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


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#1201 Terry Walker

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 03:13

Caversham 1957 AGP meeting: Bill Downey has a moment in his brand new black MGTF (protected from stone chips by miles of masking tape!) but gets it together in time and avoids the haybales on the footbridge foundations.

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#1202 ken devine

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 03:45

I dont remember Rons wife codriving,he was 2nd in 65 and won in 66 when the Ferrari in Andy Buchcanans
hands broke down,.Ron returned in 77 with the Cobra highly modified,but due to one of the wetest 6hrs
ever he had problems with traction with the Cobra and was beaten into 1st place by Jeff Dunkerton and
Doug Mould in a Mini S.This would hav been one of Jeffs best drives as he took over the Mini with 2hrs
to go and was 3 laps down.

#1203 Wilyman

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 03:47

Originally posted by Ray Bell
That's Spencer driving in the Ferrari shot...

Is it appropriate to mention that Ron Thorpe and his wife co-drove in these two races? One they won, and the other in which I think they came second... isn't that right?


Ray,
I believe Don Hall of Speedshop fame co-drove the Thorpe Cobra in one of the 6 hour events.
The Cobra virtually idled its way around Cavvy to win!

Was the Cobra as successful in Eastern States events ?

#1204 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 03:49

When I called on Ron about three years ago he explained that to me...

He reckoned (and he was probably right) that it was the most successful husband and wife pairing in a motor race ever.

I have a vivid recollection, by the way, of that car entering Hume Straight at Warwick Farm in its first race. Hard to believe that just a few years earlier Ron had raced a '32 Ford coupe on the same circuit!

#1205 Terry Walker

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 13:39

Congratulations to Wileyman for the 1200th post on this thread.

#1206 Wilyman

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 01:50

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Congratulations to Wileyman for the 1200th post on this thread.


I'm 'umbled by the immediate post numbered company. :blush:
A TNF badge in the post ?

#1207 ken devine

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 06:21

A mixed grid of wa's finest sports cars.The DB3s in it's last year of racing looking very tatty.i will show a
better photo of it.

RL=http://imageshack.us]Posted Image[/URL]

#1208 xbgs351

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 04:29

Are there any photos of Cheetahs out there?

#1209 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 06:09

There's one on the Amaroo Park thread...

Have you seen it?

#1210 ken devine

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 06:15

.A rare photo of Bill Downey in practice for the 1962 AGP in the Ferrari Corvette.The car unfortunatly
did not start owing to a siezed engine.the car was eventually sold to Tom Wheatcroft for the start of
the Donnington collection and was restored and united with its original V12 engine.
us]Posted Image[/URL]

#1211 xbgs351

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 06:18

Originally posted by Ray Bell
There's one on the Amaroo Park thread...

Have you seen it?


Yes I have seen that mk6. Thanks

#1212 ken devine

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 07:25

Ray Barfield driving the Aston Martin DB3s in its better days to win the 1961 6hr.

//imageshack.us]Posted Image[/URL]

#1213 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 08:28

Over the years, I've posted many pics on this forum...

For one reason or another, a lot of them are not now available online, so maybe I should post some here. I guess.

But I really want to post other people's pics too, I hope that's acceptable.

For a start, my favourite Australian Special:

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And if you don't like me posting pics that aren't mine, and pics that are from the forties instead of the fifties, tough!

Here's another for you to enjoy, some might recognise it from the story about Longford in Motor Racing Australia:

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#1214 Wilyman

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 09:45

Ken,
You would have thought that Ray Barfield would have kitted himself out for the occasion.
Boiler suit and "Corker" helmet was hardly de' rigeur for an Aston Martin pilot ! :o ;)

#1215 ken devine

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 10:25

Very interesting Ray,i see the first one was carrying an Austin badge,what was it and where.
as it was as usual a wet 6hr Barfield was actually wearing a raincoat,as he also drove earthmoving
equipement for a living it would have been standard dress,and as we know he knocked a few trees
over with the Aston.

#1216 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 11:08

You asked for it, Ken!

It started out at Prairie in Queensland looking like this:

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Then Herb Avery of Longreach did this to it:

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With this being his 'finishing touch':

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At this stage all of the mechanical components had been replaced with those from a 1920s Austin 20. The first pic I posted showed it at White's Hill (Brisbane) with a 3.5-litre ohv Austin truck engine, and then there was the pic at Leyburn, where it finished fifth in the AGP, fitted with a Cadillac V8.

Here it is during preparation for that event, with the Buick Century-engined car run in that race by its owner, Rex Law:

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Now don't you think that's a mighty interesting car?

#1217 ken devine

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 11:15

Yes it is very interesting Ray it just shows what lengths aussies went to to build racing cars.
maybe we should start a thread on australian specials.i will dig into my archives and seewhat i can find.

#1218 275 GTB-4

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:18

Originally posted by ken devine
Yes it is very interesting Ray it just shows what lengths aussies went to to build racing cars.
maybe we should start a thread on australian specials.i will dig into my archives and seewhat i can find.


Ken...try searching first...some will be under the name of the special I suspect...

http://forums.autosp...ight=australian

http://forums.autosp...ight=australian

http://forums.autosp...ight=australian

#1219 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 13:11

None of those are appropriate, Mick...

Two are about specific cars, the other is about manufacturers.

In the meantime, I'll post another of my old pics:

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#1220 Terry Walker

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 13:58

Evolution of an Aussie special:

Started life as an MG J2, which was later fitted with a Vauxhall engine. Then became this single-seater, the MG Vauxhall, now in the hands of Vin Smith:

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Vin then reworked it with VW ifs, and de Dion rear with Willys diff centre; to produce this:

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The rear-engine revolution saw Vin shift the engine back into the driver's seat, and the driver's seat into the engine bay, to produce this:

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When this proved to be something of a turkey, he started again from scratch.

#1221 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 21:48

Looks to me like his feet feed through under the front crossmember to get to the pedals!

Thanks for those, Terry, very interesting...

#1222 ken devine

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 22:44

Ray you are right about the position of Vins feet,when he crashed it into an embankment at the Byford
hillclimb he received a broken leg.

#1223 ken devine

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 23:11

One of the most ingenious specials in prewar days would have been the Doublev8 built by Eldred Norman
in 1946 on a Bren Gun carrier chassis,it went through several body and chassis changes over the years.
the photo taken in 1956 shows it in its final form,unfortunatly like most specials it was broken up after it
was of no further use.The other car in the picture is the BMH.built from early model holden parts it to was
scrapped.a replica has recently been built and competes in local historic racing.

tp://imageshack.us]Posted Image[/URL]

#1224 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 23:56

Yes, Ken, The 'Double 8' was ingenious...

But Norman actually copied the idea from a car that had two Essex engines, which I gather he'd owned (but not built) pre-war. The big Dodge truck wheels are a giveaway, aren't they? Even if they are 'drilled for lightness'!

#1225 ken devine

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 02:16

An interesting array of specials and sportscars on the starting line taken by David VanDal in 1954.

imageshack.us]Posted Image[/URL]

#1226 cosworth bdg

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 02:27

Originally posted by ken devine
An interesting array of specials and sportscars on the starting line taken by David VanDal in 1954.

imageshack.us]Posted Image[/URL]

This photo shows how Australian motorsport at the time relied on specials built by the Drivers and their friends.....

#1227 giffo

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 03:17

Details on the BMH 'Comic Book Special'
http://bmhspecial.bigpondhosting.com/

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Image Shane Cassidy - Motor Sport Media

#1228 ken devine

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 04:04

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#1229 ken devine

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 04:13

The image shack came up before i had a chance to write.the pic is another 54 start this one by Phil Jorden.
You will notice there is always a healy with the racing cars,this is Syd Anderson he ran in both groups and
usually won both.I dont know what the no 6 car is it looks to big to be the Ranford/Wakelin car,Morry
Maurice would have been driving the Rieman Special at that time.

#1230 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 08:26

No Ken, that's not like any photo I've ever seen of the Ranford/Maurice/Wakelin car... the front's way too wide, the windscreen's too small and the tail of the car seems too far forward...

I'm even more definite because I have frontal pics of the car before and after '54 and it never changed shape in that period.

What do you mean 'the imageshack came up'?

And I've been meaning to mention, in Imageshack, you just left click on the 'Hotlink for forums (1)' line to highlight it, you don't highlight it yourself, as you've been chopping some of it off... that's why you get those stray letters and brackets before and after your pics.

#1231 ken devine

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 07:06

This is the Ray Barfield Aston Martin after it was restored in New Zealand.


p://imageshack.us]Posted Image[/URL]

#1232 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 07:51

I wonder if poor old David got to see it before he died...

David tried to buy that car back every time he went to WA in the seventies, I believe. The engine bits were kept in a drum of oil, I was told.

Ken, again, just watch what you are doing with the Imageshack line. Don't highlight it yourself.

#1233 Terry Walker

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 08:45

Ray Barfield lived up in the hills behind Perth, on some sort of farm near Mundaring. When he blew the crankshaft on the DB3S, he ordered a new one from UK. In the meantime he stored the engine and bits in a 44-gallon drum of diesel fuel. By the time Laystall manufactured a new crankshaft from scratch (this wasn't the production model remember, but a works Le Mans car; A-M didn't have a spare crankshaft in stock) , and by the time he'd paid the humungous bill, he'd been out of racing for ages, so he just dropped the new crankshaft in the drum with the rest of the engine, and never got around to rebuilding it all.

That's the "authorised version". anyway.

I've also read, but can't remember where, an amusing account by the bloke who bought the Aston Martin from Ray, of the strange machinations involved, including meeting secretly in Mundaring village rather than on the farm, etc etc.

Ray died in 1991 aged 66, leaving behind a large family.

#1234 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 09:03

I do know that David went to see him in April, 1979...

He was over there for the AGP and made yet another attempt to buy the car. He was pretty unhappy that Ray wouldn't sell it to him, even more upset that it was just lying around deteriorating.

#1235 ken devine

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 09:08

Yes David McKay did drive it after it came back to Australia after its restoration it was written up in one
of the classic sportscars magazines i think about 1999,going by the writeup i dont think he was very
impressed saying it was overrestored.his last words were he was glad to be driving back to the country
in his airconditioned Barina.The car was then sold overseas after Ray died in 1991.Speaking to his son
recently he said the car was kept stored in its Rice trailer minus the engine which was stored elsewere
he did not say in a drum of oil.i have seen a photo of it when it was sold and most of the paint had peeled
of.the car is now in a Swiss private collection.

#1236 john medley

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 20:29

If the remarkable Alan Tomlinson won a remarkable seven races in a row in Western Australia prewar before seeing off all the so called professional Eastern Staters at Lobethal in 1939, how come you West Australians havent yet put some AG Tomlinson images on this thread. Where's your state pride, boys?

At the prewar MG rally at Beechworth in 2005, several West Australians were handing out a sheet of photos showing some of the above. Love to see them again

#1237 ken devine

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 22:36

OK here is one of Allan Tomlinson in the 1939 Agp.It was held on the day i was born that is probably
wny i became a motorsport enthusiest. i will post some more


p://imageshack.us]Posted Image[/URL]

#1238 john medley

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 23:29

One of the great photos of one of the great drivers. I always liked Terry Walker's caption on that photo in, I think" Around the Houses". He wrote: "The preparation shows"

The car looks prepared and presented to an obsessional level, and there is more than a hint of the reasons for Clem Dwyer always calling Alan "The Driver". John Snow told me the Delahaye caught the TA up Lobethal's main street but then he watched in horror as the little cartsprung thing just leapt away from the recently imported Delahaye through the twisty bits down to Mount Torrens Corner. Alan himself told me that scratchmarker Jack Saywell's 2.9 Alfa Romeo was in his way and slowing him down on the same section of the course. I havent checked the Saywell story against the lapchart, but I have checked the Snow story, and it's true -- very early in the race

Thanks, Ken. More please

#1239 ken devine

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 23:53

Allan Tomlinson after winning Albany Grand Prix in 1938.still with sports body.

RL=http://imageshack.us]Posted Image[/URL]

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#1240 fines

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 17:47

He looks very young! How old was he then? I don't think I have ever seen a birth date...

#1241 ReWind

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 20:01

21.
He was born on 16 June 1916. The Albany Grand Prix 1938 took place on Easter.

#1242 fines

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 20:14

Reinhard to the rescue! :D :up:

#1243 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 20:38

Originally posted by john medley
One of the great photos of one of the great drivers. I always liked Terry Walker's caption on that photo in, I think" Around the Houses". He wrote: "The preparation shows"


Actually, Terry didn't... so I'll accept that compliment...

The car looks prepared and presented to an obsessional level, and there is more than a hint of the reasons for Clem Dwyer always calling Alan "The Driver". John Snow told me the Delahaye caught the TA up Lobethal's main street but then he watched in horror as the little cartsprung thing just leapt away from the recently imported Delahaye through the twisty bits down to Mount Torrens Corner. Alan himself told me that scratchmarker Jack Saywell's 2.9 Alfa Romeo was in his way and slowing him down on the same section of the course. I havent checked the Saywell story against the lapchart, but I have checked the Snow story, and it's true -- very early in the race


John, I'd say you know more about this than anyone else alive today... other than Allan himself, of course... why not divulge more? Ken and Terry can accompany it with photographs.

We won't complain that they're from years well before the title of the thread. Let Michael learn some more about this 22 year old, who stopped racing at 23.

#1244 ReWind

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 21:00

Originally posted by fines
Reinhard to the rescue! :D :up:

To be fair the kudos should belong to Terry Walker and David McKinney. (Source)

#1245 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 21:51

Originally posted by ReWind
To be fair the kudos should belong to Terry Walker and David McKinney. (Source)


Perhaps Post No 9 in that thread counts for something too? And the first post as well?

Though you alone put up the date of the Albany race. If 'Easter' could be called a date...

#1246 ReWind

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 21:59

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Perhaps Post No 9 in that thread counts for something too?

Oops. Sorry.

#1247 275 GTB-4

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 07:49

Some woeful shots from Surfers Paradise late 1970s...

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#1248 ken devine

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 08:01

This is Allan and Tony Parkinson on the Saturday before the Caversham Agp Anniversary.

ttp://imageshack.us]Posted Image[/URL]

#1249 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 08:05

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4
Some woeful shots from Surfers Paradise late 1970s...


I was there that day!

Leffo leading John McCormack's beautiful McLaren M23 Leyland. McCormack won... it was the Surfers Gold Star race in September 1977.

#1250 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 08:08

Originally posted by ken devine
This is Allan and Tony Parkinson on the Saturday before the Caversham Agp Anniversary.

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Hey... that's great!

He's aged somewhat, but for a man of 91 he's fine!