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


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#2701 Terry Walker

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 06:48

Sorry, my error - I'm not a Ferrari expert, I had the vague idea the Curly Brydon car was a Squalo without being certain. This shot shows both cars together, at the start of the 1958 AGP at Bathurst. Davison far left, the Brydon car on row 2 to the right.

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#2702 ken devine

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 06:53

The Squolo Ferrari was indeed a later model the Dick Gobden car was a V12 which was i think the F1 car
of the day and for some reason it was fitted with the Corvette Engine i dont know in which year.Jim
Harwood bought the car in 62 and was entered in the AGP driven by Bill Downey but engine problems in
practice put the car out. it was as we know sold to Tom Wheatcroft before he bought the Davison car.

#2703 David McKinney

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 07:40

Originally posted by onelung
Two Super Squalos - Type 555 - were brought to Oz in '56? I am not aware that either of these got the Corvette treatment, but stand to be corrected

They were both sold in NZ in early 1957 and one of them, many years later, did indeed get a Corvette engine (and Morris Minor body!)
It can be seen in original form in the middle of the front row in Terry's 1958 AGP photo

#2704 Dutchy

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 15:03

Originally posted by David McKinney

They were both sold in NZ in early 1957 and one of them, many years later, did indeed get a Corvette engine (and Morris Minor body!)
It can be seen in original form in the middle of the front row in Terry's 1958 AGP photo


Am I right in thinking this is the car brought to the UK by Nick Harley 5 or so years ago and raced by Martin Stretton?

Wasn't it in Giltraps Museum in the intervening period?

#2705 Dutchy

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 15:07

Originally posted by onelung
Re the Cobden Ferrari - this was a Type 125 originally, then had a Corvette motor fitted and ultimately went to Donington where it was reunited with the original (or at least correct..) engine?
I reckon I saw this car in Donington 30 years ago and seem to recall there was something to the effect that the original motor had been put to use in a speed boat (shades of Napier engines and Salmson?) and then reunited with the chassis.
Two Super Squalos - Type 555 - were brought to Oz in '56? I am not aware that either of these got the Corvette treatment, but stand to be corrected.
The above photo of the Ferrari Corvette looks more like the bodywork as for the 500 - no side bulges - but do enlighten me if I'm looking with eyes half shut.
Fire away by all means...

Geoff.


The car in the photo is the Tipo 125 NOT the Lex Davidson 500.

Incidentally what nobody has mentioned is that the car was originally raced by Graham Whitehead which is why it was green not red.

#2706 David McKinney

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 15:18

Originally posted by Dutchy
Am I right in thinking this is the car brought to the UK by Nick Harley 5 or so years ago and raced by Martin Stretton?

That's it

Wasn't it in Giltraps Museum in the intervening period?

Nope. That was the other one

#2707 David McKinney

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 15:18

Originally posted by Dutchy
Incidentally what nobody has mentioned is that the car was originally raced by Graham Whitehead which is why it was green not red.

Nope again. Peter Whitehead

#2708 Dutchy

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 15:52

Apologies, you are right. Graham was Peter's half brother and entered the car on occasions but as far as I know didn't race it.

#2709 David McKinney

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 19:54

Originally posted by ken devine
David it is a well known fact here in Western Australia that Jim Harwood sold it to Tom Wheatcroft, even
Bob Weaver who was going to convert it to a spotscar confirms the fact

It's just been pointed out to me that I let the above pass without comment
Arthur Gibson and Bernard Worth were joint owners of the car from 1967 until 1971, when Gibson had an accident in it. Wheatcroft bought the Ferrari in 1972
Or are you saying Wheatcroft sold it to Gibson and Worth, then bought it back again?

#2710 onelung

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 21:59

OK - thanks Dutchy, and apologies to you, Terry, if I did have my eyes half shut for the Caversham pic.
Here's what I suspect is an engine similar to that which would have originally been in the 125 - from the Schlumpf colection.
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BTW - how many of these drivers were ex war time air force pilots, I wonder?

#2711 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 22:09

Originally posted by onelung
.....how many of these drivers were ex war time air force pilots, I wonder?


A good topic for a thread, for sure...

I do know that Alf Barrett was a fighter pilot between the early and late parts of his career.

#2712 David McKinney

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 22:21

Did the Whitehead/Cobden/Brydon car ever race as a 125 (1.5) in Australia?
I'm sure most of its pre-Corvette races were as a 166 (2.0)

#2713 onelung

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 22:29

John Blanden's book indicates that when Whitehead bought the car, he fitted it with the 2litre motor, so Oz may never have seen the blown 1.5
I've just googled "Peter Whitehead" along with "pilot" and got this http://www.grandprix...drv-whipet.html,
but it doesn't help with what he actually flew - fighters/bombers/AOP/transport etc.

#2714 Dick Willis

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:38

Re; Derek Pitt's post no 2698 of the "unknown" driver at Sandown in a Cooper, it could be this one also taken at Sandown.

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#2715 Derek Pitt

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:28

Yes... it looks like the same guy to me Dick...same day by the look of it too and on that Mickey Mouse part of Sandown that was around in the 1980's

Interesting to note that T51 appears to have coil springs at the rear....why would that be?

Derek

#2716 Dick Willis

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:48

A few of the enterprising teams of the day fitted them, notably Alf Francis for Stirling Moss then Mildren tried them on this car. The T53 of course had them as did subsequent Coopers.

#2717 Dick Willis

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 11:04

Thought we should have a pic of the man himself, Alec Mildren at Lowood in 1958 in his T43 Cooper complete with gravel rash.

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#2718 Derek Pitt

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 11:33

Lovely picture Dick......but if it is a 2 litre FPF T43 ....wouldn't the exhaust be on the other side? Maybe it is the earlier 1500cc T41? or maybe the print is back to front

Derek

#2719 David McKinney

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 12:38

Shapes are wrong for a T41
I think the print reversal theory might be correct

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#2720 Team Result

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 13:14

Originally posted by David McKinney
I think the print reversal theory might be correct

which would make the lady in the background right-handed and wearing her watch correctly. ;)

#2721 David McKinney

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 13:16

I did notice that :)

#2722 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 13:35

And it means he's facing the right way for the pits at Lowood...

So let's flip the pic:

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#2723 Derek Pitt

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 20:17

Sorry Dick....

We really are a pedantic pack of pains in the you-know-what..but it is fun.


Derek

#2724 onelung

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 23:00

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#2725 onelung

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 23:05

Away from the lateral transposition topic, I've just discovered this very interesting site, of which most of you may already be aware, but for those not ...click on http://aussieroadrac....com/index.html

#2726 Dick Willis

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 23:12

My apologies, I should have noticed the pic was reversed, I had it printed off a slide years ago and the printer obviously didn't realise which was the correct direction. The T43, which I owned for a few years in the eighties (F2/28/57), came to Alec with a 1500 FPF and he had bigger sleeves fitted along with a longer throw crank which brought it up to two litres and it was very successful at Lowood in particular. When he sold it to Glyn Scott the capacity was back to 1660cc and he fitted the two litre engine into his next Cooper.

#2727 Terry Walker

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 01:58

Mildren at Caversham, 1959 Gold Star and State Championship round 24 October; entry shows 1.9 litres

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#2728 Derek Pitt

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 04:08

Oh wow

That is the 1960 Gold Star winning T51 2.5 Cooper Maserati, not the 2 litre T45, and in an extremely scary position. For 1961 the car was fitted with a 2.8 "birdcage" engine.

I have never seen a T51 crossed up like that !!


Brilliant photgraph

Derek

#2729 onelung

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:34

Originally posted by David McKinney
Did the Whitehead/Cobden/Brydon car ever race as a 125 (1.5) in Australia?
I'm sure most of its pre-Corvette races were as a 166 (2.0)

From this site http://www.sergent.com.au.html it would seem as though it had the 2 litre s/c motor from its arrival in the Antipodes(?)
But what vehicle would a supercharged V12 Ferrari engine have gone into - anyone know, please? I understood all the 166's to be normally aspirated.
And yes, the Mildren at Caversham shot is truly awesome!

#2730 onelung

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:47

As Homer Simpson would have it ... DUH! Ferrari 166 Formula Libre - see http://www.ultimatec...ari-166-FL.html ... so Ferrari was selling off these engines to privateers, I take it. Wonder what the pre-Antipodean history of the Whitehead/Cobden was, then.

#2731 Dutchy

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 07:31

Originally posted by onelung

From this site http://www.sergent.com.au.html it would seem as though it had the 2 litre s/c motor from its arrival in the Antipodes(?)
But what vehicle would a supercharged V12 Ferrari engine have gone into - anyone know, please? I understood all the 166's to be normally aspirated.
And yes, the Mildren at Caversham shot is truly awesome!


Didn't the Ferrari engine get put into a boat?

#2732 David McKinney

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 07:45

Originally posted by onelung
Wonder what the pre-Antipodean history of the Whitehead/Cobden was, then.

Sold new to Whitehead with s/c 125 (1500) engine for F1. The s/c 2.0 was fitted for the NZ international races in early 1954

And, answering a question I think I raised earlier, I now find the car did run the 1500 engine in Australia, in some 1957 races

#2733 David McKinney

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 07:48

Originally posted by Derek Pitt
That is the 1960 Gold Star winning T51 2.5 Cooper Maserati, not the 2 litre T45

It's either the Cooper-Maserati or the October 1959 Caversham, but not both

#2734 Terry Walker

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 10:24

Mmm - the Climax engine had the carbs on the left hand side (when standing behind the car facing forward). So it looks like the sideways car has the Maserati 4 cyl engine, which definitely had the carbs on the right hand side facing foward. Which makes it 1960, as you say. I've already posted a colour shot of the Cooper-Maser engine bay quite a way back down this thread.

#2735 Derek Pitt

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 10:30

Well David, it is definitely the T51 Cooper Maserati ..no question....even if it was printed back-to-front, which it isnt...the louvres and the absence of the Webers tell us that immediately. The car looked particularly attractive in the Mildren lettuce green with the addiitional cooling louvres and sounded magnificent with its throaty exhaust note.

Must be the Gold Star race of 1960 which, from memory ,I think Mildren won.

Derek

#2736 Dick Willis

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 05:28

Current pic of Dick Cobden having a sit in "his" Ferrari by courtesy of the current owner.

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#2737 275 GTB-4

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 09:36

Originally posted by Dick Willis
Current pic of Dick Cobden having a sit in "his" Ferrari by courtesy of the current owner.


Just fabulous Dick...very pleased you drilled this posting pictures lark...and very artistic with the Lady photog in the glass :) :up:

#2738 fines

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:05

Originally posted by Dick Willis
Current pic of Dick Cobden having a sit in "his" Ferrari by courtesy of the current owner.

Custodian?

Sorry, couldn't resist!;)

#2739 Dick Willis

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 23:09

I saw all this stuff about "custodians" on another thread somewhere, I reckon if you've paid for it you own it.
If a car was lent, for instance, to a museum then the museum could then be said to be the custodian.
Anyway, here's an unusual colour scheme for a D Type, Bill Pitt's Anderson car at Lowood in 1957 painted bronze after its 1956 Albert Park accident.

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#2740 Derek Pitt

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 23:17

I remember seeing the D type in bronze at Albert Park in 1957 - Moomba Car Races - and i thought it looked foul in that colour.

Strange thing is, I have a vague memory that Bib Stillwell actually drove the car in one race at that meeting...and was wearing a rather lurid check shirt.....am i correct? I can still it now in my mind's eye!

Derek

#2741 Dick Willis

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 23:40

The surface at Lowood was obviously a bit hard on tyres as evidenced by this D Type wheel.

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#2742 onelung

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 05:03

Originally posted by Dutchy


Didn't the Ferrari engine get put into a boat?

That ties in with my recollection from a visit to Donington some 30 years ago - see post #2700.
And if Dick Cobden is still with us, as it were, can't someone in this thread contact him to find out definitively which engines went into the car and when, etc ... ?

#2743 Dick Willis

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 05:51

I hope to see him in two weeks time at the Tasman meeting, so I will ask him then.

#2744 Dick Willis

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 08:18

I've just found a story Dick Cobden sent me a few years ago about his Ferrari ; as you are all aware in its Peter Whitehead days it ran as a 1.5 litre supercharged in the F1 races of the day or as an unblown 2 litre in F2. In preparation for its trip to NZ in 1954 the 2 litre was supercharged and fitted and it was in this form that Cobden bought it, along with the spare 1.5 engine.

All the race reports for 1954 I can find show it as entered as a 2 litre and I would presume this was still fitted when he took the car to England in 1955 to compete in some Formula Libre races. In its first event the motor "blew up" but was running again in a few weeks, but with which engine ? Back in Australia in 1956 Curley Brydon drove it at Bathurst where it was entered as 1997cc's, later of course when he actually owned it he fitted a Corvette.

In Dick's story he says " Curly sold both engines to Ernie Nunn, a champion speedboat driver and slotted in a Corvette," later he relates after Tom Wheatcroft had bought the Corvette powered Ferrari he says "Tom tracked down the 1.5 litre motor and blower, and persuaded Nunn to sell and restored the car to original F1 condition."

So what became of the 1.5 litre engine and didn't Ernie Nunn also have the engine out of the Roycroft/Bain 4.5 litre Ferrari which was also eventually reunited with its donor ? David McKinney would know ?

#2745 David McKinney

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 09:00

I believe Ernie Nunn did own the ex-Roycroft engine

I also think the 2-litre engine stayed in the Cobden/Brydon car throughout 1956, but in 1957 the 125 unit seems to have been in place at the Easter Bathurst meeting and perhaps later races as well. The Corvette went in for the 1958 AGP

If Wheatcroft has the 1.5 engine, it will be the 2.0 that's missing, yes?

#2746 Dick Willis

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 10:40

You're right David, I should have had the 2 litre engine in the last para.

#2747 Dick Willis

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 21:02

More on the Bill Pitt D Type, here's a pic of Bill, left of pic, probably wondering how the tyre wore down so far.

Anyone know who the others in the pic are ?

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#2748 275 GTB-4

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 08:34

Originally posted by Dick Willis
More on the Bill Pitt D Type, here's a pic of Bill, left of pic, probably wondering how the tyre wore down so far.

Anyone know who the others in the pic are ?

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A young Chad Morgan?? (the Sheik from Scrubby Creek) :cat: :)

#2749 Dick Willis

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 09:40

Australia's first C Type Jag has plenty of admirers at a Tomago Airstrip meeting near Newcastle when owned by Dr. Boorman.

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#2750 Dick Willis

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 23:20

Bathurst, Easter 1956, plenty of admirers of this Jaguar engined special, Jack Robinson's on its arrival at Bathurst. One young hopeful already at the wheel, wonder if he ever got to fulfil his dreams and drive a racing car.

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