Australian Racing Random 11…

Posted: October 2, 2022 in Features
Tags: , , ,
(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…


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.


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…

(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)

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.


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…


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)


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


(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…


  1. robert king says:

    Mark, the ex- Mary Seed AC, chassis no. BE 167 went overseas about 7 years ago.

  2. John Ballantyne says:

    Another wonderful collection of long forgotten heroes, much appreciated!

    • markbisset says:

      Cheers John,
      These ‘random samples’ are quite fun to compile too!

      • John Ballantyne says:

        Mark, I also get a buzz out of remembering the old heroes. As a retirement hobby I have awarded myself the pleasure of illustrating as many cars and bikes from the golden age of motor sport as I can before I die. Over 200 so far. Attached is a small sample in black and white from when covid cut off my watercolour supply. Keep your stuff coming. I look forward to it every day. John B.

      • markbisset says:

        Good for you John,
        A lot of us need a creative outlet! The sample you sent didn’t come through, perhaps try my email;

Leave a Reply

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s