Archive for the ‘Fotos’ Category



The crowd had plenty to cheer about. Bandini’s Ferrari had just won the 1964 Austrian GP and John Surtees took victory before their eyes on the way to his and the Scuderia’s 1964 World Championships. Italian Grand Prix, Monza September 6 1964…

In a thrilling race with slipstreaming battles down the field for which the circuit was famous, Surtees won in his Ferrari 158 from Bruce Mclaren’s Cooper T73 Climax and Bandini’s 158.



John Surtees and Dan Gurney diced for much of the race until the Climax engine in his Brabham BT7 cried enough. Gurney had a few of these occasions when on the cusp of a win during his Brabham years.


(The Cahier Archive)

The business end of Lorenzo Bandini’s Ferrari 158 during practice.

Photo Credit…

The Cahier Archive


I just love pit or startline just-before-the-off shots. You can feel the tension, excitement and driver’s surge of adrenalin just before they pop their butts into the cockpits of their chariots. Here it’s the Belgian Grand Prix, Spa 1965.

Our black-snapper in some ways ruins the shot but he gives it intimacy and immediacy as well. The front row from left to right are Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and a very obscured Graham Hill; BRM P261 by two and Lotus 33 Climax.


The only fellas I recognise are Messrs Stewart, Clark, Chapman and Hill. Can you do any better? The weather looks a bit grim, but such conditions are common in the Ardennes.


It’s a smidge out of focus but let’s not be too hard on our photographer Mr Fwooshee, I’d love to be able to credit him/her/it fully if anyone knows the correct name.

Every time I see a Honda RA271/272 I’m stunned by the audacity of a transversely mounted 1.5-litre V12, six-speed, monocoque chassis design in your first crack at a GP car; RA270 space frame prototype duly noted. Karma was Mr Honda’s originality being rewarded with that Mexican GP win several months hence, here Richie Ginther (RA272) was sixth. Graham Hill is in front, #15 is Dan Gurney’s Brabham BT11 Climax – everybody’s favourite Lanky-Yank is about to insert himself into that little Brabham – and behind him, Jo Siffert’s Rob Walker BT11 BRM. Jo Bonnier, Brabham BT7 Climax is behind the Honda, and further back the redoubtable Bob Anderson in his self-run #24 Brabham BT11 Climax. Brabhams galore, bless-em.

Who is the driver playing with his silver or white peakless helmet? Down the back, top-right there is a glimpse of Jean Stanley getting that tosspot ‘Lord Louis’ Stanley’s cravat nice and straight…

Oh yes, Jim Clark won from Jackie Stewart with Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T77 Climax in third place.





Frank Gardner had an early afternoon, his John Willment Brabham BT11 BRM had ignition problems after completing only four laps. He started from grid slot 18 of 21, the best placed BT11 was the Guvnor’s works-car, Jack Brabham was fourth.


Panorama of the Self Preservation Society’s ‘Wombat Park Classic’ Concours held at Daylesford, Victoria, Australia on Saturday February 18, 2023.

Being of the Oily Rag School of Restoration I’ve always found the top end of this arcane world – Pebble Beach et al – pointless. Getting a car – ‘restoring it’ is such an inaccurate descriptor – to the point it never looked ex-factory defies me, why not go buy a Monet and pimp-that instead, it’s much smaller and easier?

At the more sane end, with fabulous cars that are used, I’m troubled to find fault with a day in the sunshine as works-driver of the Equipe King AC Ace Bristol talking gobshite to other punters, admiring the cars and pretty-ladies, not to forget sipping some exy-French-bubbles.

Wombat Park, Daylesford was settled in the 1850’s by William Stanbridge, gold-mine owner, entrepreneur and State MP, the place is slap-bang in the middle of Victoria’s beautiful Goldfields region. The current, magnificent 1910 Rodney Alsop designed – the great-grandfather of a car mate of mine as it transpires – English Arts and Crafts style home was recently bought by the Mayor of Daylesford, Tony Demarco, a local hospitality entrepreneur with over 1100 beds in the region.

The Concours d’Elegance was the first gig held at Wombat since the Demarco’s acquisition. Many thanks to the sponsors below for a wonderful day of largesse.

I believe The Self Preservation Society (SPS) – you would need to ask them directly, any connection with The Italian Job is entirely accidental – is one of many seditious automotive organisations that have popped up around the world to celebrate life post-Covid, in particular the failure of the Wuhan Wet n’ Wild Market Alchemy Team to kill us all. Rest assured, the SPS is as potent a force as the Judean People’s Front, or was it The People’s Front of Judea? so no need to worry too much about recommendations to storm The Capitol from them.

Fabulous Alta 2-litre #55S/DPG167 recently purchased by the brothers Murdoch, Geoff and Neill.

Fortunately this machine, and the ex-Sinclair-the-MI6-Spook Alta 1100 s/c have remained in Australia, many thanks to Betty Lowe and the Murdochs for that. The Late Graeme Lowe was a lifetime Alta fan, restorer and racer and would be best-pleased that they’ve remained in the colonies.

Butt-shots of the Alta and distant Delage D8S. Here is a piece about the Sinclair Alta 1100, you’ll have to read the next issue of Benzina Magazine (#7) to learn more about this 2-litre machine;

I don’t think quite so much technology had ever been shoved into one car until the Porsche 959 came along, it was quite the thing in 1986. Lots of bang for your buck, but visually not so exciting, Der Deutschlanders have never quite had the je ne sais quoi of the Italianos have they?

Seeing this car reminded me of an old client. Chris Taylor (Motors Pty.Ltd) was the Geelong and region Porsche dealer for many years, I was invited along to a presentation of a 959 to the-great-and-the-good of that city when it did its tour of Australian Porker dealers circa 1987.

There was never a dull moment with him as an old-school dealer, read wine, women and song. Chris’ production of a pair of boxing gloves from the drawer of his desk in the middle of a pitch to his bankers to increase his finance facility was memorable, I doubt Milton the Banker ever forgot it, worked too! When Chris bought a new sprintcar, the sound of the 6-litre thing idling @ 5500rpm in the dealership back lane could be heard at Mount Duneed.

What wasn’t such a good idea was racing the 650bhp winged, roller-skate (at Warrnambool or perhaps Mount Gambier) with a residual smidge of alcohol in the system after a big-night the day before. His decline was dreadful, but his wife capably stepped into the breech to run the place for a while after that, RIP Chris Taylor. Not a man who died guessing.

(Porsche AG)

The Lola T70 in all of its forms is the most erotic – if not exotic – of all sixties sports-racers, bar none. It’s a big statement in a decade of sports-racer spunk-muffins I know, but T70’s lack nothing other than a Le Mans win.

This one is ‘the remaining bones’ of chassis SL70/5 an iconic, mainly South African domiciled Ford 289 engined machine. Of note is a period of ownership by Stirling Moss and wins in the 1966 Lourenco Marques 3 Hours (Doug Serrurier/Roy Pierpoint) and the 1967 Roy Hesketh 3 Hours (Serrurier/Jackie Pretorious).

Allen Brown explains the history of the car in his fabulous My bit below is a summarised version, the full entry is here, scroll down to Lola T140:T70/140 SL70/5 We historians thank the good lord above for Allen’s site in that we have arms-length information about a machine rather than relying on the often Disney-esque fantasy-tales of some owners.

Lola T70 Chev cutaway (unattributed very nice work)
Lola T70 SL/5 Ford at Clubhouse corner Kyalami, advice taken on the driver and date folks

“Doug Serrurier bought the ex-Mike Taylor/David Good 1965 Lola T70 (chassis SL70/5) with its 4.7-litre Ford Weslake engine for sports car racing in South Africa and raced it until it was crashed by teammate Jackie Pretorius in the 1969 Roy Hesketh 3 Hour. Serrurier then converted it into a Formula A T140 (spaceframe 1968 model Lola Formula 5000 car) using the running gear, Ford Weslake engine and Hewland LG gearbox. He didn’t use “T/70/140″ but sold it to the Domingo Bros. Mike Domingo contested the 1970 Bulawayo 100 and Alan Domingo the 1970 Rhodesian GP. Team Domingo had three Lola T140s during 1971.”

“T70/T140 then went to Peter Haller and was converted into a drag-racer by ‘a man named Delport’. Johan van der Merwe, Janie van Aswegen and Ivan Glasby were all owners of what Serrurier called ‘the sorry remains’ during the 1980s before it was purchased by A. R. Culpin in 1989. The T70 origins of these remains were now more important than its T140 interlude so the parts were combined with new T70 body panels and the whole project sold to David Harvey of GT40 Replications Ltd, New Zealand in July 2003. The car was completed as a new T70 by 2005 and is retained by Harvey in 2007. With its remaining parts in the T70, the T140 no longer exists.”

And on to an Australian owner in more recent times. New Zealand is a good place to ‘restore’ one’s Lola, they’ve built far more than Eric Broadley ever did…

Ferrari 365 GTC/4 looking absolutely marvellous with a Sunbeam and Lancia Fulvia 1.3 HF in the background.

Described to me as a thinking man’s Daytona once, but on reflection, that was this particular knob-jockey’s attempted put-down of a good chap of mutual acquaintance who owned a 365 GTB/4.

Whatever the case, what a marvellous machine, who get’s the individual credit at Pininfarina? I guess it’s only period competitor was the Lamborghini Espada. I’m intrigued to know the relative merits of the two if any of you have had that pleasure at length?


I’ve never seen Lindsay Fox’ Museum at Docklands so it was with great anticipation I looked forward to seeing one of their prize-exhibits, the Porsche 550RS Spyder imported to Australia by Norman Hamilton in October 1955. The Self Preservation Society El Presidente, Jack Quinn must have a particularly good line-of-chat as Foxy doesn’t even lend his cars to his Point King clifftop buddies. Many thanks to both of you.

Chassis #550-0056 has an entirely Australian and Kiwi history, its roll call of drivers includes Hamilton, Frank Kleinig, Jack Brabham, Otto Stone, Bruce Walton, Reg Smith and Lionel Marsh. Oh yes, Stirling Moss raced it too. See here; and here;

Norman Hamilton, Porsche 550 RS Spyder, Longford 1958. The Mountford Corner trees are still there (B Young)

So complete is the restoration that every single cell of character and patina the machine once had is destroyed, long gone; well done, mission accomplished. I’m at odds with the majority here, there were plenty of chaps with a grumble in the groin as they approached the perfect blue missile. How much restoration is too much you may ask? About this much in my mind.

I recall wandering the better suburbs of Perth with my brother a few years ago – Dalkeith, where he lives, Peppermint Grove and Mosman Park – and observing the small remaining number of older stylish homes and their modern, big, bold, gold’n brassy, loud n’proud replacements and proffering the view that “money and taste are non-converging circles in this part of the world.” He laughed initially, but not so much as the numbing effect of several Schofferhofer Hefeweizens drained from his system.

The same applies to cars of course, Lindsay Fox – a great philanthropist in addition to his stunning, enduring business successes I should point out – isn’t a knowledgeable car enthusiast so the nuances of what happens to each machine are lost in a big collection of mobile global investable assets. When Fox spoke to Dictator Dan and his other mates about 540K at a recent summer-soiree they thought he was rabbiting on about the deposit on a Shelley Beach bathing box not the Nazi’s favourite chick-bait vehicle of choice, one of which Fox bought in recent times.

A Pebble Beach judge tells me that the the Prewar and Postwar Preservation classes are growing in number at prominent concours events, which is great. Hopefully it’s not too late though, over restoration is like virginity really, once it’s lost you’re fucked.

The perfect world of course is somebody with Lind’s money and my taste (sic)…

Mercedes 300SL Coupe, nice too, with the ridgy-didge MW Motors Alfa Romeo GTA behind. Short piece on the 300SL here;

Delahaye 135M Coupe singing for its supper, roof-rack and all

These two French trailer-queens were easy on the eye, a 1929 Delage D8S Cabriolet and 1948 Delahaye 135M Coupe with body by Jean Antem.

“The D8S has been extensively toured, with wins at Motorclassica and was invited to Pebble Beach in 2014 where is was displayed on the 18th Green,” the info card says. I suppose “has been extensively toured” in this context means on a truck? Perhaps somebody can explain the 18th Green bit to this particular Concours bogan.

Fabulous Maserati Ghibli was a car I admired in my childhood, Sam Patten kindly chauffeured me on the final leg of the trip to Wombat Hill, a lovely, quick, big-car from the passenger seat.

Bugatti Type 44

There was a Concours winner and placegetters of course, but the voting was by Peoples Choice rather than the usual army of morbidly obese geriatrics in gold-buttoned blue-blazers, bone carefully ironed trousers and practical shoes. Stuff that, I’m down a bit on democracy since Trumpy’s ascension to the US Throne, and the 74,222,958 nuffies who voted for him last time. Screw the will of the people, WTF do they know? I’m therefore going through a benevolent dictator phase presently, on that basis the trailer-queens don’t get a look in, if you didn’t drive to the gig you’re disqualified. My three favourites, differing flavours of course, in no particular order are the Alta, Maserati Ghibli and AC Ace Bristol.


M Bisset, the shots are all mine unless credited otherwise,, Bob Young, Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati


Two MGs, the one on the left (what is it?) is just/nearly finished, the one on the right is a J2 if memory serves.


Benzina Magazine…

Posted: February 21, 2023 in Fotos, Sports Racers
Arthurs Seat. Port Phillip Bay at right, Bass Straight in the distance, next stop King Island then Tasmania (N French)

I’ve taken a step sideways from my motor racing core and have started contributing to Benzina Magazine, a quarterly classic-car mag.

It’s the brainchild of Australian classic motoring and historic motorsport entrepreneur Jack Quinn. We have just put away issue #6, it’s published in Australia and the UK, so you Pommies should be able to find a copy too.

What was it Frank Gardner and Jim Hardman taught me at Calder in 1975? Very comfy in here all day, steering heavy, ‘box devine (N French)
Test of the toupee near Flinders, the exhaust note at speed is six-cylinder sonorous. Victorian B-roads at present are shit, they must have Covid, but the independent suspension front and rear is well up the challenge though. Hang on Dr King, purple will not catch on by the way (N French)

My feature in this issue (#6) is an historic treatise and driving impressions on the AC Ace Bristol, the first and best of the breed. I co-wrote a piece on the late Australian racer/businessman Reg Hunt too. #5 on back-issue was an article on the Lou Abrahams and Ted Gray Tornado V8s.

Check the mag out, we’re still locking down the ‘standard mix of articles’ so do give me your impressions on the good, the bad and the ugly.

Nico French is the photographer, a talented, fun guy to work with, a Lotus driver so say no more. The venues in-shot are Arthurs Seat, Shoreham and Flinders on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The car is Bob King’s 1960 Ace, a machine delivered to its original Australian military-man owner in Europe but otherwise always resident here.

(N French)

The 2-litre BMW derived, two-OHV, Bristol triple-Solex fed straight-six is good for circa 135bhp in this tune, more than enough for the 1960 light, spaceframe chassis car. These magnificent machines have racing-roots, it shows in every aspect of their performance.

Photo Credits…

Nico French

Shoreham looking at Point Leo (N French)

Nothing beats a pert, perky, two-handful rump. No fat, no frills and no baubles. Perfetto…



Everything you need to know about 37 year-old Bob Muir’s skill behind the wheel is demonstrated in this shot of the grid at the start of the III Gran Premio di Mugello Euro F2 round in July 1976.

The red spec on the front row is Muiro’s Derek Kneller prepared Chevron B35 Ford BDA. Such are the dimensions of his wedding-tackle and blinding, god-given speed he has plonked a privateer Chevron with Ford BDA engine ahead of almost all the factory cars, the four Renault-Gordini V6 powered Elf 2Js (Jean-Pierre Jabouille alongside him on pole, and Michel Leclere) and Martini Mk19s (Rene Arnoux and Patrick Tambay). Then the works-March BMWs (Maurizio Flammini and Alex Ribeiro) and the rest including future/current GP drivers, Keke Rosberg, Vittorio Brambilla, Giancarlo Martini, Hans Binder, Ingo Hoffman and Harald Ertl. Bob’s Ford BDA was the pick of the engines in 1972 but the pecking order on this grid was Renault-Gordini V6, BMW M12/7, Hart 420R then the BDA. Jabouille won from Arnoux and Tambay. Muir was 16th.

In a different time, after tumbling out of the right womb, the likes of Bob Muir would have been funded through Karts by Daddy, funded through Formula Ford and F3 by Daddy, then picked up by one of the F1 Feeder Capital Vulture outfits (still part funded by Daddy, investment to this point circa $A6-8million) and into Grand Prix racing. And yes, I know he is not alone.

But Bob was old school, his formative years, indeed most of his years, were self funded by his motor dealership, so his appearances were usually sporadic and subject to availability of the-readies. I suspect his first real paid drive was with Bob and Marj Brown, in Australian F2 in 1974 and British Formula Atlantic in 1975 with a pair of Birrana 273s. The Browns funded this short Chevron campaign too, then it was back to Australia, where taxis beckoned.

Griffin helmeted Muir in front of Giorgio Francia’s Chevron B35 BMW. Bob had never raced at Mugello before, let alone visited Italy. It seems he rather liked the place (MotorSport)
Meet the fam. Bob and Judy Muir, with Jason and Danielle at Mascot Airport, Sydney in April 1972 with third place booty from the Singapore Grand Prix. Australians 1-3 in this race; Max Stewart, Mildren Ford, Vern Schuppan, March 722 Ford and then Bob’s borrowed or leased Rennmax BN3 Ford
Bob early in the year, 1973 US L&M Championship campaign at Riverside. Legendary engineer/mechanic/driver mentor Peter Molloy at left, John Wright in the middle? Lola T330 Chev (Muir Family Collection)

I was a believer from my very first motor race spectatorship, the 1972 Sandown Tasman round, the AGP no less. His Lola T300 Chev was the most spectacular belle-of-the-ball. See here; and here; , oh-yes, this too:

R.I.P Bob Muir, November 29, 1939-February 12, 2023, thanks so much for some wonderful memories, what a steerer…

The Muirs Sports Cars entry ahead of Teddy Pilette during the 1971 Tasman Cup Warwick Farm 100, Mildren ‘Yellow Submarine’ Waggott 2-litre TC-4V from McLaren M10B Chev. This is the battle for fifth place, resolved in Teddy’s favour. Frank Gardner won in a works-Lola T192 Chev from Chris Amon, Lotus 70 Ford and Kevin Bartlett, Mildren Chev ( Simpson)


MotorSport Images, Getty Images, Simpson, Muir Family Collection, Tony Glenn,, Alan Cox, Derek Kneller,

Bob about to take to Oran Park for the first time in the brand new Matich A53 Repco-Holden, Saturday February 2, 1974 (D Kneller)


As is so often the case the article grows like topsy after the initial posting, in this case thanks to a long discussion with legendary engineer/mechanic Derek Kneller in the UK this morning, February 15.

“Bob was a bloody good driver, really good, he could sort a car too. He went very well in the Lola T330 Chev that he ran in the 1973 L &M (US F5000 Championship). I was over there that season running Frank’s two Matich A51 Repcos. Peter Molloy was over there for a while when Bob first arrived, and he soon hooked up with Jerry Eisert and Chuck Jones. The car was always well prepared but as the season went on they were cobbling together engines. They had a really smart rig but the engines weren’t too good, I remember Bob finishing a heat at Watkins Glen second with the thing running on only seven-cylinders.”

In an amazing run of raw pace despite the tight budget, Bob qualified fourth at Michigan International on May 20 for third in his heat and DNF final. Off to Mid Ohio for Q3 and DNS heat and final, and then to the demanding Watkins Glen, a circuit on which he hadn’t competed before. Q2 behind Jody Scheckter and ahead of Brett Lunger, Brian Redman, Peter Gethin, Mark Donohue, Tony Adamowicz, David Hobbs, Kevin Bartlett, John Walker, Vern Schuppan and Frank Matich was really something. He was fifth in his heat at Road America after qualifying poorly, DNF in the final then missed the last few rounds, out of money. While 23 year old Jody Scheckter was the L&M young star of the series, the older find was 34 years young Bob Muir.

“Bob was unlucky to destroy the A52 (Matich A52 Repco-Holden F5000 car) in later 1973 at Warwick Farm in testing, but there was no question of who we were going to turn to when Frank decided he couldn’t do the race distance at Oran Park.”

“What’s it doing Bob?” Muir and crew in the Oran Park paddock, Matich A53 Repco-Holden (D Kneller)

“The car (Matich A53 Repco-Holden) was brand new, Frank had done a few sessions and we’d attended to a few things, then Bob did three or so laps to get the feel of the thing but the oil pump drive-belt came off and that damaged the engine. We had that changed by late evening and were allowed to do some laps at about 8pm, Bob was quickly down to times in the low 40s but had to start the race from the back of the grid as he hadn’t done a flyer before the oil pump problem.”

“In the race he was soon up to eighth or ninth, doing fast, consistent times before getting stuck behind Gethin or Oxton, then the fuel pump overheated so he was out. Repco had relocated the fuel pump and we hadn’t done enough testing laps to know it needed a heat-shield. Bob did some practice laps at Surfers but FM felt he was ok to do that race, and the final two at Sandown and Adelaide International.”

“I went back to the UK in late 1974 after we had wound down Frank’s (Matich) racing business in Sydney when he retired, then worked outside racing, I didn’t realise Bob contested the British Formula Atlantic Championship in 1975.”

After some fast drives in a borrowed Rennmax early in the 1974 Australian F2 Championship, Muir was engaged by Adelaide couple, Bob and Marj Brown to drive their pair of Birrana 273 Hart-Ford 416-B 1.6-litre cars. Bob finished second in a very tight, thrilling title-chase with works-Birrana driver Leo Geoghegan who raced their latest 274 model.

Muir, Birrana 273-009 Ford BDA, Mallory Park August 24, 1975, DNF fuel surge. Jim Crawford’s Chevron B29 won

The Browns decided to expand their specialist glass-making business to the UK in 1975. Taking the Birranas with them to contest the British Formula Atlantic Championship would be an ideal way to create interest in the new venture. Bob was the driver with his family of four relocating to Bishop Auckland (in Durham, the very north of England not too far from the border with Scotland) where the equipe was based. Dean Hosking, a young Adelaide driver who had raced a Formula 3 Birrana 374 Toyota for John Blander in 1974 and did very well also went along to drive one of the cars. Importantly, Tony Alcock, the design-partner in Birrana Cars, came along to engineer the cars, he was at a loose-end when Tony and Malcolm Ramsay, his business partner, decided to cease volume production of Birranas in Adelaide at the end of 1974.

Dean picks up the threads, “Bob’s business had developed the technology to make the type of glass that enabled one to see inside hot domestic ovens. He sold the company to Pilkington Glass and was subject to the usual ten year non-compete clause. So he approached the UK Government with the idea of setting up over there, that’s why the factory was in Bishop Auckland, the incentives were provided there in an area employment opportunities were needed.”

British Formula Atlantic was at its peak then, grids of 20 cars fought for two championships in 1975, the John Player British Formula Atlantic Championship and the Southern Organs British Formula Atlantic Championship. Tony Brise and Gunnar Nilsson went head to head, Brise won the former and Ted Wenz the latter with Nilsson second. Other big hitters that year included Brian Henton, Danny Sullivan, Jim Crawford, John Nicholson, Ray Mallock and Brett Riley.

Bob Muir and Tony Alcock entered 14 of the 21 rounds with the two year old Birrana for bests a pair of third placings at Silverstone and Oulton Park. In an impressive first UK season, Muir’s raw speed was again demonstrated with six top-five qualifying performances, two on the front row, one alongside Jim Crawford’s Chevron B29 at Mallory in August, and another beside the similarly mounted Gunnar Nilsson at Oulton in October. “He led a race at Mallory until the subframe broke (June 15), that was pretty impressive,” recalls Dean. While he was fifth in his first outing at Mallory Park in March, generally the little equipe got better results from late May after they had dialled the car in to the circuits and tyres.

“The deals were that Tony and I were paid, not a lot in my case, but enough to live on, to prepare the cars and me to have an occasional drive. Bob traded in cars of course! He had some friends in the London motor trade, that’s how he supported his family while he was over there.”

Muir, Minos Ford BDA at Thruxton during the 1976 BARC 200. DNF in the race won by Maurizio Flammini’s works-March 762 BMW (MotorSport)

“The first time I drove one of the cars was at Silverstone (April 13). I could certainly feel the extra 70bhp of the BDA compared with the 135bhp Corolla motor in the 374 but soon got used to that after a few laps. In fact I got to the far side of the circuit and was pondering what was the right gear for that corner and somebody went past me – Zot – clearly it wasn’t third!” Dean quipped. Bob qualified 15th that weekend in 273-009, and Dean 18th in 273-006, both cars retired, so not a good weekend.

“Tony Brise was head and shoulders above everybody else, I was convinced he would be the next British world champion. I thought Richard Morgan was impressive up close too. Ted Wenz not so much. But we held our own in cars that were two years old. I wouldn’t have missed the experience for the world, but I wasn’t getting the drives I expected, money was perhaps a little tighter than Bob Brown may have hoped.”

It appears that Dean’s final race was at Snetterton on June 29. “Bob was great to be with, easy-going, a typical Sydney good-time guy! There was no prima-donna stuff, one one occasion we swopped cars as mine had the setup he was after. I came back and drove both contemporary cars for John Blanden, an ASP 340C Clubman, and some of his historic cars. I’ve always remained close to the scene with my involvement in the Sporting Car Club of South Australia and so on.”

At the end of 1975 Alcock took the fateful decision to join Hill Grand Prix, “I knew Tony well, he was with Matich for a while and came with us to the US when we did a couple of L&M races in the McLaren M10C Repco-Holden in early 1971. We lived close together in Sydney and saw one another quite a lot socially, both wives were Brits.” Kneller recalled affectionately.

“When Bob got in touch with me to help finish off the Minos Ford F2 car after Tony left – in essence it was a 273 rebodied and fitted with 295bhp Cosworth Ford BDX engine – it required assembly and finishing off, the hard stuff had already been done by Tony and Bob. I moved up to Bishop Auckland in this period and lived with Bob and Judy.”

“We took the car behind our little van to Thruxton (April 19) for the second round of the European F2 Championship. Bob was doing quite well in practice despite the fact that the car hadn’t turned a wheel before, 15th quickest time or thereabouts, but he only completed a lap in the race before the distributor drive failed.”

“We next set off for France to run in the Pau Grand Prix (June 7). What became clear in practice was that the Minos was flexing a lot when forced to change direction quickly, a problem not apparent at Thruxton. The Birranas had a chassis comprising an aluminium monocoque front and centre section and a tubular steel A-frame to which the engine was attached. It was built for 200bhp twin-cams not a 295bhp 2-litre BDX, the thing was twisting in the middle with the greater forces applied to it. I got some bits and pieces to brace the frame to the tub, including some radius rods Ron Dennis offered, but time ran out and we didn’t qualify.”

Derek Kneller’s shot of the Brown’s new Chevron B35 Ford (#35-76-10) after he had completed its assembly at Bolton in June 1976. B35 alongside’s owner? Chassis number of the half finished car please…? (D Kneller)

“The next thing I knew was Bob Muir asking me to go down to Bolton to assemble a new Chevron B35! Bob and Marj thought, stuff-it we need a new car.”

Derek Bennett himself helped me get the thing together, then off we set for Rouen (June 27). What should have been a good weekend quickly turned to tears, every time Bob applied the brakes at the bottom of the hill the car’s front wheels wanted to come off. The car assembly process at Chevrons involved going to the spares department to get the bits and pieces as you needed to attach to the chassis. The front suspension corners were complete sub-assemblies, all I had to do was bolt the wishbones, already attached to the upright assembly to the chassis. But left-hand hubs had gone onto right hand uprights, and vice-versa, so the wheels were trying to come undone under braking loads. What should have been an easy fix couldn’t be done in the paddock as none of the Chevron runners had the necessary parts.”

“We got the bits we needed out from England, then headed straight for Mugello which was held a fortnight later (July 11). We had heaps of time so Bob finally did lots of laps, getting himself and the car really dialled in. Don’t forget that when he got to the UK he didn’t know the circuits and the same applied in Europe of course. We had problems with the metering units of two engines, they weren’t getting the lubrication they needed from the Avgas we used.”

“We had great support from Swindons as we were the only ones running Ford engines. We needed another engine for the race so Bob Brown hired a plane, and he flew down with a Swindon works engine and one of their mechanics to look after it. When Bob put the car on the front row alongside Jabouille it was unbelievable. Our little team against the might of France complete with factory 320bhp Renault-Gordini V6s. Incredible really.”

Dicing with Alex Ribeiro’s fourth placed works-March 762 BMW early in the Mugello GP, Chevron B35 Ford BDX (MotorSport)

“Muiro led from the start of the 30 car grid, for about two laps our immaculate – Muir was fanatical about presentation – little red car led the field then he fell back a bit with clutch problems. The Aeroquip hydraulics line from stores was a fraction too short and vibrated loose, but he still ran sixth for a long while without a clutch, then slipped to ninth and eventually finished sixteenth. It was such a shame, without that who knows where he would have come.”

“And that was it. The Browns decided they had had enough and sold the Chevron. I’m not sure what became of the Minos, we sold it to a bloke from Scotland who ran it in the British Group 8 series for a while. Bob and Judy returned to Australia, I kept in touch with both of them, Judy too after they divorced, I last saw her at Frank’s (Matich) funeral in 2015. We kept in touch with Tony Alcock’s wife as well. After the plane crash (that killed most of Graham Hill’s team) she lived with her mother in Sussex for a while, she is still alive. The funny thing is, that light plane ride that Bob Brown took with the BDX from Bristol to Florence whetted his interest in flying, he and Marj took that up as another expensive hobby after they were finished with car racing!”

Three fabulous Muir Family Mugello happy-snaps, probably taken by Bob Brown as Derek Kneller is pushing the car in one shot and shirtless in another. Chevron B35 Ford BDX, the car on pole is Jean-Pierre Jabouille’s Elf 2J Renault


(T Glenn)

Super-sub. Bob Muir settles himself into Frank Matich’s brand new Matich A53 Repco-Holden at Oran Park just prior to the Tasman Cup round that in February 1974.

Matich had electrocuted himself in a near-fatal boating accident days before, FM ‘threw the keys’ to Bob after practicing the car and realising he wasn’t sufficiently well for the OP round, Q15/DNF. Frank was well enough to contest the remaining three Australian races – in which he was, as usual, very fast – his final races as events transpired.

The roll call is Peter Hughes in the white T-shirt, Lugsy Adams in yellow, then Grant O’Neill with the builders-cleavage, his woolly head obscuring Derek Kneller who is working on the left-front, all members of Frank Matich Racing. These are the machinists/fabricators/welders/mechanics who built A53-007, the very best of the Matich F5000 breed.

When I first posted an article incorporating this shot four years ago I captioned it on the basis that the fully-optioned, rather attractive young lady tending to Bob’s black helmet was his wife, a reasonable guess I thought. Not too long after, Bob’s ex-wife commented on social media that the blonde in question wasn’t her at all. There ya-go, my case rests, Muir met another of the tests of an elite level driver, the occasional away-game on the home front…’jokin of course.



RAC Officials hold aloft Andrew Coombe, winner of the Junior Pedal Car GP at Crystal Palace in June 1967…

With specs like that the little fella probably didn’t have a successful racing career?! Are you out there Andrew, he would be about the right age to be reading about historic motorsport if he did get the bug?



Peter Keegan

Tailpiece: Legend…


Done well too, it looks like Andrew had the capability to bring a race-budget to a team. I wonder what goods or services ‘National’ provided?



Google translate is pretty good but it choked on the German-English translation of this unusual scene…

Published in 1937, it’s probably a Benz magazine advertorial piece of some sort. I wonder what model it is – the car? Explanatory input welcome, I don’t think Mercedes were building ML’s back then.


Wolfgang Weber


This shot begs a caption competition, surely?

The thoroughly delightful Eunice Fidock is shown beside an Austin 7 Special at Dowerin, Western Australia circa 1935.

Dowerin is a wheatbelt community 160km north-east of Perth. It had two pre-war racing venues, the Lake Koombekine one mile, dirt, circular speedway, and the Dowerin Showgrounds speedway in town. I’m not sure which of the two this is, but I’m happy to take advice.

My friend Tony Johns, Austin racer/historian is on the job as to chassis type and number, albeit he suspects a Perth built body on a standard or Super Sports chassis.

Eunice hails from Cottesloe, an inner Perth beachside suburb. Looking like that she would have cut quite a dash at Cotts’ Indiana Teahouse. Resplendent in leopard-skin shorts, she is showing lots of bumpy-curvy bits for the times and is therefore well armed to keep the more amorous of Dowerin suitors at bay. I’ll leave the make of weapon to you NRA members.


Lake Perkolilli Revival Facebook page, State Library of Western Australia



A slightly later model Austin – an Austin Junior Forty – shown in a Perth dealership circa 1951.


(R Schlegelmilch)

The Herbie Muller/Claude Haldi/Nick McGranger Porsche 935 during practice at Le Mans in June 1978…

It’s such a wonderful image evocative of a fun weekend in rural France. They failed to finish with a broken gearbox casing after 140 laps, during the 14th hour.

The Group 5 class was won by the Kremer Porsche 935 crewed by Jim Busby/Chris Cord/Rick Knoop, while the outright winner was the Alpine Renault A442B of Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud. The 2-litre turbo-charged V6 prototype prevailed over the 2.1-litre flat-six turbo-charged Porsche 936/78 of Bob Wollek, Jurgen Barth and Jacky Ickx by five laps in an historic win for the French team.


Photo Credit…

Rainer Schlegelmilch


A BOAC Bristol Britannia ‘Whispering Giant’ (actually a Britannia based Canadair CL-44D4-1 – thanks Jon Farrelly!) awaits its precious cargo before departure from Heathrow to the fly-away, end of season United States and Mexican Grands Prix, October 1963…

The cars in the foreground are the factory Lotus 25 Climaxes of Jim Clark, victorious at Mexico City, and Trevor Taylor. #1 and 2 are the reigning World Champion BRM P57’s of Graham Hill and Richie Ginther, they finished first and second at Watkins Glen.

#16 is Jim Hall’s Lotus 24 BRM and #14 is Jo Siffert’s similar car. #11 and 12 are Jo Bonnier and Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T66 Climaxes, note that Bruce raced carrying #3 in both events.

For the aircraft buffs amongst us here is a link to a period BOAC documentary about the Bristol Britannia

I love these two photographs of construction of Bristols in the mid-1950s.

The first shows Britannia 100s being completed in Bristol’s Assembly Hall at their Filton, South Gloucestershire aerodrome/manufacturing facility about four miles north of Bristol, in January 1956.

The second, dated a year earlier, may well have been the inspiration for Colin Chapman’s monocoque Lotus 25! (that was a joke). It’s such a powerful shot showing the conceptual simplicity and strength of such (highly sophisticated) structures.

In 1959 Bristol Aircraft merged with several other companies to form the British Aircraft Corporation, which in turn became a founding piece of British Aerospace, now BAE Systems. BAE Systems, Airbus, Rolls Royce, MBDA and GKN still have a presence on this Filton site. More Bristol Aircraft reading here;–bristol


(Getty Images)

A Bristol Sycamore helicopter and 401 in 1950.