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Early Australian utes in road races


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#1 David Shaw

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 08:13

The Holden and Falcon utes have become a prominent support category of late for the V8Supercars, but there is evidence of utes racing at circuits for over 50 years.

There is a photo in the Early Holden racing thread of an FJ ute on row 2 at Symmons Plains from the very early 60s, there was a Holden ute that won a 3 lap event at Goomalling in 1953, and I believe in 1955 Len Lukey took what I presume to be a Lukey Muffler's sidevalve Mainline ute out for a run a couple of times such as at Altona.

Doug Whiteford's Black Bess was of course built on a 1934 ute chassis.

How many other instances of this practice occurred?

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#2 Catalina Park

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 09:08

I recall racing against a Commodore Ute in the Winton 24 hour in the early 90s.

Edited by Catalina Park, 14 May 2009 - 09:09.


#3 Terry Walker

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 09:21

Several guys racest Utes in WA, some raced station wagons (Vern Elder, EH Holden; Bob Biltoft FB Holden), and one or two raced vans, the one that springs to mind being a Thames van based on the side-valve Prefect/Anglia platform, the one with the Macpherson strut and unibody design (not the upright "hockey-stick-and-chassis" model going back to the 30s).

#4 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 23:18

Not road racing but I can remember seeing pictures of an early ute being raced in speedway at a WA country track [Wattle Glen?] in the late 60s
And ofcourse Gricey raced the Akubra sponsored ute in production cars that Catalina would be reffering too.
The CAMS rules banned utes, wagons etc for a long time, even now I dont know how Mr Grice got that one through.

#5 onelung

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 23:32

"..Gricey raced the Akubra sponsored ute in production cars ... "

And what was the racing number... 8 3/4? :rotfl:

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:45

Originally posted by Lee Nicolle
.....And ofcourse Gricey raced the Akubra sponsored ute in production cars that Catalina would be reffering too.
The CAMS rules banned utes, wagons etc for a long time, even now I dont know how Mr Grice got that one through.....


Not hard, I wouldn't think...

Times had changed and there was truck racing going on at the time as well, CAMS (for a change) must have moved with the times.

They probably classed it as a sports car, anyway, just as the Mini Moke had been at Surfers in the 12-hour.

#7 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 03:04

Not hard, I wouldn't think...

Times had changed and there was truck racing going on at the time as well, CAMS (for a change) must have moved with the times.

They probably classed it as a sports car, anyway, just as the Mini Moke had been at Surfers in the 12-hour.

The boot is too big for a sportscar!!!



#8 Terry Walker

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 03:17

About the right size for a British sports car - room for that oh-so-essential pallet load of spare parts to keep it running.

Sorry, couldn't resist it. I owned a Morgan once.

#9 Catalina Park

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 10:04

And ofcourse Gricey raced the Akubra sponsored ute in production cars that Catalina would be reffering too.
The CAMS rules banned utes, wagons etc for a long time, even now I dont know how Mr Grice got that one through.

The Grice one raced at Bathurst. This one was at Winton and entered by Pedders Suspension and driven by one of the Pedders Bros.
The reasons for CAMS allowing the utes to race was purely for commercial reasons. (I am sure that the coffers of CAMS needed a top up)


#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 10:49

Originally posted by Catalina Park
.....purely for commercial reasons. (I am sure that the coffers of CAMS needed a top up)


Spot on...

And maybe not only CAMS.

#11 kayemod

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 16:48

"..Gricey raced the Akubra sponsored ute in production cars ... "

And what was the racing number... 8 3/4? :rotfl:


That's a very big head, even for an Australian.


#12 Amaroo Park

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 19:00

I recall racing against a Commodore Ute in the Winton 24 hour in the early 90s.


Yep and I actually passed the V8 VP ute with my little 4cyl 1800cc Gemini that was little modified :rotfl: