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


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#1601 David Shaw

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 00:33

These type of fences were very common fixtures around Australia, Warwick Farm, Sandown, Catalina Park and even Mt Panorama (Bathurst) just to name a few.

There is a short clip here of what the sleeper fence could do to a car at Bathurst:
http://www.uniquecar...rst_moments.htm

It should be the third one down, Lightning Can Strike Twice .

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#1602 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 00:58

There's a reason for that, David...

The only legislation that stipulated anything about safety fences in Australia was the Speedways Act of 1957 in NSW.

It actually decreed what size posts, what size planks, how they were affixed, what size gaps between the planks and all. It was all in pre-Armco days, of course, so it was what everyone had to use where there were spectators behind the fences at any circuit in NSW. The planks are not sleepers... they are actually 2" think hardwood.

It was the death knell of Mt Druitt.

#1603 David Shaw

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:17

Thanks for the background Ray.

I forgot to put 'sleeper fence' in inverted commas, as I had realised that the planks were too thin to be railway sleepers.

#1604 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:19

Many of the posts were, of course...

And a lot of flag points had barriers made entirely of sleepers. I spent a lot of time behind one.

#1605 Wilyman

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:29

Originally posted by Stan Patterson
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


Stan,
Re the Herbert Johnson helmets, were they barred from use about that time or was it that fashion decreed the later "jet" helmet?

The "jet" helmet worn by Frank Matich looks to be of a "one size fits all". :)

#1606 seldo

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:30

Originally posted by David Shaw
Thanks for the background Ray.

I forgot to put 'sleeper fence' in inverted commas, as I had realised that the planks were too thin to be railway sleepers.

Most people referrred to them as "sleeper" fences because they looked so similar with their aged grey colour and usually a few splashes of tar or creosote for white-ant protection

#1607 Stan Patterson

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 02:26

Stan,
Re the Herbert Johnson helmets, were they barred from use about that time or was it that fashion decreed the later "jet" helmet?

The "jet" helmet worn by Frank Matich looks to be of a "one size fits all".



To be quite honest Wilyman, I was never sure if they were banned or if commonsense prevailed re safety etc.

For me it was part of the changing face of racing.... as the Coopers replaced the Masers etc so did the helmets change.

I lost count of the number of times i was told off in school for trying to draw Doug Whiteford's "herbie" with rear goggle strap when i should have been doing my sums


Stan

#1608 kevinbartlett

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 03:53

Originally posted by Ray Bell


T

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


Try this Mt Panorama shot for no fencePosted Image






Maybe too obscure for many of the TNF mob, Ray.

The "Rush" Ray mentions is the famous Aussie multiple Sprint Car Champion Gary Rush. His start in circuit racing in a Formula Ford was at Warwick Farm. I was driving the Mildren Alfa monocoque, leading The Hordern Trophy, or Gold Star race and with just a couple of laps left came upon the novice (at that time) FF driver Gary, to lap him just at the Homestead corner turn-in point, virtually at the horse track crossing area. Young Rushy moved directly into my gunsight from the slow line and plucked a front wheel straight off the Sub.
I became a passenger and luckily the shunt had occurred far enough away from the actual second apex that the car had lost a ton of speed grinding tub away on the tarmac, none the less it struck the planks solidly, directly beneath the marshal you see in Ray's pic.

It was then a simple matter to unstrap and with the aid of said marshal hop upon the fence and watch someone else win the motor race.

#1609 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 04:03

Oh yeah... I flagged there once too...

Posted Image

The filename says '100mphlap', KB, so that's from '67? I flagged there in '66 with PB for company, just a matter of yards before the left extremity of the pic. That's one awful deep quarry there! In fact, my Victorian mates camped in there for the night.

John has a pic of Bill Patterson, and probably some others, just a little further up the hill. Just as dodgy looking.

#1610 275 GTB-4

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 06:57

Originally posted by Ray Bell
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?

Posted Image


QUOTE
Yes that's me.
What a top shot.
I've never seen that one before.
Max Stahl had some movie of us and the car at the Farm the next weekend but this was private practice at the Farm the first time the Brabham had turned a wheel with Frank at the helm.
The photo was taken in 1963 the week preceeding the 1963 Hordern Trophy at the Farm.
No, it wasn't sign written at that stage.
I had picked it up in Melbourne a week or so before and it was spanking new.
Thank you very much for the pic.

May I use it?

I'd appreciate any more you can find.

Brian.
UNQUOTE

#1611 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:22

Mick, I think everyone here owes you a debt of thanks...

I gather it's only because you showed John how to upload and post photos that we're privileged to have these on the forum. Good job.

And it's great that Brian gets to see a good shot of himself in his old habitat. That pic is just so exclusive. And to think that just a few days later Frank would become, IIRC, the fastest man ever around the Farm.

#1612 David Shaw

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:36

Originally posted by Ray Bell
And to think that just a few days later Frank would become, IIRC, the fastest man ever around the Farm.


To quote Sports Car World's Hordern Trophy review:

Matich's wheels were out of alignment after the bingle with Stillwell and he was unable to continue, but his consolation was in the setting of a new outright lap record of 1 min 37.2sec - 83.33 mph - which was 3/10 sec under Bruce McLaren's former mark set way back in 1962.

#1613 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:46

That's not the time I was thinking of, David...

Stirling Moss had done a 1:36.8, if I remember correctly. It wasn't in a race, it would have been in practice for the 1962 International. What was Matich's time in practice for this one?

And now I realise that my pic of Clark was from 1966, not 1965... this is the 39, the car built for the flat 16 Climax and ultimately fitted with the FPF. It reached the heights of its beauty and speed in Leo Geoghegan's hands, of course, with the Repco V8.

#1614 David Shaw

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 10:06

It doesn't mention a time from private practice, only that he ran 1 min 38.5 for third fastest in the opening practice session, and took pole with 1 min 37.4 sec.

It does state Matich decided to use a 2.5 petrol engine after several very encouraging practice sessions round the Farm's short circuit. but that isn't what you were referring to obviously. Not quite the standard of race report that you have become accustomed to reading.

I must agree that I don't think the 39 ever looked more elegant than with the Repco and the green Castrol stripes, the sun glinting off that beautiful chrome nest of vipers that nestled between the heads.

#1615 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 10:20

Hmmm... maybe I'm wrong...

There were no untimed sessions at any meetings other than the International in those days. Anyway, back to shabby photos... John Harvey's first openwheeler drive, the pic severely affected by light intrusion in the camera for some reason. Lakeside, November 1965:

Posted Image

#1616 David Shaw

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 10:26

To think that 13 months later he almost won the Gold Star in the very same car.

#1617 John Ellacott

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:01

Who ? What ? Where ? When ?

Posted Image

#1618 Twin Window

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:26

John, you are a panning maestro!

I don't know whether folk appreciate the skill level involved, but panning is an artform in its own right. Not only that, but you also pan with a slow shutter speed and, I'll wager, using a slow film too.

Brilliant! :up:

#1619 David McKinney

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 13:21

Originally posted by John Ellacott
Who ? What ? Where ? When ?

Posted Image


Jim Palmer, Scuderia Veloce Brabham BT11A, Easter Bathurst 1966
I'm not sufficiently familiar with the track to say exactly where on it he is - top of Con Rod Straight?

And while I'm here, my I add a personal expression of pleasure that your material's finding its way onto the site. I was in NZ at the time and we saw a lot of your subjects each January, and were almost as familiar with a lot of the others through RCN, AMS, SCW etc etc
Welcome :up:

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#1620 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 18:56

The result of the biggest 'divorce' in Australian racing at the time...

I had forgotten that Palmer drove this car at Bathurst. I was somehow recalling that it was the Farm, but he was substituted when Spencer Martin (who missed Longford?) left David McKay's team.

McKay, who had been grooming Martin to become Shell's first Gold Star champion, tried to continue with Palmer, who attempted to get an Australian licence so he would qualify for Gold Star points. He wasn't able to, however, due to his monocular vision.

McKay then sold this car to Bob Jane, who took on Martin and the Shell pursuit of the Gold Star.

I think I'll leave the 'where?' to someone else. As only David has responded, it's not fair to cut John's little mid-thread mini-quiz off with just one response. I will say, however, it's not the top of Conrod.

#1621 David Shaw

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 19:55

By my reckoning it's across the top just before McPhillamy Park.

Strangely, there was no feature for racing cars in 1966, the feature being the ATCC race. The Bathurst 100 had seen dwindling participation without Gold Star status and after the 1963 running the feature race for open-wheelers became the Mt Panorama 1500 for ANF1.5 cars for the next 2 years. The Bathurst 100 for the 2.5 litre cars returned in 1967 and regained its Gold Star status the following year.

1967 had the Mt Panorama Gold Cup for racing cars which incorporated the Lex Davison Perpetual Trophy for ANF1.5 cars. Palmer won the race and Harvey the 1500 section.

#1622 seldo

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 23:58

Originally posted by Ray Bell
.......I think I'll leave the 'where?' to someone else. As only David has responded, it's not fair to cut John's little mid-thread mini-quiz off with just one response. I will say, however, it's not the top of Conrod.

It's a hard one - I've looked and looked and I think it could be either Reid Park, or top of Conrod at about the first little kink out of The Elbow, but I don't think the fence comes down that far, so I'll go for Reid Park, or....?

#1623 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:06

Originally posted by David Shaw
.....1967 had the Mt Panorama Gold Cup for racing cars which incorporated the Lex Davison Perpetual Trophy for ANF1.5 cars. Palmer won the race and Harvey the 1500 section.


Palmer won in '66, of course, Bartlett in '67, and finally took the lap record over 100mph at that meeting...

Your earlier comment about Harvey, David... in the meeting he was well and truly ahead of all the 1.5 competition.

And the Lex Davison Perpetual Trophy has, apparently, perpetuated into obscurity. Diana Davison, in a speech that gave me enormous respect for her, presented this just weeks after Lex's death. It was supposed to be for the winner of the main racing car race, IIRC, at each Bathurst meeting forever.

The ARDC don't know where it has gone now.

#1624 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:08

Originally posted by seldo
It's a hard one - I've looked and looked and I think it could be either Reid Park, or top of Conrod at about the first little kink out of The Elbow, but I don't think the fence comes down that far, so I'll go for Reid Park, or....?


The fence ended where Dick Johnson put the Falcon in to the trees. It's not anywhere out of Forrest's Elbow at all...

So we have a vote for Reid Park and a vote for McPhillamy. Hands up those who can tell the difference? Or, where does Reid Park end and McPhillamy begin?

#1625 David Shaw

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 02:58

At Sulman Park?

Sorry about the typo earlier, it was of course 1966.

#1626 kevinbartlett

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 03:21

Originally posted by John Ellacott
[B]Who ? What ? Where ? When ?

I'll put my tuppence worth in and venture the pics taken at the turn in point just past the Mc Phillamy park crest, right at the gate.

#1627 seldo

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 09:21

Originally posted by kevinbartlett


I'll put my tuppence worth in and venture the pics taken at the turn in point just past the Mc Phillamy park crest, right at the gate.

I'm not going to argue with you KB, but is there a hill as a backdrop at that point....? I don't think so....

#1628 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 10:19

It's on a crest...

There are two crests, one just past the Reid Park gate and another a little further along before what I call 'the Hollow' where you swing towards McPhillamy Park gate. I think it's the second of these, but I couldn't be sure. It's certainly one of them.

#1629 giffo

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 23:25

Some you you may be interested in what's going on out at the old Caversham currently

See this release by the VSCC in W.A.
http://www.vsccwa.co...am-preservation

#1630 seldo

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 23:31

Originally posted by Ray Bell
It's on a crest...

There are two crests, one just past the Reid Park gate and another a little further along before what I call 'the Hollow' where you swing towards McPhillamy Park gate. I think it's the second of these, but I couldn't be sure. It's certainly one of them.

Yes - it certainly could be. And KB may well also be right too. I don't know about KB, but I've never seen it from the outside of the fence looking back across the track from that aspect, so I'm surmising a bit.... Besides - I'd hope Kev spent most of his time looking ahead at that point....;)

#1631 kevinbartlett

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 00:45

Posted Image

A rather shoddy box brownie shot from Bathurst in the 50's. I am working on enhancing some of the old shots, but no luck so far.

Seldo, I was stopped at the gate entrance in the Camaro one day when Christine G. and Bob M. came together and was able to have a bit of time to look around and John's pic could be that position. Only he will put this to rest.

#1632 seldo

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 01:34

Originally posted by kevinbartlett

Seldo, I was stopped at the gate entrance in the Camaro one day when Christine G. and Bob M. came together and was able to have a bit of time to look around and John's pic could be that position. Only he will put this to rest.

In that case KB, I'd have to concede...:)

#1633 John Ellacott

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 07:06

It is difficult to be certain after 40 odd years, but I think my Jim Palmer photo was taken just past the crest

past Reid Park gates..
Now a year earlier, Easter 1965 Leo Geoghegan Lotus 32 chases Bib Stillwell Brabham BT 14 up the mountain ,just near where KBs picture was taken, in the 1 1/2 lt championship race

.Posted Image

#1634 David Shaw

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 07:18

Thanks for another excellent photo John. To my eye Stillwell had the best looking Brabham livery. The BT14 seems to look a bit bigger than the Lotus too.

#1635 John Ellacott

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:52

For Kevin ,The Lynx BMC FJ Warwick Farm December 1961

Posted Image

#1636 David Shaw

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 10:46

Apparently Peter Wherrett drove a Lynx Formula Junior at the same meeting, although young Kevin was the works driver.

#1637 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 11:46

I don't think Wherrett's was a Junior, was it?

The car he drove was owned by Bruce Powell, who still lives in Young. Later it got a supercharger.

#1638 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 11:50

Originally posted by John Ellacott
Posted Image


That's one hell of a motley lot of parked cars in the background there, John!

Apart from the Bellet, that Standard Cadet, the two Sprites, Minor and it looks like a Major, all subservient to the FB/EK panel van. And like I said earlier, they were joined the following year by PB's early Holden. Or it might have been Kenny Mitchell's.

And that's one serious motor race happening there, too.

#1639 David Shaw

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 20:33

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I don't think Wherrett's was a Junior, was it?

The car he drove was owned by Bruce Powell, who still lives in Young. Later it got a supercharger.


That's the one, entrant B. Powell. I have the chassis numbers as FJ107 for Bartlett and FJ108 for Wherrett. Actually Wherrett appears in a fair few Junior races that I have obtained data on.

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#1640 sterling49

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 21:10

Originally posted by John Ellacott
It is difficult to be certain after 40 odd years, but I think my Jim Palmer photo was taken just past the crest

past Reid Park gates..
Now a year earlier, Easter 1965 Leo Geoghegan Lotus 32 chases Bib Stillwell Brabham BT 14 up the mountain ,just near where KBs picture was taken, in the 1 1/2 lt championship race

.Posted Image


Forget the railway sleepers at Brands Hatch, if the drivers go off here, they will have an RTA with a collection of cars including a Sprite and Minor 1000 :eek:

#1641 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 22:53

Originally posted by sterling49
Forget the railway sleepers at Brands Hatch, if the drivers go off here, they will have an RTA with a collection of cars including a Sprite and Minor 1000


A very unlikely trajectory...

For a more reasonable view of the likely outcome, check KB's photo towards the top of this page.

#1642 seldo

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 00:25

Originally posted by John Ellacott
It is difficult to be certain after 40 odd years, but I think my Jim Palmer photo was taken just past the crest past Reid Park gates..

There's our answer...:)

#1643 plannerpower

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 01:02

From some recent scanning; Bathurst 1964;

Greg Cusack (Brabham);

Posted Image


Kingsley Hibbard (Rennmax);

Posted Image


Glyn Scott (Lotus 27);

Posted Image


Mick Nedelko (Prad Holden);

Posted Image

#1644 David Shaw

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 01:16

Great photos there too plannerpower, thank you. :clap:

#1645 ken devine

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 01:49

These are great shots and comments fella's,keep it up. i would still like to see some pre 60s though, i am
sure ther are plenty out there.

#1646 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 02:16

Originally posted by plannerpower
From some recent scanning; Bathurst 1964;

Greg Cusack (Brabham);

Posted Image


Kingsley Hibbard (Rennmax);

Posted Image


Glyn Scott (Lotus 27);

Posted Image


Mick Nedelko (Prad Holden);

Posted Image


Nice inclusions there...

Are we to assume that more will follow?

#1647 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 04:46

Originally posted by David Shaw
That's the one, entrant B. Powell. I have the chassis numbers as FJ107 for Bartlett and FJ108 for Wherrett. Actually Wherrett appears in a fair few Junior races that I have obtained data on.


Interesting sidelight here, David...

I just spent a few minutes scouring through the CAMS Manual of Motor Sport for 1962... guess what?

Australian Formula Junior included three classes, all with different weight limits. Pertinent here is that the additional class was up to 1500cc with a minimum weight of 1176lbs. A note in the book (pencilled in, this was an official office copy) indicated that 'no new Certificates (of compliance)' would be issued after 31.12.61 and that cars already competing would be allowed to continue to do so until 31.12.62.

#1648 David Shaw

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 05:20

That's very interesting Ray. I knew of the separate categories and weight limits for <1000cc and <1100cc, but not of the <1500cc. This would have been peculiar to Australia I would think.

An interesting point about Cusack at Bathurst in 1964 is that he 'won' the major race, the Panorama 1500, by some 40 odd seconds, but came third behind Leo and Glass as he and Pete had been deemed to have jumped the start and copped the 60 second penalty that went with it.

#1649 plannerpower

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 06:36

This looks like that race;

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

#1650 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 07:09

That's the one...

Charlie Smith (green Brabham) had a long battle with Arnold Glass (Lotus 27), Pete didn't last long in the older Lotus. Maybe he was only out there to jump the start and make Greg do the same?