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Sports racing cars of the 1950s & '60s - which was most beautiful?


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#1 Derek Pitt

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 08:20

Well - it is Sunday afternoon and nearly Christmas.

I am idling away the time thinking of the past -as usual -and it occurs to me it would be stimulating to have a discussion on the beautiful big banger sports racing cars of the 1950's and 60's.

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and will always be subjective, and therefore very much a matter of personal taste and opinion, but as i said it is Christmas, so perhaps we can be allowed a little latitude.

I dont think it is necessary to establish that the sports cars of the mid 50's to late 60's (approx) were beautiful, graceful and purposeful - I would hope that is a given.

My list for the 1950's is divided into 4 categories - in descending order of beauty.

Category 1

Long Nose D Type Jaguar
Aston Martin DBR1/2
Ferrari Test Rossa (1959/60)
Maserati 300S 1956 (works cars)
Short Nose Production D Type Jaguar
Scarab 1958

Category 2

Aston Martin DB3S 1955 works cars
Ferrari 1957 (ala Taruffi Mille Miglia)
Maserati 450S
Ferrari 375 Plus
Lancia 1954/55

Category 3

Lister Jaguar 1958 (knobbly)
Aston Martin DB3S 1956
Ferrari Monza 1954/55
Cooper Jaguar Mk2 1955
Porsche RSK 1958

Category 4

Lister Jaguar 1959 (Costin)
Mercedes Benz 300SLR 1955
Tojerio Jaguar 1959
Cooper Jaguar Mk1 1954

I have restricted my list to the "heavy metal" and have not included the Lotus cars or the Coopers- (Bobtail and Monaco) even though the large-engined Lotus15 and Cooper Monacos were as quick, if not quicker, than most of the cars on my list.

I hope this will be viewed as an interesting aside for the Christamas period and not as a childish diversion - which it undoubtedly is !

Compliments of the Season to All

Derek

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#2 mikeC

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 08:28

I much prefer the C-type Jag :love: to the D-type in either long- or short-nosed form, and the DB3S is much prettier than the DBR1 to my eyes...

#3 Tony Matthews

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 08:29

A very interesting list, Derek (it's not a thinly disguised Christmas gift list, is it?), and I've not had long to think about it. However, the inclusion of both Long Nose and Production D-Types in the same group puzzles me, as the Long Nose is so much more attractive - as you say, it's in the eye of the beholder - that I would not have them in the same category. You've certainly given me smething to think about!

#4 Tony Matthews

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 08:32

Originally posted by mikeC
I much prefer the C-type Jag :love: to the D-type in either long- or short-nosed form, and the DB3S is much prettier than the DBR1 to my eyes...


This is where the problems start! DB3S - pretty. DBR1 - purposeful! The DBR1 wins hands down for me, and there is never going to be a list that will satisfy us all.

#5 Tim Murray

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 09:02

An earlier complementary thread:

Your three most beautiful racing or sports cars from the '60s and '70s

#6 Derek Pitt

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 09:18

Well yes....everybody will have a different opinion..but discussion will at least be interesting.....and I guess WB's famous "formatitve years " will come into play also - but despite all that, we may asymptote towards some agreed conclusions.

I should have included the C Type because in many ways it was the first modern sports racing car, but to me, it now looks very dated and "puffy-faced."

The long nose D Type is there because of its sheer beauty from any angle, either, in its original "Hawthorn" form or in its later Appendix C guise.

The short nose without tail-fin, has a certain purity of form and an aesthic beauty which I find irresistable.

I should have added that the problem with many mid-50's Ferraris, is that the way I understand it, there were several "out-sourced" body builders and therefore many variations on the same theme, but i am certain all would fit in Category 2 without any difficulty.


Derek

#7 poorpaul

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 10:04

I have a special fondness for the Ferrari 250LM and the Porsche 904.

#8 RA Historian

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 18:42

The Scarab.

After that, I would have to think. But the Scarab, to me, is the prettiest sports racer ever.

Tom

#9 Duc-Man

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 19:36

I gonna stick to the sixties since I don't know to many cars from the 50ies.

In decreasing beauty there will be:

Lola T70 MkIII B GT
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Jaguar E-Type 'Lindner' Coupe
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McLaren M6 B (the '68 Penske/Sunoco car)
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Alfa Romeo 33 ('67)
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Chaparral 2D
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#10 sandy

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 20:21

1956 Maserati 300S
1955 Ferrari 750 Monza
Ferrari P3

#11 Derek Pitt

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 20:38

Originally posted by sandy
1956 Maserati 300S
1955 Ferrari 750 Monza
Ferrari P3


Sandy,

Do you mean this?...............

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#12 D-Type

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 21:12

The 50's sports prototypes were the last that genuinely could be driven on the road. They resembled real cars that one could aspire vto rather than being effectively grand prix carswith two seater bodies.

Given my user name my answer is obvious. But I will vote for the Production Short Nose without tail fin. The befinned cars were attractive in their own way but a fin is rather unnatural and not what you would see on a road car (apart from some over the top US models).

My second place isn't on the list. It's the Philip Scragg Alta-Jaguar, RPG 418. This is a slipper bodied cycle winged 'one and a half seater' sports racing car and to my eyes the most attractive of the genre.

And in 3rd pace I would choose the Maserati 300S. It just looks so 'right'


It is no coincidence that i saw the first two race during my 'formative' years.


The sixties is a different ballgame as the coupés came in with a totally different set of aesthetics.

1. Lola T70
2. Ferrari P3
3. Ford - the 3 litre car that hardly raced, I forget its designation

#13 ZOOOM

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 22:30

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I'm with Tom....
You can close this thread now............
ZOOOM

#14 sterling49

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 22:35

Originally posted by D-Type

The sixties is a different ballgame as the coupés came in with a totally different set of aesthetics.

1. Lola T70
2. Ferrari P3
3. Ford - the 3 litre car that hardly raced, I forget its designation


Duncan, I think you might be thinking of the F3L (P68) run by Alan Mann Racing of Byfleet (notably at Brands in 1968/69) a stunningly pretty car :up:

Good choices!

#15 D-Type

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 22:43

Originally posted by sterling49


Duncan, I think you might be thinking of the F3L (P68) run by Alan Mann Racing of Byfleet (notably at Brands in 1968/69) a stunningly pretty car :up:

Good choices!

Yup - that's the one.

#16 Muzza

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 23:17

1. Ford F3L
2. Howmet Turbine
3. Ferrari P3

#17 sandy

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 03:34

Originally posted by Derek Pitt


Sandy,

Do you mean this?...............

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Yes, exactly! There was something very special about the two Maserati 300S cars that the Maserati team left behind in Australia in 1956. I have always admired them and it seems to me that other 300Ss I have seen are not quite as well proportioned, or have distracting chrome or aluminium surrounds around intakes or have a Maserati trident in the radiator opening which just doesn't quite fit, or don't seem to sit "squarely" on the road ... and so on. Reg Hunt's 300S is an example - NQR. With the two 1956 Albert Park cars however, what with the combination of the metal tonneau covers, the headrests and the wraparound windscreens all so perfectly balanced in appearance that with the blood red high gloss paintwork I reckon that the 2 cars that Moss and Behra drove at Albert Park were/are well nigh visually perfect. Add to this the wonderful sound of the 3 litre engines and you have sheer magic. I followed one of these 2 cars along Nepean Highway, from Mordialloc to Frankston one day, when it was owned by one of the Leech brothers (have I got that right - was it the Leech brothers? It was around the mid seventies) and will never forget it.

The Ferarri 750 Monza is another car that seems to differ in appearance from car to car but the essential
design is also the epitome of Italian genius when working with metal. And to think that they were probably designed and built by the apprentice draughtsman and a the shop foreman to a sketch by the chief designer, all done in a couple of weeks.

#18 Derek Pitt

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 05:45

Yes Sandy..I agree entirely.....here they are "side by side".....the Hunt car and the ex-Jane car...illustrates your point nicely.

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Derek

#19 Lola5000

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:38

for me the Maserati 300S.

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#20 aaron

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:42

All beautiful cars no doubt. Jaguar XJ13 for me. I had one built by Tempero in NZ but the new owners were going broke so I got it out and sold it on not quite finished. Rod Tempero is now building his first P3/P4. A second or third customer would get a good deal on that as the start up costs would be spread around a bit. Aaron.

#21 sandy

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 10:57

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From Ferrari by Merritt & Fitzgerald. Perhaps more brutal than beautiful but beautiful nevertheless.

#22 sandy

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:01

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The ultimate in automotive beauty - from Ferrari - Merrit & Fitzgerald

#23 sandy

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:05

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And finally, simply stunning.

#24 Derek Pitt

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 21:36

Hi Sandy,

My I ask where the 300S is, when and which one it is please?

Yes you were right, it was the Leech brothers who owned the ex-Behra/ex-Whiteford 300S and apparently it was seen around the streets of Frankston quite regularly.

Derek

#25 sterling49

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 21:48

This one gets my vote, followed by another contender, I attended the race, such brilliant memories are evoked by this picture of wee Jackie and Phil Hill :up: :


http://www.andrewkit...pages/P4-2F.htm

Painted brilliantly by TNF member Andrew Kitson.

#26 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 00:03

Without a doubt, the most exciting and aesthetically pleasing sports racer of the sixties was Bob Jane's M6 with the shiny chromed central pipes slipping out over the rear deck and spoiler...

While I'm tempted to agree with the 300S, I have to say that for a fifties candidate I like the Prad Holden. Gorgeous car.

#27 thunder427

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 03:21

Ray; interesting you should mention Bob's M6-Mclaren, with 'Shiny Chrome Pipes',it will be in my shop for complete 'make-over' January,so watch this space for 'Progress reports,interesting point worth considering,is this the only 'Customer',Mclaren, that is still in the hands of the original purchaser ???????????,I've Seen the 'original' purchase agreement that Bob has ....this is 'Quite a Car.!!!...only 'one' in the World !!!

#28 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 04:11

Originally posted by thunder427
Ray; interesting you should mention Bob's M6-Mclaren, with 'Shiny Chrome Pipes',it will be in my shop for complete 'make-over' January,so watch this space for 'Progress reports,interesting point worth considering,is this the only 'Customer',Mclaren, that is still in the hands of the original purchaser ???????????,I've Seen the 'original' purchase agreement that Bob has ....this is 'Quite a Car.!!!...only 'one' in the World !!!

Pity us poor people who have to work for a living!!
Congratulations Miles on a job that must be far more fun than most.
Though I bet it can also be very frustrating too.

#29 Derek Pitt

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 05:05

Originally posted by thunder427
Ray; interesting you should mention Bob's M6-Mclaren, with 'Shiny Chrome Pipes',it will be in my shop for complete 'make-over' January,so watch this space for 'Progress reports,interesting point worth considering,is this the only 'Customer',Mclaren, that is still in the hands of the original purchaser ???????????,I've Seen the 'original' purchase agreement that Bob has ....this is 'Quite a Car.!!!...only 'one' in the World !!!



Has the car somehow reached the United States of America?

With the exception of the Lightweight E Type and the afore-mentioned 300S, I thought Bob Jane's racing cars remain safe in Australia?

Derek

#30 Lola5000

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 05:18

Originally posted by Derek Pitt



Has the car somehow reached the United States of America?

With the exception of the Lightweight E Type and the afore-mentioned 300S, I thought Bob Jane's racing cars remain safe in Australia?

Derek

still here .
wish the LWT and the 300s were still with BJ.

#31 Lola5000

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 05:19

Originally posted by sandy
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And finally, simply stunning.

who's car?

#32 thunder427

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 05:37

Lola5000; trust me ,so does BJ,(you forgot the D-Type that go 'Shuffled off' at the same time)...perhaps we could 'Encourage Ray Bell to start a 'Thread' on the M6-Mclaren so we can share this Unique 'Personal Mclaren with our 'international' Threaders...................Ray!!??

#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 07:44

Okay... okay... I can take a hint...

I'll get one underway. Anyone got colour pics?

#34 aaron

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:12

I've got a lovely one of the Bear at the 2nd Adelaide G.P. No helmet. When I showed it to Bob he asked that I send him a copy. He even wrote a very nice reply. That car is unique and John Harvey's battles with Matich in the SR4 were perhaps the pinnacle of Australian sports car racing. If I can find it I will post it. A1

#35 Lola5000

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:53

Originally posted by thunder427
Lola5000; trust me ,so does BJ,(you forgot the D-Type that go 'Shuffled off' at the same time)...perhaps we could 'Encourage Ray Bell to start a 'Thread' on the M6-Mclaren so we can share this Unique 'Personal Mclaren with our 'international' Threaders...................Ray!!??

from what i remember BJ did not need to sell any of those 3 wonderful cars.
great that he still has the Camaro,MK2,M6 and the Repco Brabham.
does he still have a rice trailer?

#36 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:32

The Lotus 19 Monte Carlo does it for me. Saw one for the very first time...attending my very first race, in fact...at Mosport for the inaguaral Player's 200 c/w SSM up. Always have time for this car.

#37 thunder427

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 13:05

Lola5000; yes !! Bob still has that 'Great' trailer which is part of a two year 'overhaul' program Bob and I are planning at this time, his complete 'collection' is getting some major TLC, the ZL1 CAMARO has just had a "total 'overhaul', where, fortunately we found that the 'Camshaft' had no 'Bumpy' bits any more,so total rebuild,great work by Melbourne's 'Crow Cams', whom produced a full factory spec camshaft in 24hours from the spec's we recieved from 'Crane' in the USA.(Crane could supply,but the cam would have to sit for two weeks in an Bond store,for the 9/11 'terrorist' thing)these valuable cars ,as I'M sure TNFers will understand just deterorate sitting around,plus before we can send 'Our Fearless Leader' out for a 'Speed'( Not bad at 79 yrs young,gets a great 'Grin' going after a run in the Camaro !!)it has to 'pass the 100pt check, this takes two days and we 'log' our report,....................................regards427

#38 Tmeranda

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 14:20

Surprized nobody listed one of my altime best, the Ferrari GTO. In particular I like the '63 version.

#39 Rosemayer

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 14:26

Just ask Tony A to Z you now may close the Thread Ferrari 312P


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#40 D-Type

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 15:08

Originally posted by Tmeranda
Surprized nobody listed one of my altime best, the Ferrari GTO. In particular I like the '63 version.

GT not sports/racer I reckon. But it's a very blurred dividing line.

#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 20:01

Originally posted by Lola5000
from what i remember BJ did not need to sell any of those 3 wonderful cars.
great that he still has the Camaro, MK2, M6 and the Repco Brabham.
does he still have a rice trailer?


Did he ever have a Rice trailer? Maybe when he first got the Brabham?

Let's put this all in perspective, this business about flogging off the Lightweight E etc.

Bob had the T-Mart showroom at the end of Parramatta Road, right next to the Vauxhall Inn at Granville. Not sure, but I think it might have been the first T-Mart. Lynton Wettone was there.

Huge plate glass windows faced the street, with a low brick wall beneath them... and Bob used that showroom as a display to attract attention from passing traffic.

About 1973 he had the D-Type, the E-Type and the McLaren M6 in there, all polished up and looking schmick. But one night a fellow intent on damaging himself parked his Mazda around the corner near the gas thing and climbed onto the roof of the showroom carrying a battery. He lowered himself and his battery through a hole he made in the roof.

First he tried to start the McLaren... and failed. Then he tried the lightweight E... and again failed. Finally he tried the D-Type and it fired. He slipped it into first gear and gunned it through the front wall, knocking out the low brick section and smashing the plate glass, shards of which rained down all over him and the car. Out onto Parramatta Road, turned right into Church Street, up over the hill past Marshall's and Fair Deal and left at Hillsdons' corner, gave it too much through that turn onto the Great Western Highway and spun, beaching the thing on the traffic island.

Stuck and unable to move it, he was no longer in a position to do what he intended. His purpose had been to spectacularly kill himself by driving a fast car off the top of the cliff at Victoria Pass in the Blue Mountains!

He abandoned the car and ran back to his Mazda, but was later apprehended, bleeding from a couple of wounds from that falling glass.

Bob flew to Sydney the next morning to survey the damage. In that moment he was devastated that his 'collection' had been at such great risk and it changed his attitude towards keeping these valuable cars.

#42 ken devine

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 00:57

Nobody has mentioned the beautiful DB3s Aston Martin driven here by Ray Barfield to win the 1961 6hr
race at Caversham. By the way was this car competing at Goodwood this year? as there were a couple
in one of the magazines.





URL=http://imageshack.us]Posted Image[/URL]

#43 Derek Pitt

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 05:11

[QUOTE]Originally posted by ken devine
[B]Nobody has mentioned the beautiful DB3s Aston Martin driven here by Ray Barfield to win the 1961 6hr
race at Caversham. By the way was this car competing at Goodwood this year? as there were a couple
in one of the magazines.

I mentioned the 1956 DB3S in my opening comments on this thread Ken.

I put it in Category 3 on the basis it was not as pretty as the immediately preceding DB3S.

In late 1950's, I had a Revell plastic kit of this model Aston and adored it though.....I hope that helps.

Derek

#44 ken devine

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:32

Another of my favorites the 250LM Ferrari of David McKay.






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#45 etceterini.com

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:37

How about this car? (Anyone know what it is?)

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PS: NOT a TR....

Cliff Reuter
www.etceterini.com

#46 ZOOOM

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:40

Hmmmmmm....
Looks like a Gozonly Downhill to me...

ZOOOM

#47 ZOOOM

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:47

Hmmmmmm....
Looks like a Gozonly Downhill to me...

ZOOOM

#48 etceterini.com

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 03:01

What does that mean Zoom Poltroon???

#49 ZOOOM

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 17:34

Originally posted by etceterini.com
What does that mean Zoom Poltroon???


Are you calling me a moroon, sir?
I represent that last statement!

ZOOOM (three O's to you...)

#50 David M. Woodhouse

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 18:17

Just a guess: 335S

Woody