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Mallala - South Australian circuit


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#1 SJ Lambert

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:40

There have been plenty of good little racing tracks in Australia that have copped it in the neck, Mallala seems to be going along pretty well though.

It's hosted the Australian Grand Prix and was the home track for argueably Australia's most prolific local racing car manufacturer, Elfin Sports Cars.

Feel free to show us what gems you have in the bottom draw!

Hers's a couple to "start" off with.......

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#2 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 11:57

While it is beyond my skills to add pics I do know a bit about the place.
Like many circuits world wide it was a RAAF base, I think actually before the war. The land that it was on was far bigger than it is now, the runways went out into the wheat paddocks way beyond the northern hairpin.There is still several buildings on the property belonging to the RAAF base. The parade ground was more or less where the startline is now. About a 100 yards from the well pictured esses on the early Holden thread.
It was converted into a racetrack in the early 60s, mostly using existing runways and taxiways with I believe a couple of extra joiner strips. The start line was aprox where the pitlane is now, looking at the Southern hairpin. The 60s track went a little further than the current. The Northern hairpin was a little further on and I believe came back a little harder to the sweeper. I believe this was partly for the track inspection comittee.
In the early 70s upon the coming advent of AIR Keith Williams who built AIR somehow had a lien put on Mallala as a motorsport venue. I cannot remember how exactly.
In the late 70s Clem Smith bought the property with the intent of a second race track for SA. There was a lengthy court case to get the lien lifted. The place was used for club sprints initially from about 1980 until 82 by which time Clem had the place suitable again for racing.There was [and I believe still are] a mudsprint venue/ offroad short course behind the Northern hairpin area. The initial meeting in 82 was a bumper event with capacity fields for all classes. There was FIFTY Sports Sedans {I was one} Since then Clem has continually upgraded the place to what it is now. The Touring Cars raced there for several years until Cochrane conned the state government into the Dog and Pony show in the Parklands {Clipsal} and took the event, and then the second level too. With the appropriate income. And that event loses heaps every year subsidised by the taxpayer!
The place is used every weekend for some sort of event including monthly practice days and is an asset to motorsport Unlike the Parklands Circuit. Though really we need two circuits working again. Plleeaase Bob!!
As a circuit it is very tight and demanding and is the hardest on brakes in the country.And hard on transmissions too. Though reasonably easy on tyres. But it is a quite safe circuit that makes the driver work hard for a good lap. It has got the better of more than a few name drivers who never do much good there. And as a test circuit if a car works ok there it will be somewhere on the pace anywhere.

Personally I have raced there for 20 years since it reopened [and Sprints before] and recently I have gone back doing Supersprints and discovered the corners are still all in the same place but there is a few more bumps!

I am sure there is other people who know more about its early days, I only went there once in 1970 for a Touring Car Round before it closed for several years. And several people on here have competed there.
It is a well run, well maintained circuit that to a degree has been a labor of love for Clem Smith, and his offsider Glen Dix and it has always made money though probably the same invesment would make more elsewhere for less work.

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 05 October 2010 - 12:01.


#3 SJ Lambert

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 12:20

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I'd be interested to know when Glen started working at Mallala, both he and Clem remain very enthusiastic and accomodating to this day. Do either of them look at this forum?

This shot is fairly average, but it does appear to show Glen's characteristic style with the flag, probably circa '68/69.



#4 Gary Davies

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 15:17

Further to Lee's reference to Mallala's origins as an air force base, the following passage from my father-in-law's memoirs may be of interest. It concerns a time, just months after Pearl Harbor, when the bulk of RAAF training activities were moved a decent way south of "The Brisbane Line".

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Kingaroy was thought to be too close to the action that was likely to occur to the north - Brisbane Line and all that. Arrangements were made to shift the whole ATS to Mallala in South Australia. Cheers, back to the home state for a while.

All the planes were made serviceable and we flew back to Amberley (100 miles or so) to stay overnight and fly out first thing via Parkes to Narrandera for the next overnight stop. Then via Deniliquin to Mallala the following day.

The best laid plans of mice and men!!

We were all airborne from Amberley and heading for Cunningham’s Gap to clear the Great Dividing Range when a very vigorous “southerly buster” showed up right ahead with thunderstorms and lightning filling the Gap. With many planes with only trainee pilots, the leader took the only wise course and turned the lot around and back to Amberley for another night.

The next day we all made an uneventful trip to Narrandera and then the following day to No 6 SFTS at Mallala arriving on Easter Sunday, 5 April 1942. I had advised my parents by telegram and they with Jean as a passenger saw us all land at Mallala.

The change from the very green and flooded wet season in Queensland to the very dry and dusty conditions of early autumn in South Australia was a bit of a shock for the more pampered eastern staters. Also there was a complete lack of decent sized bush timber with which to fashion outdoor fittings in the Sergeants’ Mess which had been a very pleasant feature at Amberley.

Those of us from South Australia were given a few days leave but the others had to stay in camp. The weather was hot and dusty and in primitive galv iron buildings they rapidly disposed of all the draught beer in the Sergeants’ Mess and then the bottled West End and Southwark. This left the bottled Coopers Ale which they proceeded to drink as though it was a relatively light beer like West End. There were some very sore heads.

Mallala airfield had been a large cropped area and under dry conditions the dust was very bad. Similarly, when the winter rains came the mud was horrific. The actual camp area had been raised a few feet by extensive earthfill so was clear of any wet or muddy conditions, but the water runoff was stupidly chanelled down to the tarmac area and ultimately out onto the surface of the 'drome. After particularly heavy rain the flooded area was known by the local RAAF personnel as “Lake Mallala” and on one particularly miserable morning there was even a pair of wild ducks on the flooded area in between the parked aircraft.


#5 fredeuce

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 23:18

Just to add a little to the history of the Mallala circuit I have found this following link to a series of pictures taken during the days it ran as a RAAF base.

Of interest is the 9th pic which appears to be what later became the Castrol Tower on turn two. If I'm correct on that then I believe the view is generally to the South. The large building to the left was still in place at the time racing commenced in 1961. Viewed from the start line as cars would enter turn 1 then disappear behind the hangar and then swing around behind the the tower.The hangar disappeared in those early years around 1963-64.

http://news.webshots...574365293BiERIC

As to the reduction of the track length to the current configuration it appears that had been completed in time for the Gold Star event in October 1964.



#6 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 23:46

That pic I think places the hangar about where the current stand is in turn 1-2 area. The concrete actually is still there with the pit road starting on it. There was until a few years ago a concrete shed in the middle of the track that was connected with these buildings and I think the old tower was inside the track? Turn 1 is sometimes still called hangar and turn 2 is still called Tower.
Using the old names gets Clems goat a little as he has got/had current sponsors names for these corners.
I have told Clem about this site, I do not know wether he has had a look.


#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 03:12

One of the interesting things about Mallala is recorded in the AGP book...

Where airfield circuits generally used runways as the primary areas for the circuit, Mallala's runways were all grass. The circuit is on taxiways, maintenance areas and hard stands.

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 03:22

Orignally posted by Lee Nicolle
While it is beyond my skills to add pics I do know a bit about the place.....


It's not so hard that you shouldn't learn, the latest tutorial I've given in the 'sticky' thread on the subject goes well beyond what we've had before, please have a look.

.....In the early 70s upon the coming advent of AIR Keith Williams who built AIR somehow had a lien put on Mallala as a motorsport venue. I cannot remember how exactly.]
In the late 70s Clem Smith bought the property with the intent of a second race track for SA. There was a lengthy court case to get the lien lifted.....


Lee, a lien is a form of mortgage or security when someone takes a loan. Mostly used when a farmer borrows against a potential crop, but it can apply to other things...

The restricted use of Mallala, forbidding its use as a circuit was what's known as a 'covenant'. These are typically put on land being sold to protect the rights of the seller or those living in the area. For instance, a subdivider might put a 'brick covenant' on a subdivision, or a local authority might insist that he does, to ensure a certain standard of homebuilding.

So Keith Williams, after buying the property and promoting the final meetings there circa 1970 then onsold the property to a farmer.

Clem was able to successfully challenge the legality of the covenant by some means, the details of which I don't know, but we're all glad he did.

Prior to this, clubs did hire the circuit for practice days, so the covenant must have only been on racing. I went round there on the back of a Ducati when a Ducati club hired it for this purpose a couple of years (IIRC) before racing resumed.

#9 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 03:49

It's not so hard that you shouldn't learn, the latest tutorial I've given in the 'sticky' thread on the subject goes well beyond what we've had before, please have a look.



Lee, a lien is a form of mortgage or security when someone takes a loan. Mostly used when a farmer borrows against a potential crop, but it can apply to other things...

The restricted use of Mallala, forbidding its use as a circuit was what's known as a 'covenant'. These are typically put on land being sold to protect the rights of the seller or those living in the area. For instance, a subdivider might put a 'brick covenant' on a subdivision, or a local authority might insist that he does, to ensure a certain standard of homebuilding.

So Keith Williams, after buying the property and promoting the final meetings there circa 1970 then onsold the property to a farmer.

Clem was able to successfully challenge the legality of the covenant by some means, the details of which I don't know, but we're all glad he did.

Prior to this, clubs did hire the circuit for practice days, so the covenant must have only been on racing. I went round there on the back of a Ducati when a Ducati club hired it for this purpose a couple of years (IIRC) before racing resumed.

That would sound right. I could not remember the details and I had been told.Though I was unaware that Williams had ever promoted meetings at Mallala. I never meant that Williams had done anything illegal or dodgey. The track and facilities were fairly run down which is why the place took a couple of years to get going as a racing venue again. But those track rentals were paying for the repairs and improvements all the time.

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 06 October 2010 - 03:51.


#10 SJ Lambert

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:14

I don't know whether this was a race or testing day, but I see that full advantage is being made of the available shade!

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#11 2Bob

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:25

The hangar disappeared in those early years around 1963-64.


I reckon the hanger lasted until late 1960s. I seem to remember that Norm Beechey did an engine change on his Monaro making use of the hanger (to attach a block and tackle?) while I was around which would put it no earlier than late 1968 (when did Norm first run the Monaro?).


(And from an earlier post on the Holden thread - yes me in the Mini of course!)

#12 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:29

Could be wrong but I thought the hangar was there on my one visit there in 71. There was something big in that area anyway!

#13 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:29

I don't know whether this was a race or testing day, but I see that full advantage is being made of the available shade!

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Remember Golden Fleece. Check the cans on the right.


#14 2Bob

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:33

A couple more from MG car club race meeting Aug/Sept 1968.

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Jim Doig MGA Twin Cam

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Graham (?) Nichol MGTC

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Presentation, left to right, unknown, Nichol, Ian Curwen-Walker - stalwart of MG car club and CAMS steward for many years (still I think), Jim Doig receiving first of the hundreds (thousands?) of trophies he has picked up at Mallala (and AIR).





#15 2Bob

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:39

Never much shade at Mallala!

More from 1968:

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Finish of a handicap I think. Flaggies still not having any respect for errant drivers!

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Couple of front engined specials, guessing but one might have been RQ Special.

Oh, and Lee, if you want to up load some pictures give me a ring on 8331 3713 and I will talk you through it. Pretty easy after the first one!

#16 SJ Lambert

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 07:02

Do you want me to nominate the drivers in the first post (not that I know 'em all) - or do you guys want to have a shot first?

#17 SJ Lambert

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 07:06

Jim Doig receiving first of the hundreds (thousands?) of trophies he has picked up at Mallala (and AIR).



Jim may not have missed a meeting (or a meeting that he's had an eligible car for) since then?

#18 Catalina Park

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 08:16

Courtesy of the Mallala Museum...

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Take a look at http://www.flickr.co...57624823729372/

#19 John Lemm

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:35

Courtesy of the Mallala Museum...

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Take a look at http://www.flickr.co...57624823729372/

Here is a piece on the history of the Mallala circuit that I wrote for Australian Classic Car in 2007:


The Mallala Motor Racing Circuit, 56 km north of Adelaide, was built on the site of an RAAF base which was used as a flight training school during World War II, and later became the base for flight test and transport for the joint UK-Australian Weapons Research Establishment at Woomera.
After RAAF Edinburgh was built closer to Adelaide in the mid 1950s, Mallala housed No. 24 Squadron until the base closed in May 1960.
Building the circuit commenced the same year, replacing the Port Wakefield track, which was about the same distance north again.
The 1961 Australian Grand Prix was held at Mallala, being won by Lex Davison in a Cooper-Climax after David McKay’s similar car was controversally given a one-minute penalty for a jumped start.
Although it is now 2.6 km in length, the track was originally a little longer, the back straight being shortened by .8 km at the Northern Hairpin (Goodyear Corner) in 1963 whilst the esses were re-profiled a little in the late 1960s.
Over the years the circuit hosted Australian championship events for sports cars, open wheelers and touring cars, both as one-off events and series, as well as motorcycle races.
When a Queensland company built Adelaide International Raceway at Virginia, 25 km north of Adelaide, they bought the Mallala site from the Mallala Motor Racing Co. and closed it down, moving some of the infrastructure to the new circuit. The last race meeting held at Mallala was a round of the Australian Sports Car Championship late in 1971, won by John Harvey in a McLaren M6B. Adelaide International Raceway commenced business at the beginning of 1972.
South Australian motor racing identity Clem Smith bought the Mallala site in 1976, although there was a covenant prohibiting motor racing there. This was the subject of a long legal battle, which Clem eventually won.
Over the years it did occasionally host the odd autocross or rally stage, whilst Clem carried out a lot of work on the site over the years.
Given a restricted licence by CAMS, the circuit was reopened in June 1982, later being given a full licence enabling it to again hold Australian Championship events.
One major change was repositioning the pit and paddock area from the infield to the outside of the circuit. The pit buildings used to obstruct the view of spectators across the circuit and this was a pet hate of famous flag man Glen Dix. Mallala now probably has the most unrestricted view of any motor racing circuit in Australia.
When Bob Jane, who by then owned both the Adelaide International and Calder circuits, fell foul of CAMS over his stance on cigarette advertising, Mallala was allowed to host Australian Touring Car Championship rounds from 1989. They continued to be held there until the advent of the 500 km race in the streets of Adelaide in 1998, later known as the Clipsal 500.
A round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar development series was run annually at Mallala until last year, the main events at the site now being the Shannons Nationals twice a year, consisting of Formula 3, Supertrucks, Sports Sedans, Saloons, Production Cars, Superkarts, HQ Holdens and Commodore Cup.
The outright record is 1m 2.57 seconds, set by Paul Stokell in a Reynard 90D Formula Holden in 1994.

I'm trying to work out how to attach pictures. I'll put some on there when I can work it out.

JL

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#20 SJ Lambert

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:51

I'm trying to work out how to attach pictures. I'll put some on there when I can work it out.

JL



Welcome aboard JL - looking forward to seeing your shots!!! (The first one is the hardest!!)

SJL

#21 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:44

Never much shade at Mallala!

More from 1968:

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Finish of a handicap I think. Flaggies still not having any respect for errant drivers!

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Couple of front engined specials, guessing but one might have been RQ Special.

Oh, and Lee, if you want to up load some pictures give me a ring on 8331 3713 and I will talk you through it. Pretty easy after the first one!

I reckon the first 48 Holden in that pic is Kym Aunger of Aunger Accescories and wheels fame. He raced a Mustang later.
The trees and buildings are still much the same.
Welcome John Lemm.

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 06 October 2010 - 10:46.


#22 AnnieOz

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 22:58

For those able to get a copy With Casual Efficiency: The Story of the Sporting Car Club Of South Australia tells the story of the need to move quickly in 1961. Port Wakefield was no longer able to be used for the GP scheduled in September. A group of people got together to find a new track or there would be no GP in SA. They persuaded the Gov to bring the sale of Mallala froward from 62 to 61. The property was bought in April. On the weekend of June 4 a working bee was held so that all that could be taken from Pt Wakefield was taken and put up at Mallala - that included grandstands etc. They managed to get it all done and raced for the first time on August 19 (A date that I hope we in SA will commemorate next year). Interestingly, Clem Smith drove at that meeting. Anyway the 1961 AGP was held in October, with Glen Dix as the starter. Lex Davison was declared winner as David McKay had jumped the start. For the girls, Helene Bittner had also debuted at the August meeting and ran at the GP meeting.
I also am lucky enough to sit and chat with Clem so am able to add a little more to the story. Well known Historic enthusiast John Fitzpatrick (then lawyer) worked with Clem to have the covenant lifted and this case is still quoted in Australian law as it was the first of its kind. Most of the infrastructure from Mallala ws moved by Williams to AIR and Clem is fairly confident that it still exists amongst the grandstands that are there today. Clem has had a long fight to get Mallala to where it is today - fighting to have the BGrade restriction taken off the track, bringing it up to V8 standards only to see the V8s move to the parklands. He also supports our new generation of motorsports enthusiasts - the Drifters. No, don't be like that - get out and see the top guys at their game. It takes a lot more skill than they are often given credit for!

Edited by AnnieOz, 06 October 2010 - 23:00.


#23 fredeuce

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 23:26

The aerial view of the old RAAF base is a fascinating window into the past. Leaves little to the imagination as to how they came up with the final track configuration.

Looking at the pic below and looking at the aerial pic seems to confirm the location.That being the tower that became the Castrol Tower.


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As to when the "hangar" was removed the following pics originally posted by Kaydee provide good evidence about that.

The first two were taken apparently long weekend in Oct 1963 for the Goldstar meeting that year. The "Hangar" which appears to have been a workshop, is clearly seen in the background.

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The next pic is the "newly completed" Elfin 400 as driven by Noel Hurd. That car debuted at the Proclomation Day 1966 event. Whilst the pic is not quite on the same angle the workshop was a large and prominent building and is not to be seen.

To take up your point 2Bob about the building existing much later than I suggested I believe we are talking about two different buildings. From the pics above, the building I have been referring to is the prominent building in the back ground of the above pics. You can see two roof lines. If you look at the aerial map the one I am referring to is marked W/S , presumably meaning "workshop" . However if you look at the building immediately above and to the left I believe that building remained much longer and would be the one your referring to about Beechey and his engine swap.


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Edited by fredeuce, 06 October 2010 - 23:31.


#24 fredeuce

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 23:45

A few old pics that I took at the Easter 1971 meeting. Please excuse the quality as they were taken on one of those crappy little Instamatics. They were taken from the end of the pit lane looking over the gate that existed there at the time .

First up the late John Lewis from Maxwill Motors fame in his LC Torana

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Next, Raelene Gailbraith in the Motorlab Mini. 2Bob you should recognize this one.

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Next , Ric Bertshinger in the GT Falcon

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Ken Miller Austin Cooper S

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Bill O'Gorman in the Bowden Ford Escort

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Dick Johnson racing the "H" brand before the blue oval took over his life.

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Inside the pits looking south toward the commencement of pitlane is Colin Hyams and his immaculate Lola T192 together with tow car.


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#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 01:51

I'll also join in the welcoming of John Lemm...

Once again, if you look at the 'sticky' thread about posting images, I'm sure you'll find out that the latest string of screenshots will guide you step by step to make this a simple (and oft-repeated, I trust!) procedure.

#26 2Bob

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 03:50

[quote name='fredeuce' date='Oct 7 2010, 10:45' post='4628173']

Next, Raelene Gailbraith in the Motorlab Mini. 2Bob you should recognize this one.

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I sure do! 'Sister' car to mine. It ended up looking a bit like mine (see following) but was being driven by Lynton Dale at AIR when it rolled. Interestingly Tom Galbraith (Motorlab owner and then husband of Raelene), originally bought the, then, immaculate car from one of the Ford brothers who now has a son racing an immaculate Mini Cooper S in group N.

The end of my mini, coming out of Clubhouse corner and onto the start finish straight:

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Following 2 photos copyright John Lemm, sent to me a few months ago! His note was "Mini rollover in October 1970".

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Jim Doig walking away after looking at the damage. We had gone professional with driving suits by the look of it! Tom Galbreath looking inside to see if I'm still there (joking). Seeing my engine had a broken crank and I had borrowed an engine from Andrew McComb for this race meeting I didn't have much to salvage from the wreck! Finished of paying off the finance company a few months later before borrowing the full purchase price for an Elfin Mono! Single and silly then, married and not quite as silly now, no more borrowed money for racing cars!

Note to John Lemm - welcome here, give me a ring if you want a bit of help posting some of your great photos.

Edited by 2Bob, 07 October 2010 - 04:48.


#27 2Bob

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 04:38

Jim may not have missed a meeting (or a meeting that he's had an eligible car for) since then?


He has missed 2 since 1968 till now I believe. One when he did the 'tour around Europe' bit (and drove around Le Mans track in camper van) and visited a GP meeting I think. Another one was when a meeting had to be postponed for some reason and Jim had entered a horse event on the date of the rescheduled meeting and he felt obliged to honour the horsey people. Still competes on horses along with wife Sandy (who used to be in regular attendance at car meetings).

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Pits at Mallala, watching the last race of the day. Self standing on Valiant tow car, Lynton Dale (?) leaning on trailer, Sandy Doig with back to photographer, Jim Doig in blue driving suit, Bob Irvine with beard obscured behind Jim. Bob raced an MG TC a little and then the ex Bob Punch Elfin Mono. Gave up cars (racing anyway) and took up, with a lot of success, gliding gaining an Australian championship but unfortunately had a mid air collision and didn't survive.

#28 2Bob

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 04:41

To take up your point 2Bob about the building existing much later than I suggested I believe we are talking about two different buildings. From the pics above, the building I have been referring to is the prominent building in the back ground of the above pics. You can see two roof lines. If you look at the aerial map the one I am referring to is marked W/S , presumably meaning "workshop" . However if you look at the building immediately above and to the left I believe that building remained much longer and would be the one your referring to about Beechey and his engine swap.



I am sure that you are right there. I certainly don't rememeber the really big building.

#29 2Bob

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 04:44

Raelene Galbraith's Mini, sister car to mine, finally at rest in a similar manner to mine!

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#30 cavvy

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 04:56

Any talented soul who can give us aerial shots via google maps.

Call for Terry Walker?

#31 fredeuce

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 05:19

2Bob,
I note with interest the pic of you doing the somersault at Clubhouse. I happened to be in the pits near that corner at the time. I had been watching something else in front of you and heard this strange noise and turned to see you come to rest right side up with nose point to the infield to some extent. And if I recall correctly your car suffered damage to the front right not dissimilar to that on the red one.

The case of Clem Smith Nominees V Farrelly (1978) 20 SASR 227; was very much part of my studies in property law in the early 80's. One of the key points about restrictive covenants was that the parcels of land involved needed to be contiguous. As AIR and Mallala were miles apart this proved, among other things, to be one of the key flaws rendering the covenant unenforceable.

#32 fredeuce

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 05:27

Here is an aerial pic of the track from Google Earth. It is interesting in that you can still see the outline of the old part of the track beyond the northern hairpin.


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#33 David McKinney

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 05:35

...the 1961 AGP was held in October ... Lex Davison was declared winner as David McKay had jumped the start


McKay of course denied this to his dying day. His contention was that his car just happened to be better off the line than the opposition, and that's certainly true. At Ardmore Ron Flockhart in the same car had outdragged Moss (Rob Walker Lotus), Brabham and McLaren (works lowline Coopers) and everyone else when the flag dropped, and there are pictures of him doing the same thing at Warwick Farm


#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 06:08

And I'm inclined to believe him too...

The photo evidence is shown in the Official 50-race History of the Australian Grand Prix with a lot of explanation there, I have always considered Davison's win at Mallala to be a lucky one. For a start, he was in Stillwell's second string car and Stillwell outsmarted himself by buffing the codings off his tyres and then a mixup led to him ruining his differential.

Just as he was lucky at Southport (Jones' chassis breaking in two when in a dominant position) and Bathurst in 1958 (Ted Gray's rear suspension breaking in the Maybach when also looking set to walk away with the win).

But I guess luck is part of the game, right? It's just sad that the heads were buried and (possibly) the anti-McKay factions were at work in Adelaide that weekend to give Davison the win.

#35 2Bob

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 06:10

2Bob,
I note with interest the pic of you doing the somersault at Clubhouse. I happened to be in the pits near that corner at the time. I had been watching something else in front of you and heard this strange noise and turned to see you come to rest right side up with nose point to the infield to some extent. And if I recall correctly your car suffered damage to the front right not dissimilar to that on the red one.


The two cars were painted in matching colours and sign writing. In the photos above mine was 110 amd Raelene's was 55. Damage was pretty similar too! I reckon we raced both cars for about 12 months or so. Mine finished its life at Mallala while Raelene's was rolled on the negative camber corner at AIR, so after Mallala closed, by Lynton Dale - Raelene and Tom had separated by then I guess.


#36 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 07:30

Having glimpsed through those Mallala museum pics you can see how much infrastructure was there by 1960 or so. The old main gate I think is still there, where the bitumen stops on Aerodrome Rd just past the current gate, which too was part of the RAAF infrastructure.
In the Museum pics the Mallala pub has not changed much externally since the war. Bad place that, the [motorsport]company keeps you drinking.
Life has changed a lot since Mallala reopened, in the early years the clubrooms were a great social thing after a meeting, or for some the Mallala pub was also. When the Tourers were there Larry Perkins and Russel Ingall used to come for a couple of drinks on the Saturday night. Now everybody is paranoid [with reason] and most of the social stuff afterwards has stopped. A few may still visit the pub but nothing has happened in the clubrooms since probably the late 80s. Sad really.

#37 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 07:39

A few old pics that I took at the Easter 1971 meeting. Please excuse the quality as they were taken on one of those crappy little Instamatics. They were taken from the end of the pit lane looking over the gate that existed there at the time .

First up the late John Lewis from Maxwill Motors fame in his LC Torana

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Next, Raelene Gailbraith in the Motorlab Mini. 2Bob you should recognize this one.

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Next , Ric Bertshinger in the GT Falcon

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Ken Miller Austin Cooper S
The roller renmants of John Lewis's Torana are still around and I had a guy phone me who said he had Dickys Torana in bits that at one stage had a 289 in it as Sports Sedan. Last raced with a Chev.
And James Rosenberg owns/owned a GT that looks like the towcar for the 5000.

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Bill O'Gorman in the Bowden Ford Escort

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Dick Johnson racing the "H" brand before the blue oval took over his life.

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Inside the pits looking south toward the commencement of pitlane is Colin Hyams and his immaculate Lola T192 together with tow car.


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#38 SJ Lambert

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:22

Anyway the 1961 AGP was held in October, with Glen Dix as the starter. Lex Davison was declared winner as David McKay had jumped the start. For the girls, Helene Bittner had also debuted at the August meeting and ran at the GP meeting.


Welcome to you too, AnnieOz. Dad rembers Helene circulating quickly at Mallala, in, amongst other things, an Elfin for a while? Any shots recorded for posterity?

James

#39 David McKinney

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:46

(Ted Gray's rear suspension breaking in the Maybach when also looking set to walk away with the win).

Or was it the Tornado? :)


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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 12:22

Originally corrected by David McKinney
Or was it the Tornado?


Did I do that?

Of course, it was the Tornado... in its post-Tornado days.

#41 SJ Lambert

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 13:04

Post #1 features

Picture one was taken in 1964 (original grid placement?) - Car 4 Davidson - Brabham, Car 7 Stilwell - Cooper Buick, Car 2 Cooper - Elfin Mono

Picture two circa 1968/9 (relocated grid?) features the Elfins of Garrie Cooper and Maurice Quincey, and maybe John Walker and Ron Tonkin or Mel McEwin? (and others)




I reckon the hanger lasted until late 1960s. I seem to remember that Norm Beechey did an engine change on his Monaro making use of the hanger (to attach a block and tackle?) while I was around which would put it no earlier than late 1968 (when did Norm first run the Monaro?).


(And from an earlier post on the Holden thread - yes me in the Mini of course!)


Was the overnight "in situ" Repco-Brabham V8 crankshaft change in Phil Moore's new Elfin 360 (which broke after Garrie Cooper had elbowed Phil out of the cockpit to "tune the chassis") performed by Ben Bidstrup and Dale Koennecke at the track?

Apparently Ben can tell you that they "didn't call them 360s for nothing"!!

Still miss the mini 2Bob? Was it set up pretty stiff? Did the roll over creep up on you? Plenty of negative camber at "the end"!!

Edited by SJ Lambert, 08 October 2010 - 08:12.


#42 David McKinney

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 15:26

OK, I'll bite - post-Tornado days?

#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 21:01

David... really?

"Tornado" was the name given to a boat, and the boat had a Ford V8 engine. The Ford V8 engine had ohv heads made for it, and the engine was called the 'Tornado'. When it was put into a car (after the boat sank, IIRC, in the Albert Park lake after the engine had out-torqued the chassis), the car was called the Tornado.

But the Tornado which ran at Bathurst in '58 was a later car with a later engine, a Chevrolet.

The Tornado bits were lying under a bench in Melbourne awaiting their turn to be thrown out.

Of course, mentioning this is quite appropriate in a Mallala thread, as in its post-Ted Gray days it lived there with Mel McEwin.

#44 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 21:23

The Tornado that I have seen is supposed to be ex John Goss and had a webered Falcon 6. Was run here for several years in histotics by Ray Rowland. And as far as i know never had anything to do with Mel McEwin

#45 David McKinney

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 21:37

The Lou Abrahams/Ted Gray single-seater special was always called a Tornado, regardless of its engine. Likewise the MkIII Maybach

I think the John Goss Tornado was an unrelated sportscar

#46 ellrosso

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 22:11

Yes the Goss Tornado is a different animal altogether - rear engined (Falcon 6) Sports car built by John Goss in 1966 down in Tassy.

#47 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 02:09

Indeed... the only competition car I've ever seen that used Hillman front uprights...

Fairly neat jigger, used a regular VW gearbox behind a Falcon 144 or 170 engine, had the log machined off the side of the head and the Weber manifold grafted in there... and the distributor was somehow different.

I raced it a couple of times when it was well past its use-by, and Gossy was always careful to select when and where he ran it when he brought it to the mainland.

Malcolm Smith owned it in '75 or '76, traded it off to Rob Worboys IIRC. That was after we had Rod Dale make some larger diameter wheels so we could run slicks and sold off the original Lotus wheels (from the Lotus 32B raced by Jim Clark in the Tasman Cup in 1975) to the then-owner of the Lotus. DD? I can't recall.

#48 lyntonh

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 02:51

Indeed... the only competition car I've ever seen that used Hillman front uprights...

Fairly neat jigger, used a regular VW gearbox behind a Falcon 144 or 170 engine, had the log machined off the side of the head and the Weber manifold grafted in there... and the distributor was somehow different.

I raced it a couple of times when it was well past its use-by, and Gossy was always careful to select when and where he ran it when he brought it to the mainland.

Malcolm Smith owned it in '75 or '76, traded it off to Rob Worboys IIRC. That was after we had Rod Dale make some larger diameter wheels so we could run slicks and sold off the original Lotus wheels (from the Lotus 32B raced by Jim Clark in the Tasman Cup in 1975) to the then-owner of the Lotus. DD? I can't recall.


The Goss Tornado...
Warwick Farm 12th July 1969
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Warwick Farm 6th December 1969
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Bathurst Easter 1970 with Tony Oxley's Chevron
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Oran Park 27th June 1970 ( sorry about the post)
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Now the earlier Tornado...that's another matter...

Edited by lyntonh, 14 February 2012 - 04:27.


#49 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 03:13

Nice neat car, I wonder where it is now? Personally I have never seen it run well, always seemed to be on about 5 cylinders.

#50 onelung

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 04:48

The place is used every weekend for some sort of event including monthly practice days and is an asset to motorsport Unlike the Parklands Circuit. Though really we need two circuits working again.


All the more reason to support the Tailem Bend project, which will host both bikes as well as cars (remember how good the combined car/bike days were at Mallala?).