Michael ‘Moose’ Warner, Holden 48-215 leads Tony Edmondson, BMW 1602 Repco at Symmons Plains circa 1974…

Touring Cars (a ‘Sports Sedan’ in this case) are not my thing but that BMW is powered by a Repco Brabham 4.4 litre ‘620 Series’ V8 so by definition it’s of interest!

The Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania continues to post wonderful photographs on its Facebook page- just pop the name into the FB search engine and have a look. Grab a beer before you do so, you cannot do the job properly in less than two or three hours.

(B Smart)


(B Smart)

Edmondson, who started racing a Ford Cortina GT with a good deal of pace in his native Tasmania circa 1970 was the latest in a long list of drivers whose career was aided and abetted by Tasmanian businessman Don Elliott- others include Robin Pare, John Walker and Mark McLaughlin.

The pair raced this BMW, then the ex-McCormack Valiant Charger Repco-Holden F5000 V8 and later still the two K&A Engineering built Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Chev V8’s- he had a really nasty accident in the first of these at Surfers Paradise.

Later still, in the mid-eighties, they acquired Elfin Sportscars, bless ’em- after Garrie Cooper’s untimely death and built some fantastic FV, ANF2 and one Formula Holden before the economic realities finally caught up with them and the business changed hands to become a builder of road/race cars rather than racing cars. (i’m truncating)

Edmondson and Grice top of The Esses at Baskerville in 1978 looking as though it could turn to tears at any moment’ indeed Grant Twining, but did it!? (K Midgley)

I always admired Edmondson’s aggression, pace and mechanical ability- another guy wasted on Sports Sedans I thought, if he handles 5 litres so well why not jump aboard the ‘real F5000 deal’…

I do recall the BMW, not that I ever saw it race in Victoria- did it ever race on the ‘Big Island’ i wonder? No doubt it did.

The Baskerville photos, circa 1973, are great, particularly Tony’s cavalier disregard for his racegear- perhaps he was ‘just tootling around’ on a day of testing.

Bruce Smart, the photographer advises that is exactly what the team were doing ‘I took the photos in mid-1973 on the main straight at Baskerville. It was a private test day and they were the only ones there. The Repco BMW was still being developed and they were having issues with cooling. It had a boot mounted radiator, you can see the hastily cut vents in the rear guards which were made to enhance airflow.’

‘Tony was only driving slowly, hence no helmet, in fact it was barely fast enough to get a speeding ticket in the Hobart CBD. They would do a couple of laps, return to the pits and scratch their heads, then do a few more laps. Eventually the cooling was sorted.’

I’m very interested to know who did the engine installation- presumably a Borg Warner four-speeder is attached to the back of the RBE V8 but i’m just guessing. Which particular RBE 620 izzit, where did it come from and where is it now? Where is the BMW shell too I guess, although that is of less interest. The Holden ‘was one of the best Humpy’s going around, unfortunately it fell over one day and was binned’ wrote the HRCCT’s Grant Twining.

Lindsay Ross advises Don Elliott is about 90 years old and that Tony Edmondson still works for his ‘Elliots Self Storage’ business in Hobart. He also recalls the ‘Repco 4.4 gave them so much grief with cracking blocks.’

Correspondence welcome!

Don Elliott supervises proceedings at Baskerville, hungry Lucas mouths atop RBE620 (B Smart)



Top shot above is of Edmondson a few months later with the car now complete at Baskerville, 1973.


Bruce Smart via Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania, Keith Midgely



(B Smart)

‘Its not too noisy, no cops about, how bout we swing past mums on the way back to Hobart’, or some such. As I say, very interested to find out and publish the fullest technical specifications of this car we can come up with.

Social media suggests the car ended up in Western Australia at some point?


That’s not Edmondson in the ‘Fastman’ race suit- he is almost fully obscured by blue-cardigan man- who is the other racer?

Tailpiece: Turn-in is real noice…

(B Smart)

‘Hmm, maybe time to put my fire-proofs on’ is perhaps the drivers thoughts. And ‘Shit! This thing gets up and boogies.’

Note the Mawer Engineering wheels and ‘well back’ location of the engine. Intriguing to know the difference in weight between the cast iron block, alloy head BMW four and all alloy Repco V8.

This conversion is a ‘well-travelled path’ in the sense that the 1970 similarly engined Bob Jane Racing, John Sheppard built, Holden Torana GTR-XU1 ‘620’ 4.4 V8 showed just how quick this combination of compact car and very light ‘racing’ V8 could be.

Click here for a piece in part about this car, the Charger Repco and Corvair Chev; https://primotipo.com/2015/06/30/hey-charger-mccormacks-valiant-charger-repco/



  1. Paul Boxsell says:

    The car was in David Drews hands in late 1976

    From a very authoritative site on WA racing.

    Click to access 1976.pdf

    Race 5: Sports Sedans, 15 laps. W A Sports Sedan Championship.
    1 98 Torana Ian Diffen 64.7 16:41.4
    2 47 Torana Brian Smith 66.5 16:56.2
    3 27 BMW David Drew 68.3 17:28.4
    4 25 Alfa Romeo 302 V8 Neville Cooper 70.1 16:51.3 14 laps

    I believe the 4.4 Repco motor went missing, perhaps some of the Repco historians might know of it.

    David Drew was also known as David Rockford racing an Alta* in the Caversham days and punted a Super Mod on Claremont Speedway.

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Paul,
      Great to have the gaps filled in- I must have a good look at my own article a while back on all of the RBE motors. I wonder if the chassis survived?

      • Paul Boxsell says:

        The Repco went missing when being rebuilt late 80s, so there is hope for the chassis?
        I saw somewhere Peter Simms bought 2 x 4.4s from WA in the 70s, Did the SR3 have two ?

      • markbisset says:

        Yes, may well have gone to God, 20 years ago Historic Sports Sedans were not on most folks minds.
        From memory (its in my SR4 article) there were three SR3’s and at least two of them were fitted with RBE engines- who ended up with what engine is explained, as much as we communally know, in my ‘RBE by The Numbers’ article but if you have specific knowledge of what engine was where at particular times let me know and I will update the article.

  2. Ben says:

    Robin Pare in the race suit talking to TE.

  3. Rob says:


    A couple of points about “the two K&A Engineering built Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Chev V8’s”.

    Firstly, according to the 1979/80 Australian Motor Racing Yearbook, the Alfetta was “all but destroyed” in the 1979 Surfers crash and was “completely rebuilt” for 1980 (according to the 1980/81 edition). Is there other evidence to suggest that the 1980 version was a completely new car?

    Secondly the car was raced in 1979 with a Repco Holden engine and the 1980 incarnation was also Repco Holden powered. It used Chevrolet power from 1981 onwards. All referenced from the relevant AMRY editions.


    Rob Bartholomaeus

    • Ben Wignall says:

      You only need to see the pics of the accident. There was nothing salvageable left of the first car. A miracle he survived it.

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