Posts Tagged ‘Jack Myers’

(B Young)

Mick Watt’s Ford Anglia Special ascends Magra Hillclimb north of New Norfolk, 45km and forty minutes north of Hobart.

Mount Dromedary and Black Hills are in the background. Mick Watt achieved over 100 wins with this pretty little car before it fell into disuse in the mid-sixties and ultimate restoration by Ian Tate in Melbourne.

(B Young)

And here at Longford in 1958. It’s returned to Tassie in recent times too, acquired by Launceston/Longford identity, Rob Knott from Ian Tate after 40 years or so on the mainland.

(S5000)

Rubens Barrichelo testing the new Ligier JS F3-S5000 Ford S5000 car at Phillip Island in September 2019.

He contested the first race meeting for the new Australian premier category of cars at Sandown on September 21/22 2019. See here for details of the cars; https://primotipo.com/2019/10/26/progress/ and; https://primotipo.com/2020/06/03/with-matich-a50-twist/

Ruben’s copped a tap up the rear in turn 1 of the first heat and recovered to finish seventh in the race won by Tim Macrow. He was fifth in the second heat won by James Golding and second in the feature event also won by Golding.

The first round of the 2021 Gold Star Series, Australia’s premier driving championship for the countries fastest racing cars is at Symmons Plains in late January, Covid permitting.

(D Simpson)

John Harvey at Oran Park during the Diamond Trophy weekend at Oran Park in September 1967, Brabham BT14 Repco 740 2.5.

He won the 15 lap race in a classy field which included Leo Geoghegan, Kevin Bartlett and Paul Bolton in Tasman 2.5s.

It was a great reward for car owner Ron Phillips, mechanic Peter Molloy and Harvey given the teething problems they had after converting the F2 car from Lotus-Ford twin-cam to Repco 2.5 litre V8 power.

John wore this Peter Revson inspired helmet circa 1971-1973 (Harvey Collection)

John died on December 5 2020 of lung-cancer, aged 82. We shall do a photographic tribute to his many years as an elite level racer in single-seaters, sportscars and touring cars soon.

RIP John Harvey.

(N Butler)

Bob Holden at Fishermans Bend circa 1957, Holden FE Repco Hi-Power.

This is, i think, the second of Repco Research’ test cars, it covered 400 miles a day testing all manner of Repco products first in the hands of Reg Robbins and then later Don Halpin.  The car was re-shelled after Don had an accident in it near Seymour. Seeking confirmation folks, not of the story but rather the FE ID as a Repco Research machine which was raced on weekends…

(Langdon Family)

Murray Carter aboard his self-built Carter Corvette at Longford in 1961.

He is pursuading the beast into The Viaduct. Murray built the spaceframe chassis, Chev V8 powered car in 1959 and raced it for several years by the Victorian before sale to Bob Wright in Tasmania. He is shown racing the car below at Symmons Plains in 1969.

Ultimately restored and is still alive and well. See here; https://primotipo.com/2017/01/19/forever-young/

(oldracephotos.com/Harrison)

 

(M Fistonic)

Wasn’t it sinfully erotic in a wedgy, angular kinda way?

In 1973 Max Stewart had the only Lola T330 contesting the Tasman Cup, chassis ‘HU1’ was the very first of course. By the following year they and the bigger-hipped T332 were everywhere.

Max’ car here is in the Pukekohe paddock during the January 6 NZ GP weekend. The big fella was out after only 3 laps, John McCormack won in his Elfin MR5 Repco-Holden. There is plenty about the Lola T330 in this and succeeding articles; https://primotipo.com/2014/06/24/lellas-lola-restoration-of-the-ex-lella-lombardi-lola-t330-chev-hu18-episode-1/

Max got on very well with this car, winning a swag of races including the 1974 Gold Star and 1974 AGP in it.

(Kelsey Collection)

Jack Myers in the Gnoo Blas paddock during the February 1960 Australian Touring Car Championship weekend.

His car is a Cooper T20/WM Waggott-Holden 3-litre twin-cam, in-line six. Myers is wearing his characteristic ‘fireproofs’ including garish horizontally-hooped shirt. Luvvit. Here is a man whose story deserves to be told comprehensively. See here for a feature on this car; https://primotipo.com/2015/02/10/stirling-moss-cumberland-park-speedway-sydney-cooper-t20-wm-holden-1956/

Note David Finch’s Jaguar D Type and Paul Samuels’ Berkeley on the trailer.

(T Watts)

Pete Geoghegan’s first Mustang looking absolutely superb in its Castrol livery at Longford in March 1967

Didn’t John Sheppard do a superb job with the preparation and presentation of the Geoghegan’s cars? See here; https://primotipo.com/2017/10/17/he-came-he-saw-he-conquered/

(HRCCT)

And Leo’s ex-Clark Lotus 39 Climax at Symmons Plains in mid-November 1966, albeit in Total livery, but looking similarly handsome. Long epic on this car here; https://primotipo.com/2016/02/12/jim-clark-and-leo-geoghegans-lotus-39/

KB is the masked man in the Alec Mildren’s Brabham BT11A Coventry Climax alongside. Both Sydneysiders had poor weekends. Leo didn’t start with engine dramas and KB’s gearbox gave troubles after he had completed only 3 laps- Greg Cusack won in his ex-Clark Lotus 32B Climax.

Poor John Goss. I guess somebody had to do it. Amaroo Park Aunger Wheels advertising shoot.

This sports-sedan didn’t survive did it after a big-hit somewhere? Was this a Goss and Grant O’Neill build?

All terribly politically incorrect these days, what a shame. See here for a feature on this most talented of drivers; https://primotipo.com/2015/07/03/john-goss-bathurst-1000-and-australian-grand-prix-winner/ ,here; https://primotipo.com/2016/06/06/gossy/ ,and here; https://primotipo.com/2018/06/19/john-goss-tornado-ford-longford-1968/

(R Knott Collection)

 

(B Rigg)

Mount Panorama view across The Cutting from Sulman Park with Bathurst in the distance, circa 1960.

(R McClelland)

Jackie Stewart, Bob Jane, Tim Parnell, a BRM mechanic and P261 ‘2614’ await the start of the South Pacific Championship on March 1967.

Jackie won the race in a scrap with Jim Clark the year before in the same chassis, and the Tasman Cup. This time Jack Brabham took the only ever Tasman round won by a 2.5-litre Repco-Brabham V8 in his BT23A chassis.

See here for a piece on the 1967 Tasman; https://primotipo.com/2014/11/24/1967-hulme-stewart-and-clark-levin-new-zealand-tasman-and-beyond/

(Langdon Brothers)

And again during practice, the BRM’s in 1967 had 2.1-litre P60 motors which stretched the transmissions beyond their comfort zones. Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax FWMV 2-litre is in the distance, the combination which won the 1967 Tasman. See here too; https://primotipo.com/2018/12/14/sandown-park-cup-26-february-1967/

Flaggie 1946 style, during the New South Wales Grand Prix at Mount Panorama

These days the flameproof outfit and fag hangin’ out of the mouth probably wouldn’t make the cut. Alf Najar’s MG TB Special won the race, see here; https://primotipo.com/2019/11/15/1946-new-south-wales-grand-prix/

Alan Hamilton, Porsche 911 and Bob Watson Renault 16TS, Calder Rallycross in 1969.

What became of this 911 folks? Both these guys, champions both are still hale and hearty.

Jim Clark from Chris Amon at Dandenong Road Sandown, epic dice during the 1968 Australian Grand Prix, Jim won by a smidge of a second over Chris.

Lotus 49 Ford V8 from Ferrari Dino 246 V6. See AGP towards the end of this piece; https://primotipo.com/2016/12/09/f1-driverengineers-jack-larry-the-68-agp-and-rb830-v8/

(Peter Jones)

Bill Patterson’s Cooper T43 Climax being made ready at Fishermans Bend circa 1959.

It’s fellow Cooper driver John Roxburgh at right. Others folks? More from the Peter Jones Collection next week. See here for an article on Patterson’s Coopers; https://primotipo.com/2017/02/02/patto-and-his-coopers/

(B Thomas)

Duelling Scots during the ‘Lakeside 99’ Tasman Cup round in February 1967.

Jackie Stewart’s 2.1-litre BRM P261 V8 from Jim Clark, 2-litre Lotus 33 Coventry Climax FWMV V8, look closely and Jackie’s lightly-loaded right-front is just ‘orf terra-firma.

Jim won from Jack Brabham’s Brabham BT23A Repco and Frank Gardner’s Brabham BT16 Climax while Jackie’s gearbox cried enough after 59 of the races 66 laps.

See here for a pictorial piece on this weekend; https://primotipo.com/2019/01/18/lakeside-tasman-meeting-12-february-1967/

(unattributed)

Arthur Wylie, looking very smart in shirt and tie racing the wonderful Wylie Javelin on the short-lived Altona track in Melbourne’s inner-west in March 1954.

How did he go that day folks? Article about the car here; https://primotipo.com/2018/09/14/the-wylies-javelin-special/ and track here; https://primotipo.com/2016/06/24/jacks-altona-grand-prix-and-cooper-t23-bristol/

(AMS June 1954 via S Dalton)

 

(Auto Action)

John Martin, Spectrum 011 Ford Duratec Formula Ford, bouncing through the chicane, Adelaide during the March 2006 Clipsal 500 meeting.

Giving chase is Ben Clucas’ Van Diemen RF06 and Nathan Carratti, Van Diemen RF04.

Martin won this first ever Duratec powered round, and went on to win the Australian Formula Ford Championship from Tim Slade’s Sonic Motorsport run Van Diemen RF04. Martin then took one of Mike Borland’s 011 machines to the UK later in the year, with with some success.

(Ansett)

Phil Moore aboard John McCormack’s Elfin MR5 Repco-Holden at Oran Park during 1974.

The talented Adelaide Pharmacist won the 1973 Australian Sportscar Championship aboard an Elfin 360 Repco 830 2.5 V8. He won four of the six rounds. Moore was offered the drive of Mac’s 1973 Gold Star and NZ GP winning MR5 in the 1974 Gold Star.

In a grim year for Ansett Team Elfin with McCormack the reigning champion, Moore was the best placed of the teams three drivers, a distant third behind the Lolas of Max Stewart and Kevin Bartlett. Garrie Cooper was fourth and McCormack fifth.

John McCormack, the teams fastest driver was wrestling with the new Repco-Leyland engined MR6. The lightweight, aluminium engine was gutless and suffered severe structural problems. This scenario was exacerbated by Repco’s withdrawal from racing mid-year which meant the companies considerable race-engineering resources were not available to fix the problems. McCormack got there in the end of course, he won his third Gold Star aboard a Repco/Irving/McCormack-Leyland V8 engined McLaren M23 in 1977.

With no pre-season testing Phil Moore was impressive in 1974. His best result in five outings was second to Max Stewart’s Lola T330 Chev at demanding Surfers Paradise.

Phil Moore on the way to an ASCC win at Symmons Plains in November 1973, Elfin 360 Repco (unattributed)

 

(unattributed)

Vern Schuppan waves to the punters having won the 1973 Singapore Grand Prix.

His weapon of choice is a March 722 Ford. He won on the daunting 4.4km Upper Thomson Road circuit from Graeme Lawrence’s Surtees TS15 Ford and John MacDonald’s Brabham BT40 Ford. See here for a feature on this race; https://primotipo.com/2016/04/29/birrana-cars-and-the-1973-singapore-gp/

Credits…

Bob Young Collection via Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania, Dick Simpson, John Harvey Collection, Langdon Family, Norm Butler Collection, Tim Watts Collection, Rob Knott Collection, Bruce Rigg, Peter Jones, Auto Action, Ansett, Stephen Dalton Collection, Milan Fistonic, oldracephotos.com

Tailpiece…

(B Young)

Let’s finish where we started, at Magra Hillclimb in Tasmania, with a Morris Minor on the hop, driver folks?

Finito…

moss parramatta

Stirling Moss being briefed by Jack Myers about his Cooper/WM Holden before lapping Cumberland Park Speedway, Parramatta, Sydney, November 1956…

The WM Holden is the prototype ex-John Cooper/Mike Hawthorn/ Bernie Ecclestone/Stan Coffey Cooper T20 Bristol # CB/1/52 acquired damaged by Myers, rebuilt, fitted with a Holden 6 cylinder ‘Grey Motor’. The standard OHV iron head was replaced by an alloy DOHC, head developed by incredibly talented Sydney engineer Merv Waggott- and then renamed WM (Waggott Myers) Holden.

Moss was in Australia to race factory Maseratis’ in the Australian Grand Prix carnival at Albert Park in Melbourne, a two week event during which Moss won the AGP in a 250F and Australian Tourist Trophy in a 300S. Quite how he came to drive Myers car at Cumberland Park in Sydney is a bit of a mystery but was perhaps part of a fuel company promotion, I am keen to hear from any reader who knows the story.

Moss didn’t race the Cooper but did a number of demonstration laps around the quarter mile speedway on the outside of Cumberland Park, which was also used for cricket and rugby.

Jack Myers also contested the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, the WM finished 12th lapped several times by the Moss 250F.

moss on circuit parramaat

A tad too much understeer or neutral steer on the oval!? Moss Cumberland Park

WM is Waggott/Myers…

The cylinder head was initially fed by 6 Amal carbs but these were later replaced by 6 1 3/4inch SU’s. The engine developed around 197bhp at its peak making the car an outright contender in its day.

‘Grey Motor’ was the colloquial name of these engines which, painted grey, were first fitted to the ’48-215′ or FX Holden, General Motors first Holden sedan built in Australia. Later iterations of the Holden OHV straight 6 were ‘Red Motors’ and ‘Black Motors’ as the blocks were, you guessed it, painted red and black. The standard ‘Grey’ displacement was 132.5 cubic inches or 2170cc- the 6 cylinder OHV, 7 main bearing, single Stromberg carb engine produced 60bhp in standard form.

The Waggott engine’s block, crankshaft and conrods were made by GMH (General Motors Holden) but the head, pistons, dry sump lubrication system and other components were made by Merv Waggotts’ business. Capacity was increased to 2440cc with the camshafts driven by chain from the crank.

Six or seven heads were built in total, the engine won the Australian GT Championship for Queenslander and later ‘Bathurst’ winner John French in his ‘Centaur’ in 1962. The market for the heads essentially dried up when the new touring car/sedan racing regulations of the day, ‘Appendix J’ did not allow changes to cylinder heads other than modifications to standard heads. Waggott built modified Holden heads to these rules as well.

The WM/Cooper used an MG TC gearbox with specially cut gears, the differential was initially a Holden ’48-215′ unit but this was later replaced by a Ford V8 component. Suspension was standard Cooper, most of the damage to the car was to the body hoops and the body itself which was repaired by the talented Myers.

wm holden t druitt 1958

WM Holden engine bay, Mt Druitt May 1958…plug change by the look. The neat alloy DOHC, chain driven head on display. Holden ‘Grey Motor’ cast iron block, capacity 2440cc. Circa 200bhp at its peak. Myers did a 15.01 second standing quarter that day. (John Ellacott)

Jack Myers raced the car very successfully…

It reapppeared after repair and installation of the Holden engine at Bathurst in October 1956. In November he attacked the Australian Land Speed record setting a new mark for Class D at 25.46 seconds for the standing kilometre. Moss ran the car at Parramatta shortly thereafter and the week after that Myers finished 12th in the AGP at Albert Park. Moss and the car were reunited many years later.

agp 56 jack myers

Doug Whitefords’ Talbot Lago passing Myers in the WM Holden during the 1956 AGP at Albert Park. They finished 8th and 12th respectively in the race won by Moss’ Maser 250F. This is the second of Dougs’ Lagos, the ’12 plug head car’ still in Australia and owned by Ron Townley. (Unattributed)

 

Jack at Caversham during the 1957 AGP (K Devine)

The car overheated in the scorching hot 1957 AGP at Caversham WA, the chassis was replaced after an accident at Bathurst in 1957 when Jack bounced the car from bank to bank going into Forrest’s Elbow.

This time the car was rebuilt from scratch, the team constructing a new tubular frame to replace the original box-section chassis. John Blanden records that Myers had completed the rebuilds of the McMillan Ferrari Super Squalo and Jack Davey D Type Jaguar chassis and incorporated some ideas from those experiences including lowering the engine by 3 inches. The suspension was re-designed but still used many Cooper parts, a quick change diff was built by Myers and D Type clutch incorporated.

wm holden bathurst 1959

1959 ‘Bathurst 100’ qualifying heat front row. Myers on the left in the distinctive yellow and black T Shirt he always wore beside the WM, Stan Jones #1 Maser 250F and Kiwi Ross Jensen similarly mounted. Myers completed 24 of the 26 laps the race won by Jensen. (Myer family)

The WM was immediately successful, going even faster still when fitted with disc brakes, it finally ‘met its maker’ at Bathurst in October 1960 when Jack ended up in a ditch on the way into The Cutting escaping injuries but the cars chassis and suspension were badly damaged. The WM was split up and its core components sold.

wm holden bathurst

Jack Myers returns to the Bathurst paddock, AGP Meeting 1958. WM Holden. (Kevin Drage)

Myers was sadly killed in a race at Catalina Park, Katoomba, in the Blue Moutains outside Sydney not long afterwards.

In 1962 Syd Fisher bought the remains of the car and fitted a Chev Corvette 283cid engine, Alvis gearbox, Halibrand type quick change rear axle to which a ZF limited slip diff was fitted, achieving 7th in the Victorian Road Racing Championship in 1963.

The car passed through others into the caring hands of John Emery and then to Gavin Sandford-Morgan in 1972. There it was rebuilt by a dedicated team of volunteers at the Birdwood Mill Museum outside Adelaide to its Jack Myers spcification including the Waggott engine, the car making its debut at the 2000 Australian Grand Prix where it was driven by Stirling Moss, exactly as it was at Parramatta in 1956.

Merv Waggott developed his own 4 cylinder, DOHC four valve, fuel injected engine in the late ’60’s…in capacities of 1.6, 1.85 and 2 litres, the smaller engines used Ford Cortina blocks, the 2 Litre used aluminium bespoke crankcase and cast iron block developed by Waggott Engineering.

mildren sub and merv waggott

Merv Waggott fettling one of his jewel like aluminium 2 litre 4 valve engines, here mounted in Kevin Bartletts’ Mildren Racing Mildren ‘Yellow Submarine’ Waggott. Engine produced circa 260bhp with a usable rev band of 6800-8750rpm and weighed circa 230lb. Wigram, NZ Tasman 1970. (The Roaring Season)

These engines won many races and championships including the 1969, 1970 and 1971 Australian Drivers Championships, the ‘Gold Star’ for Kevin Bartlett, Leo Geoghegan and Max Stewart in the Mildren ‘Yellow Submarine’, Lotus 59B and Mildren Waggott chassis respectively. I will write about this engine in detail at some point.

Waggott Engineering still exists however Merv Waggott died in an ultralight plane accident in 1992.

Cooper T20 Bristol Chassis # CB/1/52…

coper bristol cutaway

Cooper T20 Bristol drawing. 1971cc Bristol/BMW 6 cylinder engine circa 130bhp and Bristol 4 speed ‘box. Steel box section chassis with tubular reinforcements, aluminium body. Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes. Suspension front and rear lower wishbones and upper transverse leaf springs with Armstrong shocks. (Unattributed)

Doug Nyes’ research for the book ‘Cooper Cars’ found this car to be the prototype T20 which was shown to the press in January 1952. John Cooper drove it on its debut at Goodwood on 14 April 1952. It was also driven by Reg Parnell, Mike Hawthorn- whilst he awaited delivery of his own T20 and Bernie Ecclestone before being sold to Fred Tuck, a Brit who raced the car in the New Zealand Grand Prix in 1954.

During that trip the car was sold to Sydney’s Stan Coffey who raced the car as the ‘Dowidat Special’, in deference to his sponsors, a manufacturer of hand tools. Amongst Coffey’s competitors was Jack Brabham in the ‘Redex Special’, a Cooper T23 Bristol.

The Coffey ‘Dowidat Spl’ at Gnoo Blas Orange circa 1955 (K Devine)

Coffeys results were not startling but he finished 8th in the 1954 AGP at Southport, Queensland. He raced the car little in 1955 but contested the AGP at Port Wakefield, South Australia, Brabham winning the race in the Cooper T40 Bristol ‘Bobtail’ he had built in time for the ’55 British GP. Coffey rolled the car halfway through the race, the car left the track and ‘tripped’ on the grass verge. Stan broke his nose but was otherwise uninjured selling the car to Myers in ‘as is’ condition. The car was taken to Myer’s, Maroubra, Sydney workshop where its rapid transformation to Waggott Holden power was completed.

The Cooper Bristols were built as 2 litre European F2 cars, the engine was the BMW 328 6 cylinder design, which fell into Bristols’ hands as part of WW2 reparation compensation and was further developed post war by BMW designer Fritz Fiedler. The 1971cc engine developed circa 127bhp @ 5800rpm.

myers maroubra workshop

Jack Myers working his magic on the ‘WM’ in his Maroubra, Sydney Southern Beaches workshop. The Holden ‘Grey’ block is at left, the long studs to retain the deep head. The cast aluminium engine/gearbox adaptor is still attached to the block. Diff initially Holden but later Ford, uncertain of which here. MGTC ‘box is in front of the bench. Standard T20 suspension, chassis box section can be seen in th shot as well as ‘body hoops’.

Etcetera…

Cooper T20 Bristol-Stan Coffey

stan coffey cooper

Stan Coffey in the Cooper T20 Bristol ‘Dowidat Spanners Special’ at Mount Druitt, date unknown. The wind on Coffeys large body must have been incredible and top speed limiting! (Ivy & Jack Carter)

WM Holden-Jack Myers

Both these shots were taken in 1957 at Caversham during the AGP weekend. The Holden engine installation was very neatly and professionally executed by Myers, whilst the machine was called the WM Holden, Cooper Holden was perhaps more indicative until the chassis was substantially changed by Jack and his team. Carbs on the engine are Amals at this point, 6 1 3/4 inch SU’s later fitted.

wm in paddock

(MrFire)

waggott 6 engine in wm

(MrFire)

waggott 6 on SU's

Another shot of the engine bay and Waggott DOHC head, this time with 6 SU’s. Car here, above, at the Birdwood Mill Museum in SA, restored. (Unattributed)

WM Holden-Stirling Moss

moss from the outside parramatta

Scratchy unattributed shot of Moss circulating in the WM at Cumberland Park, fashions of the day to the fore!

Credits…

Myer Family Collection, John Ellacott, MrFire, Ivy & Jack Carter, The Roaring Season, Kevin Drage, Ken Devine Collection, John Ballantyne

John Blanden ‘Historic Racing Cars in Australia’, Doug Nye ‘Cooper Cars’, ‘Memories of Jack Myers’ aussieroadracing.homestead.com

Tailpiece: WM Holden by John Ballantyne, beautiful work…

Finito…