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What was Australia's best home built front engine Racing Sports Car


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#1 DanTra2858

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 02:18

Who built the best Racing front engine Sports Car in Australia.

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#2 2Bob

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 03:10

Define best.....

 

I would suggest Elfin with the streamliners.



#3 Lola5000

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 03:22

Paul England's Ausca with the Repco Holden head.



#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:54

Doesn't the Centaur-Waggott rate? I mean when it had the twin-cam engine, of course.

And there's a whole bunch of really clever Clubmans out there...

#5 Barry Boor

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:15

What about the Repco Special, formerly owned and driven by our very own Rod Waller and now in the cavernous workshop of Neil McCrudden? Or at least, it was when I was there in February.

#6 DanTra2858

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:48

I would like to nomminate the Coad Vauxhall & the Jolly Decca cars, lets leave the Clubmans out of it for a while please.

#7 Wirra

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:01

Ian "Sam" Johnson

Geoff Williams

Grant Furzer

 

JWF Milano GT, Mk II

 

 

 

These photos are from the Rod Stevens collection, the bulk of which are on the Australian photos thread.

Rod's family don't want to maintain copyright over them so if you want a higher res copy let me know by a PM

Ed

JWFmilano_zps9b5361eb.jpg


Edited by Wirra, 07 September 2014 - 05:28.


#8 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:34

Define best.....

 

I would suggest Elfin with the streamliners.

I'm with you Bob. So much choice, so many designs.So many eras.  It is a bit of how long is a piece of string!



#9 brucemoxon

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 09:29

Milano GT, Mk II

+1 Loved those cars.

 

 

 

Bruce Moxon



#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 10:50

Now that the Mk 2 Milano's been mentioned, I've got to vote for it too...

But there are so many good things out there. Or have been out there.

The Carter Corvette hasn't been mentioned yet.

#11 DanTra2858

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 07:28

As Lee suggested it is too hard to say which was the better car so why not look at the question of breaking it into different eras, 1950 - 1959, 1960 - 1969, 1970 - 1979, 1980 - 1989.

Would this make it easier to critique the history of development of our home grown Racing Sports Cars thus allowing Clubman's as well to be included, your thoughts gents.

#12 giffo

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 07:47

repco4.jpg

 

This one? Certainly one of the prettiest.


Edited by giffo, 06 September 2014 - 07:47.


#13 GreenMachine

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 07:50

Now that the Mk 2 Milano's been mentioned, I've got to vote for it too...


I'm in for that too!

But yes, how do you choose? By era? year? category? I don't that simplifies anything, it is all so very subjective. The question has already been limited to front-engine cars ...

#14 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 09:24

Milanos, Bolwells all except the Ikara. There is so many attractive Sport Cars. One that were fast and distinctive  Bernie Van Elsens Bolwell Nagari. Probably the best that Bolwell that ever raced. The K&A monocoque  helped there.

 

Or a small giant killer? Peter Hopwoods Elan. Which did some pretty amazing things at times. Driver was the difference there though.


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 06 September 2014 - 09:29.


#15 Wirra

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 11:25

...Or a small giant killer? Peter Hopwoods Elan. Which did some pretty amazing things at times. Driver was the difference there though.

 

Was Colin Chapman just holidaying in Oz when he built that Elan or had he secretly taken out Australian citizenship and shared a house with the Petrovs?



#16 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 22:05

Was Colin Chapman just holidaying in Oz when he built that Elan or had he secretly taken out Australian citizenship and shared a house with the Petrovs?

I believe the car was Australian built. How much Lotus was left would be the question.

While it is an English car this just another problem with the thread. An Oz built and raced version of an English car.

Virtually none of the cars mentioned so far have been mostly Australian, but are Australian built. Imported engines and running gear. Some built based on English or other chassis.

The Holden powered Milanos with space frame probably then comply. As does most of the Bolwells. And yes Ford Cleveland engines were made in Australia!

An Aussie chassis with Lotus, English Ford or BMC running gear really does not!

An MG based car though may.



#17 DanTra2858

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 22:51

Lee how would you clarify the question that I am trying to generate, to be rediclous the Jane Massa 300s with Australian spark plugs could be called an Australian Special Sports car the same as you are suggesting the Elan?

#18 DanTra2858

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 22:55

repco4.jpg

This one? Certainly one of the prettiest.


Griffo, what are the details of this car, it looks very LM 250 at the front?

#19 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 03:46

Lee how would you clarify the question that I am trying to generate, to be rediclous the Jane Massa 300s with Australian spark plugs could be called an Australian Special Sports car the same as you are suggesting the Elan?

Dont be silly. Though many accepted Australian Specials, Sports and Racing were built from Ford V8s. Undoubtedly Australian Specials.And some very good and interesting cars. But built near exclusivly from imported parts. As were some Euro cars modded and updated here in Oz to go fater, or keep on the pace.  Really Australian bodies and [many] modifications to mechanicals and chassis to make them more suitable for racing. The same was done world wide ofcourse.



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#20 Repco22

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 03:56

Griffo, what are the details of this car, it looks very LM 250 at the front?

Dan, this is the 'Byfield-Ayres' Repco-Holden Special. The body was designed and built from aluminium by Cliff Byfield in 1959. [Pre 250LM.] 

        Actually the front guards look more 'Birdcage' and the chopped rear guards are something like the Decca Special which was inspired by Lotus so take your pick!

        The net result was certainly pleasing and it caused a stir when first seen in WA. Went well too, usually dicing with or beating the Barfield [ex McKay] DB3S.

        There is more on the car under 'Cliff Byfield' but just briefly, in an earlier life it had been the BRM-Morgan, a state champion open-wheeler.

        As mentioned by Barry in post #5, the car is now a part of Neil McCrudden's WARM racing stable.        I'll try to arrange posting of a couple of pics of the car in company with a 250LM.


Edited by Repco22, 07 September 2014 - 04:06.


#21 ken devine

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 08:46

The Byfield Holden Sports and the Ausca are equal in looks and performance.Also when Jack Ayres was beating the Barfield Aston Martin DB3s it had the standard Holden grey motor  not the Repco . It was more the driving ability of Jack Ayres.



#22 GMACKIE

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 09:11

The Prior/Adams 'PRAD' deserves a mention here, I feel.



#23 RTH

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 09:15

Repco 22 re post 20  Rod's photos

 

rwcav2.jpg

 

Rod Waller in Repco  behind 250LM above

 

 

 

Below Lionel Beattie driving the Repco following Spencer Martin in Scuderia Veloce 250LM in 1965 6hrs Caversham picture by Alan Yates

 

rwcav-1.jpg



#24 DanTra2858

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 09:33

Thanks RTH now we will have Mackie stating that the VW was actually lapping the SM250, nice photos thanks.

#25 GMACKIE

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 09:45

By the look of the positive camber on the rear wheel, the VW is about to become front-engined. :)



#26 Piquet959

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 10:13

I would suggest that the Lou Molina racing/sports cars from the 50's and 60's would have to rank fairly high in the listing.
Lou had the Monza and the MM.

#27 DanTra2858

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 20:41

Yes the Monza, what a radical looking car & later in life to be fitted with a hardtop to comply with the GT rules, Repco headed grey holden motor. I remember a photo of it at a Vic. Hill Climb leaving the start with uncontroble wheelspin.

#28 Catalina Park

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 22:25

I don't know about the best but the Romano WE84 was a very bad attempt at a front engined sports car.

#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 00:13

Do you have details of that?

I don't recall it. Or is a recent thing?

#30 Wirra

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 04:07

Ray. I think the front engine placement is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Amaroo crash where the car crumbled so much the engine ended up about where a front engine would be placed.

 

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Romano_WE84


Edited by Wirra, 09 September 2014 - 10:08.


#31 DanTra2858

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 08:58

At one time in my life I owned the Milano Zypher which was racing in Historic meetings, is this car still alive?

#32 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 10:02

The Milano Zephyr was a bit of a rocket when I last saw it...

In its day it could possibly have been quick, but it looked to me like it was a bit of a handful.

#33 DanTra2858

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 20:59

The Milano Zypher was originally built in Wollongong utalising tailshafts purchased from the local wrecking yard to construct the chassie. The motor was a 6 cylinder Ford Zypher(UK) motor mounted to a MG TC gearbox with a Austin Healey Overdrive unit adapted to it, all of this then mated to a Skoda Octavia IRS rear end.

The front suspension was also Skoda which original Skoda brakes on four corners.

Ray you suggest that the handeling was a bit of a handfull, believe me it was one of the scarest cars that I have ever driven especially if you wanted to stop.

All of this was covered in a buitfull Milano body which was modified to look more like a racing Ferrari sports car of the day with the little cut outs in the nose prior to the bonnet.

I believe that I was the third owner of this car selling it out of Geoghegan,s Habberfield yard in1969, hope this helps with some history of the car.

#34 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 23:34

At one time in my life I owned the Milano Zypher which was racing in Historic meetings, is this car still alive?

The current owner , Perer Goers?  bent it at Collingrove a couple of years ago. I do have a pic. But with Image shack charging these days I cannot put it up.

And it is Zephyr!



#35 DanTra2858

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 03:30

Lee can you please email the photo at ... dantra@southernphone.com.au. Many thanks, Daniel

#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 03:39

I hope he can find the right size tailshafts to fix it!

Mostly from FJs, I'd imagine...

#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 03:48

Oh, Lee sent me the pics...

The wrecked Milano Zephyr... note the Armco:

eKKypl.jpg

And he fancies the Repco Riccardian:

VG3O0c.jpg

#38 DanTra2858

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 04:48

Lee thanks but that is not the Milano Zephyr that I owned, it was an open cockpit car but boy oh boy what a mess, there will be a few dollars to fix that, the glass body would be the easiest fix, find who has the mould of the front slip it in & lay up where damaged, the other damage...time.

#39 DanTra2858

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 04:53

To the best of my memory Ray it took 4 tail shafts to make the Chassis, they were not butt joined but shafts were cut on an angle then welded together thus increasing the length of joint & reducing potential stress area, I think that the builder was Ian Fenton from Wollongong.

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#40 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:06

Lee thanks but that is not the Milano Zephyr that I owned, it was an open cockpit car but boy oh boy what a mess, there will be a few dollars to fix that, the glass body would be the easiest fix, find who has the mould of the front slip it in & lay up where damaged, the other damage...time.

Hi, that car has been around for quite a while. I was unaware of 2 Zephyr powered ones. 

That one has a chain driven blower and it sounds sharp and quite quick.

The car was not quite as bad as it looks there. The front left of the chassis was quite damaged but would appear to replace from the firewall forward. The body flexed and the perspex windows popped out.

From memory the suspension was generic something. FJ?  So scrounge some more wishbones and a stub.

I am not sure if the car has been repaired, it was not out at Easter and I have not been to Collingrove this year. I suspect it has though. 



#41 Dick Willis

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:39

Daniel, if your car is the ex NSW Milano Zephyr I am thinking of which was raced in Historics by Stuart Schofield and Malcolm Shaw, it was advertised for sale by Malcolm a couple of years ago after being unused for some time and bought by a chap in Victoria whose name escapes me at the moment.



#42 DanTra2858

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:53

Yes Dick that is the car, in fact I spoke to you &Malcolm about it a couple of years ago at Wakefield Park, you were running the MG open wheeler.