photo (9)

Primotipo… is Mark Bisset .

The sight of Kevin Bartlett’s’ Mclaren M10B F5000 bellowing sideways out of Shell corner, Sandown Park, Melbourne, Australia in January ’72 was his first racing sight, remains indelibly etched in his mind, and started a lifelong fascination and passion for motor racing .

He has owned and raced Alfa Romeo, Porsche, Lotus, Venom, Asp, Elfin, Lola, Van Diemen & Ralt cars.
Favourite marques are Lotus, Lola & Alfa…but all racing and sports racing cars float his boat.

He is also an executive in a professional service firm.

The object of this blog is to share memories, observations & opinions on the sports past, present & future…



Peter Brennan  Elfin 400 Chev

Peter Brennan
Elfin 400 Chev

Racers Retreat…is Peter Brennan

Melbourne’s Peter Brennan is a passionate racer, restorer and businessman.

Apprenticed as a mechanic, he quickly established a successful business and prepared, raced and restored some of Australia’s significant cars both for his own collection and for his clients.

He started his racing career in the ‘Jinx BSA’, a 500cc racer and after retiring to establish his business and raise 3 children with his wife Elizabeth, he returned to the sport competing in Australian National Formula 1, Formula Holden at the time. He now competes in a variety of cars in Historic Racing.

As a restorer/driver his collection includes the ex-Patrese ’79 F1 Arrows A1B, ex-Matich Elfin 400/Traco Olds sports car, both cars the ‘tip of the iceberg’.



Rodways Repco Recollections…is Rodway Wolfe.

Rod was brought up in Victorias’ East Gippsland, after completing his motor mechanics apprenticeship he was employed by Repco’s retail arm ‘ blagging ‘ his way into a job with the Repco Brabham Engine company and later the F5000 company.

He was part of Repcos’ small elite team all through the World Championship years of 1966/7 to 1973, this is his ‘front row’ account of the company, it’s engineers, customers, drivers and of course the engines themselves.

Rodway was then Holinger Engineering’s first employee after that returning to East Gippsland where he established and owned successful businesses in motor cycle and marine retailing and ships chandlery .

He is now retired and lives at ‘Wildwood’ , his wilderness property in East Gippsland.


  1. Steven Robertson says:


    No acknowledgement at all received from the 3 emails I have sent you.

    Kind regards,


  2. Steven Robertson says:


    That is the email address I have been using. Have my messages gone into your spam?



  3. Mark says:

    There are a few errors in the “Hector Jenkins” reference to the series of Penrith photos c1928. if you like i can correct them for you. I own Hectors Fronty. Please email me.

    • markbisset says:

      Fantastic Mark,
      Be great to get it right- mark@bisset.com.au
      Please send me a current shot or two and I will add them to the piece if that is ok?
      Thanks for getting in touch, I love that bunch of photos but I didn’t have much to go on so feel free to flesh out the story as well as correcting errors.

  4. Brian Goellnicht says:

    I am trying to contact Jaime Gard and Don O’Sullivan. Appreciate any help.
    Brian Goellnicht.

    • markbisset says:

      Sorry Brian,
      I tried to get hold of the guys when I did the Gardos article but could not get the contact details. Perhaps one of the readers in the west can assist.

  5. Mal Fay says:

    Hello Mark,

    I was wondering if I could pitch a story to you? Back in the seventies two “Australian Pursuits” (reversed grid sprint race) were held at Road America. The first was held in 75 when RA was looking to fill the empty weekend left over from the defunct Can-Am with a sports car run what ya brung style entry. The second was in 76 in the dying days of the SCCA F-5000 series. Oddly enough both events were won by the same driver, one Vern Schuppan. I have the programs from both races, period magazine articles, and some photos that I took (no telephoto back then, may be a bit grainy). Interesting back story to both races.


  6. Andrew Murray says:

    Hi Mark,
    some things wrong with your Alfa GTA story detail.
    I owned both the Mildren LHD and RHD and well as the fire damaged ex-Gulson car.
    One day we will put it straight.
    Andrew Murray

  7. Doug Nye says:

    As a new visitor to this site may I just compliment everyone involved. Absolutely wonderful stuff! For what it’s worth I am really impressed…just for starters there’s hardly a single photograph I recognise.

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks for checking primotipo out, your compliments mean the world.
      Looking back, I started the thing in May 2014, mainly to put into the public domain the knowledge of Repco Brabham Engines machinist/storeman Rodway Wolfe who came all the way from Orbost in country Victoria to Adelaide, where I was then working, and loaned me his wonderful ‘suitcase of RBE goodies’- 932 articles later we are still ‘pluggin away.
      Thirty or so of the pieces are collaborations with Rodway, Peter Brennan, Stephen Dalton, John Medley and Bob King but I only have myself to blame for the rest!
      I’m glad many of the photos are unfamiliar to you, Bob Williamson’s shift from TNF to Facebook a while back opened a floodgate of Australian photographs which henceforth had been in ‘gramps cupboard’- each of the articles is stimulated in this way so the content in the last couple of years is biased in favour of Oz topics than the first few years when a paucity of local snaps was a barrier- visual medium and all that.
      I have used various of your books as reference sources along the way, hopefully when you look closely the attributions are up to snuff!
      Again, many thanks for the kind words, please keep in touch.
      Mark Bisset

  8. elavotrebor says:

    Love the F500 photos & stories. I was working corner’s as an AMSC official at Calder in those days. Never forget the atmosphere, sound gear changes up the front straight.

    • markbisset says:

      Great to hear from you- those cars were my favourites too- a full field in the Tasman rounds driven by elite level drivers really was something!

  9. jbjohnsmith says:

    Hi Mark,
    I have a couple of corrections to your post. The bent chassis shown in the picture is not of the RT1 but of the RT4 when it was extensively damaged at AIR in 1982, I purchased a new tub from Graham Watson and we rebuilt the car over the next 2 weeks, only to damage it again whilst testing at Oran Park. Paul Liston then stepped up and did me a new chassis at his workshop. This was much stiffer and stronger than Ron’s production one, by using higher grade aluminium and solid rivets. The engine bay was also braced stronger. The car proved to be faster and more consistent.
    The RT1 got damaged at Pukekohe NZ in 1980. When we returned I got Harry Galloway to build a new tub, again , much stronger and with modifications. He moved the driver a lot further forward ,giving much better weight distribution, and moved the fuel cell from the side pods to behind the seat.The engine bay was strengthened as well.
    The car was much faster with less understeer. It surprised me how competitive it was with the more modern cars.

    • markbisset says:

      Great to hear from you, i’ve corrected the caption, and interesting to learn of the re-tubbing of the RT1 and RT4 into stronger and quicker cars, both were long lived models in their various iterations weren’t they.
      Its funny the races which stick in ones mind, but i particularly remember a weekend at Amaroo circa 1978 where you in the Galloway and ‘Pedro’ Larner in his Elfin 700 went at it all weekend- fair, fast, fabulous racing! The SV RT1 was on display in the paddock that weekend too, no doubt you had a good look at it!
      Go well and stay well, hope your health is good.

  10. Simon Lewis says:

    Hi just an upodate on the INNES IRELAND page ( https://primotipo.com/tag/innes-ireland/ ) , there is a colour shot of Jack Fairman in the Ferguson P99 at Aintreee that’s captioned “unattributed” . In fact it’s from my archive and prints are available from my website http://www.simonlewis.com at the following page https://shop.simonlewis.com/ferguson-ff-4wd-f1-car-1961-british-gp-fairman-colour-217-p.asp If you could update the caption accordingly or remove the image entirely I’d be very grateful . Many thanks. Simon Lewis Transport Books.

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Simon,
      That’s an old one, I’d forgotten about it. Caption changed and I’ve added you to the photo credits at the end of the article too.
      Thanks for getting in touch.

  11. Stephen Latham says:

    Hi Mark. Enjoyed the articles you posted about Tony Gaze. I recently did a ‘mini bio’ on Tony for a facebook group I’m in and enjoyed doing as his was such an amazing story and life well lived. I wondered if it would be ok to share some of your info on him, especially regarding the Monte Carlo Rally he contested? I would obviously credit you if I posted it. There were a number of good photos of Tony but I would only share the ones that were uncredited, to avoid any copyright issues. Thanks. Steve

  12. Roger Herrick says:

    Hi Mark. I see that you have used a few of my photos of the BRM P15 and glad that you have given them some exposure – I think I have a couple more in my photo collection. I’ve done some research on a couple of my race cars that may be of interest – perhaps you could email me. Cheers

  13. Mike Tamlin says:

    Hi Mark,
    I’ve only just come across your site over the Christmas break. It is a great and impressive rolling history of motorsport – especially the local scene in Australia. It has brought back some memories of seeing some of the B&W TV racing from the Tasman era as a kid in Adelaide and taught me a few things about racers who I had not realised went back so far.

    I was wondering whether you or any of your readers were also present in Vic Park at the opening of the Adelaide F1 circuit back in 1985 before the big event, and have photos of the occasion. I was there but was caught without a camera.

    My office was on Fullarton Rd across the park from the soon to be pit area. On the way in to work, I heard on the radio that the circuit was to be christened that morning by J Brabham in his championship-winning car. It was a few months before the construction of the pit buildings, stands etc from memory and was too much to resist so I galloped (sorry for the pun) over the horse track to the newly laid circuit – then just a strip of bitumen through the park. Apart from literally a dozen people, there was a caravan, a couple of fettlers and the Brabham sitting alongside it on the track. Not long after, Sir Jack drove up and got changed into his overalls in the caravan. The SA police escort car arrived, Sir Jack buckled up, started the car and drove from what became the start/finish line down to Wakefield Rd and around the circuit at the speed limit. Once they arrived back at the entrance to the park section of the circuit, the cops peeled off and the great one had his only chance to have a go. He put the boot in – and the old V8 took a couple of gulps, spluttered then took off like it should. Unfortunately, an old biddy was oblivious to the occasion and had started walking her dog across the tarmac just as he had the car on the cam and came around the corner!

    It was a morning to remember and one that seems difficult to imagine happening these days.

    Surely there was a press photographer or someone with a camera that has a few snaps of the occasion? If so, I would love to see them on your site.

    All the best,

    • markbisset says:

      What a great story Mike!
      I’ll ask Nigel Tait to see if he was looking after BT19 that day. There will be some telly footage and of course the ‘Tiser would have good coverage. If you can come up with a date I shall ‘Trove away’ to see what is there.
      It was amazing to be there in ’85- I’ll certainly never forget it. Click ‘1985 Australian Grand Prix’ into the primotipo search box to see the piece i wrote about that first year.

  14. Andrew Sapiro says:

    greetings from Miami Fl – chronic reader and model builder – just completed a detailed build of a Merit Cooper FIII – frame, engine, suspension – the whole deal – thought you might like some pictures – if you’ll send me a link that takes attachments I’ll send you the photos …


  15. Andrew Sapiro says:

    silly me again – here’s a link to the build thread
    – completed photos on page 12 …
    mine is the light metallic green
    – the dark green one is a large scale build by another excellent modeler …

  16. George Sutherland says:

    Hello, Mark hope your well, my name is George Sutherland I live in Scotland, I have just enjoyed looking at your site , I love it. I was wondering if Richard Croston was still about I am probably the biggest Ferrari literature collector in Scotland and I have a few old documents on the Supersqualo and was looking to get a wee bit help confirming what they are. Take care best wishes George 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Ps. I can send photos through email .

    • markbisset says:

      Hi George,
      I don’t have Richard’s contact details. That marvellous specifications sheet will be Facebook find, perhaps from a Kiwi page but I don’t remember. I find items, do something with them on primotipo then delete the image. It may seem nuts, but my filing system, if you will, are the completed articles containing the images.
      Best of luck with it.

      • George Sutherland says:

        Hello, Mark that’s fantastic thanks very much for your help, I received an email from Paul Cummins who confirmed the Super squalo documents, also if anybody else has interest in these nostalgia documents please get in touch. Best Regards George

  17. Mike Seymour says:

    Hi Mark… Great site and great content.. For my sins I am the editor of a small quarterly magazine ‘Historic Lotus’ Which goes to Historic Lotus Register members circa 650 members.. I would like to reproduce your article ‘Jim Clark taking a Deep Breath! Lotus 43 BRM…
    Posted: February 17, 2015 in F1’
    If this is possible we would obviously credit yourself and Primotipo and would require a pdf of the article..
    I have a great picture of the car and Jim Clark that I will probably use on the front cover so there should be good coverage for your site mentioned with the article.
    Please let me know if that’s possible and I’m happy to send a copy/pdf of our magazine should you wish to see it before hand.. Just send an email address or where you would like a copy sent to.
    Kind regards… Mike Seymour

  18. Kirill says:

    Hello, Mark!
    My name is Kirill. I’m 16 year old and I’m from Ukraine.
    I like your posts (photos) about autosport and famous race drivers.
    I made photobook about Chris Amon, where will be used rare photos from this site. Do you can use Chris Amon photos? I will definitely link to this site, without any further ado. If you can give me access to use photos – will be grateful.
    P.S please if you can – send me the confirmation.
    P.P.S Sorry for my bad english

  19. Edmund John Lovell says:

    My earliest motor sport spectating took place at meetings run by the Hunter Valley Sporting Car Club, at the Ringwood airstrip north of Raymond Terrace, NSW, in the early 1950s.
    Is there any readily accessible record of these events?

    • markbisset says:

      Hi Edmund,
      Great to have those early memories. The most likely record of events will be from the car club itself – Hunter Valley Sporting Car Club, give them a yell. I had a play with Google and Trove last night, and unsurprisingly, found nothing.
      Best of luck with your research.

  20. Fronty Ford says:

    Great stuff!! The 1920s Jennison Racer in the Sellicks beach story is all model T Ford running gear that has been lowered. Racing body made. See the mode T ford sump under the car.
    Most likely a flat head motor. There was a Fronty over head valve racer around at hat time but i dont have a lot of info on it. However the “Martin Special” Rajo over head valve model T Ford from sellicks beech remains still survive in Sydney. it was a model T Engine, Underslung Regal Chassis, Cubit Radiator, possibly Model T Axles. A friend has the body and cylinder head and other parts of this car. it was clocked at 100mph back then. I have a photo of the car

  21. Kieran says:

    What a great website, amazing content! Any links here of the Geelong Speeds Trials from years gone by?

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks for the good wishes Kieran,
      I did a piece on the Geelong Speed Trials in Auto Action a few months ago but nothing in primotipo I’m afraid.

  22. Absolutely love this website Mark, it has provided me with many hours of enjoyment and, as an older Aussie expat living in Canada, quite a bit of nostalgia! I enjoy sim racing with older cars (e.g. racing a 1954 Bristol 450 right now), and diving into your archive is not only very informative but really adds to the immersion. Just wanted to say thanks for everything!

    • markbisset says:

      Bless you my son,
      Many thanks!
      It’s all a bit random, the way my brain works I am afraid. There are 1,163 articles now, enough to keep you occupied in your spare time over a long Canadian winter!

  23. I am trying to contact David Rapley re. his book: RIFLE CLUBS OF THE YARRA VALLEY was printed in 2004. Please pass on my contact details or tell me where I can contact him. From: Doncaster Templestowe Historical Society

Leave a Reply to Edmund John Lovell Cancel reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s