Posts Tagged ‘Australian Motor Racing History’

Dave Walker in the radical Lotus 56B Pratt & Whitney, 4WD gas turbine powered F1 car during practice for the 1971 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort…

It is just over 50 years since the gritty Aussie raced this radical Lotus – developed and raced at the ’68 Indy 500 then adapted by Chapman and his team for road racin – through the Zandvoort sand dunes.

Perhaps with more practice in the car in advance of the meeting Walker may have made the podium in his famously wet race, instead, he braked too late late and went straight on over the bank behind the pits. He was ok but the car was too badly damaged to continue.

At that point Denis Jenkinson reported that “from the back of the grid he was galloping through the tail enders (armed also with the Firestone wets used by winner Ickx’ Ferrari and the other front-runners), really pleased with the way the smoother torque of the turbine and the 4-wheel drive were dealing with the appalling conditions, and was actually in tenth place at the end of the fifth lap. On the four previous laps he had arrived at the end of the long straight in company with a bunch of cars and they had all braked safely from 150mph, but on lap 5 Walker had gotten away from the others and was on his own and he braked too late, locked up his wheels and went straight on through the fence.”

Jenkinson then goes on to speak about Dave Walker in glowing terms, watch for an article soon.

(autopics.com)

Alec Mildren accepts the plaudits of the crowd after winning the Bathurst 100 Gold Star round over the Easter long weekend in 1960.

He won of the Gold Star rounds in this clever Cooper T51 powered by a 2.5-litre Maserati 250S engine, the story of which is told here; https://primotipo.com/2018/06/08/mildrens-unfair-advantage/

The Elfin 600 has always been a sinfully sexy racing car

Arguably, in F3 form, as here with factory mag alloy wheels, rather than the steel wheels of an FF and devoid of wings this is about as good as they get in terms of purity of line- Brian Sampson eases into Peters/Torana Corner at Sandown in his 600B Toyota circa 1970.

I think of him as a Cheetah man- he and Brian Shead conquered F3/F2 between them for years in Cheetahs built by Shead, and Toyota Corolla 1.3-litre race motors tuned by Sambo’s Motor Improvements concern in St Kilda. See a feature in the current issue of Auto Action on Sampson, Shead and his Cheetah Mk6; AUTO ACTION 1815 – Auto Action

Sampson with a narrow lead from young whipper-snapper John Bowe at Shell Corner, Sandown in 1979- Cheetah Mk6 Toyota and Elfin 792 VW during the ANF2 1.6 pushrod/single SOHC days (B Jones Collection)

Brian was handy in anything mind you, he had a long history in touring cars and sportscars before he added open-wheelers to his diet at a time he and Shead had Toyota factory support- remember Sampson’s Celica, which he still has. Oh- he did win Bathurst co-driving with Brocky aboard an L34 Torana in 1975.

Sampson has had the VHT franchise in Australia since JC was playing for the Jerusalem thirds. A nice giving back touch is he and Brendan Jones S5000 Series support- great stuff boys.

(S5000)

(A Patterson)

Two eight-cylinder specials front and centre in the Victor Harbor paddock during the 26 December, 1936 Australian Grand Prix.

Car #7 is the WA McIntyre owned, Frank Kleinig driven McIntyre Hudson Spl, DNF and #6 Ossie Cranston’s sixth placed Ford V8 Spl- look at the stylised V8 on the tale of that handsome car. Car #9 is Arthur Terdich’s eleventh placed Bugatti T37A and #12 alongside is George Smith’s Austin 7, DNF.

By the look of the size of the crowd it’s raceday, the handicap event was won by Les Murphy’s MG P Type from Tim Joshua’s similar car Bob Lea-Wright’s Terraplane Special.

Click here for a feature on this race; https://primotipo.com/2015/08/27/south-australian-centenary-grand-prix-26-december-1936-aka-1937-australian-grand-prix/ and here for the stupidity surrounding the naming of the event; https://primotipo.com/2017/04/14/1936-australian-grand-prix-victor-harbour/

The shot below is of the very versatile McIntyre which did trials, hillclimbs, sprints and races of all types including the AGP. It is, happily, still with us in relaxed retirement in the Birdwood Mill museum in the Adelaide Hills.

(A Patterson)

(Hartnett Family Collection)

John Ampt and crew considering the next change to to the wonderful Cooper T38 Jaguar in the Mount Panorama pits in 196?

This car had a wonderful in-period history with Peter Whitehead in Europe inclusive of Le Mans in 1955 before passing through Stan Jones hands in early 1956 before finding plenty of success with Wangaratta’s Ron Phillips, who won the 1959 Australian Tourist Trophy at Lowood in it, before it passed to Ampt and more success.

You can see the old jigger is looking a bit tired in the body but for much of its life in Australia it had been beautifully prepared by Ern Seeliger. I wrote a lengthy feature in Auto Action #1812 AUTO ACTION 1812 – Auto Action

Ampt is still alive and well, on his farm at Rainbow in Victoria, although these days two brothers work the property.

(S5000)

Warwick Brown became an F5000 stalwart.

He raced a Brabham and McLaren before graduating to the ex-Alan Hamilton McLaren M10B in 1972, then raced ‘all of the Lolas from T300 to T333’ (all but the T330 and T400 anyway) in a career which yielded much success in Australasia and in the US. From 1977 onwards he raced F5000 ‘in drag’ – central seat 5-litre Can-Am cars.

The shot above is in the Sandown pitlane in 1977 aboard the Team VDS T430 Chev, he boofed it on the warm-up lap but won the Rothmans series, the one below is the following year in a T333/332C Chev. He won this race, one of all four rounds of the Rothmans International he took that summer.

More about WB here; ‘WB for ’73’… | primotipo…

(S5000)

(J Wakely)

Glorious ‘As it Was’ shot of the ‘Boomerang Service Station’ Holden 48-215 raced by Spencer Martin outside the Colonial Motel, Katoomba in Sydney’s Blue Mountains.

It’s during a Catalina Park meeting in 1963, Spencer made his name with some amazing performances in this car, he was picked up by Scuderia Veloce’s David McKay not too long after this. Spencer progressed with McKay’s Brabhams and Ferrari 250LM, but it was with the Bob Jane owned ex-McKay Brabham BT11A Climax that Spencer won his two Gold Stars, then promptly retired.

Spencer’s not long ago released book is worth a read. See here for a feature on Martin; Spencer Martin: Australian ‘Gold Star’ Champion 1966/7… | primotipo…

(Cummins Archive)

Most of us think of Bryan Thomson as a touring car/sports sedan racer but here he is in the early open-wheeler phase of his long career in a Cooper T51 Climax at Hume Weir on Boxing Day 1962.

His penchant for innovation was on show early in his career too – remember the Chev F5000 engined Volksrolet and four-valve Chev V8 he and Peter Fowler developed in the mid-seventies – the 2.5-litre Coventry Climax FPF engine in a car which was a little dated was supercharged, giving the machine a new lease of life.

Behind him is Wally Mitchell in Brabham Numero-Uno, the ex-Gavin Youl MRD Ford, see here for a piece on car and driver; Merde… | primotipo…

(Cummins Archive)

(G Thomas)

Bib Stillwell with a big smile on his face at Rob Roy on April 20, 1947, MG Magna.

The exhaust system looks impressive, sorta, but I wonder if it cost or enhanced power? At 20 years old Bib is just starting out on a career which took him all the way to the top of Australian motor racing and equal to all of the internationals other than The Gods.

See here; Bib Stillwell: Cooper T49 ‘Monaco’: Warwick Farm, Sydney December 1961… | primotipo… and here; Stillwell’s D Type… | primotipo…

(I Smith)

Ian Smith is a Melbourne photographer who went to Sydney and found an unusual angle on a circuit not noted for atmosphere shots.

As to the cars- a Lola T330 or T332 at left and an Elfin MR5 or Chevron B24 circa 1974. The F5000s are coming off The Dogleg with the Energol spectator mound beyond.

(R Page)

Bob Tanner in his VW ‘Bed Base’ at Lakeview Hillclimb, the Canberra Car Club’s venue in the mid sixties.

Can anybody tell us a bit more about this car?

Larry Perkins from Keke Rosberg, Ralt RT1 and Chevron B45 coming onto Pit Straight at Bay Park, New Zealand in 1978.

Perkins drove the wheels off this self-run Graham Watson/David McKay owned car, but the ex-F1 driver was bested by F1 aspirant Rosberg who won the series in his much better supported Fred Opert ‘works’ car. Click here; Keke Rosberg Attacks the Pukekohe Chicane, New Zealand Grand Prix, January 1978… | primotipo…

Many top young drivers contested the NZ Pacific Series, the 1978 crop included Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, David Oxton, Ken Smith, Richard Melville, Dave McMillan, Steve Millen, Andrew Miedecke and others.

(D Foster)

John French’ Centaur Holden-Waggott at Lakeside on the July 8, 1962 weekend.

A couple of great shots of the very clever Tim Harlock built car powered by the equally clever Merv Waggott built twin-cam, triple Weber Holden 200bhp, 3-litre ‘Grey’ six cylinder engine. See the Waggott-Holden bit within this piece; Repco Holden F5000 V8… | primotipo…

On this weekend the talented Queenslander won the 100 mile, 50 lap Australian GT Championship.

(D Foster)

(R Reid Collection)

Start of the 1958 Australian Grand Prix at Mount Panorama that October 6.

Stan Jones, Ted Gray and Lex Davison- Maserati 250F, Tornado 2 Chev and Ferrari 500/625 and then the Alec Mildren, Cooper T43 Climax and Kiwi, Tom Clark, Ferrari 555 Super Squalo.

(R Reid Collection)

Any of Jones, Gray and Davison had the speed to win but Davo had the reliability, and, perhaps the patience. Stan dropped a valve after 7 laps of clutch-less gear-changes (above) and Ted pushed too hard after a botched fuel stop, boofing a fence.

It was one of the great AGPs, happy Lex takes the flag to win his third of four AGPs, see here; 1958 Australian Grand Prix, Bathurst… | primotipo…

(S5000)

Bob Jane grabs a breath of air aboard his Elfin 400 Repco ‘620’ 4.4 litre V8 during 1967.

A mighty fine car with a somewhat chequered history, stories about the Elfin 400 and its design are here; Elfin 400/Traco Olds: Frank Matich, Niel Allen and Garrie Cooper… | primotipo…

and about Bob’s car in particular here; Belle of The Ball… | primotipo…

Mark Webber aboard his Red Bull RB3 Renault during the 2007 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

105,000 Australians were keen for a home win but Kimi Raikkonen started from pole in his Ferrari F2007 and won the race at the start of his championship season, Webber Q7 and 13th. A bit about Red Bull and Webber here; Mark Webber: Red Bull RB6 Renault: Singapore Grand Prix 2010… | primotipo…

(AN1Images.com)

‘Yer not takin’ the Kingswood…

But apparently so, Ted Bullpitt would not be best pleased.

Colin Bond flinging around this HQ Holden Kingswood, Holden’s iconic four door family car of the early seventies. Any idea of the gig folks?

Stan Jones at his exuberant best on the streets of Sydney.

Stan The Man is both trying to stay in the seat of Maybach 1 and control its slide at Parramatta Park in 1952- isn’t it a corker of a shot and rare for the period, colour?

And below in the paddock with Reg Robbins leaning on the cockpit. See here for a feature on Jones, with plenty on the Maybachs; Stan Jones: Australian and New Zealand Grand Prix and Gold Star Winner… | primotipo…

(J Mangano)

Tim Mayer with his Bruce McLaren Racing Cooper T70 Climax during the Lakeside 99 Tasman Cup meeting in February 1964.

There is a certain poignancy in this shot- probably a press one taken in the lead up to the race.

The young American had the world at his feet, he had impressed all of those who mattered on that tour with his driving of what were the fastest road-racing single-seaters in the world, and also his demeanour.

Sadly, he made a mistake at Longford a fortnight later and lost his life- a bright light extinguished way before time. See here for a lengthy feature; Tim Mayer: What Might Have Been?… | primotipo…

(S Griffiths)

This shot of the Porsche 550 Spyder has a great moody quality about it taken as it was, late in the day.

Its the Templestowe Hillclimb in Victoria’s outer eastern suburbs in 1963, see here; Hamilton’s Porsche 550 Spyder… | primotipo…

(Brabham Family)

Matt Brabham did two Indycar events in a Dallara Chev in 2016; the Indianapolis Grand Prix, as shown here and the Indy 500 during May.

He was 16th on the road course and thirtieth in the Memorial Day classic.

His father, Geoff Brabham and grandfather Jack ran at Indy many times. Jack’s most important start was his first of course. His Cooper T54 Climax FPF 2.7 finished ninth and showed the Indy establishment the mid-engined path; Jack’s Indy Cooper T54 Climax… | primotipo…

(Indy Museum’

Jack and Geoff Brabham before Geoff’s first Indy 500 start in 1981- twenty years after Jack’s Brickyard debut in a nice bit of symmetry. GB’s car is a Penske PC9 Cosworth, was fifth in the race won by Bobby Unser’s Penske.

(AMS)

An ‘Australian Motor Sports’ Ferodo ad- car featured a circa 1951  HRG ‘Bathurst’ perhaps.

Credits…

B Cahier, Getty Images, Adrian Patterson Collection, Joel Wakely, Brendan Jones Collection, George Thomas via Richard Townley Collection, Ron Page, Terry Marshall, Darren Foster, Ron Reid Collection, John Mangano, AN1Images.com, Stan Griffiths, Brabham Family Collection, Indianapolis Motor Museum

Tailpiece…

The start of the 1975 Australian Grand Prix at Surfers Paradise.

The challenge of driving a 500bhp F5000 car in the teeming rain does not require much imagination, 11 F5000s started the race, and three ANF2.

Bruce Allison started from pole but was outed by ignition dramas, for a while it looked as though John Leffler’s Bowin P8 Chev may take the chequered flag but the Sydneysider’s electrics were drowned too, Max Stewart took top honours in his Lola T400 Chev.

Finito…

(D Cooper)

What a cracker of a shot, Symmons Plains Sweeper…

Peter Brock’s Holden Torana GTR-XU1 from Bob Jane’s similar car and Allan Moffat’s Ford Falcon GT351 Hardtop at Symmons Plains during the first 1974 Australian Touring Car Championship round on March 4.

Brock won from Moffat with Tim Smith third in another XU1- Bob was fifth.

Credits…

Dennis Cooper

Tailpiece…

(D Cooper)

Brock won five of the eight ATCC rounds and the title that year with Bob Morris second in an XU1 and Moffat third. It appears Brocks’ door has been given the short back ‘n sides by somebody.

Finito…

(B Thomas)

Kevin Bartlett delicately slides his way around Lakeside’s Eastern Loop during the 13 February 1967 ‘Lakeside 99’ Tasman round, Brabham BT11A Climax 2.5 FPF…

KB posted it on his Facebook page and unsurprisingly cites it as one of his favourite photos of the Alec Mildren owned car which was particularly kind to him. You might say it was the chassis in which he made his name at the top level, if not the car which won him titles.

That weekend he was fifth, second of the Climax engined cars home, and first Australian resident behind his teammate Frank Gardner who raced an F2 based Brabham BT16 FPF to third. Jim Clark won from Jack Brabham in Lotus 33 Climax FWMV V8 2 litre and Brabham BT23A Repco V8 ‘640’ 2.5, with Denny Hulme fourth in another Repco engined Brabham, a BT22.

Clark and Stewart tussled early but both P261 BRM’s driven by the Scot, and Piers Courage were outted by transmission failures, the bete-noire of the BRMs that Tasman squeezed to 2.1-litres as the little V8’s were.

In part the beauty of the shot is the bucolic background, devoid as it is of signage and spectators or their cars- it’s practice no doubt.

I’ve waxed lyrical about Bartlett’s skills here in the Mildren Alfa’s, https://primotipo.com/2014/11/27/the-master-of-opposite-lock-kevin-bartlett-alfa-romeo-gta/, here in the McLaren M10B, https://primotipo.com/2014/11/18/my-first-race-meeting-sandown-tasman-f5000-1972-bartlett-lola-and-raquel/ and perhaps most relevantly here about the Brabham BT11A, https://primotipo.com/2018/04/27/kbs-first-bathurst-100mph-lap/

Credit…

Brier Thomas perhaps, none of us are sure. Bruce Wells, Warwick Farm Facebook page

Tailpiece…

(B Wells)

In similar fashion to the shot above but a week later at Warwick Farm’s Esses during the AGP weekend. Sixth in that  race was a great result for the Sydneysider with a broken front roll bar and a gear-lever sans knob. Stewart’s BRM P261 won from Clark and Gardner.

Postscript: The Maestro didn’t always geddit right…

(WFFB)

Warwick Farm 1967 Tasman round practice- magic car and driver.

Finito…

I’ve done this car to death of course, but each time it’s offered for sale the vendor unveils a few more shots, Bonhams are the source of this lot. Shared here coz they are too interesting to waste.

Geordie Anderson checks that her Dunlops are attached securely before the off, XKD526 circa 1956.

The on-circuit shots are at Lowood, and appear to be Ms Anderson too, happy to take your advice as to the meeting date. From memory it will be early after the cars arrival, once Bill Pitt got his hands on it, he kept it to himself. I would have done the same.

See 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/

Credits…

Bonhams

Tailpiece…

XKD526 during its Appendix K GT days at Warwick Farm circa 1961/2.

As ugly as it is, the conversion from curvaceous sporty to fugly coupe is still one of the better ones of that era.

Finito…

(NAA)

A burly Aussie bloke prepares his model car for a race at the Victorian Model Race Car Club (VMRCC) meeting, Como Park, South Yarra, 1945.

I can find no record of the 1945 meeting, but in 1951 Lee Marget’s 10cc model did better than 100mph over a quarter-mile. Not so sure how my near neighbours in South Yarra would feel about motor racing in their twee-suburb now, olde bean…

The VMRCC had classes for cars, the length of which varied from 10 to 18 inches. Proto were the biggest and fastest, then Proto-Spur, Spur and Might. Proto’s did better than 100mph, the tiny-Might about 70mph.

All were powered by 10cc two-stroke engines fed by a methanol/castor oil brew. Fitted with torch-batteries “The batteries are charged on high-speed rollers, and the cars are then attached to a cable, which revolves around a pole in the centre of the track, and are started by pushing them with a pole for a quarter lap or so.”

“The cars quickly gather speed…when maximum speed is attained…the operator signals the timekeeper to start timing…A midget is timed over 6-laps, 440 yards, and is then stopped by the operator tripping a lever,”

In November 1950 the lap record was held by ‘Juan-Manuel’ Bailem of Maribynong at 116mph.

Clubs then were operating in South Yarra, Maribynong, Geelong and Cowra NSW, as well as clubs in South Australia and Queensland. Some club members imported their racers but most were home-built.

I’ll bet it was fun until CAMS got involved…

Credits…

National Archives of Australia-Sketching naval life: the war art of Rex Julius, Trove,

Tailpiece…

(NAA-R Julius)

W.R.A.N (Womens Royal Austraian Navy) driver standing by her ute (brand folks?) at HMAS Rushcutter, April 2, 1944. Why this? Just coz…

Able Seaman Rex Julius enlisted in 1940, he trained in submarine detection, but when the higher-ups became aware of his pre-war career as a commercial artist, he was appointed an official war artist for the Royal Australian Navy in 1944.

He died of a throat abscess and gangrene in New Guinea the same year – great shame, he was a talented man.

The sketch above is one he made of activity around the naval base, HMAS Rushcutter, Sydney Harbour.

(NAA-R Julius)

This one has a particular resonance. While the blokes have a swim off the side of HMAS Lithgow, on the way to Milne Bay, New Guinea in 1944, “One rating sits under the motor boat with a Tommie Gun in case of sharks.” Only ‘in’ Australia!

Finito…

(Tony Johns-SLV)

Former Austin 7 racer and Bentley historian Tony Johns is a regular visitor to the Victorian State Library, there, he browses newspapers and magazines for Austin 7 and Bentley history. If he comes upon things of interest in the writer’s realm, which is mostly to do with Bugattis, he kindly forwards them.

We are aware that pioneering Bugatti motorist and racer Jack Day made superchargers, but have not previously seen an image of one, let alone the object itself. This despite having owned two of the cars that were one-time fitted with JADAY blowers. We knew that they were of a Roots pattern, but little more, other than that Jack made them in his Ajax Pump factory in South Melbourne.

The cover of The Car magazine for October, 1932 above shows the JADAY supercharger in all its glory, as well as its side-draft Solex carburettor, bolted directly to the blower.

Just call M 2425 and ask for Jack and you can have one for 22 pounds, 10 shillings (Tony Johns-SLV)

John Albert Day of Melbourne was a well-known racing car driver in the twenties, thirties and forties.

Like so many others of the period, he had success on push bikes before taking to four wheels. His first job had been delivering hats on a bicycle when he was 10 years old – suggesting an early entrepreneurial bent. It is not known whether he was related to Syd Day, a pioneering motorist who competed in the Sydney to Melbourne Dunlop Reliability trial of 1905.

Our first record of him in a motoring event is in 1923 when he drove a 2.3-litre SCAT in a Hill Driving Contest at Greensborough. In 1924 he drove a 1100cc Salmson at Malpas Hill, 17 miles North of Melbourne. This event famously crossed the Hume Highway; traffic being stopped for each run.

At a later Malpas hill climb he drove an Alvis which was also driven in the ladies contest by L. Day. Mrs Day took part in the 1927 Alpine trial in a Riley ‘9’.

Jack Day at the wheel of his Type 37, 37145 (Bob King Collection)

His first appearance in a Bugatti was in May 1927 when he ran at rural, and nor urban Melbourne, Wheelers Hill.

His 11/2 litre unsupercharged Type 37, chassis number 37145, had been delivered new to Melbourne less than a year before, having been sold via the Bugatti agent Sporting Cars to one of its directors T.E. Barnett for his son Dudley. Later that year the car was owned by Lyster Jackson who, plagued by misfiring, was all too ready to on-sell it. According to Jack in a recorded interview, he bought it when Lyster and he were contesting a hill climb at Lorne as part of the Victorian Light Car Club’s Dependability Trial in October, 1926.

Jack: “Lyster revved and revved and revved, on only about 11/2 cylinders, and I said to him: ‘That will never get up the hill’ and he said, ‘I’ll beat you up.’ So, I had a big-port Alvis, and of course I took the hillclimb away from him”. Lyster said he would sell it and Jack “bought it on the spot.” Jack cured the misfiring by making “special KLG’s” in which he removed the negative electrode, substituting it with platinum “only the thickness of a pin.”

37145 when owned by Dudley Barnett as a new car (Bob King Collection)

Jack entered his now reliable Bugatti in the 1928 100 mile AGP at Phillip Island. He was one of the favourites for the race having won a half mile speed trial in lieu of the rain-postponed race at 84mph.

Unfortunately, early in the race he lost his way in the dust, shooting through a fence and taking considerable time to regain the track. Although noted to be travelling at great speed, he would have been disappointed to finish in sixth place, some 10 minutes behind the winning Austin ‘7’ of Arthur Waite.

A clear demonstration of the dust encountered during the 1928 AGP at Phillip Island – was this the moment Jack ‘lost his way’ (Bob King Collection)

Seeking improved performance, in late 1931, Jack supercharged it with a JADAY supercharger driven from the nose of the crankshaft by a shaft that protruded through the lower part of the radiator.

We have not seen a photograph of this installation, but the blower must have been supported between the dumb irons; the radiator having a piece cut out of the bottom of the core through which the drive-shaft passed.

This radiator with a patch over the blower drive-shaft hole, subsequently found its way on to its sister Type 37,37146, subsequently leading to misidentification of these consecutively numbered cars.

Post-war sister car 37146 was campaigned vigorously by Herb Ford. In this shot taken at Rob Roy, the blower drive cut-out in the radiator can be seen – the radiator had been swapped from 37145 (Bob King Collection)

Jack’s second foray into Bugatti supercharging was with the 1931 Australian Grand Prix winning Type 39, 4607 which he bought in 1933.

The Type 39 was a 1 1/2 litre, normally aspirated straight-eight. He again drove the supercharger from the nose of the crankshaft by means of a long, tapered extension. This shaft remains in the care of the writer – it is his favourite large punch. Jack was not known for his finesse, and this is corroborated by the finish of said shaft, the forward end of which is crudely hack-sawed most of the way through, the last part being snapped-off, leaving a ragged end.

We are unaware of what modifications may have been made to the radiator as this item disappeared after many years fitted to a Brescia Bugatti in lieu of its normal pear-shaped radiator. As the JADAY blown Type 37 and 39 seemed to see very little service, it might be concluded that the modifications were not entirely satisfactory. Could Jack have miscalculated the volume of the necessarily long inlet tract, leading to an unsatisfactory performance?

Day at Phillip Island for the Jubilee Handicap, May 6, 1935 in the Type 39 (Bob King Collection)

As to other JADAY supercharger installations, we have little knowledge. It is possible that one of Jack’s superchargers was fitted to his AL3 Lombard, and it is rumoured that he was involved with the Cozette supercharging of another Lombard AL3 then owned by W.H. Lowe who was the importer of these delightful, petite, 1100cc twin-cam cars.

The patterns for the beautiful finned inlet manifold of this car were certainly of local manufacture – they survived until relatively recent times. Lowe later made his name as the first licenced Ferrari agent outside Italy.

Bill Lowe in his Lombard at Rob Roy just one week after the Black Friday Bushfires, January 30, 1939 (Spencer Wills)

One last twist in the tail of JADAY superchargers brings us to the early post-war WWII years. Jack Day and Norman Hamilton, also a racing driver and a subsequent Porsche importer, investigated the possibility of adapting their turbine technology for one of the worlds great engineering projects, the nascent Snowy Mountain scheme.

With this in mind, Norman and Jack visited Switzerland to study hydro-electric schemes in 1951. During the course of this visit, Norman’s rented Oldsmobile was rounded up by a low slung, silver missile on the Grossglockner Pass. They came upon car and driver; racing driver and motoring journalist Richard von Frankenberg and his car, a prototype Porsche further up the road at an Inn.

After discussion and inspection of the car, the entrepreneurial Hamilton followed Von Frankenberg back through the Alps to the factory. After a tour of the facilities and a meeting with Ferry Porsche, Hamilton walked away with a hand-shake deal for the Porsche commercial rights in Australia and New Zealand. This led to Hamilton’s being only the second foreign Porsche agents outside Germany (Max Hoffman in the US was the first), somewhat in synchrony with the history of Lowe’s Ferrari dealership.

Ken Harper and Norman Hamilton, Porsche 356 Coupe, prior to the 1953 Redex Trial (PCA)

This was not, however, the end of the Jack Day story. His next modification to the Type 39 Bugatti was much more radical – he removed the fragile Bugatti engine, substituting it with a Ford V8, the first of many Australian specials thus powered.

The success of this car pioneered the ‘quick-fix’ for tired European racing cars – take out the sophisticated aluminium and steel machinery and substitute American black iron.

Jack and his collaborator Reg Nutt had many successes with the car in this form, including ftd at Mitcham and Rob Roy hill climbs (Day). Post-war the car went on many more successes in the hands of the legendary Jack ‘Gelignite’ Murray.

Meanwhile Day reverted to his passion for complicated European machines, importing one of the 1927 Grand Prix Talbot Darracq (a 1500cc straight eight supercharged jewel) in which he shared driving duties with Reg Nutt.

(Bob King Collection)

The Day Special mocked up during the construction phase.

(Bob King Collection)

The ‘Day’ was often driven by Reg Nutt. Here he is seen in action at Lobethal during 1938 South Australian Grand Prix.

(unattributed )

Jack Murray is seen here, on the inside, battling it out with Jack Brabham’s Cooper T23 Bristol in the Day Special at Mount Druitt.

(Bob King Collection)

Reg Nutt aboard the Talbot Darracq TD700 at Fishermans Bend.

(unattributed)

Jack , in his later years in his Jaguar XK120. He was a founding member of the Victorian Light Car Club (later LCCA), and a life member of the RACV. He died in 1975, aged 86.

Credits…

Bob King and his archive, Tony Johns and his archive, Spencer Wills, Porsche Cars Australia

Finito…

(G Wiseman Collection)

Stan Jones’ Maserati 250F chasing Len Lukey’s Cooper T45 Climax 2-litre FPF through Tannery Corner during the March 1959 Australian Grand Prix at Longford.

Geoff Wiseman uploaded onto social-media this wonderful colour shot from a spot not often used by the pro-snappers. It is a decent walk from Longford village to Tannery. Isn’t it a beauty?

That’s the race for the lead folks – a battle of old vs new technology, thankfully for we Stan-Fans, the tough-nugget from Warrandyte prevailed- Jones it was from Lukey.

Check it out in this piece here; https://primotipo.com/2016/01/08/stan-jones-agp-longford-gold-star-series-1959/

The short straight leads to the quick left-hander onto Long Bridge.

(G Wiseman Collection)

This time I’ve cropped the shot a bit. I love the way the photographer has framed the action between the spectators, makes you feel kinda-like you were there.

Etcetera…

If I had known the Lukey/Jones shot was going to be posted when I was at Longford in January and March I would have taken a one from exactly the same locale, but I didn’t!

What I can offer are three shots of a planned, but not yet written, modern ‘drivers eye lap of Longford’.

The first above is about halfway along Tannery Straight – towards the corner above, our feature shots. That’s the old Tannery building on the left, these days a lovely home or accommodation.

Jones would have whistled through this flat-biccie right-kink – yes, there is a kink none of the published maps show – at about 160mph.

By this point he has been in top-gear for a long while, Pub Corner is way, way back behind us. Amongst its many tests, Longford had two, long, top-revs throttle openings. The Flying Mile on Pateena Road is the other.

The next one is very deep into the Tannery braking area.

The corner (right) would have been taken in second gear (of five), I’m guessing a corner speed of 50-60mph. He isn’t quite turning in yet, but would be finishing his final shift and having a glance in the mirror, perhaps, before initiating the turn.

The final one is immediately after exiting Tannery – the straight leads to the now non-existent Long Bridge .

The location of the farmers gate is about where Len Lukey is in our first shot. There is a stile to the right so you can easily enter the property and walk up 400-500 metres to the River Esk waters edge.

I don’t think Jones would approach the following left hander before Long Bridge in top, but mighty quick in fourth.

Credits…

Geoff Wiseman, Mark Bisset

Finito…

(HRCCT)

Greg Cusack exits Newry Corner, Scuderia Veloce Brabham BT6 Lotus-Ford Twin-cam, South Pacific Trophy, Longford, 2 March 1964…

Cusack was the second ANF1.5 car home in the Tasman round, Frank Gardner was ten seconds up the road in Alec Mildren’s similar Brabham- it was a good showing and indicative of his pace.

I wrote an article about the ANF 1.5 class a while back, see here; https://primotipo.com/2019/09/13/anf-1-5-litre/

(HRCCT)

In a successful weekend for Scuderia Veloce, Graham Hill won the Tasman race in the teams Brabham BT4 Climax IC-1-62 which is shown relaxing in the paddock at left alongside Greg’s BT6 FJ-15-63.

And don’t they look pretty, in fact quite a few of you will be salivating about the ‘Rice’ Trailer too, what about the tow car, wotizzit?

Brabhams galore; Brabham’s BT7A, Hill’s winning BT4 and Matich’ third placed BT7A, all Coventry Climax 2.5FPF powered (unattributed)

IC-1-62 is quite a significant car commercially in the Brabham pantheon. It was Ron Tauranac’s first ‘Intercontinental’ (‘IC’) design which was derived from the F1 BT3 Coventry Climax FWMV.

Built for Jack’s 1962 AGP appearance at Caversham, outside Perth – Brabham led until he and Arnold Glass tripped over each other, the fault more Glass’ than Brabham’s- racing it throughout that summer in Australasia before sale to David McKay, and later Kerry Grant in New Zealand, and then later still to John McCormack in Tasmania on his racing ascent. A UK consortium owned it in 2017.

The point is that the Intercontinental BT4, BT7A and BT11A’s were all ripper cars as race winning tools, and important commercially for the nascent Motor Racing Developments Ltd coz they sold plenty of them, it all started with IC-1-62.

Intercontinental Brabhams here; https://primotipo.com/2018/07/20/matich-stillwell-brabhams-warwick-farm-sydney-december-1963/

(oldracephotos.com/Smith)

The laurel wreath atop the Hill Brabham proves just what a good weekend they had…

Whose red Jaguar? is that on the transporter behind?

Etcetera…

(D Williams)

The boss awaits his driver- David McKay at far right in the Warwick Farm dummy grid area during the 1964 Warwick Farm 100 meeting. Jack Brabham (I think) offers advice.

Graham Hill had two very happy seasons in Scuderia Veloce Brabham Climaxes. He won one Tasman Cup round in 1964 and 1965. McKay tends to Hill while lanky Spencer Martin stands by the left-rear, Warwick Farm 1964.

Credits…

Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania, oldracephotos.com, Dennis Williams

Finito…

Glyn Scott supervises Leo Geoghegan who is about to have a guest steer of Glyn’s P3 at Oran Park in 1968 (Bowin Cars)

When Bowin founder, John Joyce returned to Australia after a four year stint working for Lotus Components, he built this Bowin – P3-101-68 for Glyn Scott.

Scott raced the 1.6-litre Ford FVA engined car from July 1968 until May 1970, he then ran an Elfin 600 until his untimely, sad death. See here for a story on Glyn; https://primotipo.com/2020/07/24/glyn-scott/

This article is intended to be read in conjunction with my feature about Joyce’s early Bowin years including construction of three P3s published in this fortnight’s Auto Action #1810, published May 6-19, 2021. Click here to buy it; https://autoaction.com.au/issues/auto-action-1810

Editor Bruce Williams will pickle my testicles if I cut-his-lunch. This piece uses extra material relating to Bowin #1 we couldn’t fit in the more general 2,000 word AA piece. Much of the information was provided by Adelaide’s Ian Peters who has owned this marvellous car since 1983.

Merv Waggott engines were very successful in 1969. Glyn Scott had seen first-hand just how potent and reliable they were chasing Max Stewart’s 1.6-litre powered Mildren Waggott, so he ordered a 2-litre TC-4V for his new Elfin 600.

He and Norm Mellor removed the ex-Piers Courage Ford FVA #7044 and FT200 Hewland transaxle from the Bowin and installed them in Glyn’s Lotus 23B. The extra 30bhp or so over and above that of the Lotus-Ford twin-cam fitted to the 23B gave that old beast a useful performance kicker.

P3-101-68 was sold as a roller to Edward Scauster of Annerley, Queensland a fortnight before Glyn’s death – and from him to Wayne Newton in Sydney’s Pennant Hills that October 1970.

Rebuilt as an ANF3 car, he raced it for three years before selling to Taren Points John Crouchley, he raced it for a further two years before moving it on to Burwood Auto Electrics – still in Sydney.

They only hung onto it for a couple of months before P3 became a South Australian in October 1975 – it has resided there ever since. D Manfield of Brooklyn Park raced it for a couple of years, then Home Autotune Services in Prospect from March 1978.

When Ian Peters acquired it the car was fitted with one of Brian Sampson’s Motor Improvements prepared Toyota Corolla F3 engines – one of the top-gun choices during the 1.3-litre F3 days.

P3-101-68 in Burwood Auto Electrics ANF guise (I Peters)
P3-101-68 in Adelaide as purchased by Peters at auction in 1983 (I Peters)

The car wasn’t butchered too much along the way albeit the bodywork was modernised and a rear wing added in the quest for speed.

The nose looks a bit Cheetah Mk6 but is not, the rear wing in its final yellow livery is Birrana 274.

By then the distinctive four-spoke Bowin mag-alloys were gone but “the quality of the car shone through just looking at the beautifully made aluminium tub” recalls Peters after first spotting it amongst the road cars in Kearns Auctions, Prospect, showrooms.

“There was no interest, it needed a lot of work, I bought it well. I didn’t have much money at the time so it was a great project where I could add some value and learn along the way. I’d been club racing a Lotus Elan and a Seven and wanted to get into a racing car.”

“I pulled it down and worked out what I had. The plan was to restore it as an historic Group O car. CAMS were a bit more accommodating then, I was allowed to build it with a Lotus-Ford twin-cam even though P3-101-68 hadn’t raced as such, but Ian Fergusson’s P3 had.”

“It had a four-speed VW box, the wrong wheels and body. The driveshafts with donuts had been replaced by whoofing-big Hooke-type joints. The suspension was original but brutalised, the rear cast uprights were good – the oil tanks were gone and tough to recreate.”

“I got in touch with John Joyce at Bowins, he was delighted the first Bowin was being made-good. I soon had drawings on the way and a body being made by GS Motor Bodies in Brookvale, who had made them in the day. Magnesium technologies cast some new wheels”

“After Glyn’s death, the Lotus 23B, still with Ford FVA fitted, was sold to Alan Ling and Bruce Gowans in Tasmania for Bruce to drive. They later fitted a Waggott engine, in that deal the FVA was traded to Paul England Engineering in Melbourne. My research ended when I discovered the engine had been fitted in a speedboat which sank, the engine was not recovered!”

“The FT200 gearbox was sold at the same time as the engine – it ended up in one of Peter Turnham’s Turnham sporties in Tasmania.”

“I wanted to fit an FVA but they were hugely expensive, so I gradually began buying bits from about 2007, whenever I saw them advertised or had a lead. I sold the MI Corolla motor and bought the Lotus twin-cam from Bob Holden in Sydney. He claimed it was one of his ex-Bathurst engines and had also been fitted in Peter Hopwood’s race-Elan. The head had Waggott stamped on it, so at some stage Merv ministered to it – it was a good engine. I initially fitted Webers and then mechanical fuel-injection later on.”

“The FT200 box was expensive, there was no easy way out there! By early 1984 I had the car ready to test, first racing it at the Sporting Car Club of South Australia’s Historic meeting at Mallala that Easter.”

P3-101-68 as it is now in Peters’ Adelaide workshop with dummy FVA fitted (I Peters)

“The more I got to know the car and Joyce the more absorbed in all things Bowin I became. Ashley Joyce and I put together the (excellent) Bowin Cars website. Included in the detailed specs of each car section, I added ‘ex-Piers Courage Ford FVA #7044’ in the list. You can imagine my surprise when Perth’s Graham Brown contacted me to say he had the motor! After about twelve months of negotiations I bought the engine.”

“I last raced the P3 in an historic support race during the 1989 Adelaide AGP carnival. I hit the wall when a front upright broke doing enough damage to get Chas Talbot in Melbourne to rebuild the tub.”

“By then I’d decided to progress to an ex-Alan Jones Ralt RT4 Ford BDA Formula Pacific car and then a Reynard 91D Holden Formula Holden. That ex-Birrana Racing machine won me two CAMS Silver Stars in 2003 and 2004. I put it to one side forever ago, but have it for sale at the moment.”

“After that is off my plate I’ll complete the rebuild of the P3 to FVA engined spec. It’s currently fitted with a dummy FVA, but all of the hard work is done so it shouldn’t be too long before it’s all done.”

There was only a tiny number of resident 1.6-litre F2 cars which raced in Australia in period. The only one which was victorious in a Gold Star round was P3-101-68, Glyn triumphed at Sandown in September 1968 on a day the 2.5s fell foul of technical dramas.

This car is a magnificent machine, we Bowin-nutters look forward to its return to the circuits soon.

Look carefully, a Bowin racing car is listed! (I Peters)

Credits...

Many thanks to Ian Peters, Bowin Cars

Tailpiece…

Ian Peters, Reynard 91D #028 Holden circa 2002, circuit unknown (I Peters)

Finito…

(B Jackson)

c’mon Alec won’t even notice, our helmets are much the same. Its gotta be quicker with that Eyetalian V8- lookout ‘yerv fried the left front though FG…

Denny Hulme trying to convince Frank Gardner to give him a few Warwick Farm laps in FG’s new Mildren Racing Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 V8.

The new World Champ raced a Brabham BT23 that summer too- albeit a Ford FVA powered F2 chassis which really didn’t cut the mustard amongst the 2.5s.

Denny was fifth in the 1968 Warwick Farm 100 won by Jim Clark’s Lotus 49 Ford DFW, while Gardner’s Italian motor busted a camshaft.

That Italian engine: Tipo 33 2.5-litre DOHC, two-valve, twin plug, injected all alloy V8

After Gardner returned to Europe Kevin Bartlett drove BT23D to victory in the 1968 Australian Gold Star Championship, and in winged-form, very competitively in the 1969 Australian Tasman rounds.

The perky rump of FG’s new Brabham (below) on the way to Hordern Trophy victory on the cars race debut in the Warwick Farm Gold Star round in December 1967.

Spencer Martin took the second of his two titles that year after a spirited contest between he and his Brabham BT11A Climax, and the similarly mounted Alec Mildren entry driven by Bartlett.

(unattributed)

Photo Credits…

Brian Jackson via Glenn Paine, The Roaring Season, John Ellacott

Tailpiece: Gardner, Brabham BT23D Alfa, Warwick Farm Tasman, February 1968…

(J Ellacott)

Finito…