Archive for April, 2022

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Denny Hulme delights the flaggies and ‘snappers and fries a set of Goodyears on entry to Warwick Farm’s Esses during the February 1967 Tasman round…

John Ellacott’s evocative shot at the ‘Farm catches Hulme in his Brabham BT22 Repco during practice, well cocked-up before the apex. He didn’t finish the Australian Grand Prix, his radiator hose came loose on Sunday, the race was won by Jackie Stewart’s BRM P261 from Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax.

Click on this link to read my article about the ’67 Tasman Series won by Clark’s Lotus; https://primotipo.com/2014/11/24/1967-hulme-stewart-and-clark-levin-new-zealand-tasman-and-beyond/

Credit…

John Ellacott

Finito…

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(John Lemm)

Malcolm Ramsay applies Repco V8 power out of Clubhouse Corner, his Granton Harrison owned Elfin 600C #6908 on its way to fourth place during the October 1970 Mallala Gold Star round, the series won by Leo Geoghegan’s Lotus 59B Waggott that year….

My Australian single-seaters I would like to own and race comprises the Mildren Yellow Submarine Alfa 2.5 V8, Elfin Mono, Elfin 600C/D Repco 2.5 V8, Bowin P8 Hart and Repco V8, and Matich A53 Repco F5000, Richards 201 VW. Lets’ throw in the Mawer 003 Formula Ford and the front engined Tornado Chev to add to the attack on my Super Fund.

Knowledgeable Aussies will want to exclude the ‘Sub as it was built by Alan Mann Racing for Mildrens, so it’s a Pommie car not one of ours. A bummer really as that’s my emotional first choice, always has been with either the Alfa engine or Merv Waggott’s superb 2-litre DOHC four-valve jewel with which it was later fitted – and restored as such.

After that it’s a close run thing but the three 2.5-litre V8 Repco engined Tasman Elfin 600’s are about as good as it gets, I reckon.

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About as nicely integrated a bit of kit as there was in 1969. Cooper’s 6908 at its first Mallala test before its Asian Tour where the new car didn’t finish a race (Bob Mills)

Garrie Cooper built three of them. Two 600C’s for he #6908, and John McCormack #7011, plus a 600D #7012 which was Garrie’s 1970 Gold Star mount.

Mac’s 600 did a few races using the Coventry Climax 2.5 FPF four-potter from his Brabham BT4 before conversion to Repco V8 power for the final half year the Gold Star was run to the Tasman 2.5 Formula in 1970, F5000 replaced it in 1971.

Just to confuse things, 1970 Tasman eligible cars were 2.5s and F5000, but the 1970 Gold Star – Australia’s domestic single-seater championship – was run for 2.5s only. Go figure, it was a CAMS political compromise clusterfuck of its finest, typical type.

There are no other cars on the planet which won both F1 and FF races surely? OK, ANF1 and FF races anyway!

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This is the business end of  600C 6908 complete with 730 Series Repco V8. The 600D was lighter in that Cooper used the 830 Series Repco as a semi-stressed member saving circa 100 pounds of weight overall inclusive of other changes compared to 600C. Gearbox is Hewland’s ubiquitous FT200 5-speed (AJ van Loon)

The Elfin 600 is a superb spaceframe chassis design which Cooper built for FF, F3, F2 and ANF1 Tasman 2.5 classes from 1968 to 1971. His previous single-seater, the Mono or Type 100, as the name suggests was a monocoque but customer demand for ease of maintenance and repair resulted in a very stiff, light spaceframe which evolved a bit over the 600’s long production run but in essence was the same from Cooper’s first 1968 Singapore GP winning #6801 chassis to the last built in 1971.

cooper mono

Garrie Cooper and Norm Butler with the prototype Mono Mk2 #6550 at Mallala. In the words of Bruce Allison “One of natures gentlemen, he was a pleasure to deal with and an honour to race against.” Monocoque chassis and pullrod suspension front and rear. Neither driver or mechanic have noticed the spectator in the cars nosecone (Spencer Lambert)

600’s won races in all classes and championships in FF and F2. Larry Perkins, for example, won the 1970 Formula Ford National Series in a 600 FF and the 1972 ANF2 title in a 600B/E Lotus/Ford twin-cam before seeking fame and fortune in British F3 in 1973.

600’s won the 1968 Singapore GP and the 1968 and 1969 Malaysian GP’s.

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Cooper 600D, AGP Warwick Farm November 1970. DNF fuel pump in the race won by Matich’s McLaren M10B Repco  (Lynton Hemer)

The roll call of 600 pilots includes many Australian and some international greats; Cooper, McCormack, Ramsay, Perkins, John Walker, Bruce Allison, Henk Woelders, Brian Sampson, Ivan Tighe, Richard Knight, Peter Larner, Richard Davison and many others. The cars are popular historic racers these days of course.

cooper 600

Cooper in the first 600, #6801 in the Sandown paddock during 1968, the car in which Garrie won the ’68 Malyasian GP. Look closely, the crop of the shot just gets in the tall, and very spindly looking high rear wing support (Jeff Morrall)

John McCormack (below) looking as pleased as punch with his new Repco 740 Series V8 in the Sandown Gold Star paddock.

It’s 13 September 1970, he was seventh that weekend, the race won by John Harvey’s Jane Repco V8. Mac started the season with his old Coventry Climax FPF in the back of his new car, he was fourth at Lakeside in June and fifth at Oran Park later that month before fitting the Repco engine in time for the September Warwick Farm round.

My Repco friend Rodway Wolfe tells the story of Mac picking up the Repco engine at their HQ’s Maidstone factory, and sticking it in the boot of his Ford Fairlane before retiring to a Footscray pub for a few cleansers with Rodway.

Mac then headed up the Western Highway for the eight hour trek back to Adelaide to instal the engine at Elfin’s Edwardstown factory. The chance of having the flash Fairlane ‘nicked in then very working-class Footscray complete with its valuable cargo was high!

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McCormack’s Elfin 600C Repco #7011 at Sandown on the 12/13 September 1970 weekend. #25 is another later Australian Gold Star champion’s car, John Walker’s Elfin 600B Ford. Engine is a 740 Series Repco 2.5 (Wolfe)

It was the start of a very long mutually fruitful relationship between the Taswegian and Repco which blossomed in the F5000 era with a succession of Elfins Mac pedalled with increasing pace as his driving matured. He also raced a Repco Leyland powered McLaren M23, a car I wrote about in detail a while back;

Mac’s McLaren: Peter Revson, Dave Charlton and John McCormack’s McLaren M23/2…

McCormack raced the 600 Repco in the Mallala final round won by Leo Geoghegan’s Lotus 59 Waggott, colliding with Bob Muir’s Mildren entered Mildren Yellow Submarine.

The McCormack 600C Repco at Phillip Island in 1970 (N Tait)

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McCormack, Elfin 600C Repco Warwick Farm 5/6 September 1970. Engine in this shot is the later (than 740 Series engine in the shot above) 730 Series (or 830?) Repco (Lynton Hemer)

Garrie Cooper, John McCormack and Malcolm Ramsay were all steerers of the 600 Repco’s in Gold Star events in 1969/70.

Cooper and McCormack were both champions, Mac one of the very best, none of them were ANF1 aces at the time, they were still learning their craft more powerful cars.

My theory is that an Elfin Sports Cars prepared 600 Repco woulda-coulda-shoulda won the Gold Star in 1969 and 1970 with any of Leo Geoghegan, Kevin Bartlett, Max Stewart or John Harvey at the wheel.

A Kevin Bartlett driven 600 Repco could have won the 1970 Tasman, Frank Matich would have done the job as well of course. Indeed, FM would have given Amon, Rindt and Hill a run for their Tasman money in a 600 Repco in 1969. I know there are good commercial reasons why none of them drove Elfins in those years but that’s not my point, which is that with the right dude behind the wheel the cars were Tasman and Gold Star winners in 1969-70.

Still, ‘if yer Aunty had balls she’d be your Uncle’ as the Frank Gardner saying goes.

This is not a detailed treatise of the 600, that’s a much longer piece, for the moment this is a quickie on the three 600 Repco’s to go with some wonderful shots of a model which won a whole lot of races throughout Australasia but could have won a swag more ANF1/Tasman races with an ace behind the wheel.

In fact that last statement is NOT what the 600 was in the main about, which was a customer racing car which was quick straight-outta-the-box in the hands of a competent steerer with the settings Cooper’s highly-tuned-testing-arse built into the cars when they rolled out of his factory.

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Space frame chassis, engines to customer choice or class dictates (FF,F3,F2, ANF1) gearboxes Hewland Mk9 or FT200, disc brakes all round, rack and pinion steering (unattributed)

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Repco Brabham 830 Series 2.5-litre V8 (TNF)

Repco 830 Series 2.5-litre Tasman V8.

This is the ultimate spec Repco Tasman 2.5 engine developed for Jack Brabham’s ill-fated 1969 Tasman campaign, but first raced by him in the final ’68 Tasman round (Brabham BT23E) at Sandown. It comprises the 800 Series short block and 30 Series cross-flow heads.

In short Jack only raced his Brabham BT31 at Sandown as the car was stranded at the Port Melbourne docks inside its packing crate due to a wharfies-strike.

Read Rodway Wolfe’s account of this car here;

Brabham BT31 Repco: Jacks ’69 Tasman Car…by Rodway Wolfe

The engine was SOHC, two valve with chain driven cams. Fitted with Lucas fuel injection the engine developed 295bhp @ 9000rpm. Note the heavily ribbed block, and below, the ribbing socket head cap screws to cross-bolt the main bearing caps.

This engine is the Garrie Cooper Elfin 600D motor, its pictured in Elfin workshop ready for installation. It has the later Indy (760) sump assembly and combined oil pressure/scavenge pump.

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Garrie Cooper, Elfin 600D Repco 7012 in the Warwick Farm Esses, September 1970, second in the race won by Geoghegan’s Lotus 59B Waggott (Lynton Hemer)

Race Record of the Repco powered Elfin 600’s…

When the first 600C was completed Garrie took it on an Asian Tour which was unsuccessful, he was fast but unreliable, failing to finish all the races he contested.

The results weren’t surprising as while the car had been fired up before the drive to Sydney and attachment its aircraft pallet, GC hadn’t had the chance to shake it down at Mallala. During practice in Singapore the car was losing oil, mechanic Bob Mills could see it but could not cross the track to signal Cooper. Garry felt the engine nip-up but it was too late to save its bearings and crank. A new crank and bearings were flown in, but incorrect baffling in the oil tank caused starvation so the car didn’t start. Graeme Lawrence won the race in his McLaren M4A Ford FVA.

In Malaysia for the Selangor GP, GC led the race until a misfire caused two pitstops for plugs, pushing hard to make up time Garrie popped a wheel off the bitumen and slid into a marshals post tearing off the right rear corner.

The car was repaired in Asia by Bob Mills, Garrie joined Mills in Japan for the Japanese Automobile Federation GP which was won by Leo Geoghegan’s Lotus 39 Repco. Cooper, second on the grid lead from the start ahead of Bartlett, Ikuzawa, Geoghegan, Roly Levis Brabham BT23 FVA and Max Stewart. GC misjudged his braking, getting the 600 bogged, restatred and then the Mlaysian misfire returned and he retied.

The car was then shipped to its new owner, Steve Holland in Hong Kong. The car was returned to Adelaide to have the rear wing mounted on the chassis instead of the suspension uprights in accordance with the new global regs post the FIA’s ’69 Monaco GP pronouncements.

Cooper borrowed the car for the fourth round of the 1969 Gold Star and led from flag to flag beating the best in Australia; Bartlett, Harvey, Geoghegan, Stewart, Allen and others despite the return of the hi-rev-range misfire later in the race. The problem was eventually diagnosed as a faulty fuel metering unit when the car later returned to Australia!

For 1970 Cooper built a lighter 600C and the 600D for his own use. Granton Harrison acquired the 600C from Steve Holland for Malcolm Ramsay to race. 600C 7011 was built for John McCormack’s car as related above.

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Mal Ramsay, Elfin 600C Repco spinner at Sandown’s Shell Corner during the 1970 Gold Star round Leo G, another car and Max Stewart in the distance (Jeff Nield-autopics.com)

Cooper’s car was running late for the 1970 Gold Star, shipped to Tasmania airfreight, he started from the rear of the Symmons Plains grid and then retired with a flat battery.

Garrie was ninth at Lakeside, his Repco misfired while in third place causing a change of plugs. Max Stewart took a Mildren Waggott win, Ramsay also retired with Mac fourth in the Climax engined 600C.

At Oran Park GC was third and Ramsay fourth, Cooper and Ramsay raced under the GT Harrison Racing Team banner. McCormack’s 600C Climax was fifth.

At Warwick Farm on 6 September Geoghegan won from Cooper, Bob Muir, Rennmax BN3 Waggott and Ramsay. Mac retired on lap eight, his car now Repco 740 powered but not running on-song.

Cooper was quickest in first practice at Sandown on 13 September but broke a cam follower. Geoghegan took pole from Ramsay, Muir and Cooper. In the race Geoghegan, Cooper and Muir contested second place while John Harvey disappeared in the Jane Repco V8, a car built on Bob Britton’s Brabham BT23 jig, a variant thereof if you will.

Etcetera…

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(Lynton Hemer)

John McCormack races his Elfin 600 Repco at the 1971 Warwick Farm 100, Tasman round.

That year the Tasman was dominated by F5000 machines albeit Graeme Lawrence’s Ferrari Dino 246T won the Cup with a blend of speed and reliability the F5000s lacked.

McCormack’s was the last race in which a Repco engined 600 ran on the circuits at championship level (noting Roger Harrison’s 600C Repco Australian Hillclimb Championship win at Mount Cotton in 1983) it was the end of the marvellous 2.5-litre era.

McCormack, 600C 740, Phillip Island 1970 (N Tait)

Credits…

John Lemm, Rodway Wolfe Collection, Adrian van Loon, Bob Mills Collection, Lynton Hemer, Singapore National Archives, Oldracingcars.com

More Efin 600 reading in my April 2021 Auto Action article here; AUTO ACTION 1808 – Auto Action

Tailpiece…

gazz

Garrie Cooper’s 600D 7012, now Lotus/Ford Twin-Cam powered leads Vern Schuppan’s March 722 Ford during the 1972 Singapore GP on the wild Thomson Road Circuit.

He is heading through The Snakes, the car is sporting a bluff nose of the type Tyrrell made popular during 1971. Cooper fitted an evolution of this nose to the MR5 F5000’s raced during the ’72 Tasman by Cooper and McCormack.

Finally, Bruce Allison made the 600D Ford sing after Garrie was finished with it during his rise to the top…

Finito…

(S Dalton Collection)

Bluebird Proteus CN7 and its little brother, Elfin Catalina Ford chassis #6313 during the 1963 unsuccessful attempt to set the Land Speed Record at Lake Eyre, South Australia…

The driver of the Elfin Catalina is Ted Townsend, a Dunlop tyre fitter. The car was built by Garrie Cooper and his artisans at Edwardstown, an Adelaide suburb for Dunlop Tyres to use on the Lake Eyre salt to assist in determining certain characteristics of the tyres fitted to Donald Campbell’s Bluebird during 1963/4.

The Elfin Catalina’s normal use was in Formula Junior or 1.5-litre road racing events. In LSR test application it was fitted with miniature Bluebird tyres and driven over the salt to determine factors such as the coefficient of friction and adhesion using a Tapley meter.

“The Tapley Brake Test Meter is a scientific instrument of very high accuracy, still used today. It consists of a finely balanced pendulum free to respond to any changes in speed or angle, working through a quadrant gear train to rotate a needle round a dial. The vehicle is then driven along a level road at about 20 miles per hour, and the brakes fully applied. When the vehicle has stopped the brake efficiency reading can be taken from the figure shown by the recording needle on the inner brake scale, whilst stopping distance readings are taken from the outer scale figures.”

It’s generally thought the Elfin was running a (relatively) normal pushrod 1500cc Cortina engine with a Cosworth A3 cam and Weber DCOE carburettors for the Bluebird support runs.

And yes, the number of Elfin’s chassis was 6313. Was Donald Campbell aware of this? Certainly that could explain to the deeply superstitious man how on earth torrential rain came to this vast, dry place where rain had not fallen in the previous 20 years.

Dunlop’s Ted Townsend aboard the company Elfin Catalina. Car fitted with 13 inch versions of the 52 inch Bluebird wheels and tyres. Photo at Muloorina Station perhaps (Dunlop)
(S Dalton Collection)

Australian motoring/racing journalist, racer and rally driver Evan Green project managed the successful July 1964 record attempt on behalf of Oz oil company Ampol, who were by then Bluebird’s major sponsor. He wrote a stunning account of his experience that winter on the Lake Eyre salt which was first published in Wheels April 1981 issue.

His account of Andrew Mustard and his teams contribution to the project is interesting and ultimately controversial from Campbell’s perspective.

Andrew was Dunlop’s representative during the 1963 Lake Eyre campaign, he returned in 1964 as a contractor with the very large responsibility for the tyre preparation and maintenance of the circa 22 km long salt track.

Green describes the incredibly harsh conditions under which the team worked “…Mustard…spent weeks with his men on the salt, working in the sort of reflected heat that few people could imagine let alone tolerate…Men frozen at dawn were burned black at midday. Lips were cracked and refused to heal. Faces set in leathery masks, creased by the wrinkles of perpetual squints.”

Evan Green picks up the challenges the track team faced, “The maddest thing is what’s being done to the track,” said Lofty Taylor, the gangling leader of the refuelling team. Lofty worked for Ampol, and I’d known him since the Ampol Trial days. l had enormous respect for his opinion. He was practical, versatile, prepared to move mountains if asked and yet able to detect the faintest whiff of cant at long distance.

He admitted he knew nothing about grading salt but pointed out that neither did anyone else, for the science of building record tracks on salt lakes was in its infancy. And he reckoned he knew as much about it as anyone else.

“They’ve been cutting salt off the top all the time,” he said. “All that grading and cutting is weakening it, and bringing moisture to the top.”

“What would you do, Lofty?” “Leave it alone for a while. Let the crust heal and harden.”

The track squad was ruffled. The problem, they said, was due to the constant interruptions to their work. They couldn’t get the surface right with the car (Bluebird) running every other day and cutting grooves in the salt. So runs were suspended. Andrew Mustard’s team would pursue their theories and have a clear week to try to bring the track up to record standard. Donald took some of the crew to Adelaide, for a few days break and all seemed calm. In fact, a major storm was brewing.

Massive 52 inch wheels and Dunlop tyres, the weight was huge, note the neat hydraulic lift to allow their fitment (unattributed)
(F Radman Collection)
Andrew Mustard aboard the Elfin on the salt- note Catalina’s rear drum brakes (Catalina Park)

“Mustard had brought an Elfin racing car to the lake. It was fitted with tyres that had scaled-down versions of the tread being used on Bluebird. He drove it to test such things as tread temperature and the coefficient of friction of the salt surface at different times of the day.

He usually drove the little single-seater down the strip before Campbell made a test run. On one occasion, he was driving the Elfin up the strip when Campbell was driving the Bluebird down the strip and the world’s highest speed head-on collision was avoided by a whisker, with a sheepish Mustard – spotting the rooster tail of white salt spray bearing down on him – spinning off the track.”

“One day during the lull, Ken Norris (Bluebird’s designer) and I went to the lake to see how the track work was progressing. To our astonishment, we found the CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) timekeepers and stewards assembled at their record posts,” wrote Green.

“Andrew’s going for his records,” one of them said, and, seeing our bewilderment, gave us that ‘don’t tell me you don’t know about it look’. It seemed there had been an application made for attempts on various Australian class records for categories suiting the Elfin. Neither Ken nor I knew anything of it. Nor, it seemed, did Campbell, and when he returned that night there was an eruption. The track squad was sacked and Lofty Taylor given the job of preparing the strip.”

“What do you suggest?” I asked Lofty. “We should all go away for a couple of weeks and let the salt alone.”

Enjoy Greens full story of this remarkable endeavour of human achievement, via the link at the end of the article, but lets come back to Mustard and the Elfin, he wasn’t finished with it yet!

When the 1964 Bluebird record attempts were completed, Mustard, of North Brighton in Adelaide bought the Elfin from Dunlop.

It was in poor condition as a result of its work on the Lake Eyre salt, with the magnesium based uprights quite corroded. It was repaired over the end of 1963-64 and a single Norman supercharger fitted.

The car was then raced at Mallala race and for 1500cc record attempts in 1964 using the access road alongside the main hangars at Edinburgh Airfield (Weapons Research Establishment) at Salisbury, South Australia. The northern gates of the airfield were opened by the Australian Federal Police to give extra stopping distance. By then the specifications of the Norman supercharged Elfin included;

• a single air-cooled Norman supercharger driven by v-belts developing around 14psi. The v-belts were short lived, burning out in around thirty seconds,

• four exhaust stubs, with the middle two siamesed,

• twin Amal carburettors,

• a heavily modified head by Alexander Rowe (a Speedway legend and co-founder of the Ramsay-Rowe Special midget) running around 5:1 compression and a solid copper head gasket/decompression plate. The head had been worked within an inch of it’s life and shone like a mirror. The head gasket on the other hand was a weak spot, lasting only twenty seconds before failing. As runs had to be performed back-to-back within an hour, the team became very good at removing the head, annealing the copper gasket with an oxy torch and buttoning it all up again inside thirty minutes.

The Norman supercharged Elfin, operated by Mustard and Michael McInerney set the following Australian national records during it’s Salisbury runs on October 11, 1964:

• the flying start kilometre record (16.21s, 138mph),

• the flying start mile record (26.32s, 137mph), and

• the standing start mile record (34.03s, 106mph).

This was not 6313’s only association with Norman superchargers. The Elfin was later modified to have:

• dual air-cooled Norman superchargers (identical to the single Norman used earlier), mounted over the gearbox. The superchargers were run in parallel, with a chain drive. The chain drive was driven by a sprocket on the crank, running up to a slave shaft that ran across to the back of the gearbox to drive the first supercharger, then down to drive the second. The boost pressure in this configuration had risen to 29psi,

• two 2″ SU carburettors (with four fuel bowls) jetted for methanol by Peter Dodd (another Australian Speedway legend and owner of Auto Carburettor Services),

• a straight cut first gear in a VW gearbox. The clutch struggled to keep up with the torque being put out by the Norman blown Elfin, and was replaced with a 9” grinding disk, splined in the centre and fitted with brass buttons, it was either all in, or all out!

In twin Norman supercharged guise the racer was driven by McInerney to pursue the standing ¼ mile, standing 400m and flying kilometre records in October 1965. Sadly, the twin-Norman blown Elfin no longer holds those records, as the ¼ mile and flying kilometre (together with a few more records) were set at this time by Alex Smith in a Valano Special.

The day after the 1965 speed record trials (Labour Day October 1965), McInerney raced the twin-Norman supercharged Elfin at Mallala in Formule Libre as there was insufficient time to revert the engine back to Formula II specifications. The photo above shows McInerney at Mallala.

The car was used for training South Australian Police Force driving instructors in advanced handling techniques, and was regularly used at Mallala and other venues (closed meetings for the Austin 7 club, etc).

It was sold by Mustard to racer/rally driver Dean Rainsford in 1966, by then without the Norman supercharger it ran a mildly tuned Cortina engine. In the ensuing 26 years it passed through nine more owners before Rainsford re-acquired it in 1993. After many years of fossicking he found the original 1965 Mustard/McInerney supercharged engine but sadly without it’s Norman supercharger.

The Elfin is retained by Rainsford and is often on display in his Adelaide office. The car made a rare public appearance at Melbourne’s 2014 Motorclassica to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Campbell’s land and water speed records set in Australia. The car was amongst other Campbell memorabilia.

Evan Green: ‘How Donald Campbell Broke The World LSR on Lake Eyre’…

https://www.whichcar.com.au/features/classic-wheels/classic-wheels-donald-campbell-and-his-bluebird-car-world-speed-record

Etcetera…

Credits…

Article by Evan Green originally published in Wheels magazine April 1981, Andrew Mustard thread on The Nostalgia Forum particularly the contributions of Stephen Dalton, Fred Radman, Theotherharv and Mark Dibben. Stephen Dalton, Fred Radman and Catalina Park Photo Collections, Dunlop

Tailpiece: Elfin Catalina Ford ‘6313’, Motorclassica 2014…

(Pinterest)

Finito…

1961 Ardmore Sports Car Trophy race – Le Mans start (B Hanna)

“The Le Mans start of the Sports Car Trophy Race (above) at Ardmore, 7 January 1961 (the VIII New Zealand Grand Prix meeting) seen from the pit lane. Angus Hyslop is aboard his Jaguar #100 and Doug Lawrence in the Cooper Bobtail #55 seem to be a couple of steps ahead of Malcolm Gill in the 5.2-litre four cylinder Lycoming Special #37. But Gill ran out the winner, with Hyslop second.”

Angus Hyslop was a champion Kiwi driver who shone brightly before returning to his farming career, see here for an article which provides some context to what follows; 1962 Lakeside International and Angus Hyslop… | primotipo…

The late Bill Hanna was Hyslop’s team manager/mechanic during 1961 when Angus was awarded the NZ Driver To Europe Scholarship. In between his fettling and organisational responsibilities Bill shot these marvellous colour transparencies in New Zealand and in Europe. Thanks to the efforts of Alec Hagues – Bill’s son-in-law – we can now tell the tale and share these never-before-seen Hanna family photographs.

This is the first of three articles written by Alec I’ll upload over the next month. A million thanks to him and his family for choosing primotipo to share these words and pictures publicly. They are magic timepieces from motorsport and lifestyles-of-the-day perspectives. I’ve fiddled with the photo captions in a few cases to flesh-out car model/specs, any errors are mine. Enjoy! Over to Alec…

“Meanwhile, having collected a 1958-built Cooper T45-Climax 1964cc from Syd Jensen in Kairanga at the end of 1960, Angus ran both the Cooper and his Jaguar D-Type XKD534 in the 1961 New Zealand Championship meetings.”

“The grandstand in the background identifies this as Levin, most likely on 14 January 1961, the Cooper and two Jaguars belonging to the Hyslop team are pictured above.

The 2nd Levin International that day was won by Jo Bonnier – and his distinctive 2.5-litre Cooper T51 Climax #2 creeps into the corner of this shot below, probably taken from the same spot as that above, but in the opposite direction to the first.”

(B Hanna)

“Conditions at Wigram on 21 January 1961 were less than ideal for photography, but given Angus’s famous performance in the Lady Wigram Trophy (third place to Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss and first Kiwi home) and the appearance of the Cooper’s former owner, Syd Jensen, Bill can’t let the day go unrecorded! Angus and Syd (left) are shown below with the speedy Cooper T45 on a frosty, soggy Kiwi summer day.”

Syd Jensen and Angus Hyslop (B Hanna)
Angus’s Cooper T45-Climax on Andersons Bay Road, Dunedin (B Hanna)

“Andersons Bay Road, Dunedin, the Festival Road Race on 28 January 1961. The Bob Smith or Frank Shuter Ferrari 555/625 (help folks) #46 and Arthur Moffatt’s Lotus 15 Climax #41 are behind Angus’ Cooper in the roadside pits.

Brian Prescott’s race ended against a brick wall on lap 29; this is his (formerly shark-nosed) Piccolo Maserati 250F #29 shown below.

The introduction to the NZ National Film Unit’s ‘New Zealand Grand Prix’ short film was shot in Dunedin that day, with the Sports Car and Feature races both covered – in the film we see Denny Hulme cross the line in first place in the latter event. New Zealand Grand Prix | Short Film | NZ On Screen

Accident damage to Brian Prescott’s Maserati 250F (B Hanna)
#19 Pat Hoare, #20 Denny Hulme, #3 Jo Bonnier, #1 Angus Hyslop, #33 Len Gilbert (B Hanna)

“The front row at Teretonga, 4 February 1961: Pat Hoare, Ferrari 246/256 3-litre V12 #19, Denny Hulme, Cooper T51 Climax 2.5 #20 and winner, Jo Bonnier’s Cooper T51 Climax 2.5 #3. Just behind them are Angus #1 and Len Gilbert, Maserati 250F #33. Other colour pictures of this race have been seen online, but this shot is simply too good to leave out.

The sports car race on the same day below with Ivy Stephenson’s Buckler Le Mans #38 prominent, but the ubiquitous Lycoming, Doug Lawrence’s Cooper Bobtail, Ross Jensen’s Daimler Dart, F P Harris’s MG TF and David Young’s Jaguar C-Type are in there with Angus’s Jaguar too.”

(B Hanna)

“Waimate on 11 February 1961 was another meeting held in the wet… and it seems that Bill didn’t feel like getting his camera out. Pat Hoare won the third Waimate 50 in his Ferrari V12, Denny Hulme already had the Gold Star in the bag so didn’t participate.”

Fay, Bruce Webster’s Cooper-Porsche, the Hyslop Cooper-Climax and Jaguar D-Type, Ahuriri 18 February 1961 (B Hanna)

“Back home now to South Pond paddock at Ahuriri for the Napier Road Races of 18 February 1961.

In the Hastings team corner, above, we see Bruce Webster’s Cooper-Porsche and again Angus’s Cooper and Jaguar. That’s Bill’s wife Fay, a familiar face at motor racing events at this time. Note the somewhat crude last-minute number changes to #111 and #151 – Angus obviously wasn’t keen to be #46 as suggested by the day’s programme. Pat Hoare entered too late to be in the programme, but ended up winning the feature race in his awesome ex-works F1 Ferrari Dino 246 powered by a 3-litre V12.

This is surely later the same day below… but what happened?

Angus sold XKD534 to Simon Taylor after the next meeting at Ohakea on 25 February 1961 and ended the New Zealand season with third place in the Gold Star and second in the Sports Car Championship to Malcolm Gill. Angus and Bill pack the Cooper up for the long voyage to Europe…and it is never seen in New Zealand again.”

(B Hanna)

To be continued, trust me, if it’s possible, the photographs get even better…

Credits…

Photographs, the late Bill Hanna, words Alec Hagues

Finito…

Note ‘bi-hi’ wings mounted to the rear uprights, and front top suspension inner mounting point. Hewland FT200 gearbox (P Strauss Collection)

“A photograph is everything!” Doug Nye told a group of us several months ago when we were arguing the toss about some knotty identification problem...

My Repco Brabham Engines buddy, Rodway Wolfe and I wrote the ‘definitive article’ on Jack’s Brabham BT31 Repco, his 1969 Tasman mount years ago. You’d think that would be easy enough given it only raced twice in-period, see here for the masterpiece; Brabham BT31 Repco: Jacks ’69 Tasman Car…by Rodway Wolfe | primotipo…

We thought the car was assembled and run for the first time in Australia a couple of days after Rodway helped Jack unpack the wooden MRD box in which BT31-1 was shipped to Port Melbourne, and put it together at RBE’s Melbourne factory between February 12-14, 1969.

But no!

Photographs from Peter Strauss’ collection, custodian of BT31 for 15 years or so, clearly show that the car was tested (by Jack) at Goodwood in late 1968 before being pulled apart, packed into the wooden box then shipped far-far away for Jack and Rodway to open at Maidstone on February 12, 1969.

(S Dalton Collection)

This short UK BT31 chapter was covered by Autosport in their January 3, 1969 issue, found by my friend, ace researcher/writer Stephen Dalton.

“The Brabham BT31, MRD’s (Motor Racing Developments – Brabham) new Tasman car, is based on the BT28 F3 design but with 1.75 ins more wheelbase, larger brake discs and calipers, a different engine bay to accommodate the four-cam (actually SOHC, two-valve) 85mm x 55mm Repco RB830 V8 engine, and twin side fuel tanks. The RB830 develops 290bhp at 9000rpm and uses twin Mallory distributors.”

“The engine top bay tubes detach to facilitate engine removal, and side radiator outlets are included. Wheels are 13-ins diameter with 9-ins front rims and 14-ins rears. The car has been tested at Goodwood, and a full kit of suspension, chassis, gearbox and body components has been sent to Australia to be built up locally for Jack Brabham to drive at the Warwick Farm and Sandown rounds of the Tasman Series.”

Over the years Peter told various people his car had run in the UK. Those-in-the-know, including yours truly, thought Strauss had his-hand-on-it (a colloquial Australian expression suggestive of the telling of a porky-pie).

“When I bought the car off the previous American owner a lot of photographs came with it including those two. I was told the pit-shots may have been Snetterton, it will be interesting to find out where they are.” A learned group of British historians confirm the circuit as Goodwood.

I’ve got to know Peter quite well during Covid, it’s funny how many new-Covid-buddies I have. We dealt with the business of the day recently, then he showed me his BT31 photo album, he flicked through the first few pages, then paused on one particular spread…

“Fuck me dead!” I said, rather loudly. It’s another vulgar colloquial expression, of surprise actually. I might add that I wasn’t issuing an invitation to poor Peter.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, but instantly knew what I was looking at! What was it that nice Mr Nye said about photographs as a source of fact rather than the written word?…

(P Strauss Collection)

Postscript…

Peter has three Brabhams, BT31, a BT11A Climax 2.5 FPF and an FJ BT6 Ford Cosworth 1100, lucky bugger. Along the way he met Messrs Brabham and Tauranac, individually and collectively quite a few times.

Brabham is on-the-record – a number of times in conversations with different individuals and groups of people – as saying that had they (MRD, BRO and Repco Brabham Engines) stuck with another simple SOHC, 3-litre V8 in 1968 rather than raced the under-developed, four-cam, 32-valve 3-litre 860 V8 powered BT26 they could have won another world title. That is three-on-the-trot, 1967-1968, rather than two in 1966-1967.

I don’t doubt that Jack said it but the notion doesn’t stack up. Ford Cosworth V8 engined Lotus, McLaren and Matras won every round of the 1968 World Championship with the exception of the French GP which went to Ickx’ Ferrari 312 V12.

In fact the Brabham Racing Organisation did race a simple SOHC BT24 740 (BT24-3) on several occasions in early ’68 while awaiting BT26 to come on stream. At Kyalami it was Q5 and DNF engine for Brabham, in Spain Q9 and DNF oil pressure for Rindt, Monaco Q5 and DNF accident for Rindt. At Zandvoort Dan Gurney returned to the Brabham fold for just that meeting. Dan popped the car 12th on the grid but DNF with throttle problems. For the sake of completeness, Jochen used it at Brands during British GP practice before Kurt Ahrens raced it at the Nurburgring to 12th place under the Caltex Racing Team banner.

So, to Jack’s point, the Brabham Racing Organisation raced a simple SOHC car in 1968 on five occasions, the best the circa 330bhp machine could do among seven or eight 400bhp Ford Cosworth V8 engined cars was a couple of fifths on the grid…

(P Strauss)

Strauss picks up that vein, relating a conversation he had with Ron Tauranac “At Eastern Creek about 2014. While Ron Tauranac (above) was trying to figure out how to make BT31 run cooler, he mentioned that he had built a few cars (sic!) but recalls that they (MRD) were building a car for the ’68 (F1) season, smaller than usual to save weight and make it more slippery. He found out that fuel cells were going to be mandatory which meant that the BT31 would not comply as the tanks were wrapped around chassis members and could not fit bladders.”

A 3-litre 830 engined BT31 is an interesting theory/coulda been but RBE mechanics/engineers have long said that no 3-litre 830 V8 was ever built by RBE in-period, they were all Tasman 2.5s. Some 3-litres (and larger) were built in the modern era by Don Halpin and perhaps others.

Further, the F1 bag-tank rules RT alluded to were mandated from the start of 1970, not 1968 or 1969. This FIA requirement effectively forced Tauranac to part with the spaceframes he had hitherto used to such good effect in F1. His 1970 monocoque BT33 was rather a good thing too, whilst noting his 1968-69 BT25 Indycar used an aluminium monocoque too.

Credits…

Peter Strauss, Autosport, Stephen Dalton

Tailpiece…

(P Strauss Collection)

Brabham at Bathurst during the Easter 1969 Gold Star round, won convincingly by Jack who practiced with various wing combinations and permutations but raced BT31 as above.

One of the various what-ifs about this car is whether, suitably updated, he could have won the 1970 Tasman Series with it? This ignores the fact that his Repco deal was over and Betty probably would have shot him if he had raced that summer rather than chilled with the kids at the beach…

It was quick enough to win the ’70 Tasman Cup mind you.

Maybe.

Finito…

(G Smedley)

Love Geoff Smedley’s caption to the photograph of he and Austin Miller at Bakers Beach, Tasmania, “Now just lean on the loud pedal and you could become famous.”

The car is Aussie’s Smedley modified Cooper T51 Chev, that morning on Monday November 20, 1961 they did indeed set a new Australian Land Speed record at 163.94mph. Click here for a feature on this amazing achievement by a small team of talented men; Aussie’s Land Speed Record… | primotipo…

(D Harvey)

Lets stay at the beach for a minute, above is John Hicks’ Holden FJ, at King Edward Park Hillclimb, Newcastle in 1967 with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop.

(B Edmunds)

I never thought Mike Goth’s rebodied Surtees TS5 Chev was the most attractive of cars but Barry Edmunds, the photographer and lifelong Alfista, has captured the machine nicely on the Sandown International grid in 1970.

Behind him is Ron Grable’s shovel-nosed McLaren M10B Chev, and to the left John Harvey in Bob Jane’s Brabham BT23E Repco, the race was won by Niel Allen’s M10B, all three of the other cars mentioned were DNFs.

(J McKeown Collection)

Lou Molina bags-em-up at Templestowe Hillclimb in 1959.

The Molina Monza Special was fitted with a supercharged Repco-Hi Power headed Holden Grey-six so it didn’t lack low end grunt!

I love the avant garde Brian Burnett styled and built body, he was a man of great talent. One of these days I’ll get around to writing about this fabulous car, which is extant.

Templestowe 1958 (J McKeown Collection)

Lou at Phillip Island in 1959 (Jim McKeown Collection)

(D Simpson)

Kevin Bartlett leads Leo Geoghegan through the Warwick Farm Esses during the Hordern Trophy Gold Star round in December 1968, Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo T33 V8 and Lotus 39 Repco.

KB won the race from pole with Phil West, Brabham BT23A Repco second. Leo retired with head gasket failure. See here for a feature on the Brabham; Mellow Yellow… | primotipo… and here for one on the Lotus 39; Jim Clark and Leo Geoghegan’s Lotus 39… | primotipo…

(Getty Images)

Another one of Bartlett, this time in Alec Mildren’s second Alfa Romeo GTA ‘LHD’ coming down the mountain at Mount Panorama circa 1967, with George Garth’s Ford Cortina GT in close attendance. Click here for an epic on the Mildren GTAs; The Master of Opposite Lock: Kevin Bartlett: Alfa Romeo GTA… | primotipo…

Looks like a Covid 19 Australian Grand Prix win for Max Stewart at Oran Park in November 1974, hardly a soul to be seen from this angle, but there was a big crowd in attendance.

He won in his Lola T330 Chev from John McCormack’s Elfin MR5 Repco and Graeme Lawrence, Lola T332 Chev, see here for a report on the race; 1974 Australian GP, Oran Park… | primotipo…

(A Polley)

This one made me laugh, it’s Ed Polley’s crew travelling across the Great Brown Land during the summer of ’77.

It looks pretty dry too- I’m not sure where the long paddock is. Polley raced his Polley EP1/Lola T332 Chev in two Rothmans rounds, 11th at Surfers Paradise was his best result.

(D Smallacombe)

Amazing shot of Joan Richmond aboard her 1920 Ballot 3/8 LC at Brooklands during 1934.

This 3-litre straight-eight machine was second at Indianapolis in 1920 with Rene Thomas at the wheel. The following year Jules Goux won the 1921 Italian Grand Prix in it before it was raced by Sir Malcolm Campbell, and then Jack Dunfee from 1923.

Richmond bought the car from Dunfee, racing it throughout 1934, she matched Campbell’s times of years before but a lack of charity from the handicapper meant she never won outright. The engine threw a rod later in the season at which point she sold the car. There is a bit about Joan here; Werrangourt Archive 6: Safety Beach, Dromana Speed Contest… | primotipo…

The Jim Goldfinch Austin Healey 100S lining up an outside pass on John Taylor’s attractive Taylor-JAP at Port Wakefield in 1958.

100S #AHS3906 had some handy steerers in its day including Stan Jones, Ron Phillips and Goldfinch. Suss Tony Parkinson’s wonderful website on this car; AHS 3906 1955 – Austin Healey 100S

(MotorSport)

Jack Brabham and Jochen Rindt up close and personal at Brands Hatch during the 1970 British Grand Prix.

It’s Paddock, with Jochen making a move up the inside of Jack – absolute trust and respect between these two fellas – Brabham had his measure that day too, passing and then driving away from him until the last lap, last corner hiccoughs due to lack of fuel.

A costly error by Nick Goozee, who had left the fuel mixture on rich after the engine was warmed up, rather than the usual race setting resulted in excessive fuel consumption. See here for a dissection of the cars and race; Jack’s BT33 Trumped by Chunky’s 72… | primotipo…

(MotorSport)

(S Scholes)

Pretty amazing Fishermans Bend shot during the February 1955 meeting in which multiple World Motorcycle Champion Geoff Duke blew the crowd away with the sight, sound and speed of his Gilera 500-4.
Perhaps here he is leading Harry Hinton. The shot below is at Bandiana Army base near Albury in late January and shows the lines of the handsome machine to great effect.

(AMCN)

(J Jarick)

In each of the cities Duke raced he spoke to packed meetings of motor cycle fans, the cover of the program above is for one of those events in Chapel Street, Prahran, in Melbourne’s inner south. See here for a couple of pieces on Geoff, bikes; Geoff Duke, Gilera 500/4, Australia 1954… | primotipo… and cars; Geoff Duke: Norton, Dutch GP, Assen 1952… | primotipo…

Elfins abroad.

The car above is Henri le Roux’s Elfin Mallala Ford in South Africa during 1964, circuit unknown. The montage below is of Australian, Mike Hall and his Elfin 620 Formula Ford in the United States during 1974. See here for a piece on Elfin exports; African Elfins… | primotipo…

(Classic Cars Rhodesia)

Paul Hawkins on the way to a Rhodesian GP win on December 1, 1968. He won the 20 lap race for sportscars in his Ferrari 350 Can Am #0858.

Hawkins bought the Ferrari P4 – converted to Can-Am specifications in later 1967 – from David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce in late 1968 and had a very successful African tour with it in late 1968 and early 1969. See here; Ferrari P4/Can-Am 350 ‘0858’… | primotipo…

(J Ebrey)

Dan Ricciardo on the way to winning the first round of the 2009 British F3 Championship at Oulton Park aboard his Dallara F309 VW on 13 April.

He won both races that afternoon and others at Silvertone, Spa and Brands Hatch that season to win the title by nearly 90 points from Walter Grubmuller’s Dallara F309 Mercedes. Formula Renault 3.5 beckoned on a fast climb to F1 with HRT in 2011.

(Red Bull)

(HMRPR)

Munro Abroad.

I hate vinyl roofs, surely the ultimate Lygon Street woggerisation accessory of the 1970s? Here Dirk Marais puts one to good use at Kyalami, South Africa in 1970. His Holden Monaro GTS350 ran in the Star Production Cars class, assistance welcome Peter Ellenbogen!

(G Smedley)

Grass track racing at the Elphin Showgrounds, Launceston, Tasmania in the 1950s.

The late Geoff Smedley commented, “It was always fun to have a race on the show ground arena after the main cattle parade but a winner could never be picked thanks to all the bullshit!” Geoff’s mount, liberally sprayed with said shit, is a Triumph TR2, I think.

(G Smedley)

(Road Rave)

Fred Foster’s Holden Grey twin-cam dates to late 1952.

Two engines were built, both were used in boats, only this one survives. Fred Foster was a Brisbane engineer, “a self taught and fulltime metallurgical genius”, the design was “based on some $5 plans chalked on his factory floor.”

There were separate castings for each cam cover, another front cover hides the chain driven camshafts underneath, and auxiliary drives. Road Rave wrote that “The two head castings were modelled on the Norton Manx layout, the engine’s capacity was 132.5 square inches and gave 140 bhp with mild camshafts having 270 degrees duration.”

With six carbs, the skiff ‘Fossey’ took the American 135 cubic inch records from the V8/60 Flattie Ford V8s. Oh yes, he made a 132.5cid V12 from scratch, the alloy block and heads of which survive!

Doug McLachlan leads the winner of the 1946 New South Wales Grand Prix at Mount Panorama, Alf Najar.

The machines are MG TA  and  MG TB specials, Hell Corner appears to be covered in lubricant, hence the very wide line taken by the drivers to find some grip. See here for a feature on this October 11 handicap race; 1946 New South Wales Grand Prix | primotipo…

Alf Najar accepts the plaudits of his team after a job well done. The 25 lap race was dominated by MGs, Jack Nind’s TB Special was second and Alby Johnson’s TC third.

(unattributed)

Alan Jones at a soggy Snetterton during his 1973 breakthrough year in British F3, 13 April.

The car is a GRD 373 Ford-Vegantune, he was 11th that day in a race won by Tony Brise’ similar car. AJ finished second in the 1973 British F3 Championship, two points adrift of Brise. Jones had raced in the class since 1970, progressively working to the front of the hard fought proving ground.

The breaks fell his way from that point in Formula Atlantic and in F1 when ex-racer, dual British F3 champion, Harry Stiller, ran a Hesketh 308B Ford for Jones in 1975.

Jones contested the mid-April non-F1 championship BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone before racing in the Spanish, Monaco, Belgian and Swedish Grands Prix with fourth place in the crash shortened race at Montjuïc Parc, Barcelona his best finish.

At that point of the season Graham Hill picked him up. Jones raced the Hill GH1 Ford in Holland, France, Great Britain and Germany, his best placing was a fifth at the Nurburgring.

He later ruefully observed that the two World Champions for whom he raced, Hill and John Surtees were also the two most difficult people for whom he raced, both knew better on car set up than the bloke behind the wheel…

Motor Manual promotional, pre 1956 Albert Park Grand Prix cover with an all Italian front row.

It’s the start on the Moomba weekend Argus Trophy with Reg Hunt, Kevin Neal and Lex Davison up front in #2 Maserati 250F, Maserati A6GCM 2.5 and Ferrari 500/625, Hunt won from Davison and Neal.

Photo Credits…

Geoff Smedley, Dale Harvey, Barry Edmunds, Jim McKeown Collection, Dick Simpson, Getty Images, Adam Polley, David Smallacombe, Stephen Scholes, Joe Jarick Collection, Mike Hall, Classic Cars in Rhodesia, Jakob Ebrey, ‘HMRPR’-Historic Motor Racing Photos and Research, Road Rave, Chris Jewell, AMCN- Australian Motor Cycle News, Tony Parkinson Collection

Tailpiece…

(C Jewell)

Frenchies. Alain Prost and Jacques Lafitte on the front row of the grid, 1982 Australian Grand Prix at Calder. Pole and second on the grid, 100 laps later they finished in that order aboard Bob Janes Ralt RT4 Ford BDAs, Roberto Moreno was third in another RT4.

That year the other internationals were Nelson Piquet, Alan Jones, Paul Radisich and Neil Crang. The Australian Aces of the day were Alf Costanzo, John Bowe and John Smith.

Finito…