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Motorbike-powered race cars in Australia 1950 - 1980


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#151 DanTra2858

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 19:58

Did any of these cars ever run front Disc Brakes during this period.

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#152 austmcreg

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 04:15

Did any of these cars ever run front Disc Brakes during this period.

I cannot be sure of the answer to that, but I have a vague memory that the WGM, a front-engined / front drive Matchless powered car in Victoria in mid 1950s may have used an aircraft disc brake, whether front or rear I could not say. It certainly used aircraft bungee cord for suspension springing, as I think did a few other early 500s. Its builders (Wheeler & Gow) were I think aircraft industry types, but I am sure there will be others lurking on TNF that know more than me on this, including the car's restorer, Chester McKaige.

Rob Saward

#153 austmcreg

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 05:37

[i]Mk5-L5-51
John Crouch (1100 JAP, silver/aluminium) > Don Gorringe (not known to have used) > Bill Stephenson > Lyn Archer > probably Doug Green > Jack Rowe > Jack Ayres > Hilton McGee > Mark Dymond > John Dymond > Penrite Oils (AU)

The first Tasmanian-owned Cooper was the A.A.(Alan) Stephenson (that was his actual name, but some contemporary reports did say Bill, for reasons I dont know) car, ex John Crouch, with alloy 1098cc JAP vee twin engine. During Stephenson's time with the car it was painted light blue. Not sure about the Gorringe connection, would need some evidence on that. I have not found anything to connect Gorringe with ownership or driving of this car. Lyn Archer appears to have been the last Tasmanian owner, entered at Longford 1955 but DNA. Lyn told me that he did not get on with the car, and did not own it for very long. First entry I have for Stephenson was for Longford 28/2/53, but he was a DNA at that meeting. The combination raced at early every Tasmanian race and sprint meeting (beach and airfield) from then through to Quorn Hall 1/11/54 (last recorded appearance I have).

I assume the red Mk V at post number 39, Terry Walker's photo of Jack Ayres in WA, is this same car about 8 years later.

The photos below are not that good, all by unknown photographer, from Mick Watt, and show the car in Alan Stephenson hands at Quorn Hall, Tasmania c1953-54. He hit the hay bales that divided the airstrip and damaged the front suspension and a wheel. A rather more severe result might have happened if he hit one of the tar-filled oil drums used to mark the course at Quorn Hall (visible in each of the photos)!
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Edited by austmcreg, 01 February 2012 - 05:51.


#154 austmcreg

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 07:22

Australia' ultimate air-cooled hillclimb car in 1950s, Bruce Walton's Walton Cooper with supercharged JAP, taken by unknown photographer at Australian Hillclimb Championship, 14/11/59 on Hobart's Queens Domain .

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#155 DanTra2858

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 19:29

Australia' ultimate air-cooled hillclimb car in 1950s, Bruce Walton's Walton Cooper with supercharged JAP, taken by unknown photographer at Australian Hillclimb Championship, 14/11/59 on Hobart's Queens Domain .

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This would have to be one of the best photos of car & driver showing sheer dertermination to win that I have ever seen.

#156 austmcreg

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 13:05

To bring the list of Tasmanian cars originally at post #78 up to date, the following have emerged in recent research:
Piaggio Special. Built by Garth Wigston and Denny Goodsell in Hobart 1961 using a 150cc (Piaggio) Vespa engine/transmission unit. Raced for about 1 year with some (handicap) success.
Michell 500. Entered by Max Stephens Motors, driver R.Michell, December 1963.
Derek White, BSA Special, 1963.
John Dobie, BSA Special, c1962-63.

More Tasmanian motorcycle engined cars to add to the lists at posts 78 and 148:
J.A.T. Ariel 350cc, entered at Baskerville October 1961 by G.Templemen and driver S.Tilley
Trowjm Yamaha. There were two of these, Yamaha 249cc cars racing in Tasmania c1966-67 built by John Trowbridge and Dick Crawford, and driven variously by Crawford, Tony Wise and Gary Siepen. These were small cars in the JMW style.
Johnford. One car built by Dick Crawford and ? Johnston in c1967 using Yamaha 249cc engine. This was another small car in the JMW style.

Rob Saward

#157 austmcreg

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:42

I dont think I have posted this before: Jock Walkem's Walkem 500 (Norton) at Penguin hill climb 1956. That fence looked the same right up into the 1960s.

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EDIT July 2012. This was in March 1955, not 1956 as originally posted.

Edited by austmcreg, 14 July 2012 - 02:32.


#158 DanTra2858

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 19:30

Competing at Wakefield Park this weekend are 4 cars,

Brian Simpson in his 1956 Cooper JAP 1100cc

Garry Simkin in the 1950 Cooper Vincent 998cc

Fred Greeneklee in the 1952 Cooper MK6 500cc

Andrew Halliday in the 1953 Waye JAP 500cc

Any pictures & history of these cars would be appriciated

#159 SJ Lambert

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:03

I can put up a few shots of them at Wakefield Park if you can handle non period shots?

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#160 DanTra2858

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:25

I can put up a few shots of them at Wakefield Park if you can handle non period shots?


Mr Lambert, anything is better than nothing, thank you as it allows us to know what we are discussing in much more detail.

#161 SJ Lambert

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:19

I only got three I'm afraid............

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Edit - found the fourth!!

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Edited by SJ Lambert, 26 February 2012 - 10:23.


#162 DanTra2858

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 19:08

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Fred Greeneklee, 1952 Cooper MK6 500cc

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Andrew Halliday, 1953 Waye JAP 500cc

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Garry Simkin, 1950 Cooper Vincent 998cc

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Brian Simpson, 1956 Cooper JAP 1100cc



#163 Repco22

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:18

These pics were taken by David Van Dal, most likely 1958 on his trip east. Can someone identify car, driver and place? I see Decca Special there.
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#164 ken devine

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:04

Eric Nichol in his HRD Special.




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#165 ken devine

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:11

Wally Higgs started his roadracing carreer in this BSA Goldstar powered TQ which he also raced on the Speedway.




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#166 tsrwright

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:03

These pics were taken by David Van Dal, most likely 1958 on his trip east. Can someone identify car, driver and place? I see Decca Special there.
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Walton Special (I think it should be called) aka Walton JAP. If 1958 it must be John Fish because it's not Bruce. Looks like Collingrove, South Australia. Car was yellow when Bruce had it. Is the colour in these photos correct - I thought John had it in red?

#167 tsrwright

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:08

Walton Special (I think it should be called) aka Walton JAP. If 1958 it must be John Fish because it's not Bruce. Looks like Collingrove, South Australia. Car was yellow when Bruce had it. Is the colour in these photos correct - I thought John had it in red?


Was John Fish that thin?

#168 HiRich

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 14:26

Terry,
A couple of images at Autopics show John Fish in the car at Geelong Sprints, 23/08/1959. They indicate:
- Yes, he was once that thin
- He had the same helmet (and note the similar 'tilt' to the way he wore it)
- The car could well have been red,
- Same nosecone (and note the thin yellow border)
- And curiously it had now gained 'pannier sides' rather than the slab sides and external gear shift that Bruce had.
That would fit with these colour shots being 1958 (or the 1958-59 Summer), presumably fairly soon after he bought the car?

#169 tsrwright

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:33

Terry,

- And curiously it had now gained 'pannier sides' rather than the slab sides and external gear shift that Bruce had.
That would fit with these colour shots being 1958 (or the 1958-59 Summer), presumably fairly soon after he bought the car?


Well spotted! I have never seen those pics before nor any others with those curved side panels so I didn't know about them.

(For other's info, I own the car)

Edited by tsrwright, 28 February 2012 - 02:34.


#170 DanTra2858

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:34

Could some kind person please list the Motorbike powered cars at last weekends Phillip Island.

#171 Gordon Graham

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 00:20

I think this is the BB Ariel. at amaroo, early 80s - apologies for the picture quality

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#172 GMACKIE

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:42

I think this is the BB Ariel. at amaroo, early 80s - apologies for the picture quality

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Brian Schureck's? If so, it was bought by Neville Cohen, and driven by Graeme Denning.


#173 Shane Bowden

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:58

I think that is Hank Northey in the BB.

#174 john medley

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:27

John Merrick, not Hank Northey
John was an ex speedway rider ("Johnny Stephens" perhaps?) who had some fearsome things like fat Vincent outfits but a serious lack of fingers here and there. He ran the ex Warren Blomfield Pronta Holden, the BB, the Nota Mazengarb, and others in early Historics in NSW
He sold the BB to Graeme Snape, so it was GS's first Historic car

#175 GMACKIE

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:16

So, is this the Brian Schureck 'BB Special', that was bought by Neville Cohen?

#176 john medley

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 20:56

Correct, Greg. I drove it at Castlereagh, Graeme Snape crashed it at Amaroo-- remarkably enough the first of quite a few for a Very Determined Driver

#177 GMACKIE

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 21:46

Lost track of the 'BB' after Nev.Cohen and Graeme Denning ran it. I became swamped in family and business around then, but remember when Nev. bought the car from Brian.

Graeme Snape has had some cars, has he not? He was a member [President at one stage, I think] of the Sutherland Shire Automobile Club, along with messrs. Cohen, Denning, and myself. The S.S.A.C. was very much motorsport orientated, back in the late 50', early '60s, and many of the members had C.A.M.S. licences.....and were successful.

#178 Gordon Graham

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 23:35

This car was discussed when I posted it on the Personal Photos of... thread a few years ago, but I thought it was worth bringing it back. It's the Cooper MkV raced in WA by Doug Green, Jack Ayres and Jack Rowe. After an absence of a couple of years, it turned up at Caversham in perhaps late 66 with this twin Triumph conversion. I didn't get there until the afternoon, so I don't know whether the car made it out for practice, but it didn't race, and then wasn't seen again until Hilton McGee rescued it a few years later.

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#179 austmcreg

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 12:43

Five Day Special. A.N.Harvey. Built in 1959 with 250cc BSA engine, just prior to the 1959 AHCC at Queen’s Domain, Hobart. Ran several times in 1959 only. Current whereabouts unknown.

Rob Saward


New (to me) information on the Five Day Special, built in Hobart in 1959. It was apparently built by prolific Hobart special builder John Trowbridge, using a Triumph Tiger Cub 200cc engine, I assume for owner A.N.Harvey. A picture appears at post #49. The earlier information about BSA engine is wrong - entries confirm it as being 200cc.

John Trowbridge is also belived to have been involved in the build of several other Tasmanian motorcycle engined cars that I am currently researching. None of the early cars carried his name, but the Trowjm Yamaha(s) raced by Dick Crawford in mid 1960s at least had part of his name. He became better known in later years for his Trowbridge Formula Vees.

Rob Saward

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#180 austmcreg

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 13:02

This car was discussed when I posted it on the Personal Photos of... thread a few years ago, but I thought it was worth bringing it back. It's the Cooper MkV raced in WA by Doug Green, Jack Ayres and Jack Rowe. After an absence of a couple of years, it turned up at Caversham in perhaps late 66 with this twin Triumph conversion. I didn't get there until the afternoon, so I don't know whether the car made it out for practice, but it didn't race, and then wasn't seen again until Hilton McGee rescued it a few years later.

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This is the ex Stephenson / Archer Tasmanian car MkV-L5-51, pictured in post #153 of this thread, which left Tasmania in about 1956. It is now with Dymond family in Melbourne with a correct JAP twin as per original. A lot of these cars suffered mightily at times!

Can anyone add any detail of its journey from Tas to WA? Is its arrival date in WA known with any certainty? Any other owners between Lyn Archer and Doug Green?

Rob Saward

#181 DanTra2858

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:24

I went to the British 500 site http://www.500race.org/ this afternoon to look at the listing of cars that was of so much interest to all as it contained so many Australian cars, I found that during their Webpage updaqte it appears that this has been deleted, would anyone have a copy that they would wish to share.

#182 David McKinney

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:36

The data seems to still be there, but the link to 'Marques' from the title page has gone

You can still get there by entering the name, eg
http://www.500race.o...arques/Ralt.htm

#183 DanTra2858

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:40

Thanks David I will try this address.

Found this picture in a report from January 1959 Sports Car World on the 1958??? Port Wakefield Races.

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The pictures showes the spinning Taylor Special owned by J. Taylor, can any one provide further information or pictures on this car.

David McKinney passed on this info, AMS refers to John Taylor in his JAP 500...


#184 DanTra2858

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:45

The data seems to still be there, but the link to 'Marques' from the title page has gone

You can still get there by entering the name, eg
http://www.500race.o...arques/Ralt.htm



Sorry David it did not work no matter what adjustments of the URL I tried, so back to the question would some one wish to share this info.

#185 Tim Murray

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:37

Try this one - it works for me:

http://www.500race.o...ues/marques.htm

Edit: David's link works if 'Ralt' is all in lower case:

http://www.500race.o...arques/ralt.htm

#186 Dutchy

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 13:41

The 500 OA website is undergoing some changes relating to the current race series and so parts of the site have been put on ice for a short while. All will be sorted and back to normal in due course I'm told.

#187 DanTra2858

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 21:07

Try this one - it works for me:

http://www.500race.o...ues/marques.htm

Edit: David's link works if 'Ralt' is all in lower case:

http://www.500race.o...arques/ralt.htm


A big thanks to David & Tim for there assistance, http://www.500race.o...ues/marques.htm this works very well.

#188 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:53

Could some kind person please list the Motorbike powered cars at last weekends Phillip Island.

There was a couple of very pukka and very pretty I think Coopers. One I am sure was a JAP. There was just so many cars I have lost track. I was too busy looking at 5000s and F1s. And some interesting big banger sportys

#189 DanTra2858

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:55

Thanks David I will try this address.

Found this picture in a report from January 1959 Sports Car World on the 1958??? Port Wakefield Races.

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The pictures showes the spinning Taylor Special owned by J. Taylor, can any one provide further information or pictures on this car.

David McKinney passed on this info, AMS refers to John Taylor in his JAP 500...


I found this picture on Google from www.MotorsportArchive.com, I believe that the following car is the Taylor Special, it is running the number 20 & is from the same meeting Wakefield Trophy meeting of October 13th, 1958.

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I appears more like a Bike powered car from the side, if the picture is to be removed please contact me.

#190 DanTra2858

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 21:41

All Cooper cars had magnesium wheels with built in brake drums, what would be the safe life expectancy of the wheels, not taking into account those that have been involved in accidents.

#191 austmcreg

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 13:47

All Cooper cars had magnesium wheels with built in brake drums, what would be the safe life expectancy of the wheels, not taking into account those that have been involved in accidents.

I cannot answer the question with any authority, but can relate the experience of one Cooper owner in this regard.

The Mk 3 (though it was always called a Mk 4 in period) which was best known when run by Reg Smith's Reno Car Sales in 1950s and later Jack French in Victoria and Dave Powell in Tasmania, was sold by later owner John Soundy in Tasmania in 1969 becasue John noticed cracks appearing in the wheels adjacent to the pressed-in brake drums. He raced the car in 1967-68, but became concerned about the safety of the wheels.

By this time the car was 20 years old, on about its 8th owner and had done a lot of racing miles. We dont know, of course whether the wheels were its originals. I am not an expert on Cooper wheels, but they were early type (Mk3/4) castings and not the visually different Mk 5 and later items.

Rob Saward

#192 DanTra2858

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 21:21

I cannot answer the question with any authority, but can relate the experience of one Cooper owner in this regard.

The Mk 3 (though it was always called a Mk 4 in period) which was best known when run by Reg Smith's Reno Car Sales in 1950s and later Jack French in Victoria and Dave Powell in Tasmania, was sold by later owner John Soundy in Tasmania in 1969 becasue John noticed cracks appearing in the wheels adjacent to the pressed-in brake drums. He raced the car in 1967-68, but became concerned about the safety of the wheels.

By this time the car was 20 years old, on about its 8th owner and had done a lot of racing miles. We dont know, of course whether the wheels were its originals. I am not an expert on Cooper wheels, but they were early type (Mk3/4) castings and not the visually different Mk 5 and later items.

Rob Saward



I suppose the next question is were / are Magnesium wheels repairable ??????

#193 Dick Willis

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:40

Yes, and for better or worse some Coopers are still running on their original wheels which were probably originally envisaged to have a life of only a few years.

#194 rbm

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:51

My mk2 Cooper the 10th car made is still running on original mk2/3/4 type wheels, these were ultra-sounded and x-rayed before we re-assembled the car to check for cracks and none were found.

However new magnesium are available from a number of sources, I have just had a set made for our mk6 by Simon Frost a 500OA member and fast 500 peddeller. (now does anyone have the Turner 500 wheel patterns?)

Edited by rbm, 04 May 2012 - 07:53.


#195 tsrwright

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 00:23

My mk2 Cooper the 10th car made is still running on original mk2/3/4 type wheels, these were ultra-sounded and x-rayed before we re-assembled the car to check for cracks and none were found.

However new magnesium are available from a number of sources, I have just had a set made for our mk6 by Simon Frost a 500OA member and fast 500 peddeller. (now does anyone have the Turner 500 wheel patterns?)


An advantage of new wheels (such as Simon Frost's) is that the rim section can be made to suit the tyres that are available today; the period rims are well under the preferred rim size for current Dunlops, which incidentally are available in several aspect ratios in the 500 size to catch out the unwary.

Does anyone know for certain the timing of the various Cooper patterns - the original with the square edge to the drum, the variant with the annular stiffening rib on the outer face of the drum, then the type with the round edge to the drum which seems to have predated the Mk8. This is important because it is sometimes the only clue when trying to date a car in a photo.

#196 DanTra2858

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:09

An advantage of new wheels (such as Simon Frost's) is that the rim section can be made to suit the tyres that are available today; the period rims are well under the preferred rim size for current Dunlops, which incidentally are available in several aspect ratios in the 500 size to catch out the unwary.

Does anyone know for certain the timing of the various Cooper patterns - the original with the square edge to the drum, the variant with the annular stiffening rib on the outer face of the drum, then the type with the round edge to the drum which seems to have predated the Mk8. This is important because it is sometimes the only clue when trying to date a car in a photo.



That is a good question Terry but I am not the person to answer you but would be very interested if someone would post pictures of the different wheels that Cooper produced on their cars & what was the production run dates of each wheel type.  ;)

#197 Dick Willis

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:53

Terry, the square edge drum type wheels were up to and including Mk IV, the circular stiffening rings were introduced on the Mk V.

#198 rbm

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 16:14

The Jan 1951 Motorsport article on the new mk5 has the square edge type wheels, the new mk6 article in Iota the following year show the ring type wheels, however George Wicken's mk6 seems to have the square type at the '52 London Trophy.



#199 DanTra2858

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:32

Is there a site that I can go to, or help from the forum members for detailing what the design differences are from the Mk1 Cooper 500 to the last 500 that they produced.

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#200 Tim Murray

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:44

You probably know this already, but there is a lot of Cooper information on the 500 Owners Association site:

http://www.500race.org/index.htm

Click on Marques > Cooper > Model number