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


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#1851 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 23:13

Originally posted by ken devine
Yesterday I went to the old Caversham circuit where the Vintage Sports Car Club have the lease of the RAAF buildings and are renovating them as club rooms. Allan Tomlinson was there and presented them with a large photo of him winning the 1939 AGP this is the first of many old photos to go on the wall. When i get the pic of the presentation I will post it. After reading Ray's remarks on what happened to Mt Druitt reminded me of the housing development which would destroy all the beautiful bush.Of course while i was there i took a nostalgic drive around the circuit in my old Barina thinking of when I won my only motor sport event a regularity trial in 1962 in my Morris 850.


Which picture was that, Ken?

Wow... what a thought... if only Norman Howard were still alive and posting on this thread...

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#1852 viva48

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 23:57

Ray, as I said, not sure of the date on the OP pic., I was still at school, so it must have been '64. We caught a train to Camden, then hitched to Oran Park, did this on a few occassions, until we got our cars in '65. I remember Barry Thiele's turquois Major, and had a school friend who lived in the same block of flats as Barry, in Maroubra. Barry Thiele gave me my first model aeroplane engine, a well used FROG.80 diesel. It flew many sorties on the South Coogee sandhills in various free flight models.
The obscured car may be a Simca Aronde, with that one piece rear side window, hard to say.
I had many such pics., developed and printed by my mate Guy Furner, who today is a very well known commercial photographer, lives in the U.S.A. these days I think. Many of our prints finished up on the wall of Joe Dawson's Maroubra Speed Shop.
I was at the meeting when A.G. put the T.C. on it's side, seemed later on, maybe '65? I had the whole thing on 8m.m. movie film once.

#1853 ken devine

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 23:58

It was a photo showing Allan getting the chequered to win the race one which i have never seen before.

#1854 Bruce R Moxon

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 02:35

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I

John, the biggest thing to me in that pic is how it captures something we can never see again...



The crowds of people sitting in their cars, lining the airstrip and the runs up and down the hill and enjoying a simple and pleasurable day out at the races.



What?

There's plenty of racing in Mount Druitt, still! Any Saturday night - Kurrajong Road, The Great Western Highway, even circuit racing in the back roads. Not that I condone this; I once threw a bloke out of Revolution Racegear's Sydney shop becuase he was an a street racer and would not even consider organised racing - even on a drag strip.



BM

#1855 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 03:10

Originally posted by viva48
.....I was at the meeting when A.G. put the T.C. on it's side, seemed later on, maybe '65? I had the whole thing on 8m.m. movie film once.


I mentioned the date of that one, May 1964...

Originally posted by ken devine
It was a photo showing Allan getting the chequered to win the race one which i have never seen before.


Hand raised? Three-quarter front shot? Head slightly drooped?

#1856 Wilyman

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 04:36

Originally posted by viva48
Ray, as I said, not sure of the date on the OP pic., I was still at school, so it must have been '64. We caught a train to Camden, then hitched to Oran Park, did this on a few occassions, until we got our cars in '65. I remember Barry Thiele's turquois Major, and had a school friend who lived in the same block of flats as Barry, in Maroubra. Barry Thiele gave me my first model aeroplane engine, a well used FROG.80 diesel. It flew many sorties on the South Coogee sandhills in various free flight models.
The obscured car may be a Simca Aronde, with that one piece rear side window, hard to say.
I had many such pics., developed and printed by my mate Guy Furner, who today is a very well known commercial photographer, lives in the U.S.A. these days I think. Many of our prints finished up on the wall of Joe Dawson's Maroubra Speed Shop.
I was at the meeting when A.G. put the T.C. on it's side, seemed later on, maybe '65? I had the whole thing on 8m.m. movie film once.


Viva48,
Putting forward my presence on this great thread with its photos, stories etc is humbling. As is my petty answer to the Simca question. The early 90A Simca had a fixed quarter rear window.
It looks to me like a 100E Ford roof line.

#1857 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 06:00

I agree, that's what it looks like, but I can't recall seeing one race there... certainly not in any good position...

Remember, this is before Sports Sedans. There were some around later with Holden engines etc, but not back in '64 or '65. That's not to say there were none, just none that I recall.

#1858 viva48

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 07:19

Got to be a Mark 1 Zephyr.

#1859 GD66

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 07:29

Renault R8 Dauphine ?

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#1860 viva48

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 07:42

Don't think its a Renault, MK.1 Z Cars had a one piece rear door window, and I do recall seeing one or two racing. The car is a 4 door thingo, I can see the back door handles. I reckon it's a Zephyr. Zephyr engines were all the go in Buckles.
Ray, do you remember Martin Prisk's black Skoda? Done up like Ian Geoghan's Lotus Cortina, even had the Total stripes! I think he barrel rolled it the Farm. Must have been the only racing Skoda on our side of the Iron Curtain.
And speaking of Erskine Park, I had a ride in a 2 seat gyroglider there. Towed along behind a Valiant station wagon, very spooky 30 seconds I can assure you. If God wanted us to fly, He wouldn't have invented gyrocopters.

#1861 David Shaw

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:56

Originally posted by Stan Patterson
Let there be no mistake... Sir Jack does not need me, or any other old brandy soaked wanker, to sing his praises..he is UNIQUE.. maybe i will save the Peter Thomson/Rod Laver/Jack Brabham .. "what is an Australian Icon" debate?' .... for another time...after the V8 UTE races are over...swooon "OH My Love for Peter"

Maybe we need to address the big picture issues before we can even begin to understand how the V8 Supercab sickness corrupts and demeans us all

Oh by the way. ...the "Utes are on"

GET REAL


This is like watching an Ashes cricket test on TV from the SCG. Great to watch, but the commentary gets very monotonous, droning on and on and on.

#1862 plannerpower

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:23

Posted Image

Looks like a Zephyr;

Posted Image



#1863 John Ellacott

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:30

Another photo from Mt. Druitt, this one from23 May 1968 after the circuit proper had closed but used for standing quarter mile runs on the original airstrip main straight.
A young Frank Gardner standing next to his D Type Jaguar before doing a best time of 14.57 one way.
Plenty of cars in the background for you to identify!

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#1864 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 10:01

Slight typo there, John... it's 1958, not 1968, I'm sure...

Originally posted by viva48
Don't think its a Renault, MK.1 Z Cars had a one piece rear door window, and I do recall seeing one or two racing. The car is a 4 door thingo, I can see the back door handles. I reckon it's a Zephyr. Zephyr engines were all the go in Buckles.....


Yes, it could be a Zephyr...

.....Ray, do you remember Martin Prisk's black Skoda? Done up like Ian Geoghan's Lotus Cortina, even had the Total stripes! I think he barrel rolled it the Farm. Must have been the only racing Skoda on our side of the Iron Curtain.
And speaking of Erskine Park, I had a ride in a 2 seat gyroglider there. Towed along behind a Valiant station wagon, very spooky 30 seconds I can assure you. If God wanted us to fly, He wouldn't have invented gyrocopters.


It was John Prisk, was it not? I saw it race on the short circuit at the Farm, probably at Oran Park too. And Erskine Park was the source of some valuable 403 parts for me once... and the domicile of the great Quinton Weaver when he first owned the SHW Clubman.

#1865 fines

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 10:25

Originally posted by David Shaw


This is like watching an Ashes cricket test on TV from the SCG. Great to watch, but the commentary gets very monotonous, droning on and on and on.

Don't let the "bastards" grind you down, Stan!;) Keep up the good spirit of Racing with a capital 'R'!!! :up:

#1866 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 11:45

Originally posted by fines
Don't let the "bastards" grind you down, Stan!;) Keep up the good spirit of Racing with a capital 'R'!!! :up:


Lay off, fee-nes!

And tell us what year the Mainline in the Mt Druitt pic is. Okay?

#1867 fines

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 12:21

What on earth is a "Mainline"? :confused:

#1868 David McKinney

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 12:33

He got you, Michael :lol:
It's the white and red ute (Australian for utility vehicle, or pickup truck) to the right of the picture

#1869 fines

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 12:37

Well, I get what a 'ute' is, what I don't get is why you get all excited about these "things"... :rolleyes:;)

#1870 David McKinney

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 12:38

It's not me who's getting excited, I assure you

#1871 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 19:30

Originally posted by David McKinney
It's not me who's getting excited, I assure you


Nor me, but the photographer did invite us to identify the cars in the background...

Way better to divert people to that task than continue the Stan argument. The car directly above the cockpit of the Jag, is that a Ford Pilot? And is the Jaguar coupe an XK140?

#1872 seldo

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:14

Originally posted by Ray Bell


Nor me, but the photographer did invite us to identify the cars in the background...

Way better to divert people to that task than continue the Stan argument. The car directly above the cockpit of the Jag, is that a Ford Pilot? And is the Jaguar coupe an XK140?

Yes, I agree - Ford Pilot, the car facing the Pilot is an FE, definitely an XK140, and the Mainline I believe is a '56 because if I recall correctly they didn't come out with the 2-tone paint until the ohv engine...

#1873 Wilyman

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:20

Originally posted by Ray Bell


Nor me, but the photographer did invite us to identify the cars in the background...

Way better to divert people to that task than continue the Stan argument. The car directly above the cockpit of the Jag, is that a Ford Pilot? And is the Jaguar coupe an XK140?


Ray, Look closely at your "Ford Pilot's" hubcaps. They look very Morris/Wolseley to me ?
The year model of the Mainline? I reckon about '56. Not quite a much later "Star of the Year" model.
A Dodge Kingsway or De Soto behind Frank G.

I know it is off topic, or is it? To be identifying background vehicles but bear in mind that the owners were there to take part in or spectate on the day. All part of the rich tapestry of motor sport. :up:

#1874 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:37

You can't see the hubcaps of the Pilot... it's just the top of one half of the grille across to the windscreen...

The hubcaps you mention are certainly BMC, but I don't see a Chrysler product there behind Frank, the FE and Jag, then the Mainline (dogleg windscreen pillar is one possible decider on the model...) and then maybe a Dodge/De Soto. Is this the one you mean?

#1875 fredeuce

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:18

I agree the car above the cockpit does look like a Ford Pilot. A little further along is another old Ford, a '39 sedan.

As for the "Mainline", in the USA that name was used for the cheaper versions of the Ford Customline sedans.

In Australia the Mainline was only ever a utility.The overhead valve engine("Y"Block) was released in Australian in 1955. I would say it's either a '55 or '56.

The little black car on the track above the Jag looks like a Morris Minor.

#1876 seldo

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 04:11

Originally posted by fredeuce
I agree the car above the cockpit does look like a Ford Pilot. A little further along is another old Ford, a '39 sedan.

As for the "Mainline", in the USA that name was used for the cheaper versions of the Ford Customline sedans.

In Australia the Mainline was only ever a utility.The overhead valve engine("Y"Block) was released in Australian in 1955. I would say it's either a '55 or '56.

The little black car on the track above the Jag looks like a Morris Minor.

Sorry - the black car is a Morris Major/Austin Lancer

#1877 plannerpower

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 04:25

Agree; the Minor 4-door has a chrome-framed quarter window in the rear door. I think the Major etc had a painted frame

Although the front chrome frame can be seen, there does not seem to be a shiny rear frame.

And the rear window might be a Minor 1000 (but not earlier, which were small) except that the 1000 window ends are more rounded; the Major etc had more squared-off ends on the rear window.

Black was an uncommon colour in these, at least in Australia; perhaps it is a Wolseley.

There is another Major/Lancer etc clearly visible.

I don't think it's OT to discuss cars etc in the backgrounds of old photos; historians usually consider the backgrounds of old amateur photos to be of more value than the subject.

And it's interesting and fun!

John's photo of the Jaguar is wonderfully evocative of the day; "the right crowd and no crowding". :)

And don't the girls look classy!!

#1878 ken devine

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:24

As promised here is the photo taken by Terry Smith of the presentation by Allan Tomlinson of the original
photo of him winning the 1939 AGP at lobethal to the VSCC for their new clubrooms at the Caversham race
circuit.In the photo with Allan is Rob Ozone the manager of the restoration crew.Thanks to Giffo of WARM
for the photos.(you were right again Ray).







Posted Image

#1879 giffo

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:47

Thanks Ken

http://www.vsccwa.co...ntomlinson-pres

Link to article on VSCC web inc additional images

Kind of misses the 50's to 70's dates by 20 plus years both ways. But anyway take a look

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#1880 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:32

I see they've been reading my stuff...

And someone ought to straighten that frame!

No kidding, it's just great to see Allan looking relatively spry and to know he rode out there in the MG adds even more to the picture. Definitely looking forward to October!

#1881 kevinbartlett

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 07:14

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Slight typo there, John... it's 1958, not 1968, I'm sure...


Ray, I'm a bit late on this I see. You are correct it is '58 I was there driving a Austin Healey 100 and got blown into the weeds by Frank in the sports car class. Mind you I was still a kid.Did I really think I'd be competitive? Not at all was the stern reply.

Great shot as usual John. Do you mind if I copy it and send on to Frank?

#1882 giffo

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 07:38

And someone ought to straighten that frame!



Agreed but the image of the straight frame was a little blurry

No kidding, it's just great to see Allan looking relatively spry and to know he rode out there in the MG adds even more to the picture.



Rode in it! Not only that Alan hoped in & out on his own accord over the hot exhaust system which he needed to be careful not to put his arm on whilst driving. That & that Ed took up half of his allocated seat space for himself. (lol)
Alan appeared younger than many a man 20 years plus his junior.

#1883 Wilyman

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 08:45

Originally posted by Ray Bell
You can't see the hubcaps of the Pilot... it's just the top of one half of the grille across to the windscreen...

The hubcaps you mention are certainly BMC, but I don't see a Chrysler product there behind Frank, the FE and Jag, then the Mainline (dogleg windscreen pillar is one possible decider on the model...) and then maybe a Dodge/De Soto. Is this the one you mean?


Ray,
Once more I have to 'dip me lid' in your general direction. My eye crutches make things look bigger. Of course it's a Holden.
The car extreme left of picture ??

I've been looking long and hard at the black motorbike. It looks like an older "Square Four Ariel".

#1884 john medley

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:13

I can vouch for that nasty exhaust pipe on the Ed Farrar J2/P. I tried to conduct Ed around the old Phillip Island circuit a couple of years ago, seriously to the detriment of some sort of plastic-based pullover I wore. I ended up with hardly any sleeve on the left. ...but it doesnt surprise me that for Alan Tomlinson it was effortless: a remarkable man in every way. To any Western Australians who see him, please pass on my regards to the Great Man

And thank you John Ellacott for bringing back great Mount Druitt memories in one pic. Love the parallelogrammmed out-of-control tower, from which I recall I think Loch Townsend once advertising the tasty fresh food at the ghastly food stall-in-a-tent almost straight opposite , adding the fictional motto "Dysentery or your money back". Add the grass growing through the tar, the broken tar, flying rocks, the wind, the dust ,,,,,It is easy to forget motor racing's hardships back then

#1885 275 GTB-4

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:55

Originally posted by Wilyman
I've been looking long and hard at the black motorbike. It looks like an older "Square Four Ariel".


Possibly....with a custom seat...I'm leaning towards a Norton Mercury/Atlas/Dommi tho...if only John had been shooting with a hi res digital camera...we could have zoomed in (only joking, like everyone, very appreciative of Mr Ellacotts efforts :up:)

#1886 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:14

Let's do the right thing here...

John's Mt Druitt pics repeated for our viewing pleasure:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Now we can see plainly what John Medley is talking about, without going back a page.

I think, however, trying to pick the background cars in the start line shot might be a tad hard.

And for the sake of convenience again:

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I'm not certain, but apart from being the only pre-war AGP winner still alive (the only one pre-1955, in fact), I believe he may be the sole remaining driver from the AGP. I don't know if Ken McKinney has passed on, but I suspect he has. Is there anyone else still left? George Reed didn't run in the AGP pre-war, but is older than Allan by about three years.

#1887 ken devine

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:43

Although i am not a Ford fan nobody has mentioned the nice one in the background.Behind is either a Mk1
Austin Lancer or Morris Major.

#1888 David McKinney

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 11:48

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I don't know if Ken McKinney has passed on, but I suspect he has

Yes, he died in 2005
(I only found out last year that he was my grandfather's second cousin)

#1889 seldo

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 14:59

Originally posted by ken devine
Although i am not a Ford fan nobody has mentioned the nice one in the background.Behind is either a Mk1
Austin Lancer or Morris Major.

The 2-tone blue one complete with colour-matched woman ? I thought that was too obvious to warrant comment ;)
I note that no-one has commented on the red sports car in the background of the TC shot. It looked at first glance to be a Swallow Doretti, but then I see the chrome flash on the side of the guard which makes it more likely a Healey.... One of you computer gurus may be able to lighten/brighten/clarify a little....

#1890 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 21:42

Originally posted by David McKinney
Yes, he died in 2005
(I only found out last year that he was my grandfather's second cousin)


I thought he might have gone...

I tried phoning the nursing home section of the Foster hospital, perhaps in 2004, and was told he had been moved to some other place.

He told me some great stories of his racing times... his daughter, who knew nothing of his racing past, but took up go-karting in her younger years, probably still lives in Foster and I know she cherished the memorabilia she had with her when we met. Much of it was about her grandfather's Daimler, bought in England, but some was of her father's racing. I wonder if she found more after he died?


David... I also thought it too obvious to mention several of those cars... and for your sake I've butchered the colouring of John's pic so you might have a closer look:

Posted Image

One of the questions here is whether the ambulance is a Chev, some Chrysler variant or what? That's a '46/47 Fleetmaster to its left, I feel sure, there's a Holden FJ panel van in view, but what's the car to the extreme right? Hillman or Austin A50?

These and other questions may be answered... (sorry John, I had to do it!)

#1891 bradbury west

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 22:26

Ray, in blowup it looks as if it could be one of the then new style Zephyrs, 1957 would fit, but hard to see the rear wings/boot etc. I see what you mean about the old style Hillman Minx, or even a Californian.
Roger Lund

#1892 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 22:55

Perhaps even a Humber Hawk...

Now I have come into possession of over 25 never before seen pics, Box Brownie style stuff, with a broad range of cars from then-current Brabham and Moss Coopers down to the most menial Specials. I've asked permission to use them, hopefully it will be forthcoming. And I will guarantee that there's many of these cars nobody here has ever seen photos of before!

#1893 seldo

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 23:59

To me it looks most like a MkII Zephyr, but could also be a Guardsvan Spacemaster, and at a pinch a '57 Chev, but Zephyr gets my vote.
Oh, and it is a Healey isn't it...?

#1894 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 01:22

Yeah, David... it's a Healey...

But you need to really get the polish going on your specs if you think the car on the end is a Spaceship!

#1895 Terry Walker

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 03:07

Some more of Bud Townsing's pics, Caversham, 1966 or 1967

Don O'Sullivan, Cooper Climax

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Ross Urquhart in the ex-Dunkerton Super 7

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Tony Barlow, MG A

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Doug Mould, Mini Cooper S

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#1896 viva48

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 05:26

[IMG]http://img207.images...ruittjpgxr9.png[/IMG]
Think it might be an E Model Vauxhall, looks like a flute on the bonnet.

#1897 viva48

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 07:03

[IMG]http://img212.images...xhall020wx8.jpg[/IMG]
One of these. Then again also looks like a Mk.2 Zephyr

#1898 seldo

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 07:32

Originally posted by viva48
[IMG]http://img207.images...ruittjpgxr9.png[/IMG]
Think it might be an E Model Vauxhall, looks like a flute on the bonnet.

Aha! I think I have it...! I kept thinking that the head-light had a funny angle to it and then with the close-up and the mention of the bonnet-flute....Eureka....I think we actually have a motor-cycle on a side-stand facing directly at the camera, and the flute is a handle-bar! There's also what looks like mirrors at about the car's lower windscreen line, and a glimpse of chrome either side of what would be the engine, and I even fancy I can see a hint of a front fork......Or am I showing signs of early dementia.... :confused:
Oh...it's parked in front of the headlight of the Mark 11 Zephyr :)

#1899 GD66

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 07:46

Wow, that's too hard for these dimming eyes ! And 275, re the bike in the Frank Gardner shot, don't think it's anything with a Featherbed frame as I think it's sporting plunger suspension on the rear : the Squariel would be my vote, too.

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#1900 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:09

We'd know more if John took any other photos in that spot that day...

Hopefully I'll get the go-ahead on the fresh stuff I have tonight.