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Wally Willmott


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#101 Macca

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 15:59

Originally posted by Jerry Entin
Cooper 997: Wally Willmott has never really told his side of the racing to anyone before George Begg wrote a book about Bruce McLaren. He has never shown these pictures on any site. He is letting the forum members enjoy his photos on this site.

One of Wally's fellow McLaren workers, Howden Ganley rode by the Cooper Formula One workshop today and this is what he saw in his words: "I drove past the old Cooper F1 shop on Langley Road yesterday (January 7th ). It has recently been demolished. It had been in a bad state for some time - I think since the Cooper family sold it. I had meant to photograph it some time ago. There was a printing company in it. The main factory on Hollyfield Rd ( just off Ewell Road ) is still looking good, the Police seem to be looking after it very well. The original showroom on the corner of Hollyfield Rd and Ewell Rd is still a car sales place. Just as it was when Stirling Moss went there with his father to look at a new Cooper 500 .
And the pub is still there as well.

Howden Ganley


Although it has been demolished, it is still visible on MSN Livesearch Birdseye View, to the right of the church and the white van:
Posted Image

I can kick myself now for never having been to see it, although I worked nearby for some time.....

Paul M

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#102 cooper997

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 11:26

Hi Macca,

Thanks for your enterprising method to find a recent photo of Cooper's Langley Rd F1 factory. It's human nature for us to leave things in our own back yard for one day. Then only to find it's too late.

Hi Jerry & Wally,

Once again thank you for bringing all of us these great personal photos and anecdotes. Simply brilliant.

Cheers
Stephen

#103 Doug Nye

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 18:51

Late to the party - only just noticed the 'what form to restore it to' debate.

In my view there's absolutely no question, leave the old lady substantially as she has survived, largely in the McLaren Cooper-Olds 'Jolly Green Giant' form - without a moment's doubt. The ZereX FUBAR was the most significant part of the entity's history? :eek:

Nonsense!

DCN

#104 Jerry Entin

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 21:01

Posted Image
Nassau in 1963 Zerex Special and Lola Coupe entered by John Mecom
This is what Willem Oosthoek say he would do if it was his to restore:
It is all personal of course, but it will be hard to deny that the two-seat Mecom version was the most visually pleasing Zerex of them all. It has my vote for any future restoration.

The photo shows two of the mounts that Augie Pabst drove at Nassau in 1963. He took the Lola Mk 6/Chevy to victory on December 1, but one week later he dropped out after 26 laps with the Zerex.

By now the car was called the MRT Special [for Mecom Racing team] and was in the fifth stage of its competition life [after the Formula One, single-seat 2.7, two-seat 2.7 and two-seat 2.5 versions]. It carried a 2-liter Climax at Nassau.

Posted Image
Zerex Special as it looked when owned by David Morgan
If it was Jerry Entin's car to restore, I would restore it with Olds power. I like both Wally's idea and Doug's and Willem's. I am leaning toward Doug's idea of the latest configuration.


Top Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection
all research Willem Oosthoek.

Zerex Bottom photo- David Seibert

#105 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 22:41

Originally posted by Catalina Park
My own view is the chassis is complete in one form. It would need cutting, hacking and new bits to return it to the previous form. It would be 50% original and 50% new (mileage may vary)
At the moment it looks 100% original. (Original Mclaren Cooper Olds)

Besides, it is easier to find an Olds motor than a Climax. ;)

I agree as it otherwise really becomes a replica.

#106 ZOOOM

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 01:58

Jerry,
When you say Zerex Special, to me it conjures up Penske's center driving position Zerex Special. Where does this one fit in?
ZOOOM

#107 Jerry Entin

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 02:09

The car on the trailer above we are talking about is the final version of the Penske Zerex. Read this thread and it is explained how the car evolved after John Mecom and Bruce McLaren owned the car.

#108 Pat Clarke

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 10:26

Again, venturing slightly off topic, I posted this earlier in the thread
"This is, of course, the exact technique being used in the current spate of ATM robberies in Australia".

This is the latest news on that topic

http://news.ninemsn....-atm-explosions

Pat

#109 taylor86

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 21:44

Hi

I am desperately trying to get in touch with Colin Vandervell. He is an old friend of my mums but we lost his address and telefone number when we moved house. Can anybody please help?

#110 aaron

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 21:47

There is a photo early in this thread of Wally working on turning the Ford Indy engine into a F1 engine. Wally was in NZ last month watching us race F5000s and I asked him about this. The engine in 3 litre form was a real failure yet a terrific Indy engine in 4.2. litre form. Jerry, you should get Wally to relate the story which is usually glossed over in every Mclaren book I have read. Remember the return to power period from 1966 allowed Brabham to get the jump on everyone with a light simple and reliable engine. On paper Mclaren could have done the same. Let's hear the story from the horse's mouth. Aaron.

#111 Jerry Entin

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 01:08

Posted Image
Photo of Cooper Factory as seen recently
These photos were taken by Howden Ganley and show what the Cooper Works buildings look like at present.
The White building, which is on the corner of Ewell Road and Hollyfield Road, is the original No 243 which was the showroom, and the flat above is where Charles Cooper lived for a time.

Posted Image
Closer view of Cooper Factory
This was the building used as the main Cooper Factory where so many famous cars were built.

photos Howden Ganley - scanned for site Erin Pritchett
photo explanation Howden Ganley- photos taken Jan 21, 2009.

#112 Jerry Entin

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 06:04

Posted Image
Ye Olde watering hole
AKA: The Royal Oak Pub which backs onto the Hollyfield Rd factory.

Posted Image
The now boarded up lot at the site of the Formula One shop.
This is looking down Langley Road past the Church, Ewell Road in the distance.


photos Howden Ganley - scanned for site Erin Pritchett

#113 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:58

The penthouse topping the Cooper works in Howden's photos was Owen Maddock's drawing office, which became the target for big, hard King Edward potatos, swedes and turnips fired from Noddy's Connaught de Dion-tube cannon on the roof of the F1 workshop further up the hill. It was, in effect, Ground Zero.

DCN

#114 Jerry Entin

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 14:38

Posted Image
This was the bridge over the stream -"Tolworth Brook"
This bridge took you from the back door of Hollyfield Road to The Royal Oak. Charles Cooper was known to have kept ducks in this stream.

Posted Image
The brick wall we see in this picture is all that is left of the Cooper Formula One building.

Thanks Doug: For the description of "Ground Zero"

photos Howden Ganley- scanned for site Erin Pritchett

#115 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 13:46

Posted Image
Wally Willmott's new racer

Posted Image
Wally's racer with body off.

"The car was made in Taupo New Zealand and based on the American 'Star Car' concept. Using a Suzuki 1100c.c. motorcycle engine and gearbox. As you can see the motorcycle engine has just been turned sideways to its norm and a U.J. fitted to where the output sprocket would normally be so a drive shaft can be run aft to a live diff."

Wally ran his car this weekend. This is from Wally on running the car.

"It was a bit of a rush getting it prepared in time, and when I took it out for a test on Friday the clutch was slipping badly. I had a new set of plates couriered down from Christchurch over night, and with that fixed on Saturday, I found when I started to get going faster that I had a high speed misfire. I chased that all race day Sunday, but even though it was not at it's full potential I had an enormous amount of fun running with RX7's and the likes. It is the first car of it's type that has been run down here at our local track and the interest was high."

Explanation of car by Wally Willmott

#116 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 14:02

Posted Image
Wally's good friend Rick Michels standing next to Wally's racer

The body on this car is a scaled down Australian Ford Falcon, this
and the equivalent GM Holden are the most popular bodies. The photo, with Wally's friend Rick Michels alongside, gives you some idea of the scaled down size.

Wally bought this car used to try out the concept.

#117 ErinKondratieff

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 08:34

Wally was in attendance at Hampton Downs and Pukekohe for the
Bruce McLaren celebrations. As the first McLaren Racing mechanic,
Wally was in demand for the parades, autograph sessions, and interviews.
As well as all that activity Wally was racing his Begg Formula Ford. Here he
is with Howden Ganley and waiting to get out on the track.
Posted Image

Posted Image

#118 Terry Walker

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 10:54

Bit surprised to see the opening pic. Taken by Sydney Anderson's daughter in Perth, Western Australia, in 1962, at the Styles Garage, Albany Highway, East Victoria Park, Perth, Western Australia. Not complaining, but it does belong to Sydney Andersons daughter. It was posted on the personal pictures of Australian motor racing thread on TNF.

I was never sure who the guy on the trailer was. Now I know. Great to see that he's still around with lively and happy memories. And Eoin Young - I recgognised him readily enough. He appeared in Racing Car news for a number of years as a columnist.

I have several colour slides, taken by Peter Longley, of McLaren at Caversham in 1962 . I keep meaning to email high-res scans to the Mclaren Foundation, haven't managed it yet due to a slowish internet connection. It's a lot quicker these days, so the project has moved more towards the top of out-tray.


#119 branko

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 21:24

The Zerex Special remains are still in Venezuela, IMHP I would restore it as the predecessor of the Mclaren CanAm.
branko
A photo of the chassis in its current state.
Posted Image

Edited by branko, 30 August 2010 - 21:29.


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#120 Jerry Entin

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 14:53

Posted Image
Wally Willmott reunited with the McLaren M2 at Donnington Park Museum
Wally was on the build crew of Bruce McLaren's first Formula One McLaren. Wally hadn't been back to England since 1968.
Posted Image
Jay Esterer's Winning Chinook at Goodwood
Wally Willmott came over to help Jay Esterer run his Chinook at Oulton Park and Donnington Park and Goodwood.

top photo: Richard Taylor
bottom photo: Wally Willmott

Edited by Jerry Entin, 26 September 2011 - 11:39.


#121 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 15:29

It was a privilege to meet Wally again at Goodwood, and a delight to see the car in his care actually win there. I introduced him to Charles March, who was equally pleased to see him, as was his old mate Mike Barney, formerly Bruce's Cooper mechanic who also later joined the McLaren operation, and who attended on the Saturday. I hope Wally enjoyed his weekend as much as we enjoyed his being there.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 25 September 2011 - 15:35.


#122 RickT

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 09:59

Hi Guys

Im a bit late onto this thread, been trying to catch up here in the Autotune workshop after the busy period in the run up to Goodwood. We had a fantastic weekend there with Jay and Wally, and seeing the Chinook Mk2 that we have just completely restored and prepared for Jay winning the Whitsun race was very rewarding!

When Jay shipped the remains of his Chinook over to us we spent a huge amount of time rebuilding it all back into the race car that made its return to the track at Oulton Park for the Gold Cup, it was too good an opportunity to miss to get five track sessions of unsilenced testing !! Jay landed at the airport on the morning of qualifying and was out on the track less than an hour after arriving at the circuit !! Wally then landed the following day and soon had his hands dirty helping out with fine tuning the car.

After Oulton we then had three weeks before Goodwood where there happenend to be a Donington Masters round in the middle, ideal for a bit more unsilenced running !! Wally and Jay then spent time here at our workshop and it has been a real pleasure to work with them both on the car. It was also good wandering around the Donington collection with Wally, especially to see his face when he saw the old McLaren M2 that he was so involved with, (thats my photo earlier Jerry, I made Wally let me take it for his collection!) He also seemed to thoroughly enjoy the whole Goodwood atmosphere, we did all have a good laugh when we gathered around the control building for the Sunday prize giving, only to look up and see saw him up there on the roof chatting with you Doug!

Sadly, Wally did take a good scar home to NZ - not from any dramatic workshop incident but courtesy of my cat, Bruce (who else), whom he had tried to make friends with whilst staying with me, sorry Wal !!

Cheers
Richard Taylor

#123 bradbury west

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 14:48

Just a reminder that it is always useful to scroll back. There is a nice period shot of the Mecom Lola Coupe in post 104. Is that the one which was at the FoS a few years ago?
Roger Lund


#124 Giraffe

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 18:01

Posted Image
Bruce McLaren on the end of Formula One car build
This is again the construction of the first McLaren Formula One car. Bruce McLaren is now in the picture with Wally Willmott and also Colin Beanland is at the other end in this photo.


A bit of a coincidence today, in the waiting room of the x-ray department at Solihull hospital, I bumped into Kiwi Peter Cates who was an old friend of Bruce's. Idling away the time, he was telling me about the Ford Mustang 390GT Fastback he bought off Colin Beanland pictured here, and wished he still owned it. :love:

Edited by Giraffe, 27 September 2011 - 07:32.


#125 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 22:12

I have to say that to me, this is one of the finest threads I have ever seen in this place. Just wonderfully informative...and achingly nostalgic.

DCN

#126 Giraffe

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 18:25

I received an e-mail from Howden Ganley last night relating to the pic my last post revived......


FYI. The car in the photo you posted tonight is the M2A - the prototype which did a lot of
the early testing , using the Traco Olds engine. Opposite Wal in the white is Robin Herd , and
behind Beanie is Charlie Scarano in the green overalls .

In the bottom left hand corner of the photo is the front of Big Ed , the GT40 roadster , which was
built at the same time as the M2A. That was in the Secret Shop !

For more on Wal , and those days , read George Begg's book on McLaren .

Howden


.... and an addendum just in this minute....

Something I forgot to mention. You can see the end of the central tube jig protruding from
the monocoque they are building. That tube was also the gun barrel of the launcher, aimed out
through a rear window , and which could fire projectiles across the field behind the factory. It
had a threaded boss welded in one end, just up from a welded in cap. A spark plug screwed
into the boss. After the ' shot ' was loaded the tube behind was charged with accetylene from
the welding bottle, and then ignited with the spark plug. Quite a spectacular result . Wal can
tell the story about how it eventually blew out all the back windows in the factory !

Howden

Edited by Giraffe, 27 September 2011 - 18:44.


#127 Jerry Entin

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:39

Posted Image
McLaren Formula One at Donnington

Doug: Thank you so much for seeing Wally was treated right at Goodwood. It pays to have friends who look out for you.
Richard: Thank you for hosting Jay Esterer and Wally Willmott while they prepared the car you and your dad helped them with.

Here is a link to the race of Jay Esterer's Chinook at Goodwood, It shows a lot of banging and rough driving for those who are squeamish.
http://www.youtube.c...nel_video_title

Edited by Jerry Entin, 02 October 2011 - 23:18.


#128 Jerry Entin

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 15:49

Posted Image
Wally Willmott taking the Victory Lap in Jay Esterer's Chinook
This was from the recent Goodwood Revival races and Wally said it was great to be back at their old test track after all these years.

Wally also thought the crowd might have thought that Jay Esterer might have aged a bit.

photo: Jeff Bloxham

Edited by Jerry Entin, 24 October 2011 - 23:05.


#129 David McKinney

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 16:26

"Goodwood vintage races" :eek:

Not on this side of the Atlantic, please :wave:

I'm very sorry to have missed Wal - I didn't know till afterwards that he'd been there

#130 Giraffe

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 16:45

"Goodwood vintage races" :eek:

Not on this side of the Atlantic, please :wave:



Try telling Ed McDonough that! :)


Wally Wilmott stayed with the Taylors during his visit, and Richard told me that his stories were priceless! :up:

#131 David McKinney

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 17:23

Ed McDonough's American, innit

#132 Giraffe

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 18:26

Ed McDonough's American, innit


Indeed, whilst promoting "Vintage Racecar" in the UK via the HSCC programme at Silverstone on Saturday!

#133 Vicuna

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 19:32

Try telling Ed McDonough that! :)


Wally Wilmott stayed with the Taylors during his visit, and Richard told me that his stories were priceless! :up:


Willmott

Two l's and two t's

#134 Giraffe

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 19:45

Willmott

Two l's and two t's


Thanks for the correction Vicuna, WILL do in future! :wave:

#135 Jerry Entin

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 02:27

Posted Image
Wally Willmott trying out the McRae GM 1 of Jay Esterer
Wally and Jay are trying their hardest to win the Lady Wigram Trophy this year.


photo: Fast Company/Alex Mitchell

Edited by Jerry Entin, 06 November 2011 - 13:40.


#136 David McKinney

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:18

And succeded :up:

Well done to all concerned

#137 Jerry Entin

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 13:43

Posted Image
Jay Esterer and Wally Willmott with the Lady Wigram Trophy
A very well deserved win.
Here is Video of Lady Wigram race:



David: Thanks for your congratulations to the boys.


photo: Fast Company/Alex Mitchell
Video: Grunzaa's Channel on youtube

Edited by Jerry Entin, 07 November 2011 - 11:13.


#138 NZALPA

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 00:29

Well done Jay and Wally.

Good luck for the rest of the season, the next 5 rounds.

#139 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 00:01

Well done Jay and Wally.

Good luck for the rest of the season, the next 5 rounds.


Well done indeed. Jay seems to be enjoying something of a purple patch...

DCN

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#140 xj13v12

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 03:11

Well done indeed. Jay seems to be enjoying something of a purple patch...

DCN



Actually Jay got taken out on the rolling start last race with serious damage to his car, Smith's Lola and Williams Lola. I do not know if the cars are expected to be repaired in time for the January rounds.

#141 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 12:38

Actually Jay got taken out on the rolling start last race with serious damage to his car, Smith's Lola and Williams Lola. I do not know if the cars are expected to be repaired in time for the January rounds.


Oh dear. Sounds like a case of "over to you then, Wally...".

DCN


#142 Jerry Entin

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:08

Posted Image
Wally Willmott ducked down next to Bruce McLaren
This is from Watkins Glen in 1967. Wally says note Teddy Mayer with his hands in his pockets standing behind him.


photo: Jim Gauerke
Copyright: JAG

Edited by Jerry Entin, 04 January 2012 - 22:22.


#143 VWV

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 05:00

The reappearance of this thread is timely as I am half way though reading George Begg's excellent book Bruce McLaren Racing Car Constructor. Wally Willmott's story is covered in depth in the book and ties in beautifully with this thread.

The book also provides clues to the question how long Bruce would keep the team asked in the thread http://forums.autosp...howtopic=159249 (See page 127 4th paragraph for clues). George states " Early in 1966 Bruce was lamenting over having to run Bruce McLaren Racing business during the winter off season while Teddy was away"

The book implies that Bruce was sort of like Colin Chapman, an engineer, an idea man, a test driver, a racing driver, a man not interested in the day to day runing of a business which was Teddy strength. This was George's opinion so take it with a grain of salt but George was with the team during Bruce's time. "What if" questions in my opinion are a waste of time.

http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B000FH60KC

http://www.bruce-mcl...ical-books.html



#144 layabout

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 21:18

Posted Image
1

Posted Image
2

Posted Image
3

Posted Image
4

Posted Image
5

Posted Image
6 ...not at all posed then...

Posted Image
7 ...mutual respect - Bruce, Jenks and (in background) Geoff Goddard...

Posted Image
8

Assorted early McLaren, Bruce, Timmy, Phil, Wally, Jim, Geoff, Jenks, Noddy pix...

Photos Copyright or via: The GP Library

DCN


I thought it appropriate to add the following photo taken at Howden's 70th last month. It shows the same group in the same order as photo# 6 above, plus it includes Chris Amon, 45 years on! Think of the memories & excitement these guys provided...Wow.

Posted Image
Chris Amon, Wally Willmott, Bruce Harre, Howden Ganley and Eoin Young

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#145 Jerry Entin

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 18:14

Posted Image
The McBegg as it is now being called
Wally Willmott has taken on the project of bringing the sports racer built by George Begg back to life. Wally is doing this with the aid of Jay Esterer so the work of George Begg may be seen once again.

Photo lent site: Jacqui Begg



#146 Jerry Entin

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 18:20

Posted Image
McBegg chassis
This car was originally built from parts that George Begg bought from McLaren Racing in the day. It also used parts that George Begg found in the scrap bin.

Wally is bringing it back to life. The chassis was rebuilt by Richard and Anthony Taylor at Autotune Ltd. in England. Wally is doing the work on this car at his friend Rick Michels shop called Evolution Motor Sport. This shop is in Invercargill, New Zealand.

Edited by Jerry Entin, 31 January 2012 - 17:22.


#147 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:25

The McBegg held the New Zealand Land Speed Record.............

#148 Nick Planas

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:46

I'd love to have heard what Jimmy and Bruce were chatting about in Picture #6 - were they attempting a bit of out-pysching or just chatting about the track / tyres / etc? Whatever they were saying, they look so "chilled" with each other!

#149 Jerry Entin

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 17:59

Posted Image
McBegg with body being fitted
Here is a great story on George Begg:
http://www.rotaryher...george_begg.htm

This will give the Forum members who weren't familiar with George Begg an insight into whom he was. Very well written by Peter Bramwell.

Edited by Jerry Entin, 31 January 2012 - 19:44.


#150 Repco22

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 13:45

At the beginning of this thread mention was made of Bruce's 1962 AGP win at Caversham which reminds me of this little anecdote; My good mate, the late Bob Annear, was a Perth club racer and engineer who built his own cars. His elderly parents had never shown much interest in his hobby but Bob, who would have been about forty at the time, suggested they go to see the big event with Brabham and McLaren heading the bill. There was excitement in the air with not only an 'International' GP in our town but the Commonwealth Games due to commence a few days later. The senior Annears agreed to go, wished Bob well with his sports-special and went off to see what motor racing was all about. At the end of the day when Bob sought their impressions his mother remarked; "That Bruce McLaren is a very nice young man." "and what makes you say that?" asked Bob.
"Oh, we had a lovely chat with him!" she replied. Wonderfully casual days, weren't they?
Posted Image

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Bruce in the lead at Caversham.
Pic R Waller.