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

bruce

(R Schlegelmilch)

Bruce, Tyler Alexander and and Alastair Caldwell…a new set of Goodyears for McLaren’s M7A. He put them to good use, qualifying sixth on the fast swoops of Rouen…

I’m drawn to the papaya McLarens thanks to their visual splendour and absolute respect for Bruce the man, engineer, test driver, racer and motivator of men.

He was the full-enchilada with the lot as a package, as well rounded a racer as it’s possible to be.

Here Chris Amon is tootling past him in the pitlane, his fellow Kiwi no doubt hoping the Firestone shod Ferrari 312 will cope with the fast swoops of Rouen better than Bruce’ M7A, a mighty fine design which carried the Ford Cosworth DFV.

I’ve posted a piece on this race before so don’t want to dwell on the awful fiery accident which cost Jo Schlesser’s life early in the event. Jacky Ickx took his first GP win in a Ferrari 312 from John Surtees’ Honda RA301 and Jackie Stewart’s Matra MS10 Ford.

The shot below is Graham Hill’s Lotus 49B Ford in grid slot nine surrounded by other fellas. The flash of blue to his left is Jean Pierre-Beltoise’ V12 powered Matra MS11 (ninth), Surtees Honda, with the blue flash down his white helmet and Chris Amon’s Ferrari, see its distinctive, white, between the Vee exhausts.

1968 was the last time an F1 GP was held at the wonderful 6.542Km road course near Orival and Rouen. The track was used for European F2 Championship races until 1978 and French national events after that, economic forces resulted in its 1994 closure.

hill lotus 49

French GP, Rouen 1968 (Schlegelmilch)

Credit…

Rainer Schlegelmilch

Finito…

917 brands rodrig

There are drives which are spoken of in reverential terms down the decades, Pedro Rodriguez’ victory in the Brands Hatch 1000km in 1970 is one of those…

Here #10, the John Wyer entry is set to pounce on #11 Vic Elford out of Druids in another factory (Porsche Salzburg) Porsche 917K, the Brit was of course no slouch on slippery surfaces himself. He was European Rally Champion aboard a Porsche 911 in 1967 and Monte winner similarly mounted in 1968 before going circuit racing.

Acknowledged wet weather ace Jackie Ickx raced a factory Ferrari 512S in a Brands Hatch field full of F1 drivers who in those days also contested the sportscar endurance classics. But Pedro was in a class of his own on that sodden Kent afternoon finishing five laps ahead of the second placed 917K of Elford and Denny Hulme, and eight laps ahead of another 917K driven by soon to be 1970 Le Mans winners Hans Hermann and Richard Attwood, both in similar equipment to Pedro…

Photo Credit…Bruce Thomas

Finito…

image

Denny Hulme delights the flaggies and ‘snappers and fries a set of Goodyears on entry to Warwick Farm’s Esses during the February 1967 Tasman round…

John Ellacott’s evocative shot at the ‘Farm catches Hulme in his Brabham BT22 Repco during practice, well cocked-up before the apex. He didn’t finish the Australian Grand Prix, his radiator hose came loose on Sunday, the race was won by Jackie Stewart’s BRM P261 from Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax.

Click on this link to read my article about the ’67 Tasman Series won by Clark’s Lotus; https://primotipo.com/2014/11/24/1967-hulme-stewart-and-clark-levin-new-zealand-tasman-and-beyond/

Credit…

John Ellacott

Finito…

1961 Ardmore Sports Car Trophy race – Le Mans start (B Hanna)

“The Le Mans start of the Sports Car Trophy Race (above) at Ardmore, 7 January 1961 (the VIII New Zealand Grand Prix meeting) seen from the pit lane. Angus Hyslop is aboard his Jaguar #100 and Doug Lawrence in the Cooper Bobtail #55 seem to be a couple of steps ahead of Malcolm Gill in the 5.2-litre four cylinder Lycoming Special #37. But Gill ran out the winner, with Hyslop second.”

Angus Hyslop was a champion Kiwi driver who shone brightly before returning to his farming career, see here for an article which provides some context to what follows; 1962 Lakeside International and Angus Hyslop… | primotipo…

The late Bill Hanna was Hyslop’s team manager/mechanic during 1961 when Angus was awarded the NZ Driver To Europe Scholarship. In between his fettling and organisational responsibilities Bill shot these marvellous colour transparencies in New Zealand and in Europe. Thanks to the efforts of Alec Hagues – Bill’s son-in-law – we can now tell the tale and share these never-before-seen Hanna family photographs.

This is the first of three articles written by Alec I’ll upload over the next month. A million thanks to him and his family for choosing primotipo to share these words and pictures publicly. They are magic timepieces from motorsport and lifestyles-of-the-day perspectives. I’ve fiddled with the photo captions in a few cases to flesh-out car model/specs, any errors are mine. Enjoy! Over to Alec…

“Meanwhile, having collected a 1958-built Cooper T45-Climax 1964cc from Syd Jensen in Kairanga at the end of 1960, Angus ran both the Cooper and his Jaguar D-Type XKD534 in the 1961 New Zealand Championship meetings.”

“The grandstand in the background identifies this as Levin, most likely on 14 January 1961, the Cooper and two Jaguars belonging to the Hyslop team are pictured above.

The 2nd Levin International that day was won by Jo Bonnier – and his distinctive 2.5-litre Cooper T51 Climax #2 creeps into the corner of this shot below, probably taken from the same spot as that above, but in the opposite direction to the first.”

(B Hanna)

“Conditions at Wigram on 21 January 1961 were less than ideal for photography, but given Angus’s famous performance in the Lady Wigram Trophy (third place to Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss and first Kiwi home) and the appearance of the Cooper’s former owner, Syd Jensen, Bill can’t let the day go unrecorded! Angus and Syd (left) are shown below with the speedy Cooper T45 on a frosty, soggy Kiwi summer day.”

Syd Jensen and Angus Hyslop (B Hanna)
Angus’s Cooper T45-Climax on Andersons Bay Road, Dunedin (B Hanna)

“Andersons Bay Road, Dunedin, the Festival Road Race on 28 January 1961. The Bob Smith or Frank Shuter Ferrari 555/625 (help folks) #46 and Arthur Moffatt’s Lotus 15 Climax #41 are behind Angus’ Cooper in the roadside pits.

Brian Prescott’s race ended against a brick wall on lap 29; this is his (formerly shark-nosed) Piccolo Maserati 250F #29 shown below.

The introduction to the NZ National Film Unit’s ‘New Zealand Grand Prix’ short film was shot in Dunedin that day, with the Sports Car and Feature races both covered – in the film we see Denny Hulme cross the line in first place in the latter event. New Zealand Grand Prix | Short Film | NZ On Screen

Accident damage to Brian Prescott’s Maserati 250F (B Hanna)
#19 Pat Hoare, #20 Denny Hulme, #3 Jo Bonnier, #1 Angus Hyslop, #33 Len Gilbert (B Hanna)

“The front row at Teretonga, 4 February 1961: Pat Hoare, Ferrari 246/256 3-litre V12 #19, Denny Hulme, Cooper T51 Climax 2.5 #20 and winner, Jo Bonnier’s Cooper T51 Climax 2.5 #3. Just behind them are Angus #1 and Len Gilbert, Maserati 250F #33. Other colour pictures of this race have been seen online, but this shot is simply too good to leave out.

The sports car race on the same day below with Ivy Stephenson’s Buckler Le Mans #38 prominent, but the ubiquitous Lycoming, Doug Lawrence’s Cooper Bobtail, Ross Jensen’s Daimler Dart, F P Harris’s MG TF and David Young’s Jaguar C-Type are in there with Angus’s Jaguar too.”

(B Hanna)

“Waimate on 11 February 1961 was another meeting held in the wet… and it seems that Bill didn’t feel like getting his camera out. Pat Hoare won the third Waimate 50 in his Ferrari V12, Denny Hulme already had the Gold Star in the bag so didn’t participate.”

Fay, Bruce Webster’s Cooper-Porsche, the Hyslop Cooper-Climax and Jaguar D-Type, Ahuriri 18 February 1961 (B Hanna)

“Back home now to South Pond paddock at Ahuriri for the Napier Road Races of 18 February 1961.

In the Hastings team corner, above, we see Bruce Webster’s Cooper-Porsche and again Angus’s Cooper and Jaguar. That’s Bill’s wife Fay, a familiar face at motor racing events at this time. Note the somewhat crude last-minute number changes to #111 and #151 – Angus obviously wasn’t keen to be #46 as suggested by the day’s programme. Pat Hoare entered too late to be in the programme, but ended up winning the feature race in his awesome ex-works F1 Ferrari Dino 246 powered by a 3-litre V12.

This is surely later the same day below… but what happened?

Angus sold XKD534 to Simon Taylor after the next meeting at Ohakea on 25 February 1961 and ended the New Zealand season with third place in the Gold Star and second in the Sports Car Championship to Malcolm Gill. Angus and Bill pack the Cooper up for the long voyage to Europe…and it is never seen in New Zealand again.”

(B Hanna)

To be continued, trust me, if it’s possible, the photographs get even better…

Credits…

Photographs, the late Bill Hanna, words Alec Hagues

Finito…

Note ‘bi-hi’ wings mounted to the rear uprights, and front top suspension inner mounting point. Hewland FT200 gearbox (P Strauss Collection)

“A photograph is everything!” Doug Nye told a group of us several months ago when we were arguing the toss about some knotty identification problem...

My Repco Brabham Engines buddy, Rodway Wolfe and I wrote the ‘definitive article’ on Jack’s Brabham BT31 Repco, his 1969 Tasman mount years ago. You’d think that would be easy enough given it only raced twice in-period, see here for the masterpiece; Brabham BT31 Repco: Jacks ’69 Tasman Car…by Rodway Wolfe | primotipo…

We thought the car was assembled and run for the first time in Australia a couple of days after Rodway helped Jack unpack the wooden MRD box in which BT31-1 was shipped to Port Melbourne, and put it together at RBE’s Melbourne factory between February 12-14, 1969.

But no!

Photographs from Peter Strauss’ collection, custodian of BT31 for 15 years or so, clearly show that the car was tested (by Jack) at Goodwood in late 1968 before being pulled apart, packed into the wooden box then shipped far-far away for Jack and Rodway to open at Maidstone on February 12, 1969.

(S Dalton Collection)

This short UK BT31 chapter was covered by Autosport in their January 3, 1969 issue, found by my friend, ace researcher/writer Stephen Dalton.

“The Brabham BT31, MRD’s (Motor Racing Developments – Brabham) new Tasman car, is based on the BT28 F3 design but with 1.75 ins more wheelbase, larger brake discs and calipers, a different engine bay to accommodate the four-cam (actually SOHC, two-valve) 85mm x 55mm Repco RB830 V8 engine, and twin side fuel tanks. The RB830 develops 290bhp at 9000rpm and uses twin Mallory distributors.”

“The engine top bay tubes detach to facilitate engine removal, and side radiator outlets are included. Wheels are 13-ins diameter with 9-ins front rims and 14-ins rears. The car has been tested at Goodwood, and a full kit of suspension, chassis, gearbox and body components has been sent to Australia to be built up locally for Jack Brabham to drive at the Warwick Farm and Sandown rounds of the Tasman Series.”

Over the years Peter told various people his car had run in the UK. Those-in-the-know, including yours truly, thought Strauss had his-hand-on-it (a colloquial Australian expression suggestive of the telling of a porky-pie).

“When I bought the car off the previous American owner a lot of photographs came with it including those two. I was told the pit-shots may have been Snetterton, it will be interesting to find out where they are.” A learned group of British historians confirm the circuit as Goodwood.

I’ve got to know Peter quite well during Covid, it’s funny how many new-Covid-buddies I have. We dealt with the business of the day recently, then he showed me his BT31 photo album, he flicked through the first few pages, then paused on one particular spread…

“Fuck me dead!” I said, rather loudly. It’s another vulgar colloquial expression, of surprise actually. I might add that I wasn’t issuing an invitation to poor Peter.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, but instantly knew what I was looking at! What was it that nice Mr Nye said about photographs as a source of fact rather than the written word?…

(P Strauss Collection)

Postscript…

Peter has three Brabhams, BT31, a BT11A Climax 2.5 FPF and an FJ BT6 Ford Cosworth 1100, lucky bugger. Along the way he met Messrs Brabham and Tauranac, individually and collectively quite a few times.

Brabham is on-the-record – a number of times in conversations with different individuals and groups of people – as saying that had they (MRD, BRO and Repco Brabham Engines) stuck with another simple SOHC, 3-litre V8 in 1968 rather than raced the under-developed, four-cam, 32-valve 3-litre 860 V8 powered BT26 they could have won another world title. That is three-on-the-trot, 1967-1968, rather than two in 1966-1967.

I don’t doubt that Jack said it but the notion doesn’t stack up. Ford Cosworth V8 engined Lotus, McLaren and Matras won every round of the 1968 World Championship with the exception of the French GP which went to Ickx’ Ferrari 312 V12.

In fact the Brabham Racing Organisation did race a simple SOHC BT24 740 (BT24-3) on several occasions in early ’68 while awaiting BT26 to come on stream. At Kyalami it was Q5 and DNF engine for Brabham, in Spain Q9 and DNF oil pressure for Rindt, Monaco Q5 and DNF accident for Rindt. At Zandvoort Dan Gurney returned to the Brabham fold for just that meeting. Dan popped the car 12th on the grid but DNF with throttle problems. For the sake of completeness, Jochen used it at Brands during British GP practice before Kurt Ahrens raced it at the Nurburgring to 12th place under the Caltex Racing Team banner.

So, to Jack’s point, the Brabham Racing Organisation raced a simple SOHC car in 1968 on five occasions, the best the circa 330bhp machine could do among seven or eight 400bhp Ford Cosworth V8 engined cars was a couple of fifths on the grid…

(P Strauss)

Strauss picks up that vein, relating a conversation he had with Ron Tauranac “At Eastern Creek about 2014. While Ron Tauranac (above) was trying to figure out how to make BT31 run cooler, he mentioned that he had built a few cars (sic!) but recalls that they (MRD) were building a car for the ’68 (F1) season, smaller than usual to save weight and make it more slippery. He found out that fuel cells were going to be mandatory which meant that the BT31 would not comply as the tanks were wrapped around chassis members and could not fit bladders.”

A 3-litre 830 engined BT31 is an interesting theory/coulda been but RBE mechanics/engineers have long said that no 3-litre 830 V8 was ever built by RBE in-period, they were all Tasman 2.5s. Some 3-litres (and larger) were built in the modern era by Don Halpin and perhaps others.

Further, the F1 bag-tank rules RT alluded to were mandated from the start of 1970, not 1968 or 1969. This FIA requirement effectively forced Tauranac to part with the spaceframes he had hitherto used to such good effect in F1. His 1970 monocoque BT33 was rather a good thing too, whilst noting his 1968-69 BT25 Indycar used an aluminium monocoque too.

Credits…

Peter Strauss, Autosport, Stephen Dalton

Tailpiece…

(P Strauss Collection)

Brabham at Bathurst during the Easter 1969 Gold Star round, won convincingly by Jack who practiced with various wing combinations and permutations but raced BT31 as above.

One of the various what-ifs about this car is whether, suitably updated, he could have won the 1970 Tasman Series with it? This ignores the fact that his Repco deal was over and Betty probably would have shot him if he had raced that summer rather than chilled with the kids at the beach…

It was quick enough to win the ’70 Tasman Cup mind you.

Maybe.

Finito…

(B King Collection)

Peter Stubberfield applying all of the energy to his Bugatti T35B Monoposto for which he was famous, “its probably at Prescott, perhaps Pardon Hairpin,” reckons Bob King.

The good doctor’s (King’s) study continues to be an Aladdin’s Cave of automotive treasures, this time the British Racing Drivers Club 1948-1949 yearbook.

Stubberfield hailed from Cliveden View Cottage, Cookham, Berkshire just over the hill from my old mate Chris Stops, I am a regular visitor from the colonies to his ‘Bourne End Hilton’, god’s own country it is too.

Stubberfield at Prescott (cookham)

Chassis #4840 was ex-George Easton and Faye Taylour. In modified monoposto form, with twin rear-wheels and fairly standard engine specification, the combination was prodigiously fast in the British hills in the 1930s and early post-war years.

Apart from information in period documents such as this one, I find the ads fascinating in style or substance. The two below are those of Wade Superchargers and Herbert Johnson, Bond Street purveyors of headgear to the gentry.

Its funny what you find!

I was Googling away to find information on our friend Peter Stubberfield, and what should be for sale but Peter’s old helmet! Not one made by Herbert Johnson mind you, but rather by S Lewis & Co of Carburton Street, London.

It’s a shellac composition shell with fixed peak, moleskin-lined leather side and neck protection – note the Bugatti enamel badge affixed to the front. Also in the shot are Stubberfield’s lightweight racing goggles, a photo of him in the T35B and another with his ‘equally famous pet mascot’ together with two early post-war Prescott programs.

(Bonhams)

Credits…

BRDC Motor Racing Annual 1948-1949 – Bob King Collection, Bonhams

Tailpiece…

Finito…

Bob Atkin and the SV Ferrari 250LM in 1968, love those works Ferrari overalls (B Atkin)

Australian enthusiasts of a certain age will recall Bob Atkin as David McKay’s partner in Scuderia Veloce, the Sydney based race team and prestige car dealership established by McKay as he evolved from racing driver to entrant/entrepreneur/motor trader, in addition to racing/automotive journalism off to the side.

SVs soon became the team to watch, and Atkin had a front row seat. He took his camera with him to race meetings recording the activities of the team, and other competitors in living colour.

In recent times, his son, Greg Atkin has been uploading his dad’s photographs onto Bob Williamson’s Old Australian Motor Racing Photographs Facebook page. I’ll periodically upload ‘Bob Atkin Collection’ pieces rather than lose these amazing colour time capsules in the bowels of FB, many thanks to Greg for sharing them.

(B Atkin)

This 1968 photograph at Warwick Farm says everything about the fizz SVs created amongst Australian enthusiasts.

The line up is the Ferrari 250LM bought new by McKay first raced for him by Spencer Martin during some of the 1965 Australian Tasman Cup rounds, the ex-Jack Brabham ’67 Tasman mount – Brabham BT23A Repco, and ex-works Ferrari 350 Can Am machine raced throughout 1967 as a P4 enduro coupe before being converted – along with another of its siblings – for Can-Am use in the latter months of 1967 driven by Chris Amon and Jonathon Williams.

I’ve written about these cars before, so lets not double-up, see here; Pete Geoghegan: Ferrari 250LM ‘6321’: Bathurst Easter 1968… | primotipo… here; Bathurst 1969 and Jack’s Tasman Brabham Repcos… | primotipo… and here; Ferrari P4/Can-Am 350 ‘0858’… | primotipo…

(B Atkin)

Bob was obviously a Leo Geoghegan fan, the earliest of his shots is of Leo doing a lap of honour in an official’s Austin Healey at Mount Druitt, Sydney, perhaps on the day be beat Frank Gardner’s Jaguar C-Type in a handicap race aboard his very quick Holden 48-215, the car is shown below in the Mount Panorama paddock in 1958.

(R Reid)
(B Atkin)

Greg Cusack (at far left above) a successful car dealer himself was one of SV’s longest supported drivers.

These two fabulous shots were taken at Mallala circa 1964. It is the delivery session of Greg’s brand new Elfin Mallala Ford twin-cam by Garrie Cooper (in the natty red sox) and the Elfin boys into the care of the Cusacks. That Rice Trailer will shortly be off on the trip home to Canberra.

By the time I raced at Mallala that pit-counter was long gone, so too the aircraft hangar to the right in the shot below.

(B Atkin)

Credits…

Greg Atkin for sharing the Bob Atkin’s photographs, Ron Reid Collection, Alan Edward Giltrap

Tailpiece…

(A Giltrap)

Bob Atkin and David McKay at Warwick Farm, probably not long after the Ferrari 350 Can Am arrived in late 1967. To comply with Australian rules, the car was fitted with headlights – such P4 fitments not required under Group 7/Can-Am rules – and a spare wheel, which SV fitted to the rear of the car aft of the transaxle. It ain’t there when this shot was taken.

“That D-Series Ford truck could take two cars, the Brabham on top and P4 (350 Can Am) underneath, the truck came from Greg Cusack’s Ford dealership in Canberra,” wrote Dominic David.

Finito…

(Getty)

Lou Moore’s two Deidt FD Offy ‘Blue Crown Spark Plug Specials’ driven by Mauri Rose and Bill Holland being prepared for the 1947 Indianapolis 500.

The colourisation of this Getty Images shot was done by Sanna Dullaway for a Time magazine feature; ‘A Century’s Evolution of Indy 500 Racing’. The rare under-the-skin photograph shows clearly the key elements of these successful cars; front mounted engine and transaxle, girder chassis and big rear mounted fuel tank.

Rose won the race from Holland and Ted Horn’s Maserati 8CTF in a controversial result.

Holland took the lead at about the 100 mile mark, but lost it “when he skidded in front of Shorty Cantlon, Cantlon’s Snowberger FD Offy hit the outside wall and was killed.”

Mauri Rose (IMS)

At about 200 miles Holland regained the lead, late in the race he was given an ‘Ezy’ pit signal by Lou Moore – a former Indy polesitter and three times on the podium – which he took as a direction to do the final laps at a reduced pace. Rose ignored the signal and sped up, Holland wasn’t troubled as he thought he had a lap in hand.

The two drivers exchanged waves during the pass, Holland took this to be a congratulatory gesture, but it was a pass for he lead, Rose led the final 8 laps and won the race by 32 seconds. “Holland called it a lousy deal,” Indy Star reported.

(IMS)

Bill Holland, an unlucky second in 1947, Deidt FD Offy above.

He won the race for Moore in 1949, on this occasion, Rose’s late race surge while lying second – against Moore’s pit board instructions – resulted in a broken magneto and a DNF. Moore fired Rose as soon as he arrived back at the pits!

1947 Indy ticket

Credits…

Getty Images, Time, Indy Star, IMS-Indy Motor Speedway archive

Tailpiece…

(IMS)

Moore’s Deidt FD Offy 4.2-litre powered front wheel drive roadster, Indy 1947.

Finito…

(R Schlegelmilch)

David Walker lined up for the final of the Monaco F3 GP, May 22, 1971.

He won his heat and the final in a race which was something of a metaphor of an incredible season aboard his works Lotus 69 Novamotor-Ford 1.6. Giancarlo Naddeo, Tecno 69 Ford was second, and Patrick Depailler’s Alpine A360 Renault, third.

The grid that year also included Steve Thompson, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Roger Williamson, Rikki Von Opel, David Purley, Bob Evans and Francois Migault.

Walker’s F3 year included wins at Silverstone and Cadwell Park in April, Brands Hatch, Zandvoort (Dutch GP F3 race) and Oulton Park in May, and Silverstone in June. Early July brought victory in the French Grand Prix support race at Paul Ricard. That month got better with a win at Croft which ensured the Sydneysider was razor-sharp over the British GP weekend at Silverstone, Walker also won that blue-riband support event.

But there was no break for the team, the following day he won the the Cadwell Park BARC British F3 Championship round. August yielded wins at Thruxton and Croft, while Mallory Park fell to Walker in September and Snetterton in October.

Dave Baldwin’s F3 Lotus 69 design (there were also F2, FB and FF 69s) had a spaceframe chassis based on his Lotus 59, disguised with the bodywork and beefed up front suspension of the 69 F2 car. 1.6-litre Novamotor Lotus Ford twin-cam, Kugelfischer injected via air restrictor Walker again at Monaco (R Schlegelmilch)
Oh-so-period cockpit! Leather bound wheel and a dash full of Smiths instruments. Wonderful. Monaco (R Schlegelmilch)

In one of the most dominant ever seasons of F3 racing Walker won most of the big races and two of the three British F3 Championships – the BRSCC/MCD and BARC – with Roger Williamson taking the other, the BRSCC/MCD Lombard.

For the sake of completeness, Walker’s season commenced with the ‘Torneio Internacional de Formula 3 do Brasil’ (Brazilian F3 championship) run at Interlagos and Taruma during January.

Dave raced his (1970) works Lotus 59A Ford to third, second, 12th and first in the four round series, placing third overall behind Wilson Fittipaldi and Giovanni Salvati in Lotus 59A, and Tecno TF70 respectively.

Walker, Lotus 59A Holbay Ford, (1-litre 100bhp ‘screamer’) Interlagos, Brazil, January (FL Viviani)

Walker was the most successful of the 1971 Gold Leaf Team Lotus drivers, Emerson Fittipaldi and Reine Wisell had a lean year in Grand Prix racing, Lotus failed to win a GP for the first time in over a decade.

F1 proved a much harder nut for Walker to crack, and that story is a good deal more nuanced than most pundits would have you believe…one for another time.

Walker during a much tougher 1972

Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, Fabio Luiz Viviani, F2 Index, Allen Brown in Oldracingcars.com

Tailpiece…

Finito…

(Terry Marshall)

Dennis Marwood tries to focus on the job at hand while the 2.30pm Pukekohe-Auckland express rattles past: New Zealand Grand Prix, Pukekohe, January 8, 1966.

He did well too, placing his ex-works Cooper T66 Climax 2.5 FPF – chassis FL-6-63- fourth in the race won by Graham Hill, from Jackie Stewart aboard works BRM P261s, and Jim Palmer racing the ex-Clark Lotus 32B Climax.

Cooper’s best F1 days were well-past by 1963 when the spaceframe T66 was designed and built by Owen Maddock and his Surbiton team. An advance on the prior T60, the car was still a mid-grid machine despite being lighter, stiffer and slimmer. Driven by Bruce McLaren and Tony Maggs, McLaren’s second place at Spa was the team’s best result.

1964 was even grimmer, despite ’61 World Champ, Phil Hill, joining the squad. In a season of insufficient speed and lousy reliability, Bruce was seventh (5 retirements in 10 rounds), and Phil equal 19th in the World Drivers Championship. “Poor preparation, and indifferent engines supplied by Climax who now recognised Lotus as their major client and development partner, with Brabham next in line, cost them dear”, wrote Doug Nye.

Zeltweg vista. Phil Hill leads Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax and Chris Amon, Lola (MotorSport)
Ooooh-sheeeet and Holy Moses, or thoughts to that general effect. Phil examines his fried Cooper while Bruce McLaren tries not to think of John Cooper’s reaction. Wonder who the visitor with the Qantas travel bag is? (MotorSport)
F1-6-63 doesn’t look too flash but chassis damage was minimal, so not too dramatic a repair for a crew of talented Kiwis…(socalclicker@esc)

Phil’s nadir was on the Zeltweg aerodrome, Austrian GP weekend where he crashed his Cooper T73 during practice, then repeated the dose on the same corner in his replacement machine, T66 F1-6-63, during the race, albeit this time component failure may have been the cause.

The car struck the wall of straw bales on the entry to the runway section of the track, rear suspension collapsed, and caught fire. Phil escaped quickly, unscathed while the car burned to a crisp in a spectacular, frightening display of pyrotechnics. Up front Lorenzo Bandini’s Ferrari 158 won a race of constantly changing fortunes.

John Cooper fired Phil, but they later kissed-and-made up allowing Hill to finish an awful season. His confidence was restored with some stonking drives aboard a Bruce McLaren Racing Cooper T70 Climax during the ’65 Tasman Cup.

Oopsie, Bruce Abernethy deals with a Cooper T66 moment during the 1965 NZ GP at Pukekohe, while Ken Smith takes to the track fringes in avoidance, Lotus 22 Ford 1.5 – Kenny still racing and just turned 80. DNF for Bruce, 12th for Kenny, Graham Hill won in the Scuderia Veloce Brabham BT11A Climax (unattributed)

While the Cooper had been ‘thoroughly-heat-treated’, the chassis was ok, and was quickly bought by visiting Kiwi, Bruce Abernethy, who shipped it home. It was repaired and modified by Bill Hannah at his Havelock North workshop to take a Coventry Climax 2.5-litre FPF four-cylinder engine, for Tasman racing, rather than the 1.5-litre Climax FWMV V8 with which it was originally built.

Abernethy negotiated a deal whereby the car was owned and raced by the Rothmans Driver Promotion Scheme (later Ecurie Rothmans). The team overseen by Rothmans boss, Ken Simich, MANZ and Pukekohe chief Ron Frost, and former Kiwi ace, Ross Jensen.

Abernethy had a poor season and was replaced by Paul Fahey, he had some good drives in the car but decided touring cars were more his thing. In mid-1965, Morrisville dairy farmer, Dennis Marwood was tested, along with two other drivers, and got the gig.

Marwood aboard T66 F1-6-63 during the January 1966 Lady Wigram Trophy (motat.nz)
In the best of company, Marwood being lapped by Graham Hill, BRM P261 during the 1966 Lakeside 99

Despite a touring car background, Dennis took to the challenging open-wheeler like a duck-to-water in his first drive in November 1965. He was immediately on the pace of the front-running locals in Gold Star events; second at Pukekohe in December.

During the ’66 Tasman Cup, his best results were a pair of fourths at Pukekohe and Teretonga from six races, including the Lakeside and Warwick Farm Australian rounds. Later that year he won the Pukekohe and Renwick Gold Star events – and again at Timaru in 1967, but reliability and budget issues got in the way of results. The team had only one, old FPF and suggestions to ‘buy some new tyres’ were rebuffed by Jensen.

Dennis aboard the Rothmans Cooper during the Pukekohe reverse-direction meeting, September 1966 (J Inwood)

Rothmans considered purchase of a more competitive 2.1-litre ‘Tasman’ BRM P261 V8 – mighty quick machines – but decided they had had enough and sold the car to Peter Maloney.

Marwood went into business with Ray Stone, in South Auckland based Performance Developments, and a stellar career in single-seaters and big tourers. Click here for more on Dennis; Tasman Cup F5000 Racing – Dennis Marwood – Jim Barclay

T66 F1-6-63 was restored and lives a sedentary life in New Zealand. Dennis Marwood (below) reunited with his old car, at Pukekohe in April 2009. Bob Harborow is alongside in the John Sheppard built Maybach 1 Replica, winner of the 1954 NZ GP in Stan Jones’ hands.

(jimbarclay.nz)

Etcetera…

Cooper T66 Climax FWMV V8 cutaway (B Hatton)

The Cooper T66 chassis remained a spaceframe despite the monocoque onslaught around it, not that such technology was a barrier to ongoing Brabham success. Of multi-tubular construction, the frame comprised 1 3/8 and 1 1/2 inch 18-gauge steel tubing with smaller transverse and diagonal members, plus triangulation of the corners of the cockpit opening. Mild sheet steel reinforcement was welded to the floor section between the front and rear bulkheads.

Suspension used Alford & Alder (Triumph) uprights, upper and lower wishbones at the front, coil spring/dampers and adjustable roll-bar. The rear used cast magnesium uprights, fabricated upper and lower – wide based – wishbones, coil spring/dampers and adjustable roll-bar.

Brakes were Girling disc, 10.25 inches/9.75 inches in diameter front/rear. Cooper cast magnesium wheels were 13-inches in diameter and 6/7 inches wide front/rear.

The F1 engine was the ubiquitous Coventry Climax FWMV 1.5-litre, DOHC, two-valve, Lucas injected circa 200bhp V8. In Tasman spec the equally ubiquitous Climax FPF 2.5-litre, DOHC, two-valve, Weber 58DCO fed four gave about 235bhp. The transaxle was Cooper’s own C65 six-speed.

Credits…

Terry Marshall, Allan Dick in Classic Auto News, ‘History of the Grand Prix Car’ Doug Nye, Jack Inwood, Gooding & Co, socalclicker@esc, Museum of Transport and Technology, oldracingcars.com, jimbarclay.nz, Brian Hatton

Tailpiece…

(Gooding & Co)

Montage of Phil Hill’s Zeltweg accident and lucky escape. This mix excludes the mighty conflagration which followed once the fire took hold, aided and abetted by the hay-bales, there with safety in mind…

It was only when poor Lorenzo Bandini – winner of this race – perished in a gruesome firey accident aboard his Ferrai 312 during the 1967 Monaco GP that haybales were finally excluded from the standard suite of race organiser safety precautions.

Finito…