Posts Tagged ‘Australian Motor Racing History’

WB during practice (B Henderson)

Warwick Brown was the star of the show but didn’t win the AGP thanks to the failure of a crankshaft torsional vibration damper in the Peter Molloy tweaked Chevy V8 of his Lola T332.

To a large extent I covered this meeting in an article about Lella Lombardi a couple of months ago but the release of these photographs by photographer/racer Bryan Henderson made it clear that a second bite of the cherry was a good idea. See the Lella piece here; https://primotipo.com/2020/09/07/tigress-of-frugarolo/

Brown was the ‘form driver’. He was the first Lola T332 customer, he raced ‘HU-27’ throughout the 1974 Tasman Cup, then did the first Gold Star round at Oran Park before heading to the US to take in three US F5000 Championship rounds in which the Lola/Molloy/Brown/Pat Burke combination were extremely competitive.

WB was Q7, second in heat and 11th overall at Ontario, Q12, fourth in his heat and fifth overall at Laguna Seca and  then finished his tour with Q9, second in his heat and third overall at Riverside. It was not bad at all coming into their season ‘cold’ in the sense that four rounds had been contested by the time WB and Peter Molloy arrived. Brown came back to Australia razor sharp, those at the front in the US included Brian Redman, Mario Andretti, James Hunt, Al Unser and Bobby Unser, David Hobbs, Vern Schuppan and the rest.

Teddy Yip, WB and another in the OP paddock (B Henderson)

 

KB T332 from Max T330 (B Henderson)

Max Stewart was well prepared. His Lola T330, ‘HU1’, the very first development machine raced a couple of times in England by Frank Gardner in late 1972 before its sale to Max, gave nothing away to anybody. It was increasingly reliable to match the speed present from tits debut in Max’ hands at the start of the ’73 Tasman Cup.

Graeme Lawrence raced his T332 in the 1974 Tasman whereas Kevin Bartlett’s was a newer car, first raced at Oran Park. KB had a shocker of a Tasman. A crash at the Pukekohe NZ GP opening round broke the car and a leg and hip, but he would be on the pace having built up a car around a new Lola T332 tub.

Graeme Lawrence, Lola T332 Chev with a Birrana in the background (B Henderson)

 

Garrie Cooper, Elfin MR5 Repco-Holden (B Henderson)

The Elfin MR5s were now long in the tooth having first raced in mid-1971.

John McCormack was back in his given the unreliability and lack of power of the Repco-Leyland V8 fitted to the compact Elfin MR6. Mac, the reigning champion had a shocker of a 1974 Gold Star, an accident at Surfers due to a structural failure ensured he missed the Calder round while repairs were effected to the front bulkhead.

McCormack ‘re-possessed’ his MR5 for the AGP. 1973 Australian Sports Car Champion Phil Moore had driven the car throughout the Gold Star with good pace and reliability despite few test miles. In fact he was the best placed of the Ansett Team Elfin pilots that year, ending the season third despite missing the final two rounds at OP and Phillip Island.

Garrie Cooper was still racing his MR5 which was a mobile test-bed for the talented designers new ideas.

The MR6 became a competitive car when the Repco-Holden engine was fitted and the front suspension geometry revised. Whilst 50kg heavier than the aluminium Leyland, the Repco-Holden’s 520 bhp was not to be denied, Mc Cormack won the 1975 Gold Star racing this combination.

McCormack’s Elfin MR5, 1973 Gold Star Champion  (B Henderson)

 

Jon Davison working his Matich A50 Repco-Holden hard- look at the distortion of those Goodyears. A man very much on the pace when he acquired a T332 (B Henderson)

Matich standard bearers were Jon Davison’s ex-John Walker A50 Repco, chassis ‘004’ was the car Walker raced in the 1973 L&M. John Goss raced Frank Matich’ 1974 Tasman car, chassis ‘007’ the very last Matich built. This A53 was a sensational device, A51/53 ‘005’ won the 1976 AGP in Goss’ hands at Sandown.

The A53 JG used to win at Sandown was the car raced by Lella Lombardi at Oran Park during this 1974 weekend. Then in A51 spec, it was one of the two chassis raced by Matich in the 1973 US L&M F5000 championship. The other, for the sake of completeness, ‘006’, was destroyed in a Warwick Farm testing accident in A52 spec with Bob Muir at the wheel in later 1973.

Lombardi had a big year of F5000 racing in Europe. Her primary campaign was aboard a Shellsport Lola T330 Chev. Late in the year she ran in the US and Australia when promoters could see the value in a ‘crowd-pulling chick’ amongst the fellas.

The ‘Tigress of Turin’ did not disappoint in Australia despite racing an unfamiliar car. Her crew included Frank Matich and later multiple Gold Star champion Alfie Costanzo as interpreter.

I don’t think anybody was going to beat WB at this meeting had he finished but I could easily see how Lella could have been on the podium especially if she were aboard her own T330, but it stayed in the UK.

Lombardi sitting on Matich tub ‘005’ during practice (B Henderson)

 

(B Henderson)

Gloomy faces all round in the Goss camp. The Repco engine has run a bearing, without a spare JG is out for the weekend. The dude in the white T-shirt is Repco’s, or perhaps ex-Repco by then, Don Halpin. The fella with his back to us is Grant O’Neill who moved across with the A53 from Matich to Goss as FM wound down his operation in Cremorne. Grant looked after Goss’ open-wheelers and Falcons for some years.

Warwick Brown was predictably quick in all sessions. After he did a 65.3, the team packed up and left the circuit but crafty Max bolted on a set of British Goodyears and nicked pole late in the final session with a 65.2. Bartlett was third on the grid with 65.9 with Lombardi fourth hampered by clutch failure. She finally did some decent laps stopping the Accusplits at 67.0 dead.

The grid was a very skinny nine cars. John Leffler made the cut with his gorgeous, very fast Bowin P8 Ford-Hart 416B ANF2 car. As mentioned above Goss lost an engine with bearing failure in the morning warm-up.

From left- Lombardi, Brown, Bartlett, Stewart and a glimpse of McCormack (HAGP)

From the off WB led convincingly all the way to his engine failure on lap 50. Lombardi got a great start and led the two amigos, Bartlett and Stewart but both passed the pint-sized Italian by the end of the first lap.

So it was Brown, Stewart, Bartlett with Lombardi and McCormack falling back, then Lawrence, Davison, Cooper and Leffler. After about 15 laps KB passed Max, aided by the Jolly Green Giant’s broken rear roll bar mount and stripped second gear- the latter damage was done at the start.

Leffo gave Garrie Cooper heaps in the little Bowin, well suited to Oran Parks new ‘twiddles’ with John well aware of the MR5’s strengths and areas of opportunity having done a few races in Max’s MR5 late in 1973. Lombardi caught Stewart but the big fella strenuously resisted her passing manoeuvres, then on lap 47 her oil pump failed causing the Holden engine to seize.

Bartlett from Stewart (B Henderson)

 

John Leffler, Bowin P6 Ford-Hart ANF2. Leffo did a million race miles in this car in 1974, all of the F2 championship rounds where he was amongst the class of the field headed by the Leo Geoghegan and Bob Muir Birrana 274/273, and the Gold Star rounds giving Grace Bros plenty of exposure and racegoers much pleasure given his brio behind the wheel (B Henderson)

 

Lombardi, Matich A51 Repco (B Henderson)

Two laps later WB’s harmonic balanced was hors ‘d combat which gave Kevin Bartlett the lead. For a while the Australian Triple Crown seemed possible- the Gold Star, Bathurst and an AGP. Then, on lap 58 of 61 laps KB’s Lola was starved of fuel, the T332’s pumps were not picking up the last 13 litres of juice!

Stewart took the lead, and despite his machine’s disabilities, won the race from McCormack’s, Elfin MR5, Graeme Lawrence’s T332, a lap down with an engine not at its best, then Jon Davison’s Matich A50 Repco and Garrie Cooper’s MR5 Repco- five finishers. There was no future in AGP’s being run other than during our summer internationals, whatever the formula, to get decent grids.

WB was ‘man of the match’ but lucked out, Lola T332 Chev (B Henderson)

Brown was the man of the meeting, getting back on the Lola horse which nearly killed him (a T300 Chev) at Surfers Paradise in 1973 was mighty impressive. WB carried the momentum forward, winning the 1975 Tasman Cup in this car, the only Australian to do so. He did get an Oran Park AGP win in 1977 too, on the day Alan Jones pumped the start bigtime.

It was a pity Lombardi didn’t return to Australasia for the 1975 Tasman but she had bigger fish to fry. Funding was in place so it was F1 in 1975 as a member of the March team together with Vittorio Brambilla.

Max Stewart takes the chequered flag, with barely a soul to see. What Covid 19 friendly meeting! Not really, just no spectators in that part of the world.

Stewart was like a fine wine wasn’t he, he got better and better with age? He was not exactly in the first flush of youth when he got the second Alec Mildren seat with Kevin Bartlett in late 1968. He won his first Gold Star in 1971 in the Mildren Waggott and then took to F5000 like a duck to water.

His Oran Park win was his fifth 1974 Gold Star victory in a row. It won him the title. Maybe he was lucky to win the AGP in the pissing rain at Surfers twelve months hence but those in front of him dropped out with drowned electrics. Max, who prepared his car together with Ian Gordon had electrics which functioned, that is, he made his own luck.

Etcetera…

(B Henderson)

Poor Susie Ransom (?) is trying to interview KB who is more interested in a glass of Pophry Pearl at the Leppington Inn after the meeting. Commonsense then prevailed with questions about tyre pressures, wing settings and roll-bar stiffness addressed.

(B Henderson)

 

(B Henderson)

Teddy Yip was omnipresent throughout the weekend. Here he is pointing out the Matich tacho-telltale in Mandarin. Lella’s English was not flash, I doubt Mandarin was effective so they probably settled with English.

Teddy was getting the lie of the land and perhaps starting to think about the deal which saw him bring a Lola T332 to Australia for our 1976 Rothmans International. Vern Schuppan raced a Yep/Sid Taylor Lola T332 to victory that summer.

(B Henderson)

Goss with his team bemoaning the bearing failure in his Repco-Holden engine, he knew a thing or two about that particular affliction didn’t he? Blazing the Falcon GT Hardtop Group C path in 1973 gave plenty of bottom end dramas which was eventually sorted with an engineering solution which met the good graces of the CAMS.

(B Henderson)

The Elfin MR5 is a bit maligned in some quarters. The most highly developed of the four cars built was John McCormack’s ‘works’ machine which won the 1973 Gold Star as well as the New Zealand Grands Prix in 1973 and 1974 despite Mac first racing it in later 1971.

(B Henderson)

 

(B Henderson)

So near but so far, Bartlett had the ‘Triple Crown’ of Australian motor racing chance but it was not quite to be!

He won a heat at Surfers and had the second in the bag until a front tyre deflated. In a season where he showed the Pukekohe accident had not cost him a tenth, he was second to Stewart at Calder and Sandown and then took victory at Phillip Island’s last round after a great dice with Stewart.

(B Henderson)

Lella ready to boogie.

Credits…

Bryan Henderson, many thanks for the fantastic photographs.

‘History of The Australian Grand Prix’ Graham Howard and Others, Getty Images, Fairfax Media

Tailpiece…

(B Henderson)

Graeme Lawrence in the ‘star car’ of F5000, the Lola T332. Engine troubles ruined his AGP weekend. The 1970 Tasman Cup champion was in a three way shootout several months later to win the 1975 Tasman together with Warwick Brown and John Walker in the Sandown final round but the cards fell Brown’s way.

Finito…

The white TR, is heading in the correct direction- the blue Healey has overshot his braking point (B Young)

Motorsport venues in Tasmania were a tad skinny in number prior to the opening of Baskerville near Hobart, and Launceston’s Symmons Plains circa 1960. Longford was great but it was a once a year deal over the March Labour Day long weekend.

So Quorn Hall, an ex-World War 2 airfield located on TC Clarke’s sheep grazing property was pressed into service. The 7,300 hectares, farmed by the same family since 1846 is on Lake Leake Road, Campbell Town 15km south of Launceston.

1952 (V Gee)

 

Jock Walkem’s #6 Norton or Vincent powered special going bush suspects Garry Simkin (B Young)

The ever interesting Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania Facebook page notes that ‘Quorn Hall Airfield was developed during WW2 to house the huge American bombers if the need to fall back to Tasmania occurred during an invasion of the mainland’, or the ‘North Island’ as the Tassies like to call the rest of us!

‘The runway is several kilometres long and about 50 metres wide. After the war (from November 1952) it was used for motorsport, essentially putting 44 gallon drums out and racing around them. The runway and access roads were used. Usage dropped off after the purpose made circuits opened, but it was still used for club events – standing quarter-miles etc until the end of the 1960s.’

It seems, as usual, the entrepreneurial motorcyclists beat us car dudes to the punch. The Tasmanian Motor Cycle Club organised a picnic ride to Quorn Hall in 1946 during which some races were run. ‘While the straw bales down the middle of the runway and use of oiled gravel access roads in a J-pattern may have been basic, unlike beach racing, you didn’t have to wait for the tide to go out and most of the 1 1/2 miles was sealed’ recorded Bike Australia.

2,000 people attended a combined car and bike meeting in 1951 organised by the Southern Motor Cycle Club and the Light Car Club. It was the first occasion on which ‘racing was officially noted.’

The Tasmanian Tourist Trophy was held there for the first time November 1952 with most of the national ‘bike stars of the day’ competing. The car racing was more club than national level, those honours went quite rightly to Longford.

Start of the Senior TT in 1952. Col #49 and Max #74 Stephens getting away smartly (Bike Australia)

 

Tasmanian Aero Club, Western Junction, date unknown (unattributed)

In fact the history of the site is a significant one in Tasmanian aviation.

The Tasmanian Aero Club was formed there site in 1927, the Western Junction Aerodrome (now Launceston Airport) was officially opened in 1929. The first passenger facility on the Apple Isle operated from there until August 1940 when the Royal Australian Air Force took over the place to house the ‘7 Elementary Flying Training School. Extra local ‘strips were built at Nile, Annandale, Valleyfield and Quorn Hall.

As the name suggests, 7 Elementary Flying Training School provided an introductory twelve-week flying course to those who had graduated from one of the RAAF’s initial training schools. It was the only RAAF base in Tasmania then. Flying ceased there in December 1944 with the school disbanded in August 1945.

Etcetera…

Western Junction Aerodrome in 1933.

These colour photographs are wonderful, unique. If any of you can help identifying cars/drivers please give me a yell and i will update the captions accordingly.

(HRCCT)

Bruce Gowans and John McCormack during a Historic Racing Car Club day out to Quorn Hall and Valleyfield (at Epping Forest) in 2016. They are standing on the Quorn Hall runway-circuit.

(HRCCT)

 

 

VW and Fiat 1100 (B Young)

 

Mick Watt competing in the first ‘Half-Hour’ race at QH in 1953 in Ford Anglia. This little car, nicknamed the ‘Magic Goat’ won 64 races.

 

(B Young)

What a magic panorama. Brian Higgins believes the competitors are Jack Petts and Geoff Smedley in Triumph TRs, Boyce Youl in the Jaguar XK and Mick Watt’s Ford Anglia.

 

 

(B Young)

 

MG. Love the dudes in the background  (V Gee)

 

(B Young)

 

(D Elliott)

Don Elliott, Holden Special at QH in the late-fifties.

This attractive little car was a mix of Skoda and Holden components, the engine used a Repco Hi-Power hhead fed by a side-draft twin-choke Weber.

Our friend in the Fiat again (B Young)

 

A couple of RAAF cub ‘flyboys’ with their Tiger Moths at Western Junction circa-1940.

 

(M Watt)

This shot is of Stan Jones in Maybach 1.

It is from Mick Watt’s Collection, no doubt taken on a day he was also competing. Stephen Dalton thinks the shot is probably closeby to QH at Valleyfield, one of the four airstrips mentioned above. He and fellow Victorian, John Nind (Cooper) raced there on November 4 and 5 1951. It’s only a short time after Jones acquired the car from it’s builder, the great Charlie Dean. The pair and sponsor Repco would have much success together in the ensuing years.

 

(T McGrath)

Alan Stephenson, Cooper Mk5 JAP Cooper misjudgement and consequences, not too bad.

(T McGrath)

Photo and other Credits…

Bob Young Collection via the Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania, Vicki Gee, Don Elliott Collection, Mick Watt Collection, Terry McGrath from the Graham Howard Collection, Garry Simkin

Bibliography…

speedwayroadracehistory, ‘Tracks In Time: Quorn Hall’ Bike Australia July 2018, Terry Walker, Bike Australia

Tailpiece…

(B Young)

‘Holy ‘snappin rissoles’. That’s the swing-axle shit the motor magazines are rabbiting on about.

Finito…

(MBRL)

Bill Pitt aboard the Geordie Anderson owned Jaguar D Type, perhaps during the March 1956 Strathpine, Queensland meeting.

‘XKD526’ is new. It arrived in Australia in December 1955 initially doing quarter-mile sprints at Strathpine in January 1956 and sprints at Leyburn in February on both occasions driven by Anderson. She did better than 120mph and 132.5mph respectively, the latter a state record.

Pitt took the car over from this Strathpine meeting, it was very kind to him over the next few years. Quite why he is contesting a race together with a little ‘Gunterwagen’ is a mystery one of you with the requisite Australian Motor Sports can perhaps solve!?

Click here for features on XKD526 here; https://primotipo.com/2016/03/18/lowood-courier-mail-tt-1957-jaguar-d-type-xkd526-and-bill-pitt/ and here; https://primotipo.com/2019/10/11/bill-pitt-frank-matich-and-xkd526-take-two/

Charlie Whatmore, Lotus 11 Climax ahead of Glyn Scott, Holden Special circa 1958 (MBRL)

Queensland’s Strathpine venue was 25km from Brisbane’s CBD, in the 1930s the area comprised farms and a new wartime airstrip as fears of Japanese invasion grew.

The Queensland Motor Sporting Club used its runways for a sprint meeting in 1938 but the place ‘blossomed’ post-war into a race circuit after local ‘Lawnton Garage’ proprietor and racer Snow Sefton saw its potential.

Local legend has it that after his garage closed for the day Snow ‘borrowed’ the Pine Rivers Shire Council’s road-making equipment to convert the airstrip into a dragstrip. ‘Councillors back then all lived out of town and were completely oblivious to Snow and his mates nicking their machinery and the racket they made turning the dusty airstrip into a bona-fide racetrack.’

Click here for a piece about Snow and his cars; https://primotipo.com/2019/04/30/bill-cuncliffe-ford-v8-spl-lowood-1956/

Snow Sefton, Strathpine Ford V8 Spl out front of his local garage (unattributed)

Initial up-and-back events around 44-gallon drums evolved into a small 1.4 mile circuit when the ‘Southern Loop’ was added in 1953 and a chicane in 1955. It was still pretty basic, haybales marked the turns in addition to the forty-fours in a nod to safety…

Only ever a club circuit because of its size and difficulty of racing on Sundays, 1960 was its last season. Lakeside’s construction close-by at Kurwongbah carried the torch forward.

We will come back to something about the place in future which is a bit more fulsome.

(L Manton)

John Aldis’ ex-Peter Whitehead/Stan Jones Cooper T38 Jaguar amongst the Strathpine grass and trees during May 1956. I’m not sure how he went.

This 1955 Le Mans veteran’s most successful Australian phase was when it was raced by Ron Phillips and prepared by Ern Seeliger. Highlight of that period was victory in the June 1959 Australian Tourist Trophy at Lowood, another Queensland airfield circuit.

The car is still in Australia and ‘still in Queensland’! There is a bit about it here; https://primotipo.com/2019/03/05/mount-tarrengower-hillclimb/

(L Manton)

Etcetera…

Credits…

MBRL- Moreton Bay Region Libraries, Stephen Dalton, Luke Manton Collection, drive.com.au, Terry McGrath

Finito…

(B King Collection)

Hope Bartlett and Harry Odewahn, in the practice of the day at Harold Park in the mid-twenties…

Bartlett ran a bus service in Nowra, it must have been a ripper business to fund an impressive fleet of racing cars including a pair of Bugatti Brescias, he used them on dirt speedways, concrete saucer at Maroubra as well as a GP Sunbeam and others.

‘Hope Bartlett had an exceptional racing career from the early twenties to post war years when he raced the Dixon Riley’ was Bob King’s caption when he posted these shots. Time to do a feature on Hope I think.

Hope and Harold Bernard Odewahn, his riding mechanic in Bugatti Type 13 chassis ‘1399’ probably, given the marking on the car Maroubra (B King)

 

Frank Gardner on the way to winning the 1972 New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe in his works Lola T300 Chev- one of ‘the’ great Formula 5000 cars and first in a dominant model range comprising T300-332-332C-400-430.

Gerard Richards posted this and wrote ‘Photo here by Jack Inwood graced the cover of Kiwi Motor Racing Magazine ‘Motorman’ in January 1973. Aussies had a good run in the NZGP from 1970-1973 but Kiwis ultimately won the Tasman Series for those years…’

For the record, the Tasman Cup winners in those years are easy- Graeme Lawrence aboard a Ferrari 246T in 1970 and Graham McRae from 1971-1973 in McLaren M10B, Leda GM1 and McRae GM1, all Chevrolet powered respectively.

Winners of the NZ GP at Pukekohe are more varied- Frank Matich in 1970, McLaren M10A Chev, McRae the following year in an M10B Chev, then FG in his T300, John McCormack in his somewhat long in the tooth but still quick Elfin MR5 Repco-Holden, and again the following year at Wigram and finally Warwick Brown in 1975 racing his Lola T332 Chev, ‘HU27’ the very first T332.

FG on the Warwick Farm 100 Tasman grid in 1972 and looking as ‘snug as a bug in a rug’.

Many of will realise there is a connection between the first two images in that Hope Bartlett was Frank Gardner’s uncle.

He brought FG up after the death of his parents- whilst keeping it in the family there is a more distant familial link between the next photograph of Kevin Bartlett and Hope Bartlett. Hope was KB’s grandfather’s cousin.

(B Thomas)

KB being chased hard by the equally evergreen Bob Holden at Lakeside’s Shell Corner in May 1966

The Alfa Romeo GTA is ‘LHD’ the first of the two Mildren GTAs, the second was ‘RHD’ which appeared not too long after this, Bob’s car is an immortal Morris Cooper S, one of THE competition cars of the sixties and top five for bang for buck and most versatile? Bartlett and the Mildren GTAs here; https://primotipo.com/2014/11/27/the-master-of-opposite-lock-kevin-bartlett-alfa-romeo-gta/

(P Weaver Motorsports Photography)

Alfredo Costanzo in his Tiga FA81 Ford BDA at Torana Corner, during the September 1982 Sandown Gold Star round.

Costanzo failed to finish the race but prevailed over John Bowe and a shedload of other Ralt RT4’s in that seasons Gold Star, Alf won three races, JB two with the placegetters, Alf 41 points from Bowe on 38 and Andrew Miedecke, 25 points.

In Australia we pretty much missed the peak years of Formula Atlantic in terms of multiple competitive chassis, by the time we finally parted with F5000 the class was pretty much Formula Ralt RT4, wonderful gizmos as they are. We should be thankful to Alan Hamilton, Alfie and Jim Hardman for persevering with their Tigas by providing something different to look at.

The mighty little driver was going away from the field in the 1983 AGP only to have the crown wheel pinion shit itself in the Hewland Mk9 gearbox, I did shed a quiet tear that day.

(T Johns Collection)

Quite an historic occasion, the first timed run up Rob Roy Hillclimb, 1 February 1937- the Austin 7 driven by either Mr O’Neill or Morphet.

Rare shot from the Terdich Family Collection via an article written by Bob King in the VSCC ‘Racers and Rascals’. ‘The Austin looks like a sports body built on standard chassis. No Ulsters here’ Tony Johns observed.

He continued ‘It is a good photo as it shows the track surface and also that the Austin was not travelling fast enough to to extinguish the cigarette’ to which Bob King responded, ‘It must have been a quick climb for an A7 or there would have been longer ash.’ LOL etc.

An important piece of Australian hillclimb history my friends.

Those with an interest in Austin 7 racing should look at this ‘Nostalgia Forum’ thread being progressively created by Tony Johns and Stephen Dalton on the history of these wonderful little cars in Australia; https://forums.autosport.com/topic/215085-austin-seven-racing-in-australia-from-1928/

(Neil Stratton)

Peter Geoghegan up front of the Rothmans in Laurie O’Neil’s Porsche 935 at Oran Park in 1978, Rothmans F5000 round.

From memory the first 935 in the country, I did see the big fella race it at Phillip Island, but the car wasn’t raced that much from memory, is it still in Australia?

Graham McRae’s McRae GM3 Chev is front and centre amongst the black 911SCs with Warwick Brown hidden also on the front row. Warwick Brown won the Oran Park 100 from Bruce Allison and Graham- Lola T332, Chevron B37 and the GM3. A bit about McRae’s cars here; https://primotipo.com/2018/09/06/amons-talon-mcraes-gm2/

(unattributed)

Aussies Abroad.

Its all too easy after all these years to forget about gruff, tough and oh-so-fast Paul Hawkins.

I bracket him with Frank Gardner as an engineer/mechanic/driver entrepreneur who parlayed his talent as a works driver for Ford, Lola and here Porsche but who also ran his own team, racing cars for start and prizemoney.

Here he is winning the 1967 Targa Florio in a works Porsche 910 he shared with Rolf Stommelen. Paul is an intensely interesting character, click here for a short piece; https://primotipo.com/2020/09/25/hawkeye/

(unattributed)

 

(unattributed)

This pair of photographs is all about the snapper, whose details I have managed to lose in the Facebook vortex- do get in touch if you can help me credit the man.

Its Oran Park, circa 1967- Fred Gibson in the Lotus Elan 26R whilst the smart sports-racer is I think Ted Proctor’s Manx, wonderful shots of a different time and place aren’t they?

 

BRM used the 1968 Tasman Cup as an opportunity to win the prestigious series and failing that test its P126/133 V12 machines.

The Bourne outfit raced these Len Terry designed cars in F1 in 1968 and gave them a Tasman run with 2.5 litre variants of the new V12 in addition to 2.1 litre V8 engined versions of the ‘old faithful’ P261s. Click here for a feature on these machines; https://primotipo.com/2018/01/25/richard-attwood-brm-p126-longford-1968/

 

(J Lemm)

Barry Randall, Rennmax Repco 830 V8 from Bill O’Gorman, Matich SR5 Waggott TC-4V during the 1974 Australian Sportscar Championship round at Adelaide International

The cars initially caught my attention but the magic in the shot is in some ways the backdrop- the spectators doing different versions of Oz ‘chillin.

Randall again below in a car now loved to death by Jay Bondini, a favourite car of mine since it’s Gibson family days.

(J Lemm)

 

(N Stratton)

Graham McRae on a day for the ducks- the Warwick Farm 100 Tasman round in 1973.

The car is his self-built McRae GM1 Chev- one of THE F5000s of 1972 with Graham himself winning the Tasman Cup

And below hs is togging up before the off with plenty of his own tweaks to the setup of his Bell Star to give some semblance of vision in the race won by Steve Thompson’s Chevron B24 Chev- GM was a distant third behind Thompson and Frank Matich.

(autopics.com)

 

 Michael Robinson (thanks Dick Willis) in the ex-Whiteford/Bailey/Collerson Talbot-Lago T26C in 1969

A famous car in Australia courtesy of back to back AGP win for Doug Whiteford at Bathurst in 1952 and Albert Park in 1953. See here; https://primotipo.com/2019/03/16/1953-australian-grand-prix-albert-park/

 

(L Morgan)

Love this Bakers Beach, Tasmania run in the early fifties.

Lesley Morgan said of the shot ‘Mum filling in for Geoff Quon, Dads normal passenger with me present as a very small foetus’ ! ‘The 7R AJS outfit clocked 89.1mph even with an inexperienced woman passenger.’

 

Rally Australia 2016

Aerobatics of the Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 WRC on the first day of the event at Coffs Harbour, New South Wales on 18 November.

The due finished third in the testing event won by the Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger VW Polo R WRC and the similar car of Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia.

 

Aussies Abroad

I think we should claim Selwyn Francis Edge even if he was really only born here- the pioneering motorist’s career was entirely in the UK, but let’s claim him all the same.

A topic for another time.

 

(N Stratton)

John Walker from Chris Amon and John Goss during the 1975 Oran Park Tasman Cup International

Lola T332 Repco Holden, Talon MR1 Chev and Matich A53 Repco Holden- they finished third, fourth and DNF that day, the race won by Warwick Brown, Lola T332 Chev from Graeme Lawrence’s similar T332.

I witnessed a cracker of a tustle for the series win that February at Sandown when the championship went down to the wire three weeks later. It was decided in that final race between Lola drivers Walker, Brown and Lawrence- click here to read about JW’s lucky, unlucky day; https://primotipo.com/2015/03/12/the-mother-and-father-of-lucky-escapes-john-walker-sandown-tasman-1975/

Brown, Walker and Lawrence on the front row of the grid at Surfers in 1975- Lola T332 times three. Walker won from Ken Smith and John Goss that weekend (N Laracy)

 

(Getty)

Donald Campbell, Bluebird Proteous CN7, Lake Eyre 10 May 1963

‘Returns after an attempt to break the Land Speed Record’, read all about this wonderful, extravagant ‘Boys Own’ adventure and ultimately successful enterprise, here; https://primotipo.com/2014/07/16/50-years-ago-today-17-july-1964-donald-campbell-broke-the-world-land-speed-record-in-bluebird-at-lake-eyre-south-australia-a-speed-of-403-10-mph/

The shot below is Bluebird K7 on its way to a water LSR setting run at Lake Dumbleyung, Western Australia in December 1964. Details of the NSW registered Commer? truck folks?

(F Bathgate)

 

Daniel Ricciardo leads the chasing Oulton Park F3 pack in 2009.

His weapon of war is a Carlin Motorsport run Dallara F309 Volkswagen- it is the first round of the British F3 Championship on Easter Monday 13 April.

Ricciardo won both races/rounds that weekend and 6 of the competitions 20 races. He took the title with two races to spare from Walter Grubmuller and Renger van der Zande both aboard Hitech Racing Dallara F309 Merecedes.

He progressed to Formula Renault 3.5 in 2010, finishing second in that title in a race to the wire in the final round with Mikhail Aleshin by 2 points. Into F1 with Hispania Racing in 2011.

 

It’s loose champ! And worn.

Jack Brabham ponders the Trokart allocated him for some type of curtain/fund raiser- Innes Ireland by the look at that helmet is behind him which promises mayhem at the first corner!

Jack’s lid makes me think it’s 1960 but i’m happy for a definitive date and place if any of you have it?

 

(oldracephotos.com)

Garrie Cooper, Elfin MR9 Chev from Bruno Giacomelli, Alfa Romeo 179 at Calder during the ‘F Libre’ 1980 Australian Grand Prix.

They were seventh and second in the race won by Alan Jones’ Williams FW07B Ford. GC had a shocker of a debut weekend in the worlds only bespoke ground-effects F5000 car, battling structural shortcomings induced by the grip caused.

A story in itself, we never saw this car fully developed and at its best, here Garrie is at Calder again, this time in March 1982 not long before the great Australian’s untimely death by heart failure. Bob Minogue’s ex-Brown/Costanzo Lola T430 Chev is under brakes on the back straight behind.

I’ve lost track of the ownership of this car and it’s proximity to a race some day?

(oldracephotos.com/NHammond)

 

(unattributed)

Lex Davison and Bib Stillwell contested the Le Mans 24 Hour classic in 1961 in John Ogier’s Essex Wire Racing Aston Martin DB4 Zagato, ‘2VEV’ car #3 here.

1VEV was raced by Jack Fairman and Bernard Consten, but both cars were out early due to incorrectly tensioned head studs which caused popped head gaskets. A bumma.

I wouldn’t mind betting the gent in the blazer and cap almost at far right is Lex Davison talking to the punters, perhaps one of the Davos can set me straight?

See here for a piece on the Victorian’s 1961 Euro Tour; https://primotipo.com/2015/09/22/aston-martin-db4gt-zagato-2vev-lex-davison-and-bib-stillwell/

 

(H Dennison)

Albert Park, Moomba Tourist Trophy, March 1956

Tony Parkinson quotes AMS April 1956 in his wonderful auslinhealey100s.com.au. ‘Came the patter of running feet, the whirring of starter motors, the roar as the motor burst into life, an occasional  crunch as the over eager hurriedly select first gear: the cars surged forward into now what seemed to be a never ending melee as they sorted themselves out and streamed off towards Melbourne Corner.’

The shots are not of the front of the grid, where some more potent Jaguar engined machines resided, note Bib Stillwell’s new #44 D Type- Tony Gaze won in his HWM Jag from Stillwell’s D Type and then Ron Phillip’s Austin Healey 100S third. Hard luck story of the race was Stan Jones run in his new ex-Whitehead Cooper T38 Jaguar. He built a commanding lead having started well behind the field when the big-six failed to fire on command, but the machine over-heated with a radiator inlet clogged with Albert Park leaves.

(H Dennison)

 

(A Patterson Collection)

Marvellous shot of Nina Jones (below) aboard her Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Zagato at Bondi in June 1930, wonder who her co-pilot was?

About as good a ‘customer’ racing Alfa as there was, this car raced on in Australia continuously into the sixties in Ford V8 engined form before restoration for another lady racer, Diana Gaze in the eighties.

Jones did FTD of 18 2/5 seconds on the tricky, wet, slippery-concrete flat but slightly curved Bondi main-drag. Obstacles included an errant dog on one run, Jones thankfully missed the dog and crowd in avoidance. 10,000 spectators were estimated to have attended the winter gig.

64 cars entered, they raced in pairs over a quarter-mile course in a knock-out series of contests, ‘the first time races of this sort had been held in Australia’ the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Bill Thompson’s 1930 AGP winning Bugatti T37A was second quickest in 19 1/5 seconds. See here for a feature on this car; https://primotipo.com/2018/02/15/mrs-jas-jones-alfa-6c-1750-ss-zagato/

(A Patterson Collection)

Credits…

Bob King Collection, Jack Inwood, Brier Thomas, Peter Weaver Motorsports Photography, Neil Stratton, Vittorio Del Basso, Terdich Family Collection via Tony Johns, Lesley Morgan, Neil Stratton, Neil Laracy, Adrian Patterson Collection, Sydney Morning Herald 30 June 1930, austinhealey100s.com.au, Tony Johns

Tailpiece…

(A Patterson Collection)

Stunning 1926 Maroubra shot which captures the atmosphere of the place in a way most photographs of the challenging concrete saucer rarely do.

Hope Bartlett’s GP Sunbeam is the scratch car, car ‘B’ is Don Harkness in ‘Whitey 2’ an Overland. Tony Johns tells us the smokey starter is the NA Palmer, V Spurgeon entered Gordon England ‘Brooklands’ model Austin 7, the meeting date June 19, 1926.

Finito…

(J Dallinger)

Jack Phillips and Ted Parsons looking happy with themselves aboard their Ford V8 Special having won the Interstate Grand Prix at Wirlinga, Albury on 19 March 1938.

The Ford V8 found its way into all kinds of Australian specials both pre and post war, this was one of the most beautifully built and successful of them all. See here for a piece on this race; https://primotipo.com/2019/01/11/interstate-grand-prix-wirlinga-albury-1938/

These two mates were business partners in a motor dealership in Wangaratta which distributed Ford and other brands. I wonder if one of the admiring, capped kids is Jack’s son Ron Phillips who was a star in an Austin Healey 100S and Cooper T38 Jaguar in the mid-fifties to early sixties?

It’s pretty boring writing about familiar stuff, the journey of discovery is far more engaging. I think a lot about racing in the context of the times, how people lived, what they did with their leisure hours but it’s not necessarily easy to find the right photographs.

Not so this time, John J ‘Jack’ Dallinger ran a photography business, which still exists in Albury. Along the way, he and his staff recorded the daily lives of the citizens of the border city and surrounds, I’ve chosen some images of typical life justaposed with racing shots. All of the photographs were taken by Dallinger and his team in Albury in the thirties, unless attributed otherwise.

Locomotive’3623’ leaves Albury Station during the thirties. Obviously some sort of special occasion for the train to be decorated as it is

 

Albury Show wood-chopping competition, takes me back to watching the O’Toole brothers on Channel 7’s Sunday ‘World of Sport’ in the sixties

 

Motorcycle racing blazed the trail for cars in just about every sphere of competition in Australia, speedways included.

This is Aub Boyton aboard a Douglas, perhaps a 500cc DT5 or DT6- Douglas being one of the most popular and successful speedway bikes of the era.

 

 

Jim Boughton, Morgan at Wirlinga in 1938.

A year later this car had morphed into a single-seater in time for the Australian Grand Prix at Lobethal the following January, he failed to finish the race won by Allan Tomlinson’s MG TA Spl s/c. Better still, the Morgan remains extant.

Boating on Lake Hume, 1940s

 

Out and about in an Austin 7, this one is fitted with a James Flood built two seater sports body.

Of all steel and ash construction, the machine used a factory supplied radiator cowling forward of which was a fairing covering dummy dumb irons onto which was painted the registration number. The running gear comprised a production Austin chassis and mechanicals with a raked steering column.

Large flowing wings kept the elements from the occupants. ‘As was fashionable with many Australian models of this period, fixed split front windscreens were mounted on the scuttle with no provision of any weather protection’, many thanks to Tony Johns on this little Austin.

Keen spectators taking a look at competitors in the Wirlinga paddock prior to the 1938 Interstate Grand Prix.

Car #3 is Tim Joshua’s Frazer Nash, not too far from being restored, alongside is former Maroubra ace Hope Bartlett’s MG Q Type and then car #6, the winning Ford V8 Spl of Phillips/Parsons.

Cricket match near Tallangatta

 

Billycart race in Pemberton Street, Albury 1940s.

Too much roll stiffness? is that right front taking some air. I wonder if either of these two young tyros progressed to motorised competition?

I’m sure one of you will be able to help with the Dodge Ute model year, 1930s, i’m also intrigued to know the address of Albury Motors Pty. Ltd.

The CA Williamson Chrysler ahead of G Winton, AC and L Evans Vauxhall, Wirlinga 1938.

 

Waterskiing on Lake Hume

 

Golden Arrow on display in Albury, a bit on the machine here; https://primotipo.com/2019/06/04/wot-the-bloody-ell-is-that/

Bill Boddy, in MotorSport, wrote that after an exhibition tour of Australia the car returned to England, that line is written in such a way which implies the car made the trip here after setting the Land Speed Record at Daytona at 231.446 mph on 13 March 1929. So, its later in 1929, the machine was owned by the Wakefield Company, clearly a lot of Castrol lubricants were sold here at the time.

Sir Henry Segrave was later killed aboard ‘Miss England II’ on 13 June 1930 after raising the Water Speed Record to 98.76 mph at Lake Windemere.

Tony John’s sent in a snippet from the April Fools Day edition of the 1931 ‘Bulletin’. “Drag” wrote ‘It is not often that one finds a car that has travelled 43,000 miles without an overhaul, and a racing car at that…the late Segrave’s Golden Arrow…left England on February 6 for the Buenos Aires exhibition after having made a tour of the Dominions. All its journeying has been done on board a ship, with the result that it has covered, by this means, over 1,000 times the distance it has done under its own power.’

Albury Gift finish 1939

 

‘NBN man’ on the road- make, model and year folks?

Credits…

John J Dallinger, Tony Johns Collection, Terdich Collection-VSCC scanned by Graham Miller and shared by his son David via Tony Johns

Etcetera…

(Terdich Collection via VSCC and Graeme and David Miller)

After upload our friend Tony Johns got in touch with these photos, ‘Having read your post i now understand the origin of these two photos in the Arthur Terdich Collection (winner of 1929 AGP @ Phillip Island). I was not aware the Golden Arrow ever came to Australia’ nor was I.

Some quick work on Trove reveals the car did a comprehensive tour of Australia in April-May 1930 taking in the west, and eastern seaboard, with over 70,000 people reported as seeing the car in Sydney’s showgrounds.

23.9 litre Napier Lion VIIA W-12 engine produced 930bhp @ 3,400rpm. Designed by John Samuel Irving and built at Kenelm Lee Guinness’ Robinhood Engineering Works Ltd, at Putney Vale, in 1928. First run in January 1929, LSR of 231.362mph at Daytona on March 11, 1929.

Terdich was a Melburnian so the above photograph was probably taken at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in the first week of May, ‘Motorclassica’ is held there these days, car shows continue at the marvellous old venue.

Checkout the rare, period cockpit shot of Bluebird below, it is not clear if Bluebird was touring at the same time as Golden Arrow.

‘Not sure that a current F1 driver would have time to read all the instruments’ Tony wryly observes. There are ten gauges to take in whilst travelling over 200mph- tach, petrol, blower (pressure or temps?) , one obscured, a clock!, then to the left are a car club and St Christopher badges?, then an adjustable knob on the chassis rail itself. On the right are axle temp, water, another temp gauge with another two at the bottom, plus Malcolm Campbell Ltd and Blue Bird brass plates.

(Terdich Collection via VSCC and Graeme and David Miller)

Tailpiece: Albury Sports Ground 1930s…

Finito…

 

(B Henderson)

Peter Macrow, McLaren M4A Ford FVA leads Kevin Bartlett, Mildren Alfa Romeo 1.6 four-valve, Glynn Scott, Bowin P3 Ford FVA and Brian Page, Brabham BT2 Ford twin-cam, across The Causeway at Warwick Farm on 8 September 1968.

24,000 people were at the ‘farm that Sunday, Pete Geoghegan delivered to expectations by winning the one race, 34 lap, 76 miles Australian Touring Car Championship from Darrel King’s Cooper S and Alan Hamilton’s just ‘orf the boat Porsche 911S/T. Peter Wherrett’s ‘Racing Car News’ race report reveals one of the best tussles of the day was the 15 lapper for racing cars.

The Four Valve Assemblage was not quite complete, the fourth member of the growing group of 1.6 litre Euro F2 cars in Australia, Niel Allen, didn’t race his ex-Piers Courage McLaren M4A FVA. A bumma, because that would have added to the show.

KB settles himself into the Mildren Alfa, note spoilers, ‘new.uw’ is local 2UW radio station (B Henderson)

 

Lovely portrait of Glynn Scott, Niel Allen is telling Glynn how much more expensive the FVA is to maintain compared with the 5 litre Chev in his Elfin 400…(B Henderson)

Macrow was the ‘newbie’ to the front rank having shown great form in Tony Osborne’s Argo Chev sportscar since taking over its wheel early in the year after Ian Cook accepted Bob Jane’s offer to drive his Elfin 400 Repco and crossed town from Brunswick to East Malvern.

Osborne realised that the limits of the Cooper T53 based Argo had been reached, and acquired Kiwi, Jim Palmer’s McLaren M4A after Allen beat him to the punch to buy Courage’s quick 1968 Tasman mount. Palmer’s car was Bruce McLaren’s own machine, chassis ‘M4A-1’, the first of the breed raced by the chief throughout the 1967 European F2 Championship. Piers was ‘well represented’ on this grid, Glynn Scott’s motor was Courage’ Tasman Cup spare.

Kevin Bartlett was the ace present, but the Mildren Alfa, built on Bob Britton/Rennmax Engineering’s Brabham BT23 jig, was ‘spankers and unsorted. Mildrens dynoed the Alfa Romeo 1.6 litre, four-valve, Spica/Lucas injected engine at 197 bhp @ 8,500 rpm, whereas about 210/215 bhp was claimed for a decent FVA, so it promised to be a good race with Bartlett on pole from Macrow and Scott.

Mildren Alfa, KB. Copy Brabham BT23 spaceframe, Hewland FT200 5-speed transaxle. Alfa Romeo 1598 cc four-valve, alloy block, injected Euro F2 engine. At 280 pounds the Italian engine is lighter than a Lotus-Ford twin-cam? It sits taller in the frame? (B Henderson)

 

Bartlett at the end of Pit Straight turning into Paddock (B Henderson)

 

(B Henderson)

Peter got the jump, which was impressive in Bartlett’s backyard, from KB and Glynn and then a gap to to the 1.5 litre cars led by Brian Page, Brabham BT2 Ford, Clive Millis, Elfin Mono Ford, Maurie Quincey, Elfin 600B Ford, Ray Cary, Elfin Ford and the rest.

On lap 2 KB had a crack at Macrow going into Creek but spun on oil on the inside of the track, KB recovered and chased Peter and Glynn in the spectacular tail-out style which was his hallmark. By lap 8 he was up Glynn’s clacker and passed him but further progress was impeded by the chassis undertray coming loose, Scott took back second place.

Scott chased Macrow hard but the Victorian held on to take the biggest win of his career to that point from Scott and Bartlett, Tony Osbornes’s Argo Racing Equipe delighted with a well earned victory.

Credits…

Bryan Henderson took all the wonderful photographs. ‘Racing Car News’ October 1968

Tailpiece…

(B Henderson)

Nice portrait of 28 years old Kevin Bartlett getting his head sorted on the Warwick Farm dummy grid before the off. It was a great year for the Sydneysider, he won his first Gold Star at the wheel of Mildren’s Brabham BT23D Alfa Tipo 33 2.5 V8.

This chassis did not use the Alfa engine for long, Max Stewart raced it from 1969 fitted with Waggott TC-4V 1600 cc, 1760 cc and 2 litre motors with great success.

Finito…

(Brabham Family)

Brabham’s Cooper T23 Bristol was billed as the fastest car of its type in the world as a Jack’s ongoing development of it with Frank Ashby’s advice and mentoring off to the side.

These images from the Brabham Family Collection were taken at Mount Panorama during the Easter 1954 meeting, the start of the A-Grade scratch race.

Jack’s T23 being tended by Keith Holland in the white overalls and Arthur Gray of Belshaw Foundry in the blazer (Brabham Family)

I’ve done Cooper Bristols and Jack’s T23 chassis ‘CB/1/53’ to death, here; https://primotipo.com/2017/02/24/the-cooper-t23-its-bristolbmw-engine-and-spaceframe-chassis/ and here; https://primotipo.com/2016/06/24/jacks-altona-grand-prix-and-cooper-t23-bristol/

The other two photos are at Mount Druitt, Stephen Dalton reckons June 27 1954 or 8 August 1954, thanks to Stephen and John Medley for photo IDs.

Credits…

Brabham Family Collection, ‘The Jack Brabham Story’ Jack Brabham with Doug Nye, Stephen Dalton, John Medley

Tailpiece…

(Brabham Family)

Finito…

I’ve been lovin’ these S5000 retro F5000 digital imaging of the Ligier JS-F3 S5000 Ford chassis, its been a great way to keep S5000 in the public eye whilst we package up the Covid 19 Dim Sims and send them back to those Wet Market pricks in Choina so we get back to normality.

Finally, they’ve got to Bruce Allison, and what do they dish up? Not the worlds best rip-off of JPS black, but the poofhouse baby-blue hue applied to his Bill Patterson supported Chevron B37 Chev in the summer of ’78. W.T.F. dudes!?

Allison, Chevron B37 Chev, Surfers Paradise 1978, started from the front row but out after 40 laps with lost oil pressure. Brown won in a Lola T333/332 (S5000)

 

Satanic, sinfully sexy black ‘n gold pin-striped Lola T332 Chev @ ‘Torana’ Sandown circa 1976 (I Smith)

My tongue practically stuck to the grass, sick unit that i am, when i spotted Bruce’s favourite (sic) car, the ANF2 Bowin P6 Ford-Hart in the Surfers Paradise paddock so equipped in September 1973. His subsequent Birrana 274, Lola T332 and Ralt RT4 all got a squirt from the same paint can, gold stripes and all, and didn’t they look grouse! Maybe its comin’…

Anyway, its been a while since i had a Brucie Google and some good stuff popped up, shots of the 1978 Aurora British F1 Championship, he initially ran a RAM Racing March 751 Ford but copped a much better March 781 chassis mid-season and achieved some good results including a win at Mallory Park in July, holding out eventual champion, Tony Trimmer, in the process.

This one is rare as rocking horse shite, Allison in Mario Deliotti’s Ensign N175 Ford in practice, he didn’t start the Evening News Trophy at Brands on 27 March which is a pity as he qualified third behind Trimmer and Lees.

Tony Trimmer’s McLaren M23 won from Geoff Lees, Ensign N175 and Emilio Villota’s McLaren M25 Ford.

 

Oulton Park F1 Trophy, held on June 24, March 751 Ford, he qualified fourth and finished second behind Guy Edwards’ March 781 Ford.

 

These two are at Donington during the May 21 ‘Formula 1 Trophy’.

Practice shots, DNF without completing a lap, March 751 Ford, Giancarlo Martini won in a Ensign N175 Ford from Edwards’ March 781 and Bob Evans’ Surtees TS19 Ford.

 

At Mallory on 30 July Bruce put his new March to good use with Trimmer’s McLaren up his chuff for much of the 75 lap race, he finished ahead of Tony and teammate Guy Edwards in the other RAM 781.

Looks like the photographers all share a beer together at the hairpin, Allison from Trimmer.

 

The Brands Hatch Trophy was on August 28, the tenth round, Stephen South stirred things up by popping his March 782 Ford on pole, five cars failed to finish the first lap- South, Teddy Pilette’s BRM P207 (poor bastard), Adrian Russell’s March 762 Ford, Brett Riley’s similar car and Bruce, what happened folks?

The shot below is Bruce and Edwards’ 781s in practice.

 

The Budweiser Trophy at Snetterton on September 24 was the last round of the season, Emilio de Villota McLaren M23 was on pole from Bruce, David Kennedy won in the Theodore Racing Wolf WR3 Ford we saw him race in Australia, from Trimmer and Allison.

The shot below is Allison from Trimmer and one of the Hesketh 308Es.

The title was Trimmers, 50 points ahead of Bob Evans, De Villota, Edwards, Lees and Allison.

Etcetera…

(J Payne)

The first and last of the Allison black beauties.

At Amaroo Park in August 1973 in the ANF2 Bowin P6 Ford-Hart, the rising-rate suspension beauty was not his favourite car, out of the points that weekend, Bruce did far better with a Birrana 274 in 1974.

Having retired too young Allison did a Nellie Melba and contested the first season of Formula Pacific in this Ralt RT4 Ford BDA, winning the 1981 National Panasonic Series, this shot is at Calder in August, he was second and fifth in the two races.

(P Weaver)

Credits…

S5000, autopassion.net, MotorSport, Rich Harman, Ian Smith, Scuderia57, J Payne, Peter Weaver

Tailpiece…

(I Smith)

Love this shot, Bruce tipping the B37 into Shell at Sandown during the 1978 Rothmans round. Grid 5 but DNS with timing chain failure, Warwick Brown’s Lola T333/332 took both the round and the series.

The car did look great in this livery but nowhere near as good as it would have in Allison/JPS black ‘n gold!

Finito…

 

 

 

DB, Brabham BT59 Judd EV V8, AGP 1990 (BA)

It was great to see David Brabham race a Brabham in Adelaide during the 1990 Australian Grand Prix, whilst the BT59 Judd looked the goods it was not a great car, and Brabham was hardly the marque it was during the Brabham/Tauranac and Ecclestone eras.

David qualified 25th and failed to finished after spinning off on lap 19, we saw him again in 1994, when he raced a Simtec S941 Ford HB V8 but that simple car, still fitted with a semi-manual gearbox, remember them, was well and truly under-cooked in amongst the Top-Guns.

And that, sadly, turned out to be the end of David Brabham’s time in Formula 1, mind you, he had a great professional race career inclusive of a 2009 Le Mans win aboard a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP in amongst heaps of sportscar and other victories.

In more recent times, after a legal battle of about a decade, he has gained control of the Brabham name and intellectual property and built the awesome Anglo-Australian Brabham BT62 Ford Hypercar, the first of what will hopefully be a long line of racing and road cars. If ever there was a time for ‘Team Australia’ to climb aboard it is now?

DB, BT62 during the Adelaide Motorsport Festival 2019 (InSydeMedia)

Here is the car during the 2019 Adelaide Motorsport Festival, love the circa 1990 Brabham era livery!

When I think of David Brabham in Adelaide it is the 1987 F1 carnival weekend which sticks in my mind. DB won the 15 lap, ANF2 (1.6 litre, SOHC, two-valve, carbs) one-race Gold Star  Championship event from the back of the grid, finishing ahead of a classy 28 car field including most of the top ten placegetters of the six round Formula 2 Championship which concluded a couple of months before.

In more recent times David has made public his motivation for that great drive. In one of those ‘shit happens’ moments of youth, he had ‘potted’ his girlfriend, and as an expectant father, Jack had given DB the ‘that’s the end of your F1 aspirations’ brush off. #3 son’s drive in Adelaide was an ‘I’ll faaarkin show you mate moment’, and man it was really impressive to watch!

I was rooting for Mark McLaughlin’s Elfin 852 VW as an enthusiast of the marque, and watched with amazement from the East Terrace section of the track as he caught and passed the competition hand over fist. It wasn’t his first race on one of the more technical road courses, Brabham was second in the Formula Ford Championship race the year before, and his Ralt RT30 VW was the right bit of kit, but it was an impressive drive all the same. A portent of what was to come.

DB, Ralt RT30 VW, Adelaide 1987 (driving.co.uk)

 

DB Adelaide 1987 (BA)

 

BT62 launch at the Australian High Commision, London (BA)

Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac would chuckle with delight at the pragmatism of the BT62.  The car bristles with the latest in technology in some ways but beneath the sinfully edgy and sexy aerodynamically efficient carbon fibre and kevlar body delivering 1,600 kg of downforce, lurks a good old fashioned multi-tubular spaceframe chassis and a wonderful 5.4 litre modular Ford V8 modified to Brabham Automotive specifications.

Brabham and Tauranac won a couple of world titles in 1966-1967 with engines of relatively modest technical specifications and were still winning Grands Prix with spaceframes in 1969 when a change to regulations requiring ‘bag’ fuel tanks effectively mandated monocoques in F1.

The poverty pack BT62 is priced at US $975K plus taxes, whereas the ducks guts BT62 ‘Ultimate Track Car’ hits the road at a giddy US $1.3M, only proprietors of Chinese Wet Markets should apply. Seventy cars only will be built at Brabham’s new 15,000 square metre facility, at Edinburgh Parks, within parent company Fusion Capital’s complex.

(BA)

 

(BA)

The Ford ‘Voodoo’ based, Brabham DOHC, four-valve, fuel injected, flat-plane crank 5.4 litre V8 has a bore/stroke of 94 x 97 mm for a capacity of 5,387 cc giving 700 bhp @ 7,400 rpm and 492 lb/ft of torque. This lot hits the road via a six-speed sequential Holinger transaxle. Suspension front and rear is by way of push-rod actuated upper and lower wishbones and coil spring/dampers with adjustable roll bars at both ends. Brakes are carbon/carbon and carbon/ceramic for race/road.

BT62 has enormous, menacing presence, it is 4,460 mm long, 1,950 mm wide, 1,200 mm high and weighs 972 kg with a weight distribution of 41/59% front/rear.

Brabham delivered its first competition BT62 to Horsepower Racing in the UK in May 2019 to contest the Britcar Endurance Championship, in a wonderful start for the machine it won its first race from pole driven by David Brabham and Will Powell at Brands Hatch last November 9. Great stuff!

(BA)

 

(BA)

There is something wonderful about Brabhams being built in Adelaide’s Edinburgh Parks, only a kilometre or so from Holden’s closed Elizabeth factory. The city has a long history of automotive engineering and manufacturing excellence with such famous/prominent companies as Elfin Sports Cars, Clisby Engineering, Birrana Cars, Globe Products, ASP and many others building racing cars and components since the earliest days of motoring in Australia.

Without drawing too long a bow in making an historic connection between Brabham and Adelaide, Clisby Engineering in Prospect manufactured the 1967-1970 30, 40, 50, and 60 series cylinder heads for the range of Repco-Brabham Engines Pty. Ltd. racing V8s, including those used on the ‘740’ engines which won the 1967 world F1 championships.

Ooops, forgot! Jack’s first national championship speedway win was at Kilburn Speedway on 25 February 1949, 9 km from Adelaide’s GPO, so lets take the Adelaide/Brabham connection as a given.

Fusion Capital, the Brabham Automotive parent company, is based in Waymouth Street, Adelaide, they position themselves as ‘a partner of investors and small business’ and operate in three business sectors; advanced manufacturing and renewables, property and private equity.

Brabham Automotive’s brothers in the advanced manufacturing and renewables division are Precision Buses, Precision Components, a manufacturer of pressed metal and fabricated components, and Heliostat, a business which makes heliostats, mirrors which turn to reflect light in solar energy applications.

(BA)

 

(BA)

Hopefully Fusion Capital has a balance sheet of sufficient strength to allow Brabham to complete the construction of the seventy BT62s in their business plan as the first step of a process which will establish the company as a manufacturer of road and racing cars with a return to F1 at some point.

It is amusing to hear of ScoMo’s mob’s recent interest in the manufacturing sector given the final act of automotive sodomy which destroyed the motor industry was performed by Tony Abbott, a knuckle-dragging, towering monument to intellectual and leadership bankruptcy. In truth the seeds of the industries ultimate failure were established at birth, that is, a total lack of Australian ownership and therefore control. Generational management failure, union and head office greed, governments of both stripes applying economic rationalism since 1972 (and I’ll fess up to supporting such policies) without any ‘societal good’ over-ride and our high dollar did the rest.

The ongoing success of Bolwell in Mordialloc, who have navigated the travails of manufacturing in Australia with nimble skill since the sixties, 35 year old (yes!) Borland Racing Developments closeby, Geelong’s ‘Carbon Revolution’ wheel maker, and now Adelaide’s Brabham Automotive give great cause for optimism in the weird world in which we live, long may these enterprises prosper.

(BA)

Etcetera…

(BA)

 

(BA)

 

(BA)

 

(BA)

Credits…

Fairfax, Adelaide GP FB page, driving.co.uk, InSydeMedia, Getty Images, BA-Brabham Automotive, Fusion Capital

Tailpiece…

(BA)

Match race between David Brabham’s BT62 and Matt Hall in a Zivco Edge 540 V3 aircraft, during the Adelaide Motorsports Festival in 2019.

Finito…

(ANU)

Jack Burton aboard his Vauxhall 30-98 in the Gambier Ranges during his 2,889 mile drive across Australia, from Fremantle to Sydney between December 8-14 1923…

He and Bill Bradley were hoping to do the transcontinental journey in five days but a crash in a deep hole in Meningie necessitated repairs which cost the pair twelve hours of valuable time. They still bagged a new record of six days, 15 hours and 57 minutes, 39 hours less than the previous record and in so doing they also set new marks for Fremantle to Adelaide and Fremantle to Melbourne.

The reputation of these mighty Vauxhalls as robust, beautifully built machines was polished yet again, this car had already done over 40,000 miles in previous attempts.

‘Daily Telegraph’ 15 December 1923

Burton was the husband of famous Australian equestrian, Emma Roach, whilst based in Sydney they travelled the continent to agricultural shows where Roach plied her trade whilst Burton worked in car sales and as a motoring writer. Along the way he was involved in a number of record breaking drives in the pioneering days of motoring in this earliest branch of motorsport in Oz. See here for a feature on this important aspect of Australian motoring history; https://primotipo.com/2018/12/21/city-to-city-record-breaking-and-car-trials/

 

Hi-ho Silver, giddy-up (ANU)

Credits…

Sydney Daily Telegraph 15 December 1923, The Mercury, Hobart 15 December 1923, Dunlop, Australian National University

Tailpiece…

(ANU)

Finito…