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Old Formula Vees - Group V in Australia


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#51 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:26

Originally posted by Jacer
.....Is it true that Bob is now down the south coast?


Not unless he's moved in the last few months...

Malcolm Oastler is, however.

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#52 Catalina Park

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:33

Peter (Nota) Williamson is also down the coast I think.

#53 chequer57

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 13:51

I was speaking to Graham Best yesterday he recently sold the Nimbes MkII to Wes Young, don't know what's happening there but I beleive Wes really wanted to go faster, wether he moves the engine and running gear to his Kestrel or runs the Nimbes I don't know.

Speaking of "JH" he said he may part with one of the GAS Vees he has as he has two, I'll see how that goes over the next few months.

Regards,

Ian

#54 Jacer

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 20:27

Originally posted by Ray Bell


Not unless he's moved in the last few months...

Malcolm Oastler is, however.

I bumped into a guy at the motorshow this year who said he had Bob Brittan do some work for him and that he was down at Nowra. I thought he had the wires crossed. Hate to try to move all the stuff he's got there. Peter (Nota) Williamson is at Moruya.

#55 Quixotic

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 23:07

Sold the Car to Wes Young eh....... Hmmmmmmm I could see him putting Besty's Tucker built engine into his Kestral. I wonder what he will be doing with the rest of the car ?????

Well Wes could do much worse then to use the Nimbus's engine. Besty's engine was certainly the best, (no pun intended), 1200cc engine going here in SA. The bottom end and midrange power of that thing was amazing. If I was ever behind Besty, (Most of the time I was), I would not even be able to stay in his slipstream down Mallala's main straight, even if I went through the the Southern Hairpin corner faster than him. I would often catch up 20 or 30 meters coming out of a corner, only to have him pull away on the straights. I used to gnash my teeth at that, ( I couldn't rend my hair as I had my helmet on).

Also, the retirement of Besty is a loss to the younger drivers in SA. Besty was, (and no doubt still is), a cunning fox who has a way of using racecraft that would leave me frustrated, but open mouthed in admiration for the way that he would out manouver myself, and most other younger drivers in much newer machinery and more often than not finish in front of them.

All of the stories that you heard of Jack Brabhams use of "Racecraft", could be safely applied to Besty. He was never ever a dirty driver, just a man who knew just about everything that anyone could want to know about staying on front of other cars.

I have never seen anybody make a Nimbus about 10ft wide like Besty could. I remain envious.

John

#56 Quixotic

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 06:19

Just found this on the Web. I have noticed this car popping up and down on places like EBAY over the last couple of years.

The car is described as a Phantom Formula Vee. The advertising Blurb by the current owner is priceless.....

Up for sale is this fantastic racer. This professionally built car is all Australian made and features a unique chassis with a fiberglass and aluminum body. The engine is a 1200cc VW balanced and blueprinted. The front and rear suspension are VW. New brake cylinders and braided lines have been fitted, Air suspension, 6 Point racing harness, spare wheels with other spares. This is your opportunity to start your racing career in a highly exciting and competitive class. This car continually finished at the front of the field and is ready to race, a light weight trailer is included. With the right driver this car could run at the front of it class again.
If required, I can help to arrange transport at buyers cost.
Please ask any questions before purchasing.
IF YOU PURSHASE THIS RACE CAR IT COMES "AS IS".


By the look of the car it is something from the early 80s, possible late 70s.

Can anyone tell me about it?

Regards,

John

#57 Quixotic

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 06:25

OOPS.... Forgot to provide the link to the Ad....

Sorry

http://www.swapace.c...antom_Race_Car/

Regards,

John

#58 Bruce Moxon

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:35

So for the eleventy-squllionth time, who's JH and what's his sin?

Is he another 'collector' (read 'hoarder') of old racing cars, like a certain muscle car collector on the Gold Coast?




Bruce Moxon

#59 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:54

Send me your phone number, Bruce...

r@ybell.net

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#60 fines

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:51

Are we others not supposed to know? :confused:

#61 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 17:42

A lot of us do know, fee-nes...

But I gather there's an element of concern about it. I gather some are being very reserved about what they say about this gentleman and his way of doing things.

Of course, you can also e.mail me.

#62 Jacer

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 21:26

Originally posted by Quixotic
Just found this on the Web. I have noticed this car popping up and down on places like EBAY over the last couple of years.

The car is described as a Phantom Formula Vee. The advertising Blurb by the current owner is priceless.....

Up for sale is this fantastic racer. This professionally built car is all Australian made and features a unique chassis with a fiberglass and aluminum body. The engine is a 1200cc VW balanced and blueprinted. The front and rear suspension are VW. New brake cylinders and braided lines have been fitted, Air suspension, 6 Point racing harness, spare wheels with other spares. This is your opportunity to start your racing career in a highly exciting and competitive class. This car continually finished at the front of the field and is ready to race, a light weight trailer is included. With the right driver this car could run at the front of it class again.
If required, I can help to arrange transport at buyers cost.
Please ask any questions before purchasing.
IF YOU PURSHASE THIS RACE CAR IT COMES "AS IS".


By the look of the car it is something from the early 80s, possible late 70s.

Can anyone tell me about it?

Regards,

John

Built by the late Maurie Fordham. He built a number of models of the Phantom vees mainly for himself and son Paul. I remember Paul running at the 1987 nationals in this car at Calder where half way down the main straight we turned left and did a lap of the the 'bowl' as well. Very interesting experience to say the least! I think it's Paul doing the selling. Iconic car from Victoria of the eighties.

#63 Quixotic

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 23:10

Is the Phantom a pre 84 car? I wonder...... If it is Ian Lee would certainly be interested.

In response to your earlier question about Stinger 006. No it is not the Quigley car. Susan still races that car here. She had a huge crash in it a couple of years ago, but it is still an immaculate car.

006 is the second of Steve's new low type cars. His current car is 005. 006 was commissioned by Greg Douglas in kit form for his daughter Tammy to race, but it seems that she lost interest, and so the car sat around for a year or two, with only a bare chassis actually being built.

Enter me, with some $$$ looking to buy a running 1600 Vee. I had just settled on Bo Jensen's car from here in Adelaide, and I was about to make him an offer on the car when I got a phone call from my old Crony Steve Butcher. The deal was for a "Brand New" Stinger 1600 for a killer price.

And bugger me, but the price was special, (about half of the cost of any other new Vee). So, since I had previously owned Steve's first car, (Stinger 001, which I liked very much), I decided to take the plunge and get the Stinger.

It was only half built at this stage, but Steve told me Dougo would finish for me and it would be delivered to me in "ready to race condition". All I had to do was to go to Newcastle, (from Adelaide), to pick it up

Well, eight months, and a few thousand dollars later I now have a Vee that is ready to log book.

The Dougo designed front suspension mounts are......um....err...... Interesting, but they seem to work ok.

For a car that was ready to race it certainly needed a huge amount of work. This is not a critism of Dougo. It is much more likely that his idea of "Ready to Race", is vastly different to mine.

But I still have a New, (well some parts seem to be off of old 1200s), 1600 Vee, which only owes me a bit less than $22K. More work is required over the next year or too to replace some of the old parts, (such as the exhaust), and have brand new bits custom built to suit.

A work in progress, but one that I am happy to persevere with.

#64 Jacer

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 23:31

I remember Dougo once showing me how he had tidied up his car a bit and showed me the engine bay area. He had painted the chassis including the wiring loom and the electrical tape holding it onto the chassis! But he's a good bloke. He used to try to race and prepare cars for both Tammy and Jessica as well as his own while trying to run his radiator business on the central coast so everything had to be done at light speed to make it all happen.

#65 Quixotic

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 01:25

Dougo is a great bloke. He stayed at my place once with Steve when they raced at the Nationals here at Mallala. A very funny man. I am actually very happy with the car, (despite how I make it sound), I find some of the things on the car quite funny actually. No adverse reflection on Dougo intended.

From his "race ready" to my "race ready", I had to complete a list of 81 things.

some of the funnier things:

a. Steering wheel way too big, (Go Kart I think... Or perhaps a tractor?), resulting in squashed knuckles when trying to turn the wheel,

b. Instread of the steering column being offset to the left slightly to assist with gearchanges in the tight cockpit, it was offset 10mm to the right of the centre line, thus hindering gear changes,

c. Brake pedals that bend,

d. Crankases that leak, (Cracked),

e. An exhaust off of one of Dougo's old 1200s. I have since had it modified,

f. One rear swing arm 20mm shorter than the other,

g. Every nut on the car had been cut in half with a hacksaw, (it must have taken him ages), good job though,

h. No lock nuts on any of the rose joints. I suppose that would give the car a "Constantly Variable Geometry".

i. All switches placed on dash in a manner where my "Fat" fingers would switch off things like the ignition, and I would also activate the cut out switch as well, and my favourite "eccentricity"...

j. A non functional rain light. Well not exactly non functional. The multi meter was telling me that the power was all right, but there was no rain light???? I pulled it apart, checked the globe...... The globe was ok. Reassembled the light, turned on the switch....no light??? I sat scratching my head for some time. I went and had a beer, then pulled it apart again. Put in a new globe...... turned it on..... Whoopie.... a rain light. A beer to celebrate, reassemble the cover and test it again..... Bugger no light???? Swearing and cursing as to what I was doing wrong, I dissasembled the light again only to find the globe burning brightly......... Only then did I notice that instead of a red tinted rain light cover, I had a clear light cover that Dougo had painted red on the inside with spraypaint. No wonder I coultn't see the bloody light. I guess Dougo could not find a red light over in his garage, and so he improvised one by painting a clear one. As he painted the inside, when it was assembled and the light was off it looked ok, but when the light was turned on, the paint was too thick for the light to shine through at all. Shows you how much of an idiot I am. It took me over 2 hours to work this out........

I will post a couple of pics later of the new Patented "Dougo" H Beam shock mounts.

The H beam on my car was also freshly painted, unfortunately all of the grease and oil on them has been painted over as well.

The car is getting there now.


Regards,

John

#66 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:35

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I'll have to post a copy of the advertisement they ran in Racing Car News...

They were a very sweet little car, and Britto had cleverly designed the chassis to get the centre of gravity right down low. It was years before he even dreamed of trying to improve on the design.


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#67 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:12

The entrepreneurs... but not the builders of the CB Vee:

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#68 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 12:10

This would be the first magazine article about Formula Vee published in Australia... see the line at the bottom...

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And this would probably be the very first advertisement for a Formula Vee in Australia... does anyone know what happened to these cars?

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More advertisements from that first year of Vees:

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Racing Car News carried at least two major articles on Vees in that year... combining track tests with tech articles on building Vees and generally promoting the class and the cars. Here's a Bits & Pieces item that may not have drawn much action, but nevertheless showed that the magazine was behind the class:

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And before too long some cars came onto the second hand market... who did this Rennmax go to, for instance?

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#69 Quixotic

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:49

The Taco Vee?????

New one to me. Anyone have a photo of one?

John

#70 BT 35-8

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 02:55

I don't think the name was used , I think they ended up being called Taipan Vee.

Bryan Miller.

#71 Jacer

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 03:25

This is great stuff Ray. I spoke to 'old' Kleinig jnr about the Taco. It taxed the 70 yr old memory a bit but he's on the case. I don't know of any CeeBee's around at all but I've also been told by guys around in Vee's at the time that they all eventually assumed the name Rennmax which would make it hard. Looking at Ian Lee's data base he has only 7 Rennmax Mk1's listed with a sparse ownership list. The FVANSW Christmas party/ presentation night is on Saturday and I believe that Aub and hopefully Damon will be there so may find out more then.

#72 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 04:47

Yes, they all took the Rennmax name and I think they all put Rennmax badges on them...

After all, they had to go to Britto for parts and repairs, nobody else was looking after them.

Bryan... I think I do recall the Taipan name. But it's a long, long time ago! O also wonder if the 'Parramatta engineer'... John Adam... was their creator?

#73 BT 35-8

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:51

I have a vague feeling that somehow the Late Jim Abbott [ spelling] of Autosportsman became involved with/for Taipan.
I think I saw an advert. with him connected to it , maybe as victorian distributor .

Bryan Miller.

#74 Catalina Park

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 07:07

So, about the MJM Roadrunner Vee, anybody have any stories?

#75 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 07:51

Anything to do with Morrie Miller had stories...

He was quite a character, though I didn't know him very well at all.

#76 Quixotic

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 01:42

And the Standfast Vee??? another one off?

#77 BT 35-8

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 01:53

Standfast Vees were made by John Grant at Penshust Motors , there was certainly more than one made , very good cars , possibly five or so manufactured.

#78 cuffybert

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 08:30

G'day, I,ve got a 1976 Rennmax Mk II chassis no. 8. The original owner was David Leikvold from NSW. It last raced at Lakeside in June 1995 when owned by Paul Barrett. The car spent the next 10 years in Pauls car dealership on display. I got it from a fellow in Penrith who had intended to go Historic but changed his plans, that was in December 06. I ran the car in 2007 at some GEAR meetings here in Qld but I haven't had the chance to run the car at all this year due to Sprite 50th anniversary commitments. My plan is to get an historic log book and race the car but as usual it comes down to time and priorities.

#79 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 10:25

David Leikvold? I remember the name, maybe not the car...

Was it a kind of strange looking green, maybe with white?

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#80 Quixotic

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 11:17

I remember that Mk II rennmax. I used to live in Cranebrook, and I once bought a car off of him. the Rennax used to sit on the floor near his office.


HE told he would never sell it. He also said that it had not been raced for donkey's years.

Good, another old un out of the sheds and running again. Good work.

#81 Quixotic

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 11:20

Do any of the Standfast Vees still exist I wonder?

#82 Jacer

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 20:36

John there's at least 1 Standfast still in NSW still owned by John Murphy I believe. cuffybert I know Bob whom you bought it off. I was always meaning to ask him it's history but never got around to it. John Fab down here had some DVD copies of the Amaroo series from the late 70's which had David in it with the Mk 2. Will have to have a closer look next time.
Didn't get to talk to Damon or Aub on Saturday but good to see them about. The NSWFVA presented an appreciation award to Damon for his long time support of the category. Damon seemed moved and thankful of the thought during his tough times. Aub looked well for a man of 90 and pledged to everyone in the room that we all had to meet here again in 10 years time to celebrate his 100th birthday!
The diamond trophy was presented again this year to former two time National Formula Vee champion Ryan Simpson for his outstanding efforts in dominating the NSW state Formula Ford series. The trophy was given to the club many years ago by Leo to reward Vee graduates exellence in their first year in another openwheel formula.

#83 chequer57

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 22:26

This weekend the Historic Vee’s (pre 85) hit the track at Eastern Creek as part of the Tasman Revival Meeting. 11 Historic Vee’s from NSW & Queensland will do battle amongst the Group M & O cars to determine who’s best in making the old girls fly.

Amongst the noise and sideways action of the Formula 5000’s and other historic Classes the Historic Vees will be out for qualifying and a race on Friday, two races on Saturday and race on Sunday afternoon.

If you’re interested in Historic Vees or a driver from the past please come and visit us in the pits have a chat.

Regards,

Ian Lee
secretary@historicveeaustralia.com

#84 Quixotic

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 22:43

How do Vees rate for pace against Group M & O cars?

I would imagine them to be around the pace of the "Mid Pack" Formula Juniors. Or am I just being optimistic?

Regards,

John

#85 chequer57

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 22:49

John,

Mid pack with the Juniors is about right ..... the Juniors have a bit more poke but Vee's strength is in the twisty bits.

Regards,

Ian

#86 Quixotic

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 23:16

Excellent....... My two favourite classes running together......

wish I could get there for it. I'll have to be content with looking at the pics instead.

Regards,

John

#87 chequer57

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 02:42

John & others some places where pictures of the Historic Vee are from the Tasman Meeting

http://www.jpmphoto...._vee/index.html

http://www.trentwall...ame=08GroupM-FV

Funnily enough not any NG Elfin's (or copies) in the field after Eamonn had engine problems.

Regards,

Ian Lee

#88 Quixotic

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:09

Excellent pics Ian,

Was there any "Angst" between the Formula Junior guys and the Vee guys?

I hope not. They ended up with a reasonable grid size by combining these two classes together, and I'm sure that including the Vees did not dimish the spectacle.

Regards,

John

#89 chequer57

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:07

John the only on track angst was between two Vee's see the rubber marks over Bernie's nose cone (No.31).

Regards,

Ian

#90 Dale Harvey

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 22:20

Quixotic check your PM box

#91 ellrosso

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:53

Should'nt forget the Tassy built Vees either as we had some very quick ones down there over the years. We had 3 Scarab Vees (no relation to the US Scarab) in 1967 (May Baskerville), one of which was driven by Mike Bessant. He was dominant in 1968-69 in a Pirana Vee which was very slimline in the body. We had Gremlin, Volker, Sebring, Manta (these were very quick in the early 70's, a few of these were built too), Roma, Goblin, Tasman, Dieman, Kaeffer and of course the Trowbridge Vees which have already been mentioned (built by John Trowbridge in Hobart).
Regards, ellrosso

#92 chequer57

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 22:58

Things of beauty some of those Trowbridges.

#93 Quixotic

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:41

Things of beauty????? I always think of a mechanical Frankenstein whenever I see one.

Eye of the beholder I guess...... Unless of course you are just being cynical.

Regards,

John

#94 chequer57

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 06:37

Cynical me, judge these beauties for yourself

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Trowbridge Jacer V2K6 inspiration (truely ahead of it's time)

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Trowbidge Streamliner (I know where this one is but not with this body anymore)

#95 Quixotic

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 03:39

The Streamliner????????

what on earth is Streamlined about that?

Still....i can't talk.......you should see my efforts at bodywork.......

Regards John

#96 ellrosso

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 03:56

That No 28 "Streamliner" looks like Paul Bailly's car. Paul is the brother of multi Aust Sports Sedan Champion Kerry Bailly and used to be very dominant in Tas Vee racing in the early 80's. Bloody ugly car though I must say - not a patch on the early Elfin or Rennmax Vees.
Still if they are winning races it does'nt really matter does it?
Regards ellrosso

#97 brucemoxon

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 04:45

Some pictures from the Tasman Revival...

The Vees were in with the slower single-seaters, rather than specifically the Formula Juniors, which were in with the F3s.


Bob Roberts in the HV Vee goes under Ian Cutcher's Mk 2 Rennmax

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Paul English in the Moxon Vee leads Alan Don's Nimbus

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Bernie Haehnle (Rennmax Mk 1) leads the Brabham BT2 of Colin Haste

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#98 Quixotic

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 05:00

Thanks for the pics Bruce.

I love the look of the Mk 2 Rennmax.


Damn I just love this stuff.

John

#99 brucemoxon

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 05:08

Originally posted by Quixotic
Thanks for the pics Bruce.

I love the look of the Mk 2 Rennmax.


Damn I just love this stuff.

John


My pleasure.

Make sure you get the Australian Classic Car Jan 09 issue - the yearbook. There's a story in there on the Moxon Vee.



BM

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#100 chequer57

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 10:32

Originally posted by brucemoxon


My pleasure.

Make sure you get the Australian Classic Car Jan 09 issue - the yearbook. There's a story in there on the Moxon Vee.



BM


I wonder who wrote that article ........;)