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The AARC, Geoff, Mary and John


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#1 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:11

I've frequently posted recollections of my times visiting the AARC offices in the city of Sydney. The second one, an old bank building, was in Sussex Street as I recall. Where was the other one?

Geoff Sykes presided over the AARC in what might be called a 'knowing grandfatherly way'. He came from the BARC in England, 'imported' to start motor racing at Warwick Farm on a circuit to be laid out around the horse race track there.

It became known affectionately as 'Headquarters' among most of the racing people in Australia.

This thread is for people to post memories of the people, the racing they conducted and the offices of the AARC.

Go for it! I'll dig up some of my old posts later...

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#2 cooper997

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:20

Looks like they were both in Sussex St, Sydney, Ray. The first one at 184 Sussex St, then the second at 138. The first address looks like it was used from the start of AARC operations in 1960 until the end of 1966/start of 1967. When the move obviously took place and this is probably the old bank building you mention visiting.

Stephen

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:18

After the move to the new address, Bob and I found it was so much easier to drop in at lunchtime...

We had lunch from 1:00 to 1:45 IIRC, the AARC lunchtime clashed with that, but Geoffrey was intelligent enough to realise that if he changed his lunchtime more members would be able to drop in.

138 was much closer to our office than 184, it was great to drop in there, 'Miss Packard' would usher us in to Geoffrey's inner sanctum and we'd learn all about what was going on. It was there on one of these visits that we posed the question about what had happened between David McKay and Spencer Martin... actually, that raises a point.

They were already at 138 Sussex Street when that bombshell dropped. Wasn't that about June, 1966? Or is my memory failing me again?

And what about the movie nights they held? Over at the UNSW, some great films, of which The Tortoise and the Hare (from Pirelli) was wholly memorable. It had everyone smiling.

The 'John' was John Stranger, of course. A competitor from the fifties (drove Alex Strahan's (sp?) Lotus 6 among other things), he kept the accounts and probably had a lot to do with commercial sponsorships. Later went on to become the man in charge of the Sydney Motor Show.

#4 Ian G

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 08:39

Does anyone remember the tour of the BMC Factory at Zetland?, first time i met Evan Green, he could talk underwater. I have a lot of Photos of the era, i'll have a bit of spare time later in the Year and i will dig them out when i get back Home.

Regards All

#5 Derek Pitt

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 09:09

Ray,

The real issue here is..If Mr Sykes and Jon Pryce of BP had survived ..and make no mistake, despite each of their individual commercial interests, they both understood the intrinsic meaning and value of motor racing...we would not have seen the un-checked rise of the Tourng Car Cult and the destruction of Australian Motor racing which so tragically followed.

All we can do now is try to minimise the embarrassment when cult members, in their blind frenzies, post stuff on international forums about Norm Beecheys tyre marks or Dick Johnson's Falcon etc etc............

Maybe Mark Weber's GP win , depite attempts by the media to minimise it, willl re-awaken our basic decency and common sense.

CAMS..come on down

Derek


#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:04

If you talked to Geoff you would soon grasp that John Pryce was on a different wavelength, even though both might have preferred openwheelers...

Pryce was firmly entrenched in CAMS in Melbourne. Warwick Farm was largely put together by some of the very people who were canned by CAMS over an illegal round-Australia trial in the late fifties. Some of them got life bans from CAMS motor sport.

Strahan (Strachan?) was one of them. But he had the enthusiasm to want to remain involved, like many others of his ilk.

Geoff used to talk often about how CAMS continually made the day run slowly at the Farm. They'd demand an extra lap by the course car between races when it had already been around, for instance.

Pryce's eccentricity was seen in the drafting of the Clubman regulations. He was a mud plugger and wanted every Clubman to fit into that kind of sport, whereas racing Clubman people wanted cars that were low, light and quick on the circuit. The rules and subsequent changes to the rules reflect these opposing ideals.

#7 lukebaby

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:07

Mary Packard has long since left us.......she died a very painful death enduring some form of cancer.

I think that the young bloke that worked in the Sussex Street office was Vaughan Coburn. His dad ran Jack Brabham Aviation.......early seventies I think.


#8 lukebaby

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:12

Peter Windsor worked there at one time and I can recall Peter Collins and David Mingay.


#9 lukebaby

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:33

I also recall John Stranger winning around 60K on the Opera house lottery............and Mary smoked Kent cigarettes. The aeroplanes that were owned by the club were a Piper Cherokee 180 VH-ARD and a Cessna 172 but not sure of its registration number. These planes were hired out through Jack Brabham Aviation to the members. I am scaring my memory!!! Mr Sykes owned (and loved) an ultralight Thorp T3 and he drove a Triumph 2500 sedan. He lived in an apartment in Kirribilli with his lovely wife whose name started with M.



#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:53

Peter, of course, we knew well... had a lot of good times with him... I especially recall one 'Club Practice Day' on the short circuit when he was in a Club Vee... remember the pair of Nota Vees the AARC bought?

I don't recall Vaughan Coburn being in the office at all, but he and Peter were thick as thieves along with another young bloke from Carlingford way who drove a Capri. Now what was his name? I know I spoke to him some time in the past ten years too!

Peter Collins was in that group too, the younger brother of Paul Collins, who consistently had cars arrive late for practice at the Farm and later died of a heart attack while racing at Winton Historics.

Remember, too, that Historics got some of their first and most noteworthy outings in Australia at the Farm. In 1962, Kevin Catt won the Historic race in a Lancia, while the Aston of Alan Puckett was in the race as well.

Geoff's car was a Triumph 2000, which he had almost forever.

The office moved to a corner of Jack Brabham Aviation when the Farm closed down. A lot of their 'treasures' were put into storage and some of them, mostly photos and race result records IIRC, were in the hands of Boris Osman... one of the original committee members.

But Boris died, as did Andrew Osman, and someone else got their hands on all this stuff and didn't want to give it up. I really should chase up Fred and find out if there's been any progress with the recovery... it would be an invaluable resource.

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:00

Another aspect of the AARC's last days was their involvement with Shell and the 'Mileage Marathon' events...

Archie White was Chairman of the Club and also had been the head of Shell's Australian racing interests, so the union of the AARC with Shell for this event was a natural.

Mary Packard put these events together basically unaided, if my instincts are correct. John Sexton, I believe, was in there somewhere too, but Mary was by this time working from her home in Drummoyne... or at least that's where I used to phone her so I think that was the case.

Mary had collapsed at one of the Club Race Meetings at Amaroo Park, which the Club conducted until their funds ran out. She was taken to hospital and rushed into surgery for the removal of a bowel cancer. Presumably this is what later came back to bite her, a secondary from that taking its toll on a lovely and friendly lady who couldn't do enough for us.

Now how did it go? She came into the AARC purely as an employee with no interest in or knowledge of motor racing. Over a few short years she became so firmly entrenched that nobody could ever have guessed that. Her nephew, Ian Packard, became an enthusiast and at one time wrote reports for Auto Action IIRC.

#12 Derek Pitt

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:16

[quote name='Ray Bell' date='Jul 20 2009, 11:04' post='3752622']
If you talked to Geoff you would soon grasp that John Pryce was on a different wavelength, even though both might have preferred openwheelers...

Ray,

Both were Englishmen , both loved motor racing , both would have been disgusted by the Brock Cult and the GM/Ford inspired media bullshit that ensued.

We are the poorer wothout them.

Derek


#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:51

Maybe so, Stan...

But they would have been doing it in different rooms. And while I know we're poorer for the loss of Geoff, I'm not keen to say that I feel the same about John.

#14 lukebaby

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 23:20

I remember that the chap that drove the Capri was Colin. Both him and hs wife/girlfriend played for the Sydney symphony orchestra.


#15 Ian G

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 23:27

Derek,is your surname Pittman?,if so i met you at WF when you co-drove the Datsun 2000(still couldn't beat Bonds{Ross?} Healey 3000.),i guess not if you have an interest in Open Wheelers.

I lost contact with the AARC in the early 70's but there was a lot of rumblings at the time about the amount of money(& Club resources generally) being spent on Planes,not sure if it ever evolved into outright criticisms of Sykes.







#16 Ian G

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 05:11

Peter Windsor worked there at one time and I can recall Peter Collins and David Mingay.


There were a couple of guys around that time that ended up in the F1 Circus.

Peter Windsor Facebook Page





#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 09:56

Originally posted by Basil
Derek, is your surname Pittman? If so i met you at WF when you co-drove the Datsun 2000 (still couldn't beat Ross Bond's Healey 3000, I guess not if you have an interest in Open Wheelers.

I lost contact with the AARC in the early 70's but there was a lot of rumblings at the time about the amount of money(& Club resources generally) being spent on Planes,not sure if it ever evolved into outright criticisms of Sykes.


I think any grumblings about the 'planes were from people who didn't understand that they were self-funding... the returns from hire to club members and others kept them in the air.

As for Derek... well, he used to post as Stan Patterson, he lives in Melbourne and has a definite slant towards believing that Victorian drivers were better than NSW drivers. He does have some good sides, but when it's late at night he tends to go in too deep on issues.

The only 'co-driven' Datsun 2000 I can recall was the one shared by David Mingay and Richard Carter. Richard, of course, went on to show his mettle in a whole raft of quick cars, placed well in the TAA series for FF one year and currently races in Historics in something even faster. He's the one who keeps the Tooth Fairy looking for ways to make his cars quicker, usually.

#18 Ian G

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:08

I think any grumblings about the 'planes were from people who didn't understand that they were self-funding... the returns from hire to club members and others kept them in the air.

As for Derek... well, he used to post as Stan Patterson, he lives in Melbourne and has a definite slant towards believing that Victorian drivers were better than NSW drivers. He does have some good sides, but when it's late at night he tends to go in too deep on issues.

The only 'co-driven' Datsun 2000 I can recall was the one shared by David Mingay and Richard Carter. Richard, of course, went on to show his mettle in a whole raft of quick cars, placed well in the TAA series for FF one year and currently races in Historics in something even faster. He's the one who keeps the Tooth Fairy looking for ways to make his cars quicker, usually.



Your probaly right Ray,i'll have to check my facts as its been quiet a while, the Datsun 2000 memory from those Days(i think the guys were from Canberra) came up when a friend dropped in a few Years ago to tell me Iain Corness"s MGB was up for sale,it created quiet a stir at the time,particulary when Cams forced him out of Production Sports and eventually out of the sport alltogether. As far as the AARC Planes/Aviation saga goes i don't know what the facts were but its common knowledge it/they reached Committee Members of the AJC as private Planes were quite a luxury in those days.

Edit..sorry about O/T but this Forum has sure jogged some memories,AARC members will remember Dr. Iain Corness and his MGB,no one could believe its lap times,neither could Cams,they effectively banned it. I did a Google and came up with this,apparently he's up in Northern Thailand,i think at one stage he also had the MGA's rear discs as well as the Twin Cam head.

Dr. Corness - MGB(scroll down)

Edited by Basil, 21 July 2009 - 23:06.


#19 Ian G

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 23:40

Ray,this was Derek Pittman i met,(at least i think it was Derek).

Pittman Photo


He co-drove Quinn's Datsun 2000(unless i'm going senile already).


J. Quinn Datsun 2000 Warwick Farm.


Regards
B.

Edited by Basil, 21 July 2009 - 23:44.


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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 00:07

Jim Quinn I remember, he was around for a while...

Lotus 7 as well, as I recall.

#21 Team Result

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 00:46

Edit..sorry about O/T but this Forum has sure jogged some memories,AARC members will remember Dr. Iain Corness and his MGB,no one could believe its lap times,neither could Cams,they effectively banned it. I did a Google and came up with this,apparently he's up in Northern Thailand,i think at one stage he also had the MGA's rear discs as well as the Twin Cam head.

Dr. Corness - MGB(scroll down)


Actually, he lives in Pattaya, Eastern Thailand and writes the Automania column for this newspaper,
http://www.pattayamail.com/

The Chiang Mai newspaper is an affiliate, I believe. Anyway, 'The Doc' keeps his hand in doing the odd endurance race at Bira Circuit. I have shared a few beers with him at Jameson's Pub in Pattaya where he regails all and sundry about his exploits in "Super Bee".

#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:00

Of course, the ban was because it had a twin cam head from an MGA on the MGB engine...

Rules changed and the car lost its effectiveness.

#23 Paul Hamilton

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 07:05

Of course, the ban was because it had a twin cam head from an MGA on the MGB engine...

Rules changed and the car lost its effectiveness.


Ray, the rule change came about when the NSW event organisers (under some pressure from CAMS) began to run events under the Group D production sports car regulations rather than the Marque Sports car rules originally developed by Geoff Sykes for Warwick Farm events and later adopted for other NSW events. The Marque sports rules were pretty liberal in the freedoms they allowed but Geoff applied a fairly strict 'equivalancy' formula of his own which saw various cars moved out of the class from time to time when they were deemed to be 'too quick'. The 26R Elans and my Turner when it was owned by Wal Donnelly were examples of that and, when I purchased the Turner, I had to agree not to use the 5 speed gearbox which Wal had in it if I was to be allowed to return the car to marque sports events.

The Group D regs were developed by CAMS to provide for the production sports cars which Geoff had popularised with his marque sports events. They were much less liberal in the degree of modification allowed and were only slowly adopted in NSW which had always been the 'home' of marque sports. The big change came at the end of 1971 when CAMS made some changes to the Group D regulations to make them more palatable to the marque sports fraternity and then worked hard to make sure that the event promotors in all States adopted them. As I recall that was an initiative of John Keefe who was then running the CAMS NSW office. In retrospect it was a step in the right direction to encourage use of a common set of rules at all circuits but many of us in NSW were not very impressed at the time and it was the issue which motivated my sale of the Turner and move into single seaters. I guess I should thank JK and CAMS for that as I have never since wanted to drive anything else but I am also thankful to Geoff Sykes for creating the marque sports scene I enjoyed so much with the Turner.

The Corness 'Super Bee' was one car very badly affected by the change but that change was certainly not directed specifically at that one car because it was deemed to be 'too fast'!! The twin cam MGB was highly competitive and very well driven but it did not do a whole lot of winning in Marque Sports events which were mostly dominated by Ross Bond's Healey 3000. I know I beat Ross on one memorable occasion as did Les Carne in his MG Midget but I don't recall that the Bee ever did.

I too remember many lunch time visits to the AARC office in Sussex St which, as you say, was located on the ground floor of an old bank building which I think has since been demolished. They were great days!! Geoff certainly had a very fair approach and his team made all of us who competed regularly at the 'farm feel like we belonged to one very big family.

#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 07:24

You're right, of course, Paul...

It was the change of the 'effective' rules, ie the change from 'Marque Sports Cars' to the official CAMS rules that put the twin cam head (etc) out. I had neglected the fact that Geoff introduced that class, was that in 1962?

And it wasn't only the competitors who were made feel so welcome in the office. We were, as you well know, flaggies. But even before we became such we always had the same friendly reception.

All of this backed by tremendous professionalism. Like the newsletters, the way the meetings were run, the respect shown to everyone.

#25 Paul Hamilton

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 09:22

[quote name='Ray Bell' date='Jul 22 2009, 17:24' post='3754812']
You're right, of course, Paul...

It was the change of the 'effective' rules, ie the change from 'Marque Sports Cars' to the official CAMS rules that put the twin cam head (etc) out. I had neglected the fact that Geoff introduced that class, was that in 1962?


Ray, I think the Marque Sports events were a feature of Geoff's Warwick Farm programmes from the very beginning in 1960 as I have a recollection of David Mackay winning a very wet race in a Morgan at the opening meeting. The regulations were very simple and were always published in the supplementary regulations for each meeting. The most important component of those regs was the list of eligible vehicle types it included. Geoff used to make changes as he considered necessary to keep it competitive and to make sure that no one ever won by too much or too often although Ross Bond was quite masterful at keeping one step ahead of that and winning most of the races during my time in the Turner from 1968 to 1971.


#26 Derek Pitt

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 14:12


I am sure Mr Sykes, as an Englishman, would have seen the danger facing Australian Motor Racing in the early 1960's and would have done everytihng possible to stem the tide of barbarism.

Many saw the shallow Beechey-mainia of the 62-64 period, as a portend to the stupid Brock Cult, which later transmuted into the embarassinglingly corrupt V8 Supercab circus, so beloved now by our latter day red-neck enthusisiasts, but were powereless ot act.

The rise of the corruptedly regulated Armstrong 500, through to the ridiculous postings of Morris 1100's at Bathurst we have seen on this forum , serve omly to illustrate how bad the brain-washing became as time went on.

It is a pity that more decent Australians across the board, didn't stand up and be counted, as our country was dumbed-down and red-necked and our essential way of life was destroyed by these, now bankrupt, commercial foreign interests.

David Mckay in a Morgan ..sighsssssss





#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 16:34

From memory, it was good enough to win the first ever race at the Farm...

A lovely little phrase coined by Geoffrey must not go unmentioned... the Bludgers' Barometer!

When a meeting was getting near, Geoff, Mary and John could always tell how successful it would be by the use of this barometer. The 'measuring' of the requests for free tickets.

Late in the peace, I recall Mary telling me the story of when Pauline Moffat phoned for some. "Could I please have 18 tickets for my family?" she asked.

Mary responded in the affirmative, and then (presumably somewhat tongue in cheek) asked, "And do you want any for Allan's family?" The response was worth asking the question:

"Oh, Allan doesn't have any family!" said Pauline.

#28 Ian G

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 23:17

It was a shame to see the demise of the MGB,created great interest both on and off the track and always gathered a crowd in the Pits, especially if the bonnet came off. The Production Sports Cars at the time,69-71, really started becoming competitive with great racing and good crowd support when the Datsuns,MGB and Midgets, started to challenge the Healey. The rules(not sure if they were Cams or Marque), i have a copy somewhere from 1969/70, at the time said the Car must use the original Block and Crank otherwise it was pretty much free,therefore the MGA Head was OK but i'm not sure what happened with the Healey as i read it was bored and stroked to nearly 4 Litres so there must have been some leniency re the crank specs. as well. Great Forum,all this is from memory so apolgies if anything is wrong.




#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 00:04

About 3.3 litres for the Healey...

But you've raised something else in your post without realising it... the cameraderie in the pits at the AARC race meetings. It was always such a friendly place, with inspiration from the announcements being made by friendly female voices ("With the noise of the pits, you can better hear a female voice," Geoff always said) and officials who were nice in the way they reminded competitors they were just about due on the track.

Great people gathered for hours after the meetings. This was where I had my last conversation with Glynn Scott, for instance, and where I met Ross Ambrose (just before he went to England), where Brian Muir and Ray Eldershaw would coyly place drums at the back of the S4 so people didn't notice it had negative camber, where the Gurney Chev sat with a Mini on a car trailer behind it.

Late night discussions as the traffic died down on the highway outside. Such great memories!

#30 Catalina Park

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 08:34

I knew a driver that once got into trouble for having (and drinking :eek: ) alcohol in the paddock at the Farm.
He explained that in that environment it just seemed right to have chicken and champagne for lunch.

I always remember how relaxed an AARC Amaroo meeting was compared to an ARDC club meeting. Everything just seemed to flow better.

#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 13:23

Originally posted by Catalina Park
.....I always remember how relaxed an AARC Amaroo meeting was compared to an ARDC club meeting. Everything just seemed to flow better.


Better commentary too...

#32 gkennedy

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 22:40

I think Geoff Sykes' Warwick Farm circa early '60s was just the place for Stan - I mean Derek.

Here's a little anecdote from someone (me) who attended every WF National meeting (practice and race day) from October 1962 until closure in 1973: Firstly, I can't remember the exact meeting. It was race-day in 1964, and amongst many things, I remember Sir Gawaine Baillie's Galaxie arriving, being flat-towed with an A-bar, into the track. I pedalled out there from Strathfield on my pushbike. I was at the security box where competitors crossed the track to the pits at Paddock Bend. There was the usual old bloke with the white dustcoat and cap checking passes. I sat there on my bike from about 7.30 (first race at 11.00), watching cars and competitors arrive. GPF called by on his rounds a couple of times, and on his second visit, said "Hello" to me. He asked if I was with anybody ("No"), and if I'd like to have a better look around the place. ("Ummm, yes"). He spoke to the bloke in the white dustcoat, and asked him to mind my bike. I chained it to a post next to his little sentrybox, and followed Geoff. He had a light grey and white Hillman/Singer/Sunbeam (it was before his Triumph), and we set off on a genteel tour around the circuit, stopping at all the marshall posts along the way. We arrived back at the pits, and he spoke to some officials at the Paddock bend pit entrance on the inside of the circuit where I was given a pass to wear, and told me I could wander around, and to come and see him around lunchtime at his office at the end of the pit row, where those klaxon horns and the LUCAS sign was/were. Some sandwiches and a drink, and at the end of the day, I was introduced around to various drivers in their tents, before the general public was allowed across the track.

That act of kindness to a young 15 y.o. had a lasting impression on me. Geoff Sykes was a lovely man, and I've never forgotten.

#33 Ian G

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 00:25

Yes the Farm meetings were well run, most of the competitors seemed very friendly towards one another,its a different era now with all the 'Supercabs'(Thanks Derek/Stan,i'll remember that,its better than "Dinosaur Racing") Teams backstabbing and feuding with one another.
I didn't have much contact with Geoff,it was usually Mary in the front room/office we spoke to although Geoff did come down to watch us racing the slot cars once. I vaguely remember,one lunch time, him once having a stern conversation with John Laws(2UE DJ John) outside the offices,i may be wrong but there were steps involved and each time Geoff moved up a step John would follow until they were finally inside. Not much of a memory but Laws was unhappy about something.

Yes there were a lot of A-bar towing in those Days,i also remember a Formula-V(or an open wheeler of some kind) being driven along the Hume H/way after the tow car broke down,there was a lot of hand waving at the gates so not sure if Geoff let him race or not.

I also remember, but this was from a ASCC meeting, a fellow said sportsmanship started to disintergrate when they allowed advertising on the Cars instead of just Driver and Entrant, a lot of jealousy and competition for the almighty $ started to embrace the sport and he may be right.

Edited by Basil, 24 July 2009 - 08:35.


#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 14:18

Originally posted by gkennedy
.....Here's a little anecdote from someone (me) who attended every WF National meeting (practice and race day) from October 1962 until closure in 1973: Firstly, I can't remember the exact meeting. It was race-day in 1964, and amongst many things, I remember Sir Gawaine Baillie's Galaxie arriving, being flat-towed with an A-bar, into the track. I pedalled out there from Strathfield on my pushbike. I was at the security box where competitors crossed the track to the pits at Paddock Bend. There was the usual old bloke with the white dustcoat and cap checking passes. I sat there on my bike from about 7.30 (first race at 11.00), watching cars and competitors arrive. GPF called by on his rounds a couple of times, and on his second visit, said "Hello" to me. He asked if I was with anybody ("No"), and if I'd like to have a better look around the place. ("Ummm, yes"). He spoke to the bloke in the white dustcoat, and asked him to mind my bike. I chained it to a post next to his little sentrybox, and followed Geoff. He had a light grey and white Hillman/Singer/Sunbeam (it was before his Triumph), and we set off on a genteel tour around the circuit, stopping at all the marshall posts along the way. We arrived back at the pits, and he spoke to some officials at the Paddock bend pit entrance on the inside of the circuit where I was given a pass to wear, and told me I could wander around, and to come and see him around lunchtime at his office at the end of the pit row, where those klaxon horns and the LUCAS sign was/were. Some sandwiches and a drink, and at the end of the day, I was introduced around to various drivers in their tents, before the general public was allowed across the track.

That act of kindness to a young 15 y.o. had a lasting impression on me. Geoff Sykes was a lovely man, and I've never forgotten.


What a great story...

I notice you covered exactly the same race meetings as I did, though I missed a few practice days early in that period. Did you join the club, compete or become an official?

And welcome to TNF, I hope you tell us more of your stories.

#35 Derek Pitt

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 09:57

As for Derek... well, he used to post as Stan Patterson, he lives in Melbourne and has a definite slant towards believing that Victorian drivers were better than NSW drivers. He does have some good sides, but when it's late at night he tends to go in too deep on issues.


Ray ,
I am much obliged to you for your kind words, thank you for answering on my behalf ...it is nice to be not distracted from my substantive work...."Pilate, Christ, The Brock Cult and The Origins of Christianity"- I have enough problems with the Vatican as it is !

However, I am forced to correct some of your enthusiastic but ill-informed, and it must be said, un-authorised comments.

Firstly, I have never said Victorian drivers were intrinsically better than NSW drivers ..such a concept is shallow and demeaning
Secondly, Mckay, Geohegan, Martin, Bartlett, Allen, Cusack etc never drove touring cars at their peak, so we don't know if the were as good as Brock.. Matich was over-publicised, but did actually get a few fast laps in, but only in real racing cars at an international level..not taxi cabs...so we cant count that... but hey, we have a Holden driving Demi-God as our Benchmark racing driver.

Let there be no mistake,

Whiteford, Jones , Patterson and Stillwell, were Australian motor racing....until the Englishman Sykes arrived.

and the rest of us can hang our heads in collective shame..

Derek





#36 David Shaw

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 11:31

Secondly, Mckay, Geohegan, Martin, Bartlett, Allen, Cusack etc never drove touring cars at their peak, so we don't know if the were as good as Brock..


Strange, I must have been dreaming, as I seem to recall:

David McKay revolutionising Australian touring car racing with his grey Jaguar.
Leo Geoghegan partnering his brother in a Ford in the Armstong 500 every October for many a year.
Spencer Martin putting an HDT Monaro into the armco at Sandown.
Kevin Bartlett co-driving with Frank Gardner in a little Alfa at the Sandown 6 hour and Bathurst.
Niel Allen and Greg Cusack both running around in Mustangs.

:confused: :confused: :confused:


#37 Catalina Park

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:00

And don't forget that famous Datsun driver Doug Whiteford.

#38 cooper997

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:08

I don't really want to stir the pot with Derek, but Frank Matich did have a run in sedans too. The November 1964 Sandown 6 Hour International in a Jaguar Mk2 (auto - I believe) and the 1966 Bathurst 500 in Cooper S.

Now let's try and find a few more tales on what Ray originally started this thread for.

Stephen

#39 David Shaw

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:48

Doug Whiteford also had a run around in the Lukey Customline when it was very young.

And of course Lukey himself drove a lot in both his Customlines.

Stan Jones did many meetings in Repco's FE Holden.

Bill Patterson was one who I don't recall dabbling in tin tops, but then he is probably best known by most as a Holden dealer!

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#40 Ian G

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 00:52

Kevin Bartlett co-driving with Frank Gardner in a little Alfa at the Sandown 6 hour and Bathurst.



I know "at their peak" is the operative phrase but he loved driving Kerry Packers Camaro.

Does anyone know what i'm doing wrong with posting Photos?,i've read everything and still can't get them full size,only the thumbnails. TIA

Edited by Basil, 27 July 2009 - 00:55.


#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 01:24

You must be clicking on the 'Thumbnails for forums' line...

Further down the page you get the 'Hotlink for forums (1)' line, that's the one to use.

#42 Ian G

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 03:37

Test...Thanks Ray.


Allen chasing Geoghan over the Causeway(don't mention the weeds) at the 1968 Tasman meeting,they really put on a show,i still remember the Crowd roar coming out of Creek Corner,unbelievable.
People forget quickly,you can win a lot of beers on the fact Allen and Beechey had Mustangs.

Posted Image
By Warwick1951

Edited by Basil, 27 July 2009 - 05:27.


#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 04:27

Niel won that race...

Somewhere we've got pics of that event at Creek Corner in colour. Oh, yeah, they're pics from the phantom bugler collection.

#44 GreenMachine

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:30

Wasn't there a cobbler (or something), known for his openwheeler exploits, who put his big Ford tintop into the sleepers at Sandown .... :blush:

#45 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 22:42

Through them...

But that was 550 miles from Warwick Farm.

His best 'Farm story, to my recollection, was to be part of the 'writing on the wall' on the back of the tote building in the pits after the October meeting in 1964.

During the race, Davo had retired with a broken steering wheel (pretty sure that's what it was) while Stillwell and McKay diced for the lead in their Coopers. It was greasy going, Chris Amon was in trouble hanging onto his second string Scuderia Veloce Cooper and had to hand his place (ultimately third, IIRC) over to Matich in the little Elfin 375.

One lap approaching Polo Corner, McKay lunged at Stillwell under brakes and miscued, the resulting melee putting him into a hessian and pine sticks dunny that was assembled there for the marshals.

One of the chalk inscriptions on the wall was, in the genteel manner of the day, "Davo's in the pits and David's in the -----"

So... some more Geoffrey Percival Frederick Sykes stories, please gentlemen? And any from his BARC time in England?

#46 lukebaby

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:30

Not many people know this but Mr Sykes preferred motorcycle racing.......I know because he once told me. :wave:

Edited by lukebaby, 28 July 2009 - 08:31.


#47 Ian G

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 23:28

Not many people know this but Mr Sykes preferred motorcycle racing.......I know because he once told me. :wave:


I have a vague memory that they were trying to get a International Bike meeting to the Farm,i know GS had Mike Hailwood do the demonstration laps at one(could have been 2) of the Car meetings mid 60's.

Anecdote on Geoff i remembered the other day when going thru my photo's, great organiser, he got the Rail people to start the Race Train from North Sydney Station instead of Central to make it easier for us "Kids" to get to the track, there must be a story there somewhere.




#48 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 23:40

Kel Carruthers also did demo laps, but that was before my first trip there...

Yes, Geoff would do things to help people get involved. "No skin off my nose!" he'd say.

#49 lukebaby

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 01:30

He encouraged Vaughan Coburn to go motorcycle racing after giving him the racing bug in a club Formula Vee. Much nicer people to be around said Geoff. :rolleyes:

#50 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 02:11

After discussing this with John Medley, I've concluded that maybe Kel Carruthers' laps were in the mid-sixties, some time after August 1965. It was Tom Phillis who turned out earlier on a screaming little Honda, IIRC.