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Australia's longest-active race driver


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#1 DanTra2858

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 08:10

I know that all TNF's are going to say that they are the longest continues racing driver in Australia, maybe so but who would this honour fall to.

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 08:45

For a while Bob Holden and Murray Carter argued about it...

But there may be others. Where is Geoff Russell these days? When did he stop racing?

#3 David Shaw

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 08:49

Murray still takes the Corvette out occasionally, does Bob still get a run?

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 09:24

I don't know, but I don't think he competes any more...

He might well have retained his licence and probably sees the track occasionally.

I believe 1955 was the starting date for both of these drivers, however Geoff Russell first raced about 1947 or so.

#5 GMACKIE

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 09:33

Barry Sainsbury still drives at Wakefield Park GEAR meetings. :up:

#6 Catalina Park

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 09:43

I think Murray had a long break from racing in the 60s. I pit crewed for him about 16 years ago!

#7 David Shaw

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:28

Is it true that Murray rode speedway bikes before his four-wheeled career?

#8 David Shaw

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 13:04

I don't know, but I don't think he competes any more...

He might well have retained his licence and probably sees the track occasionally.

I believe 1955 was the starting date for both of these drivers, however Geoff Russell first raced about 1947 or so.


The earliest I have for Geoff is the 1953 Albert Park Trophy in a Morris Special, not to say he didn't race earlier, just that that is my earliest record of him. Is he the son of Ian Russell who drove a Morris Minor in the '31 AGP?

Bob Holden first appears in my records at a Port Wakefield meeting in September '55 in a 203.

Murray, however, is first listed at Fishermen's Bend in a TC in October 1949.

#9 DanTra2858

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 21:38

Where would the likes of Ken Brigden fit into this area.

#10 xj13v12

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 21:49

Bob Holden is still driving for sure in historics Runs his escort.

#11 ellrosso

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 22:51

Pretty sure Bob ran a Toyota Yaris in the Bathurst 12 hr this year too.

#12 ken devine

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 23:50

John Glasson has been racing in WA since the early 50s and still brings his car out at Wanneroo a couple of times a year, John would
be about 75. Dick Ward must almost qualify .

#13 Lola5000

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 00:09

Drama logging into this forum.
While Murray might come out and race every odd year,what about Brian Sampson.
Brian races at all State meetings in Formual Ford and runs Historic Formula Ford at any meeting in VIC.
I think Brian 1st raced in or about 1954.

#14 ellrosso

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 06:32

Actually Brian would be a real candidate (along with Bob Holden) as they have both been going continously (? anyone got the means to check that) to the present day.


#15 john medley

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 08:01

Possibly Trevor Cole..... and Bill Prowse???

#16 cheapracer

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 08:07

Jack Brabham had a fair old innings if you include displays where he drove fairly agressively up until the mid 2000's.

#17 Lola5000

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 08:24

Possibly Trevor Cole..... and Bill Prowse???

Be a few years since Bill held a full license.
When ever i think of Cole I always think of a certain T430 driver (slaps wrist) :wave:

#18 mark f1

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 10:21

I pitcrewed for Murray 21 years ago! He will be at Eastern Creek next weekend for the Muscle Car masters according to the TV ads.

#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 12:22

Originally posed by DanTra2858
Where would the likes of Ken Brigden fit into this area.


Ken didn't race from the mid-sixties until the mid-eighties...

Not what you'd call continuous.

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#20 DanTra2858

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 20:08

Thanks to all for your input, so far we have Bob Holden, Brian Sampson, Geoff Russell, Barry Sainsbury, Murry Carter, John Glasson, Trevor Cole, Bill Prowse & Jack Brabham.

The majority of replies indicate that the crown must belong to Bob Holden but is this correct as we have a total of 9 candidates, any other thoughts on this subject.

#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 20:51

Do you want to include Speedway?

Barrie Watt has been around for a while. Still running regularly, as he has since the early fifties, and I don't think there's ever been any significant gaps in his competition life.

#22 john medley

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 21:47

Charlie Smith started racing motorbikes in 1948....

#23 Ian G

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 23:32

...Doug Whiteford ?,according to Datsun PR in the 1960's he started racing pre-WW11 and was still going in the 1970's.

#24 ellrosso

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 23:38

Just noticed in a 1969 RCN that Tom Sulman was celebrating 50 years of competition.

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 23:59

Yes, Doug Whiteford raced right through, save for the years of non competition during the war, I think he started in 1939...

He ran in a Honda Civic at Bathurst in '76, is that the last of him?

All the same, that's not as long as many others mentioned, the seventies are now quite a while back!

#26 David Shaw

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 00:25

It is possible that Sulman started in 1919. The Motorsport Memorial site http://www.motorspor...hp?db=ct&n=1564 states that he drove a Sulman Simplex cyclecar at Victoria Park in 1923.

The first record I have of Doug Whiteford is 1940 in Black Bess at the Albury and Interstate Gold Cup.

#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 00:56

He melted the heads at Lobethal in 1940...

That was around New Years Day, so predated the Albury Gold Cup by three or four months and makes us wonder how he managed to replace Edelbrock heads so quickly!

#28 Ian G

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 01:01

The first record I have of Doug Whiteford is 1940 in Black Bess at the Albury and Interstate Gold Cup.


I just did a quick Google,Wicki, has him in the 1939 AGP which i think is wrong. "Black Bess" at Lobethal in 1940 also came up.Vaguely remember his biography in one of the 1960 Datsun PR magazines and i think he started in "Victorian Trials"(may have been Speed Trials) in the late 1930's before building the Ford Utility in 1939.

http://en.wikipedia..../Doug_Whiteford

Edited by Ian G, 01 September 2011 - 01:04.


#29 David Shaw

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 01:04

I have found reference to an A. T. Sulman driving an 18.98hp Essex at the Automobile Club of Australia hillclimb at National Park on September 13, 1919.

Thanks for that info on Whiteford Ray. Albury was on June 17, so some six months after Lobethal.

#30 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 01:46

Murray still takes the Corvette out occasionally, does Bob still get a run?

Both Bob and Murray were playing in Gp C cars at PI earlier this year. And I think they were both racing as distinct from regularity.And Murray is still racing the Corvette. How old are those blokes?
Sir Black Jack was being very quick in a variety of historics until a few years ago, and probably still would be except for his health problems.
While i doubt a record Dud Lambert from SA raced midgets[and ofshoots] for the best part of 50 years. He stopped at about 84 y/o. Reputedly he was the oldest liscenced speedcar driver in the world. And on his night was still half quick though seem to run out of arms during feature races.


#31 john medley

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 04:45

I think Doug Whiteford ran an MG (N Type?) before the Ford V8-- which probably didnt have Edelbrock heads prewar, but do you have other info Ray?

#32 timbo

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 05:14

I was going to mention Ian Brock from South Australia, who still races an Elfin Streamliner at 87 years old, but apparently he only took up motor racing in retirement. :up:

Perhaps we could start another thread on the oldest people to take up motor racing.

#33 David McKinney

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 05:40

I have 1935 for Doug Whiteford's debut in an N-Type MG
But I don't think he raced between 1936 and 1940, and of course had another break during the War, so his career can't really be counted as continious, can it?

#34 Dick Willis

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 05:57

I think a lot of you haven't read the title of this thread " Australia's longest ACTIVE race driver, most of those mentioned haven't been continuous throughout their racing careers, my vote goes to Bob Holden with 56 years.

#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 07:30

If speedway is included, Dick, I'm quite sure that Barrie Watt outranks Bob...

As for the Edelbrock heads, John, I'm not sure where I got that info, but possibly the (missing) Jim Gullan book.

#36 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 08:07

I think Doug Whiteford ran an MG (N Type?) before the Ford V8-- which probably didnt have Edelbrock heads prewar, but do you have other info Ray?

Alloy heads prewar would have been Ford ones. And I am not sure which years they were made either.

#37 ellrosso

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:31

I think your right Dick, Bob Holden takes it out....

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#38 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 12:56

When it comes to Bob Holden, you have to realise the amount of motor sport he put in while he was competing...

During the sixties and seventies he was just as often in rallies as he was in racing! He drove London-Sydney Marathons and competed in a multitude of different cars.

That photo above, if it was of him the previous year, could have been one of him driving the Lolita.

But I'm unsure that you could say he's competed 'continuously' over the past fifteen years or so...

#39 Dick Willis

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 21:23

Depends how you define continuously, if its every year I think he would qualify as I keep seeing him at historic meetings mostly driving an Escort.

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#40 gkennedy

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 06:54

Depends how you define continuously, if its every year I think he would qualify as I keep seeing him at historic meetings mostly driving an Escort.

You'd have to be working your way up the chart yourself. It seems pretty continuous - and around fifty years of it. What do you reckon?


#41 Dick Willis

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:47

Yes, 50 years next year to the first race meeting and 50 years now to the first hillclimb and pretty much continuous including various cars in the 60's, nearly ten years on speedway saloon cars in the 70's and then full on historics since 1980. But it still falls well short of Bob Holden.

#42 timbo

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 20:54

Murray Carter was born in January 1931, and started racing motorcycles at the age of 17. I'm not sure what year he started racing cars.


#43 seldo

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 04:48

Murray Carter was born in January 1931, and started racing motorcycles at the age of 17. I'm not sure what year he started racing cars.

I recall seeing Murray at Phillip Island in his Carter Corvette on the front row of the grid next to Harry Firth in his supercharged TC in about 1960, so I'd reckon it was well before that.

#44 DanTra2858

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 20:50

It now appears to have come down to 2 drivers Bob Holden & Murry Carter, are there no more contenders, if so who is the winner of this race.

#45 Dick Willis

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 21:05

I still don't think Murray Carter is active and hasn't been for many years, it has to be Bob Holden

#46 Shane Bowden

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 21:27

I still don't think Murray Carter is active and hasn't been for many years, it has to be Bob Holden


G'day Dick, I was sitting with Murray Carter at the VHRR Xmas presentation dinner last Dec and he said couldn't have a late night as he on a plane to the USA the next morning to get some new bits for his Corvette Z06 for 2011 GT racing. Regards Shane

#47 2Bob

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 21:31

Wikipedia on Murray Carter:

"Carter raced only occasionally into the 2000s, driving his Corvette in state level racing as late as 2008. In 2011 Carter still races the Corvette occasionally at Victorian championship level as he appraches 80 years of age."

He is listed in the Sandown Natsoft series results for July 2011 with zero points but I couldn't find any actual race results for the series with his name so presumably he entered the series but hasn't fronted for the races. Surely some Victorian TNFer will know more.

#48 Catalina Park

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:17

Murray had a big gap in the 60s between the Carter Corvette and the Series Production Falcon. He didn't have a continuous career.

Edited by Catalina Park, 06 September 2011 - 10:18.


#49 DanTra2858

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 21:17

Murray had a big gap in the 60s between the Carter Corvette and the Series Production Falcon. He didn't have a continuous career.


If that is the case then Bob Holden has won another race, it would be nice if CAMS honoured Bob for his contribution to the sport, how many years has Bob been competing.

May be some one would like to start a history of Bob's involvement in motor sport, Congratulations Bob.

#50 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 21:53

I'm sure Michael's right about that...

Murray re-appeared, as best as I can find, in a Falcon at Hume Weir's 1970 Boxing Day meeting. IIRC, he'd stopped racing the Carter Corvette about 1963, maybe 1964.