Dave Walker in the radical Lotus 56B Pratt & Whitney, 4WD gas turbine powered F1 car during practice for the 1971 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort…

It is just over 50 years since the gritty Aussie raced this radical Lotus – developed and raced at the ’68 Indy 500 then adapted by Chapman and his team for road racin – through the Zandvoort sand dunes.

Perhaps with more practice in the car in advance of the meeting Walker may have made the podium in his famously wet race, instead, he braked too late late and went straight on over the bank behind the pits. He was ok but the car was too badly damaged to continue.

At that point Denis Jenkinson reported that “from the back of the grid he was galloping through the tail enders (armed also with the Firestone wets used by winner Ickx’ Ferrari and the other front-runners), really pleased with the way the smoother torque of the turbine and the 4-wheel drive were dealing with the appalling conditions, and was actually in tenth place at the end of the fifth lap. On the four previous laps he had arrived at the end of the long straight in company with a bunch of cars and they had all braked safely from 150mph, but on lap 5 Walker had gotten away from the others and was on his own and he braked too late, locked up his wheels and went straight on through the fence.”

Jenkinson then goes on to speak about Dave Walker in glowing terms, watch for an article soon.

(autopics.com)

Alec Mildren accepts the plaudits of the crowd after winning the Bathurst 100 Gold Star round over the Easter long weekend in 1960.

He won of the Gold Star rounds in this clever Cooper T51 powered by a 2.5-litre Maserati 250S engine, the story of which is told here; https://primotipo.com/2018/06/08/mildrens-unfair-advantage/

The Elfin 600 has always been a sinfully sexy racing car

Arguably, in F3 form, as here with factory mag alloy wheels, rather than the steel wheels of an FF and devoid of wings this is about as good as they get in terms of purity of line- Brian Sampson eases into Peters/Torana Corner at Sandown in his 600B Toyota circa 1970.

I think of him as a Cheetah man- he and Brian Shead conquered F3/F2 between them for years in Cheetahs built by Shead, and Toyota Corolla 1.3-litre race motors tuned by Sambo’s Motor Improvements concern in St Kilda. See a feature in the current issue of Auto Action on Sampson, Shead and his Cheetah Mk6; AUTO ACTION 1815 – Auto Action

Sampson with a narrow lead from young whipper-snapper John Bowe at Shell Corner, Sandown in 1979- Cheetah Mk6 Toyota and Elfin 792 VW during the ANF2 1.6 pushrod/single SOHC days (B Jones Collection)

Brian was handy in anything mind you, he had a long history in touring cars and sportscars before he added open-wheelers to his diet at a time he and Shead had Toyota factory support- remember Sampson’s Celica, which he still has. Oh- he did win Bathurst co-driving with Brocky aboard an L34 Torana in 1975.

Sampson has had the VHT franchise in Australia since JC was playing for the Jerusalem thirds. A nice giving back touch is he and Brendan Jones S5000 Series support- great stuff boys.

(S5000)

(A Patterson)

Two eight-cylinder specials front and centre in the Victor Harbor paddock during the 26 December, 1936 Australian Grand Prix.

Car #7 is the WA McIntyre owned, Frank Kleinig driven McIntyre Hudson Spl, DNF and #6 Ossie Cranston’s sixth placed Ford V8 Spl- look at the stylised V8 on the tale of that handsome car. Car #9 is Arthur Terdich’s eleventh placed Bugatti T37A and #12 alongside is George Smith’s Austin 7, DNF.

By the look of the size of the crowd it’s raceday, the handicap event was won by Les Murphy’s MG P Type from Tim Joshua’s similar car Bob Lea-Wright’s Terraplane Special.

Click here for a feature on this race; https://primotipo.com/2015/08/27/south-australian-centenary-grand-prix-26-december-1936-aka-1937-australian-grand-prix/ and here for the stupidity surrounding the naming of the event; https://primotipo.com/2017/04/14/1936-australian-grand-prix-victor-harbour/

The shot below is of the very versatile McIntyre which did trials, hillclimbs, sprints and races of all types including the AGP. It is, happily, still with us in relaxed retirement in the Birdwood Mill museum in the Adelaide Hills.

(A Patterson)

(Hartnett Family Collection)

John Ampt and crew considering the next change to to the wonderful Cooper T38 Jaguar in the Mount Panorama pits in 196?

This car had a wonderful in-period history with Peter Whitehead in Europe inclusive of Le Mans in 1955 before passing through Stan Jones hands in early 1956 before finding plenty of success with Wangaratta’s Ron Phillips, who won the 1959 Australian Tourist Trophy at Lowood in it, before it passed to Ampt and more success.

You can see the old jigger is looking a bit tired in the body but for much of its life in Australia it had been beautifully prepared by Ern Seeliger. I wrote a lengthy feature in Auto Action #1812 AUTO ACTION 1812 – Auto Action

Ampt is still alive and well, on his farm at Rainbow in Victoria, although these days two brothers work the property.

(S5000)

Warwick Brown became an F5000 stalwart.

He raced a Brabham and McLaren before graduating to the ex-Alan Hamilton McLaren M10B in 1972, then raced ‘all of the Lolas from T300 to T333’ (all but the T330 and T400 anyway) in a career which yielded much success in Australasia and in the US. From 1977 onwards he raced F5000 ‘in drag’ – central seat 5-litre Can-Am cars.

The shot above is in the Sandown pitlane in 1977 aboard the Team VDS T430 Chev, he boofed it on the warm-up lap but won the Rothmans series, the one below is the following year in a T333/332C Chev. He won this race, one of all four rounds of the Rothmans International he took that summer.

More about WB here; ‘WB for ’73’… | primotipo…

(S5000)

(J Wakely)

Glorious ‘As it Was’ shot of the ‘Boomerang Service Station’ Holden 48-215 raced by Spencer Martin outside the Colonial Motel, Katoomba in Sydney’s Blue Mountains.

It’s during a Catalina Park meeting in 1963, Spencer made his name with some amazing performances in this car, he was picked up by Scuderia Veloce’s David McKay not too long after this. Spencer progressed with McKay’s Brabhams and Ferrari 250LM, but it was with the Bob Jane owned ex-McKay Brabham BT11A Climax that Spencer won his two Gold Stars, then promptly retired.

Spencer’s not long ago released book is worth a read. See here for a feature on Martin; Spencer Martin: Australian ‘Gold Star’ Champion 1966/7… | primotipo…

(Cummins Archive)

Most of us think of Bryan Thomson as a touring car/sports sedan racer but here he is in the early open-wheeler phase of his long career in a Cooper T51 Climax at Hume Weir on Boxing Day 1962.

His penchant for innovation was on show early in his career too – remember the Chev F5000 engined Volksrolet and four-valve Chev V8 he and Peter Fowler developed in the mid-seventies – the 2.5-litre Coventry Climax FPF engine in a car which was a little dated was supercharged, giving the machine a new lease of life.

Behind him is Wally Mitchell in Brabham Numero-Uno, the ex-Gavin Youl MRD Ford, see here for a piece on car and driver; Merde… | primotipo…

(Cummins Archive)

(G Thomas)

Bib Stillwell with a big smile on his face at Rob Roy on April 20, 1947, MG Magna.

The exhaust system looks impressive, sorta, but I wonder if it cost or enhanced power? At 20 years old Bib is just starting out on a career which took him all the way to the top of Australian motor racing and equal to all of the internationals other than The Gods.

See here; Bib Stillwell: Cooper T49 ‘Monaco’: Warwick Farm, Sydney December 1961… | primotipo… and here; Stillwell’s D Type… | primotipo…

(I Smith)

Ian Smith is a Melbourne photographer who went to Sydney and found an unusual angle on a circuit not noted for atmosphere shots.

As to the cars- a Lola T330 or T332 at left and an Elfin MR5 or Chevron B24 circa 1974. The F5000s are coming off The Dogleg with the Energol spectator mound beyond.

(R Page)

Bob Tanner in his VW ‘Bed Base’ at Lakeview Hillclimb, the Canberra Car Club’s venue in the mid sixties.

Can anybody tell us a bit more about this car?

Larry Perkins from Keke Rosberg, Ralt RT1 and Chevron B45 coming onto Pit Straight at Bay Park, New Zealand in 1978.

Perkins drove the wheels off this self-run Graham Watson/David McKay owned car, but the ex-F1 driver was bested by F1 aspirant Rosberg who won the series in his much better supported Fred Opert ‘works’ car. Click here; Keke Rosberg Attacks the Pukekohe Chicane, New Zealand Grand Prix, January 1978… | primotipo…

Many top young drivers contested the NZ Pacific Series, the 1978 crop included Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, David Oxton, Ken Smith, Richard Melville, Dave McMillan, Steve Millen, Andrew Miedecke and others.

(D Foster)

John French’ Centaur Holden-Waggott at Lakeside on the July 8, 1962 weekend.

A couple of great shots of the very clever Tim Harlock built car powered by the equally clever Merv Waggott built twin-cam, triple Weber Holden 200bhp, 3-litre ‘Grey’ six cylinder engine. See the Waggott-Holden bit within this piece; Repco Holden F5000 V8… | primotipo…

On this weekend the talented Queenslander won the 100 mile, 50 lap Australian GT Championship.

(D Foster)

(R Reid Collection)

Start of the 1958 Australian Grand Prix at Mount Panorama that October 6.

Stan Jones, Ted Gray and Lex Davison- Maserati 250F, Tornado 2 Chev and Ferrari 500/625 and then the Alec Mildren, Cooper T43 Climax and Kiwi, Tom Clark, Ferrari 555 Super Squalo.

(R Reid Collection)

Any of Jones, Gray and Davison had the speed to win but Davo had the reliability, and, perhaps the patience. Stan dropped a valve after 7 laps of clutch-less gear-changes (above) and Ted pushed too hard after a botched fuel stop, boofing a fence.

It was one of the great AGPs, happy Lex takes the flag to win his third of four AGPs, see here; 1958 Australian Grand Prix, Bathurst… | primotipo…

(S5000)

Bob Jane grabs a breath of air aboard his Elfin 400 Repco ‘620’ 4.4 litre V8 during 1967.

A mighty fine car with a somewhat chequered history, stories about the Elfin 400 and its design are here; Elfin 400/Traco Olds: Frank Matich, Niel Allen and Garrie Cooper… | primotipo…

and about Bob’s car in particular here; Belle of The Ball… | primotipo…

Mark Webber aboard his Red Bull RB3 Renault during the 2007 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

105,000 Australians were keen for a home win but Kimi Raikkonen started from pole in his Ferrari F2007 and won the race at the start of his championship season, Webber Q7 and 13th. A bit about Red Bull and Webber here; Mark Webber: Red Bull RB6 Renault: Singapore Grand Prix 2010… | primotipo…

(AN1Images.com)

‘Yer not takin’ the Kingswood…

But apparently so, Ted Bullpitt would not be best pleased.

Colin Bond flinging around this HQ Holden Kingswood, Holden’s iconic four door family car of the early seventies. Any idea of the gig folks?

Stan Jones at his exuberant best on the streets of Sydney.

Stan The Man is both trying to stay in the seat of Maybach 1 and control its slide at Parramatta Park in 1952- isn’t it a corker of a shot and rare for the period, colour?

And below in the paddock with Reg Robbins leaning on the cockpit. See here for a feature on Jones, with plenty on the Maybachs; Stan Jones: Australian and New Zealand Grand Prix and Gold Star Winner… | primotipo…

(J Mangano)

Tim Mayer with his Bruce McLaren Racing Cooper T70 Climax during the Lakeside 99 Tasman Cup meeting in February 1964.

There is a certain poignancy in this shot- probably a press one taken in the lead up to the race.

The young American had the world at his feet, he had impressed all of those who mattered on that tour with his driving of what were the fastest road-racing single-seaters in the world, and also his demeanour.

Sadly, he made a mistake at Longford a fortnight later and lost his life- a bright light extinguished way before time. See here for a lengthy feature; Tim Mayer: What Might Have Been?… | primotipo…

(S Griffiths)

This shot of the Porsche 550 Spyder has a great moody quality about it taken as it was, late in the day.

Its the Templestowe Hillclimb in Victoria’s outer eastern suburbs in 1963, see here; Hamilton’s Porsche 550 Spyder… | primotipo…

(Brabham Family)

Matt Brabham did two Indycar events in a Dallara Chev in 2016; the Indianapolis Grand Prix, as shown here and the Indy 500 during May.

He was 16th on the road course and thirtieth in the Memorial Day classic.

His father, Geoff Brabham and grandfather Jack ran at Indy many times. Jack’s most important start was his first of course. His Cooper T54 Climax FPF 2.7 finished ninth and showed the Indy establishment the mid-engined path; Jack’s Indy Cooper T54 Climax… | primotipo…

(Indy Museum’

Jack and Geoff Brabham before Geoff’s first Indy 500 start in 1981- twenty years after Jack’s Brickyard debut in a nice bit of symmetry. GB’s car is a Penske PC9 Cosworth, was fifth in the race won by Bobby Unser’s Penske.

(AMS)

An ‘Australian Motor Sports’ Ferodo ad- car featured a circa 1951  HRG ‘Bathurst’ perhaps.

Credits…

B Cahier, Getty Images, Adrian Patterson Collection, Joel Wakely, Brendan Jones Collection, George Thomas via Richard Townley Collection, Ron Page, Terry Marshall, Darren Foster, Ron Reid Collection, John Mangano, AN1Images.com, Stan Griffiths, Brabham Family Collection, Indianapolis Motor Museum

Tailpiece…

The start of the 1975 Australian Grand Prix at Surfers Paradise.

The challenge of driving a 500bhp F5000 car in the teeming rain does not require much imagination, 11 F5000s started the race, and three ANF2.

Bruce Allison started from pole but was outed by ignition dramas, for a while it looked as though John Leffler’s Bowin P8 Chev may take the chequered flag but the Sydneysider’s electrics were drowned too, Max Stewart took top honours in his Lola T400 Chev.

Finito…

Comments
  1. ian smith says:

    Interested to see my photograph from Oran Park again.I was always looking for a different angle not seen before by the regular photographers. Still looking!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s