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Raymond Clarence (Ray) Long


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#1 GeoffR

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 09:01

One of the few (if not first) threads I have started on this forum.
I knew Ray Long fairly well from 1974 through to his untimely passing in 1992 through rallying in Tasmania. I always had a good relationship with Ray even though he was always a tough competitor, many other didn't.
I've noticed his name appear in a number of other threads here in regard to his pre rally exploits in touring cars and other racing cars, early Holdens for example and would love to know more about his racing career.
Look forward to some interesting contributions.


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#2 ellrosso

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:53

Some pics of Ray Long: in his Datsun 1600 which he used to rally with much success in Tassy, Elfin Aero (1340cc from memory) in the pits at Longford in 1963. The openwheeler is his son Chris at Baskerville in 1981 - quite a capable steerer and had some success in Tassy racing in the early 80's. I wasn't aware of Ray's early exploits in the 50's till much later - in my early Baskerville days he was the much feared chief scrutineer - many of the drivers looked very nervous presenting their cars to him! As you mention Geoff, he wasn't loved by all........ not an easy job though.
Certainly a well respected spanner man and driver by all accounts.

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#3 Ellis French

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 10:17

The David Lewis FJ Holden (pic attached on Hobarts Domain Hillclimb 1958) was ex Ray Long.

According to David (from his memory recall) Ray came to Tas from NSW in about 1957. He had previously raced the FJ on the big Island on mainly NSW circuits including Bathurst. From Davids memory he also ran the FJ at an Albert Park meeting in 1956.
David bought the FJ from Ray in 1957 . At that stage it was still fitted with a normal grey head. In 1958 David had Ray fit a Repco Crossflow head and David fitted perspex windows and removed the grill and generally lightenned the car , then went on to win the Tas Hillclimb championship with the car beating Allan Ling in a Repco headed FE.

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#4 GeoffR

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 10:59

Thanks for the pics ellrosso & Ellis. Chris was certainly a very handy steerer in both rally & circuit events. I recall he had two suspension setups for his 1600 rally grunter, one for rally & one for circuit and was one of the quickest sedans around Baskerville at Club days back then.
I've heard many stories regarding Ray as a scrutineer, one who regularly upset mainlanders with his very thorough scrutineering techniques. That was his nature though, certainly as a competitor against him in rallies he was always one of the hardest to beat, both in the forests and in the protest room!
The object of this thread was to find out a bit more of his pre Tassie life in NSW, but contributions from that area have not been forthcoming so far.

#5 David Shaw

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 20:13

The first mention I can find of him was at Gnoo Blas in a 48-215 Holden in October 1953, which he rolled at the end of the main straight while trying to catch Dick Shaw.
He then appeared in February 1954 at Mount Druitt in an FJ. By the end of that year he had put his backside into a Fiat 1100 which he drove until the end of 1955 before switching back to the Holden.
November 1956 saw him venture south to Albert Park where he came in 3rd behind the Beechey and Reg Smith OHV Customlines. From there to Longford the following March before heading back to NSW.
He was at Phillip Island in June 1958 in the Fiat, and then April 1959 he was down at Baskerville in a Simca Montlhery.

#6 GeoffR

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 07:29

Found an article on the web regarding Ray Long's induction into the Tasmanian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993.

Couple of minor corrections needed, he won 7 of his 9 State championships with Don Reid as navigator, and only two with John Brock. His 9 State championships were all won between 1964 and 1974, and against some pretty fair competition - Farmer/Kelly, Gigney/Lobban & Pooley/Tyson to name a few.

Also the year of his passing should be 1992.

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