Whad’ll She Do Mister?…

Posted: June 7, 2020 in Fotos, Who,What,Where & When...?
Tags: , , , , ,

(M Tumby)

Talbot-Lago T26C with a swag of teenage fans surrounding it in Queensland we think …

There was a bit of  unresolved mystery about this shot when it was first posted by Mark Tumby on Bob Williamson’s Facebook page a month ago.

The discussion centred around whether it was Ralph Snodgrass in Whiteford’s second arriving in Australia but early chassis- ‘110002’ at Lowood but only if it was before 6 June 1957 when Snodgrass rolled it at Mount Druitt and then popped it under his house for twenty years, as Rob Bailey pointed out. Rob then mused as to whether it was his father, Owen Bailey in Whiteford’s first Lago, chassis ‘110007’ at Lowood, ‘that would make sense as he was running a family business in Noosa at the time’.

Interesting but still foggy at this point.

(M Tumby)

I circulated the first photograph to ‘wise owls’ Stephen Dalton, Bob King and Tony Johns yesterday- the boys quickly identified the car as the 1952 and 1953 AGP winner ‘110007’ by comparative analysis of windscreen and body slots around the grille.

As to the who and when questions, Stephen observed ‘Finding Queensland programs and entry lists is very hard for this era and it tends to be one ex-Bomber runway looking the same as the other. Here though, the trees tend to tell me not Lowood. I’m tending to think Strathpine which had a thin row of trees on each side.’

‘I’m not committing to stone, but i think its the Ken Richardson era, after Rex Taylor, so mid-55’ish. Then you get the problem of some Leyburn meetings in this timeframe too. Ken won a race at the 4 June 1955 Strathpine meeting, the August 1955 issue of ‘Modern Motor’ has a photo but no clear number…’

Stephen suggested a peek on Trove- which i have just done in brief, there are lots of entries for Taylor, tougher pickings for Richardson in the Talbot-Lago at least- plenty of mentions in his Cooper.

At this stage Rob Bailey did a bit more research- see his responses today, including a careful forage through the two volume Talbot-Lago books which reveals that it is Ken Richardson during a Leyburn sprint meeting in 1955.

Dalton, ‘Now that i’ve looked a little harder in my Leyburn file there was an event in July 1955 too, it was very briefly reported in ‘Wheels’ October 1955.’

’Richardson must have been a decent steerer. He was third behind Davison and Pitt’s nimble Coopers with the Lago at the September 1955 Australian Hillclimb Championship on narrow and tight Prince Henry Drive…’

As to all the young blokes in the shots- maybe a local boarding school outing on a Friday or weekend?

I don’t have ‘an article’ on the ‘Talbot-Lago T26C’ but key that into the primotipo search engine and four or five pieces with plenty of photos will pop up.


Mark Tumby, Rob Bailey, Stephen Dalton, Bob King, Tony Johns


(S Dalton Collection)


  1. Rob Bailey says:

    I spoke to mum,Owens then wife, he never raced theT26 in QLD.

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Rob,
      Lets see what comes back in the next couple of days- be a nice little mystery to solve.
      Sun is trying to poke its head out, may still be a good day.

      • Rod Callaghan says:

        Hi Mark,
        Rev the Snodgrass Lago Talbot.
        I worked for Reg Hunt for a while many years ago now, and his personal “racing” mechanic (Robin something I think told me about how Reg managed to acquire it.
        It appears that whenever Reg was heading off in the general direction of Ralph’s place he’d make a detour to catch up. They’d have a cuppa and a chat, and eventually Reg would get around to asking Ralph if he may be thinking about selling the Lago: the answer was always “no not at the moment.”
        This went on for some years.
        Then one time, after the tea and chat, Reg said “ hang on Ralph I’ll be back in a minute.”
        He came back with a smallish suitcase, opened it on the kitchen table, began stacking up piles of $100 notes, and said to Ralph “tell me when to stop.”
        Ralph started to tremble a bit and went a bit weak in the knees, quite understandably.
        Without breaking a confidence It got to a fair stack before Ralph finally cried “enough.”
        We know the rest.

      • markbisset says:

        LOL Rod!
        Sensational story which i can well believe! It takes ‘about 15 seconds’ @ 70kmh to drive past what was ‘Reg’s stretch of the Nepean Highway’ doesn’t it! Money not really a problem.

  2. Rob Bailey says:

    Looking through the two book Lago Talbot one ,its Richardson 1955 Leyburn “sprints”

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Rob,
      Nice to have the mystery solved- will have a Trove to see if there is anything in a Queensland paper on the meeting. Are they good books?

      • Rob Bailey says:

        Strong reference books if you read French ,expensive but worth owning ,you should drop in my reference library is strong.

      • markbisset says:

        Must buy you a beer @ that new trendo-funko ‘Side Door’ joint near you and do just that! Have you got the Ballot books per-chance? Mark

  3. Rob Bailey says:

    No but lots of other reference books.,my father is not long for this world nearly 89 years old ,His brother is on the case to find and give me many period photos of the Victorian racing in the mid 50s till around 1959.Keep you informed .

  4. Jim Pescott says:

    Mark..Before I post, can I express my admiration for the job you do on this website.The amount of work involved must be staggering! I am 99% sure this is Strathpine.I have been there as a (very) young fella and the trees/pits/runway are as I remember. I have been more recently to Leyburn and there are no trees,just paddocks.

    • markbisset says:

      Many thanks for getting in touch Jim- Stephen is not convinced either and he has had a couple of trips specifically to see many of the Queensland venues. Just because something is in an expensive book (or here or anywhere else) does not make it correct.
      Does the shot look like Richardson do you think, not easy given the nature of the shot i grant you?

  5. Jim Pescott says:

    Sorry, I wouldn’t recognize Richardson. It’s definitely not Lowood. From memory, the “standard” of facilities at Strathpine made Lowood look luxurious!

    • markbisset says:

      Yes Jim,
      I imagine the facilities of 1955 would make any modern racegoer wince!
      I caught up with Bob King today and had a look at his copy of the two volume Talbot-Lago set- wonderful but my French is not too flash.
      There are 2 listings for Richardson- July 1955 ‘Leyburn Meeting’ and 10 June 1956 ‘Lowood Trophy Motor Races’ and then a gap till 13/14 October when Owen Bailey makes his debut at Fisherman’s Bend.
      It’s not conclusive though, it’s still possible a low key ‘Sprint’ was not captured by the authors.

  6. Paul Cummins says:

    maybe the 1955 Queensland GP at Southport. I have a couple of colour shots of the Talbot-Lago, as well as the Alfa P3 of Steve Ames and reckon that is where it is. I’ll email the photos so you can have a squiz. I think it is also where the shot of the Wylie Javelin i sent you, was taken too.

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