Posts Tagged ‘Stan Keen’

(W Giles)

Barrie Garner settles himself before unleashing 3 litres of triple-carbed Holden power to the Lakeland tarmac, Bowin P3 Holden 1972…

Lakeland Hillclimb was operated by the Light Car Club of Australia, it was one of several ‘climbs in Melbourne’s outer suburbs or inner countryside depending upon your perspective- the others were Templestowe and Rob Roy, the latter is still operational after some decades of non-use.

Whilst the LCCA ran the meetings the land was owned by Jim Abbott, a motor racing entrepreneur whose interests included AutoSportsman magazine, the Melbourne Racing Car Show held at the Exhibition Buildings, Lakeland and other businesses.

Upon his death the Marque Sports Car Association ran some meetings for a couple of years before the required levels of upkeep became beyond them- ultimately Abbot’s widow sold the land which went to a developer who carved it into smaller rural allotments.

(silhouet.com)

 

Many of us recall the place well as spectators and/or competitors, it was a fun, challenging climb and great for club motorsport given its proximity to Melbourne. Ron Simmonds remembers competing there in his Cooper S in 1963’ish, I ran there in my road Alfa Sprint in either an Alfa Club or MSCA event in 1982/3 albeit by then open-meetings were long finished- i wonder when the last ever meeting was?

There was a time when hill-climbing was huge, attracting big crowds to see the circuit racing stars of the day testing their skills against the hillclimb specialists, perhaps the sport’s zenith was reached around the dawn of the sixties.

Despite that I can recall as a younger kid watching Lakeland on the teev in the early seventies – no doubt the touring car aces such as Peter Brock pulled good ratings.

Most of these photographs were taken by Wayne Giles who posted them on Bob Williamson’s Old Motor Racing Photographs Australia Facebook page well over a year ago. Whilst many of the shots are static, the cars are interesting and Wayne captures the mood, vibe and flavour of the times well.

Jim Abbot’s ex-Alec Mildren Racing Brabham BT23D’ then Oldsmobile powered (W Giles)

It seems apt to start with a photograph of ‘Squire’ Abbott’s Brabham BT23D Oldsmobile.

He positioned it as ‘Australia First F5000 Car’ when he acquired the 1968 Gold Star winning machine from Alec Mildren. It was first raced by Frank Gardner in the 1968 Tasman Series before Kevin Bartlett took it over to win the Gold Star, I’ve written about it before;

https://primotipo.com/2018/11/30/motori-porno-alfa-romeo-tipo-33-tasman-2-5-litre-v8/

Later iteration of the Abbott BT23D again at Lakeland in 1972- Paul King’s Malmark Elfin Vee alongside (P Robinson)

Chris Murphy bought it and modified it further for hillclimb use and died in it, sadly, at One Tree Hill, Ararat.

Restored by Paul Moxham in the nineties the car is now owned by Chas Kelly in Tasmania along with the ex-Clark/Geoghegan Lotus 39 Climax and one or two other nice things.

Frank Gardner in the Alec Mildren Racing Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo 2.5 V8 at Longford in 1968- the last Longford (R MacKenzie)

 

Murray Bingham’s Bingham Cobra aka Porsche Cobra aka Porsche 904-8 ( W Giles)

Another car which passed through Abbott’s hillclimbing hands was the ex-works/Alan Hamilton Porsche 904-8.

In Abbott’s time it was Ford V8 powered and named ‘Porsche Cobra’- below its seen in wilder configuration, still Ford powered in Murray Bingham’s hands. Its ultimate spec was in ex-Bob Muir injected Chev F5000 form, a transplant which took place about a year after this 1972 photograph, Bingham was a talented driver who won the three round Australian Hillclimb Championship in 1972.

Click here for a feature on this car; https://primotipo.com/2015/08/20/alan-hamilton-his-porsche-9048-and-two-906s/;

Murray at Huntley Hillclimb in May 1973- Bingham the reigning AHC champion at the time, the car by then powered by an injected 5 litre Chev (G Logg)

 

(W Giles)

Another talented driver/engineer was Paul England.

The ex-Repco Research apprentice built the fabulous Ausca Holden sportscar with assistance from his buddies in Sydney Road, Brunswick and after a Cooper racing adventure in Europe he settled back into Melbourne establishing Paul England Engineering in Moonee Ponds. Click here for a bit about Paul;

https://primotipo.com/2015/05/20/aussie-miller-cooper-t41-climax-trevallyn-hillclimb-launceston-tasmania-1959/

Kerry Power keeping an eye on Paul’s takeoff at King Edward Park, Newcastle (D Wilson)

Amongst engine building, and providing support to many young thrusters- Tony Stewart, Larry Perkins and Peter Larner amongst others, England pursued his racing and engineering passions by building his Ausca VW series of supercharged and twin-engine cars- how many did he build?

He was quick too- taking the AHCC in 1970 at Mount Cotton Queensland and again over a four-round series in 1973 and 1974.

Rallycross was big at Catalina Park, in Sydney’s Blue Mountains and Calder to Melbourne’s north-west for a couple of years with the LCCA very kindly creating a hillclimb category to give the pensioned off beasts somewhere to run.

(P Shea)

The Holden Dealer Team Holden Torana LC GTR XU1 supercharged sports sedan/rallycross car is above with Peter Brock at the wheel.

Bob Watson’s 1970 rallycross Renault 8 Gordini below giving the sponsor a run for their money.

Didn’t they make some magic cars at the time? i couldn’t believe how good a 16TS was until I drove a mates ‘students car’ which was hardly in the full flush of youth at the time.

(W Giles)

In similar rally vein the 1972 Dulux Rally, which commenced in Queensland and finished in Melbourne, passed through Lakeland, inclusive of a timed run.

The car featured is David McKay’s Ford Capri RS2600, I wrote a feature about it a while back; https://primotipo.com/2015/04/09/australias-cologne-capris/

(W Giles)

 

(W Giles)

The former Australian Sportscar Champion, single-seater front runner, journalist and Scuderia Veloce owner had not lost his touch and drove his works Ford very well.

It was a winning car in his hands with more luck, the ‘small car big engine’ approach has been such an effective touring car formula down the decades hasn’t it?

David Wilson took this shot of the RS2600 in the Silverdale Hillclimb paddock during the Dulux. Soft plugs out, used driving between events, hot ones in? (D Wilson)

Also from Germany was Paul Older’s BMW 2002Ti- he was quite prominent especially on the circuits helping build the BMW brand in Australia- what became of him I wonder?

It is amazing how quickly BMW took a big slice of the market as they got the dealer network and product right from about circa 1970 and a bit.

(W Giles)

The sedans were ‘quirky’ things until the first 3 Series- the 6 cylinder variants were great cars- to me BMW ‘exploded’ here from about then- say 1979’ish.

And the very happy BMW customer I have been on three occasions. (325is, a sensational little car and now as rare as hens teeth, 325i Coupe manual and X5 tow-car and kiddy-shifter. The X5 was the most car like of trucks and did serious Melbourne to Wye River times being good fun on the Great Ocean Road, a stretch i got to know well in my Wye days)

(W Giles)

Heavy metal racing at Lakeland included two five litre Elfins- the 400 Ford sportscar of Terry Southall and MR5 Ford F5000 of Adelaide’s Stan Keen.

The Elfin 400 has had serious attention by me in two articles, one on Frank Matich’s first delivered car here; https://primotipo.com/2015/05/28/elfin-400traco-olds-frank-matich-niel-allen-and-garrie-cooper/

the other on the Southall chassis which was first owned and raced by Bob Jane and a lengthy roll call of drivers before being sold to Ken Hastings and then Southall- here; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/06/belle-of-the-ball/

(W Giles)

Stan’s MR5 was first raced, not for terribly long though, by John Walker- chassis ‘5724’ was sold before the 1972 Surfers Paradise Gold Star round to Stan when JW acquired a Matich A50 to which he fitted the Repco Holden engine and DG300 Hewland out of the MR5.

The A50 complied with the US L&M F5000 regs (in relation to bag fuel tanks i think) whereas the MR5 did not, Walker raced A50 ‘004’ in the US in 1973.

John Walker Elfin MR5 Repco fourth from Warwick Brown McLaren M10B Chev DNF and Max Stewart’s MR5 Repco DNF during the 1972 Adelaide International Tasman round won by David Hobb’s McLaren M22 Chev (I Smith)

Keen fitted a 5 litre Ford ‘Boss’ engine fed by four 48IDA Webers and raced the car extensively on both the circuits and hillclimbs all over Australia- he made his Gold Star debut in it during the October 1972 Adelaide International Gold Star round finishing sixth.

Did his later ‘Boral Ford’ sporty use many of the running bits of the Elfin or is that my memory playing tricks again?

Nice Lilydale and Dandenong Ranges vista, the Noel Devine LC XU1 exiting The Carousel (W Giles)

I’ve said before surely one of the greatest all-rounder touring cars in the world at the time was Holden’s six cylinder 3 and 3.3 litre Torana GTR XU1?

They won on the circuits, in sprint and endurance events, inclusive of the Bathurst 500, on the dirt- in both rallies and rallycross- Colin Bond won the Australian Rally Championship three times and Peter Lang once, and in the hills where they were the weapon of choice for many club racers.

The LC XU1 below, sponsored by Booran Motors, then a Caulfield Holden dealer in Melbourne was I think driven by Brique Reed- he of Elfin, Farrell and Asp Clubman racing and Elfin Owners Club fame.

(W Giles)

Sundries…

I’ve no idea who the drivers and in some cases what the cars are shown below, but am intrigued to find out if any of you can assist.

(W Giles)

Of ‘first generation’ Formula Vees in Australia the Elfin 500 and Rennmax Mk1 were probably, note the use of that word probably, the best chassis- both cars here are Elfin 500s, the blue one was raced by Jim Hutton and chassis ‘V669’ still owned by his family, whilst the other is in the colours of Ray Kelly- thanks to Sean O’Hagan for the FV identification work.

(W Giles)

Tried to buy a Honda S800 as a fifth or sixth form student, probably lucky I didn’t I suspect!

Way beyond my non-existent practical mechanical, as against theoretical mechanical skills at the time. Owner/driver folks?

(W Giles)

The Ford Escort Twin-Cam has to one of the ultimate road/club cars of the era too, always loved them but never quite got to buy one- 105 Series Alfa’s got in the way. Article here; https://primotipo.com/2017/06/30/twinc/

(W Giles)

No idea what these Clubman beasties are.

‘Blanchards’ (on the rear of the chubbie at left) were a Holden Dealer not far from Sandown, on the corner of Springvale and Dandenong Roads, Springvale. Graeme Blanchard was a punter of touring cars of some repute in the sixties and seventies- don’t know that he raced a Clubman, more likely he sponsored this fellow.

Etcetera…

(Beasy)

Some photographs of Brian Beasy’s self constructed Formula Ford which evolved into a very fast little car as the Kent engines specifications grew wilder and wheels and tyres wider.

Brian, both a racer and engineer of great talent was Lilydale local so no doubt knew Lakeland very well, see some of the LCCA hierarchy in the start shot below- names please- Doug Hicks at left?

(Beasy)

 

(Beasy)

Credits…

Wayne Giles, Richard Rodgers, Peter Shea, David Wilson, Grahame Logg, Rod MacKenzie, Ian Smith, Paul Robinson, Beasy Family Collection, Sean O’Hagan

(R Rodgers)

Tailpieces: Barrie Garner, Bowin P3 Holden…

Having started with Barrie’s immaculate, quick, unique ‘Holden Red’ six-cylinder powered Bowin, lets finish the same way.

The New South Welshman was not a regular visitor to the Victorian Hills so one can assume he was here for a championship event, perhaps a Victorian Hillclimb Championship round in 1972 or 1973.

Garner, Huntley May 1973 (G Logg)

Look out! Coming through kids!

(G Logg)

Again Huntley in May 1973, magic shot from Grahame Logg to finish the article?! The truth of the matter is that Barrie’s goggles are down so his run is over, but let’s not let that get in the way of a good line.

The sheer beauty and preparation of the Barrie Garner owned and prepared, John Joyce designed and built aluminium monocoque P3 is shown to good effect as well as the casual club feel of hill climbing.

Finito…