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Australasian specials


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#101 hatrat

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 03:32

There are a few Specials in this photo (which is a different perspective of the photo at the back of Vercoe's book - Ohakea 1955).

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#102 onelung

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 03:40

There are a few Specials in this photo (which is a different perspective of the photo at the back of Vercoe's book - Ohakea 1955).

What an absolutely SUPERB shot ... but shouldn't it be in the Guiness Book of Something (Car Facts & Feats?) as the widest-cum-shallowest grid EVER? ;)

#103 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 03:58

What an absolutely SUPERB shot ... but shouldn't it be in the Guinness Book of Something (Car Facts & Feats?) as the widest-cum-shallowest grid EVER?


You haven't seen some of the shots I have from Leyburn, have you?

#104 hatrat

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 04:21

Another couple of New Zealand Specials - should be easily identifiable .

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#105 hatrat

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 04:37

The GeeCeeEss in a couple of its many guises.

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#106 hatrat

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 04:50

Clearer photos of the wide angled shot in post #101.

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#107 David McKinney

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 05:36

What were the details, David?
It looks a pretty neat thing for the day...

The Normac was a nice-looking thing
Its heart was a hot six-cylinder Chevrolet engine with all the Wayne goodies. I'm pretty sure it was fuel-injected, at least at some stage. Twin-tube chassis, I think, and independent front suspension from a Wolseley. The rear might have been independent too - I didn't take much notice of such things back then :)


#108 David McKinney

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 05:38

Hatrat

You're certainly building up a good collection of photos :up:
The Ohakea grid shot is brilliant

#109 onelung

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 07:00

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And I do see that one of Britain's Finest is starting from scratch at the back of the grid....I wonder if it has the obligatory alloy patches at each lower corner of the boot.
Ray - could we have a couple of the Leyburn grid shots when you can manage please?

#110 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 08:06

Originally posted by onelung
.....Ray - could we have a couple of the Leyburn grid shots when you can manage please?


See how I get on...

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My favourite Special is in there, of course!

#111 David McKinney

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 15:18

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V8 special of TNFer Peter Leversedge (from a more recent publication)

This car won the NZ Beach Championship three times and the Nelson Provincial title six times



#112 wenoopy

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:31

Hatrat

You're certainly building up a good collection of photos :up:
The Ohakea grid shot is brilliant


Didn't they run 16 or 17-car grid rows at Ohakea simply because they COULD! The thought of the Stanton Special among all those 500's is mind-boggling. First corner looks sharpish but it's about three-quarters of a mile away isn't it?

#113 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 11:17

Some details of my Ford V8 Special in the photo posted by David McKinney
It was built in 1949 by John Jacobson & Neil Stuart based on the American "K8" car design which evolved into sprint cars.
The car was raced at the Aranui Speedway in the "Racing Car Class" and in Car Club events by John and Neil in the early
' 50s
During the late ' 50s it passed to Bill Harris [ NZ Midget Car Champion 1956 & NZ Beach Racing Champion 1960/62/63 ] who
raced it with success at the Nelson Beach races.
Between 1960 & 1965 it was owned by Peter & Alec Rattray who raced it mainly in the Southland area.
I acquired the car in 1965 and won the NZ Beach racing Championship with it in 1970/72/73 as well as racing it in many
South Island events. They included Wigram, Ruapuna Raceway, Tahuna Beach and a number of Street Races, Hill Climbs,
Grass and Dirt Tracks events
I still have the car which is "unrestored" and the photo was taken at the a recent Vintage Speedway event.
The Engine is a 286 CI Flathead Ford V8 based on a ' 39 Mercury block
The Frame is a modified ' 26 Essex
The Front & Rear End is ' 39 Ford V8 as are the Brakes
The Fronr Spring is '39 Ford and the rear spring is Ford Model T
The Trans 3 speed ford
The Steering box is Chrysler 70

Edited by Peter Leversedge, 11 May 2009 - 12:37.


#114 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 11:30

A couple more pics from Patrick Fletcher...

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Can't say I'd get excited about them, but you never know.

#115 David McKinney

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 11:55

Have to admit I don't recognise that one, but loads of small specials raced at Teretonga in the '50s and '60s. Someone should be able to ID the wheels, at least...

#116 thunder427

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:54

Hatrat; If you Google(www.silhouet.com/motorsport/tracks/mairehau.htlm) you will get the 'Lay-out' of the Mairehau road circuit,you may be able to post it here,I'm Still on my 'Three Stipes' on my boot lid stage of computor science........photo of car #14 is possibly turning into :Winters road (main straight)or into 'Philpotts Road of the main straight...the photo of the 'GeeCeeEss' is most definately 'Winters Road/Main straight with Poplar Trees in the Back ground,they seperated the padocks/windbreaks(you don't climb 'Poplar' Trees'the branches have a nasty habit of breaking of,sending you direcly to earth,I know I took the trip !!) ,Grew up just around the cnr...#37 Kellys Road,Race went past front gate.......................regards427

Edited by thunder427, 06 May 2009 - 14:09.


#117 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:15

thunder427
I lived inside the Mairehau circuit from 1954 to about 1979

#118 hatrat

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:57

Thunder - how's this:
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#119 thunder427

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 14:02

Hatrat,"Your Famous"!!!,I won't ask you how you do that, because I probably wouldnt understand the answer,Thats the track,I lived just where the first 'L' is in 'Kellys Road,on the left hand side of the road if you turned Right................................'Flasback"....fell of my 'NEW' bike at the 'Kink' in Kellys Road,something about speeding and TRYING to turn on the Crushed rock shoulder,Devistated,wobbled home,Bleading every where, Fathers reaction was, "WELL,you won't do that again")...........so, Peter did you go to Mairehau School????..where you a 'Milk Monitor'...Yuk...the bloody Milk was left in the Sun, My teachers where Miss Burt And Mr Sparkes who delivered the strap..2 on each hand,in front of the class,(Running in the corridor!!) .............regards427

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#120 David McKinney

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 19:22

Three South Island (NZ) specials
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One of the best-known South Island specials, the Rattray brothers’ V8 previously raced by Bill Harris and later by Peter Leversedge

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This one was built in Invercargill, in the far south. Shown here at the Ryal Bush road circuit in 1956, the CJ Sapphire was powered by a 3.4-litre Armstrong-Siddeley engine

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A much later car, the Zephyr Special first campaigned by Lindsay Tosh in 1966
Photos: Stewart Quertier



#121 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 22:51

Seems to me that the underpinnings of the Sapphire Special were rather less robust than Armstrong Siddeley would have made... perhaps Austin A40 or A70?

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The front end of the Zephyr Special is also of interest... looks like it's got a transverse leaf spring... indeed, it looks to have a Peugeot 203 front suspension, cast steel crossmember and all!

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Edited by Ray Bell, 07 May 2009 - 22:54.


#122 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 01:13

Thunder327 I was at Mairehau School last term 1954 & 1955.Also in my class was a future NZ Super Modified Champion. Can you name him?

#123 thunder427

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 02:27

Peter, I left, NZ/CHCH,1970 so if he was 'Champion after that date I would not be up to Speed on that detail,my class mates I remember are Brian Hay,David'Davey" Crocket,Kieth Sheriff,the Louders who's Dad ran the 'Shell' Service Station..................regards427

#124 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 03:51

Those wheels on The Saphire special look like A40/A70 that have been drilled.They used to tear the centres out around the stud holes on roadcars so probably were not a good choice!! The PCD is so tiny for a 16" rim.
It is a very nicely presented car though.

#125 David McKinney

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 06:12

Seems to me that the underpinnings of the Sapphire Special were rather less robust than Armstrong Siddeley would have made... perhaps Austin A40 or A70?

Very astute observation, Ray
Bill Crosbie had raced an A40 Special a few years earlier, then a car called the CJ70 which he and Jack Johnstone built and which was powered by a bigger Austin engine. These cars and the CJ Sapphire were supposedly all the same car in different manifestations - one of the many questions on my list of things to be confirmed one day


#126 thunder427

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 07:36

David,for a Country settled by the British,Scotish,'The' Irish and a scattering of Welsh,the 'Sapphire Special', sure has an American look about it ,down to the 'Indy' style signs and numbers,(Gold outline around a Black number) even the drivers,could be wait for the order, "Gentlemen Start Your Engines".....interesting.when looking through the 'Specials' photos how many are painted 'White' with 'Red' appointments...................regards427

Edited by thunder427, 08 May 2009 - 08:04.


#127 Stewart Quertier

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 07:52

Very astute observation, Ray
Bill Crosbie had raced an A40 Special a few years earlier, then a car called the CJ70 which he and Jack Johnstone built and which was powered by a bigger Austin engine. These cars and the CJ Sapphire were supposedly all the same car in different manifestations - one of the many questions on my list of things to be confirmed one day

David McKinney date may 8 2009, 07: 12 post= 3627383
Yes the CJ Sapphire was powered by an Austin A70 engine , before it was replaced with the Armstrong Siddeley motor which made it a very fast car, It is reported the motor was put into a boat and the car has been lost, also the Tosh Zephyr special ended its days on the stockcar track and was broken up also ,a sad end to two very successful NZ built specials Stewart Quertier

#128 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:16

David McKinney date may 8 2009, 07: 12 post= 3627383
Yes the CJ Sapphire was powered by an Austin A70 engine , before it was replaced with the Armstrong Siddeley motor which made it a very fast car, It is reported the motor was put into a boat and the car has been lost Stewart Quertier

This chassis may have reappeared as the Gerrard 90, raced for a year or two and was last seen parked up behind a Riverton garage - then vanished.


#129 David McKinney

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:54

Wasn't the Gerrard 90 built from Gerrard's Vauxhall Special - which raced against the Sapphire?

And I'm still waiting for you to identify the car in those photos posted by Ray Bell (Post 114) :wave:

Edited by David McKinney, 08 May 2009 - 11:54.


#130 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 12:48

Wasn't the Gerrard 90 built from Gerrard's Vauxhall Special - which raced against the Sapphire?

And I'm still waiting for you to identify the car in those photos posted by Ray Bell (Post 114) :wave:


The excellent photo of the CJ Sapphire with the local dealers 100S was taken early in 1956 at the start of a street parade for the Southland Centennial Celebrations.
Location is the reserve opposite Rugby Park in Invercargill.
Bill Crosbie attended the Teretonga 50th last year and lives in Havelock North.

From memory David the Gerrard Vauxhall Special had an off set chassis and may have been the ex H. Williams car. Somewhere I have a photo of the Gerrard 90 which looked very similar to the CJ.

The Ford 10 Special in post 114 was built by Neil Herrick. On its maiden test run he came into the workshop area of JJ Motors so fast he hit one of the wooden posts that were the roof supports. Neil sold this car [Meccano] and went on to build up his Austin Special. Thanks to Ray for posting!

#131 David McKinney

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 16:01

Thanks very much for your comments, Patrick
At least I got the year right for the CJ Sapphire photo (helped by recognising the P H Vickery 100S :) )

My problem trying to sort out the various Southland Vauxhall Specials (and Gerrard 90s) is a distinct lack of photos...

I didn't realise Neil Herrick built the Meccano - or was Iain Fletcher's a different one?

#132 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 21:56

Originally posted by Lee Nicolle
Those wheels on The Sapphire special look like A40/A70 that have been drilled. They used to tear the centres out around the stud holes on road cars so probably were not a good choice!! The PCD is so tiny for a 16" rim.....


More the way the wheels were made, I think you'll find...

Those cars were 4¼" PCD, same as pre-'70 Cortinas, post-59 Anglias, Escorts, Hillman Minx/Hunter (and other Rootes variants). BMC did go to 4½" PCD after the A40/A70/A90 series for their mid-range cars, Oxfords, A50s, MGs and so on, they had a 5-stud 5" PCD on the C-series cars, same as Rover, Jaguar and others, while they used 4" PCD on A-series (Minors, A30, Farina A40) as well as the B-series powered smaller cars like the Wolseley 1500 types with various badges. Other cars with 4" PCD were Vauxhall Viva and Hillman Imp, and I think the Holden Gemini but I'd like to check that before saying so emphatically. Of course, 100mm is very close to 4", it has happened that some have confused these. I'm pretty sure later Cortinas had a Metric PCD. Standard 8, 10, Triumph Herald and their ilk wore 3¾" PCDs and got away with it, underlining the fact that it was more likely the way the wheel centre was constructed.

#133 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:56

More the way the wheels were made, I think you'll find...

Those cars were 4¼" PCD, same as pre-'70 Cortinas, post-59 Anglias, Escorts, Hillman Minx/Hunter (and other Rootes variants). BMC did go to 4½" PCD after the A40/A70/A90 series for their mid-range cars, Oxfords, A50s, MGs and so on, they had a 5-stud 5" PCD on the C-series cars, same as Rover, Jaguar and others, while they used 4" PCD on A-series (Minors, A30, Farina A40) as well as the B-series powered smaller cars like the Wolseley 1500 types with various badges. Other cars with 4" PCD were Vauxhall Viva and Hillman Imp, and I think the Holden Gemini but I'd like to check that before saying so emphatically. Of course, 100mm is very close to 4", it has happened that some have confused these. I'm pretty sure later Cortinas had a Metric PCD. Standard 8, 10, Triumph Herald and their ilk wore 3¾" PCDs and got away with it, underlining the fact that it was more likely the way the wheel centre was constructed.
Yes but a 600x16 has far more leverage on that 4.25 PCD than a 600x13, though the centres were undeniably weak too, as were lots of steel wheel rims of the day. I dont know of any modern production rims that break so easy though there is/ was some aftermarket ones that were bad with wider rims. probably the worse was some of those chrome 12 slots that came out of Asia in the late 80s early 90s.
I think you will find that Gemeni rims were 4.25 too, as they were basically a Torana centre [but 4 stud] and Toranas are 4.25



#134 maoricar

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 12:27

More the way the wheels were made, I think you'll find...

Those cars were 4¼" PCD, same as pre-'70 Cortinas, post-59 Anglias, Escorts, Hillman Minx/Hunter (and other Rootes variants). BMC did go to 4½" PCD after the A40/A70/A90 series for their mid-range cars, Oxfords, A50s, MGs and so on, they had a 5-stud 5" PCD on the C-series cars, same as Rover, Jaguar and others, while they used 4" PCD on A-series (Minors, A30, Farina A40) as well as the B-series powered smaller cars like the Wolseley 1500 types with various badges. Other cars with 4" PCD were Vauxhall Viva and Hillman Imp, and I think the Holden Gemini but I'd like to check that before saying so emphatically. Of course, 100mm is very close to 4", it has happened that some have confused these. I'm pretty sure later Cortinas had a Metric PCD. Standard 8, 10, Triumph Herald and their ilk wore 3¾" PCDs and got away with it, underlining the fact that it was more likely the way the wheel centre was constructed.


True !!..my Sunbeam Tiger has the same pattern, as have late 70's through 80's Ford Mustang. While the Tiger has the odd shortcoming, wheel failure in over 30years and quite a few competitive miles, has not been an issue.....yet

#135 Stewart Quertier

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:37

The excellent photo of the CJ Sapphire with the local dealers 100S was taken early in 1956 at the start of a street parade for the Southland Centennial Celebrations.
Location is the reserve opposite Rugby Park in Invercargill.
Bill Crosbie attended the Teretonga 50th last year and lives in Havelock North.

From memory David the Gerrard Vauxhall Special had an off set chassis and may have been the ex H. Williams car. Somewhere I have a photo of the Gerrard 90 which looked very similar to the CJ.

The Ford 10 Special in post 114 was built by Neil Herrick. On its maiden test run he came into the workshop area of JJ Motors so fast he hit one of the wooden posts that were the roof supports. Neil sold this car [Meccano] and went on to build up his Austin Special. Thanks to Ray for posting!

Patrick Fletcher date may 10 2009 post 3633663
Patrick I think you are dead right about the CJ Sapphire , I have just spoken to Jack Johnstone and he told me the remains of the CJ was sold to Bill Gerrard and he thinks it appeared as the Gerrard 90 may have had an Austin A90 motor , so you photos of the Gerrard 90 will be of help, what ever happened to it no body knows, the Gerrard Vauxhall was a different car I have a photo of a Vauxhall special that ended its days in Riversdale I will send the photo to david as I have no idea how to get photos on.

#136 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 06:43

Thats great Stewart that you have been able to talk to Jack and obtain confirmation about the Gerrard 90.

Further to the Gerrard Vauxhall Special [aka BRV] page 52 Graham Vercoe book this car was sold I think to Harold Williams [black] and then on to Ritchie Thompson [maroon]

#137 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 12:09

Stewart Quertier
Welcome to the Forum

#138 David McKinney

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 15:32

Two shots from Stewart Quertier of the Vauxhall 18 special he mentioned a couple of posts back

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#139 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 22:56

Oi! Where's the 'knee action' suspension?

Actually, I think we need a bit of a story about the building of this car...

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#140 Stewart Quertier

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 09:31

A couple more pics from Patrick Fletcher...

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Can't say I'd get excited about them, but you never know.

Ray Bell date may 6 2009 post 3625036
Car 29 is the Ford 10 1172cc special of I J Fletcher [Ian] of Invercargill the date was 6th of Feb 1960 Teretonga the car 9 is the same car I J Fletcher but at Oreti Beach 1959 , the wheels are Singer so may have had a Singer frame,

#141 Stewart Quertier

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:10

Two shots from Stewart Quertier of the Vauxhall 18 special he mentioned a couple of posts back

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David McKinney date may 12 2009 post 3639292 Gordon Campbell of Gore built two Vauxhall specials first was a Vauxhall 10 , engine out of this car ended up in Alex Mclennans Vauxhall 10 special which he still owns, Gordon Campbells second car was the Vauxhall 18 , He raced it in the Dunedin street race and is in the video put out by Scott Thomson, next knowen owner Don Neilson , last owner was Tiger Turner , reported that the car was put into a land fill on his farm at Riversdale, car had a preselect MG gearbox.

#142 eldougo

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 10:16

[quote name='hatrat' date='Apr 30 2009, 14:50' post='3617361']
Clearer photos of the wide angled shot in post #101.

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No 9 the air cooled car looks like RALT 1 ,the wheels are correct,nose is similar ,however no Ralts raced in NZ until the 70s. :confused:

#143 David McKinney

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:20

It's the Wellington-built Lestone Special - built by Les Stone, with Ralt wheels - and later known as the Liteweight Special

Edited by David McKinney, 19 May 2009 - 11:20.


#144 HiRich

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:29

It appears that all the 500s are together - all nine on the front row, and a possible tenth on the end of the second row.

I have nine 500s recorded:
- a pair of cigar-shaped Cooper Mk VIIIs (14 Arnold Stafford and 15 Ron Frost, second and third along)
- Two pannier tanked Cooper Mk V-VII (fourth car behind the marshal 16 and final car 27, I think Bill Lee and Syd Jensen respectively)
- Three early Coopers (37 and the two cars beyond, Allan Freeman, Snow Peterson and Peter Harrison, although I don't know which is which)
- A JBS (which seems to be the car on the second row, mostly obscured, Dave Caldwell)
- The Lestone Special of Paul Simpson, which I think is Car 9 (although I can't find any images to confirm)
Which leaves Car 25 as a "what the heck is that?"

Whilst there are similarities, the cockpit side of Car 9 looks noticeably different (flat) with the Ralt Mk 1 (curved), which anyway was still owned by the Tauranacs at this time. So I think it's coincidence.

#145 David McKinney

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:57

Close HR :up:
Front row, from nearest camera: 9 Simpson (Lestone), 14 Stafford (VIII), 15 Frost (VIII), 16 Jensen (VII), 25 Stanton Special, with slightly larger engine (6124cc), 37 Harrison (III/IV), 41 Peterson (IV), 33 Freeman (IV) and 27 Lee (VI)
Caldwell's dark blue JBS is not in the photo, though it can be seen in the uncropped version, on the second row but nearest the camera
I can't ID the one at the far end of the second row. Most likely candidate is Cottrell's Ariel Special, if we can accept it's No.55, and that he changed from disc whels to wires for the occasion...

#146 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:13

It's the Wellington-built Lestone Special - built by Les Stone, with Ralt wheels - and later known as the Liteweight Special




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#147 David McKinney

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:55

Very historic photo, Milan
This appears to be 1954 Houghton Bay, which was the Lestone's first appearance. Its Ariel engine broke down in practice and it did not in fact run the competition itself. In fact it never would - a week later it was involved in a trailer accident, and destroyed.

The car in the Ohakea photo is its JAP-engined replacement

No 17 in the Houghton Bay photo is the V8-powered ESS, presumably with Toby Easterbrook-Smith at the wheel

#148 eldougo

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 09:05

Thanks ,Chaps for these pics and details on the Lestone special ,it all goes in the RALT file for future reference.

Thanks Doug

#149 timbo

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 14:16

There are a few Specials in this photo (which is a different perspective of the photo at the back of Vercoe's book - Ohakea 1955).

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Hmmm, 15 cars wide and 3 cars deep. I think the grid marshal was holding the grid sheet horizontally instead of vertically.

I would have loved to have seen photo's of the cars charging into and around the first corner.


#150 David McKinney

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 14:20

I would have loved to have seen photo's of the cars charging into and around the first corner.

It was a long way away

And when you think about it, the logical way of starting a race - as applied in athletics and horse racing - is to have everyone start from the same mark. It was only circuits which were too narrow - ie, every other circuit in the world - that had to compromise, and penalise most of the field :)