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Norm Beechey night------


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#1 eldougo

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 06:42

:)
Sorry to get your hopes up for TNfers in Sydney who did not attend. However i only found out about this yesterday afternoon .I was a great night put on by the appendix J association. Norm
an his wife where flown up by a kind sponsor ,an we saw a 1970 Shell movie about the Touring
car series Great footage then he told us a car by car that he had driven it was very informative an
lots of funny stories to go with it. Followed by question an answers time , then autographt for all.
Norm is now 71 years old an in very good form as always a real great guy. He did it all for free an
the club raised over $4000 for the cancer fund.
Thanks to the J boys for a GREAT night now that what motor racing is all about reliving the good old days an having a laught should be more of these functions . :up:

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#2 Paul Newby

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 07:45

I was there. :wave:

I asked Norm a couple of questions; 1) why he never raced sports cars or openwheelers and 2) asking for some stories re selling his old race cars on his used car lot.

An enjoyable night indeed. :)

#3 eldougo

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 07:53

:wave:
See thats why we need our TNF badges ? PAUL then i would know who you are.I asked him what
was his favourite track ,answer (the Farm) .Anyway we wiil catch up at the CREEK . :up:

#4 David McKinney

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 10:19

Originally posted by Paul Newby
I asked Norm a couple of questions; 1) why he never raced sports cars or openwheelers

And the answer was?

#5 275 GTB-4

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 12:13

:

I'm really jealous of anyone who was there!! :)

#6 Paul Newby

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 23:41

Originally posted by David McKinney

And the answer was?


The answer was that while driving under the Scuderia Veloce banner, he was able to inspect their Elfin / Lola single seaters and (??) sports cars and concluded that their suspension components didn't look too robust and sticking to the stronger sedans of the time was a more sensible idea. Beechey impressed as being a very hands on, self taught engineer / fabricator and I think another reason why he liked touring cars was that he could sell them on his used car lot at the end of the racing season. :lol:

Another interesting thing he said about Scuderia Veloce was the initial signing on fee that David McKay paid Norm when he join the SV team. It was 2750 pounds which was enough to purchase the (I think) Ford Galaxie that he raced that year - he was well pleased. At the end of the season Castrol (SV's sponsor) called Norm in and asked whether the 10,000 pounds for the season was sufficient. Apparently McKay had used the surplus of Norm's money to buy a couple of Elfins.

Norm said he learnt an important lesson that day. He always negotiated his own terms after that ;)

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 00:12

Originally posted by Paul Newby
The answer was that while driving under the Scuderia Veloce banner, he was able to inspect their Elfin / Lola single seaters and (??) sports cars and concluded that their suspension components didn't look too robust and sticking to the stronger sedans of the time was a more sensible idea. Beechey impressed as being a very hands on, self taught engineer / fabricator and I think another reason why he liked touring cars was that he could sell them on his used car lot at the end of the racing season. :lol:

Another interesting thing he said about Scuderia Veloce was the initial signing on fee that David McKay paid Norm when he join the SV team. It was 2750 pounds which was enough to purchase the (I think) Ford Galaxie that he raced that year - he was well pleased. At the end of the season Castrol (SV's sponsor) called Norm in and asked whether the 10,000 pounds for the season was sufficient. Apparently McKay had used the surplus of Norm's money to buy a couple of Elfins.

Norm said he learnt an important lesson that day. He always negotiated his own terms after that ;)


Whoa! this one's full of landmines, isn't it?

The Galaxie belonged to Len Lukey, he raced that a bit later. It must have been the 4-door Impala he raced. SV's sponsor at the time was Shell, Castrol came much later.

Couple of Elfins? Greg Cusack's FJr and Mallala? I think they belonged to Greg, perhaps he got some of the 'sign on' money and bought them with it, but I doubt that David bought them directly.

I'm racking my brain here... I think he did once or twice drive something without a roof...

#8 eldougo

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 06:56

:)
Ray Bell
Whoa! this one's full of landmines, isn't it?
__________________________________

As paul has said Norm said that CASTROL where the SV sponsor of the 4door Impala when he
got shafted by Mr Mc . An the body lanuage when talking about sports cars etc gave me the
impression that it was only TAXIS for Norm or nothing.
Another tail was just before he left for L.A. to get a MUSTANG he was in his local Italian eatery
in Melbourne he was talking to the owner about going O/S an he said thats man over there
is from FORD would you like to meet him ,Norm not being a backward type of a chap introduced
himself an ended up with a written intro letter to give to a dealer that was the only way to buy
one of them in1964 the waiting list was so great people would camp out over night to get one.
He went on to talk about it cost all up with SHELBY motor about 6000 pounds.First time he raced
Bathurst he went down the straight an got airborne an when he came in Fatty Geoghegan said
to with his stutter( Norm you where aaa18 bbbloodyiiinches oooff the ggground over the last
hump) Norm reply S--t.
Going back he said that his first WORKS drive was for Vangard :rotfl: That brought the a great
round of laughter from the mostly over 50,s grey an thining hair audience that where there an i
come under that heading also.The Vanguard team was run by Harry Firth an Norm when out with
Harry as a pasanger at Phillip Island to see how he drove he came back very quite an white.In
practice the steering locked up an he nearly turned the car over He came in and told them they
checked it out unable to find anything wrong he went an this time rolled it they then found that
it was jamming up under body roll because of a long bolt in the steering. Norm said O well seeing
this is a works team they give me a new car !! but alas the paneled beated it back to look like a
car again an that was his 1st works drive. :up:

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 07:20

Norm's memory is failing him...

Shell were the SV sponsor through to at least 1966.

There were a few Vanguards raced... Hoot Gibson ran a Sportsman version.

#10 eldougo

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 09:14

:D

To my way of thinking he had a very good memory for his age :rolleyes: This man was sponsored buy SHELL for most of his career ,i dont understand why he would make sucha mention of the opposition .May be there where things going on behind doors that others wherenotprivilage to know?

He also stated that he was the 1st person to WIN a race in a Mustang .An the 1st to win a
touring car champship for HOLDEN.An that FORD did sign him up to drive at Bathurst but this way
only shorted lived once Alan Moffat found out.!!!! SURPRISE - SURPRISE - SURPRISE :down:

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 11:52

Also first Camaro win in Australia... first Chevy II win in Australia...

But these were all under Neptune sponsorship. Agreed, Neptune were affiliated with Shell, but there was never any Castrol sponsorship of SV until Shell pulled out.

He did run that Falcon around the Victorian circuits for a while, by the way, but that was in the face of his connections with Chrysler.

#12 Paul Newby

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 23:35

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Norm's memory is failing him...

Shell were the SV sponsor through to at least 1966.

There were a few Vanguards raced... Hoot Gibson ran a Sportsman version.


Ray, I've checked my sources. According to McKay's autobiography, Scuderia Veloce was sponsored by Castrol up until the end of '62, from '63 Shell took over. SV's stable in '62 included Beechey's Impala and Cusack's two Elfins. Beechey said he purchased the Impala using his share of SV's Castrol money its conceivable that Cusack did the same.


I found by accident a Michael Browning article in Best Car magazine circa '62 whcih shows the Impala with SV badges on the side and his two mechanics with overalls that had a cloth patch with "Impala, Norm Beechey and Castrol"

As I said before Beechey was working off prepared notes, and some may have come from the Browning articles in Best Car and Wheels (1991.) As eldougo said, Norm is very much with it, very much his own man and says it as it is.

#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 01:19

I stand corrected...

The SV I knew always had Shell, but that's reckoning without the fact that I saw just one race of theirs in this era, the infamous (for David) Hordern Trophy Race of October that year.

My apologies for doubting Norm.

But Greg Cusack didn't get the Elfins until 1963, at very best the last meeting or two of 1962, of that I'm fairly sure. Did the Mallala even appear before the end of 1962?

Frank Matich named the Catalina during that year... I think (but can by no means be sure) that Greg's FJr was the one Frank had used.

#14 Leo D

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 11:37

For you guys that are interested, the 1970 Shell film, which I believe is the one refered to in the opening post, has been recently realeased on DVD, titled "The Championship Chase 1970".

Another DVD "Before Brock There Was Beechey" has also been released, which includes footage from the "Neptune" days.

Speaking of Norm Beechey, what would a conversation about Norm Beechey be without mentioning Pete Geoghegan.... so you might also be interested in the DVD "The Racing Geoghegans", which was released some time ago.

I have enjoyed watching all 3.

#15 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 12:28

Originally posted by eldougo
.....Another tale was just before he left for L.A. to get a MUSTANG he was in his local Italian eatery in Melbourne he was talking to the owner about going O/S an he said thats man over there is from FORD would you like to meet him ,Norm not being a backward type of a chap introduced himself an ended up with a written intro letter to give to a dealer that was the only way to buy one of them in1964 the waiting list was so great people would camp out over night to get one. He went on to talk about it cost all up with SHELBY motor about 6000 pounds.First time he raced Bathurst he went down the straight and got airborne an when he came in Fatty Geoghegan said to with his stutter( Norm you where aaa18 bbbloodyiiinches oooff the ggground over the last hump) Norm reply S--t.....


Gotcha!

Norm never raced the Mustang at Bathurst...

1965 you would have expected him to, but he didn't and I don't know why. Jane was there with his, and it was just one week after Norm won the ATCC at Sandown with his (from the back of the grid).

Perhaps they had planned to go to WA for the race meeting that was rescheduled for May 9, but he wasn't there either so that's pretty hard to believe.

In 1966 he had the Chev Nova.

#16 David Shaw

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 20:09

Originally posted by Leo D
so you might also be interested in the DVD "The Racing Geoghegans", which was released some time ago.

I have enjoyed watching all 3.


I have a copy of "The Racing Geoghegans" and while I enjoy the DVD, I find $50 for half an hour rather expensive viewing.

#17 Leo D

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 01:05

Originally posted by Ray Bell

Gotcha!

Norm never raced the Mustang at Bathurst...


Ray, how about an almost "Gotcha" ? Didn't Norm Beechey take both the Mustang and the Nova to the 1966 ATCC at Bathurst, practicing and qualifying both cars, but finally deciding to use the Nova in the race?

#18 cosworth bdg

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 01:18

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4
:

I'm really jealous of anyone who was there!! :)

Yes , me also !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#19 David Shaw

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 01:21

Right you are Leo, he qualified the Mustang faster at 2:43.5 against 2:45.7 for the Chevy, Geoghegan doing a 2:40.7.

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#20 275 GTB-4

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 09:34

Originally posted by David Shaw


I have a copy of "The Racing Geoghegans" and while I enjoy the DVD, I find $50 for half an hour rather expensive viewing.


Weeeeeelll why didn't you buy Mini Goes Racing in the bargain bin and spruik about how much of a bargain it is.....I found the images and background in the "The Racing Geoghegans" PRICELESS :wave: :rotfl: :up:

#21 David Shaw

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 09:47

I know that those images will never be able to be recreated as they are long gone, but at that price I feel that I am being squeezed for all it is worth. I find the Golden Age series far and away better value for money.
Yes the footage is priceless, but raising a young family means I have to prioritise, and that means that I won't be able to fork out for Bloodwood's other products because relatively, they give poor value.

#22 275 GTB-4

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 10:40

For some devine beings sake David.....you only live once....get out of anything to do Motorsport if you want to save money or are on a budget :rolleyes: :clap: