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The first Australian Coopers


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#1 austmcreg

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 13:08

The first Cooper racing car to arrive in Australia was the JAP 8/80 engined car used as a demonstrator by Cooper agent Keith Martin, which arrived in Australia by ship 4 days or so before its first race appearance (with Arthur Wylie driving) at Fisherman’s Bend on 29 January 1950. The chassis number of this car seems to be unknown – much of the original chassis is believed to have been discarded during the rebuild following George Pearse’s accident in the 1954 Australian Grand Prix at Southport (by which time the car used front-engined MG power). The rebuild by Ray Revell incorporated a new tubular chassis, and the original chassis plate was likely lost.

The other early Coopers sold new in Australia are all identified, being 10/26/49 (which arrived either at the same time as the Martin car, or soon after), 10/31/49 and 10/32/49. Another car, 10/28/49, arrived here later in the 1950s, from England.

The Keith Martin car would very likely have had a chassis number in the range between say 10/20/49 and 10/30/49; removing the cars known in Australia and (with advice from Terry Wright) those accounted for in England (10/21, 10/22, 10/25, 10/27).

That leaves the likely candidates for our car as 10/23, 10/24, 10/29 and 10/30.

Is anyone able to offer evidence for the existence of any of these cars elsewhere, so they can be eliminated? Or, better still, is there a long hidden document surviving which identifies our car?

Rob Saward


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#2 D-Type

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 18:00

Any chance you can post photos of the bits that you have got? From your description it sounds as if nothing of significance from the original car exists.

#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 06:59

Might I respectfully suggest that while a clue to some original chassis number as imported would be interesting, it is also now - in the circumstances described - irrelevant?

DCN

#4 austmcreg

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 11:04

Any chance you can post photos of the bits that you have got? From your description it sounds as if nothing of significance from the original car exists.

Might I respectfully suggest that while a clue to some original chassis number as imported would be interesting, it is also now - in the circumstances described - irrelevant?

DCN


Doug, yes it is irrelevant in real terms, but there are a number of interested Cooper historians in Australia who would like like to know which car it was, for posterity. It is the only aircooled Australian Cooper for which we do not know the chassis number.

I am not the owner of the surviving Cooper MG, nor am I associated with previous or current owners. I am not an expert in the current specification of the car, but understand that, in the form it has existed since its rebuild in 1954, has Cooper suspension and wheels at both ends, but the bit in between is not Cooper. It has been almost continuosly raced from 1955 till now, being a regular in Australian historic racing for many years. My only interest in the car is in its original form between 1950 and 1954, when it was converted.

With respect, I would rather keep this thread on topic with a view to learning which possibilities for the chassis number exist. And in case somebody thinks the worst, no, I am not interested in 'creating' a Cooper.

Rob Saward

#5 tsrwright

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 11:11

Might I respectfully suggest that while a clue to some original chassis number as imported would be interesting, it is also now - in the circumstances described - irrelevant?

DCN


There is a bit of misunderstanding here. The remaining original bits survive in a car which has a continuous history going right back to 1950. I haven't seen it for a while but it used to live next door to me. Rob's question is directed to filling in some jigsaw bits relating to various cars' serial numbers not to assign a number to a car that is no longer a complete Cooper.

Now this is interesting; how did this picture get in here?


Posted Image

All I did was click my mouse ; it is not on Imageshack!

Ray Bell, how do you explain that?  ;)

#6 tsrwright

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:07

Posted Image

Even if you get the number and have the plate you can still be in trouble with Cooper numbers as others will know better than me. This copy (sorry it's so big) was, according to the late Max Fisher, from the NZ registration records of the car which John Nind first had here and which he raced in New Zealand in 1951. As many will know, NZ race cars then had to be road registered and carry a number plate. The engine number on the plate is verified by the notebook of Don Bain who tuned the car in Sydney and recorded the year/number as /WH/75432 But that plate seems to be fixed by socket screws - surely not?

There is a car in England with a plate 5-48-50 which a reliable former owner says was verified as his car by Eric Brandon. And there is a factory receipt for the sale of 5-48-50 in mid 1950 to Ecurie Nice.

So there clearly were two #48s in 1950 but ... according to Duncan Rabgliati car 10-48-50 also belonged to Johnny Claes and was later owned by Georges Dardenne in Belgium ... so could there have been three of them conveniently spread around the world?

More likely, Johnny Claes used the car a few times and then it came to Australia/New Zealand and not to Mr Dardenne. But does anybody know?

Edited by tsrwright, 01 May 2013 - 13:11.


#7 Peter Morley

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:53

Even if you get the number and have the plate you can still be in trouble with Cooper numbers as others will know better than me. This copy (sorry it's so big) was, according to the late Max Fisher, from the NZ registration records of the car which John Nind first had here and which he raced in New Zealand in 1951. As many will know, NZ race cars then had to be road registered and carry a number plate. The engine number on the plate is verified by the notebook of Don Bain who tuned the car in Sydney and recorded the year/number as /WH/75432 (which would have been preceded by JTOZ. But that plate seems to be fixed by socket screws - surely not?

There is a car in England with a plate 5-48-50 which a reliable former owner says was verified as his car by Eric Brandon. And there is a factory receipt for the sale of 5-48-50 in mid 1950 to Ecurie Nice.

So there clearly were two #48s in 1950 but ... according to Duncan Rabgliati car 10-48-50 also belonged to Johnny Claus and was later owned by Georges Dardenne in Belgium ... so could there have been three of them conveniently spread around the world?

More likely, Johnny Claus used the car a few times and then it came to Australia/New Zealand and not to Mr Dardenne. But does anybody know?


I wouldn't normally doubt Duncan but according to 500race.org Georges Dardenne bought his Cooper Mark IV from John Brise in 1954 and Brise had bought it in 1953 from John Cooper.
Johnny Claes had his Mark IV in 1950.

So there doesn't look to be a connection between the two cars - if Dardenne had bought his in Belgium maybe there would be but apparently he didn't.

I delivered a red Mark IV from Belgium to the UK many years ago but I can't remember the chassis number and I think the history was unknown at the time.

Edited by Peter Morley, 01 May 2013 - 12:54.


#8 tsrwright

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 13:20

I wouldn't normally doubt Duncan but according to 500race.org Georges Dardenne bought his Cooper Mark IV from John Brise in 1954 and Brise had bought it in 1953 from John Cooper.
Johnny Claes had his Mark IV in 1950.

So there doesn't look to be a connection between the two cars - if Dardenne had bought his in Belgium maybe there would be but apparently he didn't.

I delivered a red Mark IV from Belgium to the UK many years ago but I can't remember the chassis number and I think the history was unknown at the time.


Thanks for that, I never thought to look there. It is possible I have misunderstood Duncan's remarks because they mainly came via a Frenchman!

Both the Claes car and the Nind car were white or light coloured and the Nind car didn't arrive in Australia until well into 1951 as far as I know. So one possibility is that Nind had a car that had briefly been used by Claes. That could explain both having the same serial number if, indeed, they did. If Nind didn't have the Claes car then that's one more big-twin Cooper I can't account for.

#9 David McKinney

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 16:08

Wouldn't 5-48-50 have been a 500 and 10-48-50 a 1000 (or 1100)?

By the next model Coopers were using an 'L' in the number sequence to differentiate the larger-engined cars, but did they use this practice with MkIVs?

#10 Peter Morley

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 22:45

Wouldn't 5-48-50 have been a 500 and 10-48-50 a 1000 (or 1100)?

By the next model Coopers were using an 'L' in the number sequence to differentiate the larger-engined cars, but did they use this practice with MkIVs?


Isn't the numbering system:
model - number - year
e.g. we are talking about the 48th example of that model of car
But they didn't make 48 V-twin ones and wasn't a Mark IV a Type 11 or 12!

Was the L for Large or Longer chassis, I thought it was longer since the V-twin required a longer engine bay.

According to the Cooper Cars book Don Truman had ordered 5 (or V) -48-51 which might have gone to Finland instead, so 5-48-50 doesn't look to be a likely number.

As for duplicate numbers you have to consider the UK tax situation at the time.
Purchase tax was ridiculously high and payable by UK purchasers, hence if a car that had been officially exported was duplicated it could have saved someone in the UK a lot of money.
That is assuming the UK owner wanted a chassis number, choosing an un-numbered car could have avoided such difficulties.
If someone already had a customs carnet with a particular number on it then placing that number on a different car would have avoided troubling the customs people with the large cash deposit that was required.
Of course that is purely hypothetical and I'm not suggesting anyone involved in motor racing would be so devious.



#11 cooper997

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 03:45

Rob,

Wish I could help with a chassis number for the Martin/Pearse Cooper. But I can't.

Just for accuracies sake the Pearse Cooper-MG lasted some 12 months later than you mention. It was the Southport 'Queensland Grand Prix' meeting of November 6th, 1955 when George came unstuck in a preliminary race.

As far as I'm aware, Ray Revell debuted the rebuilt car at Bathurst's September 30th, 1956 meeting.

I wonder whether the likes of MG historian, Matthew Magilton can open a door through his MG connections on this. Or perhaps Graham Hoinville with his connections right back to period, 60 odd years ago.

Stephen

#12 tsrwright

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:58

Isn't the numbering system:
model - number - year
e.g. we are talking about the 48th example of that model of car
But they didn't make 48 V-twin ones and wasn't a Mark IV a Type 11 or 12!

Was the L for Large or Longer chassis, I thought it was longer since the V-twin required a longer engine bay.

According to the Cooper Cars book Don Truman had ordered 5 (or V) -48-51 which might have gone to Finland instead, so 5-48-50 doesn't look to be a likely number.


For the so-called Mks2, 3, 4 there was a first 'facet' normally '5' or '10' presumably shorthand for 500 or later 1000 then 1100cc. However this seems to represent the car type, including length of engine bay and or chassis, but not the capacity of engine actually fitted. There were some body detail differences between the 5s and the 10s which varied over time - I won't go into them here now. From 1951 this first facet indicated the 'Mk' starting with Mk5; working backwards 1950 was (presumably) Mk4, 1949 was Mk3 and Mk2 was 1948. However for these 3 years it is hard to identify anything other than a gradual change of features and details over that period and I don't think Mks 2, 3 and 4 were ever identified as such during the period.

The next facet was the car serial number which you would expect to be unique and in the case of the 1949-50 cars they were all one series. Thus the earliest 1950 plated car I am aware of is 10-34-50. As we have seen there is at least one duplicate in xx-48-50 and probably another in xx-31-49. However for the Mks5, 6 and 7 an L prefix was added to the serial number (presumably meaning 'long') so we get Mk5-4-51 and Mk5-L4-51. From Mk8s onwards there was no L designation

The third facet represented the year, as in '49' and at least that is unambigiugous.

So yes David, there weren't 48 twins but there were a lot of 10s which were not twins. And there were some 5s that had a twin slotted in; it was done, although maybe not by the factory.

The 'type' system was developed later - by whom? - and is probably more rational even though it includes oddities like toy cars and trailers.

Regarding purchase tax, I believe post war, racing cars were first exempt, then subject to a tax for which a rebate could be claimed, then the rebate was removed, but I am not sure of the dates or the details.

Edited by tsrwright, 02 May 2013 - 09:00.


#13 David McKinney

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:25

So yes David, there weren't 48 twins but there were a lot of 10s which were not twins. And there were some 5s that had a twin slotted in; it was done, although maybe not by the factory.

I was simplifying the matter - I meant to suggest that that the 5 and 10 prefixes referred to the chassis length, whatever engine was ultimately fitted by the buyer


#14 Graeme Louk

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:03

Good Afternoon All,
I am the current custodian of the Cooper MG.
I someone can tell me how too I will post an image of the car.
Lionel Ayres who modified the Cooper MG and ran it very successfully in period has been very informative and proved to be a wealth of knowledge.
It has been sitting for a while and also has a few anomalies that are preventing issue of a CoD. I am working at rectifying these with a view to running the car.
Obviously I would be very pleased to know more of the Cooper MG's history.
Regards to All,
Graeme Louk
Sydney



#15 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:42

It had an early Peugeot 203 steering rack...

Did the spare rack go with the car?

#16 tsrwright

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 10:19

Good Afternoon All,
I am the current custodian of the Cooper MG.
I someone can tell me how too I will post an image of the car.
Lionel Ayres who modified the Cooper MG and ran it very successfully in period has been very informative and proved to be a wealth of knowledge.
It has been sitting for a while and also has a few anomalies that are preventing issue of a CoD. I am working at rectifying these with a view to running the car.
Obviously I would be very pleased to know more of the Cooper MG's history.
Regards to All,
Graeme Louk
Sydney


Graeme

I would help you to post it yourself but I am afraid it is not easy even if Ray Bell says it is :)

If you email it to me and/or Garry at the addresses in Loose Fillings then one of us will post it and maybe we can publish it in LF?

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:50

Your earlier question, tsw, about the pic not on Imageshack...

You have copied the URL of the pic from another website. So that acts in the same way as Imageshack or Photobucket or any other photo storage site, it transfers the picture to this forum when you open this page.

Your problem, it seems to me, is that you aren't following the simple instructions, perhaps shaking your head and saying, "It's just too hard!" without realising that you are complicating something that's not really that complicated at all.

Without a doubt, you should be sizing the photos to the size you want them displayed before you even bother thinking about going to Imageshack... have you downloaded Irfanview yet so you can do that simply?

#18 Graeme Louk

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 14:31

It had an early Peugeot 203 steering rack...

Did the spare rack go with the car?

No, Unfortunately. Lots of broken diffs and axles though.

#19 Dick Willis

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 22:19

Graeme, nice to see that you have joined the ranks of the learned, and not so learned, on TNF,

Dick Willis

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:24

Originally posted by Graeme Louk
No, Unfortunately. Lots of broken diffs and axles though.


Sounds logical...

When Ross bought the car I was asked if I had an early 203 rack to fit it. "Why?" I asked Big Dave, "where's the original, is it damaged?"

"No, but Ross plans to crash it a few times!" came the droll Mawer reply.

FYI, the early 203 rack had a quicker ratio than later ones, I think you need one from before 1953.

Dick, I hope you have me in the right list!

#21 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:44

Sounds logical...

When Ross bought the car I was asked if I had an early 203 rack to fit it. "Why?" I asked Big Dave, "where's the original, is it damaged?"

"No, but Ross plans to crash it a few times!" came the droll Mawer reply.

FYI, the early 203 rack had a quicker ratio than later ones, I think you need one from before 1953.

Dick, I hope you have me in the right list!

The joys of old cars. 60 y/o obscure parts chase.
Though if people like Willis and Bell were not around nobody would know what the parts ever are.

#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 16:58

Yeah...

If someone ever wanted to reconstruct the Burgman Commodore they'd need to find a 404 torque tube. That's what the cases for the airjacks were made from... more componentry from the Bell Peugeot collection.

#23 cooper997

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:33

Unfortunately this thread hasn't done what Rob had hoped, but maybe we can add to the little that appears in regard to Keith Martin, who brought those 4 early Coopers into Australia.

The Cooper Racing Car Distributors advert in 2/50 AMS, has him as general manager. The business address is 219 Latrobe St, Melbourne. Probably appropriate that it's within a stone's throw of Melbourne's Elizabeth St motorcycle mecca. With the Latrobe St site now occupied by 'Melbourne Central' (unless there's been a major re-numbering of the street at some stage). But there had to be more being run out of that address, than 4 potentially slow moving Coopers. So does someone happen to know what else and more about Martin?

As previously mentioned by Rob, the 1st Cooper racing car appearance in Australia was the #1 CRCD/Arthur Wylie Cooper-JAP raced at the January 29th & 30th, 1950 (Australia Day long weekend) Fisherman's Bend meeting. Also appropriate because it was mainly a motorcycle meeting. With AMS reporting the car only 4 days off the boat, there was either enough faith to enter it beforehand and hope it arrived. Or it would simply be scratched. Because regardless of the outcome it's listed in the meeting's programme in both day's Event #7.

Wylie then followed this up with the likes of setting a record at Rob Roy Hillclimb and raced it at Easter 1950 Bathurst. Where it shared the Cooper limelight with the sister, Saywell example.

I have some listings for Martin running the car later in 1950 and through 1951, including winning at Rob Roy Australian Hillclimb Championship meeting on November 7th, 1950. But things got interesting the other day when I ferreted through an IOTA and found Keith Martin shown at the July 5th, 1952 Rest and Be Thankful Hillclimb (where he crashed). So maybe some UK-based TNF members can help add a bit more on that and any other UK events he may have taken part in.

Stephen





#24 tsrwright

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:47

Your earlier question, tsw, about the pic not on Imageshack...

You have copied the URL of the pic from another website. So that acts in the same way as Imageshack or Photobucket or any other photo storage site, it transfers the picture to this forum when you open this page.


Possibly, inadvertently, as I had been looking at a website with it on it.

#25 austmcreg

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:52

Unfortunately this thread hasn't done what Rob had hoped, but maybe we can add to the little that appears in regard to Keith Martin, who brought those 4 early Coopers into Australia.

The Cooper Racing Car Distributors advert in 2/50 AMS, has him as general manager. The business address is 219 Latrobe St, Melbourne. Probably appropriate that it's within a stone's throw of Melbourne's Elizabeth St motorcycle mecca. With the Latrobe St site now occupied by 'Melbourne Central' (unless there's been a major re-numbering of the street at some stage). But there had to be more being run out of that address, than 4 potentially slow moving Coopers. So does someone happen to know what else and more about Martin?

As previously mentioned by Rob, the 1st Cooper racing car appearance in Australia was the #1 CRCD/Arthur Wylie Cooper-JAP raced at the January 29th & 30th, 1950 (Australia Day long weekend) Fisherman's Bend meeting. Also appropriate because it was mainly a motorcycle meeting. With AMS reporting the car only 4 days off the boat, there was either enough faith to enter it beforehand and hope it arrived. Or it would simply be scratched. Because regardless of the outcome it's listed in the meeting's programme in both day's Event #7.

Wylie then followed this up with the likes of setting a record at Rob Roy Hillclimb and raced it at Easter 1950 Bathurst. Where it shared the Cooper limelight with the sister, Saywell example.

I have some listings for Martin running the car later in 1950 and through 1951, including winning at Rob Roy Australian Hillclimb Championship meeting on November 7th, 1950. But things got interesting the other day when I ferreted through an IOTA and found Keith Martin shown at the July 5th, 1952 Rest and Be Thankful Hillclimb (where he crashed). So maybe some UK-based TNF members can help add a bit more on that and any other UK events he may have taken part in.

Stephen


I dont have time to dig it all out now, so what follows is all from memory, but it was reported in the Australian press that Martin was going to England, and I recall one Uk report mentioning his presence there, with the implication that he was something of a fast talker...

His reputation in Melbourne was not good, having promised land (down on Monington peninsula from memory, but dont hold me to that) for a permanent race circuit, but it turned out he did not own the land. His Cooper (the first one, chassis number unknown) was advertised in AMS while he was away; the advert had the temerity to say something like "little used, done only three hillclimbs" when in fact it had done quite a few race meetings and been crashed at least twice, once badly enough that it put Martin in hospital for a few days. Photos exist of the repair efforts prior to the 1951 AGP in WA.

Whenever he ran the Cooper against others, he was always considerbaly slower. In view of this and his propensity to crash, it has to be said that as a driver, he was not in the same class as Wylie, Saywell, Crouch, Jones, Patterson etc who were his Cooper contempories in Australia.

When it come to claims for Martin's exploits, the current view in Australian Cooper historian circles is 'beware anything he said'.

And yes, I still want to know the chassis number of his car, even if nobody else cares! Thanks for bringing the thread back a bit closer, Stephen. Welcome back!

Rob Saward

Edited by austmcreg, 06 May 2013 - 14:41.


#26 john medley

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 22:40

I agree: welcome back Stephen

I too had noted that pic of Keith Martin running up that hill, carless (was it another accident?)

Interesting thread, contemplating several old Cooper mysteries. Are we able to know (from Terry's post 5) which car carries some original components of the Martin car ?

#27 cooper997

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:25

Thank you Rob for those interesting observations on Keith Martin. In the back of my mind I thought he may have been a bit 'fly by night' on the whole subject. Especially given that by the end of 1950 John Crouch had gone from being listed as NSW distributor for Cooper in early 1950, to Australian distributor by year's end. Not that it probably meant a lot as Bill Patterson, when in South Melbourne, held the Victorian Cooper distributorship to be quickly followed by Bib Stillwell.

The other reason for thinking Martin may be a bit elusive is that he doesn't appear much in way of racing before and after the Coopers. If at all. Whereas others had history with Alfas, MGs, etc.

Just ferreting through something earlier and Weir & Male Motors (Austin) name came up, their address being 243 Latrobe St. So just near CRCD. With perhaps some irony that IIRC Ken Wylie had some involvement with both.

In regards John M's query, I take it you are referring to Martin running at the July 5th, 1952 Rest and Be Thankful Hillclimb. The photo in IOTA is captioned "Keith Martin, Australian hill climb exponent, going well with his 1378cc JAP-engined Cooper. This car was very fast, but crashed a few seconds after this photograph was taken. Martin was unhurt." I shall scan said piece and let Rob decide whether to add it on here.

Going back to Rob's original question. As far as I'm aware DCN spent part of his research going through the Cooper records for his book. So one can only hope Mike Cooper has those records stashed somewhere safe. I could ask, but suspect that any Aussie-bound Coopers at that time failed to get much of a write up in the ledgers. Then again, at the time England was on an export or die push.

Stephen

#28 john medley

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:36

The pic I recall shows Martin RUNNING ( ie shanks' pony)up hill to complete an uncompleted climb perhaps because of an accident somewhere further down the slope

#29 cooper997

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:00

There is a possibility that both maybe related then John. The IOTA piece is rather brief in its entity. Mr Saward has the partial scan relating to Martin in the Cooper so he could forward it to you or post it here. Then the background might be familiar to help confirm the venue.

Stephen

#30 austmcreg

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:15

There is a possibility that both maybe related then John. The IOTA piece is rather brief in its entity. Mr Saward has the partial scan relating to Martin in the Cooper so he could forward it to you or post it here. Then the background might be familiar to help confirm the venue.
Stephen

That this thread is throwing light on Keith Martin is good - as has been said here already, he appeared from nowhere on the Australian scene in 1950, and disappeared just as quickly a few years later. We know little about him, but his importance in the early story of Coopers in Australia is such that we should.

This is the Rest and Be Thankfull hillclimb picture from IOTA August 1952, scanned by Stephen. Interesting that someone who ought to have been well connected at Coopers was driving a two year old car. My suspicion is that he was not on good terms with the Coopers by this time; there must have been a reason why he had lost the Australian and Victorian Cooper agencies.
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Changing tack slightly - my count of the Coopers that Martin imported and sold is five.
1. His own car, JAP 8/80 that became the Cooper MG.
2. Saywell JAP 8/80
3 JAP 8/80 twin less body that went to Davison (Vincent conversion, unused), Reg Smith with 1100 JAP, Jack French with Manx then spent a long time in Tasmania with the Powells and others.
4. Sister car to above, unbodied JAP single that was sold new to Ken Wylie and then various other Victorian owners (Old, Kidman, Swanton etc)
5. The Stan Jones 1100 JAP twin, which sat unsold in Melbourne for over a year before Jones bought it, well after Martin had lost the Cooper agency.

Rob Saward

Edited by austmcreg, 06 May 2013 - 12:16.


#31 austmcreg

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:31

Just ferreting through something earlier and Weir & Male Motors (Austin) name came up, their address being 243 Latrobe St. So just near CRCD. With perhaps some irony that IIRC Ken Wylie had some involvement with both.
Stephen

There were many car and motorycle sales businesses in that area, which as you say was swallowed up by the 1980s shopping centre development. I am not aware of any connection between Martin's business Cooper Racing Car Distributors and Ken Wylie, other than that Wylie purchased a Cooper Mk IV JAP 500 from CRCD. I dont know what Ken Wylie's involvement with Weir and Male was, other than that they commisioned him to build their Austin A40-based racing car. Ken Wylie had, through the 1950s, sales positions at several different Melbourne car sales businesses.

Of course, Ken's brother Arthur, editor of the esteemed journal Australian Motor Sports, was connected in the sense that Martin had him drive his Cooper on several occasions early in its life - that may well have continued longer except that Wylie finished building his Wylie Javelin and raced that instead.

Rob Saward

#32 john medley

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 00:51

I found the strange document I referred to earlier, "Car Racing 1953" a "Sporting Record " annual published by Country and Sporting Publications 184-5 Fleet Street London, about the 1952 season. On Page 47 a pic shows KM running uphill, with the caption "DOUBLE UP THERE! Keith Martin , the Australian hillclimb champion, had a season dogged by bad luck. He failed to compete at Bo'Ness, broke down at Rest and Be Thankfull, and crashed at Cobblers Corner on his second climb but-- car or no car-- he ran to the top to finish"

#33 cooper997

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 12:17

Original post deleted by mistake, when late at night I somehow doubled the post that follows, but hit the wrong delete button. So here is my attempt to recreate it with the relevant information.

In Rob's post #30 he mentions the Ken Wylie car, with 'Old' as an owner. Even though contemporary information names him as Jack Old, as far as I'm aware, it should be Jack Auld. As in Monaro Motors, High St, Malvern founder, Nuffield dealer and tuner with Peter Manton.

Then from John's post #32 on Keith Martin's British Hillclimb exploits, the following event dates were added - Bo'Ness Hillclimb was held June 28, 1952, Rest and Be Thankful was as previously stated July 5. While Cobblers Corner has me stumped, unless known by another venue name. Hopefully a UK TNFer could help with that?

Stephen

Edited by cooper997, 12 May 2013 - 11:45.


#34 cooper997

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 12:18

A bit more delving into the distant Australian Cooper past, reveals a bit more of the jigsaw.

It has already been said that Arthur Wylie was the first to race a Cooper in Australia over the long weekend of January 29 & 30, 1950 at Melbourne's Fisherman's Bend circuit. But had things fallen into place he probably wouldn't have. As with anyone who has ever ferreted out 'history' you start somewhere and often work backwards until you find the nugget you're looking for. Well that's what happened here.

Thank goodness to the Wylie's, Barraclough's & Pritchett's AMS can be a very handy guide to the going's on, the better part of 63 years ago. Firstly I found reference to John Crouch having a Cooper 1000 entry for the January 2, 1950 Australian GP meeting to be held at Nuriootpa in South Australia. The reference being for Entrants' Handicaps and at the bottom of it all, in relation to the Crouch Cooper it has "Handicap withheld" by the organising Sporting Car Club of SA. Now whether this was because Crouch, as the then current AGP winner, with a new untried car was too hard for the organisers to ponder, we can only wonder that was the case. But it has to be said that it would have been pretty fresh in everyones mind given it had only been September 18, 1949 when the previous AGP had taken place at Leyburn in Qld.

So having unearthed that I went looking back a bit more and sure enough Crouch had entries for both his Delahaye and a Cooper 1000, they were each entered for 3 of the 4 races to be held at the AGP meeting. Although both weren't down to contest the same 3 races, although both are listed for the AGP. Entries closed on November 2, 1949 - a full 2 months before the event. So something was happening on the Cooper front.

So looking a bit further back and eventually a 1/2 page item stood out, with in reality just 1 paragraph of any great interest to the TNF subject of early Coopers coming into Australia. And even then it is speculative. So here it is...
"Will Coopers come to Australia? - There is a fairly well substantiated rumour that a Melbourne firm has been successful in securing Australian distributorship for Coopers; and that, if they are successful in this, five cars will be imported with 1000cc JAP or Vincent-HRD engines, and this before Christmas , so there is a distinct possibility of their competing in the Australian Grand Prix at Nuriootpa. On such a circuit as this, with its short straights and many corners, a light and well handling car such as a Cooper 1000 would be in its element, it being doubtful whether even the Davison 2.9 Alfa Romeo could keep one in sight for long.”

Clearly they didn't arrive in time, so a Crouch Cooper wasn't in South Australia at the start of 1950. But nor was Crouch himself and the 1949 AGP-winning Delahaye was on the market then too.

Stephen

#35 tsrwright

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 13:17

Following from Graham Howard's archive may be useful regarding KMs competition history; I can see there is a Prescott 18 May 1952 entry missing.

I pasted the following in as a neat table but as you can see the tabulation has been lost. i have now tidied it up a little


date, event, notes, reference

1949
July 9, VSCCA trial, Austin A40; “his first trial ever;” 4th o/a, class 3rd, 8/49.36

July 23, LCCA trial, A40; DNF, 8/49.31

n/d, LCCA trial, A40; won Under 1200cc class, 10/49.8


1950

Jan 29-30, Fishermens Bend races, Cooper 1000, ent. Cooper Racing Car Distributors, dr. A.J. Wylie “only four days off the boat,” Wylie spun to stop after brake problem; McAlpine helped with carburation, 2/50.3, .23

Mn/d, Rob Roy hillclimb, Cooper 1000, ent. CRCD, dr. Wylie; FTD, new outright record; tuned by Bruce Rehn, Joe Laird, 4/50.3, .33

n/d, Mt Panorama, races, Cooper 1000, ent. CRCD; “the blue Cooper”; Rehn, Laird and McAlpine; 6-lap scratch, Wylie driving, DNF gearbox; Martin drove in NSW 100, DNF, 5/50.3, .19

Nov. 7, Rob Roy hillclimb, Australasian Hillclimb Championship, Cooper 1000, K.M. FTD, 29.63; Hunt (500) 29.89; Dean (Maybach) 30.63. pic p.43 shows KM bareheaded, opposite lock off the line; slippery wet road, 11/50.3, .43

n/d, Fishermens Bend races, Cooper 1000, KM 4th, 6-lap scratch (Davison, Whiteford, Saywell, KM); DNF Victorian Trophy, sunk float, when 4th; “the blue Cooper”, 12/50.6, .45


1951


Feb 24, Mundaring hillclimb, W.A., Cooper 1000; West Australian Hillclimb Championship – crashed, overturned in practice, 3/51.4

Feb 25, Mooliabeenie races, W.A., Cooper 1000; DNS, 3/51.4

Mar nn, Narrogin races, W.A., Cooper 1000; Australian Grand Prix – DNF, possibly because of misfire, 3/51.

n/d, Mt Tarrengower hillclimb, Cooper 1000; KM won 851-1500 class, best time 1.41.2; Cec Warren (Model A speedcar) 1.40.6; Bob Baker (Model A speedcar)1.42.0; KM also won award based on best aggregate of four runs, 4/51.8

May 9, Rob Roy hillclimb, Cooper 1000; KM 2nd in class, 38.05; “gremlins”

Oct nn, Mt Panorama races, Cooper 1000 entered by CRCD; KM DNA; one of seven Coopers entered

Oct 8, Woodside races, Cooper 1000; KM DNF, startline accident, 10/51.39

Nov 6, Rob Roy hillclimb, Cooper 1000; Australian Hillclimb Championship; KM 3rd in class, 29.27, 7th-fastest overall; Brabham (speedcar) 27.24, Hunt (Hunt Vincent) 27.26, Crouch (Cooper Mk5 1100) 27.36, 11/51.33

Nov 11, Ballarat races, Cooper 1000; KM DNF Victorian Trophy, 12/51.47


1952


[May 18, Prescott hillclimb]

July 5, Rest and be Thankful hillclimb “...the car was very fast but...crashed,” (Iota; lists Mk4 Cooper 1378 JAP) Motor Sport had photo of him running up the hill. Iota 8/52.15

Edited by tsrwright, 12 May 2013 - 08:10.


#36 tsrwright

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 13:22

Also from the Graham Howard archive mainly regarding Cooper agency. There is correspondence with John Holmes and maybe he can add more?


Keith Martin

AMS references, Cooper agency, Les Taylor

1AMS 9/49 p.44 – article, “Will Coopers Come to Australia?” “There is a fairly well substantiated rumour that a Melbourne firm has been successful in securing Australian distributorship for Coopers; and that, if they are successful in this, five cars will be imported with 1,000cc JAP or Vincent engines, and this before Christmas, so that there is a distinct possibility of their competing in the AGP at Nuriootpa.”

2 AMS 11/49 p.11 – 1950 AGP entry list includes Crouch, Cooper 1,000

3 AMS 12/49 p.11 – 1950 AGP handicaps show Crouch, Cooper 1,000 “handicap withheld”

4 AMS 12/49 p.47 – LCCA club notes: “Thanks to the enthusiasm of a member, Keith Martin, who has recently bought a tract of land on the Mornington Peninsula, it seems most probable that before next year steps will have been taken to lay down a race circuit on this land. Further details of this scheme will be reported next issue.”

5 AMS 1/50 p.28 – advertisement: “Coopers are here! ...1,000cc and 500cc Genuine Factory Racing cars...Cooper Racing Car Distributors, 219 Latrobe St Melbourne ...K.L. Martin General Manager”

6 AMS 2/50 p.34 – Cooper article, photo shows Martin and Phil Irving with Martin’s 1,000cc car, but no mention of agency

7 AMS 4/50 p.13 – advertisement: “Cooper 1,000 smashes Rob Roy Record!...Immediate delivery 1,000cc chassis...500cc chassis...CRCD etc”

8 7/8/50 – letter KM to Les Taylor (John Holmes archive): outlines agency terms, including LT to buy Cooper 1000, also “seven Cooper cars have been sold in NSW and Victoria...”

9 4/11/50 – letter Taylor to KM (JH archive) – “very perturbed” not to have confirmation of Q’land agency

10 6/11/50 – letter KM to Taylor (JH archive) – conforming order for Cooper 1100

11 23/11/50 (? - date unclear) –telegram (JH archive) KM to Taylor confirming order, cars expected in Melbourne 8/12/50

12 AMS 1/51 p.8 – advertisement: “Cooper...Cooper 1,000 (ready to race) immediate delivery...CRCD etc”

13 AMS 1/51 p.41 – advertisement by Crouch, “now NSW and Queensland distributor for Cooper 500 and 1100 racing cars”

14 AMS 2/51, p.11 – advertisement: “For immediate delivery...Cooper 500cc...Cooper 1,000cc...Cooper 1,100cc...demonstration 1950 model Cooper1,000...CRCD (Aust) [note – no CRCDA address shown] These cars will be on display at the end of this month at Disney Motors, 410 Elizabeth St Melbourne.”

15 AMS 2/51 p.49 – advertisement, Crouch, “Cooper 1,100cc racing car for immediate delivery, with latest alloy JAP engine, painted black with red upholstery...entered for Bathurst. We will nominate buyer as driver.....NSW and Queensland distributors for Cooper 500 and 1,100 racing cars and 1 ½-litre sports cars – all models for prompt delivery.”

16 AMS 3/52 p.17 – Bits & Pieces item, “Stan Jones has acquired the new red Cooper 1100 that has been on show in Melbourne over the past year...Lex Davison has also joined the air-cooled brigade. His mount is a Cooper chassis to which will be fitted a Vincent Lightning motor plus supercharger.”

17 AMS 3/52 p.19 – advertisement: “Cooper 1,000 – latest 8/80 JAP motor. Done three climbs at Rob Roy since new...owner abroad, quick sale...”

18 AMS 3/52 p.19 – advertisement: JAP speedway V-twin 8/80 engine unused, from new Cooper...Norton gearbox ex Cooper...A.N. Davison, Lilydale”

19 The Autocar, 28/3/52 p. 404 – item in The Sport: “An interesting Australian cyclone has just struck these shores in the person of Keith Martin...He owns the first of these cars to reach Australian soil...He is awaiting delivery of an XK 120C Jaguar within the next few months...”

20 AMS 4/52 p.68 – advertisement by Crouch for Mk6 Cooper, full page – no reference to Martin or to any agency status

21 Iota 8/52 p.15 – pic shows Mk4; 1378 JAP... “the car was very fast but...crashed” – Rest and Be Thankful 5/7/52

22 AMS 8/52 p.64 – advertisement says Stillwell “Victorian distributor for Cooper racing cars.”

23 AMS 11/53 p.50 – advertisement for Grand Prix Service ( = Bill Patterson) says “Victorian Distributor Cooper Racing and Sports Cars.”





#37 cooper997

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:17

With Terry posting Graham Howard's records on Keith Martin, certainly adds to the thread.

The use of an Austin A40 in those Trials only strengthens my thoughts of some Keith Martin association to Weir & Male Motors.

As this is about helping fill in the blanks of early Australian Coopers, here's some extras that relate to Graham's information in post #35.

Under 1950...

The Rob Roy, where the CRCD/Arthur Wylie Cooper ran a record 26.55 run was on March 13 (Labour Day long Weekend in Vic).

The missing Bathurst date is April 10.

Additional, but speculative. On October 29 Western District Car Club ran a grass track event at Corio, near Geelong. A Cooper was a "notable absentee".

The Victorian Trophy meeting was held at Ballarat Aerodrome with the motorcycle meeting, not at The Bend as listed. The weekend was November 18 & 19 for this meeting. It should also be noted that Lex Davison "wasn't too proud" to try the CRCD Cooper after racing had ceased. Which possibly makes it the first time Lex sat in & drove a Cooper. Even though not in anger.

Under 1951...

The Narrogin AGP meeting was March 5.

Mt Tarrengower Hillclimb was over the Easter weekend of March 23 - 26, but currently I'm unsure whether it was run on the Sat or Mon (24 or 26).

Bathurst's October 1 meeting where Martin is listed as a DNA from seven Coopers entered, needs a little clarification from current available known info. Yes the 9/51 AMS issue lists CRCD in the published handicaps. But as far as I'm aware the event programme doesn't list it/him, but does list the other 6 drivers/cars.

South Australia's Woodside meeting on October 8, it quite possibly why the DNA to the previous w/e Bathurst meeting took place. My understanding was Martin stalled the car on the front of the grid and Davison in the TC behind him, hit the Cooper.

Stephen




#38 tsrwright

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 08:00

[quote name='cooper997' post='6261448' date='May 12 2013, 11:17']With Terry posting Graham Howard's records on Keith Martin, certainly adds to the thread.
/quote]

Thanks, I will add those to Graham's records. Don't we really need the equivalent of the F1 Register record books for Australia? I mean it is fundamental to any research to have a definitive calendar of events with entries and results. I said as much once to Graham but he belittled the idea and I think he thought it was 'anorak'. Well maybe, but he did keep his own book of events to look up whenever he needed to check on a meeting!

I should say I am not inclined to take on such a job myself as my hands are full on another project but I would happily contribute to a collective effort.

Edited by tsrwright, 12 May 2013 - 08:12.


#39 cooper997

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:53

The principal of an Australian events register is fine, but the practical sense of it probably means a finite number would have a use for the info. With even less contributing to its creation. From which others then get the free ride (so to speak).

I usually gather all this sort of trivia for my own personal use. Because Coopers, be they BMC Mini or of the racing persuasion are of an interest to me. All pretty much done under the radar and at my own expense (time & monetary). Because it only need satisfy me.

It probably goes without saying that GH would have spent his time doing similar (but covering vastly more subjects) in a method that worked for him. All so he could be as historically accurate as he could for any of his features. Those foolish enough to do this as a hobby or means of putting food on the table, usually hate the term anorak or guru. That infers one knows everything, when clearly we can all still learn something.

So I guess the creation of such an Australian events register would be handy for some, but a mammoth task none the less. Especially in a date/event/result format.

Stephen

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#40 johnny yuma

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 00:34

The principal of an Australian events register is fine, but the practical sense of it probably means a finite number would have a use for the info. With even less contributing to its creation. From which others then get the free ride (so to speak).

I usually gather all this sort of trivia for my own personal use. Because Coopers, be they BMC Mini or of the racing persuasion are of an interest to me. All pretty much done under the radar and at my own expense (time & monetary). Because it only need satisfy me.

It probably goes without saying that GH would have spent his time doing similar (but covering vastly more subjects) in a method that worked for him. All so he could be as historically accurate as he could for any of his features. Those foolish enough to do this as a hobby or means of putting food on the table, usually hate the term anorak or guru. That infers one knows everything, when clearly we can all still learn something.

So I guess the creation of such an Australian events register would be handy for some, but a mammoth task none the less. Especially in a date/event/result format.

Stephen

Is there an internet-savvy Australian out there who has sufficient knowledge,passion and time to conceive some form of wiki-style tabulated "empty box" for circuit racing history for Australia ? Then those others who could contribute could do so then be subject to a little good natured peer review,and items given some sort of Rating for fact,probability or "maybe" ,and left in the mix.PerhapsTNF,or atlasf1,can help here as some platform provider?

Edited by johnny yuma, 13 May 2013 - 00:37.


#41 tsrwright

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:49

Is there an internet-savvy Australian out there who has sufficient knowledge,passion and time to conceive some form of wiki-style tabulated "empty box" for circuit racing history for Australia ? Then those others who could contribute could do so then be subject to a little good natured peer review,and items given some sort of Rating for fact,probability or "maybe" ,and left in the mix.PerhapsTNF,or atlasf1,can help here as some platform provider?


I am sure that's exactly what is needed, Johnny

Such a set-up could have a variety of motorsport applications; my problem is I just don't get the mechanics of it.

Edited by tsrwright, 13 May 2013 - 03:58.


#42 tsrwright

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:48

The principal of an Australian events register is fine, but the practical sense of it probably means a finite number would have a use for the info. With even less contributing to its creation. From which others then get the free ride (so to speak).

I usually gather all this sort of trivia for my own personal use. Because Coopers, be they BMC Mini or of the racing persuasion are of an interest to me. All pretty much done under the radar and at my own expense (time & monetary). Because it only need satisfy me.

Stephen


I think that's a very narrow view of things, Stephen.

If everyone thought like that there would be no lifesaving or rural fire brigades, no books or libraries, no archives or museums, no footy or motor sport.

We could even get 3 railways gauges on the same island.

#43 BMH Comic

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 22:00

I am sure that's exactly what is needed, Johnny

Such a set-up could have a variety of motorsport applications; my problem is I just don't get the mechanics of it.


Yes it does indeed have many applications for the Sport.
As you and others have alluded to here, the lack of common approach to solving problems has led to Australia having 3 different railway gauges. It is a difficult technical problem but it does have a solution.
Below are the contact details of Dr Joseph who is currently doing investigative work on building a comprehensive electronic inventory of Western Australian Motor Sport history. This history is in many formats and many more locations, the application of crowd sourcing and digitizing the history with OCR scanning appears to be a strategy that would achieve the desired results and it would require some area of electronic storage over and above the current resources available. It is readily expandable to provide coverage of national motor sport history.
If you would like to contribute to or gain an understanding of how such a system would operate might I suggest you contact her?
Dr. Pauline Joseph, MRIM
BAppSci Hons (Curtin), PhD (UWA)
Lecturer | Graduate Coordinator | Department of Information Studies | School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts

Curtin University
Tel | +61 8 9266 7180
Fax | +61 8 9266 3166

Email | p.joseph@curtin.edu.au Profile | Pauline J
Web | http://curtin.edu.au | Podcast | Recent article | Search behaviour in EDRMS… or Information Research Journal, vol 18, (1), Mar ‘13


#44 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 23:16

And what is wrong with having 3 rail gauges. It keeps people in work changing gauges, it keeps passengers awake changing trains too. I am expecting the government soon to announce a fourth gauge to keep the work up to the workers!

#45 johnny yuma

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:46

And what is wrong with having 3 rail gauges. It keeps people in work changing gauges, it keeps passengers awake changing trains too. I am expecting the government soon to announce a fourth gauge to keep the work up to the workers!

All mainland capital cities have been linked by Standard Gauge since 1995. Only took 80 years of Royal Commissions,Parliamentary enquiries and World War 2 chaos to make it happen !!

#46 tsrwright

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:10

Yes it does indeed have many applications for the Sport.
As you and others have alluded to here, the lack of common approach to solving problems has led to Australia having 3 different railway gauges. It is a difficult technical problem but it does have a solution.


That is most valuable and I will follow it up. Thank you. It may also be relevant to making Graham Howard's archive, which Garry Simkin and I have taken over, more accessible.

I had a good chat with Pauline . It sounds like a very good project - world class I suggest - which would be developed first in WA hopefully with a lottery grant but then would work in any context. We'll be kept informed.


Edited by tsrwright, 14 May 2013 - 08:23.


#47 austmcreg

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:41

Gents,
As much as I support Johnny's concept of the wiki-type database (I would be pleased to contribute - some parts of it have already been started - I have a Tasmanian event chronology 1946-1966 which is probably 80% complete), can we please have that discussion on a different thread (perhaps the one Terry started a few months back re motor racing archives) so this one can be about early Australian Coopers and their drivers?

And yes, it sounds like the work being done in WA might be very relevant and interesting.

Rob Saward

Edited by austmcreg, 14 May 2013 - 03:44.


#48 BMH Comic

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:48

That is most valuable and I will follow it up. Thank you. It may also be relevant to making Graham Howard's archive, which Garry Simkin and I have taken over, more accessible.


It would be highly relevant to Graham's Archive. The fundamental problem is that most of our motor racing history is in private collections and not in a researchable format. Modern scanning equipment certainly expedites the process and converts it to a usable research tool.

We have some serious difficulties here in WA as many will not donate material for public record as the bodies charged with maintaining our history here have a predisposition to either throwing it down the tip or at best selling it. The government’s track record with retention of our motoring heritage is dreadful. Therefore, it’s better left in the hands of the motoring enthusiasts than the government instrumentalities.


#49 Ellis French

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:35

Dave Powell Jnr comes to grief in the Cooper Jap at Symmons Plains when Tapp spins in front of him.....

Posted Image

#50 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:42

All mainland capital cities have been linked by Standard Gauge since 1995. Only took 80 years of Royal Commissions,Parliamentary enquiries and World War 2 chaos to make it happen !!

Come to Adelaide, suburban rail is broad gauge and interstate is standard. They are electrifying the network and relaying all the lines,,, in broad gauge. Qld is still narrow gauge above Brisbane. And I am told some of the private mine lines are a different gauge again. Which again makes no sense.
I have been to Peterborough SA where all the gauges met, an eye opener and testament to stupidity in a country with such a small population.
Though lots of other stuff is not universal either. Trailer plugs, literally every state uses a different system, large round, small round, 2 different flat styles. and the unusual flat on the bottom and oval upper style. Again, bloody stupid.