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Specials made In Zambia


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#1 arttidesco

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 10:33

As some of you will know my introduction to motor racing in the flesh came in Zambia, where my folks were working on the copper mines in the early to mid 1970's. There was bugger all to do most of the time I was there on school holiday's except read MotorSport and Autosport which would arrive about a month late and the habit of reading these esteemed journals soon took over most of my boarding school days too.

 

07_10sc.jpg

 

One Sunday my Dad had the brilliant idea of taking mum and I to the races proper where the fastest car on the circuit was this special built by the Italian Costa's brothers Remo and Alberto.

 

Thanks to a post I left in the Abarth thread three years ago, Remo recently got in touch with me, sent some pictures and kindly told me the story behind the car, which is related in today's blog.

 

I have some sketchy details of at least one other special made in Zambia formerely Nothern Rhodesia and I hope one or two more might turn up here.

 

Multo Grazie to Remo Costa and thanks to The Nostalgia Forum for reuniting me with one of the many seeds of my passion for the sport :up:



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#2 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 11:15

Very enjoyable, Ralph.

A clear parallel with some of the home-built specials in Malta, although they are usually single-seaters.

#3 ensign14

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 21:24

Another vista in the racing universe opens up...many thanks.



#4 Cargo

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 07:04

Yes, thanks. Interesting post and the links also are a good read. Good job.

 

btw, happy crimbo everyone. . :wave:



#5 PAUL S

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 05:49

Hi, I was also brought up in Zambia in the early seventies and my dad also worked on the copper mines, then for an engineering company called Mike Appel that reconditioned engines for the industry. We were based in Kitwe and Lusaka. As he had previously been a race car mechanic in the UK I will ask him if he ever had an involvement with the scene when we were living there.

 

We came back when I was 4 in 1972, still remember the big black steam loco's and would love to return one day to take a look around.



#6 arttidesco

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 00:24

SOT The big black steam loco's were called Beyer Garrets, I'll post a photo of one when I get home   ;) 



#7 tsrwright

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:14

This photo came from Robert Young and I may have posted it previously with a request for information.

 

Its clearly the Mk6 or 7 second Cooper that Jimmy de Villiers raced in Southern Rhodesia late '50s. It had previously been owned in the UK by David Roscoe and before that by Peter Hughes. It was 1220cc and supercharged and I suspect it may the Peter Bell car that Michael Christie then Ken Wharton drove as well as their own cars c 1955-56.

 

The non Cooper body envelops the sponson fuel tanks of the Mk5/6/7 and doubtless also Jimmy's bulk.

 

Robert said it was owned in Kitwe by his friend Frank Rankin and Alastair Cridland who was in Kitwe late 1963 to 1965 has told me he went with his boss Jeff Ortlepp so see the car maybe late 1964; he believes Jeff bought the car and raced it on a road circuit thereabouts.

 

The engine is almost certainly back in the UK in Jimmy de Viilers other, earlier Cooper, which is readily identified by distinctive chassis details which have all been cut off in the process of 'restoration'.

 

Ivan Glasby thinks this car may have come back to (Southern) Rhodesia and still survive with a Ford engine.

 

I would be interested to hear any more that anybody may have.

 

 

SAfrica.jpg


Edited by tsrwright, 31 December 2013 - 00:31.


#8 PAUL S

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 16:02

I spoke to my dad over xmas. He said the company he worked for (Mike Appel) was taken over by Engine Reconditioners of South Africa run by a chap called Dennis ODonnell and during that time they did work on engines for a number of race cars in Zambia but he never made it out to the tracks to see them sorry.



#9 arttidesco

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 14:35



I spoke to my dad over xmas. He said the company he worked for (Mike Appel) was taken over by Engine Reconditioners of South Africa run by a chap called Dennis ODonnell and during that time they did work on engines for a number of race cars in Zambia but he never made it out to the tracks to see them sorry.

 

Thanks for the information Paul, shame your Dad never made it track side.

 

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Here is a pic of one of those big black steam locomotives  ;)



#10 PAUL S

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 23:07

I remember those and Chongololas well  :)



#11 Allan Lupton

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 09:37

I think you need a photo of the whole locomotive to give the right impression of the Rhodesia Railways'  big Beyer-Garratt:No.424_in_Bulawao_station-679x457.jpg


Edited by Allan Lupton, 07 January 2014 - 20:03.


#12 Dutchy

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 13:28

A few years ago I went to Zambia and visited the railway museum at Livingstone. I'm fairly certain there was a Garratt there among all sorts of treasures looking very forlorn at the open air museum.



#13 D-Type

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 14:48

And we had the [relatively] small metre gauge ones in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika/Tanzania).


Edited by D-Type, 07 January 2014 - 14:49.


#14 Allan Lupton

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 20:02

And we had the [relatively] small metre gauge ones in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika/Tanzania).

Rhodesia Railways locos were not a lot bigger, being built to the 3'6" (1067mm) so-called Cape gauge. I used the term "big B-G" as RR had two sizes of Garratt but for a really big one you need those that worked on Indian broad gauge (5'6").



#15 D-Type

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 21:47

You live and learn.  I always thought that the South African Railways system, which included the Rhodesias and the Portuguese colonies, was standard gauge (4' 8½").  As the two gauges were so similar, it's surprising that the British Government didn't build the Kenya-Uganda Railway with a 3' 6" gauge.



#16 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 22:14

Not in Zambia but I took this picture of a Beyer Garrat steam engine in 1970 in Sri Lanka.

vpp7.jpg

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Standard gauge was in use there. Beyer Garrat's were also used to haul coal trains into the London area in the post war years.

Edited by Robin Fairservice, 07 January 2014 - 22:15.


#17 Allan Lupton

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:17

You live and learn.  I always thought that the South African Railways system, which included the Rhodesias and the Portuguese colonies, was standard gauge (4' 8½").  As the two gauges were so similar, it's surprising that the British Government didn't build the Kenya-Uganda Railway with a 3' 6" gauge.

Yes, quite, since the original intention was a Cape to Cairo railway. Egypt seems to have used Standard Gauge when Robert Stephenson was contractor in the 1850s.

As you say, there was a lot of continuous railway in southern Africa and the railway I lived near was the (single track) main line from Salisbury in Southern Rhodesia to Beira in Portuguese East Africa - and pretty well all non-African imported goods came that way.

 

I thought Sri Lanka used Indian broad gauge and, although there's nothing in Robin's photo to scale it by, that's how it looks to me.