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Ford Galaxie & Falcon touring cars


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#1 teegeefla

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 13:59

I want to learn more about the Ford Galaxies that competed in British Touring/Saloon car races in the early 1960's. Were they NASCAR cars that were sent to British teams or were they modified in the UK? What restrictions were imposed by the rules of the time? Did they have full roll cages or simple roll bars, and how stock were the interiors? Do any survive today? Thanks.

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#2 Graham Gauld

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 14:09

I see my biography of Jack Sears is now out on sale. It includes all the background to the John Willment Galaxie which was a Holman and Moody NASCAR car.

#3 David Lawson

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 17:30

There is also quite a bit of information about the Galaxies in Graham Robson's book, "Ford in Touring Car Racing" published by Haynes.

Hope this helps.

David

#4 Bob Riebe

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 17:49

Rremember when Gardner got a Bud Moore T-A Mustang, part of the roll-cage had to be removed.

#5 HistoricMustang

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 23:37

Originally posted by teegeefla
I want to learn more about the Ford Galaxies that competed in British Touring/Saloon car races in the early 1960's. Were they NASCAR cars that were sent to British teams or were they modified in the UK? What restrictions were imposed by the rules of the time? Did they have full roll cages or simple roll bars, and how stock were the interiors? Do any survive today? Thanks.


"Monsters of the Midway" :clap: I love them!

http://www.galaxie.com.au/racing.html

#6 Hieronymus

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 07:09

Not British racing as such, but here is Bobby Olthoff's Willment Racing Ford Galaxie. The car has been seen again in South African historic races the hands of Sarel van der Merwe.

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#7 sterling49

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 08:36

I seem to recollect that Bob drove this in the UK? I see it has the Willment logos, any story? (If my memory were better, I would also be able to confirm if I had seen Bob at Brands, which I am sure that I did :confused: Nice wheels, better than the steels of the day :up:

#8 Hieronymus

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 09:21

Note the car in the photo is a clone (replica?) of the one that Bobby Olthoff drove. I think the owner is Peter du Toit.

Yes, Olthoff had a contract with Willment to race a Lotus Cortina in 1964, but he also raced the Galaxie in a few races. According to Bob, he won an one hour race at Brands Hatch. The Galaxie which apparently won the 1963 British Saloon Car championship was brought to South Africa in was to remain in SA for the 1965 season.

Willment had a deal with Bob that they would open a branch of the company in SA to distribute speed equipment. It did not happen in the end due to a tough economic time in England. Bobby continued to race the car in South Africa and won the saloon car championship in 1965. Main opposition were the Cortinas of Koos Swanepoel and Basil van Rooyen. The engine in the car was prepared by Holman and Moody and developed 480 bhp. The car weighed 4000lbs. It was retired from racing in mid-1966. Bob kept the car locked away in a hangar for several years…untouched.

Several people wanted to buy the car, but Bob was not open for any deals. Then Jack’s Sears’s nephew approached Bob. He wanted to purchase the car as a birthday present for Jack. Bobby eventually sold the car, since he thought that there were really only two people that had strong ties with the Galaxie – himself and Jack Sears.

The car was then painted white, with a red stripe. Jack Sears raced it in that color scheme. Willment later changed it again to red with white stripe.

I am not sure if the car is still in the UK?? Someone suggested it was in the USA.

#9 doc knutsen

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 09:24

Originally posted by sterling49
I seem to recollect that Bob drove this in the UK? I see it has the Willment logos, any story? (If my memory were better, I would also be able to confirm if I had seen Bob at Brands, which I am sure that I did :confused: Nice wheels, better than the steels of the day :up:


Strange wheels, with coned spokes and the cone pointing towards the hub of the wheel, leaving precious little mass where the stresses are biggest. In a properly designed wheel it should be the other way round, with the cone biggest at the wheel centre and tapering outwards towards the rim.

#10 Graham Gauld

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 09:30

Ref: Hieronymous

I can confirm that the car is still in England and is still owned by Jack Sears.

#11 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 09:44

Yes Jack does still own it. He will not let it be raced since getting it back from South Africa.
When he got it he was delighted to find it still had his old seat from 1964 in the car. He showed me around it in 1991 when I did the painting for him. He did have it road registered to rumble around the lanes of Norfolk.
Lord March tried very hard to persuade Jack to allow it to be raced at the revival, in the end he had to have a replica built in those Willment colours white with red stripes. Jack's car has appeared there several times though, in the tribute demonstrations and such like and at the FoS.

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 10:45

Originally posted by Hieronymus
.....The car weighed 4000lbs.....


Any idea how accurate that figure is?

#13 Hieronymus

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 10:48

Gentlemen

I am please to hear that the Galaxie is still with Jack Sears. Is the colour white or in Willment red?

Doc

I am not sure why they use these "blingy" rims on the replica/clone. Period photos of the original car definately show rims that are a far cry from the ones on the clone. I have my own views on cars fiited with very exotic looking rims and the people that drive them, but I think I'll rather keep it for myself, since I may offend some people.

#14 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 10:59

Originally posted by Hieronymus
Gentlemen

I am please to hear that the Galaxie is still with Jack Sears. Is the colour white or in Willment red?


White with red stripes, as it was in Jack's hands in 1963-'64.

#15 SWB

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:12

'Blingy' rims?

They are period pattern race rims surely, even though perhaps not associated with this car? It took 30 seconds to find period photo's of this type of rim on the Shelby Cobra 'Dragonsnake' dragster, and 427 Cobra, so I imagine they were considered strong enough.

#16 sterling49

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:21

Originally posted by Hieronymus

I am not sure why they use these "blingy" rims on the replica/clone. Period photos of the original car definately show rims that are a far cry from the ones on the clone. I have my own views on cars fiited with very exotic looking rims and the people that drive them, but I think I'll rather keep it for myself, since I may offend some people.


I too, do not like "blingy" wheels, or "bling" period, however, these wheels,(IMHO) look far better than the steels of the day, granted they may not be period on this vehicle. If I were to be free on my choice of wheels, only a few would make the cut, Minilites, Borrani, Campagnolo and a few old classics from the good old days especially the gorgeous examples on Dan's Eagles :up:

#17 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:30

OT, but 1958 & 1963 BSCC Champion Jack Sears was back at Brands Hatch last week.
http://www.motorspor...asp?NewsID=3556

#18 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:33

Franicievic had a Galaxie two door ex the US in NZ during 1967? .... it was in Air New Zealand livery from memory ............

#19 David McKinney

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 12:00

It was a Fairlane
In 1968

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#20 Hieronymus

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 12:07

Bob racing the Galaxie in Cape Town. Check rims. Peter Gough is driving the Cortina:

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Yes, sterling, we all have different tastes. Some people just tend to overdo it a bit. It is like a 70 year old woman dressed in a mini skirt...it will attract attention, but tonight you will get nightmares about it. :)

#21 sterling49

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 12:41

Originally posted by Hieronymus
Bob racing the Galaxie in Cape Town. Check rims. Peter Gough is driving the Cortina:

Posted Image



Yes, sterling, we all have different tastes. Some people just tend to overdo it a bit. It is like a 70 year old woman dressed in a mini skirt...it will attract attention, but tonight you will get nightmares about it. :)


The wheels on the Cortina look great, 5 1/2" J rims, Lotus Steels, I had them on my Cortina GT back in 1970, the Galaxie wheels, IMHO, are too wide and look clumsy, they also offered little in the way of brake cooling for the drum brakes, I spoke to Jack Sears on this point at the recent Jim Clark gathering, and he said that some of the later cars had Disc brakes homologated for them. However, they are period.

Regarding your analogy, luckily I have never encountered a septuagenarian dressed thus, I will, however, remember your advice should I do so. I do hope your nightmares recede ;)

#22 Hieronymus

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 13:06

Fast Aussies. Frank Gardner/Paul Hawkins at the 1964 9 hour race at Kyalami:

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(photo - G. Rabie)

#23 Bob Riebe

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 17:41

Originally posted by doc knutsen


Strange wheels, with coned spokes and the cone pointing towards the hub of the wheel, leaving precious little mass where the stresses are biggest. In a properly designed wheel it should be the other way round, with the cone biggest at the wheel centre and tapering outwards towards the rim.

They are American Racing Torque Thrust wheels.

An American standard from the early sixties and they are still in production in both original and improved forms.
Trans-Am cars used them heavily up to 1968.

The "improved" AR 200 wheel sadly, in original form, was prone to cracking and cost Ford several racing in '69.

The 200 was improved and is also still available.

The Torque Thrust wheel was used heavily in production racing in the sixties.(as well as high performance street cars)

#24 doc knutsen

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 18:12

Originally posted by Bob Riebe

They are American Racing Torque Thrust wheels.

An American standard from the early sixties and they are still in production in both original and improved forms.
Trans-Am cars used them heavily up to 1968.

The "improved" AR 200 wheel sadly, in original form, was prone to cracking and cost Ford several racing in '69.

The 200 was improved and is also still available.

The Torque Thrust wheel was used heavily in production racing in the sixties.(as well as high performance street cars)


I know that they were used in period, and fairly successfully. But their design is still basically wrong.

#25 D-Type

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 20:59

Originally posted by doc knutsen


I know that they were used in period, and fairly successfully. But their design is still basically wrong.

I understand what you mean. Could it be that as they get thinner in the dimension we can see (circumferential) they get thicker in the direction we can't (axial)? Put another way, if you were to cut a section through the wheel would you see cones pointing towards the rim?

#26 Twin Window

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 00:34

This photo is posted on behalf of Peter Darley, who makes the following observation;

"This one of Sears bears the letter "J" in the same position [as the 'N' on the Gardner/Hawkins car].

Any TNF'er know why ?"

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Photo copyright Peter Darley

#27 2Bob

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 02:16

Sandown (Melbourne Australia) 6 hour race 1964 - Davidson / Baille
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#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 02:51

Originally posted by Twin Window
This photo is posted on behalf of Peter Darley, who makes the following observation;

"This one of Sears bears the letter "J" in the same position [as the 'N' on the Gardner/Hawkins car].

Any TNF'er know why ?"


Running under Appendix J...

I think that means more modified than 'N'.

#29 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 07:16

Jack's Willment car at the Goodwood Revival in 1998, as it looks today - present for the 'dream grid' parade with Jack at the wheel. Alongside is the Lord March replica raced by Rob Wilson in the St.Marys trophy that weekend.
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#30 HistoricMustang

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:14

On the torque thrust wheels. I do not recall seeing these used on the heavy Galaxies during period. In fact, I am thinking the original Torque Thrust "D" was not introduced until 1964, or perhaps as late as 1965, about the time of the Mustang Introduction.

On a personal note I used them from Daytona to Watkins Glen with no issues..................but the Mustang was about 1400 pounds lighter than the Galaxie.

This photograph may help solve any questions about cross section design.

I believe most of the Mustangs used in Trans Am were using a variation of the Torque Thrust call the Mini Lite..........a little different design.

And, who can forget Ken Miles flying with a set of these wheels.

http://www.shelbyame...flyingr2002.jpg

I simply love the Galaxies at speed.

Henry

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#31 David Shaw

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:19

Did anyone else notice in their address bar that this is thread #100000? I'll have a beer in celebration.

Anyway, getting back onto the topic at hand, Len Lukey had a 1963 4 door Galaxie imported into Australia that I think was built by Holman & Moody. Would anybody know if this was supplied with a 427, or possibly a 406 please?

#32 teegeefla

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:36

Looking at the photos in this thread I can plainly see the large rollbar behind the driver but I still cannot tell if the cars had a complete roll cage (the windshield pillar obscures the presence of a front bar). Does anyone have interior photos or a solid recollection of the original cars?

#33 Hieronymus

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:59

The car in my photo (post #6) was apparently brought to South Africa by Ford as a racing spare.

BTW...I always write "Ford Galaxie", but I see that some people also write "Ford Galaxy". Google also shows nearly 2,5 million pages containing the latter and only 494 000 showing the former???

#34 Dave Wright

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 11:06

Originally posted by teegeefla
Looking at the photos in this thread I can plainly see the large rollbar behind the driver but I still cannot tell if the cars had a complete roll cage (the windshield pillar obscures the presence of a front bar). Does anyone have interior photos or a solid recollection of the original cars?


The UK cars were supplied from the US with the roll cage, but the British scrutineers ruled the cage illegal on at least one car. There was no requirement in the regs for any kind of roll hoop or cage on safety grounds, and the scrutineers felt the cage was stiffening the chassis (which it was). The US seems to have been well ahead of Europe in terms of safety. I don't think full roll cages were introduced intil the Early 70s on European racing saloons.

Originally posted by Hieronymus
BTW...I always write "Ford Galaxie", but I see that some people also write "Ford Galaxy". Google also shows nearly 2,5 million pages containing the latter and only 494 000 showing the former???



The Ford Galaxy is the modern people carrier, available in Europe (not sure if its sold in the US).

#35 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 17:08

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I'm a bit red faced about this but it's me at the 1963 (?) Motor 6 Hours!

Fred

#36 teegeefla

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 18:23

Thanks Fred...and I can see a brace in the windshield A-pillar that confirms a roll cage.

#37 sterling49

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 18:56

Originally posted by Fred Gallagher
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I'm a bit red faced about this but it's me at the 1963 (?) Motor 6 Hours!

Fred


I was speaking to Jack Sears about these races, I was at both the '63 and '64 events, my memory fails me, one was very wet as it rained fo most of the race, Jack is so sharp he told me which year the wet race was!
he competed in both years in a Cortina GT.

#38 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 19:49

Originally posted by HistoricMustang
.....but the Mustang was about 1400 pounds lighter than the Galaxie.....


Another one!

Can anyone please verify the weight of these cars? I frankly don't think 4,000lbs is correct.

David, Lukey's car was a 427.

#39 HistoricMustang

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 20:10

Originally posted by sterling49

Jack is so sharp he told me which year the wet race was!


Rex White is the best I have been around when recalling particulars on events so many years ago.

Also, about 1:20 the Galaxie.........



Henry

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#40 GeoffR

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 21:23

Not a bad history of Ford Galaxies here:

http://www.musclecar...e-history.shtml

Gives the weight of the 1963 Galaxie as "between 3,500 and 4,000 lbs"

#41 john medley

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 21:40

In the early1980s Dennis O'Brien in Wagga bought, rebuilt and raced the second of the Lukey 2 door Galaxies, Dennis and Ross Woodbridge doing quite nicely in Historic events of the time, before the car was sold on...

... to be bought again 23 years later by Dennis from the man he sold it to.

After a Very Big Birthday, it is almost ready to be rolled out again...

#42 Pedro 917

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 22:45

Ford Galaxie at the Nürburgring Old Timer GP 2007 :

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#43 Bob Riebe

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 22:49

There is a good deal of information here:

http://www.roadsters.com/wheels/#Intro

#44 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 23:16

Originally posted by john medley
In the early1980s Dennis O'Brien in Wagga bought, rebuilt and raced the second of the Lukey 2 door Galaxies, Dennis and Ross Woodbridge doing quite nicely in Historic events of the time, before the car was sold on...

... to be bought again 23 years later by Dennis from the man he sold it to.

After a Very Big Birthday, it is almost ready to be rolled out again...


Maybe we should go count the doors?

Posted Image
kaydee's pic, of course, from the Aussie pics thread.

I suspect that neither Lukey Galaxie (I didn't know there was two) was a 2-door, for the very good reason that they were illegal under Appendix J rules over a certain engine size (1100cc? 1500cc?).

I do, however, look forward to seeing Denis back in the saddle. Maybe he'll come up against young Ben and his Dodge? That should give Ben a driving lesson, I'd think!

#45 David Shaw

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 03:42

Originally posted by Ray Bell

I suspect that neither Lukey Galaxie (I didn't know there was two) was a 2-door, for the very good reason that they were illegal under Appendix J rules over a certain engine size (1100cc? 1500cc?).


Probably 1600cc, as Geoghegan's Cortina GT that won the 1964 Australian Touring Car Championship was by then a 2 door.

#46 normbeechey

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 04:57

There is a photo of the Dennis O'Brien 2 door Galaxie on this page: http://www.galaxie.com.au/racing.html

#47 sterling49

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:22

[QUOTE]Originally posted by normbeechey
There is a photo of the Dennis O'Brien 2 door Galaxie on this page: http://www.galaxie.com.au/racing.html [/QUOTE

That is a terrific site! Thanks for the link, I do question the statement however, of the "dual" between Clark and the Sir Gawaine Baillie car, at a wet Motor 6 hour race, as from my recollection, Jim was not at either of the races (not in programme, and I do not believe I would have forgotten if he raced and was in the commentary). I looked on Frank de Jong's site, which is usually a good reference point. I have been know to be wrong......often :lol:

I think Sir John/Peter Proctor won the '64 race in car 19 a Lotus Cortina in classic colours :up:

Roy Salvadori/Denny Hulme won the '63 race in the soon to be obsolete Jaguar Mk11 :(

#48 teegeefla

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:01

I have just watched Motorfilms Quarterly #15 which includes some great footage from The Motor 6 Hours from Brands Hatch. One shot shows 3 Galaxies from the rear and they all have one odd characteristic. In the middle of the car, just below the rear window is a black area of approx 3 inches by 8 inches (the footage is not tight enough to determine any details or if this was recessed or flush). Any ideas what this might be? Were there any rules requirements that could explain this odd item?

#49 John Ellacott

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 03:08

Norm Beechey at Sandown Park ( Melbourne ) February 1964.
What was the history of this car and where is it now ?

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#50 David Shaw

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:14

A bit on the Lukey Galaxie here John: http://www.galaxie.com.au/racing.html about half way down the page, with a couple of b&w photos. Built by Holman & Moody, now with David Bowden.