Archive for October, 2022

(MotorSport)

Not too many blokes built the car in which they made their World F1 Championship debut, but John Arthur Brabham wasn’t ‘yer average fella.

Having ingratiated himself with John and Charlie Cooper in the early months of 1955, Brabham decided a mid-engined 2-litre Bristol powered, central seat Cooper T39 Bobtail would be just-the-ticket for his GP debut at Aintree in mid-July (above). See here; 60th Anniversary of Jack’s First F1 GP Today, British GP 16 July 1955: Cooper T40 Bristol…by Stephen Dalton | primotipo…

So, with John’s support, he helped himself to the stock of components on the Surbiton shelves and built himself a 50mm longer-wheelbase GP Cooper. It was only 2-litres, despite the oft-quoted 2.2-litres, so Jack was giving away a half-litre in capacity to the more sophisticated twin-cam, 2.5-litre opposition.

The key elements of the car are shown by three photographs taken by Australian mechanic, Fred Pearse, who spent that summer in Europe tending Aussie, Dick Cobden’s ex-Peter Whitehead Ferrari 125. I wonder if Fred helped Jack with the build of the Cooper, christened Type 40?

(F Pearse)

No way was Cooper designer Owen Maddock’s hula-hoop chassis drawn from his Kingston Technical College engineering course, but was more likely inspired by the organic forms of brilliant Catalan architect/designer Antoni Gaudi. Remember, you read it here first: La Sagrada Cooper has a nice ring to it, n’est-ce pas?

(F Pearse)

Technical specifications of the Cooper T40 as per the feature article linked above. I know the engine isn’t plumbed and still awaits its Citroen-ERSA transaxle, but the sheer economy of a moteur mounted mid-ship is readily apparent.

(F Pearse)

Unsurprisingly the car ran late, so Jack had no time to test it before Aintree. He qualified at the back of the grid and failed to finish after clutch problems in the race memorably won by Stirling Moss. It was his first championship GP victory, aboard a Mercedes Benz W196.

The ’55 British was the only F1 GP the Cooper contested, but Brabham took in a number of non-championship F1 races in the UK before the car was shipped to Australia where it won the that year’s Formula Libre Australian Grand Prix at Port Wakefield, South Australia.

The works-machine first contested the London Trophy at Crystal Palace on July 30 where Brabham was third in his heat behind Harry Schell’s Vanwall and Paul Emery’s Emeryson Alta, but didn’t start the final.

Then it was off to Charterhall in Scotland for the August 6 Daily Record Trophy. Jack was fourth on the grid, fourth in his heat, and, you guessed it, fourth in the final, behind the Maserati 250Fs of Bob Gerard, Horace Gould and Louis Rosier.

(F Pearse)

With time for one more event before shipment to Sydney, the Cooper was entered for the 25-lap RedeX Trophy at Snetterton (above) on August 13. Jack was way back on the grid, but again finished fourth behind the Vanwalls of Harry Schell and Ken Wharton and poleman, Stirling Moss, aboard the family Maserati 250F. Despite giving away plenty of power, T40 #CB-1-55 was plenty quick, Jack was out fumbled by Moss but finished ahead of three Maseratis – two 250Fs and an A6GCM – as well as a swag of Connaughts.

There seemed to be as promising a future for water-cooled, mid-engined Coopers as their air-cooled mid-engined siblings…

Credits…

Fred Pearse photographs via Peter Reynell, MotorSport Images, gnooblas.com

Tailpiece…

(gnooblas.com)

On the grid of the 27-lap, 100-mile, January 1956, South Pacific Championship at Gnoo Blas, Orange, New South Wales.

The little Cooper was again blown-off by a Maserati 250F, this time Anglo-Australian Reg Hunt’s machine, Brabham was second, with Kevin Neal’s Cooper T23 Bristol in third place.

Finito…

(F Pearse)

One of the amazing things about the internet is the manner in which information is shared, not least photographs from collections which would otherwise never have seen the light of day…

Fred Pearse is one such person who was “an insider enthusiast, a decent man who spannered cleverly for over two decades, here and overseas,” according to Australian racer/historian John Medley.

In the photo above Fred is fettling Dick Cobden’s ex-Peter Whitehead Ferrari 125 V12 s/c prior to the South Pacific Championship at Gnoo Blas, Orange in January 1955.

Peter Whitehead won on that particular weekend driving a Ferrari 500/625. See this feature article, largely containing Fred’s photographs, which should be treated as Fred Pearse Collection 1; 1955 South Pacific Championship, Gnoo Blas… | primotipo…

Peter Reynell was left Fred’s photo albums upon his death having looked after him for the last years of his life. “Fred told me quite a bit, it was all a long time ago, but I clearly recall his pride in Col James’ MG Special, he was involved in that,” Peter recalls.

“Don’t forget his involvement in motorsport administration too. He was Clerk of Course at Bathurst and Amaroo Park, was a member of both the Australian Racing Drivers Club and CAMS NSW Boards.”

Peter has posted photos from Fred’s albums progressively on Bob Williamson’s Australian Motor Racing Photos Facebook page which has become an amazing historic resource given the paucity of photographs on so many Australian racing topics. Thanks to Fred and Lee Pearse, and Peter Reynell.

(Reg Light’s 1934 Vauxhall)

While some of the scans aren’t flash, I don’t want rare photos to disappear without trace into the bowels of FB. In some cases I’m not sure of the car/driver/location but with some input from you lot we should be able to solve the puzzles. Please get in touch if you can assist!

The article is primarily snippets, and more substantively about the 1936 Australian Tourist Trophy at Phillip Island and the 1940 Bathurst GP. In the latter case I’ve drawn upon the race report from Medley’s seminal ‘Bathurst: Cradle of Australian Motor Racing’. In addition to these two meetings there are photos on all manner of topics.

John Medley picks up the threads, “Fred Pearse directly or indirectly was involved with many of Australia’s significant racing cars, ask yourself for example about the Altoona Indian with Norton barrels pictures…probable links back to the original Chamberlain earlier with Altoona Indian power, later vertically opposed four-cylinder eight-piston, supercharged two-stroke (in a front wheel drive inboard-braked spaceframe chassis in 1932.” See here; Chamberlain 8: by John Medley and Mark Bisset… | primotipo…

  “WB Thompson’s (below) Midget car engine. Norton barrels and heads on a (1926-28) Indian Altoona crankcase.” (F Pearse)

Bill Thompson and Ted Poole at Wentworth Park, Sydney in 1935 (vintagespeedway.com)

“When speedway was starting in Australia with multiple AGP winner Bill Thomson involved, plus Bill Bargarnie (who did the superchargers on Jack Borretto’s weekes Ford V8 pre-war) and forward to Jack Brabham’s twin-cylinder and Ron Wards’s speedway cars.”

Bob King draws the connections too, “Bill Balgarnie was a Chamberlain employee who later set up the tractor factory in Western Australia for them. He was also Bill Thompson’s riding mechanic and a TT motorcyclist. It makes a lot of sense if the Chamberlain Special Altoona Indian motor found its way into Thompson’s speedway car.”

John Medley again, “Fred Pearse was involved with many of them, as a Reg Light employee and later Peco partner (with Bob Pritchett) and probably in the John Snow/Jack Saywell preparation business (Monza Service in East Sydney) prewar where imported expert ‘Jock’ Finlayson ruined the Saywell Alfa Tipo-B engine – so in time it was lost when war broke out.”

“To extend my previous observations re the Altoona Indian Norton; Jim McMahon was another Sydney-sider who probably looked at Bill Thompson’s/Bill Bargarnie’s work, did several cars himself on speedway and road, produced a Peoples Car postwar (ran the prototype at Bathurst) starred in a film or two and built a side-valve Ford V8 into an OHV motor using motorcycle heads on a Ford block, which, I suspect ended up in the USA in a Lincoln, Nebraska Museum.” wrote Medley.

There are some fragments here rather worthy of follow up with Mr Medley in due course!

(F Pearse)

1936 Australian Tourist Trophy, Phillip Island…

This 200-mile race was held on March 30 and won by Jack Fagan (#2) who also set the fastest time, 3 hours 6 min 15 seconds, or 64mph. Supercharged MG K3 Magnette.

HR Reeve was second in an MG P-Type, with all of the other 15 starters either non-classified or DNFs!

(F Pearse)
The caption reads ‘A diagram showing the new 3 1/2 mile circuit at Phillip Island which will be used for the 200 miles Australian Tourist Trophy on March 30’- the map also shows the original circuit since the 1928 100 Miles road race, aka the Australian Grand Prix.
Fagan MG K3 (F Pearse)

Fagan MG K3 (F Pearse)
(F Pearse)

At a guess this is the accommodation for motorcars behind the Isle of Wight Hotel, site now vacant.

Bill Thompson Bugatti T37A (F Pearse) If the shot was taken during the ’36 TT weekend it was riven by Tom Peters

“Supercharged Bugatti, holder of New South Wales Light Car Clubs speed record at 112mph, Canberra 1935, driver WB Thompson,” wrote Fred in 1936.

Pit setup for K3 and Bugatti (F Pearse)
(F Pearse)

Riley Brooklands or TT Sprite. Article on the Sprite here; Riley Club, Bacchus Marsh Sprints 1937… | primotipo…

(F Pearse)
‘Blown’ Austin 7 (F Pearse)
(F Pearse)

Bathurst Easter 1940 : Bathurst Grand Prix…

The annual Easter meeting was the last until 1946 with the war now six months old, several of the entrants including John Snow, Delahaye , Charlie Whatmore and Arthur Wylie had joined the military with others to follow so the meeting for many at Applecross, Perth in November 1940 duly noted, was the last hurrah.

L-R: John Barraclough, MG NE Magnette, John Snow, Delahaye 135CS, perhaps Tom Lancey’s MG NE Magnette, and Alf Barrett’s winning Alfa Romeo Monza (F Pearse)
Paul Swedberg’s Offy (F Pearse)

The meeting attracted huge crowds despite one of the worst droughts in Australia’s history, petrol shortages and a war which continued to involve greater numbers of Australians.

There were 40 minutes between the backmarker, Alf Barrett, Alfa Monza and limit-man Jolley’s Singer 9 who led the first five laps. An MG T Series battle ensued between French and Nind. Barraclough’s MG NE had a slow opening lap so the faster black similar car of Lancey led the battle but he was ovetaken before the end.

Alf Barrett’s Alfa Monza at rest (F Pearse)

Finally the Barrett Alfa roared away with 150 miles in front of him. Frank Kleinig, Kleinig Hudson Spl was slowed all afternoon by carburettor trouble, Bill Reynolds did well early until his Ford V8 overheated, that engines common affliction.

Crowd interest was provided by Paul Swedberg’s Offy with only a two-speed gearbox and two-wheel (hand) braked who was outgunned on the straights and under brakes but was very quick uphill and under acceleration. Early in the race Swedberg and Snow passed and re-passed one-another but the red and blue Offy passed the Delahaye up Mountain Straight.

Barrett continued to close, “the Alfa Romeo markedly quicker than any other competitor sliding and shuddering on the corners and spraying gravel as Barrett hurled this classic car on those long smooth lines he was to become famous for.”

John Crouch in the Alfa 8C2300 imported by John Snow, not Bathurst 1940 though where he carried number 7 (F Pearse)
Snow, Delahaye 135CS (F Pearse)
Alta in Ford V8 trim “having been driven lightless and unregistered by Bill Reynolds from Melbourne” and “no doubt barely an eyelid was batted!” – Nathan Tasca and John Medley (F Pearse)

By mid-race, Harold Monday, Ford V8 and Crouch Alfa 8C2300, had lost time with pitstops, McMahon’s Willys was about to fail with engine trouble and Burrows Hudson dream run ended in timing sprocket failure. Lancey had dramas too and slipped down the field.

Whatmore led from Kleinig, Snow and Barrett with Swedberg heading for the pits with plug trouble.

Barrett took the lead from Whatmore on lap 31 with Snow passing Whatmore a lap later for second. Jack Phillips withdrew with back trouble (having crashed the car earlier in the week and spending several days in hospital) and climbed out of the car collapsing in agony with Parsons taking over, dropping three places but finishing ninth.

Barrett crossed the line in the fastest time to win from Snow and Whatmore – then George Reed Ford V8 Spl, the John Crouch Alfa, Frank Kleinig, Paul Swedberg, John Barraclough, and Jack Phillips/Parsons Ford V8 Spl. Barrett set a lap record during the race at 3 minutes 4 seconds. Click here for a lengthy feature on Barrett and his Alfa; Alf Barrett, ‘The Maestro’, Alfa Romeo 8C2300 Monza… | primotipo…

Exhaust side of Swedberg’s Offy Midget (F Pearse)
Swedberg’s Offy over the line (F Pearse)
Jim McMahaon’s Willys Special (F Pearse)

Bathurst Etcetera…

(F Pearse)

Peter Whitehead in ERA R10B during his successful 1938 Australian Grand Prix weekend. Click here for a feature on Whitehead and the ’38 AGP; Peter Whitehead in Australia: ERA R10B: 1938… | primotipo…

(F Pearse)
(F Pearse)

John Sherwood, MG NE Magnette during his victorious Bathurst 100 drive at Easter in 1939. Piece on Sherwood here; ‘History of Motor Racing in Australia’ by John Sherwood in 1953… | primotipo…

(F Pearse)

Jack Saywell, Alfa Romeo Tipo B/P3 at Bathurst in 1939

Etcetera…

Jim Brace, Frontenac Ford (F Pearse)
(F Pearse)

Victor Harbor paddock, December 26, 1936, South Australian Centenary Grand Prix/1936 AGP.

Jim Fagan’s #1 MG K3 and Tom Peters Bugatti T37A- both failed to finish as did Frank Kleinig in Bill McIntyre’s Hudson Spl. Les Murphy’s MG P Type took the win that weekend.

Frank Kleinig’s famous and still existing Kleinig Hudson Spl, an amazing and constantly developed concoction of MG chassis, straight-eight Hudson engine and many other components. Click here for a feature on this car; Frank Kleinig, Kleinig Hudson Special… | primotipo…

(F Pearse)

Its fuzzy but has to be Bob Lea-Wright’s Singer Nine with silverware after the 1934 Australian Grand Prix won in splendid fashion from Bill Thompson’s MG K3 Magnette.

(F Pearse)

Absolutely no idea with this one, but the background appears to be the same for this photograph and the several which follow. Car above front and centre is a Terraplane Special.

(F Pearse)

Mrs JAS Jones’ Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Zagato SS. See here; Mrs JAS Jones Alfa 6C 1750 SS Zagato… | primotipo…

(F Pearse)

MG K3??

(F Pearse)
(F Pearse)
(F Pearse)

Peter Whitehead at Parramatta Park, Sydney in November 1938.

He is aboard ERA R10B during his successful 1938 Australian Tour, not that this event was a successful one for anybody involved, aborted as it was on the evening before the race due to NSW Police concerns about spectator safety. See here; Parramatta Park Circuit… | primotipo…

(unattributed)

Bill Clark’s (?) HRG at Mount Druitt (?) in the mid-1950’s.

Chassis W179 was imported by Tony Gaze and fitted locally with this ‘Bathurst’ monoposto body. It was later purchased by Jack Pryer and Clive Adam: Pryer and Adams – PRAD – and formed the basis of the car below.

(F Pearse)

This group of photos (the two above and the three below) are of Prad 4 being converted from open-wheeler spec to Prad 5 sportscar configuration, engine is a Holden Grey- six fed by three SU carbs. Car for many years owned and raced by Shane Bowden.

(F Pearse)

The photos were taken outside Clive Adams, Lane Cove, Sydney workshop.

(F Pearse)

Photo Credits…

Fred Pearse Collection courtesy of Peter Reynell, vintagespeedway.com

Photo Identification and Comments…

John Medley, Bob King, Nahan Tasca, Shane Bowden

Tailpiece…

(F Pearse)

Dick Cobden’s Ferrari 125 being pushed through the Gnoo Blas paddock during the January 1955 South Pacific Trophy weekend. The youthful driver behind with the Persil whiter-than-white overalls is JA Brabham in search of his Cooper T23 Bristol.

Finito…

Derek Bell, Tecno PA123/3, Canadian GP 1972 (LAT)

Only one of hundreds of Kart manufacturers made it to F1. Tecno had won Kart, F3 and F2 championships before they leapt into Grand Prix racing in 1972 but the venture failed dismally after only 10 grand prix starts thanks to Ferrari-esque levels of intrigue and infighting.

Bolognese engineers Luciano and Gianfranco Pederzani ran a successful truck hydraulics business named Oleodinamica Pederzani & Zini which was inspired by the technology in American trucks they saw post-war. Another American idea they rather liked was Karts!

Ronnie Peterson and Susanna Raganelli, Tecno Barilla in Denmark during the 1966 Kart World Championship weekend, she won

Tecno Kart operated from premises in Via Bufalini, Borgo Panigale, Bologna from 1962. Tecno were the first to volume produce ‘sidewinder’ chassis to take advantage of the newly developed Parilla air-cooled, rotary-valve motors.

These Parilla GP15L powered Tecno Kaimono’s (the caiman is a small alligator, the reptile featured on the Tecno logo) won the World Kart championship three times on the trot from 1964-66. Ex-Italian GP motorcyclist Guido Sala was victorious in 1964-65, then Susanna Raganelli won in 1966 after a furious battle with a couple of Swedes, Leif Engstrom and Ronnie Peterson.

Tecno put a toe in the water with Formula 250 cars in 1964, then Formula 850 machines in 1966, before building their first F3 car in 1966.

Tecno Automobili’s kart inspired, wide-track, short wheelbase TF66 debuted with Carlo Facetti at the wheel at the Circuito del Mugello on July 17. Two laps of a challenging 66km road course through the Tuscan countryside was a good test for the new chassis! In a good start for the marque, he finished fourth, Jonathan Williams was up front in a De Sanctis Ford.

Other early Tecno F3 pilots included Grand Prix winner, Giancarlo Baghetti, Chris Craft, Mauro Nesti and Tino Brambilla. Tecno’s breakthrough win came when Brambilla’s TF67 Ford won the Luigi Musso Trophy at Vallelunga in October 1967. Clay Regazzoni’s TF67 Ford Novamotor took the honours in the more prestigious GP Espana, Jarama, a month later.

After a modest start in 1967, Tecno sold 40 cars in 1968, commencing a great run of F3 success. They won the Italian championship from 1968-71, three French titles from 1968-1970 (Francois Cevert in 1968), not to forget Swedish titles for Reine Wisell and Ronnie Peterson in 1968-69.

Tecnos were quick at Monaco too, with wins for Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Ronnie Peterson in 1968-69, and in Switzerland where they won championships in 1969 and 1972.

Francois Cevert, Tecno 68 Ford, winner of the Circuit de Vitesse at Nogaro in August 1968 (unattributed)
Ronnie Peterson on the way to winning the Monaco F3 GP in 1969, Tecno 69 Ford-Novamotor (unattributed)

Luciano Pederzani adapted his Tecno 68 design to F2 specifications by adding bigger brakes, a five-speed Hewland FT200 transaxle and 210bhp Ford FVA 1.6-litre engine. 1968 works cars were raced by Regazzoni, Jaussaud and Facetti. Regga’s sixth place in the European championship was the best of the Tecnos which included Ron Harris entered cars for such notables as Pedro Rodriguez, Richard Attwood and Jonathan Williams.

Cevert and Nanni Galli raced the works F2s in 1969, with Francois taking Tecno’s maiden F2 victory in the GP de Reims in June. Cevert was third in the championship and Galli seventh in a year the Bologna boys built 60 F2 and F3 spaceframe chassis.

The bring-home-the-bacon (pancetta actually) year was in 1970 when Clay Regazzoni won the Euro F2 title with victories in four of the eight rounds, with Cevert sixth. That year both Tecno men made their F1 debuts, Regazzoni with Ferrari and Cevert with Team Tyrrell.

For 1971 the Pederzani’s secured Elf sponsorship but Equipe Tecno Elf had a lean time despite the best efforts of Cevert, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Patrick Depailler, all of them rather handy Grand Prix pilots of the future.

Francois Cevert, Tecno 68 Ford FVA aviating during the 1969 German GP, DNF CWP. Henri Pescarolo won aboard a Matra MS7 Ford (MotorSport)
Drivers angle into the cockpit of Cevert’s Tecno 68 Ford FVA at Thruxton in 1969. Eighth in the race won by Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 59B Ford (picfair.com)
Clay Regazzoni, Tecno 69 Ford FVA. Second in the London Trophy at Crystal Palace May 1970. Jackie Stewart won in John Coombs’ Brabham BT30 Ford (LAT)

For 1972 the Pederzanis, confident in their own abilities, decided to take the giant leap into Grand Prix racing.

Not for them the garagista path either, purchase of a Ford Cosworth DFV 3-litre V8 would have been too easy, after all, they had been fitting Ford Cosworth FVAs into their F2 cars for three years!

They decided to build the chassis and engine, both of which had more than a nod to Ferrari practice.

Luciano Pederzani, Renato Armoroli – recruited from Ducati just down the road in 1968 – and other technicians commenced work on Project 123 (12-cylinders, 3-litres) a twin-cam, four valve, fuel injected a 180 degree 3-litre flat-12 in early 1971.

To shorten development time the team adopted the familiar bore and stroke ratio of Ford/Cosworth’s 1-litre F3 engines – 80.98x48mm – which resulted in a displacement of 2960cc, later tickled up to 2995cc by a small increase in stroke.

By early 1972 the first way-too-heavy (205kg, 40 more than a Cosworth DFV) engines were on the dyno, the best result after early fettling was a claimed 402bhp @ 11,000rpm.

Tecno hired Parma born engineer Giuseppe Bocchi from Ferrari, where he had been working on engine structural stiffness and vibrations. Bocchi redesigned the Tecno engine to incorporate four main bearings, rather than its original seven – just like Ferrari’s flat-12 – making the structure lighter and stiff enough to be used as a structural chassis member.

Tecno PA123-72 (B Betti)
Tecno flat-12 on the test bed in 1971 (researchracing)
Tecno PA123/1 public unveiling in Milan, December 24, 1971

While progressing the engine, the team also turned their attention to a narrow track, short wheelbase chassis based on existing F2 practice; at 2270mm it was 120mm shorter than the Ferrari 312B.

Tecno’s first monocoque chassis was designated PA123 (Pederzani Automobili- 12 cylinders-3-litres) and followed Ferrari Aero practice. It comprised aluminium sheets rivetted and glued to a light-gauge tubular frame. While side radiators were planned, the engines voracious appetite for coolant resulted in a large front radiator, and bluff-nose of the type Tyrrell popularised in 1971.

Martini and Rossi’s spectacular livery had adorned Porsche Salzburg 908s and 917’s in 1971, but with the end of the fabulous 5-litre sportscar era their sponsorship was destined for Tecno’s GP racing adventure.

Upon John Wyer’s suggestion, Count Gregorio Rossi engaged the now out of work, very well credentialled JW Automotive Team Manager, David Yorke, as motor racing consultant for Martini & Rossi International to replace Hans-Dieter Dechent.

Vic Elford aboard the winning Martini Porsche 908/3 he shared with Gerard Larrousse at the Nurburgring 1000km in 1971 (MotorSport)

Initially it appeared the M&R money was destined for Brabham, a home it found in 1975. Derek Bell had been offered a Brabham drive, but ultimately Tecno got the lire, their nominated team were drivers Nanni Galli and Bell with Yorke as team manager.

Predictably, despite track tests in December 1971, the complexity of building the car’s core components in-house ensured the Tecno PA123 ran late. Derek Bell expressed his admiration for Tecno about that first test to MotorSport all the same.

“Finally, we (Bell and Yorke) got the call to fly to Italy. We arrived at Pirelli’s test track to find a delegation from the Rossi family but no car. First, I was hoping it wouldn’t show and, when it did, that it wouldn’t start. I’m convinced that if Tecno had had a disaster that day, I would have been off to Brabham. It was an icy cold day and the team poured hot water in the engine, fired it up and it ran and ran. We couldn’t believe it. David had to concede that it was a remarkable showing for a first test.”

(MotorSport)

The car took its public bow during the Belgian GP weekend at Nivelles (above), the fifth round of the 1972 championship ultimately won by Emerson Fittipaldi’s Lotus 72D Ford.

Galli about to spin, and be hit hard enough to write off PA123/1, by Clay Regazzoni’s Ferrari 312B2 (MotorSport)
PA123/1 certainly had a touch of the prototypes about it. Luciano Pederzani has gone to all that effort to have a nice low engine – in part to aid the flow of the airstream onto the rear wing – and then we go and plonk the oil tank and related up high in the air costing rpm and upsetting airflow onto the all-important wing (MotorSport)

PA123/1 impressed the masses with its sound if not its speed. Galli qualified second last but ran reliably until spinning and taking out Tecno compatriot, Clay Regazzoni’s Ferrari. The Tecno was written off in the process.

The team next contested the non-championship Gran Premio della Republica Italiana at Vallelunga in mid-June. Galli finished third aboard a new car, PA123-2, in a performance which cheered the team despite the machine being way off the pace in a small, but reasonably classy eight car grid.

Bell at Clermont Ferrand in PA123/2
Nanni Galli on the Brands Hatch pit counter, PA123/2
PA123/2, Brands Hatch

Bell had his first race drive in that car at Clermont Ferrand but got no further than practice. Four of the nine bolts attaching the engine to the rear chassis bulkhead had cracked from the engine’s massive vibrations, somewhat impairing the car’s handling. Good Vibrations they were not.

Galli was entered at Brands Hatch where PA123-2 appeared with a new rear suspension cross-member which mounted the coil spring/dampers more conventionally (mounted less vertically) on the advice of Ron Tauranac.

Tauranac was freelancing having sold Motor Racing Developments, and later left them, he was marginalised and short-paid by Bernard Charles Ecclestone.

Nanni qualified the car 18th on the 27-car grid, not bad at all given its shortage of power and surfeit of weight on this technically demanding circuit.

The Tecno 123 never gave more than 420/430bhp, 20 and 60 less than the contemporary DFV and Ferrari, while the car weighed 640kg, far more than the 550kg Ferrari 312B2, 540kg Tyrrell 003 Ford and 575kg McLaren M23 Ford.

The relative practice performance was ruined by an accident on lap 10 of the race.

Bell in PA123/2 at the Nurburgring (LAT)
Engine change for Bell in Germany (LAT)
Galli in the Osterreichring pits, PA123/2 (MotorSport)

Bell was the more experienced Ring racer and took the wheel of PA123-2 in Germany. The car was further modified with wider front track and revisions to the oil tank. Derek was Q25 of 27 but out after only four laps with valve failure. Up front, the other flat-12 car, a 312B2 driven by Ickx won from pole.

Back in Bologna, Pederzani and his team wrestled with engine vibrations and lubrication issues in the same way Mauro Forghieri struggled to stop his flat-12 breaking its crankshafts early in its late 1969 life; seemingly insurmountable problems which resulted in Chris Amon leaving Ferrari…

Off to Austria, Galli qualified Q23 of 36 but 3.5 seconds adrift of winner/poleman Fittipaldi’s fastest Lotus 72 practice time. This time the Tecno finished the race with invaluable race mileage, albeit an unclassified 17th nine laps adrift of Emerson. Tecno had such a climb to make!

There was plenty of pressure too, with unhappy drivers, sponsors and Bologna technicians. The team’s home event at Monza was next. Armaroli left in frustration, believing the engine unreliability was due to inexperienced engine fitters at base and among the race team members.

Derek Bell aboard PA123/2 waving Carlos Pace and John Surtees through at Monza; March 711 Ford and Surtees TS14 Ford (LAT)
Galli in PA123/5 at Monza in 1972 (MotorSport)
Tecno PA123/5 drawn in 1972 Monza spec (G Piola)

Two cars were entered in Italy. A new machine, chassis PA123-5 (sic-what happened to chassis 3 and 4?) with neater front suspension and Matra-like nose for Galli, alongside PA123-2 for Bell.

With Fittipaldi again up front, Galli was Q23, while poor Derek didn’t make the cut. Worse still, in front of their home crowd – Galli’s, the Pederzani’s and Rossi’s – the car only completed 6-laps before, you guessed it, the engine failed.

The Martini Racing Team took the new car to North America for Bell to race, but it wasn’t a happy trip with Derek crashing on the warm up lap at Mosport from Q25, last on the grid.

On the fast, technically challenging Watkins Glen track in upstate New York, Derek was Q30 of 32, seven seconds adrift of Jackie Stewart’s Tyrrell 005 Ford pole. Again, the Tecno’s engine went pop, this time after 8 laps.

At best the year was a character building one, in reality it was a clusterfuck of some scale which got a whole lot worse in 1973.

Bell, Mosport 1972 in PA123/5. Note the Melmag wheels, popular at the time. Oil tank smaller but still not optimally placed (MotorSport)
Get me outta here…Bell in PA123/5 at Watkins Glen 1972 (MotorSport)
Derek Bell trying to forget about the task at hand, Disneyland 1972 (unattributed)

In a perfect world the plan for 1973 should have been obvious. Race one DFV powered Tecno while continuing to develop the flat-12 until it was competitive. That way the team would have gained valuable miles to develop the chassis while getting the engine to required levels of power and endurance.

Of course, sound decisions are only possible if all parties in a business cooperate and communicate; the Pederzanis, Rossis and Yorke. Clearly, they were not, despite that, to their credit, Martini & Rossi saddled up for another year.

Instead of commonsense – the chain of events differs depending upon your source – Yorke convinced the Rossi’s to back a plan involving him constructing a car in the UK.

For reasons Yorke never disclosed, he engaged his friend, Gordon Fowell’s Goral Engineering to design a car which was fabricated by John Thompson’s respected Northhampton firm. Professor Tim Boyce, also working with McLaren at the time, provided advice on aerodynamics.

Fowell’s design credentials then were entirely outside racing. His involvement in motorsport was as an amateur driver and partner to journalist Alan Phillips in a company which produced audio tapes of race engines. Goral was their latest venture.

David Yorke lost in thought at Le Mans in 1969, a good weekend for JW Automotive, the Pedro Rodriguez/ Jackie Oliver Ford GT40 won

David Christopher Yorke was a war-hero. He became an RAF Flying Officer (#37059) in 1937 and was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Order for bravery during the Battle of France. The first was for carrying out low-level reconnaissance on German positions in a Gloster despite heavy anti-aircraft fire, the second was a similar act which involved dropping supplies to beleaguered troops in Calais. The award of Flight Lieutenant Yorke’s Distinguished Flying Cross was recorded in The London Gazette on July 23, 1940.

He then flew Hurricanes in The Battle of Britain before being posted to India as a Squadron Leader in 1941. By the end of the David Yorke was serving as a Group Captain in the Far East.

He remained with the RAF post-war but in 1949 accompanied another former RAF officer, Peter Whitehead to the Czech Grand Prix. Whitehead won the race in his Ferrari 125 and offered Yorke the role of team manager, he commenced in 1950. Success with Whitehead, Vanwall, Aston Martin and JW Automotive followed in the succeeding two decades.

This extraordinary man was described in one of his medal recommendations as a “commander and organiser of exceptional merit.” In this case, however, he was most cavalier with Martini & Rossi’s money, his choice of Goral Engineering to design the save-our-bacon Tecno was a remarkably low percentage play.

The Pederzani’s – successful industrialists before they commenced racing, and even more so after they did, had no shortage of lire – thought stuff-this! They engaged Alan McCall’s Tui Engineering to design a new state of the art contemporary chassis, or a PA123-B, depending on your source.

“Luciano was offended because Yorke had suggested Italians couldn’t do monocoques,” McCall told MotorSport. “My car was intended as nothing other than an exercise to show that he could build his own tub.”

McCall was one of a small number of very talented Kiwi engineer/mechanics who had huge influence on elite level motor racing in the sixties, seventies and beyond. His CV included stints at Team Lotus and McLaren before venturing out on his own with the construction of Tui F2 cars.

His team commenced work on New Year’s Eve 1972 and completed the car, retaining only the original design’s rear end, an amazing 10 weeks later.

So, what could possibly go wrong?

Two opposing camps, one based in England, the other in Italy, within a team with poor communication and levels of trust, developing a chassis each powered by a limited supply of engines which struggled to string more than 10 race laps together. Oh yes, loss of driver continuity too, both Galli and Bell’s services weren’t required in 1973, or more likely they ran for the Dolomiti…

Chris Amon, Matra MS120B from an obscured Tim Schenken, Brabham BT33 Ford during the 1971 French GP at Paul Ricard (MotorSport)
‘Joisus David, my 250F was quicker than this!’ Amon and Yorke during a difficult 1973

Meanwhile, back home in New Zealand, Chris Amon was enjoying a long, languid summer. His Matra drive ended at the conclusion of 1972 when the French aerospace giant ceased their one-car F1 program.

Amon agreed terms to rejoin March, with whom he had a tempestuous 1970. Somehow, again the reports differ, the deal went awry and collapsed, so Chris signed with Martini & Rossi after an approach from Yorke.

Chris was still one of F1’s quickest drivers. The young veteran (29), schooled by Bruce McLaren, was also a gifted development driver. Amon was great for Tecno, albeit the Bologna boys were way below Chris’ status in life, but beggars couldn’t be choosers in the late summer of ‘73…

Amon told MotorSport “When I agreed to drive, I had no idea what car I’d be driving. “Then Yorke filled me in, explaining that the McCall chassis was nearly ready, and that Fowell’s would be for later.”

Chris tested the McCall/Tui chassis, PA123-6, at Misano in March, Vittorio Brambilla had a steer that day too, he happened to be there testing his F2 March.

“When Pederzani saw the thing, he suddenly got excited about racing it,” remembers McCall, who corroborates press reports of the time that the car could have raced as a Tecno Tui.

In a crazy situation, McCall claims that Yorke “rode roughshod over the Pederzanis” with the result that Luciano “felt insulted”. McCall’s right-hand man, Eddie Wies, recalls “the British turning up one day, covering our car in Martini stickers and claiming it as theirs.”

This scenario is entirely possible given the Goral/Fowell machine was still nowhere near complete, Tecno needed a race-ready car.

At this point the relationship between the parties was trashed, the marriage was over with only the final act to be played out in a truncated 1973 F1 season.

“After that (the takeover of the McCall car) Luciano said he was only going to fulfil his obligations and no more,” recalled McCall, who departed Tecno straight after the Misano test.

“His contract was to supply engines, transport, and the mechanics. He’d built something like 12 engines, but no development was undertaken. He didn’t even put them on the dyno.”

Amon in PA123/6 at Zolder in 1973. Sixth in a rousing if uncompetitive performance (LAT)
Amon with plenty of rear wing at Zolder (unattributed)
(LAT)

When the Tecno transporter rumbled into the Zolder paddock for the Belgian Grand Prix in mid-May the team had already missed the Argentine, Brazilian, South African and Spanish Grands Prix.

Emerson Fittipaldi had won three of them for Lotus, while Jackie Stewart took one for Tyrrell. JYS was about to start a serious run for the title aided and abetted by Fittipaldi, and his new Lotus teammate, Ronnie Peterson taking driver’s championship points off each other.

At Zolder, Amon qualified 15th of 26 cars and finished a rousing, point-scoring sixth, totally exhausted due to high temperatures inside the cramped cockpit. He was three laps adrift of Stewart, but it was a typically gritty drive.

At Monaco things seemed even better. Amon started a fantastic 12th and was running as high as seventh before he stopped with braking problems on lap 15, then retired on lap 19 with the same drama.

“It wasn’t a bad chassis at all. It was a little bit too heavy, but in handling terms was probably a match for anything around. On the tighter tracks it went well, but once we got to somewhere like Silverstone we were in trouble.”

Amon on the hunt at Monaco, seventh was stunning while it lasted. The drive says plenty about Amon’s skill but also the quality of the chassis, and , perhaps, the torque of the Tecno flat-12
Kiwis both. Amon in front of Denny Hulme’s McLaren M23 Ford at Monaco in 1973 (MotorSport)

The team skipped the Swedish GP in mid-June but entered the French GP, held at Paul Ricard on July 1. Amon and Yorke arrived from England, but the truck from Italy was nowhere to be found.

By then the Goral chassis, the Tecno E731 had run for the first time. Bruce McIntosh, an Italian speaker after seven years with Serenissma, was employed by Yorke to put the car together. “We built the monocoque over here at John Thompson’s place, but we never had a dummy engine,” McIntosh recalled. “So, I had to take the tub to Italy and work out all the systems at the rear end.”

Doubtless the sheer stupidity of this duplication of effort with limited resources isn’t lost on you. There wasn’t a lot of love either. In one meeting Luciano Pederzani floored Yorke, in another Amon’s frustration boiled over in Tecno’s offices. He picked up an ashtray and chucked it across the room, a journalist standing outside throughout duly reported the shenanigans in the following morning’s Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Goral Tecno first ran down a back alley behind Tecno’s workshops on Via Ducati before being transported back to England and tested at Santa Pod. On both occasions there it spewed out oil.

Amon with two toys to play with at Silverstone in 1973; The McCall/Tui PA123/6 in the lower shot, and Fowell/McCall E731 in the upper shot (MotorSport)

Amon had no recollection of driving this car until the British Grand Prix weekend when Chris practiced both Tecnos.

Ultimately, he qualified 29th, and last for the race in the Tui/McCall car. The result was hardly surprising on this power circuit, Amon felt the car had no more than 400bhp. In the (restarted) race he retired after only six laps with failing fuel pressure.

A fortnight later the Goral/Fowell E731 was taken to Zandvoort, and again, after driving both cars, Amon practiced and raced the PA123-73. He qualified 19th of 24 cars in the tragic race which cost Roger Williamson his life aboard Tom Wheatcroft’s March 731 Ford. Chris was out with a fuel system problem after 22 laps.

Amon heading out to practice the Tecno E731 at Zandvoort (MotorSport)

Tecno missed the German GP but rejoined the circus at the Osterreichring for what proved to be their final race, an act of the complete farce.

Pit pundits were amused to see the Tui Tecno arrive in the Tecno transporter and the Goral Tecno on a trailer behind Fowell’s Road car; one-for-all and all-for-one.

Amon qualified the PA123-73 second last on the grid but didn’t take the start. There simply wasn’t a suitable race-engine to install, he departed in disgust and contempt.

And that, sadly, was that.

Chris, PA123/6 Osterreichring 1973 (MotorSport)
Tecno E731 Osterreichring 1973. Note the neat location of the big oil tank and radiator, Hewland FG400 gearbox and challenging exhaust pipe runs (MotorSport)

The Pederzani’s withdrew from racing but continued with their other enterprises. Amon finished the season with a couple of guest drives for Team Tyrrell, albeit his drive at Watkins Glen evaporated after Francois Cevert’s tragic death during practice in a sister car.

Looking back decades later, Amon claimed that Tui Tecno PA123-73 was the better car, but conceded the Goral Tecno didn’t get a fair crack of the whip. “It was a beautiful looking car, but it lacked development” Indeed, given its late arrival the E731’s potential was never unlocked according to those involved.

“Fowell was a clever guy,” says McIntosh, who remained with the designer to work on Amon’s own F1 car the following year; another catastrophic piece of Amon decision making.

Thompson recalls the final Tecno incorporating a host of “different ideas”. It was the first F1 chassis, he claims, to run a fibreglass rear wing.

McCall and McIntosh, from opposite camps, agreed that Luciano Pederzani was a talented engineer. McCall describes the Italian as “a hands-on mechanic and a real smart man”. McIntosh remembers him as “an intuitive engineer”.

MotorSport wrote that “The end appears to have come at Silverstone, and explains why the team ran out of engines two races later. The story below was told to Wies by a Tecno mechanic years later…”

“He told me that a very long top gear was put in our chassis. The idea was to try to make the British (Goral Tecno) car look better than it was.” That might explain why the Tecno did not qualify that weekend.

This makes no sense to me…The Tecnos wouldn’t have had the torque/power to pull a super tall top gear. A short top would have popped engines due to over revs, a tall one? Not so.

“As soon as Luciano found out he went home and said that he would never be seen at a racetrack again.” Work on a flat-eight F1 engine was immediately stopped.”

Luciano Pederzani kept his word right up to his death in his Bologna workshop in January 1987, he never did return to racing. It was very much motor racing’s loss.

Any assessment of Tecno’s considerable achievements should be viewed over a decade, not the much narrower F1 prism of 1972-73.

Chris Amon, PA123/6, Monaco 1973 (unattributed)

Etcetera: Tecno PA123/6...

(MotorSport)

Beautiful fabrication wherever you look. Tubular rocker operating coil-spring Koni damper and lower wishbone. Bodywork is aluminium.

(MotorSport)

Amon’s car having an engine change at Monaco. Just how low these flat-12s sit in the car – a stressed component as you can see – is shown from this shot. Rear of the 123-73 is the same as 123-72; a design mandatory requested of Alan McCall.

(G Piola)
(unattributed)

The overhead shot from a Monaco apartment shows the shape of PA123/6 and it’s width. Deformable structures were mandated by the FIA that season, some teams did a better job of integrating them than others.

(MotorSport)

Note fuel rail and Lucas fuel injection and forward facing roll bar. There is no need to knock the chassis, Amon said it was good.

(MotorSport)

Flat-12 engine output somewhere north of 420bhp while noting Amon’s view that it felt more like 400, inboard rear discs, Hewland FG400 gearbox,

(MotorSport)
(MotorSport)

The far more resolved location of ancillaries of the 1973 PA123 is clear. Note fuel metering unit, electronic ignition box and brake ducts.

Reference and photo credits…

MotorSport Images, Tecno Register, Italiaonroad.it, oldracingcars.com, ‘History of The Grand Prix Car’ Doug Nye, MotorSport, Automobile Year 21

Tailpiece…

(MotorSport)

Let’s finish where we started with the F1 cars; PA123/1 at Nivelles on debut in 1972. Rainer Schlegelmilch’s typically wonderful arty-farty shot of Nanni Galli during the Belgian GP weekend.

Finito…

porsche (Louis Klemantaski)

Battle for the test drive between Belgian Journalist/Le Mans winner Paul Frere and one of the Porsche drivers, any idea who?…

Frere (below) finished fourth in a Jaguar D-Type he shared with Freddy Rouselle. ’57 was a D-Type rout, the Ecurie Ecosse cars of Ron Flockhart/Ivor Bueb and Ninian Sanderson/John Lawrence were first and second from the Equipe Los Amigos French entry crewed by Jean Lucas/Jean-Marie Brussin, then Frere’s machine in fourth.

(LAT)

Ferry Porsche is in the suit and racing manager Huschke von Hanstein is on the pit counter.

The cars are the #32 718RSK of Umberto Maglioli/Edgar Barth, the #33 550A of Hans Hermann/Richard von Frankenberg and #34, the 550A of Claude Storez/Ed Crawford; DNF, DNF and non-classified respectively. The best placed Porsche that year was the privately entered 550A of Ed Hugus and Carel de Beaufort in eighth place.

The car in the distance is the #55 Lotus Engineering Lotus 11 Climax which finished ninth, and first in the sports 750cc class, in the hands of Herbert Mackay-Fraser and Jay Chamberlain (below).

(unattributed)

(LAT)

The Umberto Maglioli/Edgar Barth 718 RSK during the race, DNF accident after completing 129 laps in the 12th hour.

(unattributed)

(LAT)

The toss-pots of the concours world would be well advised to have a good look at shots like this which show the finish of racing cars as prepared for battle, ex-factory. Still, the last thing most of these dudes seek is originality, may the Oily Rag concept prevail. Here, the Maglioli/Barth 718 RSK before the off.

Credit…

Louis Klemantaski, LAT Photographic

Tailpiece…

(LAT)

The eighth-placed Ed Hugus/Carel Godin de Beaufort Porsche 550A chases the Jack Brabham/Ian Raby Cooper T39 Climax, 15th, during Le Mans in 1957.

Finito…

Bruce McLaren won the first Tasman Cup/Series in 1964 aboard the first ‘real McLaren’, a 2.5-litre Cooper T70 Climax FPF.

Two of these machines were designed and built by McLaren and his friend/confidant/mechanic and fellow Kiwi, Wally Willmott, at Coopers in late 1963.

The nascent Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Team cars were raced by the boss and young, very talented American thruster, Tim Mayer. That years Tasman was a triumph for McLaren, he won three of the seven rounds, but it was also disastrous as Mayer lost his life in the final round at Longford.

This brochure was produced by BP as a handout during the ’65 Tasman, and is wonderful, I just-gotta share it with you.

Ex-Repco Brabham Engines senior technician Michael Gasking has become a good friend. He’s been in Melbourne (from Adelaide) this weekend to catch up with family and take in Motorclassica. He is also helping me with a new project, amongst all of his mega-collection of memorabilia and photographs was this little brochure I’ve never seen before.

Credits…

Michael Gasking Collection

Tailpiece…

Jim Clark won the ’65 Tasman aboard a works Lotus 32B Climax, winning four of the seven rounds. Bruce won the Australian Grand Prix at Longford and was second overall aboard a Cooper T79, a new car akin to Cooper’s contemporary T77 and T75 F1/F2 designs.

Jack Brabham was third racing a new BT11A, with Phil Hill equal fourth in the surviving T70, together with Jim Palmer and Frank Gardner in Brabhams BT7A and BT11A respectively.

Finito…

(racerviews.com)

One row of the 28 starters of the 35 lap, 150 mile, 1949 Australian Grand Prix – or more likely the supporting F2 race – at Leyburn, Queensland, await the drop of the flag on September 18.

The first two cars are MG TCs, Col Robinson’s #32, and J Hillhouse in #30. #17 is the more focused TC Spl of Dick Cobden, then Peter Critchley’s fourth placed ex-Alf Najar MG TB Spl, and on the far side, Arthur Rizzo’s Riley Spl, who finished third on the RAAF airfield track.

A race day crowd estimated at 30,000 people saw John Crouch’s Delahaye 135S win from Ray Gordon’s TC Spl, the shot below shows Crouch on his winning run.

John Snow imported the 1936 3.6-litre, six-cylinder Delahaye (chassis # 47190) from France to Australia in time for the 1939 AGP at Lobethal, with the talented Crouch finally realising its potential.

(Wiki unattributed)
(Wiki unattributed)

For so long the fire-and-brimstone Frank Kleinig had been an AGP favourite. 1949 was really his last chance to do well as the quality of our fields improved and his oh-so-fast Kleinig Hudson Spl slipped down the grids, its development potential by then having pretty-much peaked.

Kleinig led Crouch for seven laps – they shared the fastest lap of the race 2’52 seconds/90mph – but then had the first of three pitstops which led to his retirement after completing only 21 laps.

Dick Cobden’s shapely, quick, Gordon Stewart built, Bob Baker bodied, 1946 MG TC (#3306) ‘Red Cigar’ single-seater was out early after only six laps with undisclosed dramas.

(Wiki-unattributed)

Thanks to Terry Sullivan for pointing out this interesting article about the machinations and difficulties associated with the staging of this race; The AGP When Any Airfield Would Do – The Race Torque

Credits…

Wikipedia, racerviews.com, Rob Bartholomaeus, Stephen Dalton, Dick Willis

Tailpiece…

(D Willis)

Racers both: Charlie Smith and John Crouch at the launch of Alec Mildren’s biography at Frank Gardner’s Norwell facility on April 18, 1999.

Finito…

(P Houston)

This Dr Who-esque shot was taken by Peter Houston at Hume Weir on the 1971 Boxing Day weekend.

It’s later F2 front runner Enno Buesselmann in his Formula Ford days, an Elfin 600. Click here for more on Australian FF formative days.

These couple of pages from a mid-1950s brochure about the Phillip Island circuit have me intrigued.

Is it a Claytons-prospectus touting for capital to build the place or part of a promotional document created after its completion? Dunno, but I’d like to know.

(P Mahon Collection)

The Repco Record is shown above at Port Wakefield circuit in South Australia in the late-1950s.

The Holden Hi-power six-cylinder engined R&D and display car was in Phil’s father’s care while away from its Repco Research home near Dandenong, Victoria.

The shot below is of the car in the family front-yard together with a Ford T-model they still own. Nice!

More on the Repco Record here; ‘Repco Record’ Car and Repco ‘Hi-Power’ Head… | primotipo…

(P Mahon Collection)
(Rewind media)

Max Stewart, Mildren Ford, winner of the 1972 Singapore Grand Prix, chases Albert Poon’s Brabham BT30 Ford.

They are clearing Peak Bend on the challenging Thompson Road circuit. Click here for more on this race; Singapore Sling with an Elfin Twist… | primotipo…

(LAT)

Brocky, brocky, brocky oi, oi, oi…

Mind you, it might be Brian Muir or Jean-Claude Aubriet, his co-drivers at the wheel. Doubtless the taxi-perves among you can set me straight on that particular helmet. Their Team Brock BMW 3.5 CSL, was out with gearbox failure after completing 156 laps, in the 19th hour, Le Mans in 1976.

The race was won by the Jacky Ickx/Gijs van Lennep Porsche 936, the Group 5 class-winner was the works Porsche 935 crewed by Rolf Stommelen/Manfred Schurti, Brock returned to Le Mans of course.

The most formidable combination in Australia immediately before, and after the war, Alf Barrett and his Alfa Romeo Monza

And the same shot, at Mount Panorama, below colourised by Nathan Tasca, the muted tones are much to my liking. See here for an epic on car and driver; Alf Barrett, ‘The Maestro’, Alfa Romeo 8C2300 Monza… | primotipo…

Alan Jones, Lola THL2 Ford during the 1986 Canadian GP on the 2.74 mile Ile Notre-Dame track in Montreal, Quebec.

All the ingredients for success were in this mix but the ultimate pace of the car, in large part due to a lack of power from the Cosworth 1.5-litre, twin-turbo V6, meant it never achieved much despite the best efforts on The Jones Boy and Patrick Tambay. See here for a piece on the car; Lola THL2 Ford | primotipo…

Jones finished 10th, five laps adrift of Nigel Mansell’s winning Williams FW11 Honda.

(rewindmedia.com)

Perth’s Syd Anderson, Double Ford V8, and LC Chan’s Cooper 1100 at the start of the August 2, 1953 Johore Grand Prix in Malaya.

Anderson led for the first 19 laps of the race held on the Thomson Road course, but was out with engine and clutch problems. The incredible twin-Ford V8 engined beastie was as famous for its unreliability as its speed. Chan did the fastest lap at 63.25mph but he too failed to finish with engine problems.

I wonder if another Australian Special competed overseas before this? Stan Jones won the 1954 New Zealand Grand Prix at Ardmore aboard Maybach 1 of course. Click here for more on the Double Eight here; 1950 Australian Grand Prix: Nuriootpa, South Australia… | primotipo… and within this piece; Sellicks Beach, Adelaide… | primotipo…

(rewindmedia.com)
(K Wright Collection)

Bruce McLaren, winner of the 1965 Australian GP at Longford on his lap of honour.

McLaren won aboard one of his ‘first McLarens’, a Cooper T70 Climax. Jim Clark holds the Tasman Cup he has just won, he was victorious in four of the seven rounds in a works Lotus 32B Climax. See here for an article on this race; Longford 1965… | primotipo… and Cooper T70; ‘Levin International’ New Zealand 1965… | primotipo…

The Triumph Spitfire’s pilot is the Longford Motor Racing Association supremo, Ron MacKinnon.

(M Fistonic)

Max Stewart’s Lola T400 Chev ahead of Chris Amon’s Talon MR1 Chev at Pukekohe during the 1975 NZ GP.

They finished seventh and eighth with Chris in front. Amon was consistently quick throughout the ‘75 Tasman Series – won by Warwick Brown’s Lola T332 Chev – winning the Teretonga round. Stewart was held back by the Lola T400 which at that stage of its development was inferior to his old T330. Brown won the NZ GP. More on the McRae GM2/Talon MR1 here; Amon’s Talon, McRae’s GM2… | primotipo…

(B Williamson Collection)

Lex Davison, Cooper T62 Climax FPF 2.7 ahead of David McKay, Brabham BT4 Climax FPF 2.7 during the April 1963 Easter Bathurst Gold Star round.

Davison won the Bathurst 100 from pole with Kiwi, Tony Shelly second aboard Davison’s Cooper T53, and Charlie Smith’s Elfin Junior 1.5 Ford third. McKay was out after only 9 of the 26 laps with overheating.

Bib Stillwell won the Gold Star that year aboard a Brabham BT4 Climax from John Youl, Cooper T55 Climax and McKay. More on the Brabham BT4 here; For Sale, everything for sale… | primotipo… and Cooper T62 here; Bruce’, Lex’ and Rocky’s Cooper T62 Climax… | primotipo…

(Cummins Family Collection)

Reg Hunt during the first test of his just arrived Maserati A6GCM at Fishermans Bend in December 1954.

This was the car – only just superseded by the 250F – which reset the competitive bar in Australia. To run at the front of scratch races, rather than the hitherto usual handicaps, elite level Formula Libre competitors had to have a modern, Italian! car.

Hunt died at 99, not to far from the-ton, due to Covid related complications on August 22, 2022. Click here; Reg Hunt: Australian Ace of the 1950’s… | primotipo… and here on the A6GCM; Hunt’s GP Maser A6GCM ‘2038’… | primotipo…

Racer/engineer Otto Stone in the overalls (Cummins Family Collection)
(Porsche.com)

Alan Hamilton waves to the Calder Raceway crowd after the first round of the 1969 Australian Touring Car Championship in March.

He finished third aboard his Porsche 911T/R behind the Ford Mustangs of Bob Jane and Pete Geoghegan. See here for a feature on that series; 1969 Australian Touring Car Championship… | primotipo… and on some of Alan’s cars; Alan Hamilton, Australian Champion: His Porsche 904/8 and two 906s… | primotipo…

Love the ATV Channel-O outside broadcast van on the inside of Tin Shed corner, do you think they covered the meeting with one camera?

(AGP Corp)

David Brabham on the East Terrace section of the Adelaide street circuit in 1990.

He qualified his Brabham BT59 Judd 25th but spun and couldn’t get going after 19 laps of the race won by Nelson Piquet’s Benetton B190 Ford. More about David here; Brabhams and Adelaide… | primotipo…

What a double header! The Australian Tourist Trophy and Australian Grand Prix were held at Albert Park a week apart on the weekends of November 26, and December 2, 1956.

Both events were works-Officine Alfieri Maserati/Stirling Moss benefits. He won the TT in a 300S sportscar and the GP aboard one of the greatest of all Grand Prix cars, the 250F. Click here; 1956 Australian Tourist Trophy, Albert Park… | primotipo… and here; Moss at Albert Park… | primotipo…

(J Cox)

Jack Hedley on the Milthorpe Special at Albert Park in 1956.

Built by Albury man, Charlie Milthorpe in 1947-48, the car was based on an ex-army 1941 Ford ute chassis and fitted with an amalgam of FoMoCo bits; ’39 gearbox, ’40 front axle, ’35 rear end and a ’51 side-valve V8 fitted with a Stromberg 97 carb, brakes were Customline.

(unattributed)

These days the attractive racer is an ugly hot rod which resides in Tasmania, but an attractive replica has also been built.

(J Cox)
Milthorpe Ford Replica at Winton in recent years. Meeting date and driver folks? (Jason Pratt)
(B Williamson Collection)

Spencer Martin from Bib Stillwell both aboard Brabham BT11A Climaxes during the Mallala Gold Star round in October 1965.

Stillwell won from Martin in a season where Bib won three of the six Gold Star rounds. It was his final of four on-the-trot Gold Stars before retiring to a stellar – or rather continuing – business career, not to forget his return to historic competition for the final decade or so of his life.

Martin won the 1966-67 Gold Stars in fantastic scraps with Kevin Bartlett, both aboard Brabham BT11As. Click here; Matich & Stillwell: Brabhams, Warwick Farm, Sydney December 1963… | primotipo… and here; Spencer Martin: Australian ‘Gold Star’ Champion 1966/7… | primotipo…

(MotorSport Images)

Tim Schenken in the Rondel Racing Brabham BT36 Ford during the Rothmans International Trophy meeting at Brands Hatch in August 1971.

Tim’s race was over early, he had fuel metering unit failure after only three laps. He did a full F2 Championship season, winning at Crystal Palace and placing second at Mantorp Park and Albi. He was fourth in the championship won by his mate, Ronnie Peterson’s March 712M Ford, Ronnie won at Brands that day too. More on Tim here; Tim Schenken… | primotipo…

(gnooblas)

Mary Seed, AC Ace Bristol at Gnoo Blas in June 1958.

The young British socialite had met and married HMAS Melbourne Venom Squadron Leader Lieutenant-Commander Peter Seed in the UK. He gave his bride (née Morton) the car as a wedding gift, before coming to Australia in 1956.

Seed had raced an Austin Healey in the UK in 1955 and raced the AC in Australia from 1956 to 1959, including setting an Australian Land Speed Record for women at 113.3mph at Carrathool in 1957.

When the couple returned to the UK, the car, chassis #BE167, stayed in Australia, and was then raced by Ray Hogwood and Rex Marshall until 1962. Restored by Geoff Dowdle in the early 1980s, hopefully it’s still in Australia.

Doug Blain road testing the ex-Seed AC Ace Bristol BE167 for SCW (B King Collection)

Credits…

Peter Houston, Phil Mahon Collection, LAT, Zeunert Motorsport Archive, rewindmedia.com, Getty Images, John Cox, Bob Williamson Collection, MotorSport Images, Cummins Family Collection, gnooblas.com, Ken Starkey, Bob King Collection, Jason Pratt

Tailpiece…

(K Starkey)

Norm Beechey, Chev Nova from Pete Geoghegan, Ford Mustang at Catalina Park in the Blue Mountains, perhaps, Neil Stratton thinks, during the January 1967 meeting. See here for a bit more; Norm, Jim and Pete… | primotipo…

Finito…