Posts Tagged ‘Jim Clark’

(Mr Reithmaier)

I love the build up and tension before the start of a big race; here it’s the grid prior to the start of the New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe, in the north of NZ’s North Island on 6 January 1968…

Chris Amon readies himself and his Ferrari Dino 246T before the first round of the 1968 Tasman Series, a race in which he wonderfully and deservedly triumphed. Missing on the front row is Jim Clark’s Lotus 49T Ford DFW. Car #2 is Pedro Rodriguez’ BRM P261, the Mexican is bent over the cockpit of his car but failed to finish with clutch problems. Car #7 is Alec Mildren’s Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo T33 2.5 V8 with chief mechanic Glenn Abbey warming up the one-off car. Lanky Franky Gardner is adjusting his helmet beside the car, it was a good day for Frank, the car was second.

Look closely and you can see a camera crew behind the Brabham which is focusing on 1967 reigning world champion Denny Hulme and his #3 Brabham BT23 Ford FVA F2 car- Denny’s head is obscured by Frank’s body. Hume boofed the ex-Rindt BT23 during the race badly enough for a replacement chassis to be shipped out from the UK.

I’ve always thought these F2/Tasman Ferrari’s amongst the sexiest of sixties single-seaters. The 166 F2 car was not especially successful amongst the hordes of Ford Cosworth Ford FVA engined cars in Euro F2 racing. However, the car formed the basis of a very competitive Tasman 2.5 litre Formula car when fitted with updated variants of the Vittorio Jano designed V6 which first raced in F2 form and then owered the late fifties Grand Prix racing front-engined Ferrari Dino 246. It was in one of these cars that Mike Hawthorn won the 1958 World Drivers Championship.

Amon won the Tasman Series in 1969 with Ferrari Dino 246T chassis #0008 with fellow Kiwi Champion Graeme Lawrence winning in the same car in 1970 against vastly more powerful, if far less developed Formula 5000 cars. The story of those championships is for another time, this article is about Chris’ 1968 Tasman mount and campaign.

Amon hooking his gorgeous Ferrari Dino 246T ‘0004’ into The Viaduct in the dry at Longford 1968. Early ’68, we are in the immediate pre-wing era, and don’t the cars look all the better for it! (oldracephotos.com/D Keep)

In many ways Chris was stiff not to win the ’68 Tasman, a title, the last, won by the late, great Jim Clark…

Ferrari entered only one car that year with chassis #0004 assembled in Maranello by longtime Amon personal mechanic Roger Bailey and tested at Modena in November 1967. It was then freighted by plane to New Zealand where it was assembled by Bruce Wilson in his Hunterville workshop in the south of the North Island.

The cars chassis was Ferrari’s period typical ‘aero monocoque’, a ‘scaled down’ version of the contemporary F1 Ferrari with aluminium sheet riveted to a tubular steel frame forming a very stiff structure. The 166 was launched to the adoring Italian public at the Turin Motor Show in February 1967.

In F2 form the 1596cc, quad cam, chain driven, 18 valve, Lucas injected engine developed circa 200bhp at an ear-splitting 10000 rpm. It is important to note that this F2 engine, designed by Franco Rocchi, and in production form powering the Fiat Dino, Ferrari Dino 206 and 246GT and Lancia Stratos is a different engine family to the Jano designed engines, evolved by Rocchi, used on the Tasman Dino’s.

The F2 166 made its race debut in Jonathon Williams hands at Rouen in July 1967, and whilst it handled and braked well it was around 15bhp down on the Cosworth engined opposition. Whilst the car was tested extensively at Modena, including 24 valve variants, it was not raced again that year.

Amon, who had not raced in the Tasman Series since 1964, could immediately see the potential of the car, suitably re-engined, as a Tasman contender given the success of the small, ex-F1 BRM P261 1.9-2.1 litre V8’s in the 1966 and 1967 Tasman Series. The same approach which worked for the boys from Bourne could also work in Maranello Chris figured. A parts-bin special is way too crass, but you get my drift of a very clever amalgam of existing, proven hardware as a potential winning car.

In fact Ferrari went down this path in 1965 when a Tasman hybrid of a then current F1 chassis was married to a 2417cc variant of the Jano 65 degree V6 for John Surtees to race in the 1966 Tasman. John had Tasman experience in Coventry Climax FPF engined Coopers and Lola’s at the dawn of the sixties and could see the potential of a small Ferrari.

That plan come to nothing when Surtees was very badly injured in a Mosport Can Am accident in his self run Lola T70 Chev in late 1965. This car, Ferrari Aero chassis ‘0006’ played the valuable role of proving Surtees rehabilitation when he completed 50 laps in the car at Modena. It was in the same chassis that Lorenzo Bandini finished 2nd in the 1966 Syracuse and Monaco GP’s as Ferrari sought to get the new 3 litre V12 F1 312 up to speed, Bandini electing to race the Dino on both occasions. He also finished 3rd aboard the car at Spa. The allocation of this more competitive car to Bandini rather than team-leader Surtees was amongst the many issues which lead to the confrontation between John Surtees and team manager Eugenio Dragoni during Le Mans practice and Surtees departure from the team.

An unidentified fellow, Jim Clark, Ferrari engineer Gianni Marelli, Chris Amon and Roger Bailey share a joke during the 1968 Longford weekend. Chassis ‘0004’ is fitted with the 24 valve V6 covered in the text. Note the quality of castings, fabrication and finish, inboard discs, sliding spline driveshafts and single plug heads of this very powerful- but less than entirely reliable engine in 1968 form, it’s shortcoming cylinder head seals (oldracephotos.com/Harrison)

The engine of the 166/246T was carried in a tubular subframe attached to the rear of the monocoque which terminated at the drivers bulkhead. The car was fitted with a 5 speed transaxle designed by Ingenere Salvarani and Girling disc brakes.

Suspension was also similar to the contemporary F1 cars in having an front upper rocker and lower wishbone with inboard mounted spring/shocks and conventional outboard suspension at the rear- single top link, inverted lower wishbone, two radius rods and coil spring/shocks.

For the 1968 NZ races- Chris won at Pukekohe after Clark retired and at Levin, leading from flag to flag, was 2nd to Clark at Wigram and 4th at Teretonga- a 3 valve variant (2 inlet, 1 exhaust) of the 65 degree fuel injected V6 was fitted which was said to develop around 285bhp @ 8900rpm from its 2404cc.

Chris crossed the Tasman Sea with a 9 point lead in the Series from Clark and the might of Team Lotus. It was a wonderful effort, whilst Ferrari provided the car free of charge, and took a share of the prize money, the logistics were of Chris’ own small equipe. And here they were serving it up to Gold Leaf Team Lotus with a couple of World Champions on the strength, plenty of spares and support crew.

For the four Australian races a 24 valve version of the engine was shipped from Maranello. Its Lucas injection was located between the engines Vee rather than between the camshafts and had one, rather than two plugs per cylinder. This engine developed 20 bhp more than the 18 valver with Chris promptly putting the car on pole at Surfers Paradise, a power circuit. He won the preliminary race and had a head seal fail whilst challenging Clark in the championship race.

At Warwick Farm he qualified with the 18 valve engine and raced the 24 valver having rebuilt it- they only had one of the motors. He was challenging both Clark and Hill in the race and then spun in avoidance of Hill who was having his own moment…he was 4th on the tight technical Sydney circuit.

At Sandown during the AGP, the pace of the car, and Amon, was proved in an absolute thriller of a race in which he finished 2nd to Clark- let’s not forget the best driver in the world driving the best F1 car of the era powered by the Tasman variant of the greatest GP engine ever- and took fastest lap.

As the team crossed Bass Straight from Port Melbourne on the ‘Princess of Tasmania’ Chris knew he had to win the Longford ‘South Pacific Championship’, with Clark finishing no better than 5th to win the Tasman title.

At Longford, still fitted with the 24 valve engine, which must have been getting a little tired, he qualified a second adrift of Clark and Hill. He finished 7th in a race run in atrocious conditions on the most unforgiving of Australian circuits having initially run 2nd to Clark but then went up the Newry Corner escape road and suffered ignition problems from lap 10.

Piers Courage won in an heroic drive aboard his little McLaren M4A Ford FVA F2 car that streaming day, in a series which re-ignited his career.

Chris was a busy boy during the Australian Tasman leg as he also drove David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 350 CanAm/P4 in sports car support events at each round in addition to the little Dino.

These races were outstanding as they all involved close dices between Chris and Frank Matich in his self designed and built Matich SR3 powered by 4.4 litre Repco Brabham ‘RB740’ V8’s- with Frank getting the better of him in each of these races. The speed of the Matich was no surprise to Chris though, both had contested rounds of the Can Am Championship only months before the Tasman in the US.

Click here for my article on the Ferrari P4/CanAm 350 #’0858’ Chris raced in Australia;

https://primotipo.com/2015/04/02/ferrari-p4canam-350-0858/

Amon lines David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce Ferrari P4/350 Can Am up for Longford’s The Viaduct during the 1968 Longford Tasman meeting. Matich didn’t take the SR4 to Longford so Chris had an easy time of it that weekend. The sight and sound of that car at full song on the Flying Mile at circa 180mph would have been really something! (oldracephotos.com/D Keep)

For the ’69 Tasman Chris applied all he learned in 1968 returning with two cars, the other driven by Derek Bell, four well developed 300bhp 24 valve engines with the logistics taken care of by David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce.

He promptly lifted the Tasman Cup in a very successful campaign from Jochen Rindt, Graham Hill and others. With a little more luck, or greater factory commitment in 1968 it may have been two Tasman’s on the trot for the Maranello team and Chris…

Bibliography…

oldracingcars.com, sergent.com.au, ‘Dino: The Little Ferrari’ Doug Nye

Photo Credits…

Mr Riethmaier, oldracephotos.com, Rod MacKenzie

Tailpiece: Love this moody, foreboding Longford shot by Roderick MacKenzie. Chris has just entered the long ‘Flying Mile’ in the streaming wet conditions during Monday’s ‘South Pacific Trophy’ famously won by Piers Courage little McLaren M4 Ford FVA F2 car. 4 March 1968…

(Rod MacKenzie)

 

 

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(Wolfe)

Looking at Jack in this shot i wondered who the most recent of the F1 driver/engineers was?

Brabham is helping the boys prepare his BT23E Repco before the Sandown Tasman round, the Australian Grand Prix, in early 1968. Jack, ever the practical, hands-on engineer.

Larrikins, Larry Perkins perhaps? He raced and prepared an Ensign, nee Boro in 1976. Was he, perhaps, the last or most recent of the genre? The guys I am referring to are the blokes who could both drive the things and could and would put ‘em together themselves.

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Nice overhead shot of Perkins Ensign ‘Boro’ N175 Ford at Monaco in 1976. He didn’t make the cut in the principality but raced the car in the Belgian, Spanish and Swedish Grands Prix for 8th, 13th and DNF in an operation which was very much smell of an oily rag and DIY…And did well enough to pick up a Brabham drive later in the season, one, sadly, he was not to keep. These cars of Mo Nunns were beautifully designed, quick jiggers. Chris Amon made ‘em fly too, tho their mechanical breakages sapped his confidence and bruised his body, ending his GP career (Schlegelmilch)

Qualifiers?…

Mercedes mechanic come driver ace Hermann Lang is the first who pops into my head but he can’t have been the only one pre-war? I wonder if the Renault brothers were ‘hands on’ maybe they qualify as the first way back in the Edwardian era? Vincenzo Lancia maybe?

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Hermann Lang at Donington Park 1937. Apprenticed as a motor-cycle mechanic at 14, Lang was an ace on bikes by the time he joined Benz as a mechanic in 1934, by ’39 he was European (read World) Champion. He fettled Fagioli’s W25 initially. Aided and abetted by team manager Alfred Neubauer, and against the wishes of some of the drivers, he test drove the cars in 1935 and 1936 before being made a works driver for 1937 with the 5.6-litre W125. By 1939 he was the grids yardstick, winning 5 of the 8 major GP’s in the 3 litre W154. Having the momentum as the ace of the day was lost by the War years, after a few unsuccessful attempts in post-war GP’s, he won the ‘52 Le Mans in a 300SL Benz (Fox)

Fangio certainly built some of the ‘rockets’ he raced in Argentina early on in his career, whether he wielded a torch once he got to Europe is perhaps another thing.

The dudes i think of most readily are the fifties/sixties fellows; Jack and Bruce of course, Chapman qualifies altho he didn’t race in a GP, he did practice for the French GP in 1956 for Vanwall though.  He qualified 5th but boofed the car so did not race.

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Here’s a few practical chaps, and all pretty handy steerers including Brabham designer Ron Tauranac (far right leaning) who was quick in his Ralts in Oz before he was enticed to the UK by Jack. From left Howden Ganley a picture of 70’s sartorial elegance in the flares, and a mechanic at McLarens in the early days as he progressed thru the junior formulae ranks in the UK. Tim Schenken, (these two later partners in Tiga Cars) Graham Hill waxing lyrical and RT at right. Car is the one of a kind ‘Lobster Claw’ Brabham BT34 Ford, driven by Hill, its British GP practice @ Silverstone in 1971. Tim drove last years BT33 and was consistently quicker than GH in his first full F1 season (Blackman)

Graham Hill, Phil Hill, Richie Ginther, Dan Gurney, Jim Hall, Bob Anderson, Frank Gardner, Denny Hulme, Howden Ganley and Graham McRae all qualify. The Kiwi F5000 ace did a Gee Pee or two in ‘73ish and his cars were great bits of kit.

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In 1970-3 Graham McRae was one of the worlds best F5000 pilots at a time the category globally was mega-competitive, winning races and championships in Australasia, Europe and the US. His Len Terry designed Leda LT27/ McRae GM1 Chev’s were the ‘ducks guts’ as well, until the Lola T300 rained on his, and everybody else’s parades. Formula Lola from then on. Here he is in one of Frank Williams Iso IR Fords during ’73 British GP practice at Silverstone. He didn’t complete the first lap with throttle slide dramas at the start of the lap which ended with Jody Scheckter’s big Woodcote, McLaren M23 shunt which took out half the field (unattributed)

Thinking slightly more broadly Chevron’s Derek Bennett wasn’t an F1 driver but otherwise is absolutely of the driver/engineer fix it yerself mould. Make that design, build and drive it. And in Australia Garrie Cooper (Elfin) and Frank Matich spring to mind, Frank was ‘elite level’ as a driver and his sports and F5000’s cars were all winners. Both were not F1 drivers to be clear. ANF1 drivers, but not F1 drivers…

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Larry at the press launch of the BRM P201 in early 1977. Mike Pilbeam’s chassis was good, if they had popped a DFV into it they would have had a good car? By then the BRM V12 was well past it’s use-by date and hadn’t had any development to speak of for years (Keystone)

Larry was later than all that lot so I reckon its him as ‘the last’? Unless some of you guys can think of someone more recent, and you may well do, the above is outta my head which does not fit into the category of thorough, diligent research.

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Perkins had several drives of the Holden Dealer Team supercharged, Holden LC Torana GTR XU1 during 1972, here at Catalina Park in Sydney’s Blue Mountains (Rod MacKenzie)

Perkins spannered the very first Ralt RT1 Tauranac built to his ’75 Euro F3 Championship win then lent his talents to Chris Amon on his Amon and, as I say largely self prepared the Ensign/Boro Ford well enough to be plucked by BC Ecclestone into Brabham for a while. Until Carlos Pace rained on his parade. By the time Larry got to BRM they were shit-heaps, that episode a total wasta time. Mike Pilbeam’s chassis was in search of a good engine.

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Here Larry is  trying to qualify the Amon AF101 Ford during German GP practice after Chris fell ill, Nurburgring 1974, DNQ. Clay Regazzoni won in a Ferrari 312B3 (Sutton)

Larry prepared all of his cars in the junior formulae in Australia before taking the same talents into European F3. I well remember seeing Larry rectifying his practice mishap transferring all the good bits of Robert Handfirds Ralt RT4 into a new chassis having had a territorial dispute with a slower car in practice, and rooted the cars tub, during the 1981 AGP weekend at Calder. Despite a lack of practice time the car was 4th on raceday, Roberto Moreno victorious in another RT4.

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Teo Fabi and Perkins (near side) in March 782 and 77B during the 1979 F Pac NZ GP at Pukekohe.The 1979 NZ F Pac championship was won by Teo Fabi in a factory March 782. The 5 circuit, 5 weekend, 10 50-mile race series was tough. He dominated, the March 782 the best 1978 Euro F2 chassis, was fitted with the latest March 79B bodywork incorporating sliding skirts. Perkins was his toughest opponent driving the ex-works March 77B chassis raced by Danny Sullivan in NZ the year before. Perkins raced a Ralt Australia/Scuderia Veloce Ralt RT1 in the 1978 series finishing runner-up to Keke Rosberg. Larry was 29 then, it was still not too late to resuscitate his single-seater career, the result may well have been different had Perkins raced a car as quick as Fabi’s. Having said that, in early 1979 Fabi was an F3 graduate, Larry an ex-F1 driver so Larry should have been quicker. Perkins mixed single seaters and touring cars in the early eighties. He raced F Pac and F5000, winning the 1979 Rothmans International Series in an Elfin MR8 Chev. He then became a touring car specialist, winning the Bathurst 1000 6 times and a car constructor. He led the team which built the race cars at the Holden Dealer Team when it was owned by Peter Brock and formed Perkins Engineering to build and race Holdens from early 1986 to 2013.

Bob Janes All Australian, if you can call such an attempt in a German car!, attack on Le Mans in 1984 in a John Fitzpatrick Porsche 956 is a story in itself with the drive shared by Larry and Aussie Touring Car Legend, Pter Brock. The preparation of the car in Australia and France was in Larry’s tender, loving hands, the great run ended during the night whilst Larry was at the wheel.

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Perkins at the wheel of the Porsche 956 he shared with Peter Brock in 1984. The car ran as high as 8th before crashing during the night (unattributed)

Larry was pushing hard and ran out of road passing two cars seeking to make up time, the car had slipped down to about 35th after losing 28 minutes repairing a front hub damaged when the car lost a front wheel whilst Brock was driving. He was sanguine about it saying later fatigue wasn’t the issue, the choice of passing a split second one of course, with hindsight backing off was the right one. Henri Pescarolo and Klaus Ludwig won in a 956B, Larry and Brock were out in the 18th hour having covered 145 laps

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Perkins at the wheel of the Jguar XJR9-LM he co-drove to 4th place at Le Mans in 1988 (unattributed)

Jaguar and Holden Special Vehicles…

Tom Walkinshaw was well aware of both Larry’s speed and car construction skills. The Brit owned Holden Special Vehicles in the post-Brock era but was making the same climb up the UK motor racing greasy pole as a driver, as Perkins in the early 1970’s.

Amusing was being a guest of HSV at Bathurst for the 1000Km event in 1988-the design and branding business of which I was a partner designed/created the HSV Logo and brand look and feel, and seeing the ‘in team competition’ between the two Holden VL Commodore HSV racers.

One was built by the Poms at TWR and one built by Larrikins and the lads in Melbourne! Larry’s qualified in the top 10 but neither finished, Walkinshaw’s car doing only 5 laps and Perkins 137. HSV was a very do it yerself operation then, MD John Crennan himself drove the courtesy vehicle to ferry we guests from the circuit to the airport after the race, a far cry of later years as the business of building heavily re-engineered performance Holdens grew.

Walkinshaw invited Larry to join his TWR Jaguar squad at Le Mans in 1988. The Aussie tested the car at Silverstone in preparation for the race, the car was very quick even compared to the Porsche 956, also a ground-effect car, of 4 years earlier. He finished 4th in the French classic co-driving a Jag XJR-9LM together with fellow ex-F1 driver Derek Daly and Kevin Cogan. The big 7 litre V12 was 11 laps behind the winning Jag of teammates Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries and Andy Wallace.

Perkins touring car exploits in Oz as both builder and driver are well known. Suffice it to say that the Perkins Engineering workshop at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne’s southern suburbs built amongst the best Holden Group A and V8 Supercars for a couple of decades both for his own team and customers.

This made him a prosperous businessman, in so doing he applied the self taught engineering, business skills and resilience which made him such a formidable driver. Make that driver/engineer, to pick up where we started!

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Drivers meeting during the 1979 NZ F Pacific series. Larry is talking to Teo Fabi, who won the title that year, Jeff Wood is the tall dude and the blondie, Oz F Pac Ace John Smith (Cammick)

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Jack Brabham explaining why front stiffness is critical to performance, Tasman Series, Australia 1968 (unattributed)

Back to the Brabham BT23E race-prep picture at this articles outset…

Whenever you see pictures of Jack he is always fiddling with something, he is rarely looking on at the mechanics doing stuff or checkin’ out the babes.

This (opening article) shot was in a general interest magazine in Rodway Wolfe’s suitcase of Repco Goodies which is in my care. I was certain ‘twas Jack’s 1968 Tasman mount, his BT23E, to which is being fitted an RB740 275bhp Repco V8.

Rodway believes the place is probably a workshop on the South side of the Princes Highway near the Warrigal Road corner close to Sandown in Melbourne. Jack’s Australian manager, Reg Thompson (ex-Redex) used to organise these locales close to the circuit, rather than the team operate from Repco Brabham Engines HQ in Maidstone, which in those pre-Westgate Bridge days was a ‘cut lunch and camel ride’ from Sandown in Springvale.

Jack is at left of course, hidden behind him is Graeme Bartels to the right is Norman Wilson, RBE’s Senior Design Engineer post Phil Irving. He is fettling the Lucas metering unit which is beneath the exhausts, I wonder if he is cursing his packaging as he works! Bevan Weston is facing the camera in the middle, all these fellas are RBE Maidstone crew. The other blokes are BRO. (Brabham Racing Organisation)

One of the many hints its Oz rather than Europe are the cans of Australian oil company ‘Ampol’ fuel and lubricant on the floor of the workshop. In F1 Jack was sponsored by Esso then Gulf from 1968. Ampol didn’t make competition fuel or lubricants, Nigel Tait says that RBE used Shell Super M lubricants at Maidstone whilst assembling and testing the engines, I wonder if its Shell oil and fuel in those Ampol cans!

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Front rows of the ’68 Australian GP grid, Sandown Park, Melbourne. Clark #6 then Amon and Jack on the front row-Lotus 49 DFW, Ferrari Dino 246T and Brabham BT23E Repco. On row 2 Hill in the other 49 and Leo Geoghegan Lotus 39 Repco, well up in this 1965 chassis. You can just see Frank Gardner’s Brabham BT23D Alfa on the inside of the circuit (Howard)

Sandown 1968 Tasman Race: The Australian GP…

This account is a truncated version of that found on the excellent sergent.com website.

The conditions that weekend at Sandown Park were absolutely scorching, Melbourne had been in drought for the previous months. I can still remember water restrictions at the time, the race was held over 55 laps of the 3 and a bit Km, very fast circuit laid out around a horse racing course.

‘The first official practice was held in temperatures of up to 106 degrees, Brabham was quickest in the Brabham-Repco V8 fitted with the older 630 type heads which brought the exhausts up from the lower part of the engine. It was obviously a powerful arrangement, as Brabham had little effort getting down to 1:6.7 secs during his 10 laps’.

Its interesting but not quite right, in fact the engine was a brand new ‘830 Series’ Tasman V8, a combination of the ‘short’ 800 block to be used in the 1968 RB860 F1 engine, and crossflow 30 Series heads. These were more powerful than the 40 Series used in F1 in ’67 and more widely on various Repco engines of capacities from 2.5 to 5 litres.

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The brand new, prototype or first RB830 V8 nestled in the back of Jack’s Brabham BT23E chassis at Sandown during the AGP weekend in 1968. That it was developmental is indicated by the tack on oil cooler and weird aluminium ‘fuel pot’ as Rod Wolfe describes it (Rod MacKenzie)

Clearly though the engine being popped into the chassis in the opening shot is a 740 not an 830, so exactly when this engine is being put in-or pulled out is an interesting, if arcane one!

Jack only did the Warwick Farm and Sandown Tasman rounds in 1968, the car clearly raced a 740 that weekend in Sydney their is plenty of photographic evidence to support that. Equally, if you look closely at the grid at the start of the Sandown race the engine fitted to Jack’s car is not a 740 ‘between the Vee’ exhaust engine but a ‘crossflow’ 830 engine.

Perhaps the car practiced initially at Sandown with a 740, the 830 fitted later in the meeting or perhaps the photo at the articles outset is in a Sydney workshop prior to WF, for sure it isn’t RB HQ at Maidstone in Victoria.

To add to the confusion there is a photo in the report of the AGP in the bible (History of The Australian Grand Prix by Graham Howard and others) which shows the car at Sandown fitted with a 740, but the photo caption I don’t think is right, I suspect it’s at WF not Sandown, they are both circuits built around horse racing  tracks and the car carried #2 at both meetings. All contributions welcome on this arcane Repco topic of what engine where!

Clearly the 830 developed plenty of mumbo as Jack popped it on pole from Amon in the four valve Ferrari and Clark on the outside. Then came a brilliant Leo Geoghegan in his ex-Clark 1966 Tasman Series Lotus 39 but fitted with a Repco ‘740’ rather than the Coventry Climax FPF four which the car was built.

In fact it was built for the still-born Coventry Climax V16, but modified to suit the CC FPF. In any event Leo had the old car ‘dancin amongst this compoany in the latest and greatest from Europe and Graham Hill on the second row respectively.

Then was Gardner (Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo T33 V8) and Cusack (Brabham BT23A Repco 740) Rodriguez (BRM P126 V12) then Piers Courage in the little 1.6 McLaren M4A Ford FVA, John Harvey’s old Brabham BT11 Repco V8 740 Attwood (BRM), Hulme and Bartlett (Brabham completed the grid with no ANF2 1.5’s allowed.

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Jack in BT23E in the Warwick Farm pits the week before the Sandown AGP, car clearly fitted with a 740 Series ‘exhaust between the Vee’ engine. Car in front is one of the P261 BRM’s, behind is Piers Courage McLaren M4A FVA F2 car (Brian McInerney)

Race day was still scorching, the drivers avoided the usual pre-race sports car ride. Jim Clark led from Amon, with Jack making a poor start and getting away in 5th place as the field lined up Shell corner.

Coming under Dunlop Bridge for the first time the order was Clark, Amon, Hill, Gardner, Brabham, Geoghegan (already sounding off tune), Rodriguez, Cusack, Courage, Bartlett, Attwood, Hulme and Harvey.

Brabham took Gardner on lap 3 while Cusack slipped under Rodriguez. Hill fell to Brabham on lap 5. Cusack again poured it on to get by Geoghegan (only running on seven cylinders with a broken plug insulator) and Courage got by Rodriguez on the following lap.

The race was an absolute beauty by lap eight, the order was Clark and Amon with Brabham closing fast. Then came Hill, Gardner, a gap to Courage, Cusack, Geoghegan, Rodriguez, Attwood and Bartlett.

On lap 10 Rodriguez blew the V12 BRM. Brabham, by then was catching Amon and Clark at the rate of 0.5 sec a lap, the chase was sending the crowd wild. Three laps later Brabham had closed right up on Amon.

The three leaders lapped Hulme on BP Straight as they flashed past on lap 19, while Gardner got past Hill again and Bartlett somehow blew off Cusack in the Coventry Climax engined old Brabham BT11A. Next time round, Brabham had again lost ground to Amon and Gardner was one second ahead of Hill. Then, as the leaders came from under Dunlop Bridge onto the main straight, there were only two. Brabham came into view a little later coasting towards the pits with a seized engine.

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Clark and Amon during their epic dice into turn 1 or Shell Corner for the quick blast past the old pits on the left, Sandown 1968 (Rod MacKenzie)

With Brabham out of the race, the crowd focused on the furious dice between Clark and Amon, and then back further to Graham Hill and Frank Gardner.

‘Amon desperately needed the win to make up points on Clark and he was driving superbly to hang on to the tail of the more powerful Lotus-Ford. He started a series of maneuvres which were to last throughout the race of slipstreaming the Lotus, then switching to the side and trying to forge past on the straights. However, Clark had enough steam to just hold the Ferrari leaving his braking slightly later than Amon on Shell and Lukey corners’.

Amon lost some ground lapping slower cars but by lap 43 he was looking into Clark’s ZF ‘box. Temperatures had tumbled during the race to a moderate 90 degrees (!) which made things a shade easier all round’.

‘With seven laps left in the 33rd Australian Grand Prix, Frank Gardner got the GO signal from the Mildren crew and roared after Hill. Amon had his nose over the finish line twice in the closing laps in a massive bid to snatch the lead from Clark, but he was out-braked each time into Shell. Gardner took Hill briefly at Lukey corner on lap 52 but Hill was in front again as they came under Dunlop Bridge.

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Clark under brakes in the winning Lotus 49 DFW, AGP Sandown 1968 (Rod MacKenzie)

And that’s how they finished. It was probably the most exciting GP since the 1960 event at Lowood when Alec Mildren won by a mere one 26th second from Lex Davison. Clark credited Amon with a wonderful drive, and it was obvious both men were as near to the limit as anyone for the whole 55 laps. Courage came home a lap down in fifth place while Attwood, Geoghegan and Bartlett all completed 53 laps in that order. Geoghegan received the honour of first Australian home for the second time and Bartlett was fuming because he had received no pit signal as to how close he was to Geoghegan’.

F1 ‘830 Series’ Repco V8?…

An interesting historic sidebar is this engines prospects as an F1 engine, had it been raced in 1968.

The 860 Series, DOHC, 4 valve circa 390bhp engine bombed bigtime in F1 in 1968. Jack and Jochen Rindt had a torrid time, the engine was way behind with its build and testing compared to the simpler, championship winning 620 and 740 Series 1966 and 1967 engines-a story for another time.

Jack was later to reflect, including in a conversation with Repco’s Rodway Wolfe that another F1 title could have been won by Repco  in 1968. His theory was that had they taken the simple SOHC, 2 valve approach which yielded championships in 1966 and 1967 by using the 830 V8 in ’68 another title beckoned. In 2.5 litre Tasman form the 830 gave circa 295 bhp, even if it gave 350 bhp in 3 litre form, which is 20bhp more than the 740 F1 engine gave in 1967, Jack was drawing a long bow about its ’68 prospects, i think.

By 1968 the Ford Cosworth DFV, which first raced in the ’67 Dutch GP was giving a reliable 405bhp and was in the hands of Lotus, McLaren and Matra; 5 or 6 cars raced the engine in every GP depending upon whether Ken Tyrrell’s Matra International fielded one or two cars. Every 1968 GP bar the French (won by Ickx, Ferrari) was won by the DFV…Yep, an 830 engined Brabham BT26 would have finished in the points had it been reliable, Rindt was pedalling it remember. But a title? I really don’t think so Jack, the game had moved on.

The great tantalising Repco ‘what if’ is how the 860 quad cam would have gone in 1969 with its bugs sorted and having a reliable, torquey Repco (real horses, not ponies) 400bhp. A title in 1969?! Maybe…

Credits…

Rodway Wolfe Collection, Rod MacKenzie Collection, Fox Photos, Keystone, Ross Cammick, The Roaring Season, Getty Images, Brian McInerney, Victor Blackman

Tailpiece: Larry on his way to 13th in the Ensign N175 Ford during the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama, Hunt won in a McLaren M23 Ford…

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Blondie surrounded by World Champs; Messrs Hulme, Hill and Clark, Melbourne, 1968…

Ford Australia’s 1967 ‘XR’ Falcon was a big step forward in its market competition with General Motors ‘Holden’ who had a dominant position.  The XR GT packed a 289cid V8 and started the trend of local pony cars which provided wonderful road cars and iconic Bathurst racers for years.

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Barry Cassidy, Ford Falcon ‘XR’ GT, Newry Corner, Longford March 1968 (oldracephotos.com)

This photo is no doubt part of Ford’s ongoing repositioning of their product, ‘Going Ford is the Going Thing’ was FoMoCo’s ‘tag line’ of the day.

‘Blondies’ car is the 1968 ‘XT’ Falcon 500 ‘poverty pack’. A 302cid V8 was cranked under the bonnet to create the GT, a 4 speed box, slippery diff and front disc brakes with firmer springs and shocks completed the performance makeover. This was the only one of the ‘Big Henrys’ which didn’t win the Bathurst enduro classic. An ‘HK’ Holden Monaro 327 coupe driven by Bruce McPhee took the ’68 win.

‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday’ is the adage…

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The Spencer Martin/Jim McKeown XT Ford Falcon GT auto!,Bathurst 500 1968. The pair were 42nd, the highest placed Ford was the XR GT driven by McIntyre/Stacey which was 7th (unattributed)

The local ranges of Ford and Holden were full of mundane stodge in 1966, perhaps the Cortina GT the ‘highlight’. Times ‘were a changin tho’, by 1970; Ford offered the Falcon 351V8 GT/GTHO, Lotus engined Escort Twin-cam, Capri GT V6 and 1600GT and Holden the Monaro HG 350V8 and Torana XU1 which sported a 186cid ohv triple-carbed straight six, all wonderful cars for 13 year olds to dream about…

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Ford Oz ad for the 1972/3 ‘XA’ Coupe GT; 351cid 300bhp V8, 4 speed ‘top loader’ box, slippery diff, disc/drum brakes, great cars!

Ford provided some support to Team Lotus who campaigned Lotus 49 DFW’s for both Jim Clark and Graham Hill during the ’68 Tasman Series which Clark won.

The Falcon shot at the articles start has Victorian plates so the shot was probably taken in the week of 25 February to 4 March 1968. Clark took the Sandown, Victorian round. The world champs were then in Melbourne for a few days before heading to Longford, Tasmania for the series ending race won by Piers Courage’ McLaren M4A FVA F2 car in a stunning wet weather drive.

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Clark ahead of Graham Hill, slices into The Esses during the ‘Warwick Farm 100’, another win for the Scot’s Lotus 49, he took the ’68 Tasman (oldracephotos.com)

Credits…

Ford Australia, oldracephotos.com

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The trouble with so many shots of Maria Teresa de Filippis is that many were shot by non-racing photographers so are devoid of the detail we want!…

‘Maria Teresa with racing car’ is about as precise as it often gets, it gives we amateur historians a research challenge I guess. Having trawled through the ‘F2 Register’ Formula Junior Archive as best I can (although the listing for this event does not include competitor numbers) this is the ‘Confronto Nord-Sud’ contested at Vallelunga on 1 November 1958. Lucio de Sanctis won the final in his own de Santis Fiat with Maria Teresa 4th in the first heat and 6th in the final. I wrote a short article after de Filippis died last year, click here to read it;

https://primotipo.com/2015/11/29/maria-teresa-de-filippis/

The car behind Maria Teresa is another Stanguellini, unfortunately the mid-engined car has been largely cropped out of the shot, ‘twould be interesting to know what it is if any of you FJ experts can identify the machine.

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MTdF in her Stanguellini at Vallelunga in 1958 (Popperfoto)

Formula Junior had 11 events in 1958, 9 of them in Italy, the category’s champion was Count Giovanni Lurani an Italian who saw the need for a relatively inexpensive entry-level single-seater class. The category was for cars with engines of 1100cc and a minimum weight of 440Kg (their was a 1000cc class as well with a lower weight limit) exploded in 1959 with meetings all over Europe, the UK from mid-year and a couple towards the end of the year in the US.

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Count Giovanni ‘Johnny’ Lurani, here in the mid-30’s, was an Italian auto engineer, driver and journalist who raced Salmson, Derby, Alfa and Maserati’s after graduating in engineering at the Politecnico di Milano. He won his class in the Mille Miglia thrice and founded Scuderia Ambrosiana in 1937. Post WW2 he worked with the FIA, his credits include the creation of FJ in ’59 and the GT Class in ’49. He also designed record breaking motorcycles and was president of the FIM in a life of achievement (ISC Images)

The category was immensely successful largely due to a progressively more buoyant post-war global economy, improving personal incomes and the arrival of consumer credit which meant young aspirants to Fangio’s world crown could buy a car.

There was plenty of choice of weapon too as builders of chassis and related componentry popped up all over the joint from Australia to Russia. An article on FJ and its incredible growth is an interesting one for another time!

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Stanguellini factory in Modena with a swag of FJ’s lines up out front in 1959 (stanguellini.it)

Stanguellini were beautifully placed to build cars for Formula Junior given their rich history of racers based on the Fiat parts bin…

That glib phrase does not do the heritage of this firm justice however, click on this link to the marques website which provides a great summary of their cars and engines since the 1930’s, the photographic archive is also rich, take the time to cruise through it; http://www.stanguellini.it/en/100-years-of-history-stanguellini-car/

The ‘Stang’ is often often said to be a mini-250F but its as much Vanwall or Lotus 16, either way those comparisons don’t do justice to a car which has a beauty all of its own.

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Stanguellini Fiat FJ cutaway drawing, all the key elements of the car clear and as described in the text (unattributed)

Vittorio Stanguellini engaged Alberto Massimino who was very clever in his design approach; its not innovative in terms of its ladder frame chassis, or choice of front-engined layout although the first cars appeared in late ’57 or ‘early ’58, the ‘Cooper Revolution’ wasn’t necessarily clear at that exact moment in time. A year later the mid-engined trend was, but the Stang with its circa 80bhp, twin Webered 1098cc pushrod engine was the most competitive thing around in 1958 and 1959.

In part it was due to a clever layout which provided the driver a low driving position, getting the weight down by the use of an offset drive line, the Fiat 4 speed gearbox kinked to the right, the driver to the left. The cars had conventional upper and lower wishbone front suspension and a Fiat live axle nicely located with parallel trailing arms and sprung by coils, co-axial shocks were used front and rear. The ‘look’ was completed by the use of Borrani 12 inch wire-wheels, brakes were finned Fiat 9.8 inch drums front and rear. The wheelbase was 79 inches, front and rear track 48 inches.

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Snug cockpit of Norm Falkiners Stanguellini FJ in late 2015, offset transmission to get the driver down nice and low clear . Engine and ‘box Fiat 4 speed (Bisset)

None of these Stanguellini’s raced in Australia ‘in period’ but Melbourne driver Norm Falkiner imported one a decade or so ago. I happened to be testing my Van Dieman RF86 Historic Formula Ford at Calder when its restoration was just completed by Jim Hardman, who still fettles it. These mixed track days are interesting to see how different cars do their stuff (or not!) up close; I can still recall how nice the thing put its power down, and how much punch it seemed to have, I could hear the little Fiat engine buzzing to circa 7500rpm each time I ranged up near it. It was less impressive under brakes, but chances are they were still being sorted.

Maria-Teresa’s views on the ‘Stang relative to the GP machines she was piloting at the time would be interesting!

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de Filippis in her 250F at Spa in 1958, 11th in the Belgian GP won by Tony Brooks Vanwall VW57 (unattributed)

Robert Lippi won the Italian Championship in 1958 and Michel May won both the ’59 Monaco FJ GP and ‘Auto Italiana International Championship for Drivers’ and Stanguellini the ‘Quattroroute International Championship of Makes’. The ‘Campionato Italiano’ went to Stanguellini driver Raffaele Cammarota.

In 1960 things got tougher. The Brits ran their first championships for the class, Chapman’s mid-engined Lotus 18 was just as quick with an 1100 Ford bolted into the back of it as a 2.5 litre Coventry Climax FPF. It and the Cooper T52 BMC made the pickings tougher for the ‘front-engined brigade the best of which that year was perhaps the Lola Mk2.

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The GP Icecar, Cortina 17/18 January 1959. In Italy racing on ice was a novelty, circuit at Monti Pallidi, contestants line up for the first heat. L>R Stanguellini Fiat’s of Crivellari, Zanarotti and De Carli. At right the VW based Mathe VW of Otto Mathe. The final was won by Manfredini’s Wainer Fiat (Stangullini)

In 1960 Colin Davis Osca Fiat won the ‘Campionato A.N.P.E.C/ Auto Italiana d’ Europa’ from Jacques Cales Stanguellini Fiat, Denny Hulme in a Cooper T52 BMC and Lorenzo Bandini, Stang Fiat.

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Beautiful period shot; Michel May lines up his #33 Stang Fiat FJ on the front row of the second heat of the Trofeo Vigorelli, Monza on 24 April 1960, which he won. 2nd in the ‘final 2’ . Car #57 alongside is Rob Slotemaker’s Cooper T52 DKW (stanguellini.it)

That FJ was nurturing drivers of great talent is shown by the fields of the 1960 championship which included Henry Taylor, Giancarlo Baghetti, John Love, Gerhard Mitter, ‘Geki’ Russo, Kurt Ahrens, Trevor Taylor, Jo Siffert, Peter Arundell, Ludovico Scarfiotti and Jim Clark, to name a diverse global few!

Clark won the ‘BRDC/Motor Racing’, ‘British FJ Championship’ and ‘John Davey British FJ Championship’ aboard his works Lotus 18 Ford and Peter Arundell the ‘BARC Championship’ in the other works 18.

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Jim Clark happy after winning the ‘Kentish 100 Trophy’ at Brands Hatch 27 August 1960, Lotus 18 Ford (Lee)

Stanguellini rose to the mid-engined challenge, building the multi-tubular chassis Delfino FJ. Again Fiat engined, but inclined at 45 degrees, it had a very distinctive high mounted exhaust. By 1962 Cosworth modified Ford engines were well out of the Fiat’s reach, the car had little success, with Stanguellini losing interest in the class.

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Colin Davis testing the Stanguellini Delfino Fiat at Modena in winter 1962, distinctive exhaust system clear. ‘Sharknose’ styling modelled on Carlo Chiti’s 1961/2 Ferrari 156 F1 machine (stanguellini.it)

Credits…

Botti, Popperfoto, Lee, Stanguellini.it, F2 Register, ISC Images

Tailpiece: Maria-Teresa helping get her Stanguellini into position at Vallelunga, car behind a 250F. I’ve a feeling the ‘ogling fans in the background are focused on the lines of the lady not her car…

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(Popperfoto)

 

 

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Jack Sears chases Graham Hill, #21 Dan Gurney, Denny Hulme and Mike Salmon in line astern; AC Shelby Cobra, Ferrari 330P, Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, Brabham BT8 Climax and Aston Martin DP214, 29 August 1964…

This group of cars indicative of the quality of the field, Hill won the race of changing fortunes from David Piper’s Ferrari 250LM and Dan Gurney’s Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe.

Entry…

The Tourist Trophy is a much coveted sportscar victory, the 29th running of the classic at Goodwood on 29 August 1964 no exception to the strong field of entrants…

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Clark and Lotus 30 Ford during practice. Thats Team Lotus’ Andrew Ferguson behind the car and deer-stalker topped John Bolster with the headset on. Pitstops during the race not so serene! (unattributed)

The entry drawcards were GeePee drivers Bruce McLaren, Jim Clark and Graham Hill in outright contenders; ex-Penske ‘Zerex Spl’ Cooper Olds, works Lotus 30 Ford and Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari 330P respectively. Other contenders were David Piper’s Ferrari 250LM and 5 AC Shelby Cobra’s driven by Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Jack Sears, Bob Olthoff and Roy Salvadori.

Denny Hulme and Hugh Dibley raced Brabham BT8 Climaxes. John Surtees, Richie Ginther, Innes Ireland and Tony Maggs Ferrari GTO’s. Most of the drivers electing to race the 132 miles solo, it was a  typically spectacular international grid of sporties of the day.

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Goodwood paddock; #23 Jack Sears Shelby Cobra, #22 Phil Hill and alongside him, Dan Gurney in Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes (unattributed)

Graham Hill ponders the speed of his Maranello Concessionaires entered 4litre Ferrari 330P chassis ‘0818’ during practice. It may not have been the quickest car in the race but it had the endurance the Group 7 ‘sprinters’ lacked.

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The Race…

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The start, front row L>R; McLaren, Clark and Hill, Hugh Dibley in the white Brabham BT8 Climax, #4 Piper Ferrari 250LM (unattributed)

Bruce popped the ‘Zerex’ on pole from Clark, Hill and Dibley. Dan was the quickest of the GT’s in his big, booming Cobra.

From the start McLaren led from a ‘very busy’ Clark, the Lotus much more of a handful than Bruce’s ‘mongrel’ Cooper T51 based special! Denny was 3rd in his nimble Brabham with Trevor Taylor’s Elva BMW in 4th. Bruce’ clutch failed to transmit the power of his ally Olds V8 and retired, the order was then Clark, Hulme, Taylor and Hill G. After 25 laps Piper and Salvadori were a lap back such was the pace of the frontrunners.

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Dan Gurney was 3rd in the best placed Shelby American entered Daytona Cobra Coupe (Getty)

Graham Hill spun the Ferrari at Woodcote on lap 17, Tony Maggs whips past in David Pipers Ferrari GTO, the South African finished tenth.

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(LAT)

Graham started to push, coming up to 3rd, then 2nd. Clark pitted for fuel on lap 64 giving Hill the lead, more drama for Clark as the Lotus had been under-filled, another 15 gallons were added and oil, then the hot motor wouldn’t fire. By this stage Hill was nearly a minute up the road. Clark then treated the crowd to a superb demonstration of on the limit driving ‘… in a hurry, needing all the road. He would come out of Woodcote, dust rising as the tail of the Lotus 30 touched the verge, accelerate in a burst of power that lifted the nose, slip through the chicane and like as not use the kerb out of it to bounce the car straight. Stop watches were out, Clark might close on Hill a couple of laps from the end…’

But it was not to be, Clark made a third pitstop when the car felt odd, the diagnosis a bottom wishbone locking ring had slackened off and was contacting a front wheel, so Graham Hill’s 330P Ferrari won from Piper’s 250LM, then came the AC Cobras of Gurney, Sears and Olthoff in coupe, sports and hardtop respectively! Hills average speed was 97.13mph and Bruce McLaren set a new sportscr car lap record of 1:23.8 in the ‘Zerex’ Cooper Olds before his retirement early in the race.

Etcetera…

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David Piper’s Ferrari 250LM (unattributed)

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Hill, Fazz 330P (unattributed)

Credits…

Motorsport October 1964, Sutton Images, LAT

Tailpiece: The TT would have been a nice win for the Lotus 30 Ford, not Chapman’s greatest bit of work. Clark at speed…

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(Sutton)

 

 

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Patrese debuts Arrows A1-06 Ford at Kyalami, South African GP 1979. Q8 and 11th in the race won by Gilles Villeneuve’ Ferrari 312T4 (Schlegelmilch)

What’s it like livin’ and lovin’ the most successful race engine ever built?…

Our ‘Racers Retreat’, Peter Brennan owns and cares for ‘DFV250’. I have decided in fact he is a ‘perick’! Not only can he drive ‘big cars’ very quickly but he can  also reconstruct, rebuild and maintain the things which makes him a multi-talented ‘perick!

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Pete Brennan in the Arrows at Phillip Island, Paul Faulkner’s ex-Jones ’81 Williams FW07 behind (Brennan)

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Villeneuve and Patrese, 7th and 5th in the 1979 Belgian GP at Zolder. Ferrari 312 T4 and Arrows A1 ’06’ May 1979 (unattributed)

‘DFV250’ sits in the back of his Arrows A1-‘06’. It was Ricardo Patrese’s car for the early season races in ’79 before Arrows switched to the more advanced but unsuccessful A2 which was not Tony Southgate’s best work. A1-06 was then sold for Aurora Series and Historic F1 use, eventually ending up in the Al Copeland Collection from whom Pierre acquired it after Copeland’s passing.

We will get to restoration of the Arrows and the Ford DFV which was at the ‘dismantle, crack-test and reassemble’ end of the spectrum rather than the ‘reconstruct around the monocoque bulkheads, four corners and ‘box’ huge task which Lola T330 ‘HU18’ represented, soon. Click on this link for a series of articles on that mammoth job which shows Peter’s talents.

https://primotipo.com/2014/06/24/lellas-lola-restoration-of-the-ex-lella-lombardi-lola-t330-chev-hu18-episode-1/

For now I just want to focus on the care and maintenance of a DFV race to race which I expect is rather more involved than that of my ‘Peter Larner Engines’ 105bhp Formula Ford ‘Kent’ moteur?

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Clark on the way to the DFV and Lotus 49’s first win, Dutch GP, Zandvoort 4 June 1967. Clark leads Brabham Brabham BT19 Repco 2nd, Rindt Cooper T81B Maserati DNF and Hulme Brabham BT20 Repco 3rd (Schlegelmilch)

 

 

Why the DFV you ask?…

Keith Duckworth’s Ford sponsored 1967 3 litre, 4 valve, fuel injected, 2993cc V8 is both the most successful grand prix engine of all time with 155 championship GP wins from 1967-1983 but also part of the winningest ‘family’ of engines. The DFV spun off the 3.9 litre Le Mans winning endurance racing ‘DFL’ and single turbo-charged 2.65 litre ‘DFX’ Indy victor.

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Theo Page cutaway of the Ford Cosworth DFV in 1967. All the key elements referred to in the text covered in this superb drawing

Phil Reilly Engineering…

Brennan has tackled all manner of race engines over the years including lots of Chevs, Repco Holden F5000, Repco Brabham V8’s and various Coventry Climax FPF’s, but the DFV was new to him. His ‘guru’, a source of advice from afar and the fellow to whom he sent the his heads was Phil Reilly who has forgotten more about these engines than most people ever knew. His ‘shop, well known to American enthusiasts is in Corte Madera, California. Reilly Engineerings ‘Care and Feeding Your Cosworth DFV’ and Peters practices in looking after ‘250’ form the basis of this article.

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Butt shot of one of the Lotus 49’s upon debut at Zandvoort 1967, ZF 5 speed ‘box, the ratios of which could not easily be changed about to be swapped. Shot shows the brilliant packaging of the DFV. Lotus’ Chapman prescribed a stress bearing V8 to Keith Duckworth inclusive of the way he wanted to attach the engine to the chassis at the bulkhead aft of the driver. Note the tubular brackets either side of the Borg and Beck clutch to which the suspension mounts. Their is no tubular frame or monocoque structure aft the driver, the engine itself forms the function of being the bit to which other bits are attached! Part of the brilliance of the DFV is its combination of power, weight, reliability and cost, the other aspect is the way it integrates with the chassis (Schlegelmilch)

DFV’s and DFV’s…

The development of these engines has effectively never stopped, you can still buy the bits from Cosworth Engineering, inclusive of a new engine should you buzz it to 15000rpm on an errant downchange and pop a rod or three thru its slender aluminium or magnesium flanks.

The DFV in Jim Clark’s winning Lotus 49 at Zandvoort on 4 June 1967 gave a smidge over 405bhp, its power delivery in the early days quite ferocious, coming in with a bang all up top, making it a bit of a challenge for Messrs Clark and Hill. A long stroke, same as Jims, engine like DFV250 gave around 470bhp and 260 lbs/foot of torque at 10500/9000rpm respectively whilst being thrashed to within an inch of its life by Patrese in early 1979.

A wrong turn of phrase really as the talented Italian multiple GP winner was both mechanically sympathetic and great test driver.

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Jacky Ickx, Ensign N177 Ford, Monaco GP 1977, 10th in the race won by Scheckter’s Wolf WR1 Ford (unattributed)

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All go and no show Cosworth Engineering. Subtle stamping of engine number in the engines valley (Brennan)

In fact when ‘250’ was first born it was a Cosworth lease engine used by Team Ensign and supplied to them on December 3 1976.

It was fitted to the N177 chassis’ driven by Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni, multi GP winners both, during 1977.  Without the teams records its not possible to know into which chassis ‘250’ was installed race by race.

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Launch of the Arrows A1 at Silverstone in late 1977, maybe they figured the white body against the white snow would disguise its similarity to the new Shadow DN9, the design drawings of which Southgate erroneously thought were his! Patrese in car, Jack Oliver behind left and Tony Southgate at right. The High Court writ was shortly ‘in the mail’ (unattributed)

The engine was then bought by Arrows when the team spun out of Shadow. Jackie Oliver, Alan Rees, Tony Southgate and Dave Wass all felt they could ‘build a better mousetrap’ and left Don Nichols outfit at the end of 1977. The High Court legal stoush about ‘IP infringement’ which followed is a story for another time; in some ways Nichols had the last laugh as Shadow won a GP, the 1977 Austrian when Alan Jones took his first win in an a DN8 Cosworth, whereas Arrows never did win one albeit the business lasted a lot longer than Shadow…

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(Brennan)

The Calm Before The Storm…

Here is ‘250’ all ready to rock on Peter’s dyno; ‘It takes about a day to plumb the thing up, its godda be done very carefully of course. Cosworth prescribe very fully how to do it (see below) Having gotten thru all the preliminary stages of running it in, i gave the thing ‘a tug’. All was okey-dokey for a bit and then all hell broke loose, a huge bang and then schrapnel everywhere!’

‘Thank christ it wasn’t the engine itself. The DFV’s vibrate so much it broke the dyno driveshaft @ 9200 rpm precisely! I have had all manner of donks on that dyno, over 500bhp Chevs etc but nothing has done that before. Having had that happen i still haven’t given it a full power run on the dyno anyway!’

But we are getting ahead of ourselves, the rebuild of the engine itself we will cover in an article about the car.

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Brennan’s dyno driveshaft after Cosworth assault @ 9200rpm (Brennan)

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Cosworth’s dyno running in procedures dated 31 October 1977 (Cosworth)

DFV use in Modern Times…

Phil Reilly; ‘If you rev the engine to 10800/11000rpm as Messrs Hunt, Fittipaldi and Jones did you will get the sort of engine bills Messrs Mayer, Fittipaldi and Williams paid!’

‘The DFV with an 11000rpm rev limit is a 3-4 hour motor…which will blow up big-time every now and then…needing an injection of $10-15K of parts and lots of (expensive) TLC…for vintage events use 10000rpm as a normal shift point. Doing this keeps the engine well below its stress point yet still provides enough power to test any drivers skills…the bonus is the engine will live 15-20 hours between rebuilds’.

Geoff Richardson Engineering have been looking after the engines since their heyday, James Claridge provided their perspective; ‘The routine rebuild interval for an engine limited to 10000rpm is approximately 1000 miles’.

‘This would comprise of us stripping it down, crack testing components, inspection of all parts, followed by re-assembly and dyno testing. Replacement of valve springs happens every time.Possible replacement of pistons depending on condition, if they were re-used they would certainly be replaced at 2000 miles. The same applies to all of the valves, they are taken on condition. New con-rod bolts are fitted, all new bearings, a new set of piston rings, and all new seals and O-rings are fitted. Nearly all the other parts are taken on condition and replaced accordingly’.

‘An engine with no issues or catastrophes that we knew the history of and is well looked after might cost somewhere in the region of £12-15000.00 to completely refresh’.

Peter Brennan provides the drivers perspective; ‘ The DFV has three quite distinct phases of power, one bangs in at 5500rpm, the next at 7000, then it goes ballistic at 9000 and all you do is chase gears with the tach going bananas…’ ‘Its not that difficult to get off the line, it obviously doesn’t have 500 plus foot pounds of torque like an F5000, sliding the foot sideways off the throttle at around 8000 rpm and then modulating it to match wheelspin with circuit grip soon has you motoring in the direction of tomorrow pretty smartly!’

Click on this footage of Brennan in the Arrows at the Adelaide Motorfest in 2014, the event uses part of the Adelaide GP circuit and some other streets.

‘The howl of the thing at 10000rpm as it yelps its way from cog to cog along the main straight at Phillip Island; with a 22/24 top fitted, fifth is 183 mph @ 10000rpm is unbelievable and Patrese would probably take it flat! Its not to be believed and relished every time you do it, Southern Loop comes up all too soon, its not the seagulls you are focused on as you turn the thing in believe me’.

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Bruce Allison in the March 771/781 Ford, Thruxton or Oulton Park in 1978 (Allison)

Bruce Allison raced Cosworth powered March’s in the Aurora Series in 1978 ‘The record of the engine speaks for itself, it will still be popular in historic racing in 50 years! The engine was powerful, smooth and reliable the cars of course handled better with far less weight at the back than the F5000’s i was used to. The 781 March may have been the 782 with a DFV shoved in it but it was a beautiful handling car, the 761 chassis i used early in the season was not as good but the engines were always great, beautiful to drive’.

Lookin’ After Cossie: These things are like a mistress, stunning to look at but always wanting attention, never happy and a constant sap of cash…

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Brennan’s sense of humor never too far from the surface! ’06’ at Sandown historics 2014. Dissertation on the chassis and suspension i will save for the article on the car itself. Shot included to show just how much the engines compact size, packaging and stress bearing nature assists the chassis designer. Compare how Tony Southgate mounts his suspension to the engine via these fabricated aluminium plates compared with Chapman’s tubular structures in the Lotus 49 of 1967. Note back of sparkbox in the Vee, ‘two towers’ behind that to connect with air scoop to cool inboard mounted rear discs, rear suspension outta the airsteam and clear of G/E tunnels, single support for gold rear wing, oil cooler and black painted starter motor with drive going forward (Bisset)

Storage and Fuel System.

The engine needs to be turned over by hand one revolution each week. Turn on the fuel pump as well, this will ensure no two valve springs remain fully compressed for too long and will circulate fuel through the metering unit to prevent corrosion and keep all the seals from sticking in one place.

The fuel filter needs to be changed every 500-700 miles, the engines have a high pressure pump to start and a mechanical one for normal on circuit running. The engine won’t run below 2000 rpm on the mechanical one, the electric one is needed for starting, fuel pressure of 120psi needs to be maintained at all time, at least 95 psi is needed to fire her up.

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‘250’ ‘right bank’ showing both the auxiliary drive belt housing (right) and the super clever oil scavenge/de-aerator pump at left and one of the water pumps in between. The black coupling between oil and water pumps is called an ‘oldham drive’, a flexible joint (Brennan)

Olio.

A more critical liquid than fuel is oil. The engine must be plumbed to Cosworth specs…its data sheet DA0626 for ‘DFV250’ and the like. Its critical the engine never sucks air, at high revs bearing failure will result. At 10000rpm the engine is rotating at 166 times plus per second.

Peter; ‘I use Kendall 20/50 mineral oil, which has a high zinc content which is great for the cams and followers’. The Cosworth oil filter (Part #PP0404) needs to be changed every 300 miles, the oil level needs to be checked religiously as the engine uses as much as 4 quarts every 100 miles.

Oil temperature should be 90-100 degrees centigrade measured at the inlet to the pressure pump. 7000rpm should not be exceeded before the oil is at least 50 degrees centigrade.

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‘250’ ready to be refitted to ’06’ in Brennans eastern Melbourne workshop. Note spark box between the Vee and behind it the fuel metering unit below the ‘aeroquip’ lines, Lucas injection of slide as against butterfly type. ‘Knurled wheel’ beside rear LH injector sets mixture, ‘behind’ this is the drive for the mechanical tach. Line at far right is cable drive for electro-mechanical fuel pump. The more you look the more elegant the packaging of it all is (Brennan)

Spark.

‘250’ has the Lucas ‘Opus’ system which has a pickup on the crank which fires the Opus at 38-40 degrees BTDC. The Opus also has a retard mechanism which is set for starting at 12 degrees BTDC.

The DFV has an alternator which provides sufficient power as long as the electrical  fuel pump is switched off, DFV pilots need to remember this as they zap away from pitlane. ‘Pump Off’ was a familiar pit signal for decades!

Ignition timing is set on the dyno and is usually impossible to change in the chassis. Opus runs at 38-40 degrees BTDC, the sytem needs to be mounted in a cool place, the stock Cosworth mounting between the injection trumpets is usually fine.

The engine must be connected to negative earth with rev limiters set to 10400rpm.

The plugs are 10mm Bosch surface discharge to special order. Warm up plugs aren’t required, with plug life 3-4 race weekends. The plug wells need to be blown out, the HT leads removed with pliers. Plugs are tensioned to 9-10 foot pounds having been coated with ‘Copaslip’ first.

Spark boxes are delicate devices, you will kill them by voltage spikes caused by breaking the earth, so be clear on shut down procedures.

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Throttle linkage of Brennans Arrows at Sandown 2014, ’06’ about to fired up. Note the ‘Opus’ spark box between the injection trumpets and black electro-mechnical fuel pump atop the centrally mounted, between driver and engine, fuel cell. Note radiator header tank and cap, bottom right is roll bar support bracket (Bisset)

Mechanical Installation.

The valve cover engine mounting bolts are 5/16 inch UNF and should be tightened to 16-18 ft pounds, be careful not to over-tighten to avoid cracking or deforming the magnesium casting.

The engine throttle slides have four over-centre return springs at the rear, these are a unique Cosworth invention which both reduces pedal pressure and ensures the slides close fully when you lift your foot. But they are not the throttle return springs which sould be well designed and of the ‘compression type’.

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‘The Bomb’; Distributor cap missing at left, alternator in the middle and fuel metering unit at right, This is driven by a quill shaft off the complex gear set (shaft is only 6mm in diameter and designed to snap in cold weather rather the metering unit itself!) (Brennan)

The system needs to be cleaned and lubed regularly. The metering unit fuel cam should be flushed with aerosol ‘brake clean’ and carefully lubricated with a dab of ‘Copaslip’ before each event. If the fuel cam mechanism is gummy it will cause the throttle to seem to stick on.

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‘250’ this time showing the ‘left side’ of the engine with combined water pump and oil pressure pump/filter assy. 250 engine a ‘twin water pump long stroke engine’ as against later ‘slim line’ from circa 1980 which only had one water/oil pump to maximise the space available for ground effects tunnels (Brennan)

The cooling system must not trap air, use bleeds as required, the system uses a 15-20psi cap. A 50/50 mix of water/glycol keeps corrosion in check and lubricates the water pump. Temperature strips should be used to monitor ‘real’ engine temperatures. The water outlet temps at the back of the heads should be 90-110 degrees centigrade and inlet temps 70-80 degrees.

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‘250’ during its disassembly. Complex gear train to drive 32 valves, with degree plate to record engine valve timing during disassembly as a matter of record (Brennan)

Fuel & Fuel System.

Peter uses 100 octane avgas. Light engine oil is always added to the fuel to increase the life of the metering unit, fuel pumps and valve guides/seats. 20/50 Kendall is used, the ratio 2 ounces to 5 gallons of fuel.

The Lucas system needs 120psi to operate properly. Individual injector nozzles should seal at 50-65psi and thus not leak when the electrical pump is switched on, some leakage at 100psi plus is not unusual but it shouldn’t be pissin out…

The metering unit cam is set to run at specific clearances, typical DFV settings are .006 inch idle and .078inch wide open, these settings are 1 notch from full lean. These settings will be on the engine build sheet, check them periodically.

The mechanical fuel pump seal should be lubricated every 500 miles

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Cosworth DFV and its constituent parts (unattributed)

Trivial Pursuit Question?

The firing order is; 1-8-3-6-4-5-2-7

Cold Weather Operation.

Clearances in the metering unit are so tight that in cold weather the quill drive or the metering unit drive will break. Not a good idea.

In weather below 45 degrees fahrenheit the engine shouldn’t be spun over before warming the metering unit with either a hair dryer or judicious amounts of boiling water being poured over it.

Firing Her Up: The Good Bit.

Warm up plugs and oil heaters aren’t needed, so some of the theatre of a bygone era is lost!

Make sure Arrows isn’t in gear!

Set the fuel cam datum pin to full rich

Switch on the electric fuel pump

100psi of fuel pressure should be present

Crank the engine over for 8-10 seconds with the throttle full open

Then prime each injection trumpet with a delicate squirt of fuel

Hit the Opus system retard switch (switch back across for on circuit work)

Switch on the ignition

Hold the throttle open about 25%, start the engine, but don’t race it as it fires. Hold her steady above 2300rpm, savouring the beautiful music it plays, settle the revs wherever the mechanical chatter is minimised but @ around 2300rpm

Its important not to run the engine below 2000rpm as the cams are not properly lubricated below that

Once the engine settles down with a little temperature switch off the electric fuel pump.

As the engine warms, the engine should be leaned one datum pin down, one notch at a time. With each notch it will spit and crackle a bit until it warms to it.

Engines are set normally to run one notch from full lean, they will be ‘grumpy’ at low speed which is normal.

Oil pressure should be 40-60 psi, make sure your driver has a look every now and then on circuit!

Unsurprisingly running a DFV is more complex than its Ford ‘Kent’ little brother! If the maintenance regime is followed and the driver keeps the engine in its optimum band and doesn’t buzz it on the down-changes, something Ricardo did during his Arrows days according to Tony Southgate then ‘DFV250’ will last around 1700-2000 miles  between rebuilds…

DFV Engine in the Ground Effect Era…

Credits & Bibliography…

Peter Brennan many thanks

Phil Reilly Engineering, Geoff Richardson Engineering

Dossier on Arrows A1-06 written by Alan Henry for oldracingcars.com

Rainer Schlegelmilch

Tailpiece…

arr sticker

 

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Jim Clark’s Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato ‘2 VEV’ exits the chicane during the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood on 19 August 1961…

I wrote an article about this car a while back, click here to read it, wonderful evocative shot isn’t it!;

https://primotipo.com/2015/09/22/aston-martin-db4gt-zagato-2vev-lex-davison-and-bib-stillwell/

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Jim Clark circa 1962 (Getty)

Credit…

GP Library, Getty Images, Nicholas Watts

Tailpiece: Clark from the Moss and Mike Parkes Ferrari 250SWB’s…

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(Nicholas Watts)

 

 

monaco 1961

A famous win for Moss, Rob Walker and the Lotus 18 Climax…

1961 was the first year of the 1.5 litre F1; Ferrari were dominant with their powerful 156’s, the little V6 was the most potent engine, the chassis not a patch on the best of the Brits but overall the Scuderia had a great year.

However, the mastery of Moss prevailed several times during 1961. The first of these performances in his lithe, nimble 1.5 Coventry Climax Mk2 engined Lotus 18 is portrayed in the season opening event by John Ketchell’s art.

The great cockpit view shows Moss chasing Jack Brabham’s Cooper T55 Climax and Richie Ginther’s Ferrari 156.

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Grid shot: #20Moss Lotus 18 Climax, #36 Ginther’s Ferrari 156 and #28 Clark Lotus 20 Climax front row. Gurney’s Porsche 718 and Phil Hill’s Ferrari 156 on row 2 (unattributed)

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Hill’s Ferrari, Clark outside #28 , Moss inside with the missing bodywork, #16 Tony Brooks BRM P48/57 Climax#36 Ginther and the silver nose of Gurney’s Porsche 718 (GP Library)

 

Credit…

John Ketchell, GP Library

Tailpiece: Maestro Moss…

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Moss Mastery; totally relaxed as he gets every bit of performance out of the chassis of his year old Rob Walker owned Lotus 18; works drivers Clark and Ireland are in the new Lotus 20. Side bodywork removed to provide cooling air on the hot May day. Moss won Lotus’ first championship GP win with this victory (Geoff Goddard)

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(Vintage Racecar)

Leo Geoghegan slices his venerable Lotus 39 Repco into the Warwick Farm Esses, Tasman Series, 15 February 1970…

Terrific shot, the focus is on the driver, the rest of the car blurred giving the impression of speed, something Geoghegan had in abundance.

Leo ‘made his name’ in this car, he was a front-runner from the time he bought it off Team Lotus at the end of the ’66 Tasman Series; Jim Clark was third in it, until the time it was put aside to make way for his Lotus 59 Waggott later in 1970.

geoghegan agp 1963

Faster! Deep in thought on chassis changes with his very hot mechanic, AGP practice 10 February 1963. Lotus 20 FJ 1.5 Ford 9th just behind Frank Matich in the quickest of the 1.5’s. Winner Brabham in a BT4 Climax 2.7 (David Mist)

Geoghegan had a long background in Lotus single-seaters after he graduated from sedans and sportscars in the team his father, Tom founded. Starting with an 18FJ in 1961 he progressed through 20, 20B, 22, 27 and then a 32, which, when fitted with a 1.5 Ford Lotus Twin cam engine gave him two 2nd placings in 1965 Gold Star events. He stepped up to the ‘big time’ with the Tasman Lotus 39.

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Leo G on his way to 8th in the little Lotus 32 Ford/Lotus 1.5, ‘Warwick Farm 100’ Tasman Series, 14 February 1965 (Bruce Wells/The Roaring Season)

The ‘old girl’ Lotus 39 was frustrating in many ways, its unreliability, like other Repco Tasman users, was notorious, but it gave him the critical 6 points at Symmons Plains in March 1970 before he switched to his new Lotus 59 Waggott. This won him the Gold Star he coveted and deserved…by 6 points from Max Stewart’s similarly powered Mildren. Max’s Gold Star turn would come for the first time in 1971.

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Easter Bathurst Meeting, 15 March 1970, thru ‘The Dipper’. Lotus 39 Repco (Jeff Nield/autopics.com.au)

Lotus 39 ‘R12’….

The Lotus 25/33 series of cars are amongst motor racing’s most famous, the Lotus 25 the first ‘modern monocoque’, Jim Clark took the 1963 and 1965 World Championships’ in Loti’ 25 and 33 respectively.

The 39 is one of this series of cars and like Jack Brabham’s 1966 championship winning BT19 chassis was built for the stillborn Coventry Climax FWMW Flat-16 engine.

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Coventry Climax FWMW 1.5 litre Flat-16 engine of 1964/5 (unattributed)

The story of this amazing engine is an article in itself; in a nutshell CC’s Wally Hassan and Peter Windsor-Smith were convinced the best route to more power was higher revs (than their FWMV V8) a ‘multi’ was chosen partially due to Harry Mundy’s exposure to the BRM Type 15 supercharged V16 in the dawn of the fifties. Design commenced in 1963, the prototype was on the test bench in 1964.

Torsional problems of the crank were major issues, the engine also failed to deliver more power than the 4 valve versions of the FWMV, which themselves took a bit of development to better the FWMV 2 valve outputs. Then the 1.5 litre GP formula ended and Jaguar took over Coventry Climax; that combination of factors ended CC’s pivotal role as a successful supplier of racing engines for better than a decade.

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Graham Hill’s BRM P261 leads Clark’s Lotus 39 Climax and Jack Brabham’s Brabham BT11A Climax off Long Bridge, THAT post in front of GH’s LF wheel marks the apex…Wonderful Longford 1966 (autopics.com.au)

Colin Chapman needed a mount for Jim Clark to defend his Tasman title, he won it in 1965 with a Lotus 32B Climax, the unused 39 sitting in the corner of the Team Lotus workshop was ideal.

He tasked designer Maurice Phillippe to modify the engine bay of the car to accept a Coventry Climax 2.5 litre FPF engine. The 39 was different from its siblings in that the ‘D-shaped’ side pontoons of the chassis were ‘chopped off’ at the bulkhead aft of the drivers seat and a tubular steel subframe substituted to carry the CC Flat-16. Changes were made to the frame to accommodate the FPF.

The 39 side pods also had a more pronounced belly than the 25/33 to ensure sufficient fuel could be carried, having lost capacity by hacking the ‘rear horns’ off the tub on each side. The suspension of ‘R12’ was pure Lotus 33 and was period typical; top rockers actuating inboard coil spring/damper units and lower wishbones and at the rear inverted lower wishbones, single top link and two radius rods for fore and aft location. Adjustable roll bars front and rear as well of course. Steering by rack and pinion and outboard disc brakes on all wheels.

Chapman bought two Climax engines from Bruce McLaren who didn’t contest the Tasman in ’66, he was too busy building cars for his F1 and CanAm programs having just left Coopers.

The 39 was soon on its way to the Antipodes for its race debut in the NZGP at Pukekohe on January 8 1966.

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AGP, Lakeside 20 February 1966. Clark 3rd behind Hill’s BRM P261 and Frank Gardner’s Brabham BT11A Climax (autopics)

By 1966 the Tasman game had largely moved beyond the old FPF; Brabham debuted his Repco Brabham RB620 V8 engine and BRM modified its F1 P56/60 V8 engines to 1930cc, Jackie Stewart took the title in a P261 with 4 wins from Hill’s 2 with Clark and Attwood (BRM) 1 win apiece.

Clark had a tough start to his 1966 Tasman campaign partially because Colin Chapman switched his Lotus tyre contract from Dunlop to Firestone not long before the Tasman commenced. The tyres had been developed by Bruce McLaren, he had used them for over a year and they were competitive but the 39 had to be adapted to them.

In addition Clark had a run of misfortunes which also reduced testing time; an abortive race at Pukekohe (gearbox) no practice at either Wigram (oil leak and engine replacement/accident when Gardner’s Brabham brakes failed) or Levin (snapped radius rod in practice/2nd). At Teretonga the cars speed was shown with a heat win from Stewart. He was moving away from Jackie in the final only to go out with a spin on dropped oil on lap 3.

In Australia he took a win at Warwick Farm, always a happy hunting ground for Clark. Graham Hill won the AGP at Lakeside from Gardner and Clark. He was 2nd to Stewart’s speedy BRM at Sandown and was 7th at Longford, he had carburetion problems in practice and a plug lead came off in the race requiring a stop and dropping him to the back of the field. Stewart was again the victor, with Jim finishing third in the series behind the BRM duo.

Clark had an amazing 1965 season winning the Tasman Series, Indy 500 and the World Drivers Championship, his start to 1966 was not quite so good, a portent of a tougher year!

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Superb Clark portrait by Lindsay Ross. Lotus 39 Climax, Longford 1966. He was 7th after a troubled run, Stewart’s BRM taking the win. Note the cars ‘aero screen’ and truncated monocoque which ends at the drivers bulkhead (oldracephotos)

Geoghegans’ were the Australian Lotus importer so a deal was done to buy the car…

John Sheppard is a legendary mechanic/engineer/car builder and team manager with some of Australia’s greatest cars in his CV; the Geoghegan’s cars, Bob Jane’s Repco Torana, Laurie O’Neills Pete Geoghegan driven Holden Monaro and the Holden Dealer Team amongst an extensive and ongoing career of car construction and team management. Early in his career he was appointed as chief mechanic to the Geoghegans.  Tom took a liking to his work preparing the Youl brothers Cooper, the Tasmanian team were using the Geoghegan’s Sydney workshop at the time. John’s first event with the team was preparing Leo’s car for the Australian Formula Junior Championship at Warwick Farm in September 1963, which he won in his Lotus 22 Ford. He shares some of his recollections about his time with the Geoghegan’s throughout this article.

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John Sheppard in the 39 Repco cockpit circa 1967, hat is the Mickey Mouse Club! (John Sheppard)

Essentially 1966 was a learning year for Leo in the big cars in the domestic Gold Star Championship. His limited campaign excluded the Mallala and Sandown rounds, 2nd to Spencer Martins Brabham BT11A at Surfers Paradise his best result. A duff wheel bearing was the cause of a DNF at Lakeside, he didn’t start both the Symmons Plains and Warwick Farm rounds with Coventry Climax engine problems.

Sheppard recalls; ‘The Lotus 39 was a great car although the engine problems we had were a function of very tired engines, the blocks were cracked so it was a problem keeping them running in that first year. When we took over the car they had a strange set-up to deal with the vibrations of the big Climax-four, they put rubber o-rings between the cylinder head and inlet manifold letting them flop around, and i mean flop around so Jim had problems with throttle control. We easily fixed this with a more conventional set-up of putting the o-rings between the inlet manifold and carbs’.

‘We didn’t have problems with the Firestones but i recall Leo, having fiddled around with set-ups based on tyre temps and the like at an early tyre test embarrassing the Firestone guys a bit when his ‘seat of the pants’ set-up changes gave immediate results. Leo was quick in the car straight away, i asked Bob Jane to get his driver (Spencer Martin) to stop baulking mine at Warwick Farm and Bob of course telling me to piss-orf…’

Fifth in the Australian Grand Prix ’67 Tasman Round at Warwick Farm and 2nd the following weekend behind Clarks Lotus 33 Climax FWMV 2 litre V8 at Sandown was indicative of speed and better Coventry Climax reliability.

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Geoghegan’s Lotus 39 sharing the AMR 1968 cover with Chris Amon’s Ferrari Dino 246T. 39 here with ‘740 Series’ Repco V8 and quite the prettiest thing with its carefully, thoughtfully aerodynamic rear bodywork developed for it by John Sheppard. Knock on wheels, Castrol color scheme just gorgeous with the speed if not always reliability to match

In 1967 Sheppard and his team did a beautiful job converting the car to a 2.5 litre Repco ‘640 Series’, ‘exhaust between the Vee’ spec engine in April. They created quite the most beautiful sixties single seater. OK, maybe Gurney’s Eagle T1G gives it a run for its money! The FPF developed around 235bhp, the ‘640’ 275bhp@8500rpm.

Sheppard; ‘It was an easy decision to go with the Repco, our Climaxes were old and tired and Repco were keen to do business with everyone. It wasn’t the biggest saga to adapt the Repco V8, we made new chassis tubes to accommodate the wider engine and used the original Hewland HD5 gearbox. The suspension geometry wasn’t touched, in fact it wasn’t the whole time i worked on the car (to the end of 1968) which shows the bloke who designed and built it knew what he was about. As tyres evolved we still got the results by simply getting the best from the tyres making set-up changes based around getting tyre temps even across the tread. Basic but important stuff.’

‘The chassis and bodywork, we made a nice rear cowling or engine cover, was done by Alan Standfield who worked out of his fathers ‘Supreme Mousetraps’ factory out near Mascot. (near Sydney Airport) It was all a bit bizarre but he did good work in grotty conditions with loads of noisy machines making springs and sawdust from the ‘trap bases all over the place!’

Leo took his first Gold Star round win at Sandown in September, Sheppo recalls; ‘Early in the Repco piece i said to Frank Hallam (GM Repco) ‘you should be nicer to us because we will win the first Gold Star race for you, he turned and walked away. I had great delight in walking up to him and telling him ‘I told you so’ when we took that Sandown win which was Repco’s first Gold Star win too’

The Climax FPF engined Brabham BT11A’s were superbly driven by Spencer Martin and Kevin Bartlett and just had the legs and reliability to pip the more powerful Repco engined cars of Greg Cusack, Geoghegan and John Harvey that year. Martin took the title.

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On the end of a tow rope as was the case all too often. Here its a Coventry Climax engine failure; the FPF popped back into the car after early 1967 Repco frustrations for the final WF Gold Star round, DNF with overheating (Peter Windsor)

Leo was so miffed by the lack of reliability of the Repco that his team popped the Climax back into the car for the final Gold Star round, the Hordern Trophy’ at Warwick Farm, not finishing that race either, the Climax overheated.

Sheppard; ‘We didn’t have a good run with the Repco’s early in the piece. The 640 Series Repco, the Olds block engine chucked its oil out of the crankcase, the scavenging arrangements were poor, the stiffener plate was ‘out in the breeze’, oil sat on that and got thrown around. Leo said the engine was hard to drive as there was little power below 6500-7000rpm. The 700 Series blocks were better but in many ways by then the opposition had caught up with the Cosworth and Ferrari Dino engines competing in the Tasman. The engine was a clever design though, you could take the heads off without disturbing the timing chest and vice-versa, i give Repco ten out of ten for the way they went about things.’

For the 1968 Tasman Series all local Repco clients engines were updated to the latest specifications with 700 Series blocks.

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Leo’s 39 chases Richard Attwood’s BRM P126 at Surfers Paradise 1968. Great butt shot of both cars and a contrast of the beautifully faired Lotus and messy, bulky BRM V12. Neat packaging of the 1967 World Championship winning ‘740 Series’ V8 clear (here in 2.5 not 3 litre form). ‘Between the Vee’ exhausts easy for the chassis designer, no complex plumbing issues of pipes and tubes or an ‘ally tub. Trumpets for Lucas fuel injection and Bosch distributor cap clear also between the Vee. Car uses the same Hewland HD5 gearbox as it did with the Cov Climax FPF engine. Diaphragm to which ‘everything’ attached also clear at the very back of the chassis. Suspension at rear period typical; single upper link, inverted lower wishbone, 2 radius rods forwards for location and coil spring/damper unit with an adjustable roll-bar (Brian McInerney)

Into 1968 the Tasman Series got even tougher as the International Teams brought 2.5 litre variants of their current GP machines; the Lotus 49 DFW and the BRM P126 V12. The Mildren Team acquired a one-off Brabham BT23D powered by a 2.5 litre version of Alfa Romeo’s Tipo 33 sports car engine and Ferrari brought 2 2.4 litre Dino V6’s, the 246T.

Geoghegan, as in the prior year did only the Australian rounds; his 4th at Surfers on the same lap as the new Lotus 49’s in his 3 year old car his best result.

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Who is the Belle of the Ball? Geoghegan’s Lotus 39 Repco DNF beside Brabhams Brabham BT23E Repco 7th , Rodriguez BRM P126 6th in a P261 with Clarks Lotus 49 1st. Warwick Farm practice, Tasman 1968 (The Tasman Cup)

He lost an oil line at Warwick Farm, finished 7th at Sandown, both events won by Jim Clark’s dominant Lotus 49 and elected not to start the final, very wet Logford round given the lack of a suitable tyre for the treacherous circuit.

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Hill, Gardner, Geoghegan and further back Kevin Bartlett squabble over 2nd place on lap 2 of the Surfers ’68 Tasman round, Clark is up the road. Lotus 49 DFW, Brabham BT23D Alfa, Lotus 39 Repco and Brabham BT11A Climax (Rod MacKenzie)

Kevin Bartlett was the class of the Gold Star fields in 1968 winning the title by 10 points in the Brabham Frank Gardner drove in the Tasman. Geoghegan’s old Lotus was still fast; he took pole at Sandown and Mallala and won the race but otherwise the car lacked the consistency and speed to win the title.

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Geoghegan Catalina Park, Blue Mountains, NSW 1968 (Paul Hobson)

Chris Amon took the 1969 Tasman in his superbly driven and prepared Ferrari Dino 246T from Jochen Rindt, Lotus 49 DFW Piers Courage, Brabham BT24 DFW and Derek Bell’s Dino 246T.

Geoghegan, still driving the ‘old lady’ contested the full series; 5th at Pukekohe in the series opening NZGP behind the four drivers above, 4th at Levin, he missed the final NZ, Teretonga round.

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Leo’s Lotus 39 Repco ‘730 Series’ NZGP paddock, Pukekohe 4 January 1969. 5th in the race won by Amon’s Ferrari Dino 246T (Habu/The Roaring Season)

Straight to Queensland he was a splendid 3rd in the AGP at Lakeside behind Amon and Bell. He was 5th in his home, Warwick Farm race and had fuel tank problems in the final Sandown round.

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Lakeside in the AGP; 4/5 year old car 3rd at Lakeside behind the Ferrari 246T’s of Amon and Bell (Rod MacKenzie)

Seventh in the series, the highest placed local was a superb result for a small team running a 4 year old car against GP Teams running their latest car.

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Leo running wings at the Warwick Farm Tasman round on 9 February 1969. Sydney the teams home base. With very low angle of attack mind you. He chose not to run them at the fast Tasman final round at Sandown the following week. He was 5th in the ‘pissin wet race won by Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 49B Ford DFW, therefore this dry day is practice (Dick Simpson)

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Sandown Tasman practice, 15 February 1969. Running head of Alfie Costanzo’s McLaren M4A FVA. Leo DNS with a fuel tank leak, Alf DNF engine (Rod MacKenzie Collection)

For the 1969 Gold Star Series the 39 was more competitive than in ’68 being  fitted with the latest Repco’730 Series’, crossflow head V8 used in the Tasman, this gave 290bhp@8600rpm. The car was now running wings and whilst less aesthetically pleasing than its earlier form was fast.

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Symmons Plains Gold Star 3 March 1969. Leo was 2nd to Kevin Bartlett’s Mildren Alfa (right)  (Ellis French)

Interesting shots at Symmons Plains, Tasmania 3 March 1969 above and below. Both the 39 and Kevin Bartlett’s Mildren Alfa ‘Yellow Submarine’ sporting the hi-wings de-rigeur for the previous 12 months and soon to be outlawed over the Monaco GP weekend a month or so hence. My two favourite ‘Australian’ open-wheelers of the 1960’s albeit not in their most aesthtically pleasing form. Bartlett won the round with Leo second.

Repco ‘730 Series’ Repco V8, notice the steel ‘A-Frame’ to brace the wing supports referred to in the text and wider rear wheels but same sized fronts compared with earlier shots. Tyre widths increased dramatically from cars build in 1965 to 1970.

Locating stays for the 39 rear wing beefier than most, the failure of these in a whole swag of cars, notably the two Lotus 49’s of Rindt and Hill during the 1969 at Montjuich Park, Spanish GP the catalyst for the CSI to mandate changes to wings.

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Symmons Plains Gold Star 1969, Geoghegan’s Lotus 39 Repco, KB’s Mildren ‘Yellow Submarine’ Alfa behind (Ellis French)

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Bathurst Gold Star round 7 April 1969; Max Stewart Mildren Waggott, Niel Allen McLaren M4A Ford FVA and Geoghegan’s Lotus 39 Repco on pole. Brabham won in his BT31 Repco from the back of the grid with the front row all DNF. An accident took out Stewart and Allen, Leo had a gearbox problem (Wayne McKay)

Kevin Bartlett took the Gold Star championship again using the Mildren ‘Yellow Submarine’, initially Alfa Romeo V8 engined and later in the year in Waggott TC4 valve form. This engine developed by Sydney engineer Merv Waggott is a story in itself, it won Gold Stars for Bartlett, Geoghegan and Stewart in 1969-71 beating 2.5’s and in 1971 F5000’s to the title.

Leo was 2nd with 20 points to Kevins 33 and had reliability but perhaps not the ultimate speed, seconds at Symmons Plains and Mallala Gold Star season highlights for the old beast.

The 39’s day finally arrived 4.5 years after it was built; Geoghegan won the 1969 JAF Japanese Grand Prix in the Lotus from Roly Levis Brabham BT23C FVA and Sohei Kato’s Mitsubishi Colt F2-C 1.6. I covered this great win in an article about Leo last year, click here for the link; https://primotipo.com/2015/03/02/leo-geoghegan-australian-driving-champion-rip/

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By 1970 F5000 was adopted as the new Tasman Formula albeit 2.5 litre Tasman cars were also eligible, the smaller cars gave the big V8’s ‘plenty of curry’ in that first year with Graeme Lawrence winning in Chris Amon’s victorious 1969 Ferrari 246T ‘008’. Bartlett took the Warwick Farm round in the 2 litre Mildren ‘Yellow Sub’, another small-car win..

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Tractable these Repco’s! Chugging thru the 1970 Sandown paddock. Nice shot showing the 33 style tub, fuel filler in front of dash bulkhead and late ’69-70 wing (Jeff Scriven Collection)

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Same day as above with Leo in the red hat alongside his mount. Hard to see but front suspension is top rocker, lower wishbone and inboard spring/damper actuated by rocker (Jeff Scriven Collection)

Geoghegan raced the Australian rounds only for 7th at Surfers and Warwick Farm, he was DNF at the Sandown final round.

Into the domestic 1970 season Leo raced the car in the first Gold Star round at Symmons Plains, here below he shares the front row of the grid with John Harvey’s red Brabham BT23E Repco and Kevin Bartlett’s Mildren Waggott ‘Yellow Submarine’. KB’s absence racing in the US for much of the year took out a tough adversary in 1970.

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Gold Star round 1 1970. Symmons Plains 2 March 1970. John Harvey won in his #2 Brabham BT23E Repco from Leo obscured this side and Bartlett’s #5 Mildren Waggott (autopics.com)

The last significant meeting in which the 39 raced was the March Easter Bathurst meeting in which Niel Allen’s McLaren M10B Chev F5000 car set a lap record which stood for decades. ‘Outright’ open-wheelers have not raced at Mount Panorama given the speeds of the cars and inherently dan gerous nature of the circuit as it was then. And still is, despite huge improvements in circuit safety.

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Easter Bathurst 1970, contrast this shot with the hi-wings from the year before above. John Harvey’s #4 Bob Jane Brabham BT23E Repco ‘830 Series’ Repco V8, Leo’s 39 Repco ‘730 Series’ V8 and Niel Allen’s obscured McLaren M10 B Chev F5000 (Rod MacKenzie Collection)

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Leo in the new Lotus 59 Waggott, Warwick Farm’s Pit Straight 1971 (oldracephotos/Schell)

Whilst the 1970 Tasman series was run to F5000 the Gold Star Series in an interesting piece of CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motorsport) decision making driven by politics was run to the 2.5 Tasman Formula.

From Leo’s perspective the path was clear; the circa 275bhp 2 litre Waggott engine was powerful, light, reliable and better still would bolt straight into the back of the Dave Baldwin designed F3/F2 Lotus 59. As the Lotus importer, the core of the Geoghegan’s business road cars of course, his preference was a Lotus which could win the title, his F5000 options were a domestic season away.

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The Geoghegan’s cars; Leo’s and Pete’s Touring cars were always beautifully presented, giving the sponsors great exposure. Here the 59 Waggott, in Castrol colors. As beautifully integrated a package as the 39 Repco in its ‘740 Series’ Repco days. Oran Park Gold Star round, 27 June 1970 (Lynton Hemer)

The 59 already had a successful season of racing in Europe with Emerson Fittipaldi taking the 1969 British F3 title and Jochen Rindt and Graham Hill winners in European F2 events; 4 rounds for Jochen and 1 for Graham. In essence the engine and chassis were a proven package.

And so it proved to be; Leo took wins at Warwick Farm and Mallala and seconds at Oran Park and Symmons Plains when the ‘old lady’ 39 held together and scored 6 valuable points…

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Leo G during tyhe driver parade before the 27 June Oran Park 1970 Gold Star round won by Max Stewart (Lynton Hemer)

Leo Geoghegan’s Later Open-Wheeler Career…

This article was to have been a ‘quickie’ around the few shots at the start  but as usual i have  ‘rabbited on’.

The article isn’t intended to be a Leo G whole of career one, the focus was the Lotus 39. Leo raced the Lotus 59 Waggott on into 1971, that chassis is still in Australia, i will write about it separately.

Geoghegan was a factory driver for Chrysler, as covered in the other article link provided earlier, he developed and raced Valiant Pacers and Chargers for the Tonsley Park, Adelaide based company in the incredibly popular Series Production (showroom stock essentially) races which proliferated, like a disease, in Australia in the late 1960’s, the growth of ‘Taxi Racing’ in Oz remains undiminished and omnipotent.

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Leo at Oran Park, ‘works’ Grace Bros sponsored Birrana 274 Hart Ford 1974. Jewels of things, fast ones. Aluminium monocoque chassis, Hart Ford 416B injected, often ‘ally blocked, Twin-Cam circa 205bhp, Hewland FT200 5 speed ‘box (oldracephotos.com/Peter Schell)

But Leo was a ‘died in the wool open-wheeler man’ and accepted a works drive with Adelaide’s nascent Birrana Engineering; Malcolm Ramsay and engineer Tony Alcock built some fabulous cars in three short years which turned upside down the local single-seater market, the jewel like cars winning the Australian F2 Championship from 1973-1976.

Leo took two of the titles in 1973 and 1974, finally retiring from single-seaters at the end of 1974. He went out with a bang though. The 1974 AF2 Championship was one of the most closely contested and competitive openwheeler championships in Australia ever. ‘Van Heusen’ shirts tipped in good sponsorship and established F5000 aces and young thrusters made for some sensational racing. But wily Leo, at 38 still very fast took the title by 4 points from Aussie International Bob Muir in another Birrana.

Birrana Cars is a story for another time.

John Sheppard on Leo as a driver; ‘He was incredibly fast, as good as anyone he competed against capable of just not keeping up with but beating world champions. Leo in a way kept to himself, Pete was more ‘one of the boys’ so Leo and i didn’t discuss his career aspirations but he got a lot of satisfaction from racing with the drivers that he did; world class drivers. He was very precise, Pete would throw around what he was given, Leo used the same bit of road lap after lap, very consistent, precise and fast’.

R12 in Modern Times…

Leo focussed on the 59 but gave Formula Vee ace Bernie Haehnle a test of the 39 in the wet, at Amaroo Park in May 1970. With predictable results, poor Bernie took the left-rear corner off the car. The difference from a 40bhp Rennmax FV to 280bhp Tasman car in the wet would have been marked!

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Leo G, 1970 Gold Star champion in his old car later in the year at Warwick Farm. 22 November. Lotus 39 Repco (Dick Simpson/oldracephotos.com)

The car was tidied up visually, Leo gave it a run at Warwick Farm late in the year in its original color scheme but still running a Repco engine, it was then offered for sale. The Repco engines on loan were returned to Melbourne and those owned by the Geoghegans sold. Australia’s sports-racing car fields were the beneficiaries of a surplus of ‘cheap’ 2.5 litre Repco V8’s; two Elfin 360’s and  two Rennmax’s  specifically.

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Darryl Pearsall’s Lotus 39 Ford Twin-Cam ‘R12’ in the Winton, Victoria paddock in 1973/4 (oldracephotos.com)

The long racing life of R12 continued on for a year or so as an AF2 car, Darryl Pearsall the new owner. F2 then was a 1.6 litre, 2 valve class effectively mandating the Lotus/Ford Twin Cam. The car was fitted with a Twin-Cam and when sold was purchased by John Dawson-Damer for his superb collection of Lotus’s in 1976.

The car was restored to its original Coventry Climax FPF engined form and fortunately when sold after JDD’s death and realisation of some of his collection remained in Australia, fitting given the cars Australian history. It lives in Tasmania loved to bits by a lifelong Jim Clark fan, Chas Kelly.

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Lotus 39 Climax ‘R12’ at the Longford Revival Meeting in April 2011. Restored but not over-restored, a balance we tend to get right in this country! (Ellis French)

Etcetera…

Clark Lotus 39.

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Longford front row 1966. #1 Clark’s Lotus 39 Climax and the two BRM P261’s of Hill #2 and Stewart beside the fence (Ellis French)

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Clark and mechanics looking typically relaxed during the Tasman. Here at Warwick Farm with R12. February 1966 (unattributed)

Click on this link for a lovely story related to the photo above about the ’66 Tasman.

https://open.abc.net.au/explore/45668

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Geoghegan 39.

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Leo G portrait circa 1963. Colors on helmet ‘Team Total’, the French oil company a strong supporter of motor racing in Australia at the time. Lotus 22 or 27 (Ray Berghouse)

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Sandown Park paddock, Tasman ’67. Leo finished 2nd to Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax FWMV 2 litre V8 in ‘The Sandown Cup’. Nice shot shows the car in its Coventry Climax FPF engined/Castrol Racing colors. This is 26 February 1967, the Repco V8 was installed that April (Mike Feisst/The Roaring Season)

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This is a nice shot of the 39 of the Repco 740 Series V8 installation, Surfers Tasman round in February 1968. Cooper S is that of top touring car driver John French (Rod MacKenzie)

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These days the crowds are all over the ‘Taxis’, in the days of yore the focus was where it should be, on fast open-wheelers! Sandown paddock, am guessing Tasman Meeting 1969 (Jeff Morrall)

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Leo’s Lotus dips under brakes for Creek Corner at the end of Hume Straight in 1970 (Lynton Hemer)

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Lotus 39 business end in its Repco ‘740 Series’ 2.5 V8 days. 275bhp@8500rpm, the engine weighed 345lbs/157Kg. Gearbox Hewland HD5. Note Repco logo on LH cam cover, Smiths tacho drive on the RH cam cover. Lucas fuel injection, Bosch distributor between the Vee. 1967/8 (John Stanley)

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Bibliography…

Thanks very much to John Sheppard for his time and recollections

Graham Howard and Ors ‘History of The Australian GP’, oldracingcars.com

Photo Credits…

Vintage Racecar, oldracephotos.com, Peter Schell, Dick Simpson, Bruce Wells, Habu, Mike Feisst/The Roaring Season, Lynton Hemer, Rod MacKenzie, Ellis French, John Stanley, Paul Hobson, Wayne McKay, Jeff Scriven Collection, Ray Berghouse, David Mist, John Sheppard, Brian McInerney, Jeff Nield/autopics.com.au, Tony Loxley ‘Tasman Cup’, Peter Windsor

Tailpiece: Leo takes Miss Queensland for a squirt around Lakeside in the family Lotus 23 Ford. Brother ‘Pete’ raced this car, not certain of the date, but 1965’ish…

39 babe

 

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Rod MacKenzie’s moody, foreboding, evocative image of Jim Clark’s Lotus 49 at Longford in 1968 is one of my favourites…

Clark is exiting Newry Corner on the run towards the ‘Flying Mile’. He started from pole, winning 100 bottles of champagne in the process and the Sunday race in beautiful weather but the clouds opened on Monday morning for the Tasman Championship event, ‘The South Pacific Trophy’.

Star of the show was Piers Courage who drove a gutsy, skilful race in the most challenging, treacherous conditions to win the event in his little F2 McLaren M4A FVA ahead of the big Tasman 2.5’s of his close competitors. Pier’s car was self run, his performances in it that summer reignited his career.

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Piers Courage in his McLaren M4A F2 car, Newry Corner, Longford 1968. Power was not all on this fast circuit in such wet conditions, but the plucky Brit was giving away at least 130bhp to his 2.5 litre V8 powered opponents. (Rod MacKenzie)

Pedro Rodriguez and Frank Gardner were second and third in BRM P261 2.1 V8 and Brabham BT23D Alfa 2.5 V8 respectively. Clark was fifth in his Ford Cosworth DFW engined Lotus 49, the 2.5 litre variant of the epochal 3 litre DFV GP engine.

The conditions were so bad various drivers with unsuitable tyres elected not to start having driven some ‘sighting laps’, Keven Bartlett recounted his experience in the Alec Mildren Racing Brabham BT11A Climax; ‘I did two exploratory laps and the old BT11 couldn’t find traction anywhere. I had an absolutely terrifying 4th gear 720 degree spin across the Short Bridge, the one after the Viaduct, missing all the obstacles at the tracks edge. After exiting Pub and in a straight line i did a 360 degree loop. She nearly escaped me over the rail line on the way to Long Bridge. Out of Newry and up the hill to the straight slithering along with no touch felt between me and the bitumen, so i suppose at that moment to do another lap at a very reduced speed then pit’.

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‘What are we going to do boys?!’ Drivers considering their options before the race, the pouring rain exacerabated by drains beside the track which couldn’t cope with the deluge; Clark facing us, Hill’s distinctive helmet clear. Courage with his back to us in helmet, Gardner’s lanky frame partly in shot to the right. Amon in the ‘Firestone’ suit, Harvey? at left with head down (oldracephotos.com)

‘Once back in the tent Alec, Frank (Gardner) Denny (Hulme Brabham BT23 FVA F2) and i had a talk about the tyres that Denny and i had and after trying to come up with a better tread pattern, such as the ones fitted to Franks car (Brabham BT23D Alfa) but with no result. It was agreed that Denny and i shouldn’t risk a start. I was happy with the call and Leo (Geoghegan Lotus 39 Repco) followed suit. Most of the top guys had the latest Firestone, Dunlop or Goodyear wets but none were available to suit the BT11’s. I consoled myself with the fact that if the new world champion (Hulme) didn’t like the risk i certainly shouldn’t!’

I’ll get around to writing about that weekend soon in full, in the meantime enjoy these images of that difficult race on the most dangerous and majestic of Australian circuits.

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A very happy but cold and soggy Piers Courage, with wife Sally after his Longford ’68 win. It was a might fine drive which is still remembered by those fortunate enough to see it. (oldracephotos.com)

Photo and Other Credits…

Roderick MacKenzie Collection;  http://www.racephotoaustralia.com/

oldracephotos.com;  http://www.oldracephotos.com/content/home/

The Nostalgia Forum/Ellis French/Rod MacKenzie and Kevin Bartlett