Archive for the ‘Who,What,Where & When…?’ Category

(R Dalwood)

This shot at Baskerville, Tasmania on 4 December 1966 gave me a chuckle…

The race bike and it’s ‘Gunter-Wagen’ tow car frames John Goss’ brand new Tornado Ford, still without its rather attractive self built bodywork in the scrutineering bay.

One wag questioned whether the Beetle was towing the Suzuki or whether the 50cc two-stroke was pushing Wolfsburg’s finest.

I have written about the car which launched JG onto the mainland and subsequent fame in tourers and F5000 a couple of times before, checkout the link here; https://primotipo.com/2018/06/19/john-goss-tornado-ford-longford-1968/ , and here; https://primotipo.com/2018/07/17/1967-tasmanian-sportscar-championship/

(R Dalwood)

What a youngster! At 24 years of age Goss has constructed a very clever sports racer which became a competitive car and as fast as all but the big-buck cars at the very front of the fields- those raced by Matich, Allen, Jane, Hamilton and co.

(R Dalwood)

Look closely, the photo above shows the Tornado Ford’s initial VW front end which evolved to a more sophisticated wishbone set-up in the years to come.

(R Dalwood)

Gossy going around the inside of Allan Robertson’s Peugeot 203 that December weekend. One of the reasons I love these photos is because of the relaxed nature of a race meeting at a venue I’ve not been to.

Wonderful aren’t they?

(R Dalwood)

The crowd below are looking at the new Tornado Ford- it is the same group of people clustered around the car shown in the opening photograph but from a different angle.

(R Dalwood)

It would be interesting to know the intrepid pilot’s impressions of his handiwork after the first weekend of competition. I’m betting the little racer felt like a precise jet compared with the Customline and FJ Holden which preceded it- a mighty fine driver of Big Cars did John Goss become.

(R Dalwood)

Credits…

Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania- Reg Dalwood Collection

Tailpiece…

(R Dalwood)

The way it was…

Finito…

(I Smith)

Bob Skelton looking as pleased as punch in the Calder paddock in 1972…

Of course these days there will be some type of law against exploitation of the fine, feminine form in such a gratuitous, crass commercial manner. Now ‘yerd have to equalise things by having some blokes in the mix, somebody of trans-gender not to forgot a blend of souls with a range of colours from around the globe.

Skelton won the 1972 Driver to Europe Series in this Bowin P4A- here he is with car and some TAA ‘hosties’ during one of the Calder rounds.

Australian Formula Ford buffs will recall the days when Australia’s ‘second domestic carrier’ was Trans Australia Airways before it was logically rolled into Qantas whereupon the whole lot was privatised a cuppla decades ago. For a wonderful period TAA sponsored the ‘Driver to Europe Series’ and in the process aided and abetted the overseas careers of drivers including Larry Perkins…

And so it was the ‘hosties’ airline attendants or cabin crew attended meetings particularly the one at which the annual award and ‘kingsized’- in physical dimensions if not the amount of the cheque was handed to the winning driver.

He took his prize and the very first Bowin P6- #P6F-119-72 to England late in the year and contested a couple of meetings including the Formula Ford Festival at Snetterton in which fellow Aussies- Buzz Buzaglo, Peter Finlay, John Leffler and Larry Perkins all had a run, a story told in an article about the Bowin P6/P8 I will finish soon. In the meantime there is a bit about the 1972 FF Festival in this piece about Buzz Buzaglo;

https://primotipo.com/2014/07/08/buzz-buzaglo-australian-international-racing-driver-and-the-eternal-racing-story-of-talent-luck/

Dick Simpson’s shot at Calder during the 21 March 1971 DTE round shows Skello in front of Larry Perkins Bib Stillwell owned Elfin 600 with another 600 all cocked up in the background, perhaps Michael Hall? Larry won the round by the way (oldracephotos.com/D Simpson)

 

 

Bob Skelton in a works MG Midget at Bathurst in 1968 (D Simpson)

Skelton won the 1972 DTE with Bowin P4’s taking the top three placings- Skelton won with 57 points, two points ahead of John Leffler (the 1973 winner aboard a P6F) with Bob Beasley third in the Jack Brabham Ford P4X on 53 points- the best of the Elfins was Enno Buesselmann’s 600 in fourth place.

Out of sportscars, Skelton had his first FF season in 1971 in a Bowin P4- he managed to convince Bryan Byrt who had advertised for sale the car speedway ace Garry Rush had been racing (P4A-106-70) with Byrt Ford support, to hang onto it and allow him to race it rather than sell it managing to finish runner-up to Perkins that year. It was a great performance coming to open-wheelers ‘cold’.

Skelton got more got serious for 1972. He acquired a new P4 from John Joyce (P4A-115-72) and invested in the also new- eligible from that season, Capri XL ‘uprated’ Kent engine- still 1600cc but stronger in certain respects. In fact he was the only driver to use the motor from the seasons outset, but he missed the opening Warwick Farm round due to illness, Bob Beasley won in the Jack Brabham Ford Bowin P4X about which I have written in the past.

Bob made amends at Sandown but Beasley won at Calder and by the fifth round at Hume Weir, John Leffler (P4A), Beasley and Enno Buesselmann (Elfin 600) all had ‘Kents’- Leffo’s was prepped by Bruce Richardson, Beasley and Buesselmann’s engines by racer/engineer Graham ‘Tubby’ Ritter in Melbourne- all these years later Tubby’s son Michael Ritter continues the family Formula Ford preparation tradition!

Despite that, Skelton won at the Weir and Oran Park but throughout the year John Leffler, a very successful Cooper S sports-sedan racer who initially tasted FF in Alan Vincent’s Bowin P4A, was on the march. He had a new P4 of his own and secured Grace Bros sponsorship mid-year which would take him through Formula Ford and ANF2 (Bowin P8) all the way to an F5000 Gold Star win in a Lola T400 Chev in 1976.

Skelton from Enno Buesselmann’s Elfin 600 in one of the two Sandown DTE rounds in 1972 (AMRA)

 

A Bowin front-runner in 1971-1972 was another guy who had come out of sportscars- Clubmans was Bob Beasley, here in the Jack Brabham Ford P4X at Oran Park on 19 September 1971(L Hemer)

 

Leffler won the penultimate Warwick Farm round from Beasley and Skelton setting up a ‘winner takes all’ showdown at the Amaroo Park season-ended where, depending upon where they finished, either Skelton, Beasley or Leffler could win the title.

Further spice was added to the mix by the entry of Larry Perkins in the new side-radiator Elfin 620 Larrikins was shortly to ship to the UK to contest the Formula Ford Festival at Snetterton.

Larry was the 1971 FF title winner but took his prize a year later to amass a bit more experience before going ‘over there’, notably aboard Holden Dealer Team circuit and rallycross cars and picking up the 1972 Australian F2 Championship in Gary Campbell’s Elfin 600B Ford twin-cam. For Larry the meeting was valuable race testing and for Elfin’s Garrie Cooper a good run by Perkins would help fill his order for 1973 book which had taken a dent with so much Bowin P4 success.

The pressure showed too- Skelton missed a gear in practice, bending a valve and taking the edge off his engine- without a spare, a standard head was fitted overnight. Larry made Skelton’s job easier by having a huge lose in The Loop taking out Bob Beasley- who, closely following Larry, hit the Elfin head-on. As a consequence Leffler had an easy round win, Skelton took the title- and the trip to the UK, with David Mingay third in Birrana F71- the very first Birrana built by Tony Alcock in Sydney before his partnership with Malcolm Ramsay, this car was first raced by John Goss.

(Wirra)

Amaroo final round with John Leffler’s Bowin P4A in front of an Elfin 600, Enno Buesselmann or Bob Kennedy perhaps? and then Skelton’s P4A.

(Racing Car News)

The first photograph is not on the same lap as the latter two but you can get the drift (sic).

The end result is a rather sick P4X Bowin and perhaps a bit of repair work for Elfins in Edwardstown on the new, very first Elfin 620 before Perkins popped it on a plane to the UK- the 620/620B was a successful series of cars taking Driver to Europe titles in the hands of Terry Perkins in 1974 and Jeff Summers in 1982. I will always have a soft spot for them, my first drive of a racing car was in one of the four Bob Jane-Frank Gardner Race Driving School 620B’s.

Amaroo Park victory parade with the TAA hosties which is about where we came in!

Bob on the XA Falcon GT whilst John Leffler and Bob Beasley make do with Fairlanes…

Other Formula Ford Reading…

On the early days in Australia and Bowin; https://primotipo.com/2018/08/30/bowin-p4a-and-oz-formula-ford-formative/ and Jack Brabham and his Bowin P4X; https://primotipo.com/2019/01/16/jacks-bowin-again/ and the FF Race of Champions at Calder; https://primotipo.com/2018/10/30/calder-formula-ford-race-of-champions-august-1971/ not to forget a bit about Skelton towards the end of this article on Peter Brock; https://primotipo.com/2019/02/01/this-is-hard-work/

Bibliography…

‘AMRA’- Australian Motor Racing Annual 1973′, Paul Newby, Terry Sullivan

Photo Credits…

‘AMRA’, Ian Smith, oldracephotos.com/Dick Simpson, Wirra, Lynton Hemer, Racing Car News

Tailpiece: Skelton, Bowin P4A, Oran Park September 1971…

(L Hemer)

Bob Skelton progressed from Formula Ford to ANF2 in 1973- converting the P6F he raced in England to F2 specifications over that Australian summer, he was mighty quick too, that story told in full in the upcoming P6 piece I mentioned earlier.

Finito…

Coronavirus…

Posted: March 23, 2020 in Who,What,Where & When...?
Tags:

Guggenheim Bilbao (M Bisset)

About the only funny aspect of the Coronavirus is the various the adaptations of The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’ to ‘My Corona’ but otherwise its a long, hard haul we are all engaged in.

We primotipo mob are a global lot with lots of our readership buddies in Spain and Italy- our hearts and thoughts are particularly with you guys and your families at the moment.

I was lucky enough to visit Spain again in mid 2018 and had another two week blast through Italy last July. My partner is Italian and still has family in Montebelluna and Treviso in the Northern Italy ‘lock-down zone’, it is very distressing talking to these older folks at the moment and to see the scenes on television.

Here in Australia the progress of the virus is a little behind in its ‘maturity’ but we have gone from a business trip- Melbourne to Brisbane on 12-15 March to the Australian borders closure and most of our state borders closed or announced to be so from tomorrow.

We are now working, if we can at all, remotely, from home, its great to see the Italian toll decline for the first time overnight- anyway, thinking of you guys, we are in it together, the Chinese Wet Markets must be eliminated to avoid the next global killer.

Stay well my friends…

Varenna, Lake Como (M Bisset)

 

(R Thorncraft)

Kevin Bartlett and Frank Gardner, McLaren M10B Chev and Lola T300 Chev, ‘Warwick Farm 100’ F5000 Tasman round, 13 February 1972…

 

Great mates both and former members of Alec Mildren Racing where FG was a mentor to KB in his formative days in the team from 1965. Both the Brabham 1.5 Ford and Mildren Maserati sporty Kevin first raced were cars FG also drove so he had much to pass on to the youngster who had raw talent, speed and car control to burn. Here the guys are deep into the Creek Corner braking area at the end of Hume Straight- the noses of their steeds close to the bitumen as the pitch angle increases.

 

By 1972 Gardner was about to step back from single-seaters, in fact he ‘retired’ from them after the following weekend at Sandown selling the works machine to Gary Campbell and sitting out the final Adelaide round. Mind you he did a race in the prototype T330 in late 1972 (third at the October Brands European F5000 championship round behind Redman’s Chevron B24 and McRae McRae GM1) just to make sure this masterpiece of an F5000- the greatest ever, was behaving as its designers intended. That chassis T330 ‘HU1’ is well known to Aussies as Max Stewart’s car, a very successful machine which is still in Oz.

 

(R Thorncraft)

 

Whilst the benchmark F5000’s from 1969 through 1971 (M10A and the refined M10B) the ex-Niel Allen chassis ‘400-02’ was getting a bit long in the tooth by the time KB acquired it after the 1971 Tasman Series from Allen. But the 1971 NZ GP winner was an astute purchase by KB as a trick/schmick M10B with all of the works and some home-grown developments and which had been beautifully prepared by Peter Molloy.

 

Bartlett pedalled it hard too, he was the only M10B driver to take a ’72 Tasman round win amongst all the newer kit- the Teretonga round at Invercargill. Thirds at Wigram and Warwick Farm were his other best results with four DNF’s out of the eight rounds. F5000’s always were brittle things, it was only unreliability which cost him the ’71 Gold Star Series, a championship won by his other Mildren Racing mate, Max Stewart in a reliable 2 litre Mildren Waggott TC-4V. By the start of the 1972 Gold Star in mid year a new T300 was in Kevin’s workshop back in Oz but not before he took in the first US ‘L&M’ round at Laguna Seca in the M10B (fifth) before switching to the Jones Eisert Racing T300 for subsequent US races.

 

Gardner didn’t have a great Australasian summer in T300 ‘HU1’- he boofed it during the AGP weekend at Warwick Farm in November 1971, after repair he won the NZ GP in it at Pukekohe in January 1972 and then his engine cut-out at high speed causing a big accident at Levin. He missed the balance of the Kiwi rounds whilst the car was re-tubbed around a fresh monocoque flown out from Huntingdon. The car was plenty fast though- he was second at Surfers Paradise, Warwick Farm and Sandown.

 

KB from FG on the exit of Creek (R Thorncraft)

 

The ‘Farm round was won by Frank Matich in his Matich A50 Repco from FG and KB but ‘the star’ of that series was Graham ‘Cassius’ McRae in his Len Terry designed Leda GM1 Chev aka McRae GM1. His Louis Morand Chevy powered car was both reliable and fast with wins at Levin, Wigram, Surfers and Sandown. It is fair to say the GM1 was the most successful F5000 car of 1972 with McRae also taking the US ‘L&M’ F5000 Championship- he was also third in the European title taking five of the fourteen rounds despite not contesting all of the them. More of the Warwick Farm Tasman in 1972; https://primotipo.com/2018/11/02/australias-mr-and-mrs-motorsport/

 

 

(R Thorncraft)

 

Credits…

 

All photos by Russell Thorncraft

 

Tailpiece: FG did get in front- KB’s McLaren from FG in front of a marvellous crowd…

 

(R Thorncraft)

 

Finito…

 

‘Start ya bastardo’ seems to be the expression on Glen Abbey’s face…

He and the other Alec Mildren Racing boys are trying to get Frank Gardner’s Brabham BT16 Climax alive for the start of the New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe on January 7 1967.

It was a tough series for the Sydney crew- 1967 saw the V8 engines multiply that summer, the poor old, venerable Coventry Climax FPF 2.5 litre four potter- Tasman engine de jour for so long was overwhelmed by Repco-Brabham, Coventry Climax and BRM V8’s, the trend started the year before of course.

More would come in 1968 with the Ferrari V6 and BRM V12 adding to the onslaught but by then Mildren had a supply of Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 V8’s- not that they ever quite did the trick in the Tasman, but they were pretty handy at Gold Star level.

Wigram 1966, FG’s Brabham BT11A Climax 2.5 DNF accident, being hosed off by the 1.9 litre BRM P261 V8’s of Dick Attwood #2 2nd and Stewart #6 winner (unattributed)

 

FG and BT16 in New Zealand 1967, circuit unknown (E Sarginson)

In fact the little F2 based BT16 gave Gardner his best Tasman result ever, equal second.

Jim Clark won in a Lotus 33 Coventry Climax FWMV 2 litre, his yield was five wins, three in Tasman Cup championship events and 45 points, whilst equal second were Jackie Stewart, BRM P261 V8 2.1, two wins, Jack Brabham, Brabham BT23A Repco ‘640’ V8 with one and Frank who was winless but consistently quick throughout.

He was third at Lakeside, Warwick Farm and Sandown- three weekends in a row actually, and fourth at Levin, Wigram and Longford- his only DNF’s were in the NZ GP opening round at Pukekohe and Teretonga with engine and oil line problems respectively. Click here for Tasman 1967; https://primotipo.com/2014/11/24/1967-hulme-stewart-and-clark-levin-new-zealand-tasman-and-beyond/

So the paddock photo is representative of dramas which came in the 21 lap preliminary on GP morning when a valve and piston came into contact- that was it for FG’s weekend. Stewart won the NZ GP from Clark and Richard Attwood’s BRM P261.

Back to Mildren and Gardner’s plans for the 1967 Tasman.

Frank and Alec figured they needed something light in all the circumstances so an F2 frame into which they could pop their FPF and Hewland HD5 gearbox made sense- FG had raced Alec’s Brabham BT11A’s in the 1965 and 1966 Tasmans, one of them was raced by Kevin Bartlett. In fact 1967 would be KB’s first full Tasman, as against just running the Australian rounds.

Frank’s European commitments didn’t extend to full F2 seasons in 1965 and 1966 but he did a ‘halfa’ season or thereabouts in 1965 racing several cars- a John Willment Lotus 35 Cosworth SCA, Ken Tyrell Cooper T75 BRM P80 and Midland Racing Partnership Lola T60 BRM P80. In 1966 he raced MRP Lola T60 and T61 BRM’s.

Whilst Mildren’s were a ‘Brabham and Alfa Romeo Shop’ (yes i know not exclusively) and the chassis selection may have been a foregone conclusion, perhaps FG’s closeup view- ‘up the clacker’ of Jochen Rindt’s Winkelmann BT16 at Reims for an hour and a half in July 1965 convinced him Ron’s chassis was the go. Jochen won the Reims GP in 1:33.55.7 from FG on 1:33.55.9 in the Midland Lola.

And so it was they did a deal to buy the John Coombes ‘F2-8-65’ BT16 which had been raced by Graham Hill in 1965 and 1966 in Euro F2 until Coombes replaced it with a new-fangled monocoque Matra MS5 midyear. Click here for articles on Euro 1 litre F2;

Lotus 35, SCA and P80 engines; https://primotipo.com/2017/11/06/jim-clark-lotus-35-and-the-cosworth-sca-f2-engine/

and Brabham Hondas; https://primotipo.com/2015/07/30/xxxii-grand-prix-de-reims-f2-july-1966-1-litre-brabham-hondas/

and the F2 Matras; https://primotipo.com/2019/05/24/surtees-matra-1966-and-thereabouts/

FG in Brabham BT19 Repco ‘740’- Jack’s 1966 ‘620 Series’ powered championship machine during the Oulton Park Gold Cup in 1967 (M Hayward)

 

Gardner, Ford GT Mk2, Le Mans 1967 (D Friedman)

‘F2-8-65’ was soon in Australia and made race ready by Glenn Abbey for the Hordern Trophy, for some years the traditional Gold Star Championship final, December, Warwick Farm round. Frank won from Kevin Bartlett and Spencer Martin in ‘identical’ Brabham BT11A’s entered by Mildren and Bob Jane.

The 1967 Tasman result was outstanding for FG and Mildren’s, it was again a reminder of his speed, consistency and maturity.

At the end of the summer off he went to Europe for what by then had become his ‘usual cocktail’ of touring cars, sports-prototypes and sportscars, F2 and occasional, usually non-championship F1 drives. To me FG had it all-what a mix of cars, and paid well to do it!

Bartlett in the Mildren Brabham BT11A Climax at Warwick Farm during 1967

The BT11A was one of Kevin Bartlett’s all-time favourite cars so it was no surprise Mildren sold BT16 instead- KB and Spencer went at it hammer ‘n tongs again in 1967- a battle between two mates told here; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/27/kbs-first-bathurst-100mph-lap/

Niel Allen was the purchaser albeit the car was usually driven for him by Fred Gibson. From Niel- I think he sold it when he bought Piers Courage’ McLaren M4A Ford FVA at the end of the ’68 Tasman, it went to Col Green then Neil Rear in Perth, in the US now innit for quite some while?

Etcetera…

(D Logan)

FG has crested ‘Lukey Heights’ and is plunging left towards Dandenong Road during the 26 February 1967 ‘Sandown Cup’, he was third behind Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax FWMV 2 litre V8 and Leo Geoghegan’s Lotus 39 Climax FPF 2.5.

Credits…

Doug Shaw Collection, Euan Sarginson, Duncan Logan, oldracingcars.com

Tailpiece; c’mon baby, please!…

Glenn, Stu Randall and Ian Gordon (?), note the nose of the ‘Scuderia Veloce’ 250LM at left, at that stage the custodian was Kiwi racer Andy Buchanan.

Its a period typical Brabham, skinny (albeit not at all so by the standards of a modern Formula Ford) and sturdy spaceframe chassis with upper and lower wishbones and outboard coil spring/shocks with an adjustable roll bar. Alford & Alder steel uprights- you beaut cast magnesium ones arrived with the 1967 BT23/24.

Wonderul bits of chuckable kit straight outta the box- design by Tauranac and final suspension settings by John Arthur Brabham.

Finito…

(Theo Page)

Perhaps MG saved the best till last?

EX181 was the marque’s final record breaker, which commenced with the 1930/1 EX120…

The famous company, in part built its brand very cost effectively by setting a number of Land Speed Records down the decades. Stirling Moss did 245.64 mph and 245.11 mph for the flying kilometre and flying mile respectively in August 1957, and Phil Hill 254.91 mph and 254.53 mph over the same distances in October 1959 with EX181’s engine increased in capacity from 1489cc to 1506cc- this allowed the sneaky Brits to bag both under 1500cc and under 2000cc records, both at Bonneville.

Twin inlets in the cars nose pushed air thru ducts either side of the driver and flow to the radiators, carb inlets, the engine and transmission- outlet ducts clear (unattributed)

The Roaring Raindrop was not just a teardrop shape known to give minimum aerodynamic drag at subsonic speeds- in side elevation it also had the cross section of an aerofoil to a wing section of Polish origin which was identified by MG Chief Engineer Syd Enever as ideal for the task. His theory was tested by Harry Herring in the Armstrong Whitworth wind tunnel.

The Morris Engines Experimental Department in Coventry developed an MGA twin-cam, two valve engine which had many trick lightweight competition internals ‘off the shelf’ and a massive Shorrock supercharger driven by a spur gear from the front of an extended crankshaft fed by two whopper 2.5 inch SU carbs. The fuel mix was one third each petrol, benzol and methanol.

The 1957 1489cc engine developed 290 bhp @ 7300 rpm and 516 lb/ft of torque @ 5600 rpm using 32 psi of boost. Cooling of the motor was achieved by the use of two curved radiators from an Avro Shackleton marine reconnaissance aircraft.

(mgaguru)

 

(mgaguru)

EX181 was built under the supervision of Terry Mitchell using a bespoke twin-tube chassis with MGA derived suspension at the front- wishbones, coil springs and lever arm hydraulic shocks and a de Dion rear setup deploying quarter elliptic leaf springs and again lever arm shocks.

Cooling for the single Girling disc brake was provided by a small hinged rear flap on the central spine of the machine aft of the cockpit, this popped  up when the driver pushed the brake pedal and also acted as an air brake.

The final essential element in the cars record breaking specification was Dunlop 24 inch diameter tyres capable of inflation to in excess of 100 psi.

Snug in there, Moss Bonneville 1957

Etcetera…

(S Dalton Collection)

Credits..

Autocar, Theo Page, MotorSport article August 2008, mgaguru.com, Stephen Dalton Collection

Tailpiece: Phil Hill, EX181 Bonneville, 1959…

(unattributed)

Finito…

 

(FF Oz)

Phil Revell eases his Lola T440 Ford into Torana Corner at Sandown during his successful ‘Driver to Europe’ assault in 1981…

This little jigger has to one of Australia’s winningest FF’s ever? Stephen Brook won the DTE in it in 1980 taking six of the eight rounds and Revell did similarly in 1981, winning five of eight.

Warren Smith was third using it in 1982 winning a round, as did Lyndon Arnel taking the final round in 1977- the car’s first season in Australia.

If memory serves (dangerous) Bob Holden imported the car for Lyndon- a protégé who had done very well in Escort twin-cams and RS2000s prepared by Bob- the T440 was his foray into single-seaters.

The second round of the DTE in 1977 was at Sandown- the Tasman meeting, I just thought, and still do, that it really was the sexiest of Formula Fords, man that car looked great! A decade or so hence I raced against it in Historic FF many times when it was owned by a lovely fella called Tony Harper- my own car was a T342, the model prior to the T440.

This contemporary shot of a T440 rebuild illustrates the chassis-gearbox/engine spacer nicely, see the big hole between the rear of the engine and front of the Mk9 (aeroyacht.com)

What was different about it was better aero, look how slinky it is with the full, front to rear all enveloping body- inboard front springs and shocks actuated by a rocker and big wide based lower wishbone- and the use of a tubular spacer between the engine and Hewland Mk9 gearbox to push the weight of the car forward. The Hawke DL17 was another FF of that year which did the same thing- Richard Davison and Russell Allen raced such cars in Oz then.

The chassis of the T342 was as stiff as a centenarian’s todger- with the spacer the T440 was said to be worse.

This particular car didn’t go well until until Stephen Brook got his hands on it- he had first raced in FF (Bowin P4 and P6) in the early seventies so was an experienced set of hands but when he took it over it was the jet it always looked…

They are simple liddl thangs but there are still lots of bits and pieces…T440 rear suspension assy (Lola)

Credits…

Australian Formula Ford, aeroyacht.com

Tailpiece…

(unattributed)

Stephen Brook aboard the T440 (what is the chassis number BTW?) in front of another sexy little FF- David Earle’s one-off Elfin Aero, at Amaroo Park probably in August 1980.

The tail out attitude ‘defined’ Oz FF during the ‘Bridgestone RD102 Road Radial Era’, of which this was the final year.

I shoulda bought the Aero- I travelled all the way out to Sydney’s Hills District on a Biz Trip from Melbourne to Sydney to have a look at it at Peter Verheyen’s workshop when it was owned by Rod Barrett but ‘choked’ coz it wasn’t quite historic at the time but ‘me mate John Benson bought it so it went to a good home and I could drool over it on a regular basis.

But that T440, sweet little jigger- great car! Fast car.

Finito…