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Now I'm confused! Max Stewart had a Lola T332?!


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#1 Allen Brown

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 22:16

Somebody help me pleeeeease!

I really thought I'd got these F5000 Lola T330s and Lola T332s sorted out, at least the Aussie ones where everyone kept such good records and still has such good memories but my good friend Chris Townsend has just dug up this titbit.

The Motoring News (10 Jan 74 p12) report for Levin 6 Jan 1974 refers to Max Stewart's car as a T332 and calls it "HU26" - "the prototype car, tested by Gardner". Autosport also says he has a T332 with the latest bits although Autosport then goes on to call it a T330 in every subsequent report.

My database gives Stewart's 1974 Tasman car as his usual T330 HU1, originally bought from Frank Gardner for the 1973 Tasman. Vercoe and the F1 Register books say the same thing. And I presume that's the car he then used through the 1974 Gold Star campaign, including his win in the Australian GP in November that year. He had a T400 for the 1975 Tasman season but went back to his older car for the last two rounds after he couldn't make the T400 work.

HU26, listed in Lola records as a T330, meanwhile turns up in the US in 1974, driven by Formula publisher John Benton.

So is Motoring News right? Did Stewart drive a new T332 in the 1974 Tasman series? If he did, at what point did it leave Australasia?

Allen

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#2 normbeechey

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 23:00

I seem to remember that Max's car was the prototype, but when Frank Gardner saw it (after he left Lola) he indicated that not much of the prototype stuff remained on the car. It had been refitted with standard customer car bits.

I seem to remember that Max had two Lola's at one stage, but that may have been T400's. Though I remember Max gave Tony Stewart (no relation) a run in a spare car and I would have thought that would have been pre T400 era. I remember because Max accused Tony of allegedly trying to steal his sponsor!

Chris.
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#3 Bondy

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Posted 03 January 2003 - 01:59

Hi Allen,

Well i will try help a little but i do not have chassis numbers. Paul Bernasconni drove a Lola T330 come T332 as part of the Sharp team which Max stewart and Terry Hook were in, in 75. I was sure the car Paul drove was the car Max used in 1974. In 1976, Paul drove a T400 as well as max and pauls car was a ex Redman car. Dave Purley crashed a T332 in the Rothmans series and used Pauls T400 at Sandown. I will try find out more info on the T332.

Thanks
Curt

#4 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 03 January 2003 - 02:19

The local mag MotorAction has Stewart in a T332 at Levin but a week later it's a T330, "the car exactly as at Levin."

The Australian Competition Yearbook has him in a T330 at every Tasman race and at all the Australian National Formula One Championship rounds.

The T332 is a mistake methinks.

#5 Bondy

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Posted 03 January 2003 - 02:23

Hi Allen,
Well i have gone thru many race reports, and the car Max stewart used in the Tasman of 74 was his T330, so im not sure where the frank Gardner story comes into it.

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 January 2003 - 11:49

Max came into the "Horsepower Hotel" one night waxing lyrical about the reports Frank had given him about the T330... Frank, from memory, had used it to wrap up some championship in England that involved open wheelers and other cars.

Max then bought the car to replace his Elfin MR5, which I think was the car Bernasconi drove, but I may be wrong. As we discussed earlier, John Leffler drove the Elfin at least...

Max continued with the T330 while others had the T332s, then went to the T400 in which he ultimately died.

Just which cars Terry Hook had now confuses me because he was, I think, still racing one while Colin Trengove hired the other from him. Colin, of course, died in that car at Adelaide International Raceway. Was that the T330 Stewart had?

#7 David McKinney

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Posted 03 January 2003 - 15:17

I've refrained from getting involved in this discussion because my own notes aren't clear, and I need to look into the matter a bit more closely.
What I am sure about is the Stewart had two T330/332-type cars and two T400s at different times. The first was the prototype T330 which Gardner had raced at Brands Hatch the previous October. I'm not sure about the identity of the second: my records say it was a T332 No. HU2, which can't be right, as 332 numbering started with HU27 (or maybe HU26?). Also, a number of owners updated 330s to 332 spec: these cars were known sometimes as 330s, sometimes 330/332s, and sometimea 332s. It could well be that the second Stewart car was an uprated 330, but if so it can't have been HU2 (which was otherwise occupied in Europe at the time)
I'll get back....

#8 Barry Lake

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Posted 03 January 2003 - 15:41

I was following the F5000s in Australia from mid-1974 when editing Chequered Flag magazine and was taking the chassis numbers from the cars (although there were a few replacement chassis made - I think locally - that did not have chassis numbers).

For Max Stewart's car, throughout 1974, I have T330/HU1.

In the 1975 Peter Stuyvesant Series he had T400/HU2.

#9 Barry Lake

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Posted 03 January 2003 - 15:45

I can't find any Lola numbered HU26 running in Australia 1974 or 1975.

#10 Allen Brown

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 16:11

Thanks guys, this is excellent stuff.

Unless David comes back with something new, it looks like the T332 was a figment of somebody's imagination. But it does look like it wasn't mere journalistic invention as Motoraction, Motoring News and Autosport all refer to a T332 in their Levin reports but retract later. Maybe Stewart was telling people his car was the same spec (virtually) as Warwick Brown's?

Either way, I think I can put this to bed.

Many thanks

Allen

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Just which cars Terry Hook had now confuses me because he was, I think, still racing one while Colin Trengove hired the other from him. Colin, of course, died in that car at Adelaide International Raceway. Was that the T330 Stewart had?

Hook's first car, the one he sold to Trengove, was T330 HU7 (ex-Bartlett/Adamowicz/Hawes/Hall/Muir). Hook's second car was the ex-Lawrence T332 HU28.

Originally posted by Barry Lake
I was following the F5000s in Australia from mid-1974 when editing Chequered Flag magazine and was taking the chassis numbers from the cars (although there were a few replacement chassis made - I think locally - that did not have chassis numbers).

Barry - did you keep notes on those locally built cars? I think three were built by Ed Polley but I have no real information on any of them.

#11 David McKinney

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 18:45

Still haven't had time to delve further into this
However, like Ray B, I'm sure Terry Hook raced one of Stewart's cars, or an ex-Stewart one
The thot plickens....

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 20:21

The only thing I'm clear about is that Trengove hired his car from Terry Hook. It may well be that he bought it later, but at least the first meeting or two it was on hire... and I don't think Colin had the money to buy it anyway.

Unfortunately, with both Terry and Colin dead, it's hard to check details.

The reason for the confusion in our minds, David, is that they all had that Sharp signwriting... both Hook and Stewart having that Sharp team sponsorship for the Toby Lee series.

#13 David McKinney

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 20:40

That could certainly be the explanation Ray

#14 Barry Lake

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 15:55

Originally posted by Allen Brown
Barry - did you keep notes on those locally built cars? I think three were built by Ed Polley but I have no real information on any of them.


Allen

I did keep a lot of notes on those cars, but I don't know where they are at the moment. My once efficient filing system has sunk under the weight of too much information.

If I can remember where they are, or if I stumble across them, or if find my dream home in the country and am able to move it and sort it all out...

Ed Polley sounds right, so does the number. I think you probably have good information. But I will try to think of someone who might know the answer and, if I do, will chase it up.

There is this picture in my mind of someone, and the background of the picture is Surfers Paradise, showing me where the numbers were stamped on the roll bars of the copied chassis. But I have been researching totally different eras from this in recent years and the memories are not fresh at all.

#15 Allen Brown

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 22:01

Cheers Barry

Let's hope you find that dream home!

Allen

#16 Vicuna

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 01:00

My belief is that Max's T330 was updated, and along the way became a T332.

The T400 makes me wonder how many examples there are in the history of customer car making, where the successor was so much inferior to the car it was supposed to replace.

Lotti 30 and 40 are obvious, what about the McLaren M18?

#17 David McKinney

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 06:20

Originally posted by Vicuna
My belief is that Max's T330 was updated, and along the way became a T332.

Maybe so. But he still had a T332 (or T330/332] after selling his original T330 to Ian Adams. So there must have been a second car, apparently this mysterious HU26, involved

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 09:08

Ah yes, Ian Adams... why didn't I remember that?

Was that the only Seventh Day Adventist F5000 in history?

#19 Barry Lake

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 10:31

I have just been through the Australian Competition Yearbooks, page by page, result by result, photo by photo.

Max Stewart's Lola was entered as a T330 all the way through from go to whoa. There are photos of it at most meetings and it does not change in appearance (not in any major detail, anyway) and even retains the same paint scheme all the way. Only some of the small stickers on the car vary from time to time.

I don't ever remember Max crashing the car seriously enough to require major repairs.

He was in this car throughout the (titles not necessarily exact) 1973 Tasman Series, 1973 Gold Star Series, 1974 Tasman Series, 1974 Gold Star Series. In other words, througout 1973 and 1974 calendar years. He then turned up at Levin in January 1975 with the Lola T400. Kevin Bartlett also had a T400 and this was mentioned as the world debut for the car.

No sign or trace of a Max Stewart Lola T332 anywhere.

Max ran the diabolically handling T400 in six rounds of the Tasman (Stuyvesant...no time to be pedantic about series names), reverted to the T330 for Adelaide and Sandown. It still looked the same. Definitely a T330, NOT a T332.

In the 1975 Gold Star Series, Paul Bernasconi drove Max's T330 as a third Sharp team entry. Again, in the photos, it still definitely is a T330, not a T332.

No chassis numbers listed in these books, unfortunately.

There are no entries for any Lola T330 until 30 July 1978, when Ian Adams turned up at Oran Park, Gold Star Rd 1, with a T330. No photos of it, unfortunately. At Round 2, at Sandown in September, and from then on, Adams entered the car as a T332.

At first sight this makes no real sense. Max Stewart used to beat the T332s with his well-sorted T330, so why spend a lot of money updating it? Especially when the new owner is a back of the field runner in an outdated car anyway.

However Adams, like his father Clive Adams, was a car constructor, with a workshop capable - probably - of building one of these cars from scratch if he was so inclined. And he was more of a builder than a driver. What better way to while away six weeks than to update a T330 to a T332?

I'm only guessing here, by the way. But this is the only likely source of a story about an ex-Max Stewart Lola T332 in my book.

If this theory is correct, historically and even race-wise, he'd have been better off leaving it as an original T330. In fact THE original T330, chassis number HU1.

That's my bet, and until someone can come up with concrete evidence to the contrary, I am sticking with it.

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 11:24

What did he drive in America then, Barry?

I remember there was a rash of entries of Australian drivers in the American series during those years, but I'm not sure exactly when. I do remember, though, that KB came back with all those stripes over his car after he'd been there... was Max in on that too? John Walker was, I'm fairly sure.

Or was Max too tied to his business, "The Cook" and Susie?

#21 Barry Lake

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 11:51

I must confess the US racing had slipped my mind.

Yes Max did race there, and he had quite a big crash, broke his wrist and never had full use of it again.

Now that could stir things up a bit. I will have to give that some thought.

I think he had only that one brief sortie, from memory, and I am wondering if he took his own car.

Hmmm.

Wasn't someone compiling results of all the US F5000 races? That might help.

#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 11:58

Usually, as you will recall, offshore racing was often a dodge to get import duty on a car reduced...

By bringing the car in only temporarily, and then taking it out again, when it returns for the final time it's lost a lot of its value and hence the 84% tax that applied those days would be largely negated.

It's quite likely Max went to the US to race his own car for this reason... just as the NZ races would have helped his cause had this been the case then.

Maybe he went later, in the T400 days then?

I recall he explained that he hit the fence with his thumb around a spoke of the steering wheel, and this wrenched his hand back with the results you describe. Wasn't that at Watkins Glen?

Whenever it was, it had to be between 1973 and 1976... four years for someone to check... if he took Susie maybe somebody noticed him?

#23 Allen Brown

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 18:09

Barry, Ray

I can only see four appearances by Max Stewart in the US series (I checked 1972-1976) - the first four races of 1973 in - I presume - his usual T330. He failed to qualify from the heat at R4 Mid Ohio on 3 June having been placed 15th but I don't have the reason for retirement. However, I see Bartlett driving Stewart's car at Watkins Glen so if that was a crash, it can't have done that much damage to the car.

Johnny Walker and Frank Matich also both stayed on for Watkins Glen.

Allen

#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 21:12

Allen, I suspect there was very little damage to the car at all... but plenty to Max's hand or wrist, as Barry says.

Like I said, he told me he had hit the fence (or something) with his hand on the wheel in a position so that the thumb was inside the spoke of the steering wheel... the wheel was pushed round in the impact so that it tried to shove his thumb up into his elbow more or less...

That sort of thing can happen without even putting the alignment out... maybe it was early in practice at Watkins Glen and Bartlett had more serious problems with his car so drove Max's instead?

I do have a clear idea that he was talking about this crash happening at Watkins Glen... and if he'd hurt himself at an earlier round, I doubt the car would have been at the Glen anyway.

#25 Angus Lamont

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 05:53

I can confirm that Max Stewart had two Lola's in July 1975. He did a rent-a-car deal with John Macdonald, a well known racing driver in the Far East. John Macdonald told me that the car was a Lola 330. I flew down to Sydney with John to prepare the car for him to race. Unfortunately, the race was cancelled die to flooding but John Macdonald later used the car at Sandown Park on 14 September 1975 and at Oran Park on 21 September 1975. The car was painted in Cathay Pacific - Rothmans livery. Although not present at the time I'm pretty sure that Max was also racing at these meetings with his other Lola.
Not a great deal of help except to confirm that Max had two Lola's at that time.
Cheers,
Angus

#26 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 06:35

There's no mention of Macdonald at either of those meetings... the only T332s at them were Walker's, Hook's and Allson's... Stewart was there at both in his T400.

#27 Angus Lamont

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 03:52

Yes, I couldn't find any trace of his name in the results either. These were two one-off races and it is possible that he was some kind of unofficial entry. As far as I know it was all organised by Max Stewart. John Macdonald came 5th at Sandown Park and set the fastest lap. He was 7th at a wet race at Oran Park. Relevent programmes or newspaper reports might enlighten us.
Regards,
Angus

#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 04:33

Both placings you mention (except that there was no wet race...) were taken by Bernasconi in the T330, according to RCN...

No mention of Macdonald.

#29 David McKinney

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 05:40

Getting back to the original point, the 1974 Levin programme lists Stewart's car as a T332, which is obviously the basis for all those magazine reports. The Pukekohe race one week later says it's a T330...
What we don't know, of course, is if the Levin programme made a simple error, or if Stewart intended to race a 332 in the NZ races then reverted to the 330 (after the Levin programme was printed but in time to catch the Pukekohe one)

#30 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 08:02

I don't believe for a minute that Max had a T332... not a chance...

It's a simple mistake at Levin. But why don't we check with KB on the issue? I'll e.mail him.

#31 pcp1960

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 14:07

Originally posted by Allen Brown
Thanks guys, this is excellent stuff.

Unless David comes back with something new, it looks like the T332 was a figment of somebody's imagination. But it does look like it wasn't mere journalistic invention as Motoraction, Motoring News and Autosport all refer to a T332 in their Levin reports but retract later. Maybe Stewart was telling people his car was the same spec (virtually) as Warwick Brown's?

Either way, I think I can put this to bed.

Many thanks

Allen

Hook's first car, the one he sold to Trengove, was T330 HU7 (ex-Bartlett/Adamowicz/Hawes/Hall/Muir). Hook's second car was the ex-Lawrence T332 HU28.

Barry - did you keep notes on those locally built cars? I think three were built by Ed Polley but I have no real information on any of them.


Just looking at the "sharp racing team" press release 1975
Max Stewart -lola t400 (HU400/2)
Terry Hook - Lola t332 (HU332/084)
Terry later purchased the ex Graham Lawrence car

I am sure Bernasconi drove Max's t330

#32 David McKinney

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 15:22

Where did they get that Terry Hook chassis number from? :confused:

#33 David M. Kane

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 15:45

FWIT Bobby Brown rated Max Srewart very highly.

#34 David McKinney

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 16:44

Originally posted by pcp1960
I am sure Bernasconi drove Max's t330

He certainly did, at least at one NZ meeting in December 1975, before going on to one of Max's T400s for the Tasman rounds

#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 17:32

Poor Colin didn't buy Hook's car, he leased it.

#36 cosworth bdg

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 03:21

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Poor Colin didn't buy Hook's car, he leased it.

Un fortunately he did not have a bean to bless himself with of which showed up in his results.....................

#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 05:54

Originally posted by cosworth bdg
Un fortunately he did not have a bean to bless himself with of which showed up in his results.....................


You're so right there, Peter, and he was supporting his young family too... very sad business, such a nice guy and such a keen family...

But for Allen, I have the following from Kevin Bartlett:

Your memory is correct Max never had a 332. When he and Terry Hook were together for the Sharp team, the car Hooky drove was his own 332. Max, however had two T400s. Chassis HU2 (HU1 being mine) and another he had bought from, I think, Jim Hall, through Carl Haas.

That was the car he shunted and succumbed to his injuries in hospital that night. It was crushed under customs supervision after the crash and his ex Frank Gardner Guards Trophy winner 330 (HU1) was already in the hands of Ian Adams, who sold it on to the present owner, Darcy Russell.

That chassis, HU1, was also the car I drove at Watkins Glen after an all-nighter by Glenn Abbey and Ian Gordon to repair a damaged front end from a Max practice crash that saw him with a fracture in the wrist. There is a photo in Allen's site that shows the car at the Glen, with a different colour nose than it would normally have had.


So no T332 for Max... never... and he said nothing about my comment that I never heard of John Macdonald driving one of Max's cars.