up the road. Behind Jim are Bib Stillwell and Frank Gardner in Brabham BT11A’s, Jim Palmer in a BT7A and then at the rear of the group Phil Hill, Cooper T70 Climax.

Bruce McLaren won this race, the Australian Grand Prix in his Cooper T79 Climax from Jack Brabham’s and Phil Hill in the other Bruce McLaren Motor Racing entry- the updated T70 Cooper driven by Bruce and the late Tim Mayer in 1964.

(HAGP)

Bruce wheels his Cooper T79 around Longford in 1965 hiking his inside right wheel.

These Cooper T70/79 cars are acknowledged now as the ‘first McLarens’ designed and built as they were at Coopers by Bruce and mechanic/technician Wally Willmott. The story of them is here; https://primotipo.com/2016/11/18/tim-mayer-what-might-have-been/

Ron McKinnon gives McLaren and Clark a ride in the sponsors Spitty at the end of the race (B Short)

 

Hill at left, white car McLaren with Jack and Jim in the next row of two (B Short)

McLaren started the race from pole with Brabham, Graham Hill, Clark, Gardner and Matich behind.

Very sadly, this was the race in which Rocky Tresise died after losing control of the Ecurie Australie Cooper T62 Climax. As most of you know this was a double disaster for the Davison family as Lex died of a heart attack at Sandown whilst practicing his Brabham BT4 the weekend prior. The Rocky Tresise story is here; https://primotipo.com/2016/05/20/bruce-lex-and-rockys-cooper-t62-climax/

I’ve a feature brewing on this race so won’t go into all the detail just now, but rather make use of some of the many images of this AGP floating around on the internet- too many for one article.

In some ways Longford 1965 marked ‘the end of the beginning’ of the Tasman Series in that 1965 was the last year of the dominance of the long-lived Coventry Climax FPF engine.

The world championship winning engines of 1959-60 had pretty much ruled supreme in Australia from 1959 through to the end of Formula Libre in December 1963 and to the commencement of the Tasman 2.5 Formula from 1 January 1964.

In 1966 the BRM V8’s made their successful Tasman debut and at the end of the series- Sandown and Longford the first of the Repco ‘RB620’ 2.5 V8’s took their bow in Jack’s BT19.

(B Short)

Two nut brown Aussie summer kids and the equally well-tanned Oz Lotus works mechanic Ray Parsons push Jim Clark’s Lotus 32B Climax through the Longford paddock.

The Clark/Lotus combo were the class of 1965- Jim’s four of seven Tasman round victories was a precursor to a season which included an Indianapolis 500 win aboard a Lotus 38 Ford and his second World Title in Chapman’s Lotus 33 Climax. Not a bad year really!

Click here for an article on the 1965 Tasman Series; https://primotipo.com/2017/11/02/levin-international-new-zealand-1965/

(K Drage)

Kevin Drage’s shot of the front row of the Longford grid- McLaren, Cooper T79 Climax, Brabham and Hill both in Brabham BT11A Climax’.

He has an amusing anecdote about Bib Stillwell, Matich’s big rival and his reaction to FM’s speed that weekend.

‘One story I remember from this meeting is Bib’s frustration in not being able to match Frank Matich’s lap times during practice. I was helping Gerry Brown to pit crew for Bib at this meeting and Bib was even wondering if Frank had slotted in the 2.7 engine from his (Cooper Monaco) sportscar into the Brabham just for practice to give everyone a bit of a stir up. He even asked me to see if I could “manage” to go over to the Matich pits to checkout the engine number.’

(unattributed)

Matich during the parade lap at Warwick Farm before the 1965 Tasman round.

FM started the ‘Warwick Farm 100’ from pole- in front of Hill, Clark, Brabham, McLaren and Gardner which rather puts the Sydneysiders pace into context. He led most of the first lap, ultimately finishing third behind Clark and Brabham.

(oldracephotos.com.au)

Brabham in the Longford paddock getting his BT11A race ready.

Ron and Jack’s Intercontinental Brabhams were supreme racing cars in conception, design and execution. Drivers of the BT4, BT7A and BT11A of varying ability won plenty of motor races in these cars right through towards the end of the sixties. Click here for a piece on these cars; https://primotipo.com/2018/07/20/matich-stillwell-brabhams-warwick-farm-sydney-december-1963/

Clark in the Longford paddock, Lotus 32B Climax

Credits…

Reg Dalwood on the Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania website, oldracingcars.com.au, Kevin Drage, Ben Short, HAGP- ‘History of The Australian Grand Prix’ Graham Howard and others, Stephen Dalton Collection, Perry Drury, Ian Smith Collection

Etcetera…

(oldracephotos.com/JEllis)

Brabham, Hill and Clark enter the circuit, the crowd big enough for raceday. Looking back down the road 500 metres or so are the distinctive big pine trees of Mountford Corner. Brabham BT11A by two and Lotus 32B.

(oldracephotos.com.au)

It may not have been the latest bit of kit, but, continuously modified by Matich and his team his year old car was well and truly as quick as the latest BT11A or anything else on the grid.

Small crowd above suggests ‘IC-1-63’ is being pushed onto the track for practice or the preliminary on Saturday. Graham Matich is steering, it’s Geoff Smedley with his head down at left, who is the other fella I wonder?

(B Short)

The Touring Car grid ready to start- Le Mans style with the ignition key handed from mechanic to driver- can anybody help with car/driver ID.

Check out the crowd above the pits, access bridge and all the fun of the fair.

(I Smith Collection)

The intense concentration is there but otherwise Jack looks relaxed in the cockpit- key to feel what the BT11A is doing of course.

Shot is taken from atop The Viaduct- a classic shot from this locale, this one has been executed beautifully and shows both Brabham’s ‘form’ as well as the lines and simple, period typical suspension of this oh-so-successful series of ‘Intercontinental’ Brabhams.

All of the shots of this car in the article are a different hue of green, i wonder which is closest to the real McCoy?

Tailpiece…

It’s a butt shot isn’t it.

From the left is the beautifully formed derrière of the lady, such a shame to miss out on the rest of her with a thoughtless crop. Then there is the rear of the FC Holden Wagon and the old bloke standing behind it.

The racer is Jack’s Brabham BT11A Climax ‘IC-5-64’ resting in the paddock after it’s hard won second place.

And finally the rear of an EJ Holden Panel Van.

Atmospheric isn’t it?

(P Drury)

Same scene, same time, same place- whilst Perry Drury was taking this shot Ben Short was standing opposite him taking the one above. Jack’s Brabham and Jim’s Lotus and the EJ Wagon…

Finito…

(HRCCT)

Norm Beechey and Jim McKeown at Symmons Plains in February 1968…

Both the Chev Nova and injected Lotus Cortina Mk2 were top-liners in 1968 albeit the one race Australian Touring Car Championship was won again that year by Pete Geoghegan’s Ford Mustang from Darrell King, Morris Cooper S and Alan Hamilton’s just arrived in the country Porsche 911S/T. It was Geoghegan’s fourth of five ATCC titles.

The 34 lap event was held at Warwick Farm on 8 September, by that stage Norm had replaced the Nova with a Chev Camaro- he retired with mechanical dramas after 11 laps whilst Jim’s race was over after only 2- axle failure the cause.

(L Ruting)

Photographs of the Camaro SS are not plentiful as it raced for only a short period- four meetings (Warwick Farm twice, Calder and Catalina) from July to September 1968 inclusive of the ATCC race where he qualified on the second row- the car was an ‘in between’.

The Nova raced from Easter 1966 and the Holden Monaro’s with which he became synonomous in the latter stages of his career date from October 1968, the Camaro fitted in between.

The photo above is during the first lap of the 1968 ATCC race with Pete up front, then Norm and the Bob Jane Mustang.

See this piece on the 1969 ATCC; https://primotipo.com/2018/02/01/1969-australian-touring-car-championship/ , and on 1970; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/01/variety-is-the-spice/

Beechey trying to pursuade the Nova to turn in, Paul Fahey and Red Dawson in Mustangs, Rod Coppins in Chev Camaro at Baypark, NZ 1968 (T Marshall)

Etcetera…

(M Rogers)

Beechey and John French, Nova and Cooper S on the Surfers Paradise grid in 1967.

Credit…

Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania, Lance Ruting, Rod MacKenzie, Steve Holmes- The Roaring Season, Terry Marshall, Mervin Rogers

Tailpiece: Beechey and Geoghegan at Catalina Park 18 August 1968…

(R MacKenzie)

Classic Ford/GM, Geoghegan/Beechey battle. Who won?

Finito…

(J Wright)

The grid for the Australian GT Championship at Lakeside, Queensland on 8 July 1962…

Bill Pitt, Jaguar 3.4 alongside John French in the Centaur Waggott/Holden, then the two Lotus Elites of Tony Osborne #16 and #7 Brian Foley. On the row behind is #21 Les Howard, Austin Healey Sprite Ford-Cosworth, in the middle the partially obscured #31 Porsche 356 of Tony Basile and on the left the white #30 Renault Floride of Terry Kratzmann .

The light coloured Sprite further back is #51 Sib Petralia, #60 Paul Fallu, Karmann Ghia whilst the #4 Wolseley has long time competitor Ken Peters at the wheel. The unmistakable outline of the grey Renault Dauphine is #6 M Hunt. Dennis Geary #22, was also entered in the HWM Jaguar- now in two-seat Coupe form but with the very same chassis and mechanicals of the car raced by Lex Davison to win the 1954 Australian Grand Prix, ‘just down the road’ at Southport on the Gold Coast.

The 50 lap 75 mile race was won in 62:6.06 minutes/seconds by French from Basile, Pitt, Howard then came Foley. Sib Petralia won the under 1 litre class, Basile the 1000-1600cc, French the 1600-2600cc and Pitt the 2600cc class and over.

The race was the third Australian GT Championship for Appendix K cars- the first was held at Bathurst during the October 1960 meeting and won by Leo Geoghegan’s Lotus Elite, the 1961 event was at Warwick Farm in July- Frank Matich won in his Jaguar D Type.

The CAMS relaxed attitude to the requirements of App K was that cars such as the Matich D, Bob Jane Maserati 300S, David McKay Lola Mk1 Climax and many other sports-racers were allowed to run to fill scanty grids, with hardtops cobbled together for the purpose.

Which rather negated the intent of the CAMS regulatory changes, lets not go down that path.

The first photograph had me tossed- I got Pitt and French but not the locale at all, i’ve never been to Lakeside and some earthworks after the first several years changed the look of the place a bit in any event.

So, many thanks for the detective work of regular collaborator Stephen Dalton and Glenn Moulds- the wise owls of The Nostalgia Forum can usually solve these knotty Who, What, Where and When problems.

Mind you, we are still cogitating in relation to the shot below, said to be Lakeside too.

If there are some Queenslanders out there who can confirm the whereabouts of the scene below that would be a bonus. My suggestion that its on the Jindabyne-Charlottes Pass road near Charlottes in the NSW Snowies so far has little support.

(J Wright)

Most of these photographs were popped up on the Shannons Insurance website by Dr John Wright a couple of years ago but only three were identified- we on primotipo…backed by the research horsepower of the TNF Crew are happy to oblige.

Lakeside was built on farm land purchased by Geoffrey Sidney Sakzewski at Petrie 30km north of Brisbane in 1957.

The first open race meeting was held on 19 March 1961- the landlord was keen to compete so pressed into service his wife’s  four door, light-green pillarless Plymouth Belvedere- here he is chasing the Jeremiah driven Holden FE. Rob Bartholomaeus advises the race was the Queensland Touring Car Championship- Bill Pitt is on his way to winning aboard his 3.4 Jaguar up the road- these two are scrapping for second, a battle won by the Jeremiah.

(J Wright)

 

Pondering and working on the remodelled Lakeside layout in 1965 before the 1966 AGP- David Harding, Ken Peters and Sid at right (unattributed)

 

(J Wright)

The profile of car and the helmet above will be familiar to most of you, its Hill G on his 1963 Australasian Tour during which he raced the Ferguson P99 Coventry Climax 2.5 FPF.

The rest of the hotshots ran 2.7 Climaxes in their Coopers, i’ve always thought it interesting to ponder how Graham would have gone with a bigger engine under the cars shapely bonnet.

Mind you, his only race win on the tour was a heat at Lakeside- its looks a tad soggy so I would not be surprised if Graham is on the way to a Saturday victory aboard this magnificent bit of engineering.

I waxed lyrical a while back about it, click here; https://primotipo.com/2015/01/30/ferguson-p99-climax-graham-hill-australian-grand-prix-1963/

(J Wright)

The poor old Kombi is groaning under the weight of so many champions in one place- 1200cc this model? and now highly sought after of course.

She’s a bit grainy but my best guess- and happy to hear from you, goes a bit like this from left to right- Frank Gardner in the white helmet looking away at the kangaroos, dunno holding the helmet, Arnold Glass in the darker blue race suit, Bruce McLaren holding the light silver helmet, short-sleeved fella probably Greg Cusack, Bib Stillwell and Graham Hill. ‘Blondie-locks’ behind is John Youl perhaps. Do get in touch with your bids.

The 1963 Lakeside International was won by John Surtees, Lola Mk4A from Hill’s Ferguson P99 and Bib Stillwell’s Brabham BT4- Climaxes all.

Back in the days of yore, until 1969, the Australian Touring Car Championship was decided over one race- the honour to host the event was awarded to Lakeside in 1964- race day was 26 July.

Lakeside’s proximity to Brisbane ensured a good crowd saw a contest waged between a huge variety of cars with Ian ‘Pete’ Geoghegan winning the first of his ATCC’s aboard a Ford Cortina GT from Norm Beechey, Holden EH S4, Bob Jane’s Jaguar Mk2 4.1, the Brian Foley and Peter Manton Morris Cooper S’, Glynn Scott’s Cortina GT and Brian Muir’s EH S4.

A series of heats, split into engine capacity classes determined the grid- Jim McKeown’s Lotus Cortina was on pole from Jane, Muir, Beechey and Manton.

Muir, Jane and Beechey led initially from Geoghegan and McKeown- Jim moved forward to second behind Muir- leadership of the race by Muir (below) was the first time a Holden had led an ATCC event- it would not be the last! Brian went off to fame and good fortune in Europe not so long after this.

(J Wright)

McKeown took the lead from Brian Muir on lap 7 with Beechey and Geoghegan battling for fourth. Bob Jane moved to second on lap 11 and then first when McKeown made an error and dropped to third behind Muir- at about the same time Warren Weldon locked a brake on lap 15, hit the bank and rolled onto his side a little bit behind Clem Smith who had clobbered the same bit of Queensland on lap 2, rendering his Valiant hors de combat.

The obstacles were raced around back in them days…Clem Smith’s very precarious Valiant R Type, and behind him Warren Weldon’s Holden 48-215 on its side. In the photo below you can see the blue McKeown Lotus Cortina partially obscured by the marshal. Passing Cortinas in both shots (J Wright)

 

(J Wright)

 

Done this one to death- Smith, McKeown and Weldon in line astern (unattributed)

Jane’s lead over Muir was up to 100 metres before clutch problems intervened circa lap 31- Muir then led from Pete and Norm who both passed Bob Jane. Encouraging for Holden, Muir led for the next 6 laps before a puncture forced him to pit, ‘While fetching the spare wheel, one crewman accidentally handed his motel keys to another crewman trying to open the cars boot lid. The delay cost Muir two laps and his chance of victory’ Wikipedia says.

Beechey led from Geoghegan who applied plenty of pressure to the EH in the lighter Ford taking the lead on lap 43, he held on for the next 7 laps to win by 1.2 seconds from Beechey. Jane was third despite a shagged clutch, thirty seconds adrift, with Foley and Manton’s Coopers the remaining cars on the lead lap.

Etcetera…

Start of lap 2 1964 ATCC.

Jane, Muir, Beechey, McKeown, Geoghegan, Manton, Firth, Foley and the rest.

(TRS)

Beechey and Muir in Holden EH S4’s with an obscured McKeown’s blue Lotus Cortina on the inside with Foley in the red Cooper S.

(TRS)

Pete Geoghegan’s winning Cortina GT ahead of McKeown’s Lotus Cortina.

(TRS)

Bob Jane’s very quick Jaguar 4.1 chasing Brian Muir’s Scuderia Veloce Holden EH S4, drivers using all of the available bitumen and a smidge of gravel on the inside.

Tailpiece: Lakeside Magazine looks good….

Credits…

John Wright Collection, The Nostalgia Forum- Stephen Dalton and Glenn Moulds, ‘TRS’- The Roaring Season’, Rob Bartholomaeus

Finito…

(J Saldanha)

This Macau Grand Prix has always had the exotic allure of the east for me.

The artwork by Joao Saldanha depicts Hong Kong’s John Macdonald, one of Macau’s stars, winning the 1973 Grand Prix aboard his Brabham BT40 Ford, he is approaching the Lisboa Hotel right-hander at the end of the straight.

Joao comments that ‘The British driver from Hong Kong is  the only one to have won the Macau GP in the events three categories, the Grand Prix (1965, 1972, 1973 and 1975), the Motorcycling GP (1969) and the Guia Touring Car Race (1972) which granted him the “King of Macau” title…’

I remember reading about Macau in the publication which got me interested in motor racing, the ‘Australian Motor Racing Annual 1969’ of Kevin Bartlett’s win in the Mildren ‘Yellow Submarine’ Alfa Romeo V8 and thinking how cool it would be to race in Australia and up in Asia.

One minute board is up Macau GP 1969. Kevin Bartlett, the winner at left in the Mildren Alfa V8, John Macdonald, Brabham Ford FVA and O Masuko, Mitsubishi Colt F2C- the Colt behind is S Kato, #66 is Albert Poon, Brabham BT30. Bartlett won from Poon and Kato  (SCMP)

 

Porto Interior-Macau’s old inner harbour with China in the background. Lots of traditional Chinese junks and the old steam ferry to Hong Kong 1973 (K Petersen)

 

Dieter Quester, BMW 270- 2 litre 265bhp engine, 1970 victor. BMW raced these cars with 1.6 litre M11 engines in Euro F2 during the late sixties into the dawn of the seventies. Not a bad backdrop for a car race! (SCMP)

Whilst the race is on the bucket list i’ve never quite made it despite being in and out of Singapore and KL- not too far away, very regularly from 1990 to 1992- the Formula Atlantic/Pacific era would have been the one to see too. F3 just didn’t float my boat as much as the F Pacs did- but I still do want to go.

1958, G Baker, Ferrari Monza, T Reynolds, Jaguar XK140 and N Barnes, Porsche 356. Nose of Aston DB3S is Chan Lye Choon- the winner (unattributed)

 

 

1957. G Baker, Ferrari Mondial, A Pateman, Mercedes Benz 300SL and R Hardwick, AC Ace. On row 2 F Wong, Ford Spl and M Redfern, Jag XK140. #6 is Teddy Yip, Jag XK140. #22 is F Pope, Jag Spl. Pateman won (unattributed)

 

Triumph TR and Martin Redfern Lotus 11 in the Guia hill section, Maternity Bend, near the Police Barracks says Kevin Bartlett. Portuguese Police doubled on crowd control and ‘flag marshalls’ in the early days of the race (unattributed

The first event, held in 1954 was initially conceived as a treasure hunt around the streets and Guia hillside of the city by friends Fernando de Macedo Pinto, Carlos da Silva and Paulo Antas.

Not long after, having given Paul Dutoit of the Motor Sports Club of Hong Kong a lap of the suggested the 3.9 mile track, he excitedly exclaimed, ‘This is not a treasure hunt. What you have here is a Grand Prix!’.

And so it was that the first Macau Grand Prix meeting on 30 and 31 October 1954 comprised two events- the ‘Speed Regularity Trial’ was for production cars on the Saturday, the feature event, the Grand Prix the following day.

Robert Ritchie won the reliability trial in a Fiat 1100, thereby becoming the first to win a ‘race’ at Macau and Eddie Carvalho the GP in a Triumph TR2, in fact TR2’s took home first to third places in the four hour race- Carvalho from Dutoit and da Rocha. From these far from modest beginnings began a great annual carnival.

1954 GP with Le Mans start at 3 minutes after noon on Sunday 31 October 1954. R Pennels, Healey 100, G Bell, Morgan, then the E da Rocha, P Dutoit and E Carvalho Triumph TR2’s, F de Macedo Pinto, MG Spl, A White/J Bartlett Riley 2.5 and the rest (C&N)

 

Pennels Healey chases Carvalho’s winning TR2 through the Guia hillside in 1954. The trackside dust caused plenty of visibility problems (C&N)

 

The permanent pit and grandstand complex was indicative of a strong level of Government support- commenced in 1956, it was extended in 1958. Porsche 550 is Grant Wolfkill in 1960 (C&N)

In 1960 the GP was included on the international racing calendar as a ‘national race with foreign participation’ and thus became subject to FIA rules.

The South China Morning Post suggested the race as an amateur event until 1966 when Belgian driver Mauro Bianchi entered an Alpine A220. Alpine Renault sent engineer Jean-Paul Castilleux to assist Bianchi in the cars preparation, his win led to greater exposure and increased professional team presence in the ensuing years.

The same circuit layout is used now as back then and comprises two distinct sections.

The back stretch around the seaward slopes of the Guia Hill is a roller-coaster ride of up hill and down dale curves and corners. In 1954 this seaction was not paved. The fast outer section along the harbour had a wide straight avenue with a relatively smooth sealed surface ‘Though the approach to what is now known as Fisherman’s Bend was often under a few inches of water since reclamation of this part of Macao from the sea had only recently taken place’ (!) Philip Newsome wrote.

The track is a flat-out roller coaster which has been likened to a cross between Monaco and Spa- it combines the technical complexity of a street circuit with the speed of the most challenging track in the world.

Most unforgiving, Arsenio ‘Dodjie’ Laurel’s death in 1967 was the circuits’ first tragedy.

‘Skips and Kiwis were regular and successful competitors in increasing numbers throughout the sixties- the Formula Libre regulations assisted in the events growth as one could race whatever you owned within reason.

The event evolved from a sports car race in the initial seven years, to Formula Libre from 1961 to 1973, Formula Atlantic/Pacific- a ‘Golden Era’ through to 1982 and Formula 3 since then.

In the ‘BDA years’ big names or up-and-comers included Ricardo Patrese, Alan Jones, Vern Schuppan, David Purley, Steve Millen, Andrew Miedecke, Roberto Moreno, Derek Daly, Keke Rosberg, Brett Lunger, Kevin Cogan, Tiff Needell, Geoff Lees, Sataru Nakajima, Desire Wilson, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Roberto Guerrero and others.

Ricardo Patrese, Chevron B40 Ford BDA, 1977 winner. This car was raced by Ken Smith and was later acquired by Brian Sampson in Melbourne until Peter Whelan convinced Sambo to release the car from his Aladdins Cave in Moorabbin. Peter and the Murphy brothers in Adelaide did a beaut job restoring it, Whelan raced the car for some years in Oz historics, its now in a museum in Macau I believe (SCMP)

 

Vern Schuppan, enters Melco on his way to taking pole, March 722 Ford 1972. John MacDonald won that year in a Brabham BT36 (SCMP)

 

Vern Schuppan, March 722 ahead of the John Dimsdale Lotus 69 in 1972

Graeme Lawrence, March 76B Ford 1977 (SCMP)

 

Teddy Yip again, this time in a Porsche 906, unplaced in 1972. Is this the car he acquired from Alan Hamilton?

 

Mal Ramsay, Elfin 600C Ford 1970. This practice accident was caused when the Aussie co-founder of Birrana cars borrowed some goggles which slipped off- he instinctively sought to grab them and before he knew it he was off course. He was ok and the car not too badly damaged (SCMP)

Lots of Australasians raced up there (i’m including up there as Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan) including internationals Vern Schuppan, Alan Jones and Bruce Allison.

Nobody did better business in the region for a couple of decades than Graeme Lawrence ‘who should have been given the keys to the city’ with multiple Singapore GP wins, victories in Malaysia but no win at Macau. Mind you, John Macdonald’s achievements across disciplines trumps even Graeme.

Max Stewart was very popular too- no win in Macau,, but one in Singapore. Speaking of which, Garrie Cooper won on the tough Thompson Road, Singapore track in 1968 aboard the very first Elfin 600- Garrie sold quite a few cars up there, particularly 600’s- twin-cam, Repco and Ford FVA engined (Hengkie Iriawan’s 600C).

Lanky Max acknowledges the plaudits of the crowd after finishing second in 1972. Results say Dolphin but it looks like a Rennmax BN3 Ford to me

 

Harvey Simon, Elfin 600B Ford sixth place in 1972 (SCMP)

 

 

 

Michael Schumacher aboard a Reynard 903 VW in 1990- won from Eddie Irvine and Mika Salo

 

European F3 was adopted in 1983- none other than Ayrton Senna won the GP in a Ralt RT3 Toyota. Michael Schumacher followed suit in 1990. Over the years the event has taken on great stature- a win in Macau means a lot- the list of later F1 drivers who raced there is long and deep, too long to include.

Motorcycles first raced at Macau in 1967- bonkers! Aces like Kevin Schwantz, Carl Fogarty, Ron Haslam and Michael Rutter have all participated.

The Singaporeans were onto the opportunities of Touring Cars from early in the piece with guys like Brian Foley and John Leffler visitors- in Macau the ‘Guia’ Touring Car races commenced in 1972.

The photo below is of Allan Moffat aboard a Bob Harper sponsored Ford Capri RS2600 in 1973- he must have been impressed with the car, acquiring a later ex-works RS3100 a couple of years later which raced all too briefly in Australia.

 

1973. Obscured John Macdonald, Brabham BT40, Vern Schuppan, March 722 and Sonny Rajah at the right, March 712 Ford. Macdonald won from Max Stewart’s Dolphin Ford and Rajah

 

 

Wonderful panoramic shot of the Main Straight in 1962 ‘taken from where the Mandarin Oriental Hotel now stands…the timekeeprs enjoyed a better line of sight from their small stand, though this was perched somewhat precariously over the harbour.’ Not sure of the Triumph and Porsche drivers (C&N)

 

Etcetera…

 

 

 

(unattributed)

1956 start with a Mercedes 190SL of D Steane, L da Costa Ferrari Mondial and R Ritchie, Austin Healey 100- R Pennel’s Healey 100 on row 2 beside the F Pope, Jag Spl. Steane won from da Costa.

(Getty)

Modern vignette over the last 5 years, cars are 2 litre Euro F3.

Ken Araoka, Suzuki RG500.

(C&N)

Race poster has a touch of the Mike Hawthorn/Ferrari 500 about it.

This is the crowd Kevin Bartlett confronted in 1969- no doubt a few more folks than even the ‘Warwick Farm 100’!, perhaps the premier Australian Tasman round at the time.

 

 

Allan Moffat at left in his Group C Mazda RX7 during the 1981 Guia race.

Sonny Rajah’s March 712 Ford-Hart during the 1973 GP.

Rather a famous car in that Ronnie Peterson won the European F2 Championship in it in 1971- here the car wears 732 bodywork.

In Australia we got a close look at the car/driver combination as the likeable, quick Indonesian did a few of our ANF2 Championship rounds in 1974. I wonder who owns the car now?

Edward Irvine Esq, Schumacher and Mika Salo.

Where is Mika Hakkinen? Michael is thinking, oh yeah, he ran into me, pity about that! Hakkinen had the two heat contest in the bag and made a way too optimistic attack on Schumi in the final lap of the second heat which came undone.

(SCMP)

1971 GP- beautifully framed shot shows Sonny Rajah, Lotus 69 Ford from Albert Poon’s Brabham BT30.

Jan Bussell won in a McLaren M4C.

(unattributed)

1957. The R Pennels Healey 100 from Pateman, Benz 300SL- #6 is the Yip XK140.

(J Santos)

Holden LC Torana GTR in 1973, driver anybody?

(unattributed)

Ayrton Senna won in 1983 aboard a Ralt RT3 Toyota- the first year of Euro F3 in an F3 season when he slugged it out with Martin Brundle- both graduated to F1, Toleman and Tyrrell respectively.

Vern Schuppan certainly received plenty of support from Teddy Yip throughout his career.

Here he is running the Theodore Racing March 772 Ford BDA during the 1980 GP- fifth. The race was won by Geoff Lees Ralt RT1 Ford. Lees was later a factory Ralt pilot inclusive of an F2 Championship in a Ralt RH6 Honda V6.

 

(SCMP)

John Macdonald’s Brabham BT36 Ford en-route to 1972 victory. Ex-Rondel Racing?

1990 warm up lap- look at that field.

Hakkinen, Ralt RT34 Mugen, Schumacher, Reynard 903 VW, #1 Irvine, Ralt RT34 Mugen and #15 Mika Salo, RT34 Mugen.

Talent in this field of great depth included Alex Zanardi, Laurent Aiello, Richard Rydell, Eric Helary, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Pedro Chaves, Olivier Panis, Otto Rensing and Oliver Beretta.

Glen Abbey with bottle of Coke and KB sans top body panel with the victorious ‘Sub’ after the Alec Mildren Racing victory in 1969.

Car in repose in the Macau paddock below.

Glorious looking engine is an Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 2.5 litre, DOHC 2 valve, injected V8. Later a Waggott TC-4V 2 litre, DOHC 4 valve, injected four was fitted.

 

(SCMP)

Gerhard Berger, BMW 635CSI during the 1984 Guia race.

Vern Schuppan gives team owner and ‘father of Macau’ Teddy Yip a ride aboard his Ralt RT1 Ford BDA after his second and final Macau GP win in 1976. His 1974 victory was aboard a March 722 Ford BDA.

Businessman, racer and entreprenuer Yip is a story, a long one, in himself. Suffice it to say his contribution to this race as a racer, entrant, team owner, ‘global ambassador’ and sponsor was extraordinary.

Credits…

‘SCMP’- South China Morning Post, Getty Images, Natalino Couto, ‘C&N’- ‘Colour and Noise’ Philip Newsome, Jose Santos

Tailpieces: The Ages…

D Steane, Mercedes Benz 190SL 1956.

 

Dallara Mercedes circa 2017.

 

(J Santos)

Art at the start and art at the finish.

Stunning image by Jose Santos of Leo Geoghegan’s works Birrana 273 Ford-Hart ANF2 car during the 1973 Grand Prix.

Just marvellous.

Finito…

(T Watts)

4.4 litres of Repco-Brabham V8 grunt trumps 2 litres of Porsche flat-6 off the line at least, maybe not…

Bob Jane’s Elfin 400 and Alan Hamilton’s Porsche 906 on the front row of the Longford grid in March 1967.

Bob Jane won the Saturday race from Noel Hurd’s Globe Products Elfin 400 Ford and Hamilton whereas in the Monday event Bob won from Wally Mitchell’s RM1 Chev and Glynn Scott’s Lotus 23B Ford. Noel Hurd and Alan Hamilton were DNF’s, the latter running out of fuel on the last lap.

‘Tasmanian enthusiasts would recognise the Gorringe pedestrian bridge, the same bridge that now allows pedestrian access to Baskerville…’ Grant Twining noted.

I’ve written features about both these cars, so initially thought I would pop the photos into the existing articles but they are too good to ‘lose’ by so doing.

They are sourced from the ‘Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania’ Facebook page which I raid every now and again- so far Grant has not cracked the shits about me doing that- do suss the page if you are a Facebooker, if not you are missing out.

In terms of articles the Elfin 400 is here; https://primotipo.com/2015/05/28/elfin-400traco-olds-frank-matich-niel-allen-and-garrie-cooper/. Bob’s Elfin 400 here; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/06/belle-of-the-ball/, and Hamilton’s Porsche 906 and other cars here; https://primotipo.com/2015/08/20/alan-hamilton-his-porsche-9048-and-two-906s/

(T Watts)

Jane nose up and under power past the Longford pits.

Such a brutally pretty thing, but the aerodynamics of the 400’s were never fully resolved, this car, as many of you know, took flight over the Conrod Humps at Bathurst during the Easter 1969 meeting killing Bevan Gibson in the process.

To that very point Rob Bartholomaeus reminded me Noel Hurd was a non-starter in the Monday Longford sportscar race after a hair-raising off at around 140mph induced by the Elfin 400’s aero package. He was ok, and the car was not badly damaged but the nose was changed thereafter.

Bob’s eyes will be looking up the rise towards the Water Tower to the tracks left before pursuading his beast into the fast right hander at the top of the hill and plunge towards The Viaduct. Click here for a ‘Lap of Longford’ piece; https://primotipo.com/2018/07/05/longford-lap/

The shot of Alan below is taken on the same stretch. If the car looks a bit odd its because Australia’s Porsche importer has chopped the Coupe roof off to create a Spyder given he was and is a big, tall unit and wanted to be comfy.

(T Watts)

Longford was a demanding circuit in any car but particularly so in a fast, powerful one given the inherent nature of the layout with its culverts, trees, bridge supports, Esk River (scuba divers were always at the ready in dinghies afloat) light poles and other similar immovable objects, the circuit width and its undulations or bumps.

Jane and Hamilton raced most of their cars here- sports and touring cars and in Bob’s case his Elfin Mono single-seater ANF1.5. For Hamilton it was the race debut of the 906- a daunting place for any cars first meeting however well sorted the ex-factory Porsche package undoubtedly was!

Jane raced his Elfin 400 at Longford in 1967 and Ian Cook took the wheel in 1968- Alan raced the 906 here in 1967 only. The ‘ring in’ is the photo below of Alan at Symmons Plains in 1967, its probably the ‘Tasmanian Sportscar Championship’ meeting the week after Longford on 12 March.

Click here for an article on that tragic event, Hamilton’s well-used engine (it had been in the 904-8 he had just stepped out of before fitment to the 906) had a con-rod break so he did not finish; https://primotipo.com/2018/07/17/1967-tasmanian-sportscar-championship/

(HRCCT)

Credits…

Tim Watts, Dennis Cooper, Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania, Rob Bartholomaeus

Tailpiece…

(D Cooper)

The Longford Shell tent in 1968.

Jim McKeown’s Lotus Cortina Mk2 alongside the Bob Jane Racing 400 raced at this meeting by Victorian Ian Cook. The class of the field in that, final Longford year was Chris Amon who set the outright lap record in David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce Ferrari Can-Am 350 machine. Here tis; https://primotipo.com/2015/04/02/ferrari-p4canam-350-0858/

Note the aluminium spoiler above the radiator outlet in a quest for more downforce. 1968 was ‘the year of the wing in F1’ remember, mind you, by this stage Jim Hall and the crew from Rattlesnake Raceway in Texas had provided plenty of Chaparral mobile ‘tutorials’ on what could be applied aerodynamically to Group 7 cars like the Elfin to assist in keeping them on terra firma.

Finito…

(Natlib)

Jack Brabham sorts some Coventry Climax, or more particularly, Lucas electrical problems on the Ardmore pit counter during the 1960 New Zealand Grand Prix, January 9 weekend…

That Brabham’s mechanical abilities were right up there with his talent at the wheel has never been in doubt!

Note ‘the breakfast of champions’ bottle of Coke at the ready. The wooden box of Macleay Duff whisky is more troubling but I think its safe to assume Jack was not mixing the two liquids to assist his quest for greater speed. Not that early in the day anyway.

Brabham at Ardmore 1960, Cooper T51 Climax (Natlib)

Bruce led the race in a Cooper T45 FPF 2.5 ‘brought up to 1959 specs’ wrote Bruce Sergent, whilst Jack’s car was a new 2.5 litre T51.  McLaren’s 3 laps up front ended when he was passed by Moss’ Rob Walker T51, also fitted with a 2.5 FPF.

Brabham and Moss then staged a spirited dice with the lead changing a number of times before ‘Brabham’s determination and slight edge in performance’ put Jack in front on lap 18.

Moss was stopped by a broken clutch-shaft on lap 27- Brabham and McLaren then put on a show for the crowd before a ‘form-finish’- Brabham won from McLaren and then Aussies Bib Stillwell and Stan Jones in 2.2 litre engined T51’s. John Mansel and Arnold Glass followed in Maserati 250F’s in fourth and fifth and best of the front-engined, now, old guard…

(Natlib)

David Piper’s Lotus 16 Climax (DNF driveshaft) from Moss’ Rob Walker Cooper T51 Climax 2.5, #88 Ron Roycroft’s ex-Gonzalez Ferrari 375 (twelfth), Malcolm Gill, Lycoming Special (DNF) then Stan Jones, Cooper T51 Climax 2.2 and Ted Gray, Tornado 2 Chev DNF.

Brabham raced on in Australia after his NZ Tour, click here for that; https://primotipo.com/2015/01/20/jack-brabham-cooper-t51-climax-pub-corner-longford-tasmania-australia-1960/

Credits…

‘Natlib’- National Library of New Zealand, Bruce Sergent on sergent.com

Tailpiece…

(Natlib)

A couple of beaming youths- Brabham and a somewhat bloodied McLaren with the goodies. I doubt Jack thumped him so circuit grit is probably the culprit.

Finito…