(S Van den Bergh )

It’s an interesting car badge, don’t you reckon?

One of our friends in Belgium, Stef Van den Bergh, bought it recently and wants to know more about it. ” I am curious who made it. I suppose it was Honda since Brabham isn’t even mentioned on the badge. How many were made and were they sold, or given as a present?”

So there is the challenge folks. Was it made by Honda, the Albi GP organisers or their merchandise people, or perhaps a ‘renegade’ wanting to cash in on Honda’s presence in F2 as well as Grand Prix racing?

The real McCoy – and below fitted to the nose of Denny Hulme’s Brabham BT18 at Montlhery in September 1966. That weekend Jack Brabham won from Jim Clark’s Lotus 44 Cosworth SCA with Denny third, having started from pole. That season, many races were Brabham-Hulme one-two’s

When Richie Ginther won the 1965 season – and 1.5-litre formula – ending Mexican Grand Prix, Honda bagged it’s first of many F1 successes.

Honda entered F2 with Brabham that year, see here for an earlier piece I wrote about this topic; ‘XXXII Grand Prix de Reims’ F2 3 July 1966: 1 Litre Brabham Honda’s… | primotipo…

Brabham raced a BT16 powered by S800 Honda engines at four meetings in March and April 1965; Silverstone, Oulton Park, Snetterton and at Pau with poor results. Honda set to work to produce an engine which wasn’t so peaky from May to August, then Brabham reappeared at the Oulton Park Gold Cup and the GP Albi later in September. He retired with clutch dramas at Oulton but was right on the pace at Albi, finishing second to Clark’s Lotus 35 Cosworth SCA by six-tenths of a second after nearly two-hours, and 309km of racing…Honda were in town!

1965 Honda RA300E F2 engine in a Brabham BT16 chassis : 1-litre (72×61.2mm – 996cc) all alloy, DOHC, four-valve, fuel injected circa 135bhp @ 10000rpm (1965 RA302E 150bhp @ 11000rpm) four cylinder engine. Weight 145kg (Brabham Family Archive)
Jack from Denny at Goodwood during the Sunday Mirror Trophy on April 11, 1966. Brabham BT18 Hondas one-two (Honda Racing)

The calibre and depth of F2 grids then is shown by looking at the Albi field, in order of finishing (or not); Jim Clark, Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme, Jochen Rindt, Alan Rees, Mike Spence, Frank Gardner, Bob Bondurant, Jo Schlesser, Jean Vinatier, Brian Hart, Trevor Taylor, Silvio Moser, Guy Ligier, Mike Beckwith, Graham Hill, Geki Russo, Peter Revson, Henry Grandshire, Eric Offenstadt, Ludovico Scarfiotti, Paul Hawkins and Richard Attwood. Five world champs, a couple of Indy winners, three Le Mans victors and two Can-Am Cup champions.

Ron Tauranac and Jack Brabham had plenty of balls in the air during 1965, apart from the usual manufacture of production racing cars and the running of works teams (Motor Racing Developments and Brabham Racing Organisation) in F2 and F1. They had nascent engine programs with Honda (F2) and Repco Brabham Engines (Tasman and F1), and in addition were helping Goodyear develop tyres which were critical to Brabham, MRD, BRO and RBE’s two 1966 F1 championship wins; the manufacturers and drivers championships.

Jack Brabham, Brabham BT16 Honda during practice for the cancelled BARC Senior Service Trophy at Silverstone on March 20, 1965. The race was cancelled due to excessive amounts of water – visible – on the circuit
Ron Tauranac at left with stopwatch board, and Jack attend to changes during practice at Montlhery during the September 11, 1966 weekend. Brabham BT21 Honda. Brabham won by three seconds from Jim Clark’s Lotus 44 Ford SCA with Hulme two seconds behind Jim

The European F2 Championship commenced in 1967, the first year of the 1.6-litre F2. Despite the lack of a title in 1966 (although Brabham won the six round French F2 Championship) Brabham Honda were absolutely dominant. Of 16 major races held in Europe, Brabham won 10; Goodwood, Pau GP, GP Barcelona, GP Limborg, the London Trophy at Crystal Palace, GP Reims, the Kanonloppet at Karlskoga, Finland GP, GP de L’ille France at Montlhery, and the GP Albi. Six of these events were Brabham Honda one-twos, with Denny bringing his car home behind his team-leader. Hulme won two races as well, the GP Rouen and Trophee Craven A on the Le Mans, Bugatti circuit.

Credits…

Stef Van den Bergh, F2 Index, Getty Images, Brabham Family Archive, Honda Racing, MotorSport

Tailpiece…

(MotorSport)

A couple of happy-chappies after the conclusion of the Pau GP on April 17, 1966. Jack and Denny finished in line astern aboard Brabham BT18 Hondas, with five-tenths of a second between them. Back in third, nearly 1 1/2 minutes adrift was Graham Hill in John Coombs’ Brabham BT16 BRM P80. Brabhams filled six of the top ten placings.

Finito…

(B Daley)

A Bill Daley photograph of Hawkesbury hill climb, circa 1948.

How many of these cars ran in an Australian Grand Prix, is the question which pops into my mind?

In the absence of a programme for the event, this classic study of racing cars taken at Hawkesbury Hillclimb has left the experts unable to identify all the cars; we call on our readers to fill the gaps.

The photograph came from the VSCCA (NSW) collection, per favore of Richard Walton. Note the spectating ladies with their handbags; they look as though they may have come straight from church.

Surprisingly, the owner of the Jowett Bradford van has been identified. John Medley says it belonged to Bob Pritchett – familiar to many of us as the ‘RBP’ of ‘Spotlight’ in Australian Motor Sports (R. Beal Pritchett). Kent Patrick describes the van as: “The bronchial Jowett Bradford – (which will) roll over with its engine stopped”. Within coughing distance to the right of the van is the unmistakeable shape of the Sulman Singer (#32) as it appeared pre-war in Tom Sulman’s hands. Kent speculates that the Riley, next in line (#28), might be Len Masser’s Lynx Sprite. I guess the next is a ubiquitous Ford A ute.

The nearest line of cars, backed up to the fence, pose some real problems. The car to the left of the tree is a mystery; the one to the right has an external exhaust on the left side – what is it? We then have the ex-Bill Thompson K3 MG (with bonnet open) – Kent suggests it might have been owned by Ken Tubman around this time. Ken was a graduate of Fort St School, a pharmacist, and is best remembered for winning the first Redex Round Australia Trial in a Peugeot 203. He still had the K3 in the sixties; we recall him bringing it to the Geelong Speed Trials as a spectator.

The first Grand Prix Bugatti with the folded full width windscreen is probably the Type 37 of Frank Lyell, chassis number 37160. This car had been discovered abandoned in a shed behind the Federal Hotel in Narromine a few short years before – it changed hands for 10 pounds! To its right is Type 37, chassis number 37209 owned by Irwin ‘Bud’ Luke, who was very competitive in the car; he finished seventh in the Australian Grand Prix at Leyburn in 1947. Kent thinks it might be Bud attending to the front wheel with his partner Ida at the rear of the car.

The touring bodied Bugatti bears elegant coachwork by Carrosserie Profilée and is chassis number 4264. It was probably owned by Doug Helsham and likely powered by a Chrysler Six. ‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray’s Day Special is next (second car from the right), a Ford V8 powered Type 39 Bugatti, chassis number 4607, which won the 1931 Australian Grand Prix driven by Carl Junker. The last parked car appears to be an Austin ‘7’ special, possibly Frank Lyell’s car. Of course, the car leaving the starting line (partially obscured at the bottom) is Frank Kleinig in his eponymous special.

Since writing this, Cummins Archive (Paul Cummins) have posted on Facebook a 1948 programme for Hawkesbury hillclimb. It is not ‘our event’ as the numbers on recognizable cars differ – viz. Sulman Singer 32 in the photo and 44 in the published programme. This programme might help with the identification of some of the other cars – could Riley number 28 be the Rizzo Riley and the last car, which appears to be an Austin ‘7’ special be that of Ted Ansell? The list of competitors, which is a virtual Who’s Who of immediately post-war NSW racing drivers, appears to confirm Kent Patrick’s suggestion that the K3 MG is that of Tubman – see his listing under ‘Additional Entries’.

(Cummins Archive)
(Cummins Archive)
(Cummins Archive)
(Cummins Archive)

Credits…

Bob King Collection, Cummins Archive via Paul Cummins

Finito…

baghetti syracuse gp 1961

Giancarlo Baghetti on the way to his maiden Grand Prix win in his first GP aboard Ferrari 156 chassis 0008. He won four Grands Prix in 1961; the French at Reims, and three non-championship events here at Siracusa on April 24, in Napoli thee weeks later, and the Coppa Italia at Vallelunga in October …

The Syracuse locals are enjoying Giancarlo’s delicate touch and the glorious howl of the little 1.5-litre V6 around the 3.478 mile Sicilian street circuit, look closely at the kids in the trees!

While the 156 was the class of the field in 1961, Baghetti beat a field of depth in Syracuse. Dan Gurney and Jo Bonnier were second and third in Porsche 718s, then came Jack Brabham’s works Cooper T55 Climax, Roy Salvadori’s Cooper T53 Climax, and in sixth and seventh places were Jim Clark and Lorenzo Bandini in Lotus 18 Climax and Cooper T51 Maserati respectively.

John Surtees’ Cooper Climax sandwiched by the Gurney and Bonnier Porsche 718s at Syracuse in 1961 (Motorsport)
Moss chasing Baghetti and Gurney; Lotus 18, Ferrari 156 and Porsche 718 (B Cahier)
Moss in a Rob Walker Lotus 18 Climax chases Jo Bonniers’ Porsche 718 at Syracuse. Jo was third and Moss eighth with a misfiring engine (unattributed

Despite the presence of the-greats, Baghetti popped the Ferrari into second slot on the grid behind Gurney on pole. He didn’t make a great start, appearing in seventh place at the end of the first of 56 laps, but used the power of the car to progress forward through the field to lead Gurney and Surtees by the end of the sixth lap.

Once in front he led with calm, consistent precision, keeping Dan at bay to win by five seconds. The youngster’s only mistake was to whistle up the escape road at the hairpin on his victory lap when he missed his braking point whilst waving to an adoring Sicilian crowd!

The car Giancarlo raced is the very first mid-engined Ferrari – the 246P Richie Ginther debuted at Monaco in 1960, chassis 0008. This morphed progressively from a 2.5-litre GP car into the prototype 1.5-litre GP 156 by the 1960 season’s end. See this story about a most significant Ferrari, it is a great pity Enzo destroyed it along with all of its other 156 brothers and sisters; https://primotipo.com/?s=ferrari+246p

0008 always raced with the 65-degree 1.5-litre V6 rather than the definitive 1961 120-degree variant which Richie Ginther was to give debut at Syracuse, but didn’t at the last minute due to oil scavenge problems revealed in testing at Modena. Checkout this article on the testing of the 120-degree motor here; https://primotipo.com/2018/09/11/ferrari-156-testing/

Innes Ireland and Jim Clark- #20 is Jim’s Lotus 21 Climax (B Cahier)
Graham Hill, BRM P48/57 Climax FPF (unattributed)
Giancarlo, Syracuse 1961 (unattributed)

By the start of 1961 0008 was already an old nail, so Ferrari were happy to hand the machine over to a grouping of Italian car clubs – the Federazione Italiane Scuderia Automobolistiche (FISA) as a means of developing promising Italian drivers. While the car was entered by FISA, it was prepared by the factory – very well prepared as it transpired!

Giancarlo had impressed in 1960 at the wheel of a Dagrada Lancia Formula Junior, and was awarded the FISA drive. About ten of these front-engined FJ’s were built by Milanese, Angelo Dagrada who was known to Giancarlo via modifications he had made to Baghetti’s industrialist father’s Alfa Romeo 1900 road car, the family owned a foundry in Milan. Giancarlo cut his racing teeth with this Alfa and Abarths in local events.

These interesting cars bucked the Italian trend of using the ubiquitous Fiat inline-four in favour of the Lancia Appia 1098cc ten-degree V4 which was light and compact – and powerful after vast development of the standard cylinder head turned it into a crossflow unit.

Giancarlo aboard his Dagrada Lancia FJ at Monza on 25 April 1960 (unattributed)

Giancarlo was seventh in the 1960 Campionato ANPEC/Auto Italiana d’ Europa Formula Junior Championship with one win from only three point scoring rounds. In front of him was Colin Davis, Jacques Cales, Denny Hulme, Lorenzo Bandini, Henri Grandsire and Henry Taylor.

Baghetti’s win depicted in the advertisement below was a big one, the VIII Trofeo Bruno e Fofi Vigorelli at Monza on April 24-25 attracted 43 cars, 16 were non-qualifiers. Giancarlo won both his heat and one of the two finals, to win on aggregate from Juan Manuel Bordeu and Henri Grandsire aboard Stanguellini Fiats. The class field included such notables as Colin Davis, Carlo Facetti, Carroll Smith, Lorenzo Bandini, Rob Slotemaker, Ludovico Scarfiotti, Geki Russo, Gerhard Mitter, Eric Carlsson, John Whitmore, Teodoro Zeccoli and Tony Maggs.

In the Campionato Italiano, he was equal fourth with Geki Russo behind Renato Pirocchi, Roberto Lippi and Antonio Maglione, and second in the Prova Addestrativa behind Antonio Maglione.

Some sources have it that Giancarlo was a controversial choice for the FISA ride, but if you look at the races entered/won, his strike rate looks pretty good. In addition, his Dagrada was generally felt to be an inferior weapon to the Stanguellini Fiat used by most of his rivals; the choice stands the sniff test I think, whatever the case, he certainly grasped the opportunity with both hands.

Baghetti’s purple patch continued at Posillipo a month later when he won the Gran Premio di Napoli on May 14, again at the wheel of 0008.

On this occasion he finished the 60 lap, 150km road course race in front of Peter Ashmore’s Lotus and Bandini’s Centro Sud Cooper T51 Maserati, after Roy Salvadori gave chase early in the race, only to be thwarted by a puncture in his Yeoman Credit Cooper Climax.

The entry was devoid of championship front runners on this occasion, they were otherwise engaged at Monaco, Stirling Moss in one-of-those drives won the race aboard Rob Walker’s Lotus 18 Climax, one of three championship events which didn’t go to the 156 that season. The German GP also fell to Maestro Moss in the nimble, less powerful Lotus 18, and at Watkins Glen Innes Ireland won the first GP for Team Lotus, and himself, aboard a Lotus 21 Climax.

GP di Napoli, Posillipo 14 May 1961 grid. Baghetti 156 at left, Roy Salvadori, Cooper T53 Climax and then Gerry Ashmore’s Lotus 18 Climax at right. Row two is Ian Burgess’ Lotus 18 Climax at left and Lorenzo Bandini’s Cooper T51 Maserati at right. Row three is Giovanni Alberti, de Tomaso Osca at left and Menato Boffa, Cooper T45 Climax at right. Baghetti won from Ashmore and Bandini (unattributed)
Hill, Ginther and Von Trips – Ferrari 156 by three front row at Reims in 1961 (unattributed)
Reims start with Thillois in the distance, July 2, 1961. Up front its Hill, Ginther and von Trips from left to right, with Moss in the Walker Lotus 18/21 Climax on his own, and the rest- winner Giancarlo was Q12 but started poorly and is the red spec almost straddling the dashed-yellow line, about six cars from last. All of which says a lot about the Italian cars power and torque out of the slow Muizon and Thillois corners (Motorsport)
Who said the Lotus 21 had better brakes than the Ferrari 156?! Innes Ireland runs into strife under brakes whilst attempting to slip under Giancarlo watched by Jim Clark in another 21, Graham Hill, BRM, Jo Bonnier, Porsche 718, Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T55 Climax and Dan Gurney in the other works Porsche 718, Reims 1961

0008 went back to the factory for a freshen up and then joined the three factory entries of Phil Hill, Taffy von Trips and Richie Ginther at Reims on the July 2 weekend for the French Grand Prix.

There he took a stunning victory a tenth of a second clear of Gurney’s Porsche 718 with Jim Clark’s Lotus 21 Climax a further minute adrift. It was an all Ferrari front row with Hill on pole and Ginther and von Trips alongside, Giancarlo was Q12.

Hill led from the start, in that order, until Richie spun giving third place to Moss’ Lotus 18 Climax – behind this group there was a massive slipstreaming battle involving the Gurney and Bonnier Porsche 718s, the works Lotus 21 Climax’ of Jim Clark and Innes Ireland, Graham Hill’s BRM P48/57, Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T55 Climax and Giancarlo.

Two of the most important aspects of longevity for a race photographer are a sense of self preservation and fleetness of foot …Bonnier, Baghetti, Clark and Gurney, Reims 1961 (unattributed)
Clark, Baghetti and Ireland exit Thillois (Motorsport)
Spinner Ginther in front of Lucien Bianchi, Lotus 18/21 Climax (B Cahier)
Gurney and Baghetti in the final stages (B Cahier)

Taffy had engine trouble after 18 laps so he was out, Phil Hill spun on the surface which was becoming very slippery in the intense heat on lap 38, he managed to restart but was a lap down. Then Ginther led, but he too spun, and had no sooner recovered before having engine problems – no oil pressure after 40 laps, Moss had brake problems so he too retired after completing 31 laps.

Progressively the challengers fell away leaving a man-on-man battle which went on for many laps, with the lead changing by the lap between Dan Gurney – one of the finest drivers of the era – and still to win his first championship Grand Prix, and GP debutant Giancarlo Baghetti.

On the final lap, Dan out-braked Giancarlo into Thillois, the last corner, but on the sprint to the line – with more punch than the four-cylinder Porsche – Baghetti dived out of Gurney’s slipstream a couple of hundred yards before the finish in a perfectly timed move to win by the narrowest of margins from Gurney, Clark, Ireland and McLaren.

Giancarlo’s 1961 run of success wasn’t over yet, as noted at the outset, he won the minor, Prima Coppa Italia at Vallelunga on October 12. This time he raced a Porsche 718, winning both 30 lap, 106 km thirty minute heats from pole, taking the overall win on aggregate from Ernesto Prinoth, Lotus 18 Climax, and Nino Vaccarella’s Cooper T51 Maserati.

The balance of Baghetti’s career is dealt with in this article, sadly, the precocious talent of 1961 faded way too quickly; https://primotipo.com/2015/05/08/giancarlo-baghetti-lotus-49-ford-italian-grand-prix-1967/

Aintree 1961 (Echo)
Coppa Italia, Vallelunga October 12, 1961. #24 Nino Vaccarella rebodied Cooper Maserati T51, #2 Ernesto Prinoth, Lotus 18 Climax and at right Giancarlo Baghetti, Porsche 718. The Lotus 18 Maserati on row two is Gaetano Starrabba (unattributed)

The 1961 Ferrari 156 : Technical…

For early 156 Dino enthusiasts these photographs of 0008 taken by Bernard Cahier at Siracusa on this Tuesday April 25, 1961 long-weekend will be of great interest as they show the first chassis in its definitive 1961 form.

All 156’s built and raced in 1961-1962 started right here, or I guess twelve months before if you argue that the original 2.4-litre 246P version of 0008 was the starting point, which of course factually it was.

The bodywork of the car is ‘unique’ in that it has two supplementary air intake slots on the cowling, it’s very sleek compared to 0008 as it was in early 1960, to the form shown above. The shark-nose was supposedly low-drag, Carlo Chiti deployed it in his 1961 sportscar designs as well, the approach was a function of work in Ferrari’s scale-model wind tunnel.

It may well be that the shark-nose design was suggested to Chiti by Medardo Fantuzzi, one of Ferrari’s favoured external body-builders. He modified a Maserati 250F for Kiwi Ross Jensen (#2508) in this manner in late 1957, and then two other 250Fs for Temple Buell (#2533 and 2534). Fantuzzi built the 156 and sportscar bodies.

Maserati 250F ‘2508’, ex-Moss/Jensen, when owned and raced by Brian Prescott at Wigram, NZ in April 1961. Medardo Fantuzzi nose to the fore (Classic Auto News)

Medardo Fantuzzi with the three ‘shark nose’ Maserati 250Fs at his Modena factory in late 1957 or early 1958. Jensen’s at left – he finished second to Jack Brabham in the January 11, 1958 NZ GP in his upgraded car – the two Temple Buell machines alongside (unattributed)

Doug Nye described the chassis thus ‘The multi-tubular chassis itself was crude and hefty looking, not as unimpressive as a Cooper’s – not least of all its tube runs were straight – but not a patch on the lightweight lattice of a Lotus, BRM or even a Porsche.’ Big, butch, beefy and crude the chassis was, but it certainly did the job in 1961. It was only when the chassis sophistication of the Brits was harnessed to the power of the Coventry Climax and BRM V8s in 1962 that the class of ’61 became the dunce of ’62.

The main chassis rails were made of 1 1/2 inch steel spaced vertically 15 inches apart, the 120-degree motor required bulged top rails for installation, whereas the 65-degree unit did not, its rails were straight. The 120-degree frame swallowed the earlier motor whereas the wide engine wouldn’t fit into the narrower 65-degree frame.

Suspension front and rear comprised upper and lower braced wishbones and coil spring/damper (Koni) units, roll bars were adjustable both front and rear although it appears Giancarlo didn’t race with a rear fitted in Siracusa. Chiti set the cars up with bulk static negative camber, I guess the race Dunlops fitted to the 156 liked the setup.

156 cockpit, Monaco 1961
Engine bay of 0008 at Syracuse. Note the beefy spaceframe chassis Doug Nye described as being welded together by ‘Mr Blobby’. 65-degree second series Tipo 156 V6, bore/stroke 73×58.8mm, circa 180bhp fed by three 38mm Webers. The 120 degree engine had two bespoke triple choke Weber 40IF3C carbs. Note the large transaxle and starter motor, no rear roll bar fitted, suspension by upper and lower wishbones, ventilated disc brakes are inboard

The 1.5-litre Vittorio Jano (and team) designed 65-degree V6 first appeared as a front-engined F2 car in 1958. The DOHC, chain-driven, two-valve, twin-plug, triple Weber fed motor developed circa 180bhp @ 9000rpm and was fitted to a scaled down version of the then current 2.5-litre Lancia D50 derived – and then further evolved – V8 engined 801 F1 chassis, then designated 156.

The capacity of Jano’s V6 engine grew progressively to 2417cc in which form the Ferrari Dino 246 won the 1958 drivers championship for Mike Hawthorn.

As time went on it became clear Ferrari had the makings of an excellent car for the new 1.5-litre F1 which commenced on January 1, 1961, and which was expressed in the evolution of 0008 from a chubby, pudgy 2.4-litre F1 car at Monaco in May 1960 a svelte shark-nosed 1.5-litre F2 machine before Monza in September.

Chiti’s definitive engine for 1961 was a new variant of the Dino using a very wide-angle V6 of 120-degrees to lower the engines centre of gravity, and simplify manufacture of the engine’s crank. A motor of this width would not have fitted comfortably into the front-engined Dino 246/256 chassis.

The two camshafts were still chain driven, the heads still two-valvers, and still twin-plug. The dimensions of the 1960 Solitude 65-degree engine were adopted – bore/stroke of 73mm x 58.8mm for a capacity of 1476.6cc. Nye reports that all of the major castings were made in Siluminum, the 120-degree engine weighed 225 pounds, 30 pounds less than the good ‘ole Coventry Climax 1.5-FPF four cylinder motor.

Carburettors were bespoke, beautiful Weber triple-choke type 40 IF3C. Ferrari initially claimed 190bhp @ 9500rpm but ‘initial tests only yielded 177, which was still 30 more than the FPF’ used by the English teams in 1961. Jano also gave the existing 65-degree engine a bit of a tickle as a second-string unit, pending enough 120-degree engines to go around the three car Scuderia Ferrari team. When the FISA team were present four 156s presented a formidable challenge to the opposition…

Compare and contrast. Richie’s 156 0001, the prototype 120-degree engine chassis during the 1961 Monaco GP weekend. Note how low that engine sits in the chassis, trick triple throat Webers clear
(G Cavara)
0008 butt, Syracuse 1961
(B Cahier)

While the V6s in either format were delicate, compact little things, the transaxle was anything but- however it did prove problem free, as Ferrari gearboxes down the eons have tended to be. The same ‘boxes were used with both engines – these 16.25 inch long units were developed versions of the five speed and reverse transaxle used in 0008, with the clutch assembly exposed to the breeze on the end plate. The thing looks bigger than it actually was due to a wide bell-housing between engine and transmission to push the engine forward in the frame to obtain the weight distribution Chiti sought.

Nye records that Ferrari appear to have built eight chassis during 1961. 0008 was numbered in the 246 Dino sequencing, in addition there were new chassis’ serials 0001-0006, with two appearing under the 0003 number. Von Trips won the Dutch and British GP’s in 0004 which was destroyed in his fatal Monza accident, Hill won at Spa in 0003, and Monza in 0002 while Giancarlo won at Reims in our friend, 0008.

And what about poor old 0008 you ask?

Giancarlo raced it at Aintree in the British GP the week after Reims (#58 below) doing enough damage to the prototype for it to be scrapped; he crashed at Waterways Corner while avoiding another competitor having his own moment when running in twelfth place from Q19. Of course all the 156s were ultimately destroyed, but if only one of the many chassis built between 1960-1962 were to have been preserved surely it would be this one…

(Echo)

Giancarlo above while up front Taffy von Trips won the July 15 British Grand Prix from his teammates Hill and Ginther, Jack Brabham was best of the rest, 68 seconds behind Von Trips in his Cooper T55 Climax.

0008 in the Aintree paddock, note the different nosecone fitted to the car compared to that used in the Syracuse heat. Wire wheels were very much old hat by this stage, Ferrari retained them in 1962 but Campagnolo’s were part of the 156/63 package in 1963.

Etcetera…

(B Cahier)

Whether the shark-nose was more aerodynamic or not is a moot point. Didn’t Carlo Chiti put his styling stamp on the Ferraris of the time with these oh-so-distinctive visual cues.

I’m cheating a bit here, this Ferrari launch shot in Maranello was in February 1962 not that the 156 was much different, to its cost – 246SP at left.

(B Reeves)

Baghetti in the FISA 156 from Moss’ Rob Walker Lotus 18 Climax at Syracuse in 1961. Nice.

(Echo)

Dry practice at Aintree, Baghetti from Von Trips, the winner, chassis 0008 from 0004. The former was scrapped after this race, the latter destroyed in Taffy’s horrific accident at Monza in September.

Bibliography…

‘History of the Grand Prix Car’ Doug Nye, Veloce Today article by Pete Vack, F2Index, Wikipedia, F1.com

Photo Credits…

LAT, Motorsport, Bernard Reeves, Giuseppe Cavara, Getty Images-Bernard Cahier, Echo Liverpool, B St. Clare-Tregilgas, Classic Auto News

Tailpieces: Giancarlo Baghetti at the wheel of his Ferrari 156 during 1961…

baghetti 1961 (unattributed)

 

(unattributed)

Listen Mauro, I think we need to try this. Baghetti, place unknown in 1961, Ferrari 156.

Finito…

Formula One : The Australian and New Zealand Story is John Smailes’ latest masterpiece, and what a ripper read it is!

24 ANZACs faced an F1 starter, another 13 tested or raced in non-championship F1 events, this is their story told in John’s relaxed, engaging, informative style chockers with facts.

This time Allen and Unwin have cranked up the production budget, the book is a larger hardback and many of over 150 photographs are colour throughout 295 pages.

Smailes’ (he has now written five books with Allen and Unwin) books are passion projects, each one takes about a year to write, he interviewed 44 of his victims in 2019-2021 (or their nearest and dearest) so it has lots of new stuff, it isn’t a regurgitation of what’s gone before.

The format is ‘chronological interesting’. Whammo, he opens with Oscar Piastri – why not start with the future – before launching into the pre-war generation. There are a couple of drivers with stand-alone chapters, the rest are shared and neatly fuse, for example; Frank Gardner and Paul Hawkins, The Brothers Brabham, the ‘Best Opportunity : Worst Luck’ duo of Chris Amon and David Walker, ‘The Bruce and Denny Show’, and ‘Aussie Grit’ Webber/Ricciardo combination. The telling of the story(s) is skillfully cohesive rather than a bunch of stand-alone chapters.

As with his ‘Speed Kings’ Indy book, John has maintained his focus on others who made it to F1 as well as drivers; it’s fascinating to read about designers, team managers/principals, race officials and entrepreneurs in addition to those behind the wheel.

I’d rate myself a subject matter expert on half the drivers but I learned plenty, even about them. It’s a book the knowledgeable will enjoy, but equally assumes no racing expertise so the kid (or partner) you are trying to nurture in the right direction will engage and enjoy.

It’s a buy folks, $A39.99 from all the usual outlets in Australia and New Zealand. For international readers the ISBN is 978 1 76106 531 6 or http://www.allenandunwin.com

Miller 122

My first exposure to Bob Shepherd’s artistry was in the first issue of the late Barry Lake’s marvellous and way too short-lived Cars and Drivers magazine published in early 1977.

John Medley chose a Shepherd drawing of a Miller 122 to support an article he wrote about the ex-Zborowski machine which raced in New Zealand, and briefly in Australia pre-war, after the untimely death of the wealthy Briton at the wheel of a Mercedes during the 1924 Italian GP.

I’ve always been blown away by Shepherd’s work when I have tripped over it. Discussions with Bob King about the Miller led us to his copy of Graham Howard’s book (Racing Cars Through The Years) of Shepherd’s drawings published in 1993. Diana Davison/Gaze made available the Davison Family Collection of Shepherd images to Howard to allow the book to be published.

So little is known about Bob Shepherd we figured it was time to put something on the record more widely available than those lucky enough to have a copy of that marvellous book.

I asked Bob to do a bio, but after re-reading Graeme’s Introduction in the book, he said “How can I top that!”

So, here it is, Howard’s words shortened only a smidge, and a small selection of drawings which I think demonstrate Bob’s mastery of his art. The descriptions of each car are exactly as they appear in the book.

MG R-type Midget, 1935. Zoller blown at 24-28lbs, MG’s tiny single-cam four (57mm x 73mm, 746cc) delivered 120bhp – more than the Q-type’s leaf-spring chassis could handle. Hence the all independent 750cc R-type, MG’s first ever pure-racing car, with far-sighted backbone chassis and torsion bar parallelogram wishbone suspension. Drawing appeared in the March 1958 AMS.
Bob Shepherd in 1960

“To countless Australians Bob Shepherd the artist was also Bob Shepherd the historian, primarily because of the series of articles he wrote and illustrated for the magazine Australian Motor Sports, starting in August 1946 and continuing for than 15 years.

With a distinctive combination of knowledge, passion and flair, he carried his audience into the magic world of the racing and high performance cars of Europe and (to a lesser degree) America, broadly from the time of the French Grands Prix through to the end of the 1930s. Month by month, car by car, Shepherd spread before his readers the treasures of the Vintage era and the legendary cars of the 1930s which laid the foundations for post-WW2 motor racing. Over the years he gave AMS readers an education in motoring history unrivalled anywhere in the world.

Not that he confined his energies to Australia. He sent drawings overseas to MotorSport and to the Bugatti Owners Club journal Bugantics and was singled out by British engineer-historian Laurence Pomeroy, in the second edition of his milestone book The Grand Prix Car, for having been particularly helpful in suggesting improvements and corrections to the original work. The significance of this acknowledgement needs to be emphasised – that, while far removed from the Northern hemisphere’s factories, archives and authors, Shepherd was nonetheless the master of details which had eluded even the most eminent of British motoring historians.

Even more remarkable was that Shepherd had no formal training, either as an engineer or as an historian, or for that matter as an artist. The writing and illustrating of his monthly AMS pieces, and the maintenance of his correspondence with enthusiasts around the world, was done from the lounge room of his house in the time he had spare from family life and his job as a stores clerk.

Itala 12-cylinder fwd, 1926. Tested but never raced, these innovative cars would have competed against such classics as the 1.5-litre Delages. They were true single-seaters with fully independent suspension; the supercharged V12 engines were built in 1500cc and 1100cc form, the single central camshaft flanked by its two rows of horizontal valves. Drawing appeared in the August 1952 AMS.

He was born in 1914 in the Sydney suburb of Pagewood, where his father was a hairdresser. He was the oldest of three children; he and his brother Sydney were each dux of Daceyville Primary School in their respective years, and Bob was later also dux of Cleveland Street High School, but university was out of the question. Cars and drawing were his great interest, but work in the motor trade was impossible to find: eventually a family friend heard of a job at Davis Gelatine, and he worked there until his retirement in 1979, holding a staff position from 1964. He married Joan Manhood in 1940, they had three children.

As a schoolboy Shepherd had started writing to overseas car manufacturers for catalogues; these catalogues, his voluminous international correspondence, and dissected copies of The Motor, The Autocar and MotorSport formed the basis of his archives, kept in rows of manila folders in large glass-fronted cupboards.

His drawings were made using the simplest of methods and materials. A pencilled grid, or a pair of dividers, would be used to transfer dimensions and proportions from the chosen source photograph onto a sheet of his favourite cartridge paper, and the drawing would start in HB pencil, which would be rubbed out after the final version had been inked-in using mapping pens. All his work was freehand – there were no rulers or artificial aids like French curves. He did most of his drawings on Sundays after church, working for four to five hours, resting his paper on a wooden board and taking advantage of natural light. It would usually need two Sundays to produce a drawing; those for AMS were sent to Melbourne (always by registered mail) in cardboard cylinders accompanied by the text for his article which – like his letters – would be written in copperplate script, blue ink on unlined paper.

He was not comfortable drawing vehicles in action, or drawing people, and he showed no interest in drawing aircraft or motorcycles. Almost all his work was black and white: AMS itself was not printed in colour. In some drawings he used a wash, rather than hatching, to provide shading: when he did use colour, for example for private commissions, it was with complete success. His black box of watercolour pigments, bought when he was 12, is still in use by one of his grandchildren.

Bob Shepherd’s colour drawing of a 1922 Bugatti Type 30 (B King Collection)

Delage 2-litre V12, 1923-1925. After two relatively unsuccessful years as unsupercharged cars, the V12s were supercharged for the 1925 season (as illustrated) and finished 1-2 in the French Grand Prix. The four-camshaft engines (51.3mm x 80mm, 1984cc), unusual in having the exhausts in the centre of the Vee, gave about 190bhp in supercharged form. This drawing appeared in the June 1954 AMS.

As well as his work for AMS, he provided illustrations for many club magazines and illustrated ‘Vintage Types’ for the Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia, he was one of its founding members. His first published drawings may have been the series ‘Australia’s Best Known Speed Cars’ in Motor in Australia and Flying in 1939. He was sometimes asked to suggest shapes for rebuilds or of new racing cars. As a boy he had watched racing on the banked concrete saucer at Maroubra but went to few race meetings in later years. More surprisingly, he never owned a car (although he had part shares in several), seldom drove, and did not hold a licence, he never travelled outside New South Wales.

Yet he was in no way reclusive or narrow in his interests. While a reluctant partygoer, he was a most entertaining teller of stories, had an astonishingly broad general knowledge, was a keen reader, loved opera (he did his drawings with ABC radio playing) and was well enough known as a fisherman for there to be an unofficial ‘Shepherd’s Rock’ at nearby Kurnell.

There was little to single out the family house in Maroubra Bay Road. Shepherd took his research seriously – he shared in some ferocious debates in his correspondence columns – but there was absolutely no pretence; there was nothing in his manner to hint that here was one of the foremost authorities on motoring history. Joan and Bob Shepherd made everyone most welcome, whether they were famous names or awed tram-travelling young admirers (for which all those young admirers remain very grateful).

Voisin Grand Prix, 1923. Gabriel Voisin was a pioneer French aviator and aircraft manufacturer, as well as an innovative car maker. His cars for the 1923 French GP had only around 75hp from their 2-litre six-cylinder Knight double-sleeve-valve engines, but had aerodynamic body work and disc covered wire wheels and a true monocoque chassis of plywood and sheet metal. The drawing appeared in the September 1956 AMS.
This is a spread from Bob Shepherd’s Maserati scrap-book, a simple but effective way of archiving material, I guess we all have one, or many! (D Zeunert Collection)

Like many remarkable people, Bob Shepherd was a paradox. He almost never drove a Vintage car, seldom went to the Vintage club meetings, yet was – without realising it – the Australian Vintage movement’s finest publicist. He never travelled outside Australia, never saw any of his beloved cars in their heyday, yet he knew them in minute detail and could picture them with elegant clarity. He had rare gifts yet remained a modest and gentle man. With this book we remember that man.”

Graham Howard, Sydney, 1993.

Talbot-Darracq 1.5-litre, 1926 (above). Continuing Darracq’s pre-1914 racing tradition, the company’s cars for the 1926 1.5-litre formula were 140bhp supercharged twin-cam straight-eights (56mm x 75.5mm, 1488cc). Engine and gearbox were slightly offset to the drivers left. A much modified version of one of these cars (still in 2021) survives in Australia, imported after WW2. The drawing appeared in the October 1951 AMS.

Oops, nearly forgot the Miller 122 at this pieces outset. Miller, 1923. Influenced by Fiat, Harry Miller used two valves per cylinder in hemispherical chambers when he scaled down his 183-cubic inch straight-eight for the 122-inch (2-litre) limit applying from 1923, obtaining an unrivalled 120bhp. Supercharged from 1924, and reduced to 91c.i. from 1926, these engines won Indianapolis in 1923, 1926, 1928 and 1929. That drawing appeared in the April 1957 AMS.

Credits…

‘Racing Cars Through The Years’ Bob Shepherd and Graeme Howard, Bob King Collection, David Zenuert Collection

Tailpiece…

Finito…

image

I think anything Repco Brabham is a thing of functional and engineering beauty, simplicity and performance…while admitting hopeless bias!

Their F1 3-litre, DOHC, four-valve 860 V8 engine didn’t enjoy the same success in 1968 as its SOHC, two-valve 620 and 740 brothers had in 1966/7 . Don’t forget though, in 4.2-litre Indy, and 4.8/5-litre sportscar form, the 760 (same DOHC, four-valve heads as the 860 but with the long 700 block) delivered the goods for Peter Revson (Brabham BT25 at Indy Raceway Park) and Frank Matich (Matich SR4 in Oz Sportscar Champ) in 1969. The Repco Holden F5000 V8 engine which followed was an international race-winner too.

It’s the 860 depicted in the ad above, the shot is Jochen Rindt during the Belgian GP weekend on 9 June 1968, his Brabham BT26 Repco was DNF engine, the race was won by Bruce McLaren’s McLaren M7A Ford.

image Jochen’s Brabham BT26 Repco in the dry earlier in the Belgian GP weekend at Spa. Q17 and DNF engine, Jack Q18 and out with throttle slide problems. Bruce McLaren won a famous win in his McLaren M7A Ford (unattributed)

Jochen made these cars sing, he popped the BT26 on pole twice, on the front row three times. With development over the ‘68/9 Australian summer the engine was potentially a winner in ’69. I’m not saying the world title, but there is no reason 400bhp of reliable 860 Series Repco couldn’t have delivered what 405bhp of Cosworth DFV did for Ickx in the Brabham BT26A Ford in 1969; wins on the Nurburgring and at Mosport.

IF ‘yer Aunty had balls she’d be ‘yer Uncle of course, but it is the great intriguing Repco mighta-been had the boys from Maidstone done one final F1 season…

Credit…

Michael Gasking Collection, MotorSport

Tailpiece…

Jochen Rindt in the Eifel Mountains gloom in 1968, he started from grid-slot three and finished in third place behind Jackie Stewart’s Matra MS10 Ford and Graham Hill’s Lotus 49 Ford. The great Austrian was over four minutes adrift of Stewart mind you, but it was still a morale boosting result for the Brabham Racing Organisation and Repco Brabham Engines.

Finito…

From the front, Types 30, 37A, 23 and 44 by two (G Murdoch)

Castlemaine, a Victorian Gold Rush town 120km to Melbourne’s north-west was home to the Victorian members of the Bugatti Owners Club of Australia, Spring Rally.

Event El Supremo Roger Cameron made a great choice of event base, there are some superb roads in the area. The town itself has some wonderful, majestic buildings as befits its status one of the boom-towns within the Golden Triangle, the area bounded by Avoca-Castlemaine-Wedderburn. 1,898,391kg of gold was mined in Victoria between 1851-1896, a few bucks-worth in today’s values.

More than a few examples of early Australian automotive exotica was acquired with gold-wealth, not least Bugattis.

Inglewood. Jim Thompson’s ex-Molina Brescia in the foreground, over the road, Type 44, 3/5-litre Bentley and T35B Pursang at right (M Bisset)
Likely Lads: Messrs, Stanley, Thompson, Berryman at rear, and Montgomery, at Inglewood (M Bisset)
Roger Cameron aboard his Type 44 on Saturday morning, by mid-afternoon the look of delight had changed to one of concern with maladies which transpired to be a broken brake-shoe spring (M Bisset)

Given the People’s Republic of Victoria’s title as the most Covid 19 locked-up-joint-on-the-planet, it was no surprise to see plenty of Victorian clubbies celebrate freedoms recently returned to us by the talented ruling duumvirate of Scotty-Bro and The Allstars, and Dan The Dastardly. Victoria’s weather can be capricious, but sunny, blue skies prevailed for most of the three days. In short, the planets were aligned for a wonderful weekend of motoring on great roads, albeit many of them are sadly in need of decent maintenance.

The line-up included three Brescia Type 23s, two Grand Prix cars – Types 37A and 35B Pursang – and an interesting mix of two and three-litre eight-cylinder un-supercharged tourers; Types 30 and 44. John Shellard’s Type 57 two-seater Corsica replica body machine is impressive – straight-eight 3-litre DOHC non-supercharged – a car I don’t recall seeing before. Co-stars comprised an interesting mix including two 5-litre’ised 3-litre Bentleys, a Lancia Fulvia 1.3S Zagato, MGA, Porsche 992/911 and my buddy, Bob King’s AC Ace-Bristol.

Avoca Hotel vista with the Shellard T57, and Murdoch and Thompson Brescias up front (M Bisset)
Saffs in Castlemaine, very good too (M Bisset)
Inglewood. Anderson T44, Montgomery Bentley and Schudmak T35B (M Bisset)

Starting point was the Woodlands Historic Park at Oaklands Junction (adjoining Melbourne Airport at Tullamarine) and then to Lancefield via Romsey.

The post-lunch session was some magnificent roads from Lancefield to Castlemaine. Immediately after clearing Lancefield we headed north west on the Burke and Wills Track, which is great but gets rutted and shitful towards Mia Mia. Then a respectful stop at Spring Plains, the site of the first flight – seven metres – by John Duigan aboard an Australian designed and built aeroplane on July 16,1910. Click here for more; John and Reginald Duigan, Australian aviation pioneers (monash.edu.au)

Electrical and motor engineer, John Duigan mid-flight on the family farm, Spring Plains, Mia Mia circa 1910. Self constructed – of wood, metal and Dunlop rubber coated cotton fabric – pusher type single-seat biplane with a moving foreplane elevator and light undercarriage. Power by a JE Tilley (Melbourne) 25hp vertical four stroke, four cylinder OHV engine, with drive to the four-blade 2.6-metre prop by chain. 9.27-metres long, wingspan 7.47-metres, weight including pilot 280kg, maximum speed 40mph in sustained flights at heights of 30-metres (Museums Victoria)
Cameron T44 detail. Nice (M Bisset)
The only one owner early Bugatti in the world? The late Dr Noel Murdoch famously did his 1920s rounds at his country, Yarra Junction practice in a Fiat 501 and this T44 – which is still a treasured family member nearly a century later. That’s the Anderson T44 opposite (M Bisset)

Then on to Redesdale, Sutton Grange, Faraday and into Castlemaine via Chewton on its eastern outskirts.

French mistresses are notoriously fickle, high maintenance critters so it was no surprise that one or two of the breed required the care of tender, loving, expert hands before dinner.

Grant Cowie’s Up The Creek (ya gotta hand it to a Kiwi with a sense of humour) enterprise – one of Australia’s acknowledged fettlers of fine pre-war marques, Bugatti included – is in Castlemaine and was called upon once or twice to assist in keeping Ettore’s finest behaving to the manor born.

A quirk of automotive history is that the hot-rod capital of Victoria (Australia?) is Castlemaine and its surrounds. As restoration of fine cars grew exponentially in the 1970s, many specialist body and engine builders, woodworkers and others located in the area to draw upon the technical skills, foundries and jobbing shops which had progressively grown earlier.

While being a treacle-beak at Grant Cowie’s, Bob King spotted David Reidie, formerly proprietor of the Harley City, and a recently minted Bugatti owner (King’s 35B Rep). He showed us through his amazing museum of 125 or so historic, mainly competition Harley Davidsons. Reidie is still working out how often to open to the punters, but it’s complete, ready to rock-and-roll, and will be a must-see even for those not particularly interested in ‘bikes.

Min Innes-Irons T23 Brescia in Clunes (M Bisset)
Schudmak T35B and Shellard T57, Clunes (M Bisset)

Proceedings started at 10am Saturday morning, with plenty of rumbling straight-eights being gently warmed up in the cool but sunny Spring breeze, and Adam Berryman getting good oil-pressure sans spark-plugs, by nine. The run was to Avoca, to the south-west, the Avoca Pub to be precise.

There were some dirt sections thrown into the mix early in the day, reminding me again that these folks like to use their cars, they aren’t Pebble Beach poseurs. What was it the late, great Lou Molina useter say? “We are goers, not showers”.

The route went through Muckleford South, the fringe of Maldon, Lockwood, Woodstock, Newbridge and into Inglewood for the first coffee pitstop for the day. Needless to say, the cars are a hit with local folks, it’s not every day of the week automotive splendour of a bygone era comes to town.

Cameron T44, Dillon Bentley, and King AC in Inglewood (M Bisset)
King AC Ace at Mia Mia (M Bisset)

The roads are a great test of chassis, my mount was Bob King’s 1960 AC Ace Bristol, what a great car it proved to be.

The 2-litre Bristol straight-six (thanks muchly BMW) is at its lusty best from 3000-4000 rpm, the thing has a gear for every occasion too, with Laycock de Normanville overdrive fitted. Suspension is independent front and rear – with leaf springs nicely controlled by Koni reds – soaks up all the bumps Victoria’s roads throw at it, brakes (disc/drum) are good, the driving position is great as are the seats – which are fantastic. My only grumble is the heavy steering at low speeds, but maybe I’m just turning into a soft-old-codger.

After an hour we set sail south for Avoca via Rheola, Bealiba, Riversdale, and thence the Avoca Hotel, it’s an easy relaxed pace, there was no competitive component to the proceedings and the route instructions are good, clear.

Berryman T37A at left, Shellard T57 in shot, Avoca (M Bisset)

Amazing what you can get at Mitre 10 these days. Berryman’s T37A #37327 in Inglewood (M Bisset)

The lunch at the Avoca Hotel was great, but I was preoccupied. Adam Berryman suggested it was time to drive his Type 37A on the return leg to Castlemaine, about 100km.

I’m very familiar with right-hand-shift Hewland ‘dog-boxes but it was still with some trepidation I jumped alongside Adam for the return voyage. The buffeting in the passenger seat sans small-aero screen on the short trip to clear town was incredible, but there was no such problem in the right-hand seat.

You drop your bum into a tight seat, wedged between the gearbox and passenger on your left, and chassis frame to the right. Don’t even think about a drive without your race-boots on and even then, there is no dead-pedal to the left. Your right foot (conventional pedal set-up in this car thankfully) looks after the throttle and brakes, with the left either dabbing the (easy) clutch or sitting as lightly as you can manage above it.

“First is towards you and back, second is straight forward, third is back-across-and away from you and back. Fourth is directly forward again,” Adam shouts. “Yep, goddit.” Without even a feel of the ‘box away we go.

The supercharged three-valve, SOHC, 1.5-litre 110bhp four is hard edged. It’s rappy and revvy with a very light flywheel and is not too many hours back from a Tula Engineering (UK) rebuild. Its magnificent, your whole-body fizzes for hours afterwards, the solidly mounted engine buzzes you good-vibrations. Adam uses ear-plugs, ya need ‘em too.

The whole experience is heightened by being on public roads, nuts of course. Glorious nuts. The thing is deceptively fast, Adam shouts that we are doing 85mph, well over the Victorian maximum, the roads are so poor the chassis is easily affected by the road corrugations, it’s sprung race stiff of course.

I wouldn’t say I covered myself in complete glory with the gearbox, second was my boogie gear on the way down early on, but if you are used to a right-hand shift it’s not too dramatic a change.

Berryman’s rump framed via an Ace bonnet in the wilds of Arnold. Only the muffler underneath ruins the visage – but is appreciated while at the wheel! (M Bisset)
Business end of T37A #37327. 1496cc (69x100mm) SOHC, 3-valve, Roots supercharged four cylinder engine giving circa 110bhp @ 5000rpm (M Bisset)

The engine never copped the big rev, rather the trip was about savouring the experience, the view down the road through the aero screen and tall, narrow tyres wobbling away, big wooden rim wheel oh-so-close to your chest, moving constantly – don’t keep correcting it, just let it move gently in your hands – almost sits in your crutch. Its counter intuitive if your long-armed, 10-inch Momo orientation is a Van Diemen Formula Ford or Ralt RT4 phenomena, but the size of the thing makes sense as you negotiate tight corners where the big wheel provides the required leverage!

Sounds assault you, not the exhaust so much, gasses and associated music exits via a long pipe under the car and a minimalist hot-dog muffler at the very rear of that seductive derriere to the lucky schmo following you. Gears assail you in a very raucous mechanical orchestral kinda-way. The gearbox is beside you, the diff immediately behind, while the camshaft and engine ancillaries are mainly gear driven, not to forget the supercharger meshing and doing its thing.

The reaction of the good citizens of Maryborough was so funny. The French racing blue rocket (chassis 37327), looks exactly as it did when raced by ‘Sabipa’ (Louis Marie Paul Charavel) in the ’27 Targa, and later by Frenchmen Jean-Claude D’Ahetze, Vincent Tersen and Andre Vagniez throughout Europe and North Africa from 1928 to 1931.

The look on little kids faces on the footpath, or their front-yards is the five-year-old equivalent of WTF?!, it’s just so out of place. Not behind the wheel mind you, albeit my left leg is tiring of trying to stay clear of the clutch pedal at about the 80km mark, the oil and water temps are good (thermatic fan fitted), the clutch is easily modulated and light and gearbox now more familiar. I could have gone for hours…

All too soon we are in the Castlemaine ‘burbs, one final blat away from the lights, then a U-Turn into the BP servo in Barker Street, and it’s all over.

Some days are forever etched in ‘yer brain as experiences to treasure, a drive of a GP Bugatti is one of them. Sick little unit that I am, I’ve been buzzing with afterglow for days, hopefully my state of arousal will subside soon, it’s quite uncomfortable really. Grazia Adam, bigtime.

Orf-piste @ Targa. Louis Charavel in, perhaps, #37327 during the 1927 Targa Florio. The Dieppe born, sometimes works-Bugatti driver – winner of the 1926 Italian GP aboard a T39 – ‘left the road on the first lap near Polizzi when his Bugatti fell 15 meters down a ravine tumbling over (doesn’t look like it to me) Luckily he suffered no injuries,’ according to kolumbus.fi (unattributed)
Murdoch T30, and distant T44 roadside at Arnold West. Fuel delivery dramas being sorted by Geoff Murdoch (M Bisset)

The Murdoch family Bugatti Type 30 (above) always draws me.

Its allure is its beauty and history, powered as it is by the very same 2-litre, three-valve, twin-carb straight eight #89 (below) fitted to Geoff Meredith’s Type 30 chassis #4087 when he won the very first Australian Grand Prix at Goulburn in 1927.

This T30, (chassis #4480 pictured), has an in-period Australian competition record of its own. There is a good chance the remaining parts of Meredith’s ex-AV Turner, and later Jack Clements “possibly most famous of Australian Bugattis” #4087 will be reunited by the Murdochs one day.

Bugatti 2-litre straight-eight #89 fitted to T30 #4480 (M Bisset)
Murdoch family T30, and T23 Brescia behind, in Clunes (M Bisset)

The evening functions at the Castlemaine Railway Hotel and Wild Food and Wine, within the space of Castlemaine’s old fire station were great, add them to your list.

Doyens, and founding members of the club, and the Bugatti world globally, are Stuart Murdoch, Stuart Anderson and Bob King. Anderson’s 90th birthday was recognised with Murdoch’s only a short time away, Bob is a veritable youth in this company.

They are interested, and interesting, having been into Bugattis when they were old-bangers, and restored many of them. Anderson’s cv includes restoration and racing a GP Talbot Darracq 700 and a couple of Maseratis, Murdoch’s a couple of Delages and lordy knows what else, Bob’s restoration and race tastes are mainly, but not exclusively French.

These events have a rhythm a bit like a race meeting, albeit without the pressure. Soon we were up-and-attem on Sunday morning, warming the cars up, but this time, after a pitstop in Clunes, then lunch in Trentham – all god’s own rolling hills country – it was time to go home.

Etcetera…

(M Bisset)

A couple of scallywags in Inglewood. Bodybuilder (car) extraordinaire Richard Stanley, and Jim Thompson about to jump into his much cherished ex-Molina Brescia.

(M Bisset)

Des Dillon’s Bentley bullies Bob King’s AC Ace in Inglewood, ‘the world’s fastest lorries’ really do have on-road presence and menace the likes of few!

(M Bisset)

Ecurie Schudmak – Phil and Susan – in Avoca, about to hit the road. These guys and their trusty Pursang T35B have done Bugatti rallies on most continents of the globe in this much loved and used car.

(M Bisset)

The Latreille Lancia Fulvia 1.3S Zagato, very tasty too, and Quinn MGA.

(M Bisset)

Michael Anderson and Bui Khoi before the off in Inglewood, Anderson family Type 44, another cherished car which has been in family hands for decades.

Shellard T57, great in profile, in Lancefield.

(M Bisset)

Clan Murdoch, or part thereof, in Inglewood.

(M Bisset)

Chewton crew. Bob King, then the masked avenger, Trevor Montgomery, Des Dillon and his lady – and Bentley 3-litre.

(M Bisset)

Credits…

Mark Bisset, Geoff Meredith

Tailpiece…

Berryman T37A, Castlemaine (M Bisset)

Le derriere incredible…

Finito…

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These images are captioned as Enzo Ferrari at home in Bergamo, the shoot isn’t dated but either at the start or end of 1964 makes sense…

The Grand Prix car is the Ferrari 158, the weapon John Surtees used to win the 1964 Drivers and Constructors championships for Ferrari, the GT is a 500 Superfast I think. I covered ‘Big John’ and his career in this article, which includes a piece about the 158 and its specifications; https://primotipo.com/2014/11/30/john-surtees-world-champion-50-years-ago/ also check out this pictorial of the 158; https://primotipo.com/2016/05/24/n-a-r-t-ferrari-158s/

Tailpiece: Enzo straightening his toupee…

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Credits…

Manuel Litran – Getty Images

Tailpiece…

image

Yes, the weather is beautiful, but just get on with it and nick-off, I’ve next years flat-twelves to attend to.

Finito…

Gurney in Lotus 29-R1 Ford at Indy in March 1963. Here with symmetrical suspension, raced with offset

A bit like Chris Amon, there is no such thing as too much Dan Gurney.

I’ve been researching an article on Lotus’ 1963 Indy campaign and have discovered a few Dan shots too good to waste.

Gurney’s mind was blown, just like everybody elses, when the Lotus 25 Climax was rolled out of the Team Lotus transporter at Zandvoort in 1962. That monocoque design was an Indy winner; as a Californian he was keen to drink the Indy Winners Milk.

He said as much to Colin Chapman and flicked the Lotus supremo a free air ticket to watch him contest the ’62 event in a Mickey Thompson Spl; John Crosthwaite’s mid-engined, spaceframe powered by a Buick stock-block V8. Dan ran in the top ten until the transaxle was hors ‘d combat. Importantly ole-chunky was on the hook.

I promise your slice of the pie will be no less than that Daniel! Colin Chapman and Dan Gurney at Indy in 1963
Lotus 29 Ford’s first test at Indy in March 1963. Gurney aboard chassis R1, which is fitted with symmetrical suspension, wobbly-web wheels rather than the Dunlops it raced with and stack-exhausts rather than the megaphones which followed (unattributed)

Gurney was a Ford man, his teenage hot-rod exploits were all Flattie-Ford powered. He raced a Holman Moody Ford Fairlane NASCAR at Riverside in early ’62 and used a couple of Ford heavies he met that weekend to set up a meeting between he, Chapman and the-right Ford execs at Dearborn in July.

By March 1963 the Lotus 29 – call it a fat-25 – powered by a 350-375bhp, 255cid all aluminium pushrod variant of the 260 Windsor Falcon/Fairlane V8 was being tested for the first time by Jim Clark at Snetterton.

At Indy Clark ran second to Parnelli Jones’ Watson Offy Roadster for the last 20 or 30 laps. Jones was dropping oil, but was not black-flagged as other cars dropping lubricant throughout the race had been.

The Indy Establishment, led by Chief Steward Harlan Fengler – who had the black flag power – shafted Lotus, Ford, Chapman, Clark and Gurney. Revenge was sweet in 1965 when Lotus Fords occupied the front row driven by Gurney, Clark and AJ Foyt – and Clark won.

Gurney was seventh in 1963, his engine wore a cam-lobe, so he wasn’t able to press hard in the same manner as Clark. Check out my Auto Action feature on the 1963 race here; Auto Action #1823 by Auto Action – Buy through Issuu

Clark and Gurney, in his Yamaha sponsored 29, Indy 1963 (unattributed)
Gurney during the Milwaukee 200 in 1963 (unattributed)

Keen to reinforce the point about their speed, Clark and Gurney raced in the Milwaukee 200 three weeks after Indy, Clark won with Gurney third.

In 1964 the same duo raced the evolved Lotus 34, the most critical mechanical change of which was use of Ford’s Quad Cam Indy V8; this fuel injected, four-cam, two valve V8 produced circa 400bhp.

AJ Foyt’s Watson Offy won the race – the last by a front-engined car- which is primarily remembered for the horrific seven car, lap two accident and conflagration which cost the lives of Dave MacDonald (Thompson Ford and Eddie Sachs (Halibrand Ford). Coincidently, Sach’s Watson was the last casualty of ‘Fengler’s oil slick’ the year before, when he boofed the fence on lap 181, and then copped a punch-in-the-nose the following day when he fronted Jones about his win.

Gurney’s Lotus 34 quad-cam in 1964, Chapman alongside (D Friedman)

Lotus were contracted to Dunlop in F1. Chapman used hard Firestones in ’63 and sought the performance , and no doubt, commercial advantage of softer Dunlops in ’64. One of Clark’s (from pole) tyres failed after 47 laps taking out the left-rear corner of the car. Gurney retired after 110 laps with excessive wear…FoMoCo were not amused as Clark’s failure happened on the entry to the main-straightaway (front straight) providing an exciting – and oh so public – epic-fail in front of 150,000 or so spectators.

Needless to say, Ford took control of tyre choice in 1965, an all-Ford year.

Indy front row 1965; Gurney, left and Clark in Lotus 38s and AJ Foyt on pole, Lotus 34 Ford (AAR archive)
Gurney, Lotus 38 Ford, Indy 1965 (unattributed)

AJ Foyt’s Lotus 34 Ford took pole while Clark’s Lotus 38 won, having led 189 of the 200 laps, from Jones Lotus 34 Ford, a young Mario Andretti’s (Brabham based) Hawk Ford and All Miller’s Lotus 29 Ford. Poor old Dan started from the outside of the front row but was a DNF after 38 laps with timing-gear failure in his Lotus 38.

While his Eagles won plenty of Indy 500s, Dan never did take one as a driver, a great shame!

Etcetera…

(MotorSport)

The business end of Gurney’s Lotus 29-R2 in 1963.

Gurney and Chapman pitched a 4.2-litre pushrod engine to Ford. They figured, based on Dan’s 1962 experience, that a 350 pound, 350bhp petrol fuelled Ford V8 would do the trick. As it did…

Clark’s Lotus 34 Ford in 1964.

Lotus 29 and 34 were bathtub-monocoques, the 38 was a full-monocoque. Note the offset suspension to the right, and Ford quad-cam 4.2-litre V8.

Credits…

Getty Images, David Friedman, AAR Archive

Tailpiece…

(AAR archive)

The boys fire up Dan’s Ford V8 in 1967. His beautiful, dual purpose F1/Indycar design, in Indy spec designated Eagle 67 Ford was designed by Len Terry, the same bloke who drew Chapman’s epochal Lotus 25 F1 car and 29/34/38 Indycars.

He started from Q2, led 2 of the 200 laps but was out after 160 laps with piston failure. Better would come, Bobby Unser won in an Eagle 68 Offy in 1968, and Dan was second in an Eagle 68 Gurney-Weslake-Ford.

Finito…

Cheetah Mk4 Toyota mounted Brian Shead and a distant Brian Sampson, sandwich Tony Stewarts ANF2 Birrana 273 Ford as they enter Sandown’s Dandenong Road corner circa 1973 (B Jones Collection)

Brian Shead’s first car, the Mk1, Cooper-esque, BMC A-series powered Formula Junior was completed on August 1, 1960 and raced by the man himself. The Marks 2 and 3 were finished in early 1962 and 1963 respectively. Sheady got serious about ‘volume production’ in 1968 despite still having a ‘real-job’, his Service Manager role at Conquip Victoria was handily close to his home and workshop in Mordialloc, a Melbourne bayside suburb.

Brian Shead fettles his Cheetah Mk1 BMC at Rob Roy hillclimb, in Melbourne’s outer east, circa 1961. Note Laurie Rofe’s ? Alfa P3 at rear (M Borland Collection)

The Mark 4A was made from one-inch, 18-gauge round and square steel tube. Outboard wishbone suspension was used using the “later stiffer Triumph Spitfire front uprights,” Brian wrote in his diary. The rear suspension comprised a single top link, inverted lower wishbone, two radius rods and Shead’s cast aluminium uprights.

Rack and pinion steering was by way of modified Renault items, “all cars used modified VW transmissions with the F2 and F3 models employing the first of the recently introduced Holinger five-speed quick change units. Under seat aluminium six gallon fuel tanks were fitted whilst the Bob Edmonds Polyfibre Products body work was in fibreglass. A 16-gauge aluminium undertray was bonded and rivetted to the lower chassis rails. A new enclosed tandem trailer was built to transport my car,” Shead wrote.

Sampson’s Mk4 Toyota (S Gall)
Sambo’s Mk4 showing Holinger five-speed transaxle, fabricated rear uprights and Mario Costa built wheels. Sampson’s Motor Improvements’ 1.3-litre pushrod, twin Weber fed race motors were the ducks-guts F3/Clubman unit of the day and gave circa 130bhp (S Gall)

Peter Macrow’s 1.6-litre Ford twin-cam ANF2 car (Mk4B # 43-2) proceeded as funds allowed but one car, #4H-1 for Don Biggar and Shead’s #43-1 were finished mid-year. Biggar’s machine was a hillclimber fitted with a 3.5-litre Oldsmobile V8 and modified VW gearbox. Shead’s car was tested at Calder in mid-May, then made its race-debut on May 31.

Continuing good results and several wins over Brian Sampson’s Elfin 600B Toyota led to an order from Sambo for a Mk4 (#43-3), his car was finished in January 1973. Brian Shead describes this car as the “first production chassis, minor changes were made in the chassis layout. Live front axles were used with fabricated front and rear uprights, Holinger gearbox. Toyota Corolla 1300cc engine, new front nosecone and cockpit body sections.”

Other production Mk4s were built for Peter Roach (43-4), Vincent McLaughlan (43-5), while an ANF2 1.6-litre Ford twin-cam Mk4E (342-1) was delivered to Graeme Crawford in February. That makes seven Mk4’s in total, and I’m sure David Crabtree’s ANF2 Mk4 – which he retains – was delivered to Crabby and built up by him, so that makes eight…

The Mark 4 Cheetah was the dominant ANF3 car of the era, perhaps not so much in Sydney, where none were resident, and set up the reign of terror of the small-bore-classes Brian Shead had for the best part of a decade.

Shead’s car (Brian leaning over the engine at right rear) at Calder circa 1973, car by this stage fitted with fabricated front uprights rather than the Triumph Spitfire/Alford & Alder units with which it was originally built. These were chuckable, strong, light , fast racing cars (S Gall)
Same Calder meeting with a spot of MI Toyota Corolla valve, rocker or head gasket problems…(S Gall)

Credits…

Stephen Gall, Brendan Jones Collection, Brian Shead Diary, Michael Borland Collection

Tailpieces…

(Auto Action)

Racing cars are never static of course, by 1973 Australian F3 cars were growing wings as shown on the Sampson and Shead Mk4s at Winton above.

Shead’s solution at this stage was a modest rear body panel come wing, and wingless at the front.

A fugly Tyrrell-type nose followed, as shown below, all of which was refined in the marvellous, even more successful monocoque Mk5 and Mk6 F3/F2 machines which followed. Stories for another time, or you could buy Auto Action issue #1815 which covers the topic rather nicely; Auto Action #1815 by Auto Action – Issuu

The other member of the Victorian Cheetah triumvirate is Peter Macrow, running third at Sandown’s Causeway area circa 1973 – Sambo from Sheady up front. Look at the different rear-wing supports (B Jones Collection)
(B Jones Collection)

Another shot of Brian Shead at Amaroo Park or perhaps Phillip Island. This aero evolution is towards the end of their time as the works machines, supported as you can see by Toyota; Australian Motor Industries, the Toyota importer, had been longtime supporters of Sambo’s Triumph Spitfire.

Neat engine cover, the appearance of Tony Alcock’s and Malcolm Ramsay’s monocoque Birrana 374 made it clear a new car was required, some marvellous racing followed between the Cheetahs and Paul King/Dean Hosking/Jim Evans 374s in 1974.

Finito…