FM in SR3-1 Oldsmobile on Sandown’s main straight during his victorious Victorian Sportscar Championship run on April 16. Car pretty as a picture, the SR3’s got more butch as the aero-revolution kicked in from 1968 onwards (R Davies)

One of my online buddies is to blame for yet another variation on Frank Matich themes.

‘Catalina Park’ – I hate this avatar bullshit, if ‘yer name is Freddie Fuddpucker be loud and proud of it right?! – sent the link to this clip of Frantic Francis Matich winning the Victorian Sportscar Championship at Sandown in April 1967, it got me thinking about that year. See here;

Winner of the Australian Tourist Trophy that year, there is little doubt that FM’s new space frame design – whether it was an exact copy of his existing Elfin 400 chassis with a few extra tubes, or almost exact copy of the 400 with a few extra tubes is a moot point – was the best Australian sportscar of the year.

The 4.5-litre Oldsmobile V8 powered machine was quick outta-the-box from its debut Tasman Cup support event performances that January-February, and was a jet by the time it was fitted with a 390bhp Repco Brabham 620 SOHC, two-valve, Lucas injected V8 in time for the Can-Am Cup that September-November.

“Jesus they are quick”, or thoughts to that general effect by Matich and Mabey. This and the following shots were taken at Bridghampton – Can-Am round 2 – over the September 17, 1967 weekend. Chassis SR3-3, RB 620 4.4-litre V8, spaceframe chassis, ZF transaxle and period typical rear suspension; mag uprights, single top-links, lower inverted wishbones, twin radius rods, coil-spring/shocks and adjustable roll bar (S Rosenthall)
“What next?” Matich was as good a design and race engineer as he was driver, the full-package. The watermark you can see is ‘Revs Institute’, which I recommend as a research resource. The nose of car #1 behind is Sam Posey’s – he raced a Surtees TS11 Chev in the ’73 Tasman, remember? – Caldwell D7 Chev (S Rosenthall)

Mind you, he got blown ‘orf the face of the planet over there. The SR3 was very light but its all-alloy 4.4-litre V8 – however many cams it had – was positively poofhouse-effete compared with the big, brawny 6-litre and above yankee-pushrod V8s. 1967 was the start of the Papaya-Revolution, the dominance of McLaren Cars in the Can-Am from 1967-71 before Porsche rained on their parade.

Matich entered four of the six rounds – Road America, Bridgehampton, Laguna Seca and Riverside – and failed to finish any of them, he only got past the halfway mark once, at Bridghampton. But he impressed pit-pundits with the speed of his cars, and both Team Matich and Repco Brabham Engines got their heads around 200-mile races, Can-Am events were GP length, so the cars needed a blend of speed and endurance.

Frank did good business over there, he sold two cars – SR3-1 to Marvin Webster and SR3-2 to Kent Price, both buyers were Californians. Matich used SR3-2 at Road America, and SR3-3 in the rest of the US races, then brought it home and clobbered Chris Amon’s ex-works Scuderia Veloce owned and run Ferrari P4/Can-Am 350 in the 1968 Australian Tasman Cup support rounds.

That was the benefit of the trip to the US, Matich and Peter Mabey honed SR3 to a fine-pitch in the intensity of competition stateside, with all of their learnings applied to the 4.8-litre Repco 760 V8 engined SR4 for 1968 Can-Am competition, but the car ran late. That saga is related at length here;

Hinchman overalls, Bell Magnum helmet – pro-driver paradigms for the day. Note the lack of a spare wheel/tyre, Can-Am rules dispensed with that stupidity. Note also the four-point harness, not a fitment – I think – he had in SR3-1 before going away. I don’t think they were mandated in the Can-Am – USAC mandated them in Champcars mind you – then but I may be wrong. A good idea all the same…the rollover bar is a tad-low mind (S Rosenthall)


Robert Davies, Stanley Rosenthall-Revs Institute,


(S Rosenthall)

Yep, yep, I noticed the mechanic. Given my very school-boy smutty mind, my immediate thought was the acrobatics of a particularly athletic girlfriend when I was 19, my-lordy she had a trick or three. Anyway, I wonder what Mr Mabey or the other mechanic – who is he, wasn’t Rennmax Engineering’s Bob Britton, who fabricated the chassis over there for a bit? Whoever it was would have needed a chiropractic treatment for a fortnight after returning to the pitlane…


  1. Rob says:


    It is stated above that “There wasn’t an Australian Tourist Trophy or Australian Sportscar Championship series in 1967 either…..”. I agree that there was no ASCC but I have numerous references to the 1967 ATT being held at Surfers Paradise on 21 May 1967. And the winner was……. Frank Matich driving a Matich SR3!

    An outline of the race can be found at


    Rob B

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