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Speedway at Sydney Royale 1972


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#1 lyntonh

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 08:50

During the period 1970 - 1973 I went to the speedway at Sydney Showgrounds regularly on Saturday nights, but only once in daylight.

That, of course clipped my wings, so far as photography was concerned, being only a spectator in the stands.

These are the shots I took at the daylight meeting on Saturday 2nd September 1972., in the order I took them.

I know very few names etc...none of the bikes.

Beginning with someone falling off a solo.
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No:19 is Colin Lee
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No:25 is George Tatnell
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His inside front tyre looks like a special
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Sid Middlemass
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Edited by lyntonh, 17 February 2012 - 20:33.


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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 14:09

Those bikes look just so old fashioned...

And along with the outfits, they're positively dangerous!

#3 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 21:28

The sidecar with the cross on the passengers back is Doug Robson and I think that the no 71 Midget is Jack Porritt.
And I live that knobbly on the l/f of GTs 25. That tyre probably came out of the 50s!!

#4 wagons46

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 22:36

That tyre probably came out of the 50s!!


......and from the front of a Massey Fergusson tractor.

#5 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 00:44

......and from the front of a Massey Fergusson tractor.

Actually they are a proper midget tyre in 12" but from another era. I think you can buy them even now for classic midgets though probably marked for display purposes only!

#6 ozdude

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 02:06

I can't recall Doug Robson ever being a passenger - however the swinger with the cross on his back looks to be his passenger Greg Griffith having a ride with someone else on the night.

The first sidecar pic looks Honda or Kawasaki powered by the look of the left side crankcase cover. Will check some of my programs, but OTTOMH Ian Adams and Paul Vercoe both ran Hondas' about that time (a year before I started with Warren Sullivan on a 'big bore' Yamaha twin).

... and I would hazard a guess that the second solo pic might be "big" Bill Landels by the stand up style.

Cheers, Bill D.

Edited by ozdude, 14 November 2010 - 02:12.


#7 Wirra

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 04:32

Like circuit racing, speedway lost its appeal to me when ‘wings’ were introduced. The sprint cars now just look plain stupid with a garage door strapped to the roll-cage.

I’m surprised the Royale was still going in ’73, I thought it finished before then. I still recall the early 60s sitting in the front row and covering up with a blanket to protect ourselves from the dirt/cinders. And the methanol smell… oh, that smell.

I also remember a revival meeting I went to (80s?) and the bikes ran huge mufflers – it was like watching a silent movie.

Edited by Wirra, 14 November 2010 - 06:27.


#8 Terry Walker

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 12:45

Those sidecar passengers are - different.

I met one a few years ago, who was ballast for one of Western Australia's top racers on dirt and tarmac - including would you believe scrambles. He restores 50s road bikes superbly, but would never ride one on the road. "Too bloody dangerous," he says seriously. I still boggle at that.

#9 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 00:31

Speedway outfit competitors are usually easy to see walking around the tracks, they are the ones that limp!!
And things like sawing off plasters etc so they can race is fairly common.
Unfortunatly these days you seldom get a show with bikes and cars on the program like you used to get. And even to run a classic meeting means the track is very slippery for the cars when suitable for the bikes.

#10 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 00:45

Like circuit racing, speedway lost its appeal to me when ‘wings’ were introduced. The sprint cars now just look plain stupid with a garage door strapped to the roll-cage.

I’m surprised the Royale was still going in ’73, I thought it finished before then. I still recall the early 60s sitting in the front row and covering up with a blanket to protect ourselves from the dirt/cinders. And the methanol smell… oh, that smell.

I also remember a revival meeting I went to (80s?) and the bikes ran huge mufflers – it was like watching a silent movie.

Supermodifieds/ Sprintcars have had wings since the mid 60s, the earliest days in fact. And these days you get heaps of methanol from most classes though too a lot of people that is a turn off as it really stirs up allergies with a lot of people and going home with a thick head and waking up feeling hungover is not fun. Personally I always try and sit with the wind behind me these days.
And mufflers are everywhere, circuit, speedway even in some drag classes I believe. these days some solos are using them to put signwriting on!! And they effectivly killed a lot of engine types. They were the end of the Vincents in sidecars though their age was too ofcourse. And rotarys in midgets also

#11 Shane Bowden

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 10:19

I can't recall Doug Robson ever being a passenger - however the swinger with the cross on his back looks to be his passenger Greg Griffith having a ride with someone else on the night.

The first sidecar pic looks Honda or Kawasaki powered by the look of the left side crankcase cover. Will check some of my programs, but OTTOMH Ian Adams and Paul Vercoe both ran Hondas' about that time (a year before I started with Warren Sullivan on a 'big bore' Yamaha twin).

... and I would hazard a guess that the second solo pic might be "big" Bill Landels by the stand up style.

Cheers, Bill D.


Amazing how names from other topics appear! Ian Adams, son of Clive Adams . One half of PRAD - Pryer & Adams specials.

Ian went on to win an Aust sidecar title IIRC.

Regards Shane

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 18:50

Originally posted by Lee Nicolle
Supermodifieds/ Sprintcars have had wings since the mid 60s, the earliest days in fact.....


I really doubt that, Lee, certainly as a general thing...

I stopped following Speedway in 1962, but there was a bit of 'crossover' in the late sixties and you'd naturally enough see pics in the papers. Wings appeared (generally) in Formula One in 1968, in the second half of the year, and while I could accept that an individual car or two at the speedway might have followed suit, it wouldn't have been a general thing.

So I think mid-sixties would be an exaggeration.

#13 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 21:34

I really doubt that, Lee, certainly as a general thing...

I stopped following Speedway in 1962, but there was a bit of 'crossover' in the late sixties and you'd naturally enough see pics in the papers. Wings appeared (generally) in Formula One in 1968, in the second half of the year, and while I could accept that an individual car or two at the speedway might have followed suit, it wouldn't have been a general thing.

So I think mid-sixties would be an exaggeration.

Ray, Sprintcars/ supermodifieds had wings in the early 60s in the US. Speedway had cars with wings before roadracing.
My 1967/68 built car has always had a wing since it first raced in 68. Just look at any late 60s speedway pictorial and you will see them. How effective a lot where is a different story though F1 ones were not that good either!

#14 eldougo

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 10:39

Going to Saturday night at the Sydney Royale in the 1960 was a real fun for me.I became even more interested when a cousin of mine tryed his hand at driving a hot rod i loved the solo & side cars ,the midgets and hotrods racing.I seem to remember that an American driver Marshall Sargent was the first to run a wing on top of his Hotrod in 1964 maybe 1965 and the first local was Bill Warner from his Clovelly speed shop ,which in turn became the famous" Mooneyes" hot rod always in an orange color ,he an other like Sid Hopping, Dick Brition. these guys were GREAT to watch.
I will try and find some pic of these car ASAP.

Edited by eldougo, 22 November 2010 - 10:41.


#15 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 10:57

Going to Saturday night at the Sydney Royale in the 1960 was a real fun for me.I became even more interested when a cousin of mine tryed his hand at driving a hot rod i loved the solo & side cars ,the midgets and hotrods racing.I seem to remember that an American driver Marshall Sargent was the first to run a wing on top of his Hotrod in 1964 maybe 1965 and the first local was Bill Warner from his Clovelly speed shop ,which in turn became the famous" Mooneyes" hot rod always in an orange color ,he an other like Sid Hopping, Dick Brition. these guys were GREAT to watch.
I will try and find some pic of these car ASAP.

The first Marshall Sargent car was actually built here in Adelaide,In I think 62 or 63, basiclly to what the cars were in the US at the time. Though it was 318 Chrysler Royal powered instead of the more usual Chev. There has been a replica built by the family who built it originally.

The next car was Chev powered though and the renmants, little more than a buggered basic chassis is being rebuilt here. Complete with 6 97s. That I think is the 65 car. Is basically done just needs the finishing touches and dollars.

The Bill Warner car i think is lost, though there is another with the same body style still around. Ex Ian Sams I think.

I was a Rowley Pk fan, seldom missed a meeting in that period as a little tacker. Though cannot get real interested these days. Went to 2 shows last season, both as a classic Supermod competitor.

#16 ronmac

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 12:01

:c I believe that the bill warner car went to nz. Templeton..ruapuna speedway and raced by peter annan of chch. Where it is now i am not sure..but perhaps peter leversedge sprint car driver may know..? also i see that archerfield speedway brisbane is running race meetings for wingless sprints australian championship..on january 14 and january 15 th 2010..ron mac..

#17 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 19:32

:c I believe that the bill warner car went to nz. Templeton..ruapuna speedway and raced by peter annan of chch. Where it is now i am not sure..but perhaps peter leversedge sprint car driver may know..? also i see that archerfield speedway brisbane is running race meetings for wingless sprints australian championship..on january 14 and january 15 th 2010..ron mac..

Wingless Sprints are Sprintcar chassis powered by stock 3.8 Commodore motors.On methanol. Another so called budget class. Really they look boring and sound boring as they have no power. I suspect 40y/o Supermodifieds are faster!

#18 ronmac

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 19:55

:clap: Thankyou lee for the advice. I won t get excited then..so won t be going. Ill wait for the americans and their cars due sometime during january...(january 7 ...I think )

#19 Russell Burrows

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 23:40

This guy looks a lot like Aussie based Scotsman, Bill Landells.
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