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Personal photos of Australian motor racing '50s to '70s


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#5401 ellrosso

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 01:06

Couple of shots from Longford 1967 - Bluey Mitchell.
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#5402 Ellis French

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 08:44

These pics belong to Guy Miller
He asked me to post them for him as he is having difficulty with Photobucket.
They are not in any particular order.

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Edited by Ellis French, 11 June 2011 - 10:45.


#5403 Ellis French

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 08:50

Part 2 of Guy Millers pics.....


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Edited by Ellis French, 12 June 2011 - 23:52.


#5404 Ellis French

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 08:55

Part 3 of Guys Millers pics....

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Guy ...

I hope this is the lot, that I havnt lost any.

Regards
Ellis

Edited by Ellis French, 11 June 2011 - 10:49.


#5405 Ellis French

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 09:01

[quote name='ellrosso' date='Jun 11 2011, 01:06' post='5089419']
Couple of shots from Longford 1967 - Bluey Mitchell.
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The Repco head from Blueys MG Holden engine is on Peter Mathers restored #48 Humpy.
Peter is good mates with Barry Mitchell...Blueys son....so they put the head to good use.


#5406 Wirra

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:53

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John Wright Lola T400 Sandown 1979


I was greatly impressed with John Wright in, IIRC, the KMac formula ford. I'm not sure if he had other open wheelers before the F5000 but he seemed to fade as quickly as he arrived. Does anyone have any background information on his career?

#5407 eldougo

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:02

Hi Wirra .
They used to call John "Black Dog" as far as i know he only ran a F/F before the Lola,he came from your neck of the woods"The Shire" .Mike Truman knows him well and could help with info.
To keep you up to date we arrived in Perth today ,having a great time,visited Repco 22 today such a nice man.

#5408 GuyMiller

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:10

These pics belong to Guy Miller
He asked me to post them for him as he is having difficulty with Photobucket.
They are not in any particular order.

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Thanks for your help Ellis. My computer and or me could not handle the job

Regards

Guy

#5409 Dale Harvey

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 21:30

I was greatly impressed with John Wright in, IIRC, the KMac formula ford. I'm not sure if he had other open wheelers before the F5000 but he seemed to fade as quickly as he arrived. Does anyone have any background information on his career?


Before the formula ford he used to race an FJ Holden.

Dale.

#5410 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 22:43

I was greatly impressed with John Wright in, IIRC, the KMac formula ford. I'm not sure if he had other open wheelers before the F5000 but he seemed to fade as quickly as he arrived. Does anyone have any background information on his career?

I am fairly certain he raced speedway Super Modifieds before he went road racing. From what I have read John ran that 5000 on a very small budget, even to the point of using cracked cranks and the like because the budget was not there to do it properly. Considering his budget he did extremely well as he kept some of the 'stars' very honest

#5411 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:05

His story will be in the F5000 book...

He did, however (he tells me), drive a F5000 before he ever drove a Formula Ford!

#5412 austmcreg

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:35

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[/quote]

The Repco head from Blueys MG Holden engine is on Peter Mathers restored #48 Humpy.
Peter is good mates with Barry Mitchell...Blueys son....so they put the head to good use.
[/quote]

I was intrigued to read this - I am reasonably sure that when Mick Watt bought the car it did not have a Repco head (probably too early anyway?). I have an engine bay shot of the car in Mick's ownership (though I cannot find it at present) and that showed standard head and rocker cover. I gained the impression that Bluey never did anything to the car other than enjoy driving it, but did he fit a Repco head? I think the car went through one or two other owners before Ian Tate bought it (along with the Barrie Zephyr), so it would seem Bluey returned it to standard head before selling?

Is it possible to get Barry Mitchell to comment on this?

By the way does anyone know what tyres are on the car in Elrosso's Longford paddock photo? This photo reminds me that Bluey was allowed to retain Mick's racing number 18, as he retired when he sold the car (due to the death of his mate Jim Barrie).

Rob

#5413 GMACKIE

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:47

Those tyres look like Goodyear G8, or G800.

#5414 john medley

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 22:41

In photo 4 are Austin Miller, Bib Stillwell and A.N.Other emerging from MG Corner at Phillip Island. Who can hazard a guess at the name/car of A N Other?

#5415 SJ Lambert

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 23:05

James,

Great to see a few more of your dad's Longford photos.

I wonder whether BJ was blaming his Dunlops for the oversteering. John Youl doesn't appear bothered by it.

Stephen



Dunno. What would the comparitive speeds of those two driver car combos have been? Was BJ getting out of the way, or pressing on?

James

#5416 seldo

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 01:54

Those tyres look like Goodyear G8, or G800.

Don't think so Greg - they look too coarse - almost like a winter-tread. Funnily enough they caught my eye too and I was as also wondering.

#5417 GMACKIE

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 06:57

http://www.google.co...=1t:429,r:7,s:0
Not much good at the 'pics' thing - hope this works. :confused: It's an old G800.

#5418 Dick Willis

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:52

In photo 4 are Austin Miller, Bib Stillwell and A.N.Other emerging from MG Corner at Phillip Island. Who can hazard a guess at the name/car of A N Other?


Is it the Bill Pile MG Special driven by Russell Lanyon ?

#5419 john medley

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:23

Could well be, Dick. For a moment or two I thought it might be Nedloh 1 in one of its forms -- but the driver offset is incorrect

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#5420 ellrosso

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:03

Looks like you're right Greg, just looks a bit meatier or something. I've e-mailed Peter Mather to ask Barry Mitchell re Repco head on MG Holden - will post when I hear something
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#5421 GMACKIE

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:53

Those G800s were dreadful bloody things! One day, at Warwick Farm, I drove Jack Bono's supercharged 356 Porsche - fitted with G800s. Talk about lack of grip - it was like driving on greased ice. :down: I was pleased to be back in my VW Beetle, shod with Michelin X........that's how bad the G800s were. :lol:

#5422 cooper997

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:59


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Dick,

You're on the money with the John Lanyon MG. For this combination to be running together, it will most likely be the March 13th & 14th, 1960 Phillip Island Trophy Meeting (when Jack Brabham was the main attraction) - event 16 'The Repco Trophy' race. Run on Monday the 14th, Lanyon was #120.

Stephen


#5423 David Shaw

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:36

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Dick,

You're on the money with the John Lanyon MG. For this combination to be running together, it will most likely be the March 13th & 14th, 1960 Phillip Island Trophy Meeting (when Jack Brabham was the main attraction) - event 16 'The Repco Trophy' race. Run on Monday the 14th, Lanyon was #120.

Stephen


And if anyone is interested in some footage:
http://www.britishpa...rd.php?id=67577


#5424 Dick Willis

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:12

So was the MG really in the chase with the Coopers or was it being lapped ?

#5425 David McKinney

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:42

Interesting commentary. No doubt Devlin (if I heard that right) was being lapped

#5426 cooper997

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:01

In the programme, 'The Repco Trophy' is listed as event 16, but by the AMS report it was brought forward by one event, because they were running late.

From the report, "... John Lanyon braving the tempest in an MG TC." So he was lapped when that photo was snapped. The 4 Coopers of Brabham, Patterson, Miller & Stillwell were lapping backmarkers by lap five. JB won, Patto second (& broke his lap record by 3 seconds), Stillwell got through for third.

Stephen

#5427 David Shaw

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:07

Interesting commentary. No doubt Devlin (if I heard that right) was being lapped


Brian Devlin in Lotus XI Series 1 chassis #198 according to Blanden.

#5428 austmcreg

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:16

Dunno. What would the comparitive speeds of those two driver car combos have been? Was BJ getting out of the way, or pressing on?

James

I looked up Longford 1961 lap times - Jane's fastest all weekend was 2.53.4 compared to Youl's 2.33.5, though their top speeds were the other way round, Jane 149mph and Youl 143mph (about right for a 2.2 Cooper when the 2.5s were doing 155 or so at Longford. Must be a practice shot as the sports cars and open wheelers were not mixed in 1961 races.

Just as a comparison I checked Whiteford's fast lap from his three Longford appearances in the other 300S and it was 2.50.0 in 1960.

#5429 gnomesport

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 00:43

I was greatly impressed with John Wright in, IIRC, the KMac formula ford. I'm not sure if he had other open wheelers before the F5000 but he seemed to fade as quickly as he arrived. Does anyone have any background information on his career?


John was, and still is a very talented driver and a great loss to Australian motor racing. He also raced motor bikes briefly and wisely gave that up for living longer! He had huge knowledge of 'the game' and could build engines blindfolded. He had experience in America in the F5000 scene and always wanted to drive Internationally, but that just didn't happen. The Lola was run as best he could and what was lacking in new parts he made up for in talent. Some of the obscure things that happened to us included a stone knocking off the oil pump belt once and another time breaking a gearbox shaft. I still haven't heard of that shaft breaking on another car. The T400 is still in Australia and is run by Mike Glynn in historic events.

Gnome

#5430 Wirra

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:09

...The T400 is still in Australia and is run by Mike Glynn in historic events...Gnome


It would be great to see John doing a few laps in that car at the next Tasman Revival.

I just happened to see the December 1981 RCN this morning and it opened on a photo of John Wright winning an '81 AGP support race in the Lola. I was overseas in the late 70s and early 80s and now realise that he didn't fade on the local scene as quickly as I had thought. What a pity he didn't get to drive an RT4 against so many top class internationals at that meeting.

I noticed the Lola carried a sign for 'Accurate Engines' who were a sponsor of my car. 'Accurate' were former employees of 'Batemans of Bankstown' and I have some vague recollection of their association with John Wright. Darn, it's all so long ago.

Edited by Wirra, 17 June 2011 - 05:14.


#5431 ellrosso

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:34

I was at Calder for that AGP meeting in 1981 and JW won that support race pretty comfortably. I saw him race on a number of occasions and often wondered how he would have gone with some serious backing. He was certainly very quick in a car which was pretty much always prepared on a shoestring budget.


#5432 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 12:13

I visited Clare Russell tonight...

She was suitably humbled that people were excited about here old snaps. I'm sure she's grateful for the interest those who have shown in both the pictures and her personally.

Still a lovely and kindly lady with a quiet demeanour and long, long memories of time spent with her late husband at the many circuits. I showed her each of the messages sent by members here, as I said, she was quite astounded at the interest taken by one and all.

I still have stacks of her pics to post... just give me time...

#5433 cooper997

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 00:15

Ray,

Good to hear you've caught up with Clare and been able to show her the TNF comments.

Stephen

#5434 austmcreg

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 09:39


The Repco head from Blueys MG Holden engine is on Peter Mathers restored #48 Humpy.
Peter is good mates with Barry Mitchell...Blueys son....so they put the head to good use.


I was intrigued to read this - I am reasonably sure that when Mick Watt bought the car it did not have a Repco head (probably too early anyway?). I have an engine bay shot of the car in Mick's ownership (though I cannot find it at present) and that showed standard head and rocker cover. I gained the impression that Bluey never did anything to the car other than enjoy driving it, but did he fit a Repco head? Is it possible to get Barry Mitchell to comment on this?

[/quote]

Thanks to introduction by Ellis French I had a long chat with Barry Mitchell who was happy to talk about the car and his father. The Repco head was fitted in last period of Mick Watt's ownership. Barry also said that he thought Mick had lengthened the wheelbase of the car from its original Firth dimensions.

#5435 Lurch

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:38

I work colleague gave me a photo album containing some old race photos, so I had them digitised.
In no particular order:

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#5436 Lurch

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:43

More:

Fernando D'Alberto:
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:)



#5437 ellrosso

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:45

Peter Mather e-mailed me earlier today and as you mentioned Rob, the Repco head was purchased from Bluey in 1990-91 for his humpy. To Peter's knowledge the Repco head was on the car throughout Bluey's ownership. He removed it when the car was sold to Ross Valance (see attached pic from Bask 1971) who installed a red motor (179 from memory).
Apparently Mick Watt made a promise to Jim Barrie's wife that he would retire from racing after Jim was killed at the Domain hillclimb. He then sold the car to Bluey Mitchell.
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#5438 seldo

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 14:00

Those tyres look like Goodyear G8, or G800.

They're not G8s but I thought they were Dunlop SP3s, and after some research, I think you are correct...G800s :)

Edited by seldo, 20 June 2011 - 14:01.


#5439 275 GTB-4

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 10:49

Looks like you're right Greg, just looks a bit meatier or something. I've e-mailed Peter Mather to ask Barry Mitchell re Repco head on MG Holden - will post when I hear something
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They look reminiscent of Kleber or Vredestein... (he said :wave: )

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#5440 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 10:57

They're not G8s but I thought they were Dunlop SP3s, and after some research, I think you are correct...G800s :)

They are not G800s. Maybe Vredstein but I never bought them!

#5441 seldo

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 12:38

They look reminiscent of Kleber or Vredestein... (he said :wave: )

These are G800s - quite similar....but I'm not 100% convinced...
edit: Sorry - couldn't make the link work

Edited by seldo, 21 June 2011 - 12:41.


#5442 275 GTB-4

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 11:21

Road racing did not come to Tasmania until the late 1940s; until then the only racing was on beaches. Beach racing did not finish in Tas until the late 1950s for cars and the early 60s for bikes. One of the lesser known venues was Brickmaker's Beach, between Stanley and Detention on the far northwest coast, where the Northwest Car Club and North Western Motorcycle Club staged events. Brickmakers was destroyed in about 1964-65 when the iron ore pellet loading facility for Savage River Mines cut the beach in half. These two photos are from Brickmakers, probably not at the same meeting, showing Jock Walkem's Walkem Vincent (photo by Jim Saward) in about 1957 (the car was re-engined from Norton to Vincent in 1956) and Mick Watt's Holden special (photo by Jim Smith) in (possibly) 1955 judging by the number plate (the 1955 tag has not yet been fitted), though I was under the impression it was 1956 when he bought it. Mick bought it from Owen Bailey, who I think bought it from its builder Harry Firth. It used a Connaught-style body on MG Y type chassis. Mick raced it until selling in 1961. It is now with Ian Tate.


Does anyone have any pictures or info on Graham 'Cobber' Kaine who used to beach race at Brickmakers. He went on to win several national Speedway championships?

He had a motorcycle shop at the top end of the main street of Ulverstone in the mid 70s, Graham had retired from Speedway by then.

Graham was born in 1940, and was probably beach racing about 1960, then speedway from mid 60s.

Does anyone have any recollections or photos???

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 23 June 2011 - 09:35.


#5443 Geoff Smedley

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 14:42

They are not G800s. Maybe Vredstein but I never bought them!

Not meaning to throw a spanner in the works regarding the "rubber on Wally's Holden special......But!, several of the Tasmanian tyre companies were retreading tyres to their own design around that time and CAMS was still learning to crawl in those days so these nobbly boots were proving better than the bland over the counter stuff. Tasmanian Tyre Service in Launceston :clap: was marketing their exclusive Suburbanite Tread' which was popular in Trials, Beach racing and even on the circuit on occasions and I drove cars in several events in the 50's on this particular tread while having been envolved through the family engineerig business in making the die segments to set into the mould for this tread and I had access for testing purposes. The tires on the Holden MG are not the TTS tread but are very similar and could be a spiv. tread at the time from another local companyof which there were several top line retreaders in Tasmania, a thought perhaps??..........Smed.

#5444 GMACKIE

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 23:18

That photo was 1967 - long after re-treads were banned by CAMS.

#5445 Catalina Park

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 08:13

I saw retreads getting used as late as 82, long after CAMS banned them! They were not expecting slicks to be retreads. :rotfl:

#5446 austmcreg

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 09:42

several of the Tasmanian tyre companies were retreading tyres to their own design around that time and CAMS was still learning to crawl in those days so these nobbly boots were proving better than the bland over the counter stuff. Tasmanian Tyre Service in Launceston :clap: was marketing their exclusive Suburbanite Tread' which was popular in Trials, Beach racing and even on the circuit on occasions and I drove cars in several events in the 50's on this particular tread while having been envolved through the family engineerig business in making the die segments to set into the mould for this tread and I had access for testing purposes. Smed.


The Suburbanite tyre was advertised by TTS in the 1960 Longford program "Bruce Walton exclusively uses Suburbanites". I think Keith Young's KY Vincent sprinter which was Tasmania's fastest sprint car mid 1960s (usually driven by Dave Powell Snr) used them on the rear as well.

I am posting here several photos of two cars that Geoff Smedley was involved with in the anticipation that he might add some comments regarding them. The Le Mans Jaguar was racing in Tas from about 1960 driven variously I think by Geoff, Alan Cohen and Brian Dunstan, whom I have read elsewhere were all involved with Le Mans Motors in Launceston. Is it true that it was built using mechanicals from the XK120 lightweight that Tom Hawkes raced in Tas about 1950-51? Who actually owned / built it? This car became the basis in 1965 for Kerry Cox's Paramount Jaguar. The other car is the Kenley Vincent (named I assume after Kenley Motors in Launceston), driven at Longford 1958, without a body, by Ross Oliver and later by Geoff. Who owned and built it? I would be grateful if Geoff would care to tell us something about these two cars. Does the Kenley still exist?

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Rob Saward

#5447 GMACKIE

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 10:29

I watched Bruce Walton at Silverdale hillclimb a few times, and he did use re-treads - on the rear. Re-treads were allowed [rear only] on 'one car at a time' events, eg. hillclimbs, sprints etc.
Tyresoles were popular, as they were nearly one inch wider than the standard tread.

Bruce Walton was an amazing driver! Recently, in a discussion about him, I suggested that he used 'traction control'.......not electronic, but a perfect connection between the BRAIN, and the RIGHT FOOT. :up: He retired as Australian Hillclimb Champion - six years on the trot. :clap:

#5448 DanTra2858

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 10:35

These are G800s - quite similar....but I'm not 100% convinced...
edit: Sorry - couldn't make the link work


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This is a G800 of the period it is not the same tyre as on the car, the blocks are a different patten, you can also rule out Dunlop SP's.

#5449 275 GTB-4

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 12:00

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This is a G800 of the period it is not the same tyre as on the car, the blocks are a different patten, you can also rule out Dunlop SP's.


and despite the likes of Black Jack doing adverts for them they were unsafe at most speeds!! NSW Highway Patrol withdrew their labour in protest....

#5450 seldo

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 12:07

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This is a G800 of the period it is not the same tyre as on the car, the blocks are a different patten, you can also rule out Dunlop SP's.

Thanks - that's the link I was unsuccessfully trying to put up :)