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BBM Holden Rotary valve Special


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#1 GeoffR

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 05:35

My curiosity has got the better of me. Among the 1961 Australian GP entries there is a (non-starting) entry of Dud Dansie in a 'BBM Holden rotary valve special'.

Searches on this BB and elsewhere have failed to provide any further information.

From the name one would assume this vehicle used a modified Holden 'grey' motor fitted with a special or modified rotary valve cylinder head. Does anyone know anything further about this - was it a specially produced or modified head, and who produced the componentry??

Did the car have much in the way of a competition history, or was it as 'successful' as the later (1990) Life W12 rotary valve F1 car?

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#2 David McKinney

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 07:18

I’m sure some of our Australian members will know more about this, but I can relate some of its racing history.
AFAIK the Dunstan rotary-valve engine first ran in Murray Trenberth’s ex-F2 Alta at Port Wakefield, SA, in 1958. The car retired with clutch trouble early on, and I don’t think Trenberth raced it in this form again.
In 1959 Bakewell Bridge Motors built a new special for TR2 driver Dansie, which first appeared at the 10 October Wakefield meeting that year, with a supercharged version of the Dunstan rotary-valve engine. Dansie raced the BBM at Wakefield meetings throughout 1960, blowing up the engine at the Easter meeting but taking fourth place in the feature race (against other SA entries) in June.
By December however he had given up and replaced the engine with a supercharged non-rotary Holden.
I wonder if he really did revert to the rotary in 1961?

#3 john medley

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 08:33

David's is a very good summary. About all I can add is that when South Australian Jim Doig ranit at 1969 Hume Weir as a Historic car it no longer had the Dunstan Rotary Valve head. By that time Dud Dansie had already moved on and built a rear engined BBM .

#4 Brian Lear

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 11:45

An article on the BBM appeared in the April 1960 issue of “Sports Car World” magazine.
This story was written before the engine failures (detailed in Davids post) later in the year.
At the time of the article the people behind the project were confident that the future of the rotary valve head looked bright.
While I have not checked it , I tend to agree with David that the rotary head design was discarded at the end of 1960.
I can forward GeoffR a photocopy of the article if required.- PM your address.

Brian Lear

#5 Wolf

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 12:16

Can anyone pls. tell us more about which type of rotary valves were used, and did they have some effect on the engine output? Details would be welcome (I've always had a 'soft-spot' for rotary valves :blush: ). Thanks in advance. :)

#6 Dick Willis

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 02:09

Slightly OT, but I used to race speedway saloon cars on the North Coast of NSW about 25 years ago, and racing at the same time were two brothers from Lismore, the Armstrong brothers in red an white Holdens, one a HR and the other, Robert in a FE.
They were called the Armstrong goers, and they were both hard triers, but the interesting thing is that Robert's car was fitted, for a time with a rotary valve head, obviously a refugee from the South Australian effort. I remember looking under the bonnet of the FE but can't really remember any details except that the engine used to rev like hell but was very peaky--- I wonder what happened to the head after its speedway days were over.

#7 Bruce Moxon

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 22:07

Where's Ray Bell - didn't he do a story on the BBM special for Motor Racing Australia? And BBM stands for "Bloody Big Monster", in case you were wondering.




Bruce Moxon

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 03:09

Not quite correct, Bruce...

Graham Howard did an article on the Dud Dansie car in Motor Racing Australia... I would think that about 18 months ago.

And I think there were several of the heads built, but it all comes out in the story when you find it.

#9 GeoffR

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 21:25

Apologies for not thanking earlier all those who responded to my query - been away for a long 'long weekend'.

Thanks very much for the info.

#10 Anthony Harradine

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 12:24

Hello All,

I read a thread that was posted in 2004 about the Dud Dansie BBM 1. In that thred it was stated Graham Howard wrote an article on the car in Motor Racing Australia in about 2002 or 2003. I wonder if any one is able to tell me the actual issue of the magazine.

Thanks in anticipation.

Anthony.

#11 Brian Lear

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 01:44

The abovementioned article appeared in the June 2001 issue of Motor Racing Australia

Brian Lear

#12 maoricar

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 08:50

I remember reading in an OZ mag, probably very late 50's/early 60's of Holt Binnie (sp?) using a rotary valved Holden in an MG

#13 2Bob

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 21:17

"About all I can add is that when South Australian Jim Doig ranit at 1969 Hume Weir as a Historic car it no longer had the Dunstan Rotary Valve head. By that time Dud Dansie had already moved on and built a rear engined BBM . "

I don't think it was run as historic at that time! Jim bought it to run instead of an MGA Twin Cam (his road car come racing car!) and ran it for a year or so before upgrading to a Lotus 7. During jim's ownership it aquired a Borgward swing axle rear end to replace the double wishbone set up (with Holden diff) to improve the handling (think that the sliding splines on the drive shafts used to lock up causing the handling problems). In Jim's time it always had a 'normal' grey motor.

By the way it was supposedly 'Bakewell Bridge Motors' not 'Bloody Big Monster'. Article in Sports Car World had it that Dud Dansie took up motor racing because his doctor told him to take up a hobby otherwise he would have a heart attack.

The second BBM had a supercharged Mercedes motor in the back - last I remember seeing it was some 10 years ago in a historic event at Mallala.

#14 David Beard

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 17:19

Excellent website showing various rotary valve arrangements...

http://www.dself.dsl...alveIC.htm#nort

#15 Anthony Harradine

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 12:58

Thank you Brian for the dating of the magazine.

BTW, the BBM 2 initially ran a supercharged holden motor installed in the rear of the car laying somewhat on it side (the engine that is) - inclined at about 40 degrees. I think it also ran a Repco Head after this and eventually the Mercedes engine. Last I knew of the car it was sold to NZ.

If interested there is a nice article in Sports Car World Sept 1963.

#16 2Bob

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 07:51

Just loaded a few pictures of the BBM in Jim Doigs hands - first couple taken at Hume Weir.

http://www.colsoft.c...Webpage/BBM.htm

Sorry for quality - used digital camera to take pictures from original prints.