Archive for the ‘News/Events’ Category

primo

This blog or ‘online magazine’ as some have described it is growing which is nice, it doesn’t really matter mind you as it’s primary purpose is to ‘keep me off the streets at night’. Its secondary purpose is to teach an ‘old dog’ a few new tricks about the digital world in which we all live. I’ve learned a lot frigging round with the thing which i have applied in my day job!

Funny thing is I thought the readers would be Australian given the ‘core content’ but most of you, 92% to be precise are from countries yonder. Great! It’s global this internet thingy.

Regulars will have worked out the content is eclectic, which is partially a reflection of my automotive tastes and also down to ‘a photo spotted’ driving topic choice. No great logic, just the way it is!

It’s not an interactive forum mind you, Facebook is.

I’m on FB, in fact my journey to the blog was via FB which is good but has it’s limitations in terms of exploring things in depth. With the blog I am not hindered by word limits, some of the articles are ‘epic’ in size if not quality.

So check me out on FB. Key primotipo.com into the FB search engine, ‘like me’ and you will get the stuff I upload, which is every day or so, many of you already do.

Suss the motorsport groups on FB for the interactivity they offer; key into the FB search engine your car or form of racing of choice, i guarantee you will find a global group of like minded enthusiasts.

In fact the whole thing for me started with one of my first subjects, ex-Australian International Racer Buzz Buzaglofriending me’ into a couple of FB groups he was in. The ‘Tasman Racing Cars’, ‘F5000 Australia’ and ‘F5000 Racing Cars’ groups for example have many ex-mechanics, engineers and drivers loitering with intent to correct the ‘i reckons’ of fellow enthusiasts which is great, its content rich.

I’m on Instagram too, but if you follow primo on FB you’ve got it covered, Instagram would be a double up really. Hard to keep up with it all ‘innit- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, plus the online forums each of us like, not to forget good ole text messages via Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Skype has it’s place too. And emails. Bizarre really.

See you there?!…

Mark Bisset

stratos

 

montreal

Spring has well and truly sprung in Australia, it brings lots of good things; The AFL Grand Final at the MCG, Bathurst 1000, Motorclassica, Melbourne Cup, Moto GP at Phillip Island and lots of Car Club Concours events…

I’m not talking Pebble Beach, not my cup of tea at all, its much more owner display stuff, a nice way to spend a couple of hours. On Sunday 29 November 2015 the Alfa Club and Porsche 356 Register had events on adjoining ovals at Wesley College in St Kilda Road, Melbourne, a good ‘dropkick’ from Albert Park for those of you who have attended the AGP.

grey college

grey car

Alfa 2000 Spyder ‘Touring’ acquired by an Aussie in Brescia and apparently restored there. Very nice cruiser! 1975cc DOHC 4 cylinder 113bhp@5700rpm. 5 speed ‘box, drums front and rear.

grey cockpit

grey guard

2300 front

2300 engine

Alfa 8C2300 Corto Replica…’Pursang’ Argentinian car, 4 or 5 years old now and used a lot so now has some patina. I’ve no issue with Replicas…as long as the punters who own the things make it clear they are. Even the seriously wealthy can’t afford real stuff like this, one of these is on my ‘dream on’ list, so its a sensible way to experience, at circa $A300K! what the real McCoy is like.

I wrote an article on the 8C2300/Monzas a while back;

https://primotipo.com/2014/10/09/antonio-brivio-targa-florio-1933-alfa-romeo-8c2300-monza/

2300 cockpit

2300 side

8C2300 in foreground. Car the ‘snapper’ is leaning against is called a 6C2300 Mille Miglia by the owner. Circa 185bhp from a blown engine. Acquired in Argentina some 30 years ago, car used a lot, as they should be

Our Historic Racing Regulations in Australia are the strictest in the world, which is a good thing.

A car like the 8C2300 or even a ‘Cameron Millar’ Maserati 250F cannot get a CAMS historic logbook/’certificate of description’ to race here.

Mind you, the only 250F in Oz is a CM 250F. I would love to see it being raced and would create a class(es) so Replicas can run but are overtly described as such. Some of the crap which races in Oz from overseas in the AGP and Phillip Island meetings is laughable in terms of specification. That is, not resembling the spec of the car ‘in period’ if in fact the car existed ‘in period’!

356 front

This 1951 356 Cab is especially stunning. Chassis # 10110, built on 13 July 1951 is the first RHD car made by Porsche and one of the first cars imported by Norman Hamilton to Australia in September 1951

Hamilton famously secured the first Porsche franchise in the world, when on a European trip and cruising through the Alps was ’rounded up’ by Ferry Porsche at a fast pace in a very early car. Hamilton approached him at a roadside stop where Porsche was enjoying a coffee and a business deal followed which saw the marque flourish in Oz over the decades.

I wrote about son Alan Hamilton’s racing exploits a while back;

https://primotipo.com/2015/08/20/alan-hamilton-his-porsche-9048-and-two-906s/

This car was raced, sprinted and hillclimbed in 1952/3 by Hamilton, Ken Harper and Ken McConville as part of a ‘brand-building’ program before being restored complete mit 1300 motor between 1990 and 1995.

356 cockpit

The information sheet says there are less than 20 1950 and 1951 model 356’s left in the world. Makes me laugh, the values of the things now, when i was a Uni student in the mid-seventies there were 3 0r 4 of em’ in the Monash University car park all beaten up, held together by ‘bog’, just a cheap car. If only!…

365 front

Tidy chassis’ both. Mid-sixties 365 GTC and owner both delightfully sculpted by Pininfarina. 1968, 4.4 litre ‘Colombo’ 320bhp V12, 5 speed ‘box. Beautifully balanced for a big car, Ferrari locating the gearbox and final drive at the rear.

365 back

365 wheel

montreal front

356 parade

911 e

Driving a 356 was a disappointment years ago but early-ish 911’s are a different kettle of fish. I had an ’85 Carrera 3.2, the last of the light, leaded-fuel cars as a daily driver for 7 years from ’97-2004, what a fantastic thing it was. Big enough to cart 3 growing boys around but a blast to enjoy every day. I still have left leg muscles which reflect the butch, beefy mechanical clutch! This is a 2.4E, nice. A  2.4S about as good as they get this side of a 2.7RS but prices are ‘nutso’.

356 red

montreanl butts

356 cockput 2

356 butts

8c and 4 c

miura front

Best of the Sixties to Finish? P400S Miura, Australian delivered RHD car, had more changes of color than most but oh so nice! 4 litre V12, circa 370bhp, mid mounted, 5 speed ‘box. Design team Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani and development engineer, Kiwi Bob Wallace. Couture by Marcello Gandini. About as good as it gets.

miura detail

miura back

Photo Credits…

Mark Bisset and trusty iPad!

exhibition
‘Motorclassica’ is now 5 years old, although its the first time i have been, its a bit too road car oriented to pique my interest, but it was great. The assembly of Bugatti’s worth the effort alone, the highlight of that display the first public appearance in over 60 years of the T37A Bill Thomson drove to two AGP wins in 1930 and 1932…
The event comprises a motor show, themed each year, a Concours d’Elegance which is
one of only two Australian events nominated in the prestigious International Historic
Motoring Awards. There is also a tour through the city streets for Concours entrants, an auction and over 400 enthusiast owned cars on display in the Royal Exhibition Building’s surrounds.
The venue is in Melbourne’s CBD fringe, The Royal Exhibition Building erected in the Carlton Gardens for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880 showed the cars to great effect, a terrific backdrop with a sense of grandeur that is apt.
reb
Themes this year were celebrations of 50 Years of the Supercar, (defined as the build date of the Lambo Miura), the Shelby Mustang, the Ferrari Dino, the Bugatti Club Australia and 70 years of MV Agusta.
This post is largely pictorial with the exception of a tangent about the dual AGP winning Bugatti T37A and its driver Bill Thomson, which ‘broke cover’ at Motorclassica. I have not gone overboard with captions to ‘state the obvious’ only providing information where it may be of use…
porkers
ballot 1

Ballot 2LS

ballot 2

Ballot 2LS

ballot info
ballot steering

Ballot 2LS

art

(Artist; Martin de Lang)

miura 1
miura 3
 mv 1
mv 2
mv 3

1971 MV 150RSs: ‘Rapido Super Sport’ 4 stroke single cylinder pushrod OHV.

mv 4

MV 150 RSs

mv 5

1946 MV Agusta 98

mv 7
mv 6

MV 98

merc
 bentley 1
 bentley 2
 panorama
bug 1
bug 2

Bugs x 2: Nose of a T43 and front of T57

bug 4

Supercharged Bug 4 cylinder engine, maybe one of you can help me with the correct model, a Tourer.

Dual Australian Grand Prix Winner: Ex Bill Thomson Bugatti Type 37A Chassis ‘37358’…

37 1

Bugatti T37A ‘37358’ in all its part restored glory. This T37 victorious in 1930 and 1932 is the veteran of more Australian Grands Prix than most.

37 2

T37A ‘37358’37 3

As the owners summary of the car makes clear the cars attendance in Melbourne is the first time this significant Bugatti has ‘seen the light of day’ in public for over 60 years.

In Bob King’s ‘Australian Bugatti Register’ ‘37358’ is said to be ‘…possibly the most famous of all Australian racing Bugattis’. The following short history of the car is from John Blanden’s ‘Historic Racing Cars in Australia’ is in addition to the short description above.

For the 1930 AGP the car was specially prepared with wire wheels and separate brake drums in place of the integral alloy equipment because of the roughness of Phillip Island’s gravel roads. After early plug trouble Bill Thomson was a comfortable winner in 3 hours 6 minutes, an average of 64mph in front of 6000 spectators, the ‘Island in those days a long way from Melbourne.

thommo island

Bill Thomson and car owner/riding mechanic Prof Arthur Burkitt, during their successful 1930 AGP win. Phillip Island. Bugatti T37A ‘37358’. (Bob King Collection)

In 1931 Hope Bartlett bought and raced the T37 but blew up with less than 7 miles to go whilst in the lead. Carl Junker won in a Bugatti T39.

For 1932 Thompson again raced the car which by this stage was owned by the Woolworth Tyre Company. It was off scratch giving 4 minutes to Carl Junker. Thomson won by 4 minutes having come through the field.

thommo

Bill Thomson before the off, AGP 1930, Phillip Island. Thomson won 3 AGP’s 1930 and 1932 in ‘37358’ and 1933 in a Riley Brooklands. Period experts rate Thomson and Alf Barrett as Australia’s greatest pre-War drivers, noting Alf raced post-war as well. Thomson certainly the more successful in terms of results. Thomson perished during the war in a Consolidated Coronado flying boat accident in the Marshall Islands enroute to Hawaii. A shot biography of Thomson is included as an addendum to this article. (Bob King Collection)

In October 1932 at the Mt Victoria Pass Hillclimb, in Sydney’s Blue Mountains, the car crashed heavily ‘as a result there have been suggestions that a replacement chassis was required, obtained and fitted but this has never been absolutely confirmed’.

Offered for sale but unsold, in May 1935 Thomson took the Australian Record for the Mile at 112.5 in the annual speed record attempts held near Canberra.

John Sherwood won the Australian 5 Mile Championship at Penrith Speedway in it, in Sydney’s outer west in 1936.

Tom Peters acquired it and raced it in the 1936 Australian Grand Prix (or 1937 Australian GP as has become the custom to call this event) at Victor Harbour, South Australia in December, retiring on lap 7.

‘37358’ was sold to New South Wales driver Ron Mackellar, shortly thereafter the cars engine blew and was replaced by a side-valve Ford V8, the car called the ‘Mackellar Special’. Raced at the 1938 AGP at Bathurst it finished 4 minutes behind Peter Whitehead’s victorious ERA R10B.

Wally James was driving the car during a qualifying heat of the Australian Speedway Championships at Penrith on Anzac Day, 25 April 1939 when he lost control and plunged into a group of spectators at over 90mph, killing 3 and injuring 39. James was shattered and never raced again, although a later enquiry showed the crowd sitting in front of safety fences.

Driven by Ken Laing for a while post war, the car was sold to ‘Gelignite Jack Murray’, a real character of the sport and so named for his antics with explosives in the Round Australia Trials of the period. Murray was successful in the now very old car, it contested the 1947 AGP at Bathurst, retiring with piston failure. Bill Murray won the race, Formula Libre and handicapped in those days in an MG TC.

mac spl

Bill MacLachlan in ‘37358’, by that stage the ‘Mackellar Spl’ at Bathurst , Easter 1949 just before its wild ride thru the bush due to a broken track rod. (Bob King Collection)

The car then passed through John Crouch’s and Bill MacLachlan’s hands, Bill had a lucky escape in the car upon his debut in it at Bathurst, Easter 1949. A broken track rod approaching Quarry Bend caused a wild ride down ‘the roadside bank missing solid trees by inches before it came to rest in a small clearing’.

mac pits

MacLachlan in T37A ‘37358’ Mackellar Spl Ford V8, Bathurst 1950. (Max Stahl Collection)

Little damage was done, the old war horse continued on racing, Ettore made em’ tough! through 1950 when it was timed over the flying quarter mile at Bathurst at 113.21mph. Into 1951 ‘37358’ continued to race including contesting the 1952 AGP at Bathurst finishing 13th in the race won by Doug Whiteford’s Lago Talbot T26C.

mac sky

Bill MacLachlan at Quarry Bend Bathurst 1952. T37A ‘37358’ Mackellar Spl. (Byron Gunther)

In 1954 the car was sold to Ralph  Snodgrass in Queensland, he used it briefly before acquiring Whiteford’s Lago, rolled the Lago and then kept both cars for decades.

‘While the car remained with Snodgrass in 2000, many of the original Bugatti components have been emerging over the years as various restorations evolve. Tom Roberts was suggested to have the ‘original’ chassis and some other ‘bits and pieces’ with Kent Patrick having other chassis and engine parts in a replica T37A he constructed in the 1980’s’ Blanden said.

Clearly ‘37358’ is in sympathetic hands with Michael Miller’s ownership, Buggatiste’ globally will follow with interest the restoration of this fabulous car and revealing its history in ‘definitive form’.

37 4

T37A ‘37358’

bug 8

T35TC/51 chassis  ‘4847’ GP: DOHC supercharged straight 8

outside
posters
mustangs
bristol

Bristol Zagato

pano 2
bmw
bentley
shell
pano 3
Tailpiece: A dogs life…
dogs
Bill Thomson: Triple Australian GP Winner Biography…
The following biography of Bill Thomson is by the late, great Australian Motor Racing Historian Graham Howard and is from ‘The Australian Dictionary of Biography’.
‘William Bethel Thompson (1906-1945), racing motorist, was born on 28 December 1906 at Summer Hill, Sydney, second child of William Ernest Thompson, customs clerk, and his wife Gladys Macdonald, née Bethel, both native-born. On completing his education at Sydney Grammar School in 1923, William worked in the motor trade. He married Jean Mavis Anderson at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Sydney, on 26 September 1929.

Of moderate means, he was helped by Arthur Burkitt, professor of anatomy at the University of Sydney, who owned several of the cars that Thompson raced. He retired from his first Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, Victoria, in 1929, but won the 1930 race in a new, supercharged Type 37A Bugatti owned by Burkitt who travelled as riding mechanic. Starting from scratch, Thompson won again in the same car in 1932 and won for a third time in a Brooklands Riley in 1933. He finished second (by 14 seconds) driving a supercharged MG Magnette in 1934 and was again second (by 27 seconds) in 1935.

Despite his youth, Thompson approached his driving with a thoroughness that was uncommon in Australian motor racing, then in its infancy. Observers commented on the clean and efficient presentation of his cars, and on the lack of last-minute work they needed. Behind the wheel he was very fast and exceptionally consistent; his lap times on the 6.569-mile (10.571 km) rectangle of rough and dusty Phillip Island roads often varied by no more than a second. An outstanding finishing record was an essential part of his success. While he made occasional driving errors, he took exceptional care of his cars. He did some of his own mechanical work, but had expert helpers, among them the skilled engineer Bill Balgarnie who was often his riding mechanic.

Strongly built and about 5 ft 11 ins (180 cm) tall, Thompson parted his dark hair in the centre. Contemporaries recall him as well-tailored, confident—almost calculating—but also impulsive and given to practical joking at post-race parties. His Riley and MG drives were for Melbourne motor traders and he moved to that city in 1934 to head the MG department of Lane’s Motors Pty Ltd; he later transferred to the Shell Co. of Australia Ltd. He was briefly involved with midget speedcars in Melbourne and Sydney in 1934-35, but from 1936 his racing career faded. Divorced in 1938, Thompson married Millicent Francklyn Ironside, née King, a widow with two children, on 10 June 1942 at the government statist’s office, Melbourne.

Joining the Royal Australian Air Force as flying officer in 1940, Thompson was based in Melbourne from 1941 where he organized the manufacture and supply of engine spares for rescue boats. He held the rank of squadron leader when he was drowned in an aircraft accident on 12 February 1945 in the Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean. His wife survived him, as did the two sons of his first marriage’.

Bibliography and Photo Credits…
John Blanden ‘Historic Racing Cars in Australia’, Graham Howard ‘History of The AGP’, Graham Howard ‘The Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bob King Collection, Max Stahl Collection, Byron Gunther

front

brabham entry

As motoring enthusiasts we all have a favourite (or two) when it comes to the various pressed, beaten or moulded automotive art…

The Italians have had a long tradition of art worthy cars for many to aspire. So what happens when the Art World decides to pay homage to a predominately Australian automotive heritage? Well you get the National Gallery of Victoria’s ‘Shifting Gear – design, innovation and the Australian car’ exhibition.

The NGV’s ‘Ian Potter Centre’ in high profile Federation Square, opposite Melbourne’s famous Flinders St Train Station has gone all out to show a variety of Aussie ‘coachbuilders’ art from the roads and the race tracks, ‘a celebration of Australian Automobile design represented by 23 cars dating from the late nineteenth century to the present day’.

Despite there being a lot of red involved, not one has an Italian sounding car name and only one has bodywork with a close relationship to Maserati.

NGV Efijy

‘Efijy’ – Shifting Gear? Or Cape Canaveral we have lift off? Holden built ‘Efijy’ as a Motor Show concept 10 years ago – Corvette basis, 6 litre supercharged GM LS2 644bhp V8 & 4 speed auto with ’55 FJ Holden looks

Upon entering the precinct, Holden’s Efijy greets you. It’s long and oh so low stance ready for cruising along Carlton’s Lygon St.

Then an entry fee covers viewing the main exhibition halls with more than enough variety for all to come away with a favourite that wouldn’t look too out of place sitting in your garage or shed.

It was a tad rushed when primotipo visited, so give yourself at least an hour to pass through and enjoy.

efi front

efi back

Several of the cars have long standing Australian Motor Racing Heritage, so it’s interesting to see how the Art World perceives them. Certainly different to the bitumen they usually frequent! And indeed, substantially different to seeing them at the likes of Phillip Island or Sandown.

‘Shifting Gear’ runs until July 12 with more details here:- http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/shifting-gear/
All exhibits details – http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ShiftingGearLabels-web.pdf

And remember not to get told off by security for using a camera flash!

bt 19

A Unique arrangement that allowed some smart, capable Aussies to take on the world, Brabham BT19 Repco. Brabham and Tauranac based in the UK collaborated with Repco in Melbourne to gain a head start on the new 3 litre F1 Grand Prix rule changes for 1966. Jack and this Brabham successfully taking on the ill prepared other teams within the F1 paddocks and grabbed both Drivers’ & Constructors’ Titles in 1966 and 1967. (Denny Hulme grabbed the Drivers Title in 1967).

Regular readers will know we have covered the history of these achievements in some detail in previous posts; this one about the ‘RB620 series’ 1966 Championship winning engine…https://primotipo.com/2014/08/07/rb620-v8-building-the-1966-world-championship-winning-engine-rodways-repco-recollections-episode-2/

and this one about Jacks’ 1966 Championship Year…https://primotipo.com/2014/11/13/winning-the-1966-world-f1-championships-rodways-repco-recollections-episode-3/

image

And in the red corner we have Purvis Eureka, Paul England’s Ausca (mostly hidden), Elfin Streamliner Climax and Molina Monza Holden…

NGV Group red

Garrie Coopers’ Elfin concerns first production racing car was the Elfin Streamliner, like many other designers he took a long look at Chapmans’ Lotus 11 and was consistent with many elements of it in his own interpretation; multi-tubular spaceframe chassis, slinky, light aluminium body and a range of engine configurations to suit customer choice. The car on display is the ‘ducks guts’ with Coventry Climax FWA engine and front wishbone, as against split front axle setup.

Elfin built 23 of these cars from 1959 to 1963, Cooper setting the foundations for high standards of design and manufacture which were his hallmark and sustained commercial success.

elfin streamliner

tach

When Ausca met Eureka; Nice juxtaposition of the 70’s Wedge with the curvaceous 50’s. Not many cars have been built with full canopy door openings. But with the Purvis Eureka and Holden Hurricane this exhibition has two.

Allan Purvis, an advertising executive, obtained the rights to the English developed ‘Nova’ building over 650 cars in Melbournes’ Dandenong between 1973 and 1989 considerably improving the design as he went along. The car was based on VW Beetle chassis and mechanicals although Purvis built some cars with the Ford ‘Kent’ 1600 engine, a very ‘tunable lump’ with bits from Cosworth, Holbay and the like.

Despite its Maserati A6GCS looks, the Paul England-built Ausca has links to Repco and Holden too. A gifted engineer, the Ausca remains fitting testament to Paul’s skills of 60 years ago. He passed away last year

ausca and purvis

Paul England and his friend Bill Hickey built the Ausca in their spare time at Repco Research in Sydney Road, Brunswick the clever, light car having a ladder frame chassis, a fibre glass body, the pair making the moulds. Holden front suspension was used, England narrowing the track by cutting 6 inches out of the middle of the cross-member and a Holden rear axle casing also shortened by 3 inches, suspended by quarter elliptic springs, radius rods doing locational duties.

Steering was by Peugeot rack and pinion, Repco subsidiary Patons provided the drum brakes the car powered by the very first ‘Repco Hi-Power’ cross-flow head for the ubiquitous Holden ‘Grey Motor,  the engine good for around 115bhp @5000 rpm using 2 1 3/4in SU carbs 1956. Gearbox was a Fiat 521 using straight cut gears, the car first raced late in 1955.

ausca 1

ausca 2

atmo

chamber2

The Chamberlain 8 is about the wildest Australian Special of all and deserving of an article in its own right…

Chamberlains’ as a family had a rich engineering heritage, originally manufacturing ball bearings and later tractors so Bob Chamberlain and his friend Bob Price had access to the toolroom and factory facilities to build their outrageously innovative space frame chassis, independently sprung, front wheel drive car.

First completed in 1928, the car evolved over the decades. After a succession of unreliable motor cycle engines Bill Chamberlain decided to build an engine himself. The result was a 1004cc 2 stroke with 4 cylinders and 8 pistons, two crankshafts and a Rootes type blower. Its scream was its hallmark @ 7000rpm, at a sedate 5000rpm it developed 80bhp.

chamber 1

The Chamberlain competed in 3 AGP’s at Phillip Island in the 1930’s coming into its own post war when one of the Chamberlain’s cousins, Jim Hawker built his own spark plugs and improved its electrical system.

The car never left the families hands and was restored for the 1978 Phillip Island 50 Year AGP Anniversary, its now owned by John Hazelden after the brothers deaths some years back. He is the lucky custodian of a very important part of our history.

chamb 3

Checkout this YouTube footage of the Chamberlain 8 Sound…

 

cham drawings

ian potter

NGV GTRX

One off, Torana GTR-X concept was still a fair way away from Holden’s 1969/70 production vehicles. As with most concept cars the economics didn’t stack up to sign off for production. It would have been part of a niche market catered by the likes of Datsun’s 240Z and even the Bolwell Nagari shown below.

A stunning car with bullet proof, race proven ‘186’ CID, pushrod OHV, triple Stromberg carbed 160bhp 6 cylinder engine hitting the road through a 4 speed close ratio gearbox…it should have been built and exported.

Alas, a great Aussie ‘what if’

gtrx donk

gtrx front

toranan butt

ngv

Melbournes’ Art Centre spire, aspect across the Yarra River from the NGV ‘Ian Potter Centre’ in Federation Square…gloomy Autumn day

Hard to believe that the catalyst of Maybach was some war-surplus materials and some Aussie ingenuity…To save repeating ourself visit this prior feature… https://primotipo.com/2014/12/26/stan-jones-australian-and-new-zealand-grand-prix-and-gold-star-winner/

NGV Maybach

atmo 3

The FR1 Concept Car is a 2011 collaboration between GM Holden Design, the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing, Boeing, the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce and Marand Precision Engineering Collection.

The car is a 21st century concept hotrod, hand crafted and powered by a 362bhp Chev V8 and 6 speed manual ‘box.

fr1

50 heads and mm

Repco Brabham ‘RB 750 Series’ V8…

Repco were a very innovative company, this is the engine developed as an option for the 1968 season and whilst developing good power on the test bench the difficulties of fitting the engine into Ron Tauranacs’ spaceframe chassis Brabhams’ or any other car for that matter are immediately apparent given the ‘spiders web’ of exhausts to be accommodated.

Developments of Repco’s ’30 Series’ heads showed there was a power advantage with cross flow gas paths, the ‘radial layout’ ’50 Series’ heads were aimed at exploiting that.

DOHC were used per bank, each one driving inlet and exhaust valves alternately. The valves were side by side in each half of a pent roofed combustion chamber. This layout allowed very simple valve operation compared with the BMW Apfelbeck ‘radial’ heads of the time. Doug Nye..’ On the Repco test heads exhaust stubs appeared within the Vee as a bunch of 8 small bore pipes, while 4 more appeared below the heads outside the Vee on either side. 8 induction trumpets fought for space within the Vee, and 4 more appeared on each side’.

One test engine was built up and the results were ‘encouraging’ but it was a blind alley because of installation problems…So the ‘Type 50′ heads were shelved and the more conventional ’60 series’ DOHC 4 valve heads used in 1968.

19 and 59 heads

The ‘750 Series Radial Valve’ engine beside Jack Brabhams Brabham BT19 Repco and its simple RB ‘620 Series’ SOHC 2 valve 3 litre, 310 bhp 1966 Championship Winning V8 Engine

repco

Pictures on the wall…Repco’s 3 litre F1 engines L>R ’68 ‘860 Series’ DOHC 4 valve, ’67 ‘740 Series’ SOHC 2 valve ‘exhaust between the Vee’ and obscured workshop shot showing the assembly of the ’66 ‘620 Series’ SOHC 2 valve cross flow…

43 years on and the Bolwell Nagari still has it. Good looks and performance to match…

NGV Bolwell

When i was 13 i drooled endlessly over the Bolwell Nagari, it really was ‘as good as it got’ in Australia. Home grown in dowdy Mordialloc but with Italian looks; the Chapman inspired backbone chassis a lightweight platform for the fibre-glass body and core Ford componentry; ‘302’ Windsor 5 litre V8, 4 speed ‘box and rear axle, live axle but very well located.

The Coupe version was even sexier than the ‘Spider’, Campbell Bolwell and his brothers were masters of the kit and low volume art…very tricky in a small market like Oz at a time the legislators made life hard for small players.

I still have the brochure i mailed away for in 1971…

Nagari_Brochure_Front

Nagari_Brochure_Last

mmm cockpit

Molina Monza Holden Special…

In many ways the MM is the most powerful and beautiful of Australias’ Holden engined specials.

Concepted by Lou Molina, much loved member of Melbournes’ ‘Spaghetti Mafia’ who brought fine Italian cuisine to Melbourne between the wars and Silvio Massola, the car was designed and built by Brian Burnett, who by 1955, had the Maybach bodies in his cv. The car had a ladder frame chassis, an aluminium body that was derivative of many influences but wonderfully distinctive with it.

Motive power was the Holden ‘Grey motor’ with Repco Highpower head but also fitted with a Marshall blower fed by a big SU 2 3/16th ins. carb, 199bhp @ 6000rpm the result. Drive was transmitted by a dual plate clutch to a Jag ‘box and then by a short drive shaft to a de Dion rear end utilising Ford components. Front suspension is of planar type using a transverse spring to locate steering knuckles at the top, with wishbones below. Telescopic shocks are used front and rear. Steering is by Citroen rack and pinion, brakes drum using HWM Jag components at the front.

MM made its competition debut at Rob Roy in Melbournes’ Christmas Hills on May 5 1957 and was very successful in Molinas hands against much more exotic cars before slowly passing into obscurity before being superbly restored not so many years ago by Gavin and Bryan Sala.

It is a truly fabulous device.

NGV MM

mm

NGV

monza wheel

The Holden Hurricane design study is about as far removed to their Holden production cars could ever be…

It was of course the era of low slung, mid-engined sporties such as the Ford GT40, De Tomaso Mangusta, Lamborghini Miura and even Lotus Europa. So Holden decided to give it a crack. One way to get the new ‘253’ CID Holden V8 noticed

NGV Hurricane

The car made its Melbourne Motor Show debut in 1969 and has a box section steel frame clothed in fibre glass panels. Wishbones, coil springs and dampers were used at the front, rear suspension uses swing axles, trailing arms and coil springs. The 4.2 litre pushrod OHV V8 produced 260bhp @ 6000rpm, the car uses a 4 speed manual ‘box and disc brakes on all corners. Height is 39.2 inches.

hurri

‘Hey Charger!’ the Ad Tag Line said in 1972…

The triple 45 DCOE Weber-fed Chrysler Valiant Charger’s played second fiddle to GTs and XU1s for too many years. But not anymore, they have a strong following and their values have increased substantially.

265 CID, in line OHV 6 cylinder engine, ‘E39’ 3 speed and ‘E49’ 4 speed ‘boxes. Never really developed as racers as Fords GTHO’s or Holdens XU-1’s but mighty competitive all the same.

NGV Charger

Credits…

Doug Nye ‘Profile Publications Brabham Repco’

‘Shifting Gear’ NG Victoria

Photos by the authors

cranky

Sad news is filtering through that one of Australias’ greatest drivers and constructors, Frank Matich died this evening…

Matich won in small bore single seaters, 2.5 litre Tasman cars and of course F5000, a class in which he was ‘first among equals’ in Australia until his untimely retirement in 1974. He was similarly dominant in sports cars; front engined C and D Type Jags and a Lotus 15 in the 50’s before success in mid-engined cars including Lotus 19, 19B, the Elfin 400/Traco Olds and his own very successful SR3 and SR4 series of cars.

I chose the Shane Lee shot above last week for an article i am drafting about the Traco Olds, it captures the essence of this great competitor pondering setup changes to find more speed ftrom his Matich A50 Repco F5000 car in Wigram, New Zealand in 1973.

Matich on many occasions showed he was more than a match for the best in the world in equal cars, one of Australias ‘motor racing maybes’ is what impact Frank would have had in GP racing had he accepted one of the offers made to him in the early 60’s. Family and business priorities meant he never made the move to Europe, achieving success in Australasia and the US instead.

Rest in peace.

fm c type leatons servo

FM in his Leaton Motors owned Jag C Type, in flat hat on the forecourt of their Stony Creek Road, Kingsgrove, Sydney ‘servo’ in 1958. (John Ellacott)

Fantastic article about Matich by Michael Stahl in ‘MotorSport’ published in 2012…

http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/september-2012/73/frank-exchange-views

matich 1

Its fair to say FM’s cars were very soundly designed and built but conventional for the period. But he was always tinkering…Derek Kneller, FM’s mechanic said of this twin rear wing setup, in advance of its trial in F1 ‘it was balanced at the front, it allowed the top wing to run with less rake and drag, it worked very well, an early blown diffuser’. FM in driving suit, NZ Tasman Series 1973, Matich A50 Repco. (Derek Kneller/Bryan Sala)

matich 2

Frank Matich in the US ‘L&M Series’ 1973. Matich A51 Repco. (Tom Rosenthal)

matich 19b

FM in his Lotus 19B Climax, Lakeside circa 1965. (Peter Mellor/The Roaring Season)

bp ad

matich

Frank Matich, Matich SR4 Repco, Bathurst Easter 1969. (oldracephotos.com.au/Dick Simpson)

Etcetera…

matich lotus 15 bathurst

FM delicately places the Leaton Motors Lotus 15 2.5 Climax into Forrests Elbow, Bathurst, Easter 1961. Matich further proved himself as one of the countries top drivers in this car. It was later fitted with an F85 Olds aluminium V8 before being restored by Mike Ryves and raced successfully by him and Paul Samuels before its inevitable departure to Europe a few years back. (John Ellacott)

Credits…Shane Lee, oldracephotos.com.au/Dick Simpson, Peter Mellor/The Roaring Season, Derek Kneller, Bryan Sala, John Ellacott

 

image

A warm but gloomy Autumn day greeted the entrants of the Ferrari Owners Club annual concourse in Melbourne this morning…

Racing Ferraris’ are fairly thin on the ground in Australia so the cars were predominantly road cars with a bias towards later models of the last 15 years.

The most interesting entries for me were both replicas; one in the style of a Ferrari Dino 246 Sports Spider and the other a Maserati 450S, both racers of the late 1950’s. Some of the latter cars donor parts were from a Quattroporte road car of the 60’s by the look of the ‘Tipo 107’ plate on the dash.

Neither car is allowed to race in Historic Racing in Oz given our strict period compliance rules but both would be mighty fine and fast track day and road cars…

image

Ferrari Dino 246 Sport Spider replica

image

image

image

Maserati 450S replica

image

Workmanship of 450S replica evident. Both cars built by Vintage and Historic Restorations in suburban Melbourne.

image

Replica Ferrari Dino on the left and Maser on the right.

image

image

image

image

image

 

 

image

Richard Davison uploaded this YouTube footage of his son Alex’ driving his ex-Holland/Theodore Racing-Alan Jones/Jon Davison Lola T332 Chev ‘HU34’…

Crank up the volume, their is nothing quite like 5 litres of highly tuned fuel-injected Chevy. Very interesting looking at the smoothness of a top-line pro driving one of these beasts at lap record pace. It looks deceptively easy?! Not!

The footage is at the Phillip Island Historic Meeting in March 2015.

Credits…Richard Davison, Motorsportlegends

image