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Horst Kwech


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#1 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 April 2000 - 15:54

This name became fairly well known in Trans-Am racing in the sixties - usually in Alfas if memory serves me correctly. He also raced in Australia, a Sprite being among his mounts (I feel sure there was a TC in there somewhere, which Barry can no doubt confirm) in the late fifties.
My questions are: What details can we fill in of his career? Where did he start and finish, and in what along the way?

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#2 buddyt

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Posted 08 April 2000 - 07:06

In the sixes Trans Am racing had 2 classes under 2.5 liter and over. Mr.Kwech and his Alfas raced in the under 2.5 did alright but then the BRE Datsun 510 of John Morton showed up and took over.

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#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 April 2000 - 04:13

What did he do between 1960 and 1965, and then after the Alfas?
Where is he now?
Does he remember going down the Dipper?
These and many more questions may or may not be answered in the next days of our lives...

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#4 Jonathan

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Posted 09 April 2000 - 09:52

I think General Motors slipped him a few bucks to develope a Trans Am version of the Chevy Monza back in the mid 1970ies.

Other than that I really dont remeber much about this man.

#5 Dave Ware

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Posted 10 April 2000 - 21:00

I recently re-read "The Stainless Steel Carrot" which details John Morton's efforts with the Datsun 510. Kwech gets mentioned more than a bit. Not a lot of detail on what you're asking, though.

He did also drive a Mustang before driving the under 2.5 liter Alfas. Also drove a few races in a F5000 Lola T300 in '72. I think the previous poster is correct about the Chevy Monza and I can probably find that info a lot easier than I can find the Autoweeks I've told Island I'll try to find. I'll see what I can come up with.

Dave

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 April 2000 - 21:13

Sprites to F5000s - that's as big a jump as Matich's TCs to F5000s. My interest is triggered by Matich mentioning (many years ago) that he raced against Kwech. I await your findings.

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#7 island

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Posted 11 April 2000 - 21:49

Hi!
Kwech drove a Lola T300 for Wetson-Molica
Racing in six races of the 1972 L&M Continental F5000 Championship. I have dug
out the statistics:
1. Watkins Glen 18.6
Qualified 17th out of 28, 1m49.196
DNF Crash
2. Road America 16.7.
Qualified 15th out of 30, 2m13.028 (right
behind my great hero G. McRae,2m11.479, who
went on to win the race...)
DNF
3. Donnybrooke 29.7
Qualified 16th out of 31, 1m32.303
DNF oil leak
4. Road Atlanta 20.8
Qualified 17th out of 25, 1m23.235
5th overall, first heat:7th,second heat:6th
5. Lime Rock 4.9.
Qualified 13th out of 21, 51s.886
9th overall
6. Riverside 24.9.
Qualified 13th out of 28, 1m18.67
DNF

#8 Dave Ware

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Posted 11 April 2000 - 23:49

Island, where did you GET these stats?

Old racing mags or is there an online source?

Do you have the qualifying times for the 1973 Mid-Ohio F5000 race? If you do, don't post them. I've been in touch w/ a German fellow who is crazy about F5000. He wants those qualifying times. I haven't been able to find anything. If you have that kind of info, let me know and I'll let him know.

And thanks also for all of these F5000 questions. It was one of my favorite series and it's great to be thinking about it again.

I found a little info for Ray. Not as much as I'd hoped:

The following is from Sylvia Wilkenson's book. The narration is hers, and the quoted material is material that she attributes to Kwech. The brackets are my comments.

[At Watkins Glen:] Horst has his A car, a Lola, ready this weekend. Kwech's car shows an incredible number of man-hours, displaying an array of immaculate plumbing that admittedly does not make a car go faster. The high level of preparation raises the question of just how much interest there has been in the Alfas this season. Horst if visibly nervous about driving the car.

Kwech: "I tell you, John. If I won this one I'd get drunk for a week and retire on the spot. You can throw those spaghetti benders away and I'd never miss them. I'll admit those barriers are keeping me from driving the car as fast as I could. You know if you go faster, you increase the chance of an error. All the money you can win is very attractive, half a year's salary in one afternoon. But to write it off the first time out on the wall would just be very stupid. Dotty is really uptight about this one. She calls them rolling coffins. Nice, huh?"

"In the Alfa, I can keep my thoughts on going faster. In the Lola, I think about those guardrails."

[End]

At Road Atlanta the race was red flagged for torrential rain. Just after taking the red, John Morton, Lothar Motsenbacher, and Kwech slid off at turn one and thumped each other and the guard rail. Kwech's car was repaired and was raced again that year.

I don't remember Kwech ever driving F5000 in 1973.

In '72 he had his first child, a boy, so maybe he thought twice about driving fast open-wheeled cars. Or maybe the financing just wasn't there. I don't remember hearing about Kwech racing anything at all until he burst on the scene with his Monza.

In '74 Porsche Carreras domminated the Camel GT Championship. General Motors had just come out with the Monza/Skyhawk/Starfire, and the wanted a place for someone to race it. The SCCA wasn't interested, but IMSA was. A class was created called the All American GT.
Kwech was the first to build such a car. He displayed it at the Dayona finale in November, '74. It's first race was Road Atlanta, '75. Here's what journalist Mike Knepper has to say:

"Problems in qualifying had him starting fifth, but within a lap or two the virginal white Monza had surged into the lead and was moving away. One can only imagine what Messers Gregg, Holbert, Haywood, et al must have felt when the little Chevy steamed by their invincible Porsches. Although Kwech certainly made IMSA history that afternoon, it might have been somewhat more profound had he not crashed heavily some 20 laps into the event after tangling with a backmarker. The Monza was written off and with it any immediate chance for Kwech to further develop the new car in competition."

That was the last I ever heard of Kwech doing any racing.

Dave

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 April 2000 - 04:12

Thanks, all, Barry is eagerly reading this and going to pinch it for a story in MRA. Still no luck on the pre-Alfa times - I'm wondering how he came to notice so he would get the drive in the Alfa, which I feel sure was as factory-backed effort.

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#10 Dave Ware

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Posted 12 April 2000 - 20:05

Here is a link for the 2.5 challenge:
http://www.home.eart....net/~jmcadory/

There's not much info there now. Perhaps in the future there will be more.

Herb Wetson ran the Alfa team. He had made some sort of fortune with a chain of hamburger stands. Don't know about the factory backing but it would make sense.

I don't know if there were any yearbooks from that time that would cover the 2.5 Trans Am. Maybe old issues of Road and Track and Autoweek would be the best bet. Wilkenson's book certainly has more info that I posted here but not the sort you're wondering about.
Interesting. I'd like to know also.

Dave

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 April 2000 - 20:22

Another interesting aspect of that whole Trans-Am setup was the capacity division at 2.5 litres. Why? The competing cars in the class were the 1600 Alfas and the Lotus Cortinas, I doubt that any 2-litre or even larger cars actually ran against them (no Max Stewarts on that side of the pond with Triumph 2000s? and racing them with broken springs? - but that's another story!).
It always intrigued me, setting the class limits for cars that weren't there... unless there was a car they were trying to draw in, in which case why not a third class?
Our class divisions in those days were 1100, 1500, 2000, 3000 and 7000cc - Minis, Minis, Cortinas, Holdens and Mustangs/Camaros.
All of which is getting off the track - where is Horst now?

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#12 island

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Posted 13 April 2000 - 01:55

I found more on Kwech`s cv:
Native Australian,born 1938.
Started racing in the US in 1963. In 1966 he
won the B-Sedan Nat.Championship in Alfa GTA
as well as the Presidents`s Cup at the ARRC
at Riverside. The same year, he raced in the
Trans-Am under-two-liter class, giving Alfa
Romeo the 1966 Manufac. Champ.. Kwech`s
first race in a 5-liter Trans-Am, a Mustang,
was at the end of the 1968 season. He won
(at Riverside). In 1969 he raced for Shelby`s
Ford Factory team effort but returned to the
smaller sedans in 1970, winning five of Alfa
Romeo`s nine victories for the second
championship. In 1971 he won two-five championship races at Lime Rock and Watkins
Glen. Had another two-five season in 1972,
driving a Pepsi-blue Alfa GTV for Wetson
Racing.

#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 April 2000 - 03:39

Please, Island, reveal your sources - where do you get all this stuff. And if you have all this stuff, why do you ask so many questions? And where in the world are you that you're posting at the times you do?

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#14 island

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Posted 13 April 2000 - 21:07

Ray,
My sources are "Autoweek" and the "Official
Presskit of the 1972 Watkins Glen TransAm/
F5000 race".
Something more about Kwech from these sources:
Began his racing career in Sydney. Sorry, found no details. Won the SCCA Midwest Division Championship in an AUSCA Mark II in
his first year in US Racing (1963). Later
became president of AUSCA Inc., an Alfa Romeo
race preparation firm in Libertyville, Illinois.
Was going to give the L&M F5000 Championship
a try in 1971, but in waiting to qualify for
the season opener at Riverside, the engine in
his car caught fire. He packed the car up and
devoted his racing time to the two-five
challenge.
Kwech drove a Ford Capri RS 2600 with Harry
Theodoracopulos in the 1973 and 1974 Watkins
Glen 6 hours.
1973
Qualified 14 out of 26, 2m02.502
DNF crash in lap 50
1974
Qualified 11 out of 27, 2m00.35
DNF engine trouble in lap 40

Ray, I am asking these questions because I
have a strong interest in Tasman/F5000.
I did not see them race (too young). You did...

#15 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 April 2000 - 21:59

The reference to beginning his racing in Sydney would undoubtedly refer to Mount Druitt, now a housing semi-slum in the western suburbs, with a school over the pit area.
The AUSCA sounds interesting. There was a series of Ausca cars built here by Paul England (refer to the poem, if you like, for further mention of him, and 1957 German GP entry list). The best known was a sports car with a Repco Holden engine, later cars were hillclimb specials - the trickiest being a 4WD chassis with a VW engine at each end. The one at the back was 2.2 litres, the front 1800cc, they both ran off a supercharger driven by the front engine and the spare in the trailer was a 2 litre. They came from Melbourne, however.
I know he raced against Matich, and I think it was in TCs - or it may have been Healey 100/4s (BN1 to the purists).
You still haven't explained why you're up all night... and are you sure you spelled Harry whatsisname's name right?

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#16 Dave Ware

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Posted 13 April 2000 - 23:38

I wonder if "island" is my German friend Wolfgang in disguise.

Dave

#17 Dave Ware

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Posted 13 April 2000 - 23:42

Hey, since when did I become a "member"? Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Maybe you have to do enough posts?

I know that Wolfgang has Autoweeks and he went to the Glen to do research. Island has Autoweeks and that would explain the 1972 press book. I'm far too lazy to figure out the time zones. And I did tell Wolfgang to post to this forum for F5000/McRae info.

Sure looks like he got Harry T's name spelled right. 'Thee a door a cop o lis' is how it's pronounced. (Well, kinda the way it's spelled...)

Dave, a full member!

[This message has been edited by Dave Ware (edited 04-13-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Dave Ware (edited 04-13-2000).]

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 01:05

I thought the Greek bit was right, just wanted to make him worry. Certainly, a Wolfgang would be up and about at the times of his posts - but not so a Kiwi living at the southern end of the South Island. It's bad enough me posting at four ayem!
Anyway, Dave, congratulations on your full membership... just as long as you're not a country member.

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#19 Dave Ware

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 02:20

"country member?"

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 02:32

Think about it... :rolleyes:

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#21 Dave Ware

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 03:13

"country" as in unrefined, undignified? Crude? Awkward? An embarassment to all gentle persons?

#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 03:31

No, that's not it. You've got to distort the way you say it so the both words go together and come out as two other words...Am I too obscure?

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#23 Dave Ware

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 20:12

I'll work on the "country member" thing. I tend to shy away from puzzles and word games and such. Requires too much brain.

I don't know if island is Wolfgang. If he is perhaps he prefers to keep his nom de plume. I sure don't mean to intrude. But with all the millions of people in the world with internet connections, it could be anyone.

Kwech, Horst
200 Arbor Dr
Lake Bluff, IL 60044-1348
Phone: 847-234-4062

Island did tell us that Kwech owned an Alfa prep shop in Illinois. I had not known that. The above entry is from www.whitepages.com. The '847' area code is for the Chicago area.

We could start a thread on which name is more uncommon, Elliott Forbes-Robinson or Horst Kwech. But I'll bet this is our man. Give him a call, Ray. And let us know what he's been up to.

Kind Regards,

Dave

#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 April 2000 - 17:29

Thanks, I might get my son to give him a call and see if he has the net on... calls are cheaper from Indiana than from Brisbane.
Now for Elliott, but I would reckon there would be someone who looks at this forum who knows him - seeing as he's still running.

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#25 island

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Posted 16 April 2000 - 02:57

Well, something more on Horst Kwech, Harry
Theodoracopulos and their Ford Capri. They
did TransAm and IMSA Camel GT in 1973&1974.
That Capri must have been fast but it did not
see the chequered flag often. Kwech was on
pole at the 1973 TransAms at Lime Rock and
Road Atlanta. But had two DNFs there. At Mid-
Ohio (IMSA 15.7.73), Kwech was again on pole
(1m39.204), 2 seconds faster than the opposition. "Raced away from the Porsches.
But even the 30000 dollars invested (by
Theodoracopulos) could not prevent a broken
axle as Kwech roared out of the pits after
that final, fatal pit stop ". (AUtoweek).
Kwech limped home third, 5 laps down.
At the Laguna Seca IMSA on 12.5.74, Kwech
qualified third (1m10.807). He finished
second in the first race and had the second
one all sewn up when Milt Minter (Porsche)
passed him with one lap to go at the
Corkscrew entrance.
The Capri looked also good in the final IMSA
round at Daytona (1.12.74). The car had a
new Cosworth engine (RS3100) and "ran like
never before. Like a Porsche on the turns,
like a Corvette on the straights, only braking was troublesome"(Autoweek).
Kwech qualified second fastest, 3.3 seconds
slower than John Greenwood in the Corvette
1m22.252). But the RS3100 was again out after
18 laps...

#26 Paul Newby

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 13:20

I have always been curious to know more about Horst Kwech because of keen interest in old racing Alfa Romeos, particularly the Giulia GTA. That fabulous book "Alleggerita" by Tony Adriaensens (best Alfa Romeo book by far) has an introduction by Horst Kwech. His record in the GTA (and later production GTV) speak for themselves, and there are photos in Alleggerita showing Kwech dicing with Allan Moffat in the Lotus Cortina (Trans Am 1966.)

I never knew that Kwech was Australian until I noticed his name in John Medley's Bathurst Book. Kwech race an Austin Healey (presumably a 100/6) in the Easter and October races in 1958. In October 1959 he raced a Leaton Motors netered Austin Healey Sprite and in Easter 1960 raced an RM Spyder (a special, I presume.) IIRC he was based in Cooma (I always thought he might've been a European engineer in Australia for the Smowy Mountains Scheme, but this thread said he was born In Sydney.) I do recall seeing photos of Kwech with a flying kangaroo insignia on his helmet.

Allan Moffat came to speak at an Alfa club night a couple of years ago and being the resident trivia buff I asked him a couple of questions about Kwech. He confirmed that he had some great races against Kwech's Alfa GTA and once teamed up with him in a Mustang at Daytona(?) According to Moffat, Kwech brought the car in for a regulation pitstop with Moffat taking over saying that the car was fine, whereas Moffat had a 'moment' next lap when something broke. Moffat wasn't amused that Kwech brought in a sick car and then said it was fine! Which probably explained why my next question - 'why didn't Kwech co-drive with you at Bathurst in later years' went down like a lead balloon. Moffat never knew that Kwech had ever raced at Bathurst and probably was not keen to co-drive with him again. However I did remind him that Kwech prepared the Chevy Monza that caused Moffat so many hassles in 1976. By this time I don't think Moffat knew what to say - he probably hadn't heard the name Kwech for about 20 years :lol:

Ray or Barry, has anyone ever written a feature on Kwech in Australia. I would like to know how he graduated to racing in America. He is our most successful Alfa Romeo racer, yet there wouldn't be one Alfisti here who knows that he is an Australian :(

#27 JacnGille

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 14:53

I got to see Horst at Road Atlanta in F5000, Harry T's Capri and in the AAGT Monza. I can tell you he really worked to put the Capri on pole. And he had everyone on their feet the way he moved up the field with the Monza. I seem to remember a story of Goodyear not having the proper size tires for the Monza or he would have been even faster!

#28 dretceterini

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 17:18

Kwech's Alfa shop was in one of the northwest suburbs of Chicago back in the mid-late 60s, but it wasn't as far out as Lake Bluff. I went there a number of times when I was in college.

#29 Jim Thurman

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 20:54

Glad to see Horst's win in a Mustang at Riverside mentioned (1968 Trans-Am). I believe he made a few more starts in the "big" Trans-Am class as well.

I remember seeing Kwech in the "Pepsi-blue" Alfa GTV in the 2.5 class race run as support to the Can-Am round at Riverside in 1972. I think I even took a photo of it with my trusty little Brownie (my first time in the pits!). That turned out to be the final race in the series.

I saw him in the Lola in the F5000 race at Riverside as well.

Harry Theodoracopulos - Autoweek used to call him "the biggest name in racing" :)

Ray, while I can't explain why the SCCA set the limits at 2.5 (under and over), I can add that both classes ran together the first few years of Trans-Am and then the U2.5L class was separated as a support series (even running their own "headlining" event or as support to other series - like Can-Am).

What Wolfgang posts is pretty much what I knew about Kwech. I recall seeing him listed in the IMSA Monza as well.

Thanks for posting the info Wolfgang.


Jim Thurman

#30 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 21:42

Originally posted by Paul Newby
.....Ray or Barry, has anyone ever written a feature on Kwech in Australia. I would like to know how he graduated to racing in America. He is our most successful Alfa Romeo racer, yet there wouldn't be one Alfisti here who knows that he is an Australian :(


Not to my knowledge...

And it would seem unlikely to happen due to his lack of accessibility to those who might write it (Barry, myself, Graham Howard etc).

I guess I'd have to speak to him about the Matich book, however... so you never know?



On another subject altogether, this thread is shown as having been started by me, yet I don't have the first post on it... and I'm sure I did start it.

#31 Beejay17

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 22:53

Ray, this is what I have on my website under construction:

"Horst Kwech was an Australian who emigrated to the USA from Sydney in 1962. He moved to Lake Forest, Illinois to work at Knauz Continental Motors, an Alfa Romeo dealer. At Knauz, Kwech was a very successful mechanic and renowned Alfa race driver. He won three (’66, ’67 & ‘70) under two-litre Trans Am championships in his GTA, often racing against Moffat. Along the way he built up a reputation as a small car preparation expert including the building of Alfa powered sports cars called AUSCAs. In the mid-sixties he successfully campaigned AUSCAs against Lotus 23s and Elva Mk7s.

In ’68, he and Moffat were called up by the Shelby American team as extra drivers in the Trans Am series. Kwech stayed on, but only managed one win at Riverside. Kwech was retained for the ’69 season by Shelby, while Moffat was racing his similar ’69 car in Australia. It wasn’t a good season for Kwech; by August he had only finished one race and was replaced by Dan Gurney.

He kept the AUSCA name going, racing and preparing cars, changing from Alfas to Capris in 1973, including the Harry Theodoracopulos Capri that Moffat raced in the IMSA series. The relationship was reciprocated when he was named as relief driver for the ’74 Bathurst in the Brut 33 Hardtop. Later he and Lee Dykstra started up Dekon Engineering, building and racing Chevy Monzas in the IMSA series. Dykstra did the design work and Kwech did the building and some driving. Dekon produced one of the Monzas for Moffat to bring to Australia. "

I found it difficult to get information on his activities in Australia, however there are some references on the net to him racing motorcycles and a Holden-powered Buchanan whilst being associated with a garage in Cooma. After seeing this I'll be checking out his Bathurst related drives. It was also difficult to find cohesive information about any F5000/Can Am drives. His first 5 litre Trans Am drives appear to have been in '68 co-driving with Moffat in the Daytona 24-Hours and Sebring 12-Hours, staying on to win at Riverside. '69 appeared to have a lot of promise with the Shelby Boss Mustang, but it was a poor year.

According to an RCN article written by Allan Moffat, he retired from driving at the same time as handing over a DeKon Monza to Moffat.

After DeKon he started design tools and machines to repair Nuclear Power Plants, and still does this. He may be able to be contacted through this website of a work associate:

www.larsonpage.com/cv/dekon1.htm

#32 dretceterini

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 00:03

yes, Kwech originally worked for Bill Knaus at his dealership in Lake Forest, but later opened his own shop or worked at a racing shop about 5 miles from Knaus.

#33 Beejay17

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 00:33

I'm not familair with Illinois geography. Was the move from Knaus/Knauz at Lake Forest to set up Ausca at Libertyville?

I also note that the Daytona IMSA race at the end of '75 was eventually NOT Kwech's last race. From wspr-racing.com it appears he dabbled in an AUSCA entered RT2s and Tolemans in U/2 litre Can Am. Was Can Am opened up to Formula Atlantic cars or, like there F5000 brethren, were they modified to enclose their wheels to be eligible for Can Am?

#34 Paul Newby

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 00:39

Wow Ben! You've dug up a lot of information on Kwech. I know that Moffat isn't necessarily the authority on his own racing record - I think they call it selective memory :lol: Still, his story about Kwech and the Mustang at Daytona had the audience laughing!
But when it came to Kwech racing the Brut 33 Falcon GT Hardtop at Bathurst in '74 he was vague. I didn't realise that Kwech was down as a relief driver for Bathurst. Did he have anything to do with the preparation of the car in America? Did he actually go to Bathurst in 74? This is probably OT, but there was a great story in Aust Muscle Car magazine on the Brut 33 Falcon being prepared in America, yet there have been conspiracy theories ever since that the Falcon never left Australia, that it was just a big publicity stint ;)

#35 Paul Newby

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 00:57

I've found a link to the only surviving Ausca. Here it is:

http://www.race-cars...a1/ausca1ss.htm

Some of our American friends must be familiar with this car :wave:

#36 Beejay17

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 01:02

Paul

I found a reference to Kwech being a relief driver in the Brut 33 car but cannot remember where. I think it was in the 'Moffat: Making of a Legend' magazine by David Hassall. Whether or not he actually came to Australia for it I don't know. Does anybody have the entry list for the '74 1000?

That AMC article on the Brut 33 car was very comprehensive, if a little bit (a lot actually) borrowed from a '74 article that appeared in Motor Manual. Still it gave detail on the work by Lee Dykstra and may have included input by Kwech as he and Dykstra apparently did some work on the Capris at about the same time. I'd actually like to see another thread started on Dykstra, as I am missing information about his career too.

Brett

#37 Paul Newby

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 01:18

Brett

Sorry about the faux pas :wave: I'm getting you mixed up with Bernd :)

IIRC Moffat's co-driver in 74 was Dieter Glemser - I have no knowledge why he was chosen (did he race the Cologne Capris?) I don't have a 74 entry list either. I'm sure Kwech would've been keen to reacquaint himself with Bathurst afer all those years away. With his road racing experience I think he would've done well, especially compared to those American gooses who came "down under" in subsequent years :lol:

Paul

#38 Beejay17

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 02:03

We're getting really OT now, :D but Glemser was a Cologne works driver who won the '71 ETC and Spa 24-Hours in an RS2600. He was also a works Capri driver at the Fuji TT in '73 when Moffat was in the other team car. So Moffat knew his abilities prior to the '74 1000.

#39 Paul Newby

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 03:31

Brett

OT again, but I promise this is the last post and then its back to Horst .... :lol:

I noticed in your profile that you are a Moffat fan (and no doubt know all his connections, like Horst.) I always considered Moffat as one the most misunderstood Australian (Canadian?) drivers of his era. He is remembered more for his drives at Bathurst and the legendary (Kar Kraft) Mustang but I'm sure he rates his drives at places like Spa and Sebring higher. A lot of Australians don't realise the breadth of his racing overseas, compared to contemporaries like Brock. I feel that there would be a very good "warts and all" book waiting to be written on Moffat's career. It hasn't happened yet. and I dare say it never will. Pity :(

Paul

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#40 Beejay17

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 03:47

Paul

Check your email :)

#41 john medley

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 03:49

Horst Kwech was based in Cooma when he and another whose name I've forgotten built up a Buchanan bodied Holden engined special they called the RM Spyder, RM for Region Motors ( Cooma). Horst Kwech raced the car in 58-59 before heading for the USA. The car survives, and was around Historic events in Australia in the late 60s /early 70s before being bought and successfully raced by Bill Reid including a wonderful display of driving to beat Gavin Bain's Ferrari 375 at Amaroo one year. While unused now for perhaps 15+ years, the car is still in Bill Reid's hands and may well reappear soon I was told over the weekend.
Earlier threads suggested Kwech's Austin Healey was a 100/6. My perhaps vagrant memory says 100/4, which I think he may have run in the Mt Druitt 1957 TT when I think Frank Matich may perhaps have driven an MGTC

#42 Ron Scoma

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 06:19

Like it was said he worked for Bill Knauz (in Lake Forest Illinois) and them moved to his own place, Grand Touring Cars in Glenview Illinois. On West Lake Terrace.
He moved to Arizona, Phoenix perhaps 20 years ago or so.
I think (always a dangerous pastime) that he was involved in the restoration and sale of a 250 LM a few years back.
I have lunch with Knauz once a month or so and will ask him this Friday if he keeps in touch with him.
We have a pretty good group for lunch, the ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out). Knauz, Hal and Bill Ulrich, Glen Carroll, Fred Egloff; lots of old Chicago Region and Midwest Council people.
Cheers,

Ron Scoma

#43 David McKinney

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 06:49

Some more on Kwech's Australian career, and his links with Frank Matich:-
In 1957 and 1958 they raced Austin-Healeys 100s against each other in NSW events at Bathurst, Orange, Schofields etc, Matich having started with the TC in 1956. During 1958 Leaton Motors replaced Matich’s Austin-Healey with the C-type Jaguar, followed in 1959 with the D-type It seems Kwech had at least some 1959 drives in the same team’s Healey Sprite before first Doug Chivas and then Brian Foley took it over.

#44 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 10:18

Originally posted by Beejay17
..... I think it was in the 'Moffat: Making of a Legend' magazine by David Hassall.....


Ordinarily, I'd say "say no more..." to this...

But as I really don't know, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

One thing's for sure, nothing was included in any press releases about Kwech coming to Bathurst, and he sure wasn't there.

And yes, I believe the car did go to America for acid dipping (heh heh) and I think it's fair to say that very few local engineers would have cut that gaping hole into the lower control arm for the sway bar mount (or whatever it was...) that put the car out of the race.

John... nobody seriously raced any 100/6s in Australia, did they?

#45 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 11:49

Horst Kweck? Wow, that's a name I haven't heard in many a year.
Thanks to all posters for all the great info.
BTW, was he not involved in a tragic/fatal shunt involving spectators at a soggy Trans Am race at MIS?

#46 Barry Lake

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 12:34

Originally posted by Ray Bell


John... nobody seriously raced any 100/6s in Australia, did they?


Does the name Ross Bond mean anything to you?

He looked pretty serious to me.

#47 William Dale Jr

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 12:42

Originally posted by Manfred Cubenoggin
BTW, was he not involved in a tragic/fatal shunt involving spectators at a soggy Trans Am race at MIS?


Yeah, I'm pretty sure that was him - that was near the start of the 1969 T/A season, but I can't remember any more than that off-hand. I don't remember it raining, though. The only one I can remember it raining at was at the cancelled Dallas race the year after.

#48 Barry Lake

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 12:55

Sorry, I'm back - reading this from bottom to top. :)

Yes, Kwech's Austin-Healey was a 100/4.

Region Motors was a BP Service Station at the northern end of Cooma, on the left just before leaving the town heading towards Sydney. Another famous motor sport identity worked there in later years and I visited him there once.

In late 1960, I worked briefly at Pacific Motor Auctions, before trnasferring to Debiens Motor Auctions. Auctioneer and assistant manager there was Adrian 'Beau' Guest, best known for his daring exploits in bash 'n' crash stock car racing in the white with red trim and signwriting #14 Debiens Motor Auctions sponsored 1938 Ford stock car in 1954-55. Beau had bought a sports racing car that he kept in the workshop at Pacific. He used to get me to clean it, move it so the tyres wouldn't get flat spots, etc.

Somehow, in my memory, I later mixed this car up with the similar-spec Gladiator, ex-Holt Binnie (which I also later worked on and was once entered to race - but didn't). I always wondered about this, because the car Beau had was a 'beefier' looking car than the Gladiator. I am pretty sure it had wider wheels and more flared guards. I am now almost certain it was the RM Spyder. It was the usual MG chassis/Holden engine/Buchanan fibreglass body formula, but better done, I thought. Perhaps it had a tube frame rather than an MG. Do you know Mr Medley? The timing is right - Kwech sold it and departed Oz in 1960. Beau never raced it; I'm not sure he even drove it, beyond revving it in the workshop and shuffling it backwards and forwards. It wasn't registered, I don't think. It was his 'gunner' car.

The other thing that keeps rolling around in my memory is that the announcer at Mount Druitt used to say Kwech was an engineer on the Snowy Mountains scheme. I don't know if he figured "built a car, must be an engineer; comes from Cooma, foreign name, must work on the Snowy Mountains...' or whether it actually was true. I don't know if he worked at RM Motors or just had them sponsor the car and/or let him use their workshop to build it.

The building of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric scheme ran from 1949 to 1974. Big project.

#49 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 20:51

Originally posted.....
Does the name Ross Bond mean anything to you?

He looked pretty serious to me.


From memory, Ross was still racing an MGA in 1962... two years after Kwech's time. So, putting the question in context, "did Kwech race a 100/4 or a 100/6?" one has to say that Ross' Healey is not part of the picture.

Then, as I recall, the Ken Webb/Ross Bond entry was always as a 3000. It may well be that it was a 100/6 converted to a 3000, but the entry was as a 3000 right from the beginning.

I accept that 100/6s raced in that period, but my question was about racing them 'seriously'... in other words did any get competitive? And this is asked only to verify if Kwech raced one when he was here.

My recollection is that everyone considered the 4 more useful than the 6. Both had similar engine sizes, and while the engine weights were about the same (if my sources are correct...) the 6 put more over the front axle, the weight balance being shoved forward somewhat by the longer engine.

Then there is the matter of a lighter rear axle in the early 4s, and a lighter gearbox, though both were fragile. But probably the winning factor in the 4's favour was the engine development and torque available... it was always more highly developed (dating back to the forties) than the 6, the C-series, which first appeared about 1954 in mundane sedans.

Of course, they could be made to go, Barry Gurdon did it, there were a number raced in the UK (Jack Sears was one driver), but probably not as readily as the big truck engine, for which over the counter hot-up bits were easily found.

I wonder, also, how different things might have been in the tin-tops had someone got serious with an Isis (better front suspension, same mechanicals as the A95, lighter body, telescopic rear shocks) either here or in England...

#50 CADBLACK

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 21:26

Members,

I well remember the Horst Kwech shows in an Alfa in SCCA B Sedan in Central Division races in the late sixties (I believe) or early seventies. What I temember most is the incredible inside wheel-lift the Kwech Alfa would produce. Essentially, the inside front wheel was not used as a tractive force in cornering. What was he running for a sway-bar -- a railroad rail?

Anyone know why the Alfa seemed to like turning in the way. I saw the Porsche's beat many times by Kwech...and always on three wheels.

I wondered about it then...and do now. Anyone know anything about the race-prep on those cars?

Warm regards,

Cadblack