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The most continuously raced car in Australia?


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#1 gray chandler

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 12:32

Anybody got any idea.I would like to start the debate with S.A.s Jim doigs ASP 340B. CLUBMAN[bought in 1972] Still owned by him. This car,to the best of my knowlege has been and is still racing to this day. A true testament to Ray Lewis and Rory Thomson of ASP cars. gray chandler

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#2 David McKinney

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 13:46

You're going to have to define "continuously raced" before this goes any further, Gray
Do you mean raced every year? Or do want to accept a few years' break in between? What about war years, when there was no racing?

And I'm sure Ray Bell will be along shortly to tell us about the Regal :)

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 21:43

Actually, the Regal didn't race for very long...

While the chassis dated back to 1911 and the car was built in more modern and sporting form in 1933, and it raced informally on the mud flats around Longreach and won lots of money with inter-town dashes, it wasn't until about 1946 that it became a true competition car.

From what I've learned, it went off the circuits and hillclimbs in 1954.

On the other hand, look at a car like the Les Burrows Terraplane Special. It was chopped and changed many times on the way through, but from c1935 it raced with Burrows until 1940 or early '41, was sold and emerged after the war in the hands of Bill Murray (and became the car that re-named Pit Corner at Bathurst), from there to long term owner Bill Ford.

Bill transformed the car into the 'Petticoat Special' and raced it regularly until about 1957. Again we come up against the 'continuously raced' question, it went into hibernation until the late sixties, when Peter Wallace rebuilt it with (ugh!) a Y-block Ford V8 and refitted the Properts body used from 1937 to 1949 and raced it as the Barracuda Ford.

A short time in Mike Morris' hands, another (much briefer) hibernation and then Peter Hitchin brought it to life once again as the Petticoat Special... that would have been about 1973... it then raced in Historics regularly until about 1980. Peter still has it and still plans to get it going again. He also has every body it ran.

The White Car too... built about 1948, raced through the Mt Druitt and Catalina Park eras, came back when Historic Racing became popular and as far as I know is still out there. Drivers include Dick Bland, Frank Walters, Jesse Griffith and Cam Worner.

The 1922 'Targa Florio' Ballot must take some beating too. It would have raced at Aspendale, I imagine, before Phillip Island in 1933 in Neil Gullifer's hands. Two years later it was in the hands of Les Cramp, an ex-motorcyclist, who rolled it along one of the straights at Phillip Island.

The car was then dismantled, purchased by visiting West Australian Jack Nelson. Some things were too bulky or too badly damaged to take to WA, the fuel tank went on to compete at Victor Harbor strapped to the back of Jim Gullan's Wolseley.

Nelson rebuilt the car with a Chev 4 chassis and promptly blew up the ballot 2-litre engine while preparing for Lake Perkollili. In its place was fitted a Ford V8, which stayed there through yet another rebodying and ran at many WA events as well as the 1940 Lobethal. Post war it changed hands several times, then had a couple of engine changes. Finally, ex-motorcyclist Mick Geneve flipped it down the long straight at Caversham in a supporting race for the 1958 6-Hour and died in the crash.

One would have to think that several Bugattis would come into this, but that would take an expert and a clear definition of what constitutes 'continuously raced' too.

Amazingly, you could probably trace some sixties tin-top racers through a continuous racing history in Touring Car and Sports Sedan racing.

Finally, there's Geoff Russell's Russell Morris. Built c1946 on a chassis welded up on the nice square base of his parents' checkered kitchen floor (to their horror, of course), this comprised a Lancia Lambda front end and running gear from a Morris Cowley. It gained a Laystall (?) head and in the sixties internals from a Citroen enlarged the engine.

I'm not up to scratch with the last ten years or so, but Geoff was still racing it in Historics until about then.

This is just when you really need John Medley to be posting...

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 23:32

Well, if it's just 'normal maintenance' putting it out that doesn't count as a holiday, I'd suggest that the original Elfin 600 must rank very highly...

Even Paul Hamilton's ownership of the car is almost as long as Jim's of the ASP. Some of the maintenance breaks have been lengthy, I think, but even when he had the March I think Paul still raced it fairly regularly.

The car commenced its journey with Garrie Cooper at Calder in 1968, then went to SE Asia for a lengthy stay, racing regularly, before Tony Maw brought it back to Australia. He raced it here a few times before Paul bought it.

#5 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 23:51

Jim's Motorlab Asp is still racing , though in historics these days.I saw it at Easter.And still being driven very quickly.
Realistically though the car is a bit of a grandpas axe, it has had lots of rebuilds and specifications. As have all cars of that age and racing miles. But it is still basically the same car as was built in the 70s.
As far as I know it has been raced every year since new, at one stage it had not missed a SA meeting in several years.


#6 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 23:53

Bob [2bob] Collinsons clubbie has been around nearly as long but it had a 20 year holiday sitting in the Sascar workshop!!

#7 gray chandler

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 03:28

Bob [2bob] Collinsons clubbie has been around nearly as long but it had a 20 year holiday sitting in the Sascar workshop!!



Lee,i was talking to Tom Galbraith [he started Motorlab] awhile ago and he recons the ASP was the most economical car he had ever been involved with.Although pretty much all of the maintenance,modifications etc were carried out at Mark Peacocks SASCAR workshop.They did'nt spend a ton of money on it.In fact i recall a con rod failure at Mallala,they were using Lycoming aircraft rod bolts which had'nt been changed in something like 10 years or so. I think Mark was going to file a warranty claim !!!!!!!!!!! Anyway the old nail lives to fight another day. Sometimes wished i 'd kept my 340c ,that's another story. gray chandler.

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 03:59

Clubmans... at least the ones following the rules of the seventies... are the most economical cars to race...

I reckon they're even less expensive to operate than a Vee.

#9 2Bob

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 05:56

The Motorlab Asp has been owned and raced by Jim Doig since it was built in 1972. The car, and Jim, has only missed 2 race meetings in South Australia since it was built (Jim was over seas for one of the meetings and the other meeting had been postponed for a couple of weeks and the new date coincided with a horse event that Jim had already entered and he figured that he owed the horse people his patronage because it wasn't their fault that the car meeting had been changed). Jim is pretty keen to keep his record of competing complete to the extent of building up a 'new' engine on Saturday night (from lots of left over spares) after a practice/race 'engine put a leg out of bed' incident. I know because I (sort of) helped with the rebuild, as did Mark Peacock of course. Motorlab's sponsorship goes back to the first race and continues today. Actually the sponsorship goes back to 1969 with Jim’s BBM and Lotus 7 before the ASP (and my Cooper S and Elfin Mono as well as Mark Peacock’s speedway Mini in the late 1960s and early 1970s). Tom Galbraith still runs Motorlab (started in 1968).

As Lee says there is a bit of grandad's axe about the car!

Ray, not sure about the cheaper to run a clubbie than a Vee ...

#10 2Bob

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 06:06

Gray:

CLUBMAN[bought in 1972]


Us Clubbie owners in South Australia (well me anyway) tend to get annoyed about this. Jims ASP is NOT a clubman - it just looks like one. It is what were called a Group A sports car (I think that is the right name). Runs a 1600cc engine (used to be around 1900cc at one stage) and has DOORS (because it had to for that group) and also has a LSD. Clubbies of course were 1300cc (in those days) and no LSD and didn't have to run doors.

Off Topic - was talking to Michael Clark (ex ASP and now Farrel owner) the other day about home garages and he mention your setup which he thought was pretty neat - straight out the kitchen back door and into the garage. Any photos Gray?

#11 gray chandler

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 06:34

Gray:

Us Clubbie owners in South Australia (well me anyway) tend to get annoyed about this. Jims ASP is NOT a clubman - it just looks like one. It is what were called a Group A sports car (I think that is the right name). Runs a 1600cc engine (used to be around 1900cc at one stage) and has DOORS (because it had to for that group) and also has a LSD. Clubbies of course were 1300cc (in those days) and no LSD and didn't have to run doors.

Off Topic - was talking to Michael Clark (ex ASP and now Farrel owner) the other day about home garages and he mention your setup which he thought was pretty neat - straight out the kitchen back door and into the garage. Any photos Gray?



Bob,getting old and the memory is fuzzy. You are right with the Group A bit ,you can kick me in the ass for not being more precise.Anyway the car is still competing and that's all that matters.The last time i saw you is when you had the Mono and Mark was still working at Motorlab.Great days.Never took any pictures of the workshop. Busy playing with Vintage Karts and building a bike for Lake Gairdner. gray.

#12 Dick Willis

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 07:34

What about the Sulman Singer, built 1936 and still at it with hardly an interruption.

#13 Wirra

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 09:16

The FX/FJ of father and son, Alan and Phil Barrows is worthy of a mention... must be close to 45+ years.

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Edited by Wirra, 25 June 2009 - 11:39.


#14 Dick Willis

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 09:21

Good effort but hard to beat the 73 years for the Sulman Singer !

#15 Lola5000

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 09:22

what about the Elfin F/F 600, owners name escapes me in VIC.

#16 Lola5000

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 09:24

or John Mann's '64 Mustang,not the longest raced but i would suggest more race's and wins then any other 1 owner race car in Australia.

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 10:11

Originally posted by Lola5000
What about the Elfin FF 600, owners name escapes me in Vic?


Laurie Bennett... that would be from about '71 or '72 as well, I guess...

Wirra, you've got yourself confused with my earlier post. That's the Barrow family, not Burrows.

#18 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 10:19

Good effort but hard to beat the 73 years for the Sulman Singer !

Got my vote Dick - have lots of lovely photos .... from various magazines!


#19 Lola5000

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 10:21

Laurie Bennett... that would be from about '71 or '72 as well, I guess...

Wirra, you've got yourself confused with my earlier post. That's the Barrow family, not Burrows.

Harold Roberts

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#20 johnny yuma

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 10:35

The FX/FJ of father and son, Alan and Phil Burrows is worthy of a mention... must be close to 45+ years.

Posted Image


The Barrows have indeed raced a pea-green FJ Holden for 44 years,but there was gap in the 70s when Abe raced a Torana for John Craft,then raced not at all when Phillip and his brother were
tykes.When the historic tourers kicked in about 1981 Abe built up and ran the FJ, which Phil now runs in Nb--so it is a "mere" 28 years---but the car has been raced an incredible number of times.
Phil was telling me that in '07 he did 14 race meetings in it,with 10 or 12 per year being the norm.Previously Alan never missed an Amaroo or Oran Park,the car has done many laps at Bathurst
Eastern Creek,Winton ,Wakefield Park.In Alan's earlier car,which morphed from Sixties Improved Production to Sports Sedan with 192 Red Motor,Alan raced at Catalina,Surfers Paradise,
Warwick Farm and Hume Weir--where the photo looks to have been taken of the lightweight Sports Sedan version just before the start/finish line circa 1970..as well.

#21 SJ Lambert

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 09:31

The Spanos Elfin Streamliner GTS (Hardtop) would just about rate an honourable mention?

#22 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 22:00

or John Mann's '64 Mustang,not the longest raced but i would suggest more race's and wins then any other 1 owner race car in Australia.

Isnt that car a 68 these days? And I think a completely different bodyshell.

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 01 October 2010 - 22:01.


#23 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 22:12

I would suspect that if the number of meetings competed at were taken into account Doig's ASP will be near the top of the list. And has a helluva lot of wins under its belt.
Though there is a lot of cars still in semi regular use that have been around as long if not longer though I doubt with one careful !!! owner.

#24 SJ Lambert

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 10:13

Nice to see the original panelling underbonnet on the Spanos GTS.

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#25 gouldo

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:04

Dads 1962 Nota would get some mention. Factory car, run by Brian Rawling 1st event at Warwick Farm in 62, then sold to George Sonter who did hillclimbs, sold to dad in 1967 & been in the family ever since. It missed a few races in the mid 70's when dad ran his spare car & the old car got a birthday. It has had a run somewhere pretty much every year since I believe, except when it was being rebuilt, and would have to check the log books, but it's been going pretty solidily for a while now.

#26 GMACKIE

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:14

Good effort but hard to beat the 73 years for the Sulman Singer !

Sounds about right, although the So-Cal is worth a mention.


#27 SJ Lambert

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:18

Sounds about right, although the So-Cal is worth a mention.



The So-Cal's on duty at Sandown this weekend.