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


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#1551 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:07

An interesting observation, David... and a comment really about what Bib thought of his other opponents...

Or was it all right to let other Victorians win?

My feeling is that Lex was past his prime and Bib knew it. John Youl was struggling with budget and having to do his own upgrades on an older car, McKay retired after that race anyway and Spencer couldn't be expected to be up to full speed for a year or so, Patterson was in old machinery. Only Matich posed a real threat.

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#1552 Twin Window

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:18

This is a great shot! Is it one of yours, Ray? Sorry, but I couldn't resist a wee fiddle...

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:blush:

#1553 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:37

No, Stuart, it's one of John Ellacott's...

I posted it first on the Lotus 19 thread for John, I felt it was appropriate that it get another run here because its main opposition is pictured - again by John - in the same corner.

Twinny, like I posted before, just wait till John hits his stride posting pics. He's got some great stuff.

#1554 Stan Patterson

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:48

David,

Your comments about Bib are very interesting and reflect more or less what I have pondered over for many years.

It seems to me that he continued to improve every season right up to his last season in 1965 when as you point out, he was not just the "accumulator" but was capable of taking on anybody if the stakes were high enough. Stillwell described the race you refer to as his best race and there is no doubt he pressured Matich into over-driving on that occasion.

As David Mckay points out, in his opinion, by 1965 Stillwell had reached a standard where he would have been successful in F1 had he gone to UK - mainly due to his ability to drive fast and not make mistakes or destroy his machinery - we will never know, but interesting to ponder over.

Stan

#1555 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:29

Originally posted by Ray Bell
My feeling is that Lex was past his prime and Bib knew it. John Youl was struggling with budget and having to do his own upgrades on an older car, McKay retired after that race anyway and Spencer couldn't be expected to be up to full speed for a year or so, Patterson was in old machinery. Only Matich posed a real threat.


That's how I read it too, although of course I wasn't around to experience it. I think when Matich got his Brabham that Bib felt he was ready to take on anyone, as Stan pointed out. He wasn't a full time driver with a professional factory team behind him like the European drivers who came out for the International races in the late summer, but he felt by then that he had learned his craft enough to wear that Gold Star around his neck for a couple more years.

He had been overshadowed by the likes of Davison, Patterson and Jones but I think at that stage that he knew he wasn't quite ready and didn't try to take them on when they were at their prime. But when he was ready, they had already peaked and he felt that he deserved to lead the pack.

Matich got the better of him in the sports car races they had after the Lotus 19 arrived on the scene, but that could be attributed to better machinery. That is why he upgraded the suspension on the BT4, because he wanted a level playing field to prove himself the better steerer.

#1556 kevinbartlett

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 05:23

Posted Image
stumbled across this oldy, and thought I'd post it so as to refresh my pic posting procedure. getting older and more forgetful I'm afraid. I guess I'd need to do this more often to get on the pace.

#1557 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 05:37

Oh yes, you'll have to keep doing this regularly KB. Is that Frank Demuth's 23 behind the LM250?

#1558 kevinbartlett

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 05:55

David, I have hundreds of pics. However, I have no way of knowing which are or aren't copyrighted. So not wanting to offend anybody I find some that I took or ones that I have box brownie scans of from my collection.

Re the Lotus behind the 250LM the car number would indicate Lionel Ayres' car, but I could be mistaken. Who knows the corner? Posted Image
Another at the same corner this time piloted by a young bloke. The images may be some of Briar Thomas'. Some one may let me know.

#1559 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 06:11

While driving the TZ2, it looks like you lost a headlight cover.

Or found one.

The abundance of trees in the first shot makes me think it may be the last corner at Lakeside (Peter's?), but as I have never been there and was in short pants then, it is only a guess.

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#1560 Formula 5000

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 09:50

Every day I look to this thread with anticipation. Thank you all so much. It is fantastic. Please keep it going.

Doesn't the Lotus in either 19 or 19b format look much bigger than the Monaco? Perhaps we could go back to that long and interesting thread on the coil or leaf springing of the Monaco!

#1561 Twin Window

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 09:50

Originally posted by Ray Bell

Twinny, like I posted before, just wait till John hits his stride posting pics. He's got some great stuff.

Fabulous - I'm looking forward to seeing more!

#1562 John Ellacott

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 09:57

The two great rivals, Stillwell and Matich ,Hume Straight Warwick Farm december 1963.

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#1563 Twin Window

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:09

Another smashing photo, John. Please keep them coming!

:up:

#1564 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:26

Originally posted by kevinbartlett
.....Re the Lotus behind the 250LM the car number would indicate Lionel Ayres' car, but I could be mistaken. Who knows the corner?


The far corner at Surfers, KB... and it is Lionel...

The one where you keep turning hard right and then head to go around the hill.

As for John's latest post, who could beat that? That's Frank trying to rattle Bib during their dice that ended up in a collision.

It deserves to be on this page too!

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And what would you give for that Velox these days?

#1565 John Ellacott

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:35

Bathurst as it was. Easter 1961 , Stan Jones followed by David McKay and Bill Patterson all in Cooper Type 51s on the run down to Forrests Elbow.

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#1566 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:39

Keep 'em coming, John...

Stan won't stop smiling for a week! And would you mind e.mailing me please?

I was at Malcolm Rea's place a while ago and showed him the pics up to the 19B on the previous page. He said something like, "Those blokes were brave!" about the Stillwell pic. This one begins to show how brave.

#1567 Stan Patterson

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:56

The Warwick Farm pic.

A phenomenal pic John - I just cant stop staring at it............The immaculate prepartion of the Stillwell car is evident, as is the intense rivalry between the two drivers, the latter giving the photograph a sense of drama and occasion.

Adding to the drama for me is the fact that these 2.7 litre cars were the fastest open wheel racing cars in the world during the 1.5 litre FI era.

Yes Ray i am grinning from ear to ear and my spirit feels uplifted and cleansed

Beautiful

Stan

#1568 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:57

These photos are amazing John. Thanks so much for sharing these with us.

#1569 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:03

Actually Stan, one bit of trivia that I picked up on reading the report from this race today was that Matich was using a 2500 Climax and was running on petrol, not alcohol. This showed up early on in the race in the way that Stillwell was able to get away.

As to the gold nose on the BT7A, I remember Brian Darby? mentioning that the nose was damaged shortly after delivery when they had done the "Matich treatment" with extreme negative camber on the front suspension, and en route to a test session it got damaged in the trailer.

Yes it's an awesome picture alright.

#1570 John Ellacott

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:10

For our British viewers, Graham Hill Ferguson P99 2.5 lt Climax Homestead Corner Warwick Farm practice for Australian Grand Prix February 1963.

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#1571 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:11

Originally posted by David Shaw
.....As to the gold nose on the BT7A, I remember Brian Darby? mentioning that the nose was damaged shortly after delivery when they had done the "Matich treatment" with extreme negative camber on the front suspension, and en route to a test session it got damaged in the trailer.....


That's right, David, just like the Stillwell car got a yellow nose when it got crunched in New Zealand after being sold to the Mildren team...

And Stan, we discussed Matich's engine sizes before, remember? Frank had a 2.6 in the Lotus and 2.5s in the Brabham. After all, it was to run just this one race before the 2.5 formula came into being, not much point in investing in a 2.7 for just one race.

#1572 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:29

I hadn't actually twigged on that being the reason for the yellow nose on the Mildren Brabham Ray. I thought it was because they didn't have time to repaint the whole car after the Maserati issue, but that they were able to slip on the nosecone in Mildren yellow.

#1573 John Ellacott

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:45

Matichs Brabham just after it had arrived taken out to Warwck Farm midweek for a tryout.

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#1574 Twin Window

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:50

Wow! This is a real treat!

I hope John won't mind me having a wee diddle with the balances...

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Are these shot on 35mm film, John? Fantastic panning!

#1575 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:52

How pristine does that look? Not even a fingerprint.

These photos are so evocative of an era where things were straight forward and uncomplicated.

EDIT: I was referring to the Brabham, not that the Ferguson looks rough, but.........

#1576 David McKinney

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:02

Originally posted by Ray Bell
the Stillwell car got a yellow nose when it got crunched in New Zealand after being sold to the Mildren team...

Only partly true, Ray. It had a yellow nose before the accident - but the yellow did extend further after the repair

#1577 John Ellacott

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:20

Calder Raceway ,March 1963 Victorian Trophy meeting.Lex Davison Cooper Type 62, Bib Stillwell and David McKay both Brabham BT4s , all Climax 2.7.

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#1578 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:36

Excellent action photo John. Looks like Lex and David got the jump on Bermar this time. Interesting to note the different wheels on the BT4s.

And you have to admire the Occupational Health & Safety representatives prepared to stand by their straw bales.

#1579 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:44

Originally posted by David McKinney
Only partly true, Ray. It had a yellow nose before the accident - but the yellow did extend further after the repair


Time to split hairs, David?

Stillwell ran the car with his regular dark green colour for the bulk of the body, a yellow stripe down the centre of the nose and that broadened to form a yellow surround for the radiator intake. Pretty much the same as Jack's F1 Brabhams had their gold over their green. Just a few inches of a noseband that blended into that stripe. Mildren's took it to New Zealand unchanged.

After the Wigram shunt, the nose was repaired. New fibreglass was hastily patched in place and the yellow paint used to finish it off. If you refer to the pictures from Pukekohe in Racing Car News you will see how it started out, and then the picture of Gardner leaving the grid in the Warwick Farm report, and particularly two photos in the Lakeside report, show the extent to which the yellow went. It broadly covered the whole of the nose back to the cutaway for the front suspension, and it no longer blended into the stripe.

The aside to all of this, if you recall, was that Gardner was having spasmodic brake problems. At Lakeside they struck as he braked for Shell and he dashed straight into the pits and the nose was removed. There in the breather hole in the lid of the master cylinder was a strand of the carelessly laid fibreglass matting, causing his brake problem.

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#1580 seldo

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:47

Originally posted by Ray Bell


The far corner at Surfers, KB... and it is Lionel...

The one where you keep turning hard right and then head to go around the hill.

As for John's latest post, who could beat that? That's Frank trying to rattle Bib during their dice that ended up in a collision.

It deserves to be on this page too!

Posted Image

And what would you give for that Velox these days?

What a sensational photo! I also note that it appears that Frank was late-braking down the outside due to the very different angle of the front wishbones/ front ride-heights....Oh...and I think it's a Cresta, not a Velox - (more chrome)

#1581 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:57

I would have thought that Hume Straight would have been the perfect place for Bib to exploit the extra 200 ethanol fed cubic centimetres before Matich made good use of his newer chassis and suspension through the more twisty bits.

#1582 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 13:01

Note that Bib's got the 13" wheels on the front, while Frank has 15"...

That makes for some of the visual difference, I think. And as Frank never hit the front, this is clearly an attempt to either unsettle Bib by getting alongside him, or a genuine attempt at an outside pass after slipstreaming him down the straight.

And it was 253 extra ccs, David. Or 255, or 257, depending on which programme you read. A little more than you got in both cylinders combined of the then-current Benly.

#1583 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 13:06

Now that you mention it Ray, the 2.7s were 2750 or so weren't they. As to reading programmes, at 10 months old I wasn't quite up to that yet, still working on John and Betty.;)

#1584 David McKinney

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 15:03

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Just a few inches of a noseband that blended into that stripe. Mildren's took it to New Zealand unchanged.
After the Wigram shunt, the nose was repaired. New fibreglass was hastily patched in place and the yellow paint used to finish it off.

Only partly true, Ray
It had the full yellow nose-band before the Wigram shunt - but after the Pukekohe shunt. It ran at Levin the week between with the fat yellow, and pictures at the time of the Wigram accident show the same
(And yes, I know I'm splitting hairs ;) )

#1585 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 20:34

That's interesting, David...

As you well know, I wasn't there, but I do remember once posting that the nose was damaged at Pukekohe leading to this repair job. And I was told it wasn't Pukekohe, but at Wigram.

#1586 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 20:57

I guess I really should post one of my shabby old shots...

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Took that one Saturday... never knew then what the Monday would bring.

#1587 David Shaw

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 21:16

One circuit where he never seemed to have much luck. Interesting shot Ray, from the inside at Newry?

#1588 Alan Cox

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 21:27

Quality cars, quality drivers and real quality photos. Many thanks, John, for sharing these.

#1589 Stan Patterson

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 21:59

Ray and David,

I acknowledge my error re Matich's engine size.......I guess the import of what I was sayng was that the big-engined cars whether 2.5 or 2.7, were the fastest racing cars in the world at the time.

Calder March 1963

Another superb pic Sir John - absolutely superb - and if I may, I would make 2 observations:

From his T55 Lowline onwards, Bib always lowered the seating position in his open wheelers and this is clear from the side-by-side pic of he and David McKay in their BT4's. I have always wondered if this was a contributing factor to his increased form from 1961 onwards.

David Mckay made the comment that, in late 1963 he and Davison were the only drivers of "grand prix" cars in the world still wearing Herbie Johnson helmets---it is probably correct but i am sure somebody will know otherwise.. In the 1964 AGP at Sandown, both Davison and Whiteford wore herbies.......probably their last appearance in an AGP....I love them.

Stan

#1590 ken devine

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 22:12

At last we have some Easternstaters on board,they are great shots unfortunatly we didn't have these
cars over in the West after 62 we missed some great racing espescially Matich in his openwheeler.
bring on more.

#1591 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 22:13

Originally posted by David Shaw
One circuit where he never seemed to have much luck. Interesting shot Ray, from the inside at Newry?


That's right, David, down close to the track... I only had my mother's camera at that meeting, which had a fixed 50mm lense...

I have to comment, too, that this shot from John, I have to ask who the person bending over in the overalls is? Bruce Richardson is only just in frame, but I wonder if that's Brian Darby there?

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It is very interesting in that the car is totally bare. No 'Entrant: TEAM TOTAL', no 'Driver: FRANK MATICH' in the prescribed letters 2" high. No number circles nor numbers. No stripes. Nothing.

Just like the shots John has of Matich's Lotus 19 the first time he took it to Warwick Farm to test. And the one of the Elfin 400/Traco Olds in the Peterbilt yard at Mascot or Alexandria. Pictures taken when the public weren't about, seeing the cars in a form very few saw.

And one of the evocative shots John has is of the Lotus being picked up around the circuit at Bathurst when it broke down. Yes, keep 'em coming, John!

#1592 John Ellacott

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 09:06

Longford March 1960 Jack Brabham and Bib Stillwell Cooper Type 51 with Arnold Glass Maserati 250F behind.

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#1593 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 11:54

Looks like Jack's car has just come on the cam in first gear...

Plenty of action in that shot, John.

#1594 ken devine

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 22:40

What a great shot.Jack's car looks a little untidy ,which would be most unusual.

#1595 sterling49

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 22:45

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I guess I really should post one of my shabby old shots...

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Took that one Saturday... never knew then what the Monday would bring.


Not too shabby, I would say Ray, especially the car and driver :up: :up: :up:

#1596 Stan Patterson

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 22:55

The mystery of Longford 1960 is ...

Why is JB wearing someone else's helmet and goggles?..were his misplaced?

A week or so later he was wearing his 1959 type "spaceman " helmet at Phillip Island.

This showed up earlier in one of Kaydee's pics also

Stan

#1597 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 23:06

Originally posted by sterling49
Not too shabby, I would say Ray, especially the car and driver


Thanks...

Actually, I was never a Clark fan myself, being an adherant to the belief that Fearless John was a true great. I always respected him, of course, but this was one of those races that didn't 'surrender to him,' as someone once famously wrote.

You should have been there for the race. You should have been there full stop, I think John would reinforce that view, and kaydee also. And isn't it strange that John and kaydee weren't exactly regulars at Longford, but both were there at the 1960 meeting?

Oh well... more shabby stuff:

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This one gives perspective to John's Homestead Corner pics, being on the exit. It's a two-part corner, with the fast cars apexing twice and drifting right to the outside in between. So you can see why I mentioned that Clark had some corrective Lock in place in the pic John posted on the Jim Clark Film Festival thread.

This pic, from 1972, or maybe 1973, is of Jack Bono in his Elfin 600 during the 'Tyrrell nose' era. He's doing his best, of course, to come out of Homestead as quickly as possible, as it's the half-mile Hume Straight he's entering, the longest straight on the circuit and the one that leads to that severe braking test that's shown in the pic of Stillwell and Matich.

Kevin knows this fence... he hit it in... well, in a sort of a Rush!

#1598 sterling49

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 23:13

I used to see Big John and co, regularly at Brands Hatch, say, maybe 3 or four times a year for a five year period, but you guys in the Antipodes had the opportunity to see them twice as much in a couple of months, and in nice weather..........the local guys could also use them as a yardstick. I always remember Bert Hawthorne and Frank Matich, and Frank Radisich(?) great days and great races. The Mildren Waggot rings a bell too, driven by that acerbic wit, Frank Gardner IIRC :smoking:

#1599 sterling49

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 23:15

Originally posted by Ray Bell



Kevin knows this fence... he hit it in... well, in a sort of a Rush!


hmmmn....it does not look too forgiving, shades of the old railway sleepers at Brands :eek:

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#1600 bradbury west

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 00:16

Originally posted by sterling49

hmmmn....it does not look too forgiving, shades of the old railway sleepers at Brands


...or a bit like the old North Tower Bend??, IIRC, at Crystal Palace- no prisoners taken there.
Roger Lund