(B Jackson)

Alec Mildren Racing prepare their steeds prior to the 1968 ‘Warwick Farm 100’ Tasman round held on 18 February 1968…

That’s Kevin Bartlett steering his Brabham BT11A Climax through the dummy grid area back into the paddock- the car in the distance is Frank Gardner’s Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo.

35,000 people attended the meeting on a glorious Sydney summers day during which Jim Clark led from pole and won from his teammate Graham Hill aboard Team Lotus Lotus 49 Ford DFWs- I’ve done this meeting to death already here; https://primotipo.com/2015/04/14/warwick-farm-100-tasman-series-1968/

and here; https://primotipo.com/2018/08/01/warwick-farm-100-1968-take-three/

but these photographs uploaded by enthusiast Glenn Paine on behalf of the late ‘snapper, Brian Jackson were too good to waste.

(B Jackson)


Bartlett and Mildren plotting the next chassis adjustment (B Jackson)

As most of you know, KB graduated to the BT11A after ‘Frank had finished with it’- and went like a jet in it, click here for a story about that; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/27/kbs-first-bathurst-100mph-lap/

The one-off Brabham BT23D Alfa was Alec Mildren’s response to the growth of multi-cylinder engines, as in more than four, in the Tasman Cup, as an Alfa Romeo Dealer Autodelta were more than happy to build some special 2.5 litre versions of their Tipo 33 sportscar V8- that engine story is here; https://primotipo.com/2018/11/30/motori-porno-alfa-romeo-tipo-33-tasman-2-5-litre-v8/

FG looks happy enough, note the ‘Buco’ helmet and driving gloves, Glenn Abbey is the lanky chap attending to the car. BT23D was a one-off but built on Ron Tauranac’s F2 BT23 spaceframe chassis jig. Conventional outboard suspension front and year, no belts- they would become common throughout this year though (B Jackson)


Business end- Hewland FG200 five speed transaxle and twin distributors to fire two plugs per cylinder in amongst the shade (B Jackson)

There are not too many folks around at all- perhaps its the Thursday prior to the meeting. A quick look at the Australian Motor Racing Annual race report covers plenty of tyre drama pre-race as a shipment of Goodyears had not arrived in Australia which meant that Goodyear contracted drivers such as FG and Jack Brabham plumped for Firestones come raceday. Both the Mildren cars are fitted with Goodyears in these shots but that delay left ‘Bartlett and Hulme as the only Goodyear equipped cars’.

It wasn’t a great race for the team- KB started from row five with Geoghegan, Lotus 39 Repco and Attwood, BRM P126 V12 and retired with half-shaft failure at Polo on lap 34 whereas FG started from row three alongside Greg Cusack, Brabham BT23A Repco and John Harvey, Brabham BT11A Repco, and, having run as high as fifth retired on lap 40 ‘with a very oily-looking rear end’.

Abbey and BT23D, Mildren were a BP sponsored team throughout, nice Holden EH- it’ll be either light brown or light green with that white roof Holden fans? (B Jackson)


(B Jackson)

KB swapping notes with Jim Clark and Graham Hill with his back to us- is that Rana Bartlett at right? The Team Lotus duo raced Lotus 49s fitted with Ford Cosworth 2.5 litre ‘DFW’ engines that summer.


Brian Jackson

(B Jackson)

These engines were very successful for Mildren- they never took a Tasman round victory but Bartlett won the Gold Star in the BT23D in 1968 and the Mildren Yellow Submarine in 1969- albeit that year the Waggott TC-4V engine also chipped into the pointscore- not to forget KB’s 1969 Macau GP win.

All alloy 90 degree, Lucas fuel injected 2.5 V8 with twin, chain driven overhead camshafts per bank and two valves per cylinder, twin plugs per cylinder fired by Marelli distributors. Note the oil filter, very tricky pipe work to get the exhausts to the right length and clear the frame tubes and tachometer drive off the end of the camshaft.


(B Jackson)


  1. grahamedney says:

    Sorry the last email got away before I could get in this text. The pictures of the 1957 NZGP come from a fairly obscure old book on the subject of that GP.

    The Wharton photo was taken a few minutes before he crashed in a support race.

    I also attach an extract from the 1957 chapter quoting the GP grid in order.


    Graham Edney 0409 153 246

  2. Jonny'O says:

    Amazing how the Alfa Romeo engine was always very fragile in F1, with Mildren they were successful. 2.5l would be the limit of this v8?

    • markbisset says:

      Yep, the Mildren engines were 2.5 litre Tasman Formula motors, the F1 3 litre motors were a different branch of the family, its a pity they didn’t persevere with the V8 a little longer.
      The 3 litre V12 fitted to the 179 was more competitive- they led races two or three times but never did take a win.

  3. prn31 says:

    Hi Mark,

    My understanding is that the Autodelta developed Alfa Romeo V8 engines, in original 2.0, 2.5 Tasman and 3.0 F1 (also used in the 33 sports racers) were all from the same family. The 2.5 seemed to hit the sweet spot here. 300 – 320hp with good reliability compared to its Australian competition, which was the Repco V8s.

    The 3.0 V8 as used in the McLaren M7 and M14 and then with March in the 711 was underpowered and unreliable compared to the benchmark Cosworth Ford DFV V8. From recollection it was an old school engine – wider valve angles, over big valves and twin plugs per cylinder. The Cosworth DFV was a generation ahead and the Alfa V8 was never going to match it, hence the Autodelta development of the flat 12 in 1973.


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