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Early Holden racing


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#101 David McKinney

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 18:28

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Didn't you read my Motor Racing Australia story on the S4 Holdens?

I have never seen Motor Racing Australia

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#102 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 14:19

Bo Seton sure looks young at the back of the Boomerang car!

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...and emerging from the Tunnel:

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Rod, thanks for the pics, you might explain more about them.

David, I'm sorry to hear that.

#103 wagons46

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 04:48

Ray, The colour photo is the Boomerang Holden with Spencer Martin driving sometime in 1963. I 'm sure it was taken by an official track photographer, but has been in my possession since that time.
The B&W Warwick Farm paddock photo is from the June 7th meeting in 1964. Bo Seton could well be talking to Herbie Taylor with the hat and Joel Wakely. Also in the background is Brian Foley's Mini S and Kevin Fisher's Fiat 1500 and possibly a Fiat 1800 or 2300 along side.
I would say the Mini is in front of the P&R Williams Race Team pavillion.
Note also the no expense spared, track headquarters for Castrol and Olympic Tyres.

Edited by wagons46, 01 February 2012 - 03:19.


#104 Terry Walker

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 06:04

The Henk Vaanholt FJ after its rollover at Geraldton, 1965. Henk walked away okay.

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#105 DJH

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 23:32

They don't build 'em like that anymore!
Thank heavens.

#106 thunder427

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 02:38

Was the 'broken axle' the start of this junker !!,or was it..'to brave' and not enough 'technolgy !!???..back to you Terry !!

#107 Terry Walker

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 03:29

I don't know what caused it, but I doubt the back axle broke. The circuit was fairly narrow with ragged edges, culverts and other street furniture. Probably just put a wheel off the edge and off she went. Cars like these were often running original suspension, original drum brakes and crossply tyres, so grip was always iffy. The three stripes on the back indicates Henk was still classified novice.

Given that it rolled several times, and that there was no rollover cage or even roll hoop, the car body did a good job protecting the driver. Of course the lap belt and helmet helped! I've other photos of rolled humpies and the usual damage is just a flattened roof and dents in the sides, so this was obviously one of those spectacular airborne multiple flips.

#108 johnny yuma

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 07:09

Saw a show on the making of the 1977 movie "Sunday too far Away".The opening scenes called for shearer (Jack Thompson) to roll his FX (movie was set in 1956) on a dirt road when he went to sleep.The stunt driver tried time and again to roll the old girl,but it stayed upright so the crew dug a trench across the road,the driver held a broadside slide at the trench and tripped it over. Seems to say they were pretty stable in standard form even with roly poly springs and high ground clearance.Would pass the Moose Test !!

"FX "came from a running change in 1951 when the front crossmember was changed fron semicircular section to rectangular.This run of 48-215s were labelled FX in the assembly plants (Front X-member) to seperate them from existing ones,and later from FJs ,in the motor trade.Then spread slowly to general use.This was a bit earlier than the tubular shockie 1953 48-215s.

The FJ vs Customline rivalry has had a revival lately with Phil Barrow and Allan Broughan on similar lap times at several circuits.The Cusso had the edge at the HSRCA Oran Park GP circuit last weekend,1:27s to Phil's 1:28s in the FJ. In fact only one EH was faster than this very well prepared and driven Queensland 56 Ford.

#109 David Shaw

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 08:07

I assume this is the Customline in question?
Blurry photo taken March 2007.
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#110 johnny yuma

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 02:33

Yes David that is the F.O.R.D. in question. hmmm this is a Holden topic SECURITY !

#111 David Shaw

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 03:13

Umm, does the EH in the background count as an Early Holden? :blush:

#112 johnny yuma

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:25

EH stands for "early holden" so it must,EH ! They must turn 45 soon,but as I now know THAT AIN'T OLD !

#113 repcobrabham

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 07:01

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Given that it rolled several times, and that there was no rollover cage or even roll hoop, the car body did a good job protecting the driver. Of course the lap belt and helmet helped! I've other photos of rolled humpies and the usual damage is just a flattened roof and dents in the sides, so this was obviously one of those spectacular airborne multiple flips.


my dad rolled one of those on the princes hwy while on his way to the stawell gift from sydney in the early-mid '60s. he wasn't showing off either: as i understand it, some parts were little more than a single lane track so if cars were approaching they'd both have to pull to the shoulder as they went past.

18yo dad did just this, but maybe he hadn't slowed enough and he definitely didn't see the culvert. in goes the front left wheel, up goes the car. he had three passengers (including a pregnant woman) who walked away. he was in and out of consciousness for a few days and broke his collarbone - plus his face looked like a grapefruit - but everyone agrees it was a very good result.

my favourite early holdens are the FX and FE, with a preference for the latter. did the FEs have much of an impact on the racing scene? the legend seems to jump straight from humpies to EHs.

#114 wagons46

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:47

I think cost had a lot to do with the absence of many FE's and FC's in motor racing. The Appendix J scene was at a peak in the early 60's when a FE was a maximum of 5-6 yrs old and a FC younger ,whereas the FX and FJ could be roughly 12 yrs old and as an initial purchase cost and replacement cost ,considerably cheaper. There was no advertising allowed in those days to support a struggling entrant and or driver. Some FE's did however race, perhaps the best known was that of Bruce McPhee who was a front runner and had the respect of all his fellow competitors.

#115 David Shaw

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 12:53

Prior to Appendix J, which was introduced at the start of 1960, there were a few FEs, usually with Repco heads on them.

Repco had one themselves (Vic rego GNH666), developed by Charlie Dean and usually driven by Stan Jones. Harry Firth even got a drive at the Island in April '57 when Stan Jones was at the Bathurst 100 meeting. Apparently management got wind of what was happening with their 'research and development' car on the weekends and put a stop to it. Charlie Dean told Bob Holden to get himself a Holden and they would put all the Repco gear into it and use that for development. Bob bought a black high mileage ex-taxi (Vic rego GSY307) and did just that.

At the Melbourne Grand Prix meeting at Albert Park in late November '58, Holden pushed David McKay's MkI Jaguar all the way in an 8 lap scratch race, returning a best lap of 2:16.6 to the big cat's 2:16.2.

NSW's Lou Kingsley also ran a Repco headed FE, taking it far and wide to places such as Caversham and Port Wakefield.

Unfortunately Lou was almost on his own as far as the big hitters in sedans venturing interstate, with very few northerners coming down to Albert Park and very few southerners going to Bathurst.

Edit: Thanks to Ray Bell for much of this info from his article "The old Grey Six" from Motor Racing Australia June/July 2007, issue #98.

#116 David McKinney

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 14:24

Originally posted by David Shaw
NSW's Lou Kingsley also ran a Repco headed FE, taking it far and wide to places such as Caversham and Port Wakefield.

...not to mention Ardmore, Levin, Wigram, Teretonga Park and Ohakea

#117 David Shaw

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 15:12

I had forgotten about his appearances in New Zealand, and to think I saw a photo of him at Ardmore just yesterday.

#118 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 08:07

Originally posted by wagons46
I think cost had a lot to do with the absence of many FEs and FCs in motor racing. The Appendix J scene was at a peak in the early '60s when a FE was a maximum of 5-6 yrs old..... Some FE's did however race, perhaps the best known was that of Bruce McPhee who was a front runner and had the respect of all his fellow competitors.


Bruce McPhee certainly made his a winner...

It was an ex-MWS&DB (Sydney Water Board) Standard Model, which meant it didn't have all the trim and so on. But the FE was definitely heavier than the FJ, the FJ heavier than the 48/215, hence the gravitation of most serious racers to the late '52 to mid '53 model, which had the weight benefit and the better suspension than that of the earliest cars.

There are pics here showing a couple of FCs... Fred Rheinberger was one driver, I can't remember the others. Whose was black?

#119 Terry Walker

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 09:35

Lou Kingsley was amazing. After he retired, he took up racing! Put a Repco head on his Holden, hooked on a caravan (!), and towed it around Australia, racing wherever he found a circuit. He won the WA Touring Car Champs at Caversham against the local hotshoes, probably because of that Repco head. There's been a few articles about him, but a long time ago.

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#120 Dale Harvey

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 23:49

Ray, I think George Garth had a black FC.
Dale.

#121 David Shaw

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 23:07

Interesting photo I found amongst the Personal Photos of Australian Motor Racing.... thread, taken at the 1961 International Meeting at The Farm. An intruder amongst the Appendix J cars in the Holden race.
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#122 eskimut

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 12:08

Good on you David. :)
Notice Norman Beechey in J10, and I will post up the names of others from our archive programme for that W/Farm event.
Peter Lewis-Williams recalls driving (With NB) the PK car to those events in NSW complete with spare motor in boot

Also as I have only noticed this forum only now. Well done to all.

There was a mention of the 2008 Winton which saw Rob Jamieson's, Phil Munday's (Tate/Dove prepared Brock Goodwood car) and our own cut some 3/4 speed laps :clap: . When i remember how to load images, here they come.... :confused:


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Gary Poole

#123 eskimut

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 12:20

:wave:

There was some discussion on speed out of these 'Humpy Holdens'

Visit our you-tube site to catch some real time grey sounds


Ray Eldershaw said to me a while back, " simple speed calc= rpm x 20mph with 3.89 and 15"

:eek: Notice the speedo on our car up the back straight at Sandown last year. :eek:

#124 Team Result

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 12:56

Thanks for sharing that with us, eskimut.
I have a technical question:
Does the car radio have transistors or valves in it? ;-)

While at Youtube I stumbled across this gem:
A 50th year commemorative video of the Brisbane Sporting car Club featuring
footage of early trials with, yes, numerous early Holdens in action (EH wagon is my favourite)!

http://jp.youtube.co...h?v=WDUmFN4EhOQ

#125 eskimut

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 13:25

No sorry to say :blush: , weight saving program 25 years ago saw us chuck the valved back out to retain original front.
I now regret throwing many parts.
On a better note however: :clap:

Here is Winton 2008 images:
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:) Now heres a question for all you people from that era.

:confused: I would like to try Amal GP motorbike carbies on cast head. Any comments.? :confused:


I have heard about 6 Amals on grey. Thanks to Peter Waggott, here they are:
Posted ImagePosted Image
Posted ImagePosted Image

and while I'm at it, Waggott sponsored Warren Weldons Posted Image

enjoy!

#126 David Shaw

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 13:38

Nice photo and footage of the '48 Gary :up:

Just noticed the Waggott photos, excellent stuff!



Apparently Des West's car in the late 50s ran a Waggott (head at least) as well as Bill Thompson's. There were at least 4 Repco headed FEs (seeing as somebody brought them up).
1. The Repco owned one which was usually driven by Stan Jones.
2. The engine then went into Bob Holden's FE which then went to Ross Marshall.
3. Lou Kingsley's.
4. A bloke by the name of Ian Izon who drove one at Phillip Island on June 16, 1958 and then at the November Albert Park meeting, travelling not far behind the Owen Bailey and Norm Beechey Customlines when they took each other out against a lamp post.

John Reaburn ran an FE, not sure if he had an aftermarket head or not. I also have Max Volkers down as driving an FE in late '58 at Strathpine, but I thought he drove a humpy?

#127 eskimut

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 13:56

Last year at Sandown historics we ran this page in the Programme to 'flush out' some of the players of that 1960's era.
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Leo was crook and unable to make to guest drive. but will let the offer stand.;)

John Reaburn came and introduced himself along with a heap of others.
I am pleased that this thread is having some text/image. We have been quietly looking and talking to those people in the era, gaining the odd information trick for our car, which is getting a run now and then given its the 60th year of the model.

oh and,

:up: We have a Repco head under the bench here, just a dust collector as we can't race with it in Group N. :lol:

#128 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 14:18

Originally posted by eskimut
.....We have a Repco head under the bench here, just a dust collector as we can't race with it in Group N. :lol:


Hmmm... I know someone who's keen to set up a car he has with a Repco head...

#129 repcobrabham

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 04:50

thanks everybody for the enlightenment on the FE :wave: i've fantasised about putting a 265 or 283 mouse motor in one, would it work?

purely theoretical, of course...

#130 David Shaw

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 05:39

Apparently a very straight forward conversion to put a small block Chev in one. A good friend of mine had a 350 powered FE back in the early 80s.

There are FE-FC Clubs in many states that should have the good oil on how it's done.

#131 repcobrabham

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 09:05

sweet :clap: if i get the dough, i'll put a small block in the front and an LPG tank in the back

those FEs are beautiful cars and were quite amazing for the time ... the first locally-designed holdens too, i believe

#132 thunder427

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 12:17

'FLASH BACK',a picture appeared in the 'memerory bank',( you don't need a shot gun to make a withdrawl )......1970/71...Ron Brownrigg...FJ/FX Holden (Quick!!)...Painted Green and White, in opposite cnrs (you would have to see a picture,saddley I can't down load a photo ,let alone the 'Mind' picture )...Calder Park...............??

#133 johnny yuma

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 05:55

Originally posted by repcobrabham
sweet :clap: if i get the dough, i'll put a small block in the front and an LPG tank in the back

those FEs are beautiful cars and were quite amazing for the time ... the first locally-designed holdens too, i believe


Unless the designer of the 55 Chev was an Aussie can't see the FE being an Australian design original. :p

You can get what you need from Hadfields in Castlemaine Rod Shop to put a small block Chev in an FC.


An FC sports sedan in the seventies,an Orange coloured regular at Oran Park with huge rubber, ran a V8 with some success but it was a bit of a brute-no finesse.Could have been a Barry Sharp job.Could do south circuit under 50s.

What does a 283 engine weigh? A 202 Holden Red motor is a tad lighter (at 400 lbs) than the old grey motor and drops into FE real easy bolts up without mutilating steering box etc and with a few hot up bits is damn quick.A heavy lump over the front end will not do much for road manners.

#134 eskimut

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 06:13

here is another of the Warwich farm 29/01/61
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L-R:
18 Red. K Hibbard -Gosford Motors
9 Yellow. B.McPhee- Wyong Motors
14 Green . J Gorman
26 Green / Beige. FH Davidson.

from the other image David Shaw posted.

10 Black. Norman Beechey.
1. Black. Leo Geoghegan
11. Green. R Sach.


Fast Forward to Calder circa 1982/3

Rob Jamieson and Ken Zinner
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Zinner has played with the 48 series all his life.
:eek: Posted Image :eek:


:drunk: This car lives on with Rob Southouse from Melb :drunk: .

#135 David Shaw

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 07:49

Great photos and article Gary. :up:

John Gorman in car #14 was entered by Engine Rebuilders (ACT) when he raced at Bathurst back in the 50s.

What year would the article on the Island crash have been? I would have thought 1950s as it mentions a Division 2 Scratch Race.

#136 eskimut

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 09:25

David, i would guess at early 1960's. :confused:
Adrian Ryan was kind enough to give me a copy of the Dec 61 Phillip Island programme showing K Zinner running.
Ken is still active in the gearbox world, having recently rebuilt some grey boxes for us. Managed to 'bust' one at Historic sprint meeting at Myrniong a few months ago.... :down:
Can ask him if you really needed to know for sure.

#137 David Shaw

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 09:44

No, that's alright thanks. I'm just accumulating snippets of all the pre-60 sedan races in Australia that I can. I think you are actually right about early 60s as it isn't a name I have seen come up in late 50s Australian Motor Sports reports.

#138 eskimut

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:06

:wave: What are you looking for david.?

We have recently sourced a number of Australian motor Sport mag in that era :)
I see some mention of the Monte Carlo rally
This is page from one:
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and other :up:
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#139 David Shaw

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 11:10

I was looking for as much detail as possible to document the races like I have done with the Gold Star races on my website. I say was, because I accidentally deleted a folder and lost all the data a short time ago. Unfortunately it hasn't appeared in my recycle bin.

I still have all the data on hard copies etc., I just have to get around to recompiling it. It basically covered all the data I could find on pre-1960 Sedan Racing in Australia, some of it only one or two entries, some of it the full fields.

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#140 eskimut

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 11:31

Ok David, can you email direct to our off forum email:
poole1995@yahoo.com
your postal address / contact number
i think you might like to see what i have copied from the Shell Archives in melb last year.
We were looking for Neptune racing team (which was there) and obviously old holdens, but also looked into approx 700 images from your period. Graham Howard has helped name the people who a younger person like me doesnt know.
it appeared i was the first to request to view.

Gary

#141 David Shaw

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 12:21

Thanks Gary. Done.

#142 David Shaw

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 04:05

Here is the data that I have accumulated so far, which is Sedan Races from late '56 to the end of '59. It is far from complete, and there are a lot of question marks. 1957 and 1958 should cover most of the races, and when I get access to more Australian Motor Sports at the State Library I will complete some more. I have more detail to fill in from other sources such as photos (for model ID and race numbers, rego etc) and a few books, but basically all this data is from AMSs.

It appears there were quite a few Repco headed Holdens around, and two Waggotts (Bill Thompson and Des West) as well as Harry Curnow's supercharged FJ in South Australia.

http://members.optus...ults/sedans.htm

#143 johnny yuma

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 00:59

Brilliant bit of research David--from me,thank you ! Although the fast Leo Geoghegan 48-215 had the 4 speed,disc brakes etc it appears not to have a Repco or Waggott head--is this correct ? Old Holden fans have a lot to be proud of ,seeing off Lancia,Porsche,Mays headed Zephyrs,Mercedes,Jaguar,V8s etc.
Did others such as Ray Long,Slattery,John French etc also use 4 speeds and discs or were the Geoghegans just that bit more innovative ,apart from obviously superb driving ?

#144 kaydee

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 01:38

Originally posted by johnny yuma
Brilliant bit of research David--from me,thank you ! Although the fast Leo Geoghegan 48-215 had the 4 speed,disc brakes etc it appears not to have a Repco or Waggott head--is this correct ? Old Holden fans have a lot to be proud of ,seeing off Lancia,Porsche,Mays headed Zephyrs,Mercedes,Jaguar,V8s etc.
Did others such as Ray Long,Slattery,John French etc also use 4 speeds and discs or were the Geoghegans just that bit more innovative ,apart from obviously superb driving ?


I believe that Leo's car did feature a Repco head -
Posted Image

A close up of the "Aerodynamics"
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and, of course there was also the Repco headed Holden of South Australian driver Clem Smith

Posted Image

#145 iharos

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:24

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ray Bell
[B]Bo Seton sure looks young at the back of the Boomerang car!

Posted Image

Here's the trivia quiz! Where was the BP Boomerang Service station

#146 repcobrabham

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:57

Originally posted by johnny yuma


Unless the designer of the 55 Chev was an Aussie can't see the FE being an Australian design original. :p


really? well, there you go. at least it was a contemporary design, unlike the FX!

i must say i'm surprised chev designed cars of that size - or is the FE a slightly shrunken version?

Originally posted by johnny yuma


What does a 283 engine weigh? A 202 Holden Red motor is a tad lighter (at 400 lbs) than the old grey motor and drops into FE real easy bolts up without mutilating steering box etc and with a few hot up bits is damn quick.A heavy lump over the front end will not do much for road manners.


that occurred to me, but my fantasy calls for an FE station wagon that can haul everything required for an early-60s east coast surf trip with ease while sounding great. and having manouvred an HQ around east sydney in my youth, i'm comfortable with understeering holdens!

anyone got any links to a definitive history of the geogehan FX? that darth vader look is way ahead of its time...

#147 kevinbartlett

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 06:33

[QUOTE]Originally posted by iharos
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ray Bell
[B]Bo Seton sure looks young at the back of the Boomerang car!

Posted Image

Here's the trivia quiz! Where was the BP Boomerang Service station
[/QUOTE]

Can I ! can I !The old Boomerang SS was on Concord Road, near Wellbank or station sts. North Strathfield. I lived nearby, also my first Sydney school was Nth Strathfield primary.

#148 David Shaw

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:41

My apologies to whoever first posted this on TNF:
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Posted Image

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The first mention of a Repco head in Geoghegan's car that I could find in AMS was 1958, but I think it was probably installed earlier. The only constant in sedan racing in the 50s seemed to be change, I wasn't sure of Clem Smith having a Repco but suspected it, but from when? I can't wait to get back to the library and research more on 59 (where it seemed to have actually quietened a bit) and from 54-56.

#149 David Shaw

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:50

Good to see you in here KB. Do you have some interesting snippets to add from driving your Minor 1000 Convertible at places like Bathurst and Gnoo Blas during the time?

#150 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:51

Originally posted by repcobrabham
.....that darth vader look is way ahead of its time...


I don't know what it was, but old Tom Geoghegan loved having his cars black. I think there was only the Lotus Elite that wasn't black out of all the cars they raced before he died...

As soon as he died, however, they went to white.