I went down to the Fremantle Motor Museum this morning and found the following;
Alta: Engine No 1111
Chassis Number 010-GS4819
So the provenance is:
1 Built for Cowell (but not paid for)
2 Back with Alta
3 Gib Barrett (Aust)
4 Sydney Anderson (W Aust)
5 Jim Ward (W Aust)
6 Jim Harwood (dealer)
7 Hon John Dawson-Damer
8 Peter Briggs
This great thread is a recent find for me --- I've long had a soft spot for the Alta, several of my friends having owned, at different times, 010 and F2/5. The first thing I have to say is that I'm constantly dumbfounded by the serious ommission that persists in the above provenance. With due respect to its other owners, during its long stay in Western Australia, 010's most notable owner/drivers were Syd Anderson and Jack Ayres.
Jack was a very popular and respected personality, a top driver, successful businessman [with his brother, Frank, in "Superior Cars" with an emphasis on sporting cars] and a committee member of the WASCC. In short, not the sort of Alta owner you could easily overlook!
Terry, did you perhaps refer to John Blanden's "Historic Racing Cars In Australia" for your info? The Ayres brothers owned both 010 and F2/5 and whether by accident or design, John Blanden ommitted both these facts from his book. He even included a pic of 010 with Jack driving and the caption; "Probably Jim Ward". I pointed these errors out to him prior to his publication of the second edition. Lo and behold, there is STILL no mention of them owning either car.
I recall reading somewhere that after Syd Anderson's tragic death, his widow sold the car to someone [in the east?] where it sustained some mechanical damage and the deal fell through. She had been advertising it in AMS and I have the figure of 2,750 pounds in mind-- a great deal less than Syd was reported to have paid for it. The car was returned and eventually bought by the Ayres brothers. It had been a dark BRG but, like most of his cars, Jack painted it red and had Cliff Byfield make the long nose for it in the style of Murray Trenberth's Alta-Holden, F2/5. I think Jack's first appearance with the car was the 1960 Caversham sprints where he recorded best time/speed for under 1500 racing cars and was pictured on the cover of "The Visor" doing so. He later won the under 1500 class of the 1960 WA State Championships and raced it at other meetings before selling it to Jim Ward.
After a stint with their next car, the ex-Doug Green Cooper JAP 1100, now painted red instead of polished aluminium, the Ayres boys bought the Repco-Alta, F2/5, from Murray Trenberth and just to be different , changed this one's colour from red to BRG. They entered it for the '62 AGP and Jack placed third in his heat on the Saturday but for reasons unknown, did not start in the main event.
Which brings to mind another piece of misinformation;- The Fremantle/York Motor Museum of Peter Briggs released a history of their car, 010, stating that the two Altas were entered for the above AGP but 010 had failed to finish "in the money". Understandable--- It wasn't even entered!
Jack raced F2/5 in a few more events but his health was failing and he sold the car [ 900 pounds, IIRC] to David Drew and Bevan Howson. For those who are confused by not seeing "Drew" in reports, programs and results, from this point on David always raced under the pseudonym, David "Rockford". It's probably helpful to continue its use.
The number of people [including myself!] who have said; " I could have bought that Alta, Cooper-Bristol, ex Ascari GP Ferrari, etc" for figures ranging from 500 to a thousand pounds are, of course, countless but the reality is that they became interesting ornaments which few in Australia really needed. Ultimately many of "our" factory racing cars were channelled through Jim Harwood to the growing historic market in the northern hemisphere. It's a minor miracle [ thanks to Peter] that 010 remained here for so long.