(J Langdon)

Appendix J tustle into Mountford Corner circa 1964- Alan Robertson’s Peugeot 203 dives under an FJ Holden, the finish line is only 500 metres away, perhaps this is a last lap lunge…

It’s a corker of a shot.

‘Longford 2’, who is he kidding, Longford 10 you may well reasonably say!

Everything in motor racing in moderation my friends, unless it comes to Lola, Lotus, Elfin, Rennmax, Bowin, Birrana or anything to do with Repco-Brabham, Alec Mildren Racing, Scuderia Veloce or Equipe Matich, Warwick Farm and most of all Longford where the rules of moderation simply don’t apply- just suck it up ok!?

Apart from my Longford fascination, Tasmania is one of my favourite states, on top of that I seem to be in a Covid 19 induced sixties nostalgia zone at present so I’ve mixed in some period Tassie snaps of interest- to me at least.

The wonderful racing photographs are by Lia Middleton’s mum, the ladies name would be great to know if someone can provide it, and Jim Langdon. Here we go with this Tasmanian assemblage.

(J Langdon)

Jack Brabham whistles into Mountford, Brabham BT7A Climax, South Pacific Trophy 1964…

Graham Hill won the race in the Scuderia Veloce BT4 from Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T70 and Frank Matich aboard another Brabham, this time a BT7A, all Coventry Climax 2.5 litre FPF powered.

Jack had differential failure during lap 22, all was not lost with his customer cars showing so well. Click here for a piece on the Intercontinental Brabhams; https://primotipo.com/2018/07/20/matich-stillwell-brabhams-warwick-farm-sydney-december-1963/

(Middleton Family)

Things must be going mighty goodly as Roy Billington even has time to laugh at one of Jack’s one-liners- Longford paddock with the Hewland HDS or is it HD5? and Coventry Climax FPF laid bare. This second in a series of three ‘Intercontinental Brabhams were very successful cars.

Brabham always had time for the punters didn’t he!? A smile rather than the death-ray stare of some others- a Pro our Jack.

(Middleton Family)

 

(C Raine)

I wonder if it was cheaper to travel by TAA Vickers Viscount or the Princess of Tasmania?

These days the plane is the ‘no brainer’ in terms of cost and convenience compared with the overnight ferry from Port Melbourne to Devonport but it may not always have been so, I wonder what the relative cost was.

The plane on the tarmac at Launceston.

(Middleton Family)

All the fun of the fair!

What a brilliant shot, doesn’t Mrs Middleton capture the mood of the meeting? Technically she has framed and cropped the shot beautifully. I wonder what year this Pit Straight bridge went in?
The shot below gives us a read in part on Don Gorringe’s business interests which funded his involvement and support of motor racing.

 

(Middleton Family)

1968 South Pacific Trophy field race in the dry, so it’s the preliminary ‘Examiner Scratch Race, contested over 12 laps, it rained cats and dogs on the Labour Day Monday public holiday.

The shot above is from towards the rear of the pack diving into the Viaduct- the two BRMs of Pedro Rodriguez and Richard Attwood, I can’t differentiate between the two, then the yellow Mildren Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo of Frank Gardner on the outside, to FG’s left is his teammate Kevin Bartlett, Brabham BT11A Climax with the red/maroon car at the head of this pack, Piers Courage, winner of the very last Longford Tasman Cup event in his McLaren M4A Ford FVA.

In a short race of attrition, Graham Hill won from Jim Clark, both in Lotus 49 Ford DFWs and Frank Gardner’s Brabham Alfa- Clarkset a lap record of 2:14.7 during the race but this time was battered by Chris Amon in the Scuderia Veloce Ferrari Can-Am 350 which did a 2:12.6- Chris’ best was 10 seconds a lap better than second place man Ian Cook in Bob Jane’s Elfin 400 Repco 4.4 V8- Amon’s Ferrari was famously timed at 182mph on ‘The Flying Mile’.

Longford 1968 is here; https://primotipo.com/2015/10/20/longford-tasman-south-pacific-trophy-4-march-1968-and-piers-courage/ and the Clark, Hill and Amon cars here; https://primotipo.com/2019/11/05/clark-hill-amon-longford-1968/

(R Macfie)

The truck is heading in race direction towards Mountford Gate, Viaduct, I wonder what year this shot was taken?

(Middleton Family)

Local Longford racing club chief and landowner Ron McKinnon gives Jack Brabham and the race winner, Bruce McLaren a lift after conclusion of the 1965 Australian Grand Prix- McLaren drove a Cooper T79 Climax whilst Jack was aboard a BT11A and Ron an MGA. 1965 AGP here; https://primotipo.com/2019/09/27/longford-1965/

(D Febey)

No Australian kid’s summer holidays was complete without a holiday at the beach or in the local pool- you really were ‘posh’ if yer folks had a pool back then.

Just looking at this brings back so many memories, not the least of which was the difficulty of executing a ten outta ten dive whilst not landing on top of some schmo in the process- this is the pool at The Bluff in Devonport.

(Middleton Family)

Graham Hill looking a bit more earnest and focused than Jack in a similar car- a Repco Brabham BT4 Climax owned by David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce.

That’s him in the cap on the right with Bob Atkin and another fella pushing- Hill’s focus was rewarded, he won the 1964 South Pacific Trophy as mentioned earlier. Brabham BT4 here; https://primotipo.com/2016/10/16/point-of-sale/

Kings Pier, Port of Hobart in the mid-sixties. Salamanca Place and the Port is these days a wonderful place to stroll around and dine whilst still a working port (R MacFie)

 

Scuderia Veloce again, this time the great Spencer Martin kicking the tail of the Ferrari 250LM about with gay abandon in 1965, it’s one of the machines very first meetings- the exit of Mountford Corner with a very appreciative crowd.

These cars, production sports-racing Ferrari won Le Mans in 1965 after the top gun Ford GT40, Mk2 and Ferrari P2s dropped by the wayside, Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory raced the winning NART entry.

The 3.3 litre 250LM V12s were notoriously driver friendly, forgiving machines which contested Le Mans as late as 1969, perhaps even 1970, I’m too lazy to check. Click here for a piece on the 250LM; https://primotipo.com/2014/07/03/pete-geoghegan-ferrari-250lm-6321-bathurst-easter-68/

(M Stephens)

 

(M Stephens)

I blew my tiny mind upon seeing these photographs of Minuet Stephens- they pinged ‘Queenstown’ in my mind but some of you Tassies can set me straight if I have that wrong, it’s only two years since the last time I swung through, it’s circa 1963 given other shots in this collection.

Isn’t ‘the rig’ amazing, what make and model is the home built caravan’s tow car or truck? The wow factor was succeeded by memories of long interstate trips Australian style before dual-lane highways became common in the eighties- Melbourne to Sydney then, about 500 miles now, was ‘a lot longer then’ on the Hume Highway as yer Dad’s 186cid HK Kingswood wagon was stuck behind outfits like this one and semi-trailers which did not gobble up the road as they do now. ‘How much further Dad?!’ every thirty minutes,  its a wonder he didn’t strangle the three of us really.

I imagine on the relatively quiet roads of the Apple Isle this kind of touring would have been very pleasant indeed.

(J Langdon)

 

(J Langdon)

Bib Stillwell turns in for Mountford with Pit Straight, the Control Tower and Water Tower in the distance- Brabham BT4 Climax in 1964.

By this stage the ‘late blooming’ Melbourne car and aviation businessman had been a front-runner for a halfa decade, in fact he won his third Gold Star on the trot in this chassis that year, having won it in ‘IC-3-62’ as well in 1963.

A quick glance suggested BT11A to me- the airbox led me there but tell tales of BT4 are the external radiator pipe- it looks like a pinstripe and the location of the top front wishbone rear pickup.

The Aston Martin DB5 is rather nice too.

(J Buddle)

Groometals scrap metal warehouse and lead smelting establishment on the corner of Harrington and Warwick Streets Hobart and looking very much in 1998 just before its demolition, as it did in 1965.

The nostalgic observation here is that so many of our inner urban main arteries looked like this until these streets filled with restaurants and retail outlets instead of small business ‘workshops’ as the inner suburbs became places many of us wanted to live.

I gave my Formula Vee a birthday at the end of 1979- amongst other things the suspension was nickel plated and chassis sand-blasted and then stove-enameled in two different ‘shops in Bridge Road, Richmond which these days is all restaurants and retail outlets- many with ‘to lease’ signs reflecting the decade old on-line retail revolution and of course forty-five thousand coffee shops. Still it was forty years ago, so some change should be anticipated I guess!

(Middleton Family)

Look at that crowd on Pit Straight.

Look very carefully to the left and you can just see a couple of jousting Scots- Jim Clark’s Lotus 39 Climax is just in front of South Pacific Trophy winner, Jackie Stewart in a BRM P261 1.9 litre V8.

Jackie won the race and the series in 1966- see here; https://primotipo.com/2016/05/19/jackies-66-longford/

In the shot below Arnold Glass has neatly popped the nose of his ANF1.5 Lotus 27 Ford twin-cam into the Mountford haybales during the 1964 meeting- hopefully no great damage has been done in ‘The Mercury’ 10 lapper for racing cars.

It was a small but classy entry of one and a halves- Frank Gardner, David Walker and Greg Cusack were in Brabham Fords whilst Mel McEwin was aboard an Elfin Catalina Ford. Jack Brabham won from Bib Stillwell and John Youl with Greg Cusack the best of the 1.5s. See articles on Arnold and ANF1.5 here; https://primotipo.com/2019/09/13/anf-1-5-litre/ and here; https://primotipo.com/2015/08/25/arnold-glass-ferrari-555-super-squalo-bathurst-1958/

(J Langdon)

Below is the business end of the monocoque Lotus 27 which very much apes the F1 Lotus 33 in basic specifications- chassis, suspension whilst noting the 1.5 litre FWMV V8 gave circa 210bhp whereas this 1.5 litre Cosworth built Lotus-Ford four cylinder engine gave circa 125bhp. Hewland gearbox of course, lovely Ron Lambert shot in the Longford paddock, the cockpit/nosepiece is off the car, perhaps being repaired…

(R Lambert)

 

The lighthouse supply ship SS Cape York off Maatsuyker Island on Tasmania’s southwest coast, mid-sixties (Nat Arc Oz)

 

(Middleton Family)

 

(Middleton Family)

A couple more shots on the approach and downhill plunge to The Viaduct.

The touring car experts can probably date the event- two EH Holdens chasing a trio of Morris Coopers- Barrett, Smith, Bromfield, Boot and Evan Thomas are the tips of racers Danny Newland and Barry Cassidy- as to the single seater race, who knows?

(M Stephens)

‘You muck around like a pack of old chooks at a Christening’ was one of my Dad’s sayings!

This group of ladies reminds me of my grandmother and her four sisters frocking up, hats and all for a family ceremonial occasion- like a Christening!

It reminds me how ‘white’ we all were too- Gough Whitlam finally repealed the ‘White Australia Policy’ in 1973 for chrissakes- Asian immigration was negligible until President Ford rang Malcolm Fraser and said ‘you pricks helped us create the mess in Vietnam so you malakas have to help mop it up’ or diplomatic weasel words to that effect anyway.

So now we have a wonderful, mainly harmonious multi-cultural mix rather than the mono-cultural Anglo society reflected in the scene of matrons above.

(Middleton Family)

Montford Corner again with a gorgeous Elfin Streamliner confronting a big special- wotizzit?

Huge crowd again, year uncertain.

( Middleton Family)

Ron McKinnon again this time aboard a Datsun Fairlady- his passengers appear to be Bruce McLaren and Graham Hill, so first and second in the 1964 Sou-Pac Trophy.

Never drove a Fairlady but did have a drive of its big-brother Datsun 2000 and couldn’t believe how much better a car it was than the MGBs i was looking at at the time.

(Libraries Tasmania)

 

(Libraries Tasmania)

I sorta missed the whole steam engined thing- Puffing Billy excepted, ten years older and it would have been front and centre for me in a way that it no doubt was for many of you.

These eight H Class locos are sitting aboard the ship ‘Belpareil’ at the Hobart docks, I cheated with the decade though, it’s October 1951. I wonder who the manufacturer was/is?, wonderfully five of these trains still exist.

(Middleton Family)

It’s rotating so hopefully the driver of the Humpy Holden missed the Mountford trees, the physics of it all is working in his favour I think. Who is it?

(Middleton Family)

The wonderful thing about Longford is that for every international who raced there the bulk of the weekends entertainment was provided by local/national drivers who got to play on one of the greatest, most challenging and dangerous road racing tracks in the world, as our Sprite friend, Chris Tapping is doing just here.

(C Broadfield Collection)

The gent in the hat does not seem phased at all by the sight of the yacht ‘Heemskerk’ being shifted by road from Sandy Bay, where it was built to the Hobart Port closeby where the owner Edney Medhurst launched the sleek hulled craft in 1953.

Credits…

Jim Langdon, Chris Raine Family, Lia Middleton Family, Rob MacFie, Daryn Febey, Minuet Stephens, Jeremy Buddle, National Archives of Australia, Libraries Tasmania, Craig Broadfield Collection, Ron Lambert

Tailpiece…

(M Stephens)

Another Queenstown shot i think, the most recent car is an EJ Holden so let’s date the queue of cars on the steam train as being circa 1963.

Finito…

Comments
  1. Rob says:

    Mark,

    The caption for that final shot reads “…..so let’s date the queue of cars awaiting the steam train as being…….” but if you look very closely you will see that the queue is actually on the train rather than waiting for it.

    Rob Bartholomaeus

    • markbisset says:

      How but that!
      I thought it was a bridge Rob- quick look scribble away and move on. The photos are from the ‘Tasmanian History’ Facebook site, well worth a look.
      many thanks,
      m

  2. Lynton Hemer says:

    The H class locos were built by the Vulcan Foundry in Lancashire.
    They closely resembled designs for several African railway systems manufactured in Britain after the war. That allowed reduced delivery programmes by using standardised parts etc.

    The picture of the train with the cars on flat wagons is on the Emu Bay Railway which ran from Burnie to Zeehan.
    It’s being hauled by a 4-8-0 loco ‘Murchison’, one of two built by Dubs of Glasgow in 1900.
    They left service in 1963.

    The railway to Queenstown was separate from the Emu Bay, and ran locomotives that were designed to run on a rack system, which was a cogged wheel under the loco which could be engaged when required, and interlocked with a toothed rail in the centre of the track.
    It allowed haulage of the copper over the very steep grades from Queenstown to the coast.

    The railway west from Queenstown was rebuilt as a tourism venture long after its removal in the sixties.
    I have travelled on the train hauled by one of the several restored rack locomotives.
    The route taken is the epitome of ‘Remote’.

    See, you’ve discovered my other lifelong passion.

    Cheers

    Lynton

    • markbisset says:

      Aren’t you the man of mystery then with all this great knowledge.

      We were last in Tassie just before Xmas 2018, went to Hobart to again see Mona and had a couple of day trips touring south from the Henry Jones Hotel dockside- great place to stay, and then went to ‘Pumphouse Point’ at the very south end of Lake St Clair- stunning, a brain-snapper. Google it.

      We did a full day, a big day in the saddle from there actually- Pumphouse, Derwent Bridge, Gormanston, Queenstown and then drop down into Strahan and then across to a couple of beaches looking towards Macquarie Heads- what started with pissin’ rain at Lake St Clair was magic sun by then, coolish, but blue sky and clear- and a grouse drive even in the little Hyundai Renta-Rocket, which surprised me with its ‘goodness’.

      I could not believe how much Queenstown Hills re-vegetation had occurred since the last time thru the Mooonscape there circa mid 2001.

      We didn’t have the time to ride the little train outta Queenstown- next time. Is the bigger train out of Strahan one of the H-Class on the Hobart docks?

      When i saw the photos of the locos i assumed they were built somewhere in Australia, having in mind the Williamstown railway workshops/museum i visited as a kid in Melbourne- did we, or do we still have train manufacturing in Australia?

      Cheers Lynton,
      Mark

      • Lynton Hemer says:

        We did North Western Tassie in May 2006.

        We arrived in Launceston on the day Todd and Brad came up from the mine.

        That trip from Lake St Clair across to Strahan is pretty good.

        We gazumped you on the hire car…we had a Peugeot 206.

        The train on the rack railway leaves Regatta Point near Strahan and goes all the way to Queenstown.

        Todays lesson on Primoloco begins…..

        We had several Engineering firms manufacturing railway locomotives in Australia.

        Early examples were Phoenix Foundry in Ballarat, Thompson’s in Castlemaine, and James Martin in Gawler SA, which evolved into Perry Engineering.
        Walkers operated in Maryborough in Qld, there was Goninan in Newcastle, and Clyde in Sydney.

        Then there were the Government railway workshops, like Newport/Williamstown in Melbourne, Eveleigh and Cardiff in NSW, and Islington in SA.

        In different periods, basically influenced by economic circumstances, there were bursts of locomotive and rolling stock manufacturing, as well as importation of machinery from Britain and the US, which had vast capacity.

        Of course, the complication was that the various railways had chosen several different rail gauges to suit local conditions, mostly influenced by pretty dopey small-minded political decisions.

        Their inability to foresee the potential growth that railways would bring, meant that each system originated as if it would remain isolated, so it wouldn’t matter, but when they finally joined up there was havoc, and the results of that stupidity and political ignorance is still felt today.

        That all meant that any real standardisation of carriage stock, or goods wagons was compromised by different rail sizes, loading gauges, ie the clearances to the platforms and tunnels etc., and variation in the type of track ballast used and therefore the speed and load rating of the track.

        It caused each state system to have its own standard which was influenced by railway officials who had their own set ways of doing things.

        Steam locos on each state system are instantly recognisable because of this local ‘colour’.

        As steam was phased out, local firms like Goninan and Clyde linked up with US firms ALCO or GM as local agents, and manufactured the early diesel electrics under licence
        .
        In later years it eventually worked out simpler to buy off the shelf, and so it degenerated from building bodywork around imported plant, to the simple assembly of pre-built locos, until now they come fully built ready to uncrate.

        A bit like motor manufacturing really….Holdens started as a bodyworks, and progressed to assembly, and now…..

        See……you knew I could segue back to cars somehow….

        Cheers.
        Lynton

      • markbisset says:

        Fascinating stuff Lynton.

        I guess the damage was done in terms of ‘go your own way’ with different gauges etc pre-Federation? Colonies doing their own thing without any central control or guidance.

        Its a whole economic debate in itself, Tariffs and other import duties helped build the nations manufacturing capability but it led to serious nutbag stuff such as so much loco manufacturing capability which makes no sense given the tiny population, and similarly the vast number of manufacturers and assemblers of cars we had by 1970- it simply was not sustainable once the supportive taxes were reduced/taken away.

        And now of course we ‘need to be a manufacturing nation again’, it will be interesting to see what cocktail of government policy settings are instituted to encourage that…

        I smell tariffs in the air

        Loco isn’t it!?

        M

  3. Rob says:

    Mark,

    Are you thinking of renaming the site Primoloco? (only kidding.)

    Back to that other passion, there is no indication in the text accompanying the Arnold Glass Lotus 27 photos as to which year they are from. Is this simply an omission or are you unsure? I would say it must be 1964.

    Rob Bartholomaeus

    • Hoi Polloi says:

      Actually the Vickers Viscount was my first ever ride on a plane back in 1965 from Berlin-Schönefeld to Amsterdam-Schiphol. Fond memories.

    • markbisset says:

      Rob,
      Patrizia would very much like primoloco, i won’t mention that to her or I will have a new nick-name!
      It’s funny we tried about seven or eight names when this writing journey started before finding primotipo was available. I think my first choice might have been prototipo from memory.
      And yes 1964 is it, I found the information I wanted and forgot to add the date, no idea who won the race, be worth adding if you have the correct RCN…
      M

  4. Mal O'May says:

    That is a brilliant pictorial Mark…..fantastic nostalgia for a lifelong local boy ! Some wonderful shots of many parts of the State. As an aside, in the first Libraries Tas photo (before the trains are unloaded), it is most likely my Grandpa who would be skippering the Ferry in the background. Either the “Rosny” or the “Derwent”…my eyes are not good enough to pick out which one….but they were sister ships & both owned & run by The O’May Brothers ferry service on the run from Bellerive to Hobart.

    regards

    Mal.

    • markbisset says:

      Great to hear from you Mal,
      Putting this piece together reminded me of the one we did twelve months or so ago with your Dad’s magnificent shots. Isn’t that amazing to spot one of the ‘Family Ferries’?! Now i am going to be Googling ‘O’May Brothers Ferry Service’ for a while!
      Have a great day, stay well.
      Mark

      • Mal O'May says:

        Thanks Mark, actually some of the stories that have been passed on through the family from the years of the ferry service, particularly some stuff that went on during the “Ferry Wars”, would fill a good book !

      • markbisset says:

        Look forward to the ‘Ferry Wars’, i smell a story of intrigue, depth charges and torpedo equipped commuter vessels!?
        M

  5. Rob says:

    Mark,

    I don’t have access to the relevant RCN, but the “Longford Speedway Results” (that’s how they are titled!) in The Mercury of 2 March 1964 has the “The Mercury” Racing Car Scratch Race won by Jack Brabham (Repco Brabham) from Bib Stillwell (Repco Brabham) and John Youl (Cooper Climax). The Under 1500cc class went to Greg Cusack (Repco Brabham).

    Rob

  6. Terry Sullivan says:

    That photo of Bib Stillwell turning into Mountford it is a Brabham BT 4 so it must be 1964.

    It is not a BT11A.

  7. Rob says:

    Mark,

    A little more on the Arnold Glass incident. According to David McKay’s report in Modern Motor, May 1964, this happened during the earlier “Examiner” 50 miler rather than during the “Mercury” race. His summary of the “Examiner” race includes the following: “Glass later had his rear brakes fail and stuffed the nose of the 27 into the straw at Mountford.” Stillwell (Repco Brabham) won that one from Graham Hill (Repco Brabham) and Lex Davison (Cooper Climax) with Frank Gardner wining the Under 1500cc class. Glass is listed in the results published in Australian Motor Sport as second in class in “The Examiner” Racing Car Scratch Race, with a best lap exactly the same as Gardner’s.

    Rob Bartholomaeus

  8. bill HOLLINGSWORTH says:

    Equally impressive as Mona is the Wall just outside of Derwent Park. As an ex Tasmanian I go back most years and still find new things to see.

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