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Racing Minors


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#51 Sharman

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 13:47

Alan
A little bit of minutae, the Minor in your second shot is not a 1000, it is either a late high headlight series MM and so it should properly be 918cc side valve powered or an early series II with an 803 ohv a la A30. Both of which were completely gutless, I took my driving test on one of the latter, it was better for the confined streets of Macclesfield than the old man's Mk V Jag!!!
John

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#52 richie

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 21:09

Mike Chittenden raced his blue 1650 Minor in special saloons throughout 1968 & '69.
The late Mike Bennion also raced a hairy V8 version in the late 60s. Current BTCC driver
Mike Jordan started his career racing a Minor in classic saloons in 1979.



What happened to Mike Chittenden, didn't he marry Micki Vandervell?

#53 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 21:20

Yes indeed, and their daughter is current racer Tiffany Chittenden.

#54 Sharman

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 21:31

One I should have mentioned earlier was Barrie Williams who started his racing with a beige Peter Kaye modified Minor. I should have remembered before this as that was when we first met.

#55 Graham Clayton

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:04

Back in 1950 4 Minors were run at Sebring.


The B Thomas car can be seen here:

Posted Image

Source: http://velocetoday.c...rs/cars_146.php

#56 275 GTB-4

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:35

The logical extension for this thread, is of course, Racing Majors! :wave:

http://www.autopics....ibiznez?id=7501

#57 GMACKIE

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:44

A Minor excursion off top topic there, Mick. :rolleyes: What maja do that? :blush:

#58 Stinky

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:34

Hi Fellas;
There is one down here in Tassie that is almost a State Motorsports Icon!
It has an extremely long racing history.
Longford,Symmons Plains Baskerville etc.
It is in Group N /Appendix J specs.
The current owner is Andrew Sluce.
Sorry I do not have a contact number.
Maybe Geoff Smedley could help with this.
I believe Andrew refers to himself as "The Custodian" of the car rather than the owner.
Cheers.
Roger. :wave:

#59 ellrosso

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:00

Andrew's car is the ex John Charlton car as pictured below. Also a shot of Bevan Kaine's car from Longford 1965, Mountford corner. John was racing the Morry at my first Baskerville meeting in 1967 (pale blue, don't know colour of Kaine car)

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#60 275 GTB-4

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:27

Hi Fellas;
There is one down here in Tassie that is almost a State Motorsports Icon!
It has an extremely long racing history.
Longford,Symmons Plains Baskerville etc.
It is in Group N /Appendix J specs.
The current owner is Andrew Sluce.
Sorry I do not have a contact number.
Maybe Geoff Smedley could help with this.
I believe Andrew refers to himself as "The Custodian" of the car rather than the owner.
Cheers.
Roger. :wave:


I may be wrong, I often am, but I vaguely remember hearing about John passing away....I will be most pleased if proven wrong.

#61 Stinky

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:48

Hi 275;
Unfortunately you are correct.
John passed around 2 years ago from cancer.
Only relatively young too.
The car is still the original Morris Minor blue with cream wheels.
Looks the way an original Appendix J car should be!! :clap:
Cheers.
Roger.

#62 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:51

The only Minors I have seen race,,in the 60s and 70s had everything except A series motors. Ford pushrods, B series BMC and ofcourse Holden motors. As Sports Sedans. And then better more modern cars became advailable cheaply and they all disapeared. Anglias and Cortinas hung around a lot longer, as did a couple of A30s.

#63 DJH

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 13:09

I can recall seeing A Series powered Minors racing at Sydney circuits. The A30s had the legs on the Minor as they were quite a bit lighter, around a cwt if I remember rightly.

#64 Sharman

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 20:31

I can recall seeing A Series powered Minors racing at Sydney circuits. The A30s had the legs on the Minor as they were quite a bit lighter, around a cwt if I remember rightly.


But they fell over more easily. Rod Bloor who was a great exponent of A35s, when asked what it was like to drive one fast replied "Like walking a tightrope whilst wearing ice skates"

#65 GMACKIE

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 20:51

When I first met Warren Weldon [sadly, he is no longer with us], in the early 1960s, he was driving a 2 door low-light Minor....with a s/v Ford V8 motor.

#66 DJH

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 21:32

But they fell over more easily. Rod Bloor who was a great exponent of A35s, when asked what it was like to drive one fast replied "Like walking a tightrope whilst wearing ice skates"

I thought my A30 handled O.K., until I drove my first Mini.
I never owned a Minor, but, I did drive a few.

Edited by DJH, 23 January 2013 - 21:49.


#67 backfire

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 16:56

I think we have really got away from Morris Minors and are in the realms of Superloons, you might as well describe Mick Hills Capri as a production car. If the subject is Minors then it should encompass A type engined modified standard chassis cars. The other things are interesting but do not have any bearing on the question originally posed by Jon Betts.


I'm not sure that is what Jon Betts said, but you mention Mick Hill's Capri & one of his advisors on the build was Morris Minor V8 builder/racer Mike Bennion. An interesting thread on the Bennion Minor can be found on 10 Tenths.


#68 Sharman

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 18:57

I'm not sure that is what Jon Betts said, but you mention Mick Hill's Capri & one of his advisors on the build was Morris Minor V8 builder/racer Mike Bennion. An interesting thread on the Bennion Minor can be found on 10 Tenths.

I still think the same nearly 7 years later, a V8 engined car is not a Morris Minor.

#69 bradbury west

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 22:53

Morris 1000 at Harewood hillclimb. Harewood archives. Photo uncredited , poss John Holroyd.
minor_1000_at_harewood.jpg
I think the car/photo date from the 1980s
click on image for larger view
Roger Lund

#70 kaydee

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 06:50

Some photos of my  "Racing Minors"

 

kdmmcollingroveoct56.jpg

Side Valve Morris Minor competing at Collingrove Hill Climb Oct '56

ub2l.jpg

Minor 1000 chasing Fiat 1100 at Albert Park, Nov '58

q3uf.jpg


Minor 1000 (now supercharged) at Port Wakefield - probably '59

 



#71 fbarrett

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 01:42

See also Tom Cotter, US vintage racing.



#72 austmcreg

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 02:38

A number of Morris Minors were raced in Tasmania in the 1950s and 1960s, mostly Minor 1000s. Some of the later ones benefitted from engine technology developed for Minis and were quite quick.

 

Then (early - mid 1950s)  there were the Sydney origin Mazengarb Minors with ALf Mazengarb's OHV conversion on the SV engine.

 

I have photos of some of the Tasmanian cars and a Mazengarb at Longford,.

 

Rob Saward



#73 D-Type

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 16:27

I think I've asked this before. 

 

In Britain, people seemed to prefer to race the Austin A35 rather than the Morris Minor - Why

 

Both were powered by the A-Series so power was the same. Was the A35 lighter?  It's wheelbase was shorter, did this improve cornering and handling.  Was the monocoque stiffer? Or was it simply cheaper?



#74 2Bob

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 20:18

Some photos of my  "Racing Minors"

 

 

 

Some photos of my  "Racing Minors"

 

 

 

ub2l.jpg

Minor 1000 chasing Fiat 1100 at Albert Park, Nov '58

 

This is crying out for a new caption, something like:

"But darling, this is usually such a nice quiet spot for a romantic picnic.  Please marry me".

 


 

 



#75 David McKinney

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 20:41

I think I've asked this before. 
 
In Britain, people seemed to prefer to race the Austin A35 rather than the Morris Minor - Why
 
Both were powered by the A-Series so power was the same. Was the A35 lighter?  It's wheelbase was shorter, did this improve cornering and handling.  Was the monocoque stiffer? Or was it simply cheaper?

I don't recall that you have, Duncan, but either way it's something I've always wondered about too

A lot of people raced Minors in NZ, but many of them switched from sv models to A30s, and from Minor 1000s to A35s. And were a lot faster

Who has the answer?

#76 GMACKIE

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 21:04

I recall seeing a young chap called Kevin Bartlett driving a Morris Minor very quickly at Warwick Farm. Didn't seem to do him any harm.  ;)



#77 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 21:32

Here in SA I feel there was far more Minors raced. Though in my experience as Sports Sedans. There was several with Holdens, MG and other engines. Only two A30s, one with a Holden and the other with I think an MGB and later 2 litre Ford. Too me Minors are wider and more stable though the A30 is probably lighter with less frontal area.
Where are they all now? One A30 has survived and is being restored currently.

#78 David McKinney

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 22:22

I recall seeing a young chap called Kevin Bartlett driving a Morris Minor very quickly at Warwick Farm. Didn't seem to do him any harm.  ;)

Ah! But what could he have done with an A35?

#79 seldo

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 22:59

Ah! But what could he have done with an A35?

Scraped the paint off the roof...?

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#80 kaydee

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:40

Here in SA I feel there was far more Minors raced. Though in my experience as Sports Sedans. There was several with Holdens, MG and other engines. Only two A30s, one with a Holden and the other with I think an MGB and later 2 litre Ford. Too me Minors are wider and more stable though the A30 is probably lighter with less frontal area.
Where are they all now? One A30 has survived and is being restored currently.


Lee, I also remember Ron Guppy racing a Morris Minor at Port Wakefield for Mrs Harrison.

Also, regarding Austin A30s, Frank Dent brought his A30 over to Port Wakefield in the late '50s for Brian Muir to drive.
or9s.jpg

#81 Catalina Park

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:27

Did Australia get the A35? I have a feeling that we just kept the A30 for a bit longer.

I think the motor may sit a touch further back in the A35 than in the Minor. This might have given an advantage.

#82 Giraffe

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:20

Testing a couple of seasons ago at Mallory Park....

 

img9197optimized.jpg


#83 D-Type

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 17:29

Why is the Z-cars theme running through my head?  Z-Cars were Zephyrs weren't they?



#84 elansprint72

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 18:54

 

Testing a couple of seasons ago at Mallory Park....

 

img9197optimized.jpg
 
Manchester Police had loads of Panda cars like that. I had the misfortune to be booked by the driver of one for some minor(!) offence on my Triumph Daytona. I was most unhappy about this but squared things up somewhat when I was booked by two cops in a white Jaguar S type. No shame there.
 
They later also had Mk 1 and Mk 2 Escorts in the blue/white panda scheme and six Sunbeam Lotus cars in every colour but black!

 


Edited by elansprint72, 12 November 2013 - 18:56.


#85 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 22:49

Lee, I also remember Ron Guppy racing a Morris Minor at Port Wakefield for Mrs Harrison.

Also, regarding Austin A30s, Frank Dent brought his A30 over to Port Wakefield in the late '50s for Brian Muir to drive.
or9s.jpg

Your more mature than me. My experience starts late 60s not 50s. Even then the Minor should have been the better thing. I have seen entrys for K Drage, Morris minor too!!

#86 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 22:52

Did Australia get the A35? I have a feeling that we just kept the A30 for a bit longer.

I think the motor may sit a touch further back in the A35 than in the Minor. This might have given an advantage.

Yeah we got them. I knew little old ladies who bought them new.
The James Brock built Brock A30 replica is actually an A35. Bigger back window. He could not find a decent A30 when he built the car.

#87 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 22:53

Why is the Z-cars theme running through my head?  Z-Cars were Zephyrs weren't they?

Yes,,, I still have the books!

#88 kaydee

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 23:55

Your more mature than me. My experience starts late 60s not 50s. Even then the Minor should have been the better thing. I have seen entrys for K Drage, Morris minor too!!


Engines from my "Racing Minors".
5upq.jpg
Minor 1000 with twin SU's and extractor system
0uab.jpg
Later Supercharged version - using Centric blower from Reg Hunt's Vincent powered "Flying Bedstead"

#89 lyntonh

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 00:25

Warwick Farm Esses 6th December 1969

 

195_zps21a68d62.jpg201_zps548c1318.jpg



#90 seldo

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:33

Ahh Lynton ! - you never cease to amaze. You always seem to be able to pluck a photo or two out of the hat, no mater what/who is the topic.

#91 GMACKIE

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 04:19

Warwick Farm Esses 6th December 1969

 

195_zps21a68d62.jpg201_zps548c1318.jpg

That could very well be Larry [or was it Laurie?] Sternbeck.....MG engine?



#92 DJH

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:26

" Was the A35 lighter?  It's wheelbase was shorter, did this improve cornering and handling.  Was the monocoque stiffer? Or was it simply cheaper?"

 

 

Yes , the A 30 was quite a bit lighter than the Morris Minor. I recall the difference was around 2 cwt.

In March 1965 ,  my first car was an A 30, quite fast with the Sprite bits fitted  and larger front brakes.

.


Edited by DJH, 13 November 2013 - 11:31.


#93 Charlieman

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 17:10

Yes , the A 30 was quite a bit lighter than the Morris Minor. I recall the difference was around 2 cwt.

In March 1965 ,  my first car was an A 30, quite fast with the Sprite bits fitted  and larger front brakes.

.

 

That starts to explain why the A35 became a successful class racer: lowish weight, availability of different suspension tweaks from the Sprite/Midget, better brake options, loads of interest in developing the A series engine, better gearbox and axle bits etc.

 

The Minor and Herald had similar upgrades but weighed more. The A40 Farina was a logical racing successor to the A35 but it was about 40kg heavier.



#94 DJH

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 22:53

My blunder, after checking the facts I've discovered the weight diffence between the Minor and the A 30 is but one cwt. My apologies to all and sundry.



#95 275 GTB-4

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 23:10

My blunder, after checking the facts I've discovered the weight diffence between the Minor and the A 30 is but one cwt. My apologies to all and sundry.

 

for your penitence, say 112 Hail Mary's....



#96 DJH

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 02:22

I'll even say 115 whilst self flagillating with a Morris Minor timing chain. Duplex double row of course.


Edited by DJH, 14 November 2013 - 02:24.


#97 RCH

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 08:13

I may well be wrong here, given that I know little about either A35s or Moggy Minors but...

 

The A35, as has been said, was lighter, I also suspect that whilst the Minor may have possessed better roadholding the A35 was more "chuckable" until it fell over! As is often the case the right pair of hands can make the seemingly less capable car quicker... and everyone possesses the "right pair of hands", don't they? Also when saloon car racing became more popular in the late '50's the lines had already been drawn, Minors were for district nurses and little old ladies, A35s more for boy racers. Throw in the fact that Speedwell, where you would have gone to get the bits, were successful A35 racers and a preference for the Austin emerges. 

 

Whilst we are on the subject of racing Minors; back in the '70's a certain J. Funnell used to appear in the club racing results driving a Morris Minor. Does anyone know whether he was the Jim Funnell who was studying Mechanical Engineering at Leicester Poly at the same time as me in the late '60's? He owned a "split screen" Minor which was far from standard. 



#98 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 09:41

I think there are more under 18s racing these days than ever before. LOL


Edited by Derwent Motorsport, 14 November 2013 - 09:46.


#99 Mallory Dan

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 10:40

Rod, yes I'm sure it must have been. Funnell had a specialist Minor garage at Houghton on the Hill on the A47 east of Leicester, still there I believe.   



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#100 RCH

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 13:01

Thanks Dan, must be old age but I'm getting more and more interested in what became of people I knew 40+ years ago! I recently saw the name of a girlfriend from that era come up when I was googling something. I emailed, "Were you the XXX reading  computer science at Leicester Poly in YYYY?" Yes she replied, who were you? A real impression I must have made!