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Australian GP in former days


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#1 AUSTRIA

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 00:06

Doing some (hitherto not very successful) research on the origins of the AGP I appeal to all the obviosly well-knowing Aussies (and all others too) out there giving me some infos about the origins of the AGP BEFORE it counted to the WC. (I have enough info from 1985 on.) When was the first race, the locations, dates and the winners up to 1985, interesting anectotes and stories, that happened and such stuff. I need it for a brief introduction of the AGP, not so important the numbers and facts, but the people, making the races and all their environment to what they was at that time.

Thank you in advance.

E.T.


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#2 Dave Ware

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 04:20

Here is a url for info on the Tasman series, which might be useful: http://www.sergent.com.au/tasman.html

Dave

#3 AUSTRIA

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 05:23

Thanks for the hint, Dave!

I've seen the topic on the origins of Albert Park, but I can imagine, that other areas were also important stations over the years in development of the Australian GP.

BTW, can anybody tell me what was the 'Australian Gold Star Championship'? I found a winnerlist from 1957 - 1994, and it seems, they drove formula one cars.


#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 06:17

I just went offline and spent about 45 minutes writing up a history for you and it disappeared when I went back on line.
I'll post it shortly.
There are 24 circuits involved, the first race going back to March 26, 1928. 49 races were run before the Adelaide world title event.
The Gold Star is the annual Australian Drivers' Championship. It was run to Formula Libre 1957 to 63, 2.5 litres 1964 to 1969, F5000 AND 2-litre racing engines 1970/71, then just F5000 to about 1981. Formula Atlantic took hold after that, giving way to Formula Holden (modified 3.8 litre GM V6 engines in F3000 chassis, basically) in the late eighties to the present. It has seen some terribly lean times in a country dominated by Touring Car racing.

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#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 07:03

The first eight Australian Grands Prix were held on a dusty, narrow unsealed rectangle of roads on Phillip Island. This area was a rural retreat which had a good tourist trade and potential (penguins, seals, koala in abundance, hotels and camping areas, guest houses).
It was part of the state of Victoria, which had a ban on racing on public roads, but the Light Car Club of Australia and the local authorities pulled to wool over the government's eyes by saying it wasn't the mainland and so that didn't count!
March 26, 1928 saw the first race, officially called the '100 Miles Road Race,' flagged away in two groups from massed starts, from which there are no survivors.
Ken McKinney was there as riding mechanic in a Bugatti Type 39, practising and competing in the events held on the previous weekend, from which the race was postponed due to heavy rain. Those events were held to entertain those who came anyway...
Ken later raced a series of Austin 7s, but missed out on being in that first race because the Bugatti blew its engine on the way to the start.
Bess Dentry still lives, but failed to ride as mechanic with husband Barney in their Seneschal in the race because she found out she had a belly full of Charles. Charles now reckons she should have gone in the race anyway, then he could say he competed!
The race was won by Arthur Waite in a factory Austin 7, not surprising, he was married to Herbert Austin's daughter.
The GPs at Phillip Island were restricted to under 2-litre cars, with Bugattis being dominant from 1929 to 1932 (Arthur Terdich, Bill Thompson, Carl Junker and Thompson again being the winners), then Thompson won in a Brooklands Riley.
From 1932 the race became a handicap event. Bop Lea-Wright won in a Singer Le Mans in 34, Les Murphy a P-type MG in 35, in both cases with Thompson bearing down on them in an MG K3 Magnette.
Then the organisers decided that racing at the Island was becoming too fast, too dangerous, and stopped organising the race. The Australian Grand Prix was dead.
Even so, racing went on at Phillip Island until 1940, but that's another story...

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#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 07:12

In 1936 the South Australian government sponsored a major car trial, with starters converging on Adelaide after starting in each of the other states. This was part of the celebrations for the centenary of South Australia's foundation. They also sponsored the South Australian Centenary Grand Prix, run over 32 laps of a 7.8 miles circuit at Port Elliot near Victor Harbor on December 26, 1936. Some of the trial competitors competed in the race - or, more precisely, some of the race competitors used the trial to get to the race!
A handicap, it was won by Les Murphy in his P-type MG, like the 1935 AGP at Phillip Island, a nice thread of continuity as this race became accepted in history as the 1937 Australian Grand Prix.
Now that the race had broken with the Phillip Island tradition, and been reborn, it belonged to Australia. There was a strong feeling that it should belong to all of Australia - it was decreed that it should move from state to state in turn. It was now also open to all comers, not restricted to 2-litres. It remained a handicap.
The Australian Grand Prix title, which had been adopted in retrospect by that race in 1928 and by the South Australian Centenary Grand Prix was now solidly instituted and would never miss another year except for during World War 2 and its aftermath. That is, if you accept the race run in 1936 as having been the 1937 race, like everyone does!

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#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 07:18

As the race moved from place to place, it embraced a wide variety of circuits. These are of special interest to me, and led me to pursue the ideal of seeing them all.
This task I completed in 1978, when I finally went to Leyburn.

To my knowledge - and I know the people and I've asked around - no other person has seen all 25 of these circuits.

That's right, 25 circuits have entertained the Australian Grand Prix. From the pathetic 1-mile Calder and featureless 1.3-mile Port Wakefield to the inspiring 4.5-mile Longford, the awesome 3.875-mile Bathurst (Mt Panorama) and the unmatchable Lobethal.

Anyone wanting details of Lobethal and its history is welcome to email me: raybell@eisa.net.au and I will send you the story I have written on this grandest of all circuits.

But enough of this, there's history to be written...

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Edited by Ray Bell, 25 March 2013 - 11:30.


#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 07:32

The last two races before the war saw changes to the field as various drivers built up or bought more competitive cars.
1938 saw the race run for the first time at Bathurst, NSW, but the circuit was still unsealed. The bare-headed Peter Whitehead won as he please in an ERA.
On a hot New Years Day of 1939 a young man from Perth drove an MG TA Special to win at Lobethal, that 8.65 miles of unbelievably delightful, scary and difficult bitumen road in the Adelaide Hills. Still a handicap, the perfectionist 22 year-old (who is guest of honour at the AGP this week, and the only surviving pre-war AGP winner) could not be beaten because he defeated the handicappers. He lapped at 84mph, won at 79mph.
The fastest cars, the Jack Saywell P3 (lapped at 90mph) and the Alf Barrett Monza (91.5mph) were handicapped out of it - Saywell by the handicappers, Barrett by a carby problem that cost him a few minutes at the start, and then an excursion trying to catch up. Lea-Wright was second in a Terraplane Special, Jack Phillips third in a car based on a 1934 Ford, John Snow fourth in a Delahaye 135 ahead of Les Burrows with another Terraplane.
Post-war the handicap method of running the race still applied until 1948. With shortages of materials, fuel and everything else, it was October 1947 before Bathurst hosted the next race, with Bill Murray winning in a stripped MG TC. Fastest time went to Lex Davison in a Mercedes 38/250 SSK, fastest car was Barrett's Monza. The P3 was engineless, its motor having been lost in a ship torpedoed during the war, so it didn't run again until 1952.
Point Cook in Victoria was the scene of the 1948 race. It was on the concrete airstrip and roadways of the naval air base, with the grass around having been recently burned off. The day was staggeringly hot, as January often is, and car after car fell out to leave Frank Pratt the winner in a BMW 328. Pratt had now won races on 2, 3, and four wheels, this was his first race in a car (although he had run in a grass hillclimb).
A new wave swept over the AGP in 1949, not only in it going to Queensland for the first time, the furthest it had ever been from its beginnings, but also in that the handicap system was being phased out. Read on...

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#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 07:49

Because of the increasing number of fast cars coming to the country, it was decreed that the race should be won by the fastest car to cover the distance. Thus it was that Leyburn's 4.3-mile airstrip circuit (three straights over a mile long, one tight corner, two fast ones, all left handers) saw the first massed start since the early Phillip Island days. The grid was five cars wide (the strip was 100' wide!), but there were very few of those fast cars that had precipitated the change.
They virtually boycotted the race. Most were Victorians, and not one Victorian driver competed. It was between the Delahaye in John Crouch's hands and Frank Kleinig's Hudson 8 Special (almost as fast at the Monza at most places!) and the race went on. But the loose gravel on the surface got into the works and cut the Hudson's oil pump drive belt and the Delahaye bolted in. Irwin Luke won the post-applied handicap section in a Bugatti 35.
This race had seen an incredible variety of Specials, one with a chassis dating back to 1911! So, too did the next two, with specials actually winning them.
1950 was at Nuriootpa in South Australia's wine country, on another public road circuit round the fringe of the town and measuring 4.375 miles.
Here the distaste of the southern 'establishment' for the scratch-race decree was shown in that an equal prize was given the handicap winner. Additionally, nobody could win both sections, and there were runner-up prizes for the handicap section only. The only positive for the scratch winner was that he got the Grand Prix title, and this went to Doug Whiteford's 'Black Bess,' based on a 1935 Ford utility, after summarily dismissing Rupert Steele in the Monza previously raced by Barrett. Jim Gullan's Ballot-Oldsmobile was third and won the handicap section.
The folly of not runnning the race as a massed-start scratch was shown by historians digging into the progress of the 1951 race, run round the streets of the little wheat-town of Narrogin in Western Australia.
Here, on the 4.5-mile course that encompassed virtually the whole town, John Crouch started the day running away from everyone in the little Cooper JAP (1000cc), but after his demise it was a real struggle between various Ford V8-powered cars, a Chrysler, a TC and the Delahaye in the hands of bee-farmer Dick Bland.
Bland was looking good, but the distributor came loose, so there was four (yes, FOUR) Ford V8 engines in the first three places.
In the end it went to Warwick Pratley in a George Reed Ford (built in Bathurst) from Bland, Tillett's TC and Ranford's Chrysler.
But the crowd didn't have a clue, because the race had had a staggered start. It was a close-run thing, but they thought it was a procession.
A good thing the 1952 Bathurst race had a massed start...

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#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 08:19

At Bathurst we finally saw the Lago Talbot that had just missed out on getting here in time to be driven by Doug Whiteford at Narrogin. The Maybach, built out of an engine captured from the Germans in the war, married with a fabricated chassis, Studebaker front suspension and Fiat gearbox, was there in Stan Jones' hands to provide the opposition. Once again it was a scratch race with a post-applied handicap as at Leyburn. The P3 appeared in the hands of 1947 winner Bill Murray, but it was a handful with a 4.3-litre Alvis engine that made it very front heavy. There were Ford V8 etc Specials everywhere, and XK120s, TCs etc in abundance.
But the Lago won, despite Jones' best efforts. Jones was more of an all-out driver, Whiteford prepared to sit back and pounce at the right time. Murray was third in the Alfa-Alvis.
There was no handicap at all in the 1953 race, which went again to Whiteford. Kleinig had upgraded his Hudson (built on an MG Magna chassis with a Mathis front axle) and was up to speed with the Jones/Whiteford cars, but he was doomed: the seat belt wasn't clipped up properly, came undone and was flicking on the road, against the wheel and into his elbow. Moreover, he had to hold himself in the car, and changing gears was a real problem, so he destroyed three gears. The car finished the 200 miles seventh - the only time it ever finished the AGP after competing since 1939.
Lex Davison had the HWM-Jaguar at this race, too, and joined the two fastest cars on the front row, but in the finish the only quick one left in good shape was the Lago - and even it lost a tyre with a lap to go, driving into the pits on a bare rear rim to get a new wheel for that final lap. Whiteford won by five laps from Bryden's TC Special and Andy Brown's K3.
It was a bit of deja vu for 1954, going back from the developed and useful circuits of the past two years to one cut out of the rough. It was Queensland's turn, and the Gold Coast city fathers had overcome the government's ban on public road racing. They selected 5.6 miles of narrow (but sealed) roads south of Southport and the race was held there. Some of it was so narrow that 'no passing' zones were declared, but the field was one with much need to be passing...
Quick cars like Davison's HWM, now flying, and Jones in the Maybach, which had now beaten the V16 BRM in New Zealand. Whiteford had sold the Lago to Rex Taylor in anticipation of getting a later model. It wasn't here in time... There was also Dick Cobden in the supercharged 2-litre Ferrari and Kleinig had rebuilt the Hudson with a single seater Maserati body, independent front suspension, and other things. A lightweight battery made especially for the car failed on the way to the start, Kleinig never ran the car in this form..
The race went to Davison after the Maybach's chassis broke in half on landing from a crest on the back stretch. Cobden had looked unbeatable until he got caught out lapping a slow car in the approach to a no-passing zone, Bryden was again second, but only a lap behind, with a Ford V8 engine in an upturned Whippett chassis another lap down in third for local Ken Richardson.
A much closer finish was seen at Port Wakefield as Jack Brabham returned from england with a rear engined Cooper Bristol. It wasn't much of a stayer, but it made it in this event to win by 3 secs from Hunt's Maserati, which had broken a rocker early on after looking like being the pace for this desolate place. Whiteford had his new Lago reeling Hunt in hand over fist at the end, missing second by only 1.4 secs. Jones had failed to get the rebuilt Maybach, now looking like a W196, home, so Kevin Neal's Cooper Bristol was fourth.
More was to come than just a review of the order of circulation in the states in 1956 - it was Olympic year and Melbourne had to not only have the race, but to have a quality race...

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#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 08:50

The Albert Park of the fifties was different to what we have today. It was run anti-clockwise for a start, and it was lethally dangerous.
Trees, stone kerbs, ultra-fast sweepers that went on forever....
But it was little different to what was being used in Europe at the time, so the Maserati team felt right at home, Stirling Moss winning the 1956 AGP and setting fastest lap at just over 100mph in a 250F.
Jean Behra was second, over two minutes behind at the end of the 250 miles, Peter Whitehead following in his Ferrari a lap down, but ahead of Reg Hunt and Stan Jones in 250Fs. Reg Parnell (250F) and Lex Davison (Ferrari 625/750) were next and Whiteford eighth in the Lago.
So great was the change to the picture that made the race that there was only one Special in the finishing order - Jack Myers' WM - which was a copy of a Cooper Bristol anyway, using a Holden engine with a Waggott twin cam head.
Now that the GP was big time, it sank to one of its lowest ebbs with the trip to the Caversham airstrip circuit (2.059 miles) which used the length of a partly downhill runway along with a 'dispersal road' - a taxiway that meandered among the trees to hide the bombers (in among the trees) from prowling enemy aircraft.
There was a Brabham-driven Cooper F2 joining Jones' 250F and the Davison Ferrari at the pointy end, and once again a field made up of many Sports Cars, Specials and old racers of all kinds. The Mick Geneve Ballot had run at Phillip Island in 1932, but now sported a much bigger engine (a GMC 6) and its third replacement body. Even the Eldred Norman double V8 (remember that comment about the 4 Ford engines in the first three places at Narrogin), which had remained in WA after the 1951 race, was there for a final AGP appearance. Built on an armoured car chassis, with truck wheels and electric pumps pouring water onto the brake drums when the pedal went on!
It was another very hot day, drivers were pitting and swapping through it all. Everybody got confused, including the lap scorers, and in the end - after Jones had been acclaimed the winner - Davison was awarded the race (with Bill Patterson having helped him out a little). Brabham was third from a couple of Cooper Bristols.
Back on the eastern seaboard for 1958, Bathurst again put on a great race. It was a three-way thing between the Jones 250F, Davison's Ferrari and Ted Gray in the Tornado.
Ah, the Tornado, Chev V8 in a twin-tube chassis with a Peugeot 203 front suspension grafted on, a Halibrand centre at the back with Holden wishbones contributing to an independent rear end.
The Tornado got ahead and looked a winner, then pitted with a bracket broken in the rear end.. its run was over.
Then the Maserati dropped a valve and Davison walked it in from Ern Seeliger in the Maybach, also now sporting a Chevy V8, and Hawkes in a Cooper Holden. Gray set fastest lap. And won the Gold Star race at Longford that year...
Longford in Tasmania, a really fast road course, and the Chev-powered Tornado looked set for its turn. But engine trouble stopped it, the race became a tussle between Len Lukey's 2.2-litre Cooper and Jones (Davison had retired), with Jones taking the win.
Which set the stage for 1960, at Lowood in Queensland, where it was a returning Davison with a new car, an Aston Martin F1 car (the front engined car that showed so much promise) fitted with the bigger Sports Car engine that looked like the man to beat. He was, too, as Alec Mildren proved as he headed him over the line in his 2.5-litre Cooper Maserati after a staggering duel on this 2.825-mile Airstrip-plus-taxiways circuit. Cooper Climaxes of various sizes filled the next three places before the 250F of Arnold Glass - who was to play a major part in the 1962 race with his BRM.
For 1961 it was South Australia's turn again, but they were told that the Port Wakefield circuit was not good enough. They proceeded to buy an old airfield at Mallala and turn the service roads into a circuit of 2.1 miles, a fairly tight circuit with a long, fast sweeping section between two hairpins.
Getting the best of the start was David McKay in a Cooper 2.5. Mildren had retired and Davison borrowed a 2.2 Cooper, with Jones also in a Cooper. This was a Cooper race, even though there were still a few Specials.
McKay was penalised a minute for jumping the start, Patterson ran away until his car failed him, Stillwell botched his tyre strategy by buffing the codes off so nobody would know, and Davison pushed McKay to the line - then pulled up out of fuel because a fuel union had been damaged in an early off-course excursion.
McKay appealed, but could never prove his case - Davison won another disputed AGP, becoming the only 4-time winner.
so came the final race of the gypsy-like event's life. At Caversham again in November 1962, Brabham and McLaren brought their Tasman cars to play, and there Glass got in the way of Brabham while he was being lapped in his BRM and McLaren won. Tasmania's greatest driver, John Youl, was second from Stillwell, Patterson and Glass.
From 1963, the race was attached to the International Series in the Eastern States. This became the Australian side of the Tasman Cup from 1964...

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#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 09:03

From 1963 to 1969 the AGP revolved around the circuits used for the Tasman Series. In 1963 it was still for Formula Libre, but for the remainder a 2.5-litre limit was imposed. These were basically F1 cars with bigger engines - until 1966, when they had smaller engines than the F1 cars.
Warwick Farm, 1963 - Brabham from Surtees after Fearles John spun.
Sandown Park, 1964 - Brabham from Stillwell and Youl after McLaren blew up.
Longford, 1965 - the greatest race I've ever seen, McLaren from Brabham, Phil Hill, Graham Hill and Jim Clark, nine seconds covering the lot after 117 miles. Race average 114.72mph (the fastest yet by a big margin).
Lakeside (Queensland), 1966 - Graham Hill after Stewart broke his gearbox. Finally the era of Climax FPF domination ended, the BRMs were F1 cars with bored and stroked engines, lovely things, first win for a full monocoque chassis, first win for fuel injection (but the Tornado nearly got that in 1958!). Frank Gardner was second, Clark third, Jim Palmer (NZ) fourth.
Warwick Farm, 1967 - Stewart all the way from Clark, Gardner third from Brabham.
Sandown Park, 1968 - Jim Clark's last race win, just beat Chris Amon in a V6 Ferrari in a battle that lasted the whole race. G. Hill third in a 49 from Gardner, now Alfa V8 powering his Brabham, Piers Courage fifth in McLaren M4a F2 car ahead of Attwood in BRM V12.
Lakeside, 1969 - This 1.5 mile sweeping circuit gave Amon and Derek Bell a 1-2 in their Ferraris, lapping Leo Geoghegan in the Lotus 39-Repco V8 and Graham Hill, who, like Rindt, had wing trouble in a foretaste of the Spanish disaster...
The AGP's links with the Tasman Cup were now severed, in an era of turmoil the Formula was to change and Warwick Farm was trying hard to get a World Championship race...

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#13 Dennis David

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 09:03

Ray,

Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing it with us. Got to stop by when I'm in the area and "down a few"

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#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 09:45

The World Title race fell through - but the December date had been allocated to Warwick Farm and the race was held there for two years. Both were won by Frank Matich - first in a McLaren M10B and the second in the first of his own F5000s. Cars with racing engines up to 2500cc were allowed in a mixed formula for this year, then in 1971 it was up to 2000cc as they were in the Gold Star championship, mainly in deference to the work Merv Waggott had done developing an engine which eclipsed the FVA. Niel Allen was second in a car not handling well, just ahead of Graeme Lawrence in the Dino Amon had driven ahead of Geoghegan's Lotus 59 Waggott and David Walker in a Lotus 70 and Len Goodwin in the old Courage M4a.
Kevin Bartlett was second and Alan Hamilton third in 1971, both driving M10s sold by Niel Allen as he retired after his disappointment in not winning the Tasman Cup early in the year. Graeme Lawrence came next in a Brabham FVA from Max Stewart in a Brabham-replica (Rennmax) Mildren Waggott, with John McCormack sixth in an Elfin F5000 ahead of Warwick Brown in the McLaren FVA Courage had used.
The first Graham McRae win came in 1972 at Sandown after Matich had retired. Gardner was second in the first of the Lola T300s, only three seconds back, with David Hobbs in the M22 McLaren third from Mike Hailwood in a Surtees TS8 and Warwick Brown and Teddy Pilette in M10s.
In 1973 he did it again McCormack was second in the developing Elfin from Walker in a T330 and Sangster in the M22. Elfin builder, Garrie Cooper, was fifth. McRae won all three AGPs he contested, all of them at Sandown, but McCormack would have beaten him easily in this one if a bolt holding the back suspension onto the bellhousing hadn't broken, leaving the Elfin very limp in the rear...
1974 saw the Oran Park circuit in NSW extended and including a flyover to make it suitable for these bigger races. Warwick Farm's closure had led to this, and Max Stewart (T330) won the race from McCormack, Lawrence (T332), Lex Davison's son, Jon, in a Matich and Garrie Cooper. Lella Lombardi was a competitor in this race, while Brown (T332)had dominated it before retiring twelve laps from home.
In 1975 it looked a moral for John Leffler in the Bowin P8 as he paddled round in the lead at Surfers Paradise in Queensland in torrential rain. But his ignition got wet, Stewart inherited another win in his new T400 and Leffler stuttered in second from Ray Winter, two laps down in a 1600cc Mildren. Graeme Lawrence (T332) was fourth from McCormack.
Sandown without McRae saw a fabulous duel between John Goss (Matich A53 - Matich's last car) and Vern Schuppan in a new Elfin. Goss won, Leffler was third (en route to winning the Gold Star) in a T400 and Chris Milton brought the M22 in fourth ahead of the only other finisher, Andrew Miedecke in a Brabham 1600.
Some confusion might arise here with statements about what cars could run. Officially, the Australian Formula One was F5000, with no allowance for racing engines. Aust. F2 was 1600cc two-valve anything goes, and F2 cars could run in the AGP where allowed by the supplementary regulations.
Oran Park saw the return of the AGP to the International Series that had come out of the old Tasman Cup. Warwick Brown won in the Team VDS Lola T430 from the second team car, the Chevron B37 of Peter Gethin, Goss and Alan Jones following them and all else lapped, Schuppan being fifth from Cooper. Jones had jumped the start and got the minute penalty, making up all but twenty seconds of it as he gave all a driving display in the Teddy Yip Lola.
1978 at Sandown was a demolition derby, won by McRae by two laps - despite a late-race spin - from John Briggs in a Matich. Peter Edwards in a Lola was a further two laps down, Peter Middleton in an old Elfin yet another two laps behind, but only one lap ahead of Bartlett in a Brabham BT43 with a Chevy squeezed in.. Another three laps back was Ian Adams, two more to Terry Hook, both in Lolas... the only AGP ever with no two finishers on the same lap.
A trip to Wanneroo Park in WA came in 1979, with the pace men being Larry Perkins (Elfin) and Alfredo Costanzo (Lola T430 - ex VDS). Perkins got overly anxious off the start and put them both out in the first corner, John Walker led most of the way then had to pit to get rid of a dragging exhaust pipe and gave the lead to newcomer John Wright in a T400. He led until the last lap, when his failing oil pressure got too low - Walker won from John Bowe (Elfin), Rob Butcher (Lola T332), John Smith (Ralt RT1 BDA), Hook's Lola and Barry Singleton's Gardos F5000. One car in this race had direct links back to a car that ran in 1962 - the last Australian Special to run in the AGP? One driver had also run in that 1962 race at Caversham...
The F5000 era went on to the 1980 race at the desperately short Calder (one mile), with an aberration in the regulations - F1 cars could run!
This was done so Alan Jones could come home and win his home Grand Prix, in so doing matching the record of Antonio and Alberto Ascari for father and sons winning their home GP.
Jones did the job, Bruno Giacomelli in the only other F1 car was second (Alfa), with Didier Pironi third in an Elfin F5000, four laps behind and a lap up on Costanzo. The rest of the field tailed off on a very hot day.
Now Calder owned the AGP, Bob Jane (the owner) putting up a proposal to keep the race there and get international competition.


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Life and love are mixed with pain...

#15 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 09:52

The demise of F5000 was assured. It limped into 1981, but without the Grand Prix...
Bob Jane was backing Formula Pacific, which was really Formula Atlantic, and got on with the job of importing drivers and arranging cars and sponsors for them. These races fell to Roberto Moreno, Alain Prost, then Moreno twice more. They included names like Laffite, Andrea de Cesaris, Francois Hesnault, Keke Rosberg, Geoffrey Brabham, Allen Berg, Paul Radisich, David McMillan, Nelson Piquet, Perkins and Jones.
But one year they were humbled by Costanzo, whose gearbox then let him down...
But such is racing, and ever has been the Australian Grand Prix.
From 1985 you know the story....

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Life and love are mixed with pain...

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 11:56

*****CORRECTION*****

Back in an early post I mentioned 'Wakefield Park' - this was not a circuit used for the Australian GP, but it was Port Wakefield. I hope you understand me making this stupid error.

For anyone wanting to know about this race, the book 'The Official 50-Race History of the Australian Grand Prix' can be found about the place. It is over 500 pages about A4 size, with hundreds of photos plus fully-researched reports on each race.
It was the brainchild of Graham Howard, with contributions from Des White, John Medley, Stewart Wilson, Noel Tuckey and myself.
There are some breakouts with details of some of the key cars, accurate circuit maps, full entry lists, results and everything you might want.
Compulsory reading if you want to know anything about the subject... as is John Medley's 'Bathurst - cradle of Australian Motor Racing' - 800 photos, reports on every race held there from 1938 to 1973 except the big touring car events since 1963, over 400 large pages. $90 Australian from Turton & Armstrong.

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Life and love are mixed with pain...

#17 AUSTRIA

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 17:23

What shall I say now ?

I AM SPEECHLESS !

Ray, you are fantastic ! Thank you a whole lot.

A little translation, a bit shortening and my work for this weekend has finished ! Thanks again Ray for this fantastic stuff.

Hope you stay in this forum for a long time; your input is hardly to overbid.

E.T.

#18 AUSTRIA

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 18:11

Ray, in 1938 P. Whitehead won with his ERA. Can you tell something about other european AGP-competitors in the post-war era?

I know, you can ;)

E.T.

#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 19:42

Oh, you want to know about Colin Murray at Narrogin in 1951?
Well, you see, the organisers put the word out that any European competitors who wanted to come would get their accommodation paid or somesuch, maybe a good wad of starting money. Colin Murray responded, and they thought they were dealing with the famous Ecurie Ecosse Murray.
When he arrived, he was a jerk. There are stories about him and his elderly Maserati 6C that end up with him flattened on the train ride to the East after the race. His car failed to make an impact at either Moolieabeenie (that's a new name for you!) airstrip races the weekend before, at the hillclimb or in the Grand Prix, although he lasted most of the distance before the clutch gave out.
Eldred Norman bought his car from him (Murray had two pecuniary purposes in coming - to sell the car he couldn't unload in England and to purchase some XK120 Jaguars to ship back to England for dealers who had buyers waiting. At that time the whole of the production was being exported) and found it needed a bit of work. Norman sold the double V8 to Syd Anderson (the car mentioned in the 1957 race above) and took the Maser back to Adelaide.
There he repaired the block, cast new heads in bronze, found Singer conrods that fitted and then assembled the whole lot in the middle of winter, working nights on the french-polished dining table.
"How could I complain," his wife, who had pleaded with him to do it inside because she feared for his health, said, "I'd already burned it with the iron?" The wife - better known by her maiden name of Nancy Cato, novelist and author of 'All the Rivers Run.'
He raced the car a few times, it suited him, it made a lot of noise...

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[This message has been edited by Ray Bell (edited 03-21-2000).]

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 19:50

Next came another Brit, Reg Hunt, with an Allard J2 at Albert Park in 1953. It's not fair to count him, though, he stayed and sold a lot of Holdens... and was in the running to win the 1955 race until that rocker broke.
I've already detailed the visitors for the 1956 event, Moss, Behra, Parnell, Whitehead, but non-finishers weren't listed: Ken Wharton in a 250F, whose engine let go after 19 laps.
From this point the next European visitor or F1 driver to come for the GP was in 1963, when the race became part of the International series.

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#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 19:56

For many years Sports Cars ran in the AGP as well. Before the war they generally had their mudguards removed, but after the war came some who left them on... SS100s, TCs, XK120s and so on, through the glorious 300S Maserati run by Doug Whiteford.
The last Sports Car to run in the AGP?
A Lotus 7, driven by Jeff Dunkerton in the 1962 race at Caversham. Finished ninth and last. The previous year an Elfin Aero had finished 10th and last, and in 1960 a Lotus 11 had finished eighth. Three Lotuses ran that year, the first time the marque competed in the race.

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#22 AUSTRIA

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 08:03

Ray, I didn't know very much about racing in Australia until you posted an answer in my topic on Talbot-Lago and then reading all the fantastic stuff, you and other guys posted in this forum. Darkly I can remember some reports about the the tasman-series in the seventies. The only names I can remember are McRae and Elfin.

But it seems to change, some articles more out of your keyboard and I will get a Australia-Specialist in the German-speaking countries ... ;)

The INet melts the distances. Who knows, perhaps I will visite Australia next year. Let's see ...

Wish you the best

E.T.

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 08:14

During the 'International' period the overseas competitors were (including local drivers then regularly competing in Europe):
1963: Brabham, Surtees, McLaren, Graham Hill (in the Ferguson 4WD), Amon, Tony Maggs (Lola) and Gardner.
1964: Brabham, McLaren, Tim Mayer, Denis Hulme, Gardner.
1965: McLaren, Brabham, P. Hill, G. Hill (Brabham), Clark, Gardner.
1966: G. Hill, Stewart (BRM V8s), Gardner, Clark.
1967: Stewart & Chris Irwin (BRM V8s), Clark (33 V8), Gardner, Brabham, Hulme.
1968: Clark & G. Hill (Lotus 49s), Amon (Ferrari V6), Gardner (Brabham Alfa V8), Courage (M4a FVA), Rodriguez (BRM V8), Attwood (BRM V12), Hulme (Brabham FVA)
1969: Amon & Bell (Ferrari V6s), Hill & Rindt (49s), Malcolm Guthrie (Brabham FVA), Courage (Brabham DFV), Gardner (Mildren Alfa V8).
In 1970 David Walker drove the Lotus 70, Keith Holland an M10.
Surtees returned in a TS8 in 1971, Gardner was there in the T300.
1972's list was headed by McRae, Gardner, Hobbs and Hailwood, with Pilette turning out for the first appearance of the VDS team here.
In 1973 there was only McRae, and 1974 saw only Lella Lombardi in a Matich A51, with none at all in 1975. Vern Schuppan came home for the 1976 race, and 1977 saw a list including Schuppan, Peter Gethin, Warwick Brown (then regularly driving in the USA) and Alan Jones. Schuppan was again the only one in 1978, there were none in 1979 because Larry Perkins was now back home and would not be counted in this context.
1980 at Calder saw Jones, Giacomelli and Pironi.
1981 to 1984 have been detailed previously.


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#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 March 2000 - 08:18

There's an interesting name in fourteenth place (and last) in the results of the 1947 race at Bathurst.
Elliott Forbes-Robinson -
Later to race in the USA, he started off the same handicap as winner Murray and was also in a TC, but lost over eight minutes to Murray in the 147-mile event.

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 March 2000 - 06:42

Old cars have certainly got a run in the AGP from time to time. Mentioned above is the Ballot, a 1922 Targa Florio car, that ran in highly modified and re-engined form (in face, all that was original was the axles - but the continuity was there) in 1957. That was 35 years old.
The oldest complete car to front up - as far as I know - was the 1919 Ballot 8-cyl 5-litre Indianapolis car entered by Jim Gullan in 1939. It blew its engine in practice at Lobethal and was outfitted with a Ford V8 for its subsequent racing. It now lives, restored to more or less orgininal, in a museum in Lyons.
The oldest major component was the chassis of the Regal Rex Law ran in 1949 - a 1911 Underslung chassis, it was 38 years old, carrying a 1940s Caddy V8 to be the most stunning looking car ever seen on the Grand Prix grid. It was rebodied in the early thirties by a man with a penchant for taking bets about his times from town to town, would then do the return run and collect the bets. It had Austin 20 power then, and only two wheel brakes.... but it was 'developed' for racing by Law in the late forties and even into the early fifties.
At forty years of age, this chassis held an outright lap record!

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#26 Falcadore

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Posted 14 March 2000 - 13:17

For those interested in a shorter reply, the AGP is a question looked at in this week's Atlas FAQ. The answer I wrote doesn't have quite the same level of detail for two reasons. I didn't want to take up the whole column with one question, and Bira would have whacked me around with a baseball bat screaming 'write shorter'.

Well maybe not on the second part but I can have nightmares......

Mark Jones
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You can take the driver out of the race, but you can't take the racer out of the driver.

#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 March 2000 - 21:22

Well, I don't have any constraints like that.
It's about time we looked at why these races are known as the Australian Grand Prix, because, as mentioned of the 1928 and 1936 races, they weren't so known originally.
When the first '100 miles road race' was held, it was the first road race ever in Australia. There had been a lot of intercity record runs, reliability trials and short course races. But cars didn't race so well or so safely on horse racing tracks, so there were special ovals made available. But these still weren't road races, so, with a wink and a nudge at the law, Phillip Island hosted the 1928 event...
It was a natural, in retrospect, to call it the Australian Grand Prix. It stood alone, the biggest car race ever held in the country, and a road race to boot, with a host of Bugattis and so on. By 1929 it was so known and remained so as long as the Light Car Club ran the event.
Then they bowed out after the 1935 race. There were others running races at Phillip Island by then, but the Grand Prix title wasn't adopted.
The running of the grandiose event at Port Elliot was just the event to capture the imagination, attract the runners and start the ball running again. It was some 21 months after the 1935 race, and it was officially called the South Australian Centenary Grand Prix, but - again in retrospect - it became known as the Australian Grand Prix.
Just how it became the 1937 Grand Prix when it was run in 1936 is a mystery.
From that point on, however, there was no mistaking it - the Grand Prix was on, rotating among the states, and it was a clearly defined event and named as such in advance each year. It went on irrespective of boycotts, bickering or anything else save the war and immediate post-war shortages.

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#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 March 2000 - 05:20

In the early fifties there was a movement to bring Australian racing into line with European formulae - by introducing F1 and F2 instead of the popular and universal Formula Libre. Races were run to the International Formulae at Woodside in 1951...

MG TCs were F2...

It was mooted that the Grand Prix be so regulated in 1952, so the Stan Jones Maybach had its supercharger removed.

It went just as fast, so it was left off, even though Australia never adopted a specific formula until the Tasman Cup came in 1964.

*added 25.10.02* It's been posted elsewhere, but this picture depicts that first ever F1 race in Australia at Woodside. Run over three and a half laps of an open road circuit of just under three miles to the lap, it was a confrontation of the best of the local Specials with the latest European car in the country... each of over four litres unsupercharged... Stan Jones and Doug Whiteford... pic courtesy of Clem Smith, long time racer and owner of Mallala circuit...

Posted Image

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Edited by Ray Bell, 10 June 2009 - 11:23.


#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 March 2000 - 21:16

The efforts poured into winning the AGP have been quite substantial over the years. The handicap era included some element of chance (or 'beating the handicapper'), but there was a lot of serious rivalry for the title and it led some to go to great lengths.
Lex Davison had retired after his 1958 win, but sneaked back for 1960 with the Aston Martin F1 car with the 3-litre engine on methanol.
Alec Mildren had been having a great year in the Gold Star series, having spent 14 years reaching this point in his career and stepping up in neat increments until he was at the top.
He was undaunted in overcoming opposition to his headlong pursuit of his goal. When Coventry Climax wouldn't sell him a full 2.5-litre engine, he got a Maserati, then had it installed better than anyof those in the Cooper-Maseratis in Europe.
But Davison had gone another step, apparently, having had some tuition at a racing drivers' school at Monza, where he had tested the Aston.
the stage was set for an intense battle, and usually these races were intense at up to 20 seconds between the cars. But this one was at much closer quarters, with a couple of tyre rubbing episodes as well.
Davison was hoping to keep alive the front engined tradition. He despised the little rear engined cars, referring to them as 'anti climaxes,' and wanted to show that a properly prepared and driven example of a modern front engined car could still win.
He missed out by half a second after 102 miles, Mildren outfoxing him in the final turn and using low gear out of that corner for the first time in the race.
The next year Davison borrowed a Cooper and notched up his fourth win...

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#30 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 March 2000 - 21:29

Although the side valve Ford V8 was a very popular item in the AGP over the years 1936 to 1958, its popularity could be accounted for by its availability and promise.
The Chev V8, however, was not sold locally until around 1959. Despite this, there were four in cars running in the 1958 AGP.
These were in the Tornado, which looked like winning, the final version of the Maybach, Curly Bryden's Ferrari and the unlikely Alfa P3 of Ray Wamsley.
The Maybach finished second, the Ferrari fifth and Wamsley eighth.
The last side valve car to run in the AGP was the TS Special - a car built in 1951 with a Chrysler 6 - in the 1962 event. Racing alongside Brabham and McLaren in the latest F1-style cars!
There were three side-valve cars in 1961, two powered by Ford 10, the third by Austin 8. Along with a rotary-valved Holden engine and a multitude of twin cams...

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#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 March 2000 - 22:27

One of the cars that competed in 1938 & 39, the Terraplane Special of Les Burrows, was sold at the start of the war. It went through a number of hands to come to rest in the ownership of one Bill Ford in 1948.
Bill had never raced, but the Grand Prix beckoned - some six hundred miles away from his Sydney home.
He fitted a tow bar, hitched up a box trailer, equipped it with two armchairs and set off for Melbourne with three brothers in law for company. Two in the trailer and one as passenger in the car.
Bill then proceeded to compete in the race, coming in seventh, then drove home again with the trailer in tow.
He wasn't the only one having his first race that day, so was the winner, Frank Pratt.

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#32 AUSTRIA

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Posted 15 March 2000 - 22:47

This RAY BELL, isn't he fantastic ?

Must have hit a kernel activity in his mind with this topic.

And it seems not to be finished ...
Wait, until he posts his pics; I'm shure he will do.

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E.T.

[This message has been edited by AUSTRIA (edited 03-15-2000).]

#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 March 2000 - 14:16

There are many drivers who can look back and say that history hasn't done them justice. One such is Alfredo Costanzo, who first contested the AGP in 1969 in a McLaren M4a FVA. He retired after stalling after a spin. He came back in his own car, an ancient Elfin Mono as late as 1973, he drove on into his career without much to show except a lot of favourable press until he got a Lola T332. Then he got to drive for Alan Hamilton's Porsche Distributors team and started to reel in the results. But the AGP eluded him.
Even in the years of Formula Atlantic, when there were many overseas drivers in top cars, he showed them the way, actually leading the 1983 event like he was going to be an all the way winner - in a Tiga of all things!
He was four times Gold Star Champion, but his best AGP result was two fourth placings - 1980 (Lola T430) and 1984 (Tiga).
If Larry hadn't been so eager in that first corner in 1979, he was sure to have been first or second....
But, as they say, that's motor racing!

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#34 AUSTRIA

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Posted 17 March 2000 - 15:16

Hey folks !

Ray is still missing your comments on this thread !! He told me !!

So do, what you have to do !

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E.T.

#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 March 2000 - 15:37

Death and the Australian Grand Prix...
If death is a part of motor racing, then one would expect it to be a part of the AGP. It was not until the 1932 event that there was a serious injury, the front wheel drive Alvis driven by A Edwards overturning and hitting a spectator, who lost his leg.
Les Cramp's crash in 1935 was to see the first fatality, Cramp dying after hitting a bank and rolling the car part way down a straight. Coincidence comes into play here, for some 23 years later Mick Geneve was driving the car that this Ballot became. Four engines and three bodies and a different chassis later, it would not have been recognisable, but the coincidence is strong. Both Cramp and Geneve were ex-motorcyclists, both lost control on straights, both died when their car rolled.
But for Geneve, it was not an AGP, so it's not really part of this story.
In 1939 at Lobethal, Vern Leech and his MG P were at that part of the circuit where the smaller cars started to reach real speed out of the town when he crashed and was killed.
Fortunately there were no fatalities through the forties and fifties, and in fact through the seventies, eighties or nineties (unless you count Hakinen's close call at Adelaide).
But in 1965, a week after the death of his mentor Lex Davison, Rocky Tresize was very concerned about carrying on in the Grand Prix at Longford.
He even asked someone before the race if he really should do it...
There was a new permanent trophy for the AGP that year, a model of the Arthur Waite Austin 7 held aloft by two kangaroos, and in honour of Davison (the only 4-time winner) it was named after him in the days after his death.
With this load to carry, plus a very difficult gearchange when he wanted first gear out of the tight corner before the pits, Tresize was in a quandary.
But he started the race, made a mess of the first lap and was right in the tail behind the 1.5-litre cars as they reached that tight corner the first time.
For the first time all weekend, he got first gear and blistered out of the corner, rounding up a couple of the little cars past the pits. But, as the road narrowed after the control tower, he got caught out on the edge and got into trouble, barrel-rolling through the mesh wire fence and clobbering photographer Robin D'Abrera as he went.
A number of laps later, as the greatest dice in the history of the AGP was unfolding, President of the Longford Motor Racing Company Ron McKinnon announced the deaths...
In Sydney that night the D'Abrera family sat down to dinner as the ABC news began. But a knock at the door disrupted them... it was a friend of Robin's who had heard the news and called round... the father looked at his ashen face and knew the truth without a word, bursting into tears, and with the commotion the TV was turned off just before the news item came on.
Robin D'Abrera covered the Tasman series Australian rounds for two years for Autosport, working along with Peter Bakalor, who now lives in New York.
Ray Simpson, who was standing alongside D'Abrera and called out for him to duck kept on taking photos for a number of years, but has now divested himself of all his negatives. Tim Schenken, who was in line to benefit from a racing scholarship that Davison was setting up had his career path stymied, but still made it to F1. These days he is a part of the CAMS that have allowed this history to be pushed aside in favour of the opportunity to hob-nob it with the visiting circus.
I don't know if the trophy is still used, but I don't think so.
Diana Davison, Lex's widow, later married Tony Gaze, the subject of another thread, and is (in my opinion) the grand old lady of Australian Motor Racing.
Tresize's fiance is the only part of this puzzle for whom I don't know the outcome...

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#36 AUSTRIA

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Posted 19 March 2000 - 17:47

Ray, what do you think, who was the better driver ? Was it Doug Whiteford or Lex Davison. And what about Bill Thompson. But it seems, he had it easier, because the differences of the cars at his time were bigger than they were in later years.

Do you think, the output from Matich and McRae can be compared to that of Whiteford and Davison?

I'm a bit researching the australian Talbot-history now and found new sources. So I think, soon can tell you about the second Whitehead-Talbot. Please tell me, what role played a man called Hawkes. He had bought the 100007 direct from the Talbot-works in 1951. It seems, that the second car, shipped in 1954 to Australia, also was a works-car, two times droven by Sommer, but never owned by him. Possible, that this car also was the Collerson-Talbot from 1960! And please tell me, who was Peter Gidding?



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E.T.

[This message has been edited by AUSTRIA (edited 03-19-2000).]

#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 March 2000 - 22:03

Peter Giddings is an American who seems to cruise around the world racing his 1935 8C Alfa GP car or his Lago or his 250F or whatever else he chooses to take with him. He seems to be a real gentleman simply enjoying life in the former-times fastlane.
I think Matich was the best of the drivers you mention, McRae had talents in technical areas that may have exceeded Matich's, but could not outdrive him. Of Whiteford and Davison, there is no doubt that Whiteford was the greater - and for longer, racing from 1940 to about 1970, while Davison was new in 1947 and died when he was about to hang up his hat anyway in 1965.
Between Whiteford and Matich it is too difficult to compare. Probably Matich for speed, Whiteford for cunning.
Graham Howard would be accurate, I would think, as he was there to plot the course of these cars and he lists the Collerson car as the first one, the one Hawkes bought in 1950.
As for Hawkes, he was a racer of rather less commitment than Whiteford, later raced an Allard I think.

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#38 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 March 2000 - 22:09

Bittersweet is a word that applies well to the Australian Grand Prix during what should have been its greatest era.
I refer to the Tasman Cup period - 1964 to 1969, when the AGP was a part of that fabulous series which gave the F1 drivers a chance to race in the sun in the off-season, make some money and try their hand with the women of NZ and Australia.
It was bittersweet because it detracted from the importance of the race itself. The same applied in New Zealand, but was not recognised as such or as soon on that side of the Tasman Sea.
We saw the difference when the race was separated and give the Warwick Farm date in 1970. The visitors still came (we now had F5000), getting here ahead of the Tasman series, and the race was divorced from the Australian side of that series by about two months. Standing alone in this way it was individually a more important event.
But what the Tasman had done for it in that era was introduce talent we had only once before seen - in 1956.

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#39 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 March 2000 - 22:14

Austria -
your question about Bill Thompson fails to recognise that he lived in an era that you and I will never understand. It was a time of dirt roads and handicaps, and while it seems to me that his speed was unsurpassed (although Hope Bartlett lapped pretty quickly in the same Bugatti at Phillip Island when Thompson wasn't there), he was up against handicappers as well as his worthy opponents. To have won three and been within a few seconds of winning two more he had to be good.
Tomlinson, on the other hand, I can more readily appreciate as more than just good because I'm more familiar with his circumstances in that race.

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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 March 2000 - 22:29

In all of this, and in complete ignorance of Austria's interest in European drivers in the AGP, I have neglected to mention Alan Sinclair.
An English adventurer, apparently of the old school, Sinclair spent a few years in Australia and raced a supercharged 1100cc Alta at Bathurst in 1938 and a Sunbeam Special at Lobethal in 1939. He also did some automotive adventuring in some of the less populated parts of the country.
But the main interest with him lay in a story which will never be proved or disproved.
At the time, there was a team of DKW motorcycle racers in Australia from Germany. It is said that Sinclair worked for MI5 and was keeping an eye on them, the racing being a cover for his spying on the Germans.
It is also said that an Australian met up with him when assigned to go to MI5 headquarters in London during the war, thus discovering his position.
Fanciful musings or factual? Who knows, it's just another part of the AGP story.

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#41 AUSTRIA

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Posted 22 March 2000 - 00:01

Ray, when I asked you a few days ago, whether you can tell something about other european AGP-competitors in the post-war era, I mad a mistake. But it was a good one, if I look to your output. The mistake was, I wanted to know about european competitors in PRE-war era, of course  ;)

And another aspect comes in: Except mentioning once the works-Austins you never talked about any teams. Sure there were a lot of private entries, but I guess, that the known teams of the 70ies not were the first ones. And what about works-entries in the AGP ?

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E.T.


[This message has been edited by AUSTRIA (edited 03-21-2000).]

#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 March 2000 - 04:55

Testing the memory now...
I think you'll find the Thompson K3 was a factory-backed effort, and Austin Distributors were always behind some of the Austin 7s of the Phillip Island days. But we are a long way from the 'works' here and of little importance to them.
The 1956 race was the outstanding one, with the Maserati team turning out in force, and I think you'll find the next 'works' entry would be Brabham in 1962 in his own car. Perhaps McLaren in the same race and the 1963 race as well.

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#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 March 2000 - 08:16

I'm sure I mentioned the Watson team running at Narrogin in 1951, discarding trailers, tow cars team members and all but the one race car and driver as they crossed the Nullarbor en route to the race.
Then Cummo, driving the Ballot Olds, ran over a policeman's foot as said policeman put his foot out to steady himself as he sought a better look.
The lesson is, of course, never stand on the apex of a corner when the Ballot Olds is around.
There were other local teams, but not as you would recognise them. Lex Davison's Ecurie Australie and David McKay's Scuderia Veloce of the sixties would be the most notable, each entering two cars on an occasion or two - and for Davison it was a forlorn hope, he was killed the week before the race.
Bill Patterson also had a team, Bib Stillwell had more than one car and on occasion loaned the second one - this being the case with Davison's win at Mallala.
Before the war it was often seen that a group of Hudson racers gathered around Kleinig - Les Burrows, George Bonser etc, using his knowledge to help them go quicker and travelling together to interstate events.
Even some non-Hudson entrants circulated with Kleinig at times, but it was really a bit of a clubby atmosphere in those days - they just made their friends and went places together.

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#44 Kuwashima

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Posted 22 March 2000 - 09:14

Wow! What a bloody fantastic read (still have a lot more to get through though!) Just one question, please!

These races fell to Roberto Moreno, Alain Prost, then Moreno twice more. They included names like Laffite, Andrea de Cesaris, Francois Hesnault, Keke Rosberg, Geoffrey Brabham, Allen Berg, Paul Radisich, David McMillan, Nelson Piquet, Perkins and Jones.


Which races were they a part of? Is there anywhere I can find the entry lists/results for these AGPs between 1980-85? Because I'm very interested in the post-F1 career of a couple of these guys (who we profile on our site), and the more information we've got on them the better! Thanks...

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Profiles of the WORST drivers and teams in Grand Prix history



#45 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 March 2000 - 18:04

No problem - get a copy of the book to which I refer so often - the official 50-year history of the AGP, or volumes 11, 12, 13 & 14 of the Australian Motor Racing Yearbook - full reports in each of the GPs and reports on all the year's major races in the latter.
Or ask someone to send you the entry lists.
Most of these drivers - in fact, all of them except Larry Perkins, were still in their GP careers at the time of these races. That is stretching it with Jonesy, he was 'between drives' before his return to run the Beatrice Lola.
He has, of course, raced more or less non-stop ever since then. And Larry runs his own team of tin tops, with no apparent desire to stop driving himself just yet.

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Life and love are mixed with pain...

[This message has been edited by Ray Bell (edited 03-22-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Ray Bell (edited 03-22-2000).]

#46 Falcadore

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Posted 22 March 2000 - 22:18

1979 was the last year of coherent AGP rules. From 1980 through to 1984 the AGP adopted a single location (the pathetically small and inadequate Calder Park) and a hodge-podge of rules. In 1980 after the hype of Jones winning the WC the rulesallowed for Formula One, Formula 5000 and Formula Pacific, the end result was Alan Jones walked away with the race in his Williams FW07 Cosworth from Bruno Giacomelli's Alfa Romeo 179. The Formula 5000 competitors got a rude shock at the competitiveness of the two Formula One cars. Didier Pironi claimed third in a Australian developed Elfin MR8 Chevrolet F5000 ahead of the F5000's of local drivers Alfredo Costanzo, Chas Tablot, Rob Butcher, Garrie Cooper (owner of Elfin, shaking down his newest creation the MR9, the world's first and in the end only ground effects equipped Formula 5000), Colin Trengove, Peter Edwards, Ivan Tighe and John Bowe. None of the Formula Pacifics finished.

For the next three years, Calder's promotr Bob jane imported a field of overseas drivers to race in the Formula Pacifics or as they later became, Formula Mondiales. Jane even owned three or four Ralt RT4's with Ralt importer Graham Watson, to put the imports into. In 1981 Roberto Moreno won from Nelson Piquet, Geoff Brabham (on his way overseas), Larry Perkins (just returned from Europe), Andrew Miedeceke (who'd just won the Malaysian Grand Prix), David Oxton (owner of the Hyperstim racing simulator company), Ray Mallock (owner of Britian's most successful Touring Car team), Bruce Allison, Charlie O'Brien, Peter Larner, John Smith, Alfredo Costanzo, Ron Barnacle and Ray Hanger with Alan Jones and Jacques Laffite being amongst the retirements.

1982 saw Alain Prost win from Jacques Laffite, Roberto Moreno, David McMillan, Alfredo Costanzo, Andrew Miedecke, John Bowe, Robert Handford, John Smith, Phillip Revell, Richard Davison, Doug MacArthur, Brian Sampson (1975 Bathurst winner), Paul Radisich (top touring car pilot today), Bob Creasy and Ray Hanger with Nelson Piquet and Alan Jones being amongst the retirments.

1983 Robert Moreno won from John Smith, Jacques Laffite, Geoff Brabham, Alan Jones, Charlie O'Brien, Paul Radisich, Josele Garza, Peter Macrow, David Oxten, Allen Berg, Peter Williamson, John Bowe, Brian Sampson, Bob Creasy and Ian Bland.

The last Formula Atlantic/Pacific/Mondial race in 1984 saw Roberto Moren win from Keke Rosberg, Andrea de Cesaris, Alfredo Costanzo, David McMillan, John Bowe, Richard Davison, Bruce Connolly, Brian Sampson, Bob Cresey, Brett Fisher, Peter Macrow, Keith McClellan, the retirments included Niki Lauda, Francois Hesnault, and Neil Cunningham who moved to Europe and hasn't needed to come home yet.

#47 Kuwashima

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Posted 25 March 2000 - 08:43

Thanks HEAPS to both of you!

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Profiles of the WORST drivers and teams in Grand Prix history



#48 AUSTRIA

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Posted 26 March 2000 - 18:46

Ray

News from the second Whiteford-Talbot Lago; and its a bit of surprise added.

It was the 110 002, two month older than the 110 007! But it had the DA-engine with the new cylinderhead, that first was mounted in Etancellin 's 110 008 in the year 1949 and from the year 1950 on was part of the 110 051..4 series (all works-cars)
About the carburettors of the T26Cs : the cars were launched with Zenith EX 32
carburettors. The first T26C-DA (110 008) has the same layout. But the further DA-engines were fitted with Zenith 50 NHDD carburettors. (From Doug Nye, Autocourse History of the GP Cars 1945-65, shared by my french buddy, called Testa Rossa. I hope, he soon will appear in this forum. My friends, put together, know everything!)

DA = double allumage, what means twin plug

The 110 007 was sold by then to Rex Taylor. The rest you must combine yourself.

P.S. also the 110 002 never was a sommer car, but possibly the engine was.

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E.T.

[This message has been edited by AUSTRIA (edited 03-26-2000).]

#49 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 March 2000 - 06:11

So Doug Nye mentions this car coming to Australia in 1954/55, does he?

#50 AUSTRIA

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Posted 27 March 2000 - 10:27

This will be right!