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


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#6751 GreenMachine

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:40

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What is the driver (?) of the car on the left doing? A quick check of the oil and water? - in the middle of the race??? :eek: Looks like something has distracted him from this important task :rotfl: :rolleyes: :lol: , he may now have to check his underwear :blush:

And I presume that is the driver standing a (little) distance away from the car on the right, and the object just to the rear of the car is one of the half tyres that has been dislodged ... (actually, he can be seen in the uncroppped photo further up, not the one you posted Ray)

Things were done differently back then, it seems :)

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#6752 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:17

I have no idea what the Peugeot driver was doing...

But Ray Kaleda has just stepped out of the blown up Morris Major and is probably wondering what to do next.

I'm not sure if you ever went to Warwick Farm, but there were NEVER any tyre markers around the circuit. So I don't know what the white objects near the Major might be.

Actually, I posted all the pics (with the kind permission of Alan Hemsley, who has now seen this thread and I imagine is delighted).

Edited by Ray Bell, 19 March 2012 - 09:20.


#6753 SJ Lambert

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:19

Yes, that would seem to fit...

It also makes the Cooper Butler look smaller than I'd imagined it to be. It started life as one of Eldred Norman's projects.



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Is it this the Cooper Butler we're talking about?



#6754 Stephen W

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:23

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Is it this the Cooper Butler we're talking about?


Fabulous - love those off-set single seaters!


#6755 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:12

Fabulous - love those off-set single seaters!

But no that is not the car in the above pic, that one is austin 7 based.

#6756 GreenMachine

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:06

I'm not sure if you ever went to Warwick Farm, but there were NEVER any tyre markers around the circuit. So I don't know what the white objects near the Major might be.


Yes Ray, I was a regular speccie during the 60s. early 70s (?), and I don't remember any half/buried tyres, but those look like tyres to me ... :confused:

#6757 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:13

The Cooper Butler, as far as I'm aware, was based on Morris 8 components...

This photographed car (the red one) seems to be more Ford-based.

#6758 David McKinney

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 13:11

Wasn't the Cooper-Butler built for Norm Butler by Garrie Cooper?

In which case it should be mentioned in Elfin histories...

#6759 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 20:40

True...

But the only thing I think I have on it here is the BP ad run in RCN in the seventies, which only shows one picture of it. It's nothing like that car.

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#6760 SJ Lambert

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:21

Looks to me like Garrie Cooper is driving his Cooper Austin (A7 based special) in the period pics above. I think John Hazelden is possibly that car's current custodian (I'm presuming Garrie only had one A7 based car). Norm Butler and Garrie built an Austin A40 chassised 2-seater special - the (one and only) Cooper -Butler. I understand that it is the red car as depicted in the picture I posted above, it's currently owned by John Anderson, I've seen it run in the last few years a Phillip Island and it was part of the static display at the Adelaide Elfin 50th Anniversary celebrations. I presume it may have been re-worked over the years as the accompanying article from the austin7 club says it was later converted for road use. Coincidently, there is a picture in the 7 club article of Bruce Went in "Norm Butler's A40 special", it doesn't look too dis-similar to the current car. Bruce Went later wired up the electrics on virtually all the Elfins. He pointed out to me that the connectors for the tail lights on our 300 are actually Telecom pins!!!

http://www.austin7cl...ok/chapter2.pdf

So I don't know what it's current specs are - or it's original ones either... maybe 2Bob got a close up of the accompanying placard back at the 50th celebration???



http://forums.autosp...w...85&hl=elfin anniversary&st=0

#6761 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:31

Okay, it seems I've gone off at the deep end with this...

The pic from Port Wakefield is of an Austin 7-based device, that's clear in that picture. It's also the car in the picture in the BP ads. I've been under the impression that (pictured in the ads) car was the Morris Z-based Cooper Butler, I guess I should have known better.

That said, I have no doubt there is a very long list of differences visible between the original Cooper Butler and the red car pictured above.

#6762 2Bob

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 20:46

... maybe 2Bob got a close up of the accompanying placard back at the 50th celebration???


Have blown up the photo with the placard. Not brilliant but some of it readable:

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#6763 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:55

Be nice if the pic of the original could be seen...

It's obviously very different to the present rendition.

#6764 DanTra2858

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:03

Would someone please add info on this Cooper, photo taken at Oran Park during the 1980's could have been a day night meeting????

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#6765 Dick Willis

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:15

Owned by Andrew Osman at the time who was quite a star in it, unfortunately he is no longer with us. A Type 41 Cooper with a single cam 1500 Climax it had some illustrious owners in its early days, Paul England, Austin Miller, Doug Kelly, Stan Mossetter etc. and later Terry Harris who introduced it to historics.

#6766 onelung

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:32

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#6767 GuyMiller

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:23

Would someone please add info on this Cooper, photo taken at Oran Park during the 1980's could have been a day night meeting????

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Also Known as the Miller special or little lemon
Regards

Guy

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1958 Miller special

Edited by GuyMiller, 02 April 2012 - 11:47.


#6768 Geoff Smedley

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 13:36

Also Known as the Miller special or little lemon
Regards

Guy

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1958 Miller special

Yep! this was the first Cooper Climax sold pacifically for crop spraying purposes but found other uses at weekends

#6769 GuyMiller

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 23:15

Yep! this was the first Cooper Climax sold pacifically for crop spraying purposes but found other uses at weekends



Thats right Smeds but of course there was one other car that entered the country in exactly the same way wasn't there? THE SABAKAT
Guy

#6770 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 23:56

Yep! this was the first Cooper Climax sold pacifically for crop spraying purposes but found other uses at weekends

The English made much more stylish looking crop sprayers than we did. Though were a little underpowered so a Chevrolet engine helped enormously!

#6771 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 00:17

That was a later model, was it not?

I'm sure Geoff will know... his story about sticking the Chev in and doing the land speed record thing with it is here somewhere.

#6772 Dick Willis

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:32

I had this pic saved from when Guy posted it some time ago, I thought it was masterpiece of craftmanship squeezing that V8 into a poor little Cooper

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#6773 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:51

The people being:

Bruce Burr - Aussie Miller - Geoff Smedley

So it is the same car?

I was going to remark earlier, it was a sad loss when Andrew died. So soon on the heels of his father's death too.

#6774 Dick Willis

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:50

Different car to the "Miller Special Type 41, the Corvette powered car is a 1959 type 51, in that form I believe it set a speed record which I am sure Guy will be able to tell us about.

#6775 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:51

Yes, I was pretty sure of that thanks, Dick...

I wonder where the story as told by Geoff is?

Hang on... it can be reposted right here!

Geoff Smedley has sent me this wonderfully readable account of how they won the Australian Land Speed Record back a couple of years ago. It was posted on the Mentioned in Passing thread when Aussie Miller died. Geoff later added that the car was a T51 ex-Stan Jones:

The Australian Land Speed Record 1961

Reflections by Geoff Smedley 2010



This is perhaps the most unlikely but successful challenge to a record ever staged and it comes with a story that is equally remarkable the story of Austin Miller, Australian Land Speed Record Holder (1961 – 1964).

I had known my friend, the late Austin Miller, for a number of years previously and we had raced cars together in earlier times. Around 1959 Austin came to live in Tasmania after recovering from a fairly major air crash in Victoria, where he had operated an aerial crop spraying business for many years. He decided at that time perhaps a slower pace of life would be better suited to his wellbeing, and so he had bought a hotel in Launceston and renovated it and renamed it 'The Monaco Hotel'. It soon became the hub of motor racing fans from far and near.

It could be argued that the array of beverages served at the Monaco may have instigated the record attempt! Not so! But it was Aussie’s infectious desire and persuasive talents that eventually won out, and the idea grew into a reality early in 1960, with myself entrusted with the task of putting together a vehicle that could better the current record. This stood to Mel McEwan in the 'Tornado Special' with a speed of 157.5mph set in South Australia a few months earlier.

Some of the difficulties soon became clear. First there was no money in the kitty. This meant that all work had to done 'in house'. The only equipment available was the 1959 Cooper F2 fitted with a 2.2 climax motor that was Austin’s current race car, but it was certainly not suitable for the job in hand. But a friend of Aussie’s in Melbourne had just set a water speed record using the Corvette engine, and this power plant had been offered on loan as a starting point to our quest.

The thought of stuffing 400 hp into a petite Cooper F2 seemed almost as ridiculous as attempting the record itself. An assessment of the work needed to adapt the chassis to take the big and brutal Corvette engine proved it would need to be a bit of a 'suck it and see' effort, or do it as she goes, with all chassis work to be undertaken before the transplant could take place. In particular, the transmission drastically needed modification from the existing citroen light 15-based box used by Cooper at that time.

To this end I was fortunate in that I had the facilities of engineering facilities with the family business (Bedford Machine Tools) at my disposal. Being a trained engineer, I was able to modify this box to a beefy 2-speed specialised unit, and with savage cross bolting of the housing, in theory, it would withstand the short lived punishment expected of it. All this along with special beefed up drive shafts to cope with the extra power were made and, as it seemed, a never ending general tweek in all the right places.

Eventually we were starting to see some result and the project began to shape the car we hoped would bring us success. The only thing I was fully confident of was the fact that Aussie Miller was one of very few blokes in the world who could steer this mish-mash of bits to success. His long career in flying, and driving at the top echelon of open wheeler racing in this country, certainly proved he had not only the courage but also the anatomy to do the job.

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After the work on the car was finished there was the hassle of setting up the legalities and finding a location suited to such an attempt. We had looked at a few areas as possibilities, but each had drawbacks, and we needed a course that would give us the very best of chances. A remote beach on the North-West coast of Tasmania (Bakers Beach) looked like the ideal place, a little out of sight in case of failure and some 4.5 miles of good surface to set up a good surveyed strip to test our hopes.

It took quite a few weeks for our little band of helpers to arrange all the last minute problems, including being told that the official timing gear was in Hobart the night before we were about to make the run! This meant someone had to drive the 250 mile journey to retrieve this very important bit of gear. While this was being attended to, my friend Bruce Burr and I decided it would be prudent to take the car to the beach the evening before to eliminate any holdup on the following day.

The best laid plans were in place, we were armed with arrowed placards to be placed on trees showing the way into this well hidden beach, and the evening turned into night before we reached the last mile or so of very dense bush. Not having ever tried to visit this remote place in darkness, we became hopelessly lost and had diligently placed our signes in areas that have never been found to this day!

Our problems didn’t stop there. Eventually we arrived on the Western end of the beach and it required about a four mile drive in the Land Rover, with car and trailer on tow behind, to the Eastern end to a base site we had previously chosen. We were finding this spot hard to locate in the darkness and the search required driving in the softer sand further up the beach.

Of course the trailer and race car became bogged and things became hopeless, so we simply unhitched the trailer and moved the Land Rover to a little higher ground and turned in for the night. We were woken just after daylight by a local TV crew that had somehow found us without the aid of our signs, and to our horror we found that the tide was in and was lapping the deck of the trailer and the car looked to be sitting on the water, which presented more of a comedy act than a serious record attempt. Anyhow, with the aid of the TV crew we managed to get things into a more respectable state before Officialdom and others started arriving, none of whom had seen any of the dozen or so directional signs we had placed the night before.

The timing equipment had been brought from Hobart and set up and it was then time for the first test runs up the beach. Bearing in mind that this would be the first test of the car itself, it was a very nerve racking time for me but if Aussie felt the same way he certainly didn’t show, it climbing into the car as if heading off on a fun drive up the beach!

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The first couple of runs looked well but a problem with the timing equipment held up proceedings for some time. This made all previous runs null and void, but it did give us a chance to delve into a possible gearbox problem which, turned out to be a minor adjustment. However, stripping a transmission on a beach in the open is not really recommended, but we did the job and soon all was ready for the first official run from East to West.

The car achived 172mph, well on target. We had the car geared for around 202 mph @ 6,500rpm and this first run was looking good. The reverse run was a little down, which was expected against a growing wind, and adjustments were made to the car before the next speed run. While working on the engine, it was necessary to remove the canopy I had made to try and wind cheat the car. I had rigged up a quick realease arrangement for this canopy should the need arise but somehow the mechanism got damaged in the refitting after the previous run, causing a major drama on the next attempt.

At an estimated 170mph the canopy ejected and went skywards, also releasing the whole backhalf of the body, and certainly shocked the observers and dimmed the hopes of taking the record somewhat. But the 'never say die' Aussie, the pilot, was determined to have a go without such refinements even though beach conditions had deteriorated and the wind was lifting the sand into a heavy haze. Pulling down his goggles, the intrepid Miller lad set off, disapearing into a wall of sand and into the record books by pushing the record up to 164.7mph, not what we hoped, but a record that would stand for almost four years - and all on the smell of an oily rag.

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It's good to reminisce on a time when this sort of thing was possible and practical learning was still in vogue. For me, I later entered into F1 as a race engineer. In those early days your skills were required on every aspect of the car, you featured dirty hands but aquired a lot of personal satisfaction.

It was an era in time we will never see again in the name of Motor Sport. Four years later when Donald Campbell in his jet powered Bluebird officially became the fastest man on wheels, he put the record up to 403mph on Australia’s lake Eyre, but the successful Miller challenge remained for some 4 years, and certainly must always remain as a dinkum piston engined record done on a shoestring by a a man of his time……… Austin Miller, My Mate!


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Geoff Smedley, Tasmania



#6776 SJ Lambert

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 13:04

Another one of Dad's from Mallala

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#6777 Lola5000

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 22:12

Another one of Dad's from Mallala

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I was on a rally in Tasmania last month,Spencer Martin was there,asked him about driving that car,he said yes a couple of times,Calder and at Warwick farm,where he won a race against the Ferrari 250lm,driven by Andy B.
He said the E-type with the big wheels,torque out of corners and the braking/low gearing did the the LM250 with ease,gave the car a great rap,nice man. :up:

#6778 AnnieOz

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 22:49

The Andrew Osman Cooper is in the hands of Michael Shearer. He and Andrew were good friends and so the car is much loved and cared for. Due to its fragility Michael doesn't race it that often. he has been rebuilding the Ford after its misbehaviour last Easter. It wasn't plain sailing at Easter, requiring a new headgasket so it could play at Collingrove on Easter Monday.

#6779 Dick Willis

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 22:55

Annie, you are absolutely correct in that your brother has an ex Andrew Osman Cooper, the BMC engined Junior. However the Cooper pictured earlier in this thread is a Type 41 single cam Climax powered car, much earlier than Michael's car. I could be wrong on this but I think the T41 is owned by Peter Williams in Northern Victoria but I am not aware of it having been seen lately.

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#6780 AnnieOz

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 22:57

Thank you - that is the result of too many days at a Mallala (4 out of the last 7!) I will hang my head in shame! or foolishness!

#6781 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:23

The Bob Jane Lightweight E-Type certainly had some potential...

Bob was pretty quick at the '65 ATT before he ran over Frank Demuth's car.

#6782 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:28

Thank you - that is the result of too many days at a Mallala (4 out of the last 7!) I will hang my head in shame! or foolishness!

And i thought I was crazy with a possible 3. If I go tomorrow. Hopefully I will not be fixing cars either. My last Shannons visit had me trying to put the door back on Smerdons Falcon. After young Bartsch ran over it!

#6783 Lola5000

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:29

The Bob Jane Lightweight E-Type certainly had some potential...

Bob was pretty quick at the '65 ATT before he ran over Frank Demuth's car.

ideal sprint car,were history shows us the v12 Ferrari cars would just plug away,ideal for long distance racing.
Spencer made the comment how the LWT "e" had big wheels ie post its UK trip as to the Lm250s smaller wheels and less rubber on the road,he said the "E" punched out of corners.

#6784 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 22:30

Did the E-type go back to England at some stage?

I don't recall that...

#6785 Lola5000

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 23:06

Did the E-type go back to England at some stage?

I don't recall that...

Yes,when Bob and Bill went on a holiday,it was upgraded with the bigger wheels at some stage,Bob drove it in a a sports car race perhaps at the British GP

#6786 Wirra

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 23:57

This was at the AGP in 1985, but IIRC Bob's had 'Shell' coloured stripes.

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#6787 DanTra2858

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 00:29

This was at the AGP in 1985, but IIRC Bob's had 'Shell' coloured stripes.

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I remember Bill Marsh (Lotus Super 7) telling me that the amount of track garbage that those big wheels threw up made things very uncomfatable for him, the same applied when he was competing against Ron Thorp in his Cobra.

Bill also told me that his best races ever were against the E Type at Warick Farm.

#6788 David McKinney

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:44

Yes,when Bob and Bill went on a holiday,it was upgraded with the bigger wheels at some stage,Bob drove it in a a sports car race perhaps at the British GP

It was the GT race at the 1964 GP at Brands Hatch. Jane finished 10th, beaten only by two Cobras, a Ferrari GTO, another lightweight E-type, four Lotus Elans and a Porsche 904

In my opinion not as impressive, from an Australian viewpoint, as Lex Davison’s performance at the same meeting (then at Aintree) three years earlier, when he took his Aston Martin Zagato to victory over Jack Sears (E-type) and Sir John Whitmore (DB4GT)



#6789 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:32

Daniel, that would be Bill March...

Not Marsh.

#6790 DanTra2858

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 21:18

Daniel, that would be Bill March...

Not Marsh.


Thanks Ray, spelling is not one of the better things for me, but you knew to whom I refered & that is what matters.

#6791 275 GTB-4

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:53

Mick, I have some understanding of the difficulties...

But could you please stop posting worthless things that nobody can understand?


.

#6792 SJ Lambert

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:45

This one was parked next to the E-Type.

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#6793 ellrosso

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:53

Jane E-Type in original livery at Longford.

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#6794 Lola5000

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:28

Before the rear guards were pumped out for the larger wheel/tyres

#6795 Lola5000

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:29

This one was parked next to the E-Type.

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BT14?

#6796 SJ Lambert

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 13:18

Not sure, I lifted the shot straight from the negative & I don't know the car.

Edited by SJ Lambert, 16 April 2012 - 14:10.


#6797 David McKinney

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 16:33

Jane did run the BT14 for Johnny Harvey, but I thought that was only after the previous owner had fitted a Repco V8, and that looks more like a twincam to me. Could be the same car, of course, just not in Jane ownership

#6798 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 21:25

John Harvey's ex-Stillwell BT14...

Winner of the F2 title, contender for the Gold Star.

The Longford pic of the Jag shows it sitting alongside of Matich's Brabham.

#6799 Dale Harvey

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 21:26

That's John Harvey's Brabham.

Dale.

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#6800 David McKinney

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 21:52

What I could have said that Harvey raced it as an R C Phillips entry in late 1965 with what was presumably the ex-Stillwell twincam, then during the 1966 season increased it to a 1650, and in 1967 ran it at 1860, then finally put in the Repco V8 - all the while under the R C Phillips banner. Jane then took it over for the early 1968 races, still with Repco V8, and still with Harvey as driver