(S Jones)

Lots of shots are great, I’m accumulating way too many for an article apiece so this is the first in an ongoing series of ‘dumping ground’ of photographs most of which first saw the communal light of day on Bob Williamson’s Australian Motor Racing Photographs Facebook page. I will keep adding these ‘Oz Racing Random’ over time- about thirty in each article seems a nice number of shots…

The first one is of Stan Jones whistling along Phillip Island’s front straight in his Maserati 250F- its a tad outta focus but still wonderful with the magic blue sky and sea vista across Bass Straight and the crowd enjoying the early summer sun.

As to the date, probably the Phillip Island Trophy 26 December 1958 Gold Star round won by the local boy, their is plenty about Stan in this piece; https://primotipo.com/2014/12/26/stan-jones-australian-and-new-zealand-grand-prix-and-gold-star-winner/

(Sparks Family)

The film ‘Grand Prix’ created a huge hit wherever it was released, in Adelaide the film promoters organised an evening parade of racing cars throughout the city streets.

The #6 Lotus is Mel McEwin’s ex-Jim Clark 32B Climax, alongside is Stan Keen, Elfin Mono Ford with future Australian Grand Prix winner and Gold Star champion John Walker in his Elfin Mono Ford behind, the sportscar at rear on the right is Malcolm Ramsay, he of Birrana and much more fame, Elfin 300 Ford, whilst car #90 is Helene Bittner, Rebelle Ford 1500.

The cars are turning from King William Road into Hindley Street for you locals.

 

(J Strickland)

Wentworth Park in Sydney’s Glebe 1920s, these days it’s a trotting track.

Wentworth Speedway was used as a test and race venue from 21 April 1928 to 28 November 1936, a planned December meeting that summer was cancelled because of damage to the track surface and noise.

The venue was first used by bikes, then cars as well, all of the stars of the day competed there, close as it was- very, to Sydney’s CBD.

Anybody ever give the Kleinig Products Mist-Master a whirl?

All you want to know about one of Australia’s greatest drivers pre and post-war is here; https://primotipo.com/2019/12/06/frank-kleinig-kleinig-hudson-special/

 

(S Jones)

 

(S Jones)

Tornado 2 Chev at Collingrove, Angaston, South Australia circa 1961 when it was owned by Mel McEwin but it’s still in its first owner/co-constructor Lou Abrahams’ colours.

The car was an incredibly competitive tool in the hands of Ted Gray- with a bit more luck he could have been the winner of the 1958 AGP at Bathurst. He was a consistent front runner from the time Tornado 1 Ford begat Tornado 2 Ford and in its final Chev 283cid iteration set an Australian Land Speed record of 157.57mph average at Coonabarabran on 29 September 1957- apart from his many race wins.

Mel McEwin attempted to better Gray’s land speed record mark at Lake Eyre, South Australia in July 1960, his best in difficult conditions and with an engine not running properly was 151.101 mph- soon thereafter the car reverted to normal race mode and contested the 1961 Australian Grand Prix at Mallala where Mel was classified ninth amongst the mid-engine hordes led home by Lex Davison in one of Bib Stillwell’s Cooper T51s- it was the last time Tornado started an AGP.

The big beast didn’t have a great AGP finishing record, sadly, with DNFs for Ted Gray at Albert Park in 1956, Bathurst in 1958, Longford in 1959, the car’s two best results were ninth at Lowood in 1960 and Mallala in 1961 with Mel at the wheel but in both cases she was classified ninth and not running at the finish…

Click here for a piece on one of my favourite Australian Specials; https://primotipo.com/2015/11/27/the-longford-trophy-1958-the-tornados-ted-gray/

Postscript.

The ‘Victor Harbour Times’ 7 July 1961 records that whilst the then Casterton, Victoria domiciled 23 year old farmer McEwin ‘…failed by 9 mph when he averaged 148 mph (for the Australian Land Speed Record) he smashed a 23 year old record for the flying mile when he averaged 151.101 mph.’

Da Boys.

Riverside Drags at Fishermans Bend circa 1960.

Once the road circuit ceased to be used the growing hot rod and drag racing scene found a good use for the perfectly flat vacant ex-runways- cool photograph of some cool dudes; https://primotipo.com/2016/04/15/fishermans-bend-melbourne/

 

(B Jackson)

 

(B Jackson)

I wonder if Brian Jackson went stalking competitors in the 1966 12 Hour at Surfers Paradise or just happened upon the Mildren Racing Team Alfa Romeo TZ2 whilst looking for a decent bar?

Kevin Bartlett and Doug Chivas raced the car to third place behind the winning Jackie Stewart/Andy Buchanan Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 250LM and Frank Matich/Andy Sutcliffe Ford GT40.

I betcha the Coral Court Motel isn’t still there, click here for a piece on Surfers Paradise opening Speedweek carnival in 1966; https://primotipo.com/2015/02/13/jackie-stewart-at-surfers-paradise-speed-week-1966-brabham-bt11a-climax-and-ferrari-250lm/

 

(A Howard)

Spencer Martin in the Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 250LM at Mount Panorama in its first year of competition- 1965.

Now that would have been a sight- and especially sound on that particular racetrack, click here for an article on this car and 250LMs generally; https://primotipo.com/2014/07/03/pete-geoghegan-ferrari-250lm-6321-bathurst-easter-68/

 

Bevan Kaine’s Morris Minor first up (A Morris)

 

(M Jenner)

Competitors line up at Penguin Hillclimb, Tasmania 1964.

The tiny north-west coastal Tasmanian town, 130km from Launceston, hosted the Tasmanian Hillclimb Championship from 1955 to 1971- the 1100 metre climb ran along Deviation Road starting just above Walton Street.

The organising club was the North West Car Club, the annual event was held just after Longford to ‘capture’ some of the interstaters whilst on the Island- FTD in 1955 went to Tom Hawkes’ Allard.

Local bloke, Stephen Mott is publishing a book about the place later in 2020, keep an eye out for it.

 

(R Moppett)

Longford control tower and Launceston Tram ‘nerve centre’- the pit complex and bridge are still a year or so away.

I’ve a million articles on Longford as regulars are well aware, lets link this one as instructive for those new to the place; https://primotipo.com/2018/07/05/longford-lap/

 

(R Simmonds)

 

(R Simmonds)

 

(R Simmonds)

Everybody has to start somewhere, these shots by Ron Simmonds are of 1980 World Champ Alan Jones at Melbourne’s Templestowe Hillclimb not too far from the Jones abode in Ivanhoe, probably during 1964, meeting date folks?

The first shot is rounding ‘The Hole’, the second is the first corner and in the last he is running wide at ‘Barons’.

The Mini 850 was built up by Brian Sampson’s guys- was he trading as Motor Improvements then?

It begs the question as to when was the very first time the Jones boy competed? I’ve got Keith Botsford’s book somewhere, there is no shortage of conflicting material online about his early career, this machine was from a repossession yard recalls AJ. It is a far cry from a Williams FW07 Ford of course.

 

Terry Kelly, Ryleford at Hume Weir circa 1962-1963.

Who can tell us a bit about this special? Hume Weir, down the decades is here; https://primotipo.com/2016/05/06/hume-weir/

 

(D Wilson)

Amazing Panorama to Katoomba from Catalina Park.

This is one track I would love to have competed at ‘in the day’. Peter Finlay commented that he didn’t realise you could see the village as the place was so often shrouded in fog- that’s the Carrington Hotel smoking- where ‘everybody’ stayed.

Appendix J grid competitor names courtesy Rob Bartholomaeus- Bert Needham #6 Studebaker, with Spencer Martin in a Humpy Holden and Bruce McPhee, Holden FE on row one- then #40 Norm Beechey and Des West on row two with #53 Midge Bosworth all in Humpys and rounding out an all-star cast.

(R Martin)

 

(R Martin)

 

(R Martin)

On a clear summers day at Phillip Island you can see forever…

Here Bob Jane Racing are running in the January 1969 meeting- Bob in his second Mustang, the ‘GT390’ and Bevan Gibson who was driving the Elfin 400 Repco that weekend.

Click here for the Elfin 400; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/06/belle-of-the-ball/

and here for some other of Bob’s cars including the Mustang(s); https://primotipo.com/2020/01/03/jano/

 

1972 Dulux Rally Phillip Island stage- David McKay is about to disappear into the distance.

The Holden Dealer Team Torana GTR-XU1 of either Peter Brock or Colin Bond is alongside and the other is on row two- on the far side obscured by the Torana is Paul Older’s BMW 2002ti with the works Datsun 240Z of Edgar Hermann on the third row.

McKay won the 20 lapper aided by a very top fifth gear he had not used in a competitive stage to that point- click here for a piece on Australia’s Cologne Capris and the 1972 Dulux; https://primotipo.com/2015/04/09/australias-cologne-capris/

 

(I Smith)

Ian Smith was quick on the scene, and on the shutter when a group of Mazda executives got more excitement on the trip to the 1973’ish Phillip Island 500km than in the race itself.

The track had an airstrip then, ‘the pilot tried landing from the ocean side with a tail wind overshot, Grant Steers from the Holden Dealer Team jumped in to assist…no injuries.’

 

(D Willis)

Dick Willis, forever young racer, with the JWF Milano Holden 179 in Grafton Street, Coffs Harbour he has just built in 1965.

Bruce Polain is writing a book about these wonderful cars, which will be one to add to the shelves.

Brian Caldersmith, who took the shot wrote ‘This image is a very rough assembly from smaller segments of the drawing of the GT2 done by Tony Caldersmith in April 1969 (B Caldersmith)

 

 

(Via Neil Stratton)

Its a riot.

Well almost, crowd scene after the one race Australian Touring Car Championship at Warwick Farm in September 1968.

Norm Beechey’s Chev Camaro SS awaits a tow after the finish- Pete Geoghegan’s Ford Mustang won from Darrell King, Morris Cooper S and Alan Hamilton’s Porsche 911S/T- d’yer reckon Aussies like Taxis or what?!

 

(unattributed)

Jaguar in Jaguar Corner.

Bib Stillwell’s D Type chasing Jack Brabham’s Cooper Bobtail Climax during the Australian Tourist Trophy, Albert Park, November 1956, I wrote an article about this car not so long ago; https://primotipo.com/2020/04/17/stillwells-d-type/

 

(K Devine)

It could only be Longford’s Viaduct.

Mini ace Peter Manton’s Morris Cooper S on the turn in, guessing 1965- how’d he go folks?

See here for Manton; https://primotipo.com/2017/11/29/mini-king-peter-manton/

Credits…

Steve Jones, Reg & Craig Sparks Collection, James Strickland, Brian Jackson, Alan Howard, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Rohan Moppett, Ron Simmonds, Paul Kelly, David Wilson, Russell Martin, Dick Willis, Ian Smith, Neil Stratton Collection, Ken Devine Collection, Brian Caldersmith, Victor Harbour Times 7 July 1961, Rob Bartholomaeus

Tailpiece: Eclipse Zephyr Spl s/c…

(S Jones)

Whilst not the prettiest of things, agricultural is a word which may be applied to its physical appearance, all of Eldred Norman’s masterpieces bristled with innovation and speed.

Famously constructed in only ten weeks in the lead up to the 1955 Australian Grand Prix at Port Wakefield, the proud South Aussie needed a car to contest the event- its speedy construction belied the insights of its engineering.

The engine and gearbox were stressed components and, together with the Holden front crossmember formed a very stiff structure. Suspension was independent front and rear, the driver was offset, he snuggled the fuel tank as you can see and the Ford Zephyr six-cylinder engine was supercharged.

Here, circa 1960, Keith Rilstone, very quick in the car, prepares for a run up Collingrove Hillclimb- gotta do an article on this thing…

(S Jones)

Finito…

Comments
  1. Rob says:

    Mark,

    Re your question as to whether Brian Sampson was trading under the Motor Improvements name back in 1964, I see in my 1963 ATCC Mallala program that his Austin Lancer was entered under that name in the main race.

    Rob

  2. Rob says:

    Mark,

    With regard to the competitors shown in the Catalina Park Appendix J grid shot, a little knowledge and a lot of research would lead me to suggest:

    Bert Needham (No 6 Studebaker)
    Spencer Martin
    Bruce McPhee
    Norm Beechey (No. 40)
    Des West
    Midge Bosworth (No. 53)

    Rob

    • markbisset says:

      Great stuff Rob,
      Have updated the caption and credited you- all star cast tho i’ve not heard of Bert Needham?
      Grazia, i’ve got enough shots to do another one of these ‘batches’ in a couple of weeks, i quite like them as they are easy and quick to write!
      Mark

  3. Rob says:

    Mark,

    A close look at the third car on the front row would suggest it is an FE or FC rather than a “Humpy”. That’s why I have assumed it to be Bruce McPhee’s FE. The car usually appears in photos as lime green rather than blue, but I can’t think of anyone else that would have had one of these on the front row of a Catalina Park Appendix J race!

    Bert Needham was a Studebaker stalwart back in the 60s, both in Appendix J and in production car racing, including the Armstrong 500 / Gallaher 500 / Hardie Ferodo 500.

    Cheers,

    Rob

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