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JWF Milano GT Coupes


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#1 Dick Willis

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 09:42

The JWF Milano GT Coupes were built by JWF Fibreglass in Sydney in the early 1960's. Approximately 30 were built and we believe around 10 survive. They were sold as a body/chassis kit to which purchasers fitted their own engines/transmissions/rear axle assemblies etc, most used Holden engines, both the earlier "grey" motors and the later "red" motors.

There were some pics posted some time ago in the"Personal photos of Australian Motor Racing" thread but we would welcome TNF watchers to post some pics in this thread.

We would also welcome some histories on these great little cars which incidentally are only about the size of a Bug-eyed Sprite and weighing around 600 kg they have excellent power/weight ratios.

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#2 Clark Watson

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 11:29

Here you go Dick here's some of you in action back in the day as well as some shots of how she looks now.
I can testify to the power to weight first hand, she soars like a bird when you've taken your brave pills!
Infact I think you should buy ours, it'd look nice next to the gladiator
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#3 elansprint72

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 11:35

There are a couple currently racing in the UK; I'll find some photos later. Very effective machines, btw.

#4 Dick Willis

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 20:30

Thanks Clark, it looks very purposeful on those fat tyres and would probably now be quicker than ever, can't work out how you haven't sold it by now.

Pete, if you could let us know the current owners of the two in the UK it would help us to update our records.

#5 onelung

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 21:46

Templestowe 1966 - Valano... Valiant 3.6 litre "non slant" six.
Owner/builder/driver Alex Smith, of Adelaide.

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#6 Dick Willis

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 01:56

Great pics of the Valano, a two owner car which Paul Manton of western Sydney has owned since 2005 and is a regular competitor in NSW. It was featured recently on the cover of Vintage Racecar mag and driven by editor Casey Annis at Eastern Creek Tasman Revival meeting, November 2010.

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 02:22

"Non-slant" presumably meaning the slant 6 has been stood up straight?

Would have made the manifolding interesting...

I remember one day at Westmead Speedway there was a demo run by the Milano GTs. I guess it was mid-62 or so, but I wouldn't be too sure of that.

I also think they're much more effective today than they were when much newer. The GTIIs seemed to really spur the Milano name on, even though there was only a handful of them ever built, and they were really quick.

#8 onelung

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 02:31

"Non-slant" presumably meaning the slant 6 has been stood up straight?
Would have made the manifolding interesting...

Yes ... upright installation.
3 x 1.75(?)" SU's I think. I don't recall there was any particular difficulty in their installation.


#9 eldougo

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 02:44

Posted Image..Ned Mc Govern Bathust 1996 Hillclimb.

Posted Image Gt Mk1


Posted Image..GT Mk2

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Edited by eldougo, 28 December 2011 - 02:48.


#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:31

Originally posted by onelung
Yes ... upright installation.
3 x 1.75(?)" SU's I think. I don't recall there was any particular difficulty in their installation.


Maybe not 'difficult,' per sé, but the ports are horizontal when the motor is at 30° to the vertical, so they'd be pointing 30° downwards when the motor stands up straight.

#11 ed holly

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:31

Attached here are a couple of photos of Dick's latest addition ...

It used to belong to me and about 10 years ago I sold it to a guy in Canberra who with the help of his Dad put it back together. In my possession of it it was a non-runner, needed things like the pedals and steering to be connected and the very wide wheels were in very poor condition. Somewhere safe I have the purchase details and as soon as I can work out where safe is I will pass on to Dick. What I do remember is that it was reported to have come from and lived in the Newcastle area before being pulled apart.

:)So you Novocastrians - how about giving Dick a little help with its history. I was told by the previous owner that they thought it had been raced - and my guess is most of these cars would have been at some time in their early history.

The photos are firstly in my ownership - grey motor - split axle front suspension - Hillman Imp steering I think .....

2nd photo is of the Canberra owner recently at a GEAR meeting at Wakefield before the sale to Dick.

I always thought these cars were a great Aussie sports car, wonderful power to weight ratio and terrific good looks - especially the small window variety that this car is. Pity I got involved with single seaters and didn't get around to doing anything with it in my time of ownership, but I did drive it around the pits recently at Wakefield !

Congrats Dick on another great early Aussie car

Ed

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Edited by ed holly, 28 December 2011 - 03:32.


#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:48

Or maybe a Lloyd Hartnett rack?

I think that's what Nota used, they looked almost like an Imp rack, and an Imp rack would be a bit new for a Milano of that type.

#13 Dick Willis

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 05:13

Maybe a bit new but it is dead set an Imp rack, another car I have has a L/H rack and it is different to the one in my Milano.

Many thanks for the pics Ed, it was certainly no oil painting when you had it but it is very straight and original even down to the home grown paint job which is soon to change.

BTW, the Valano has 2" SU's and the manifolding looks quite neat, I must drag out a pic of the motor.

#14 onelung

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:24

... the Valano has 2" SU's and the manifolding looks quite neat, I must drag out a pic of the motor.


Yeah - I wasn't certain of the size, or even whether it had 2 or 3 carbs: it's a long time ago. Three of the latter at 2" would give it a pretty good set of lungs, I reckon!
The one issue that I do recall as being "difficult" was having to re-drill the oil ways in the valve rockers ... the tool shop in a South Australian motor vehicle manufacturer (whose name I shall withhold) found it hard to understand why the demand for small twist drills seemed to have escalated so much, these items evidently having proved somewhat fragile during the drilling process.


#15 Dick Willis

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:59

People have often asked me about the antics of the Milano as shown in Clark's 3rd and 4th pics, it had always been a chronic understeerer until one day at Silverdale Hillclimb in 1966 I decided to do something drastic to try and remedy the situation. Now for every action there is a reaction and removing the front sway bar certainly created a reaction, while the understeer was gone it was replaced by drastic oversteer as shown in pic 4 and without the front sway bar the inside rear wheel was unweighted resulting in the wheelspin shown in pic 4. Next step was to do something with the diff.

In starting this thread I had wanted to obtain some information on the car I now have as described by Ed Holly but also to formulate the history of these remaining cars and to this end I expect to receive some notes from a Milano enthusiast which should give a clearer picture of the situation.

Meanwhile I must get motivated and post some of the pics I have in my files of Milanos taken over the years.

#16 Nick Savage

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 08:21

Both Mike Eagles and Justin Murphy raced their Milanos for some years in the UK HSCC Historic Road Sports series, until quite recently. They were both very successful with top-three or top-four finishes againse some mighty opposition. I will see if I can get either of them to post their experiences and pictures.
Nick


#17 Wirra

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:28

There was one at Gaisbergrennen this year but it might be one of the Pommie cars mentioned above.

http://commons.wikim...11_No_173_2.jpg

#18 petestenning

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:45

For information Justin Murphy's is reg No RAS295 a Mk I , imported to the UK in 2003. I believe it has been sold on maybe a year or two ago as he now uses Ginetta G4.

Mike Eagles car is also a Mk 1 reg No EGF 547 B .

Not sure if Eagles still has his as he uses a De Tomaso at present.



Pete

#19 Tim Murray

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:09

Mike Eagles car is also a Mk 1 reg No EGF 547 B .

On display at the Stoneleigh show in 2005:

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#20 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:29

The Peter Goers Milano Zephyr here in SA had a nasty prang last year at Collingrove. All repairable but it will keep him busy [and poor] for a while.

#21 lyntonh

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:30

Quality a bit Iffy on this first one at Warwick Farm 2nd May 1970
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Amaroo Park 1st August 1970
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Oran Park 12th December 1970
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Edited by lyntonh, 12 February 2012 - 00:04.


#22 Dick Willis

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:44

Good shots Lynton, John Wright's Milano which he bought back and has beautifully restored in recent years and now looks much better than in the last pic.

#23 seldo

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 13:43

There was the duo of Bruce Leer and sister car.....ummm....I do recall having several very close tussles with my 1300 Welsor and Bruce Leer at Oran Park in the GT11. He was (naturally) much faster down the straight but I could catch him at the bottom under brakes, and then was bottled up behind him all the way through the back section and up until the run down into BP/Energol corner - the last corner onto the straight and the finish. After several fruitless attempts I decided it had to be a desperate on the last lap, so I did the huge outbrake down the inside into Energol, as Bruce tried to come in and take his line for the apex and I left some very substantial wheel/tyre circles along the LH side of the Milano but managed to hold him out until the finish line.
Afterwards - a very irate Bruce wanted to take matters further with Col and I, but it ended with a lot of brave but shallow threats from both sides and faded into history.
I'd have to say the Milanos were one of the best Aussie... "specials", doesn't really do them justice.
There was also the very quick Mk1 car of ...was it John O'Brien.... BRG and yellow stripe?

#24 Dick Willis

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 20:00

The Milano Zephyr which Lee mentioned earlier, at the time of the pic it was owned by David Mackie of SA, I believe it was originally owned by Vic Adams of Canberra until 1970.

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#25 GMACKIE

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 20:27

There was the duo of Bruce Leer and sister car.....ummm....

Wasn't that Ian 'Sam' Johnson, of JWF fame?


#26 Dick Willis

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 21:20

Bruce Leer ? here he is at Oran Park in 1968, who did he sell this car to before moving on into the Mk2 ?

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#27 GMACKIE

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 21:26

Who's in the #8 Speedwell [or is it Broadspeed?] Mini.....Laurie Stewart?

Edited by GMACKIE, 28 December 2011 - 22:13.


#28 eldougo

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 23:32

What has happened to John Scott open top Milano ? I have not see it for some time now.

#29 Clark Watson

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 23:43

Just a few more shots. Firstly the well known Manton Vallano and the nicely presented Milano of Jason Nichols of Melbourne.
Jason runs his Daily driver in regularity at most of the Southern States events and we're currently giving her a tidy up after what I would call a "Car - Wall interface" at the recent Sandown meeting. She should be back in one piece early next year.


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#30 Catalina Park

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:28

There is a couple of photos of the Valano in this Ebay advert for the July 65 SCW magazine.



#31 Dick Willis

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 02:06

Doug, the ex Bruce Leer, John Scott Milano MG is now with Geoff Herbert of WA but he still intends to race it in the Eastern States.

Clark, do you know the history of the Jason Nicholls Milano ?

Below, the advert that started many, including me, on Milano GT's, for just 350 quid,

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#32 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 04:58

Moss Angliss was the other 'works' driver...

I do have a story somewhere I did on the GT2s, I'll see if I can find it some time.

#33 eldougo

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:16

Following the heads up from Catalina Park there is a4 page artical on the car ,if you want Dick i can send it to you if it helps.


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Edited by eldougo, 29 December 2011 - 09:00.


#34 Dick Willis

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 06:46

Ray, I thought Moss Angliss was the "works" driver only in the days of the Mk2, Sam and Bruce drove the two Mk1 cars when I was competing against them.

Thanks Doug for the offer to copy the 7/65 SCW but I have found that issue in my mags so I will have a read of it, actually I had forgotten about that article so thanks too to Catalina. Earlier in this thread we were wondering about the carbs on the Valano so below is a pic of the carb side of the engine bay with owner Paul Manton tending to the other side of the motor.

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#35 onelung

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:22

. Earlier in this thread we were wondering about the carbs on the Valano so below is a pic of the carb side of the engine bay with owner Paul Manton tending to the other side of the motor.

Thanks Dick - certainly plenty of breathing ability there.
Re the engine being installed upright ... Ern at the time claimed it was to enable a lower bonnet line, but I'm wondering if it was more to do with making space for the footwells.
I see it has lost the original egg crate grille: I remember Alex spent a lot of time in the making of making it, very fiddly indeed.

#36 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:34

Thanks Dick - certainly plenty of breathing ability there.
Re the engine being installed upright ... Ern at the time claimed it was to enable a lower bonnet line, but I'm wondering if it was more to do with making space for the footwells.
I see it has lost the original egg crate grille: I remember Alex spent a lot of time in the making of making it, very fiddly indeed.

Standing a slopey Val up will make a higher bonnet line. I doubt it would have fitted in the chassis in its usual reclined stance.
Not the ideal engine for a car like that. A physically small 6 like a Holden, Zephyr etc or a big 4 like an MGB would have made more sense to me that a big Mopar lump. Actually a 318 A series probably would have been better and easier to fit.
Those side windows really let down what is otherwise quite a pretty and seemingly well made car.

#37 seldo

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:35

Moss Angliss was the other 'works' driver...

I do have a story somewhere I did on the GT2s, I'll see if I can find it some time.

Thanks Ray :) - Yes, Moss Angliss. And Greg M - Sam Johnston was the original "team" driver in the Mk I s, and I think was the "J" out of JWF who made them.
But what about the other one I mentioned - wasn't it John O'Brien in a very quick MkI painted BRG with a prominent yellow stripe?


#38 seldo

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:36

... Actually a 318 A series probably would have been better and easier to fit.
Those side windows really let down what is otherwise quite a pretty and seemingly well made car.

Agreed and, agreed

#39 john medley

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:54

Seldo
Mike Morris?

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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:08

Not so sure about fitting a V8 in there, if there was trouble getting things around a 30° engine bank there'd be more getting around a 45° lean, especially with the bulkier head layout of the A engines, which sit over 2" wider than the LAs... and there's more pipes to worry about etc...

Yes, I'd agree that I was wrong in saying Moss Angliss in this context, he probably only got a drive with the GT2s, and I'm pretty sure that Sam owned the car Moss drove and Bruce owned the other. Surprisingly, considering their results and reliability, they were budget cars from go to whoa.

Their first outing was September 20, 1970 at Oran Park. Both cars were at that meeting.

I must see if I can dig out that story...

#41 Wirra

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:19

They look so good because they are a scaled down version of the 1955 Ferrari 750 Spider Monza.

#42 seldo

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:36

Seldo
Mike Morris?

Yesss! Thank you! :)

#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:03

I thought Mike's car always had clutch slip...

Or was that his purple GT2?

It must be about 15 years now since Mike died, he and Lorraine were in the car hire business around Pennant Hills somewhere.

#44 eldougo

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:04

[quote name='lyntonh' date='Dec 28 2011, 19:30' post='5462516']
By the way its John Wright 70th birthday on Saturday it should be a good party. :wave:

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#45 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:51

Not so sure about fitting a V8 in there, if there was trouble getting things around a 30° engine bank there'd be more getting around a 45° lean, especially with the bulkier head layout of the A engines, which sit over 2" wider than the LAs... and there's more pipes to worry about etc...

Yes, I'd agree that I was wrong in saying Moss Angliss in this context, he probably only got a drive with the GT2s, and I'm pretty sure that Sam owned the car Moss drove and Bruce owned the other. Surprisingly, considering their results and reliability, they were budget cars from go to whoa.

Their first outing was September 20, 1970 at Oran Park. Both cars were at that meeting.

I must see if I can dig out that story...

I meant LA engine. The slant 6 and accescories are quite big on the left side. Far bigger and untidier than the V8. Exhausts would be an issue ofcourse.

#46 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:43

The rules are much more lenient about footwell size on the left...

The starter would be in the way there to some extent, but there should be room for the alternator and water pump. Mind you, relocating the alternator to the RHS would have been a logical modification... though it wasn't done, in fact, I notice in the pic that it's got something a Valiant never had:

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A generator!

#47 Dick Willis

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:09

70 year old John Wright would be much happier with the appearance of his Milano these days,

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#48 Paul Hamilton

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:17

There was one at Gaisbergrennen this year but it might be one of the Pommie cars mentioned above.

http://commons.wikim...11_No_173_2.jpg


This car was driven at the 2007 Goodwood revival meeting by Justin Murphy who had imported it to the UK following purchase from Ned McGovern. It was subsequently sold to a Swiss resident, Bruno Von Rotz.

#49 onelung

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:13

Those side windows really let down what is otherwise quite a pretty and seemingly well made car.

I can certainly vouch for the fact that they rattled a lot...

#50 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:25

Speaking of the Valano, which we seem to be doing regularly, I'm curious to know if it still holds the records set in 1965...

From the CAMS Manual of 1996 we have:

Standing kilometre - 26.91s, 133.74kmh, 83.10mph
Flying kilometre - 16.31s, 220.64kmh, 137.10mph
Standing quarter mile - 14.85s, 97.52kmh, 60.60mph
Standing mile - 37.75s, 153.53kmh, 95.40mph
Flying mile - 26.29s, 218.24kmh, 136.40mph

All records were set in Category A, Group I, Class 10. Supposedly. Look those up and you'll see why I question it!