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Harry Smith - Australian Grand Prix, 1951


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#51 gtamerica

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 08:20

Re Ford Special!
I owned this car in the early 70's. At that time I was uni student with little knowledge & less funds. I bought it from a hod rodder in Kyneton who had no idea what it was. I had John Ould who at the time owned the J1 Allard now with Peter Briggs inspect the car & he was emphatic that it had no Allard content. There were obvious Allard connections in the suspension but with the passing of time & the benefit of having owned a P Type, J2 and J2X Allard I can now say for certain it is an Australian built special.
Cheers
Terry Healy




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#52 Wilyman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 13:57

The Dutton rally story.




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Ken,
Many thanks for putting the Smith Special cuttings on TNF. I promise to learn how to do it myself one day.

What I am finding hard to understand is that you wont accept that the car shown is the one time Narrogin AGP entry of Harry Smith.
We can forget the Allard connection as that has been well and truly disproved.
To say that the Harry Smith car is a replica of the Duttons/Baskerville "Allard". Well??

I have a two page letter that accompanied the pictures, sent to me by a friend in Victoria. It's a bit long winded to put up here but I could make a copy available if requested. It contains some vaguely dated history of the cars movements, just begging for gaps to be filled.


Terry Healy,
No doubt you will be finding the ongoing saga of the Harry Smith Special very interesting.

Edited by Wilyman, 04 February 2011 - 14:04.


#53 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 15:14

For a certainty, the '1947 Allard' is in all the places we know the Harry Smith Special to have been...

One owner either desired it to be known as an Allard or believed it to be an Allard, but those who know what Allards are about think differently.

And was there ever an Allard that looked like it?

#54 ken devine

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 23:38

I looked up the Allard website yesterday and there was no mention of this model car.The ACC story describes the car as a oneof
special imported into Australia in the early 50s and it was british racing green.We beleive Harold Smith built hi car from scrstch
yes it resembles the Allard but it also resembles an XK120 Jaguar which i thought it was when i was given the photo years ago.

#55 Wilyman

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:26

Re Ford Special!
I owned this car in the early 70's. At that time I was uni student with little knowledge & less funds. I bought it from a hod rodder in Kyneton who had no idea what it was. I had John Ould who at the time owned the J1 Allard now with Peter Briggs inspect the car & he was emphatic that it had no Allard content. There were obvious Allard connections in the suspension but with the passing of time & the benefit of having owned a P Type, J2 and J2X Allard I can now say for certain it is an Australian built special.
Cheers
Terry Healy



Terry,
Your story of the "Allard" being in your possession in Kyneton [near Ballarat?] has added substance to my Victorian friend's letter.

Clarrie, now deceased was a publican from Tasmania. He bought the car from a panelbeater in Melbourne after seeing it languishing in his workshop. It had formerly belonged to a relative in Ballarat who had kept in on his front lawn after the engine died.
Aftere buying the car from the panel beater for a few dollars it was taken to Lou Molina's mechanic for tidying up. The colour then was BRG. The wire wheels were discarded for the disc type.

The "Allard" was driven to Adelaide for the AGP Rally. The car while in Tasmania had some maintenance, a cleanup of the body and resprayed white.

My friend saw the car at Phillip Island in 2004 [?] being driven in a regularity event. He tried to catch up with the owner but with other commitments, 450 odd cars and a few thousand people wandering around the pits, it didn't happen.

Only a few more gaps to fill eh?

#56 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:29

Ken, is there any real evidence that any Allard was ever built and/or bodied like this car?

Or is it that someone has guessed that the car might be an Allard, has estimated that it came to Australia in 1952 and everything else based on the surmise that the Smith Ford V8 Special was in fact an Allard?

#57 Terry Walker

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:53

I searched "Images" using Allard as the key word, and got thousands of images of Allards, but not one of which looked anything like the Smith car.

My guess is this. Someone - Smith, or someone before Smith, who bought it from the original builder - set out to build a sports car using readily available parts, knew about the Ballamy type swing axle front suspension conversion on small Fords, was inspired by the Jag XK120, and came up with our special. It was almost certainly, judging by the well-made body, intended to be a road-going sports car. Harry Smith raced it in 1951, subsequently sold it at some unknown time, and many owners later, rebuilt more than once I don't doubt, it's still around. To my complete astonishment.

Who created it is a mystery so far. Perhaps Smith. Perhaps be bought an unfinished project, and finished it. This was shortly after WW2, with everything in very short supply and reasonably fast sports cars astronomically expensive, if available. Building your own would be a proposition, specially if you could build a good body, as someone obviously did.

What a story! What a survivor!

#58 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 20:00

If Harry Smith was "a Narrogin identity and the powerhouse behind the Narrogin Car Club in the 50s", as you wrote ealier Terry, then it would be most reasonable to conclude that he had the wherewithal to fund the car.

This leads me to believe he was the builder, the one who conceived and put together this Special.

#59 john medley

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 23:24

I have hunted high and low for any sort of stuff on Harry's car, without a win. I DO recall seeing the Allard/"Allard" pics at some stage -- but that's all

I did turn up a photo of a Narrogin civic reception for visiting drivers, some of whom I dont recognize, though I DID recognize a grubby and bemused John Cummins among the suits and well scrubbed visages of the others. Even Vin Maloney's well worn face was more presentable than Cummo.

Among the pics I found were the starters getting away in their handicap groups. I have previously mentioned one of these I already have, of Cummo and co markers leaving the line. One of the pics missing from the Battye Library sequence is Harry's group , but the existence and nature of the others suggests to me that a pic of Harry starting did at one time exist, probably by Government photographer. Even if it doesnt exist now, this pic is still worth pursuing -- in the Battye Library's Narrogin 1951 Australian Grand Prix file Relevant index for the civic reception pic mentioned above appear to be call # 816B/C/5161(Western Australia Government Photographer)

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#60 ken devine

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 23:26

What happened the guy that supposedly owns the car? i thought he was going to come on and tell us about the car and show photos
of its recovery from the swamp.

#61 john medley

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 23:59

Some more bits on Harry:

#was Flying Officer Harry ( of Narrogin)during WW2, mentioned often visiting the Boomerang Club in London 1944-46... Keith Smith of Narrogin too

# Redex Round Australia trial competitor 1953 ( Peugeot 203)

# awarded Best Western Australian competitor 1953 redex

# pic in Peugeot 203 " The West Australian"(newspaper) Thurs 24 September 1953 page 9

#62 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 01:49

Originally posted by ken devine
What happened the guy that supposedly owns the car? I thought he was going to come on and tell us about the car and show photos of its recovery from the swamp.


I'm sure we'll get there, Ken...

I'll call him again tomorrow if needs be.

#63 Repco22

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 02:19

Hello all. This is my first post. I have a family connection to Harry Smith and as I had long wondered what his "Smith Special" looked like, my friend Barry Boor suggested making enquiries on this forum. I met Harry long ago and we spoke of his trial experiences but at that time , I'm sorry to say, I didn't know he had been a starter in the AGP so it wasn't mentioned. I subsequently attended the Narrogin AGP re-unions in '91 and '01 [ competed in the latter] and met the "old boys", most of whom have sadly since departed.
Last week I phoned "Cummo" [ John Cummins] , possibly the only surviving entrant from the GP [?]. He had a vague recollection of Harry's car but couldn't help further. A couple of weeks ago I was at a family gathering and spoke to Harry's only surviving brother, Keith, who had no knowledge of Harry competing in the AGP or of the car. Two of Harry's nephews were also present and were equally surprised to hear about the car in question. They are following this story with interest. One of them, Peter Harrold, races a Datsun 260Z.
It's odd that there was no knowledge of this chapter as most of the family have an interest in motor sport; Keith built and raced a speed boat and another brother, the late Les and his son, Gary, were very well known in speedboat racing in Western Australia with the Corvette-powered "Wendy".
Keith recounted an anecdote from the time of Harry's involvement with Volkswagens [ he had an agency for them and Peugeots in Narrogin].
Harry thought that a demonstration at a local trotting meeting would kick VW sales off so bravely announced that the car could not be rolled!
Before the spellbound crowd he then proceeded to throw the Beetle sideways whereupon a back wheel caught a rut, tucked under and the allegedly impossible was promptly executed. Probably not a good month for sales! However he more than made up for this with some stirring performances in the Redex Round Australia trials which captured the imagination of most Australians half a century ago.
Leads are getting thin but wouldn't it be good to know how the "Smith Special" came to be...

#64 john medley

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 03:01

Every additional piece of info has the ability to let us combine some bits to get the answers we seek, so let's keep trying....

Cummo for example was at least until a few years ago still in contact with WA friends from the 50s, and should be encouraged to do some more chasing..... Allan Tomlinson was, I believe, one of the stewards at Narrogin 1951, and even though now living in New york, might recall....

And Harry Smith's war record (if I have the right Harry) reveals
born Harry Ross Smith 27th October 1920 at Narrogin
enlisted 24 April 1940 at Perth probably living then at Mt Lawley , next of kin Lesley Robert Smith. RAAF sevice number 052834 (162770)
discharged 22 February 1946, Flying Officer, from RAF Gamston

#65 cammo77

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:44

For a friend of mine I am enquiring if anyone has a picture of the car Harry Smith drove in the 1951 Grand Prix at Narrogin.




I have recently chatted in person with the current owner Rodney Williams, he is still having difficultly logging onto the forum, I have tried to help him but it seems to be a problem with the forum login rather than him as he's contacted the administrator. Might be another 96hours before he can log into the site. He is going to send me a photo of the car from 1979, also 1995 and from 3 years ago. I will ask him if he will take a photo of it as it is now ready for the Longford Revival in Tasmania, which is in April. He's sent me other information about the car, I will ask his permission to post this information on the forum. Hopefully I can get the photos on the forum tomorrow.. work permitting.
Rodney is getting very frustrated about not being able to access this forum, I'm sending on his apologies onto everyone in this discussion. He has been keenly following the discussions on this forum and looks forward to joining in the topic, he has spent alot of time gathering history of the car and has a lot to offer those who are interested.

#66 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:51

Hmmm... I'm stuck in Moree until tomorrow afternoon, so I might not be home in time to dig out the present owner's phone number and call him...

That might have to wait until Tuesday, but with any luck he'll be reading and e.mail me again before then.

Welcome, Rod, you should have been in on this years ago...

#67 David Shaw

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:54

I'm looking forward to finding out the story about this amazing car and hope Rodney's access issues are resolved soon.

#68 Terry Walker

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:09

Me too!

#69 ken devine

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:28

Ditto

#70 Barry Boor

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 16:10

Repco22, who prompted this thread in the first place, also had a lot of trouble getting started. His problems appeared solved now so maybe Rodney's will be soon, too.

#71 RODWIL

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 23:59

Repco22, who prompted this thread in the first place, also had a lot of trouble getting started. His problems appeared solved now so maybe Rodney's will be soon, too.



HELLO EVERYONE!

Finally got on to the forum with a bit of trouble along the way. It has been an interesting couple of weeks watching the forum and getting all this information about the car. I have been trying to source information about the car for some time now and the information on the forum is very helpful.
This car (you could say) maybe a shed find for myself, my main reason for buying the car was that it had a side valve Ford V8 motor. At the time when I bought the car I didn't think it was an Allard, as I had a friend from one of the leading Australian insurance companies look at the car for me.
The Allard experts in Australia, and the UK have ruled this car as not being an Allard. I have always thought this car has had a secret past history.
I have a photos that 'd like to share with you all, can somebody please direct me on how to post a photo on the forum, it doesn't seem so straight forward.

Regards,

Rodney

#72 Repco22

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 01:22

Hmmm... I'm stuck in Moree until tomorrow afternoon, so I might not be home in time to dig out the present owner's phone number and call him...

That might have to wait until Tuesday, but with any luck he'll be reading and e.mail me again before then.

Welcome, Rod, you should have been in on this years ago...

:wave: Thanks Ray. Good to be here despite the difficulty. Now the system won't spell my name right!


#73 Repco22

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:56

Some more bits on Harry:

#was Flying Officer Harry ( of Narrogin)during WW2, mentioned often visiting the Boomerang Club in London 1944-46... Keith Smith of Narrogin too

# Redex Round Australia trial competitor 1953 ( Peugeot 203)

# awarded Best Western Australian competitor 1953 redex

# pic in Peugeot 203 " The West Australian"(newspaper) Thurs 24 September 1953 page 9

Hi John. Harry competed in more than one Round Australia trial but I can't say how many. I recall him being the celebrated leading WA competitor and in '58 he finished 5th behind Eddie Perkins [1st] and G [ Greg?] Cusack [2nd]. The team's prize went to the VWs of Cusack, McGlashan and Harry. The print media was full of it and I still have a cutting of a Rigby cartoon from Perth's Daily News which might have been acknowledging Harry's effort. It showed the banged up Beetle arriving home from its journey around the nation and the crew collapsing onto the driveway. The lady of the house is delving in her purse as she approaches, saying; "Would you mind ducking down to the shop--we're out of milk." It must have been '53 when Harry shared the Peugeot with a "J Clay of Nedlands". This would most likely be the proprietor of James Clay Motors, a Holden agent of Stirling Highway, Nedlands, who later disappeared in a light aircraft over the Blue Mountains. The article says they had been among the leaders until they suffered four blowouts near Alice Springs. And as you say, they won the WA section trophy.

#74 john medley

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:13

# 12 Hillman Minx entered for Albany Easter 1940 by one HR Smith caused Perth's "Western Mail" March 14 1940 to say " HR Smith Hillman Minx was prepared completely for the last Dowerin meeting and was also to be raced at Bunbury. When both these fixtures were cancelled Smith regretfully dismantled the particularly good looking body which he had built entirely himself and restored the Minx to its original touring condition.... replacing the racing body.... finished 3rd at Pingelly in one of the short handicaps..."

Easter 1940 was March 25.... ie exactly one month before Harry is shown as enlisting in the RAAF

This item also demonstrates perhaps that the remarkable body on Harry's 1951 AGP entry was not his first nor his first good looking body.... so Ray's guess above about who built tthe body may well be right

( and Hullo Rod Waller. We have sort of, over many years, howdied but we aint shook.....)

#75 ken devine

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:37


Press cutting from the Arther Collett files H Smith Hillman Albany 1939-40.


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#76 RODWIL

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:53

# 12 Hillman Minx entered for Albany Easter 1940 by one HR Smith caused Perth's "Western Mail" March 14 1940 to say " HR Smith Hillman Minx was prepared completely for the last Dowerin meeting and was also to be raced at Bunbury. When both these fixtures were cancelled Smith regretfully dismantled the particularly good looking body which he had built entirely himself and restored the Minx to its original touring condition.... replacing the racing body.... finished 3rd at Pingelly in one of the short handicaps..."

Easter 1940 was March 25.... ie exactly one month before Harry is shown as enlisting in the RAAF

This item also demonstrates perhaps that the remarkable body on Harry's 1951 AGP entry was not his first nor his first good looking body.... so Ray's guess above about who built tthe body may well be right

( and Hullo Rod Waller. We have sort of, over many years, howdied but we aint shook.....)



This may be of some interest I am told that the bumpers on my car are cut down Hillman Minx bumpers, may be some link

#77 ken devine

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 06:36

I have always taken this car to be a Ford V8 special but on closer inspection it is obviosley the Hillman Special.note the drivers nic name it is also 1939 Pingelly






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#78 john medley

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 07:03

When you are only 18 and have built your own racing car, surely you are allowed to go " blip blip"

#79 ken devine

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 07:37

Another little bit of history,In Repco22s introduction he mentioned Les Smiths speedboat Wendy i think the Corvette motor was the one
used by Mick Geneve in the Ballot.

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#80 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:57

So we're getting more information all the time...

Harry's cars, going by the Hillman and the Ford Special, were really a cut above other cars around at the time. When we consider a de Dion rear end in the Ford and the lavish bodywork as well as the divided axle in the front end, we're talking about a car that's a class apart from its contemporaries, especially on the WA scene.

Sure, Clem Dwyer did some nice bodywork on his car, and Jack Nelson's second rendition of the Ballot was pretty neat... along with his 'White Mouse', and the Tomlinson TC and and a small number of other cars. By and large, however, Specials of those eras were pretty ordinary things.

If Harry did that Hillman body at 18, there's no way in the world we could deny him doing the Ford body a decade later.

Good to see you made it, Rodney.

#81 Repco22

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 15:09

In suggesting that Cummo might be the sole surviving driver from the '51 Narrogin AGP I overlooked Colin "Slope" Uphill Of Perth. I had the pleasure of speaking to him today. He's as enthusiastic as ever but could remember nothing about the Smith Special. Incidentally, Colin worked as a mechanic for James Clay Motors mentioned previously in this thread. I don't wish to sound like a wet blanket [ whatever they sound like] but the driver of the Hillman special in the Arthur Collett cutting above is WHR Smith, not HR Smith. Apart from not having the right initials, I think it is unlikely that Harry had the funds or the buiding skills at age nineteen to have produced such a car. I think it has yet to be established that he built any car.

#82 David Shaw

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 18:50

Apparently the Minx belonged to a "Bill" Smith of South Perth. A closer photo here:
[url="http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/46421247?searchTerm="w%20h%20r%20smith"%20hillman&searchLimits="]http://trove.nla.gov...p;searchLimits=[/url]


#83 john medley

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 21:06

Thanks, Rod and David, for the correction. Too many Smiths?

Can we have more on Harry's business interests in Narrogin, over and above " agency for VW and Peugeot" previously mentioned? Perhaps, if he was not the Minx builder prewar, he found a good panelbeater/coachbuilder in Narrogin postwar?

#84 RODWIL

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 23:39

In suggesting that Cummo might be the sole surviving driver from the '51 Narrogin AGP I overlooked Colin "Slope" Uphill Of Perth. I had the pleasure of speaking to him today. He's as enthusiastic as ever but could remember nothing about the Smith Special. Incidentally, Colin worked as a mechanic for James Clay Motors mentioned previously in this thread. I don't wish to sound like a wet blanket [ whatever they sound like] but the driver of the Hillman special in the Arthur Collett cutting above is WHR Smith, not HR Smith. Apart from not having the right initials, I think it is unlikely that Harry had the funds or the buiding skills at age nineteen to have produced such a car. I think it has yet to be established that he built any car.



Trying to establishthe body builder of the car has not been easy and I do not have any further ideas
It looks much like an XK 120 but was built way before the release of this Jag
One body shape that I have looked at ,are the cars built by Ernie Bailly in the U K to the owners order and he built a number of race cars and if you look up Buckland Race Cars the body shape looks very close to my car
Harry Smith may have used this shape in building the car
The Grill and Door size does not match any thing else I can find (close to Allard,Alvis Bucklandand Jag)
One story Iwas told by a 95 year old in S A how is rebuilding one of the 1950 G P cars is that Harry Smith owner an Allard, once ,found it a pig to drive and then built this car, may be why it has running gear like the Allards????
These are the type of build ideas I have looked at over the last three yearsin hope of finding the cars body builder
As yet I have not found any I D plates or numbers on the car
In 1970 Iwas told it had a wooden floor before its restoration

#85 Gordon Graham

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 00:56

One thought about that bodywork. There can't have been too many people around capable of such craftsmanship, and they'd be likely to have built more than one body. So does anybody know whether Cliff Byfield was in WA by the time that car was built?

#86 Wilyman

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 01:21

Hello all. This is my first post. I have a family connection to Harry Smith and as I had long wondered what his "Smith Special" looked like, my friend Barry Boor suggested making enquiries on this forum. I met Harry long ago and we spoke of his trial experiences but at that time , I'm sorry to say, I didn't know he had been a starter in the AGP so it wasn't mentioned. I subsequently attended the Narrogin AGP re-unions in '91 and '01 [ competed in the latter] and met the "old boys", most of whom have sadly since departed.
Last week I phoned "Cummo" [ John Cummins] , possibly the only surviving entrant from the GP [?]. He had a vague recollection of Harry's car but couldn't help further. A couple of weeks ago I was at a family gathering and spoke to Harry's only surviving brother, Keith, who had no knowledge of Harry competing in the AGP or of the car. Two of Harry's nephews were also present and were equally surprised to hear about the car in question. They are following this story with interest. One of them, Peter Harrold, races a Datsun 260Z.
It's odd that there was no knowledge of this chapter as most of the family have an interest in motor sport; Keith built and raced a speed boat and another brother, the late Les and his son, Gary, were very well known in speedboat racing in Western Australia with the Corvette-powered "Wendy".
Keith recounted an anecdote from the time of Harry's involvement with Volkswagens [ he had an agency for them and Peugeots in Narrogin].
Harry thought that a demonstration at a local trotting meeting would kick VW sales off so bravely announced that the car could not be rolled!
Before the spellbound crowd he then proceeded to throw the Beetle sideways whereupon a back wheel caught a rut, tucked under and the allegedly impossible was promptly executed. Probably not a good month for sales! However he more than made up for this with some stirring performances in the Redex Round Australia trials which captured the imagination of most Australians half a century ago.
Leads are getting thin but wouldn't it be good to know how the "Smith Special" came to be...



Rod,
Good to see you among this happy band. :)

It's no wonder the Smith family, your relation, had no idea of their brother having entered the Narrogin AGP. According to a later post it would seem that his name was WHR Smith ? As noted he made a name for himself gaining a class place in the '53 Redex.

The Narrogin AGP Ford Special was owned/driven by Harold "Harry" Smith. The car, according to one of Ken's earlier "SpeedWest" posts was built by a Perth panelbeater, maybe Harry himself?

As someone has just posted..Too many Smiths.

#87 john medley

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 02:32

There may be a certain carelessness in original reports re both names and punctuation.

At this stage I am reasonably satisfied that we have at least 2 Smiths --Harry Ross Smith born Narrogin 27 October 1920, who probably is the "Harold Smith" of the 1951 AGP, and went on to Redex trial involvement. Brother of Keith ( after Ross and Keith Smith 1919 -1920 Vickers Vimy fliers?) relative of Rod W.
-- WRH " Bill" Smith, Hillman Minx racer 1939. William Henry Robert Smith born Albany 28 August 1912, but probably from South Perth 1939 near where he enlisted in the RAAF 26 May 1941

Both went into the RAAF, both ended the war as Flying Officers, one demobbed in Perth the other in the UK. When his birth certificate showed " Harry Ross Smith" who caused him to be called "Harold" at 1951 AGP?

#88 Repco22

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 02:36

Thanks John Wilyman. But I think we might be getting a little confused with Smith overload. To recap; Harry was certainly the Narrogin VW and Peugeot dealer, motorsport competitor, brother of Les, Keith [and four other siblings] as previously mentioned. Harry Smith was also the driver of the Smith Special in the Narrogin AGP. I think this thread might have gone off the rails a touch with the introduction of WHR Smith and the earlier Hillman Special.
There is no family knowledge of Harry possessing body-building skills and if he had, when would he have acquired them as he joined the Air Force at 19 and was soon away to England. Considerable skill gained from long experience is of course necessary to build a body like the Smith Special. It is usually a vocation, a labour of love and is unlikely to be instantly discarded to become a motor trader.
Gordon;-- Cliff Byfield was born and bred in WA and attended the Narrogin AGP. He's a classic example of a body builder who has spent a lifetime honing his skills. He is currently building another, Riley-based, Byfield Special. However, he had nothing to do with the construction of the Smith Special.
John Medley;- I hope to provide you with a couple more pics relating to Harry. Might have to ask Barry B to post them!

#89 Gordon Graham

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:01

Repco 22, thanks for the info on Cliff Byfield - for some reason I'd always thought he was English. Glad to hear he's still going. I lived a few houses away from his place in Belmont, and on a couple of occasions saw one of his unpainted creations go for a test run round the block

#90 Wilyman

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 05:17

There may be a certain carelessness in original reports re both names and punctuation.

At this stage I am reasonably satisfied that we have at least 2 Smiths --Harry Ross Smith born Narrogin 27 October 1920, who probably is the "Harold Smith" of the 1951 AGP, and went on to Redex trial involvement. Brother of Keith ( after Ross and Keith Smith 1919 -1920 Vickers Vimy fliers?) relative of Rod W.
-- WRH " Bill" Smith, Hillman Minx racer 1939. William Henry Robert Smith born Albany 28 August 1912, but probably from South Perth 1939 near where he enlisted in the RAAF 26 May 1941

Both went into the RAAF, both ended the war as Flying Officers, one demobbed in Perth the other in the UK. When his birth certificate showed " Harry Ross Smith" who caused him to be called "Harold" at 1951 AGP?



john medley,

"When his birth certificate showed Harry Ross Smith. Who caused him to be called "Harold" at the 1951 GP?"
The Official 50-Race History of the Australian Grand Prix reads...
The starting order for the Narrogin GP lists Harold Smith. Smith Special as being off the 15 min mark along with Syd Negus. Plymouth and Warwick Pratley. G.Reed Special.
Harold Smith retired on lap 14.

#91 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 05:38

That's what John is asking about...

If his name is 'Harry', why is he listed as 'Harold'?

#92 David Shaw

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 05:40

Most likely just an assumption.

#93 RODWIL

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 06:01

Thanks John Wilyman. But I think we might be getting a little confused with Smith overload. To recap; Harry was certainly the Narrogin VW and Peugeot dealer, motorsport competitor, brother of Les, Keith [and four other siblings] as previously mentioned. Harry Smith was also the driver of the Smith Special in the Narrogin AGP. I think this thread might have gone off the rails a touch with the introduction of WHR Smith and the earlier Hillman Special.
There is no family knowledge of Harry possessing body-building skills and if he had, when would he have acquired them as he joined the Air Force at 19 and was soon away to England. Considerable skill gained from long experience is of course necessary to build a body like the Smith Special. It is usually a vocation, a labour of love and is unlikely to be instantly discarded to become a motor trader.
Gordon;-- Cliff Byfield was born and bred in WA and attended the Narrogin AGP. He's a classic example of a body builder who has spent a lifetime honing his skills. He is currently building another, Riley-based, Byfield Special. However, he had nothing to do with the construction of the Smith Special.
John Medley;- I hope to provide you with a couple more pics relating to Harry. Might have to ask Barry B to post them!


When you look at the amount of work that has gone into shaping the body and the heavy guage of metal it is made from they would have needed a high level of skill, the steel they used is not showing any signs of rust that I can see, this could change when I strip the paint of the car for restoration
Some of the welding on the frame is very rough but with the gear they that at the time it seems to fit the late 1940s but it has held together l

#94 ken devine

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 08:03

To think Cliff Byfield would build a body as rough as that is an insult to Cliffs workmanship.

#95 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 10:42

That's a strange comment, Ken...

The only photos we have of the car are as a semi-derelict or partially dismantled. It was clearly a difficult body to build, so why not expect that it came from someone with a lot of skill?

The testimony of its present owner regarding its solidarity is another point in its favour.

#96 RODWIL

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 21:46

To think Cliff Byfield would build a body as rough as that is an insult to Cliffs workmanship.



Ken I said the body is well make and had a lot of work put into it

It is the supporting Chassis and frame that has some rough welding to it but its held together all these years and not fractured

When I get time I will take some close up detailed photos of the cars construction and put them on the forum

#97 RODWIL

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 23:27

For a friend of mine I am enquiring if anyone has a picture of the car Harry Smith drove in the 1951 Grand Prix at Narrogin.


Hi all,

I have had trouble with the photos so I hope they work... let me know.

These photos were from 1979 in Brisbane, the car has a full width windscreen that was smashed when the owner had the bonnet come up (knocking him out) and causing him to run off the road.
He reckons the car tried to kill him so he swapped it for an Auston Healy to a guy who lived in Ballina QLD.
I have spoken to both these previous owners.

http://img225.images.../scan0002s.jpg/

http://img641.images...scan0003gs.jpg/

Regards





#98 ken devine

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 23:40

Rodwill that car looks great but i very much doubt that it was the Smith Special more likely the Allard special imported from the UK.
It was said that a car was retreived from a swamp near Perth WA,do you know where the swamp was? i spoke to two guys yesterday
and the both remembered the car in the same location in Leederville around1953 and never saw the car again.That location was close
to the Lake i mentioned previously and was a rubbish tip in the 50s.

#99 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 23:46

Originally posted by RODWIL
Hi all,

I have had trouble with the photos so I hope they work... let me know.....

Posted Image

Posted Image


Rod, you've selected the wrong option in Imageshack, you need to click on 'Forums'.

Edited by Ray Bell, 08 February 2011 - 23:47.


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#100 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 23:52

Ken, what do you know about an 'Allard Special' imported from the UK?

Was there such a car? Who had it? Did it ever race?

Rodney tells me that all the Allard experts have crawled all over his car and all say it's definitely not an Allard.