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Formula 5000 - happy days!


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#751 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 23:23

Thomson Motor Auctions was Lee Seaton's business...

He wasn't, to my recollection, on anything of John Goss', but he was there on Davo's Lola at one time. In our book we have a pic of Davo's car with Lee right behind it, he was right in the thick of it and I think he must have been a payer.

And yes, he was on the KB Brabham if not the Lola T400 also.

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#752 ellrosso

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 00:52

Yes Ray, I'll pass that on to Neil. Excellent motorsport photographer and his collection has helped out a lot of people with Certificate of Descriptions and restorations etc.
I think Lee Seaton and Graham may have had a falling out and he passed his sponsorship onto KB with the Brabham from memory.

#753 Marc Sproule

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 02:25

So this would be a GM-1?

http://www.flickr.co...157626135973193

#754 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 02:58

Marc, that's the same car, I think, but with tops along the sidepods and ducts for the radiators in them...

The GM1 was very much the same in shape as the McLaren M19.

ellrosso... the overlap of Bartlett and McRae having Thomson Motor Auctions on their cars was considerable, over six months and covering both of Bartlett's cars.

#755 E1pix

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:19

So this would be a GM-1?

http://www.flickr.co...157626135973193

Confused... this is a GM3, not a GM1, right?

If so, I'd forgotten it ever raced here...

#756 charles r

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:05

Few more Charles. Wasn't amazingly quick back in the day, but very interesting concept. Great to see the driver at work.

More lovely images, thank you Ellrosso. Maybe not quick but it looks fast - a good looking car.

Edited by charles r, 25 April 2012 - 13:06.


#757 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:22

It wasn't far off the pace, especially at Sandown...

In the '78 Rothmans Series he had second on the grid at Oran Park with the same time as pole-sitter Warwick Brown. At Sandown he was on the second row just two tenths slower than Warwick. The '78 Australian Grand Prix he was second on the grid four tenths slower than John McCormack on pole.

#758 Andretti Fan

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:26

Great pictures of the GM3, but I'm curious. Would that car have left the driver more exposed to injury with the body work being that much lower?

#759 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 18:48

Great pictures of the GM3, but I'm curious. Would that car have left the driver more exposed to injury with the body work being that much lower?


Nearly everything of that era had a similarly low-line tub. Everything above thigh height, between seat back and dash board, was usually just flimsy fibre glass.
It just looks more obvious with the material being transparent.

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#760 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 21:34

The Lola and the GM3 were particularly low...

The Matich and McLaren tubs were higher, but they were from earlier years. The Elfin MR8 was a particularly sound structure.

#761 ellrosso

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 21:55

I didn't get to any rounds of the 1978 series so can't comment first hand there, but sounds like that was the peak for the GM3. I know at Sandown and AIR in '79 the GM3 was down the grid around mid pack. You're right about the overlap in Lee Seaton sponsorship Ray. I'll have to check my RCN's re when Seaton pulled McRae's sponsorship.

#762 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 22:58

One thing I have found in the meantime...

Just fossicking through RCN does this to you... Ray Cutchie was copping Thomson Motor Auction sponsorship by 1980 with a Sports Sedan.

#763 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:07

One thing I have found in the meantime...

Just fossicking through RCN does this to you... Ray Cutchie was copping Thomson Motor Auction sponsorship by 1980 with a Sports Sedan.

i think in that period they sponsored a few cars wether for a period or a meeting. I feel I saw their name on Goss,s car in 1 pic on here somewhere. And possibly Jon Davisons too.
I have a great appetite for useless information but so much on this site it does get confused.
Though it may have only been for a drive car/ute while in town for a meeting for instance.
I have done that myself on occasion. Really cost me little but saves a competitor quite a few bucks on renters.

And NO, not these days!

#764 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:00

Yes, as I mentioned, he got on board with Davo in the F5000 Lola...

That was in '81 or '82 (or both) and we have a pic in our book of Seaton with the car.

#765 charles r

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 15:27

How closely were the Talon and the McRae GM3 related?

http://www.myf5000.c...75_291_vo_2.jpg

Apologies if there is a copyright issue with this picture

#766 David McKinney

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 16:20

To all intents and purposes, the Talon and the McRae GM2 were the same animal

I don't think the GM3 had much in common with either

#767 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 21:33

I'm certainly glad the Talon didn't perpetuate that ugly front wing deal the GM2 had in the beginning...

In fact, after the GM1, it seems McRae lost all appreciation of the aesthetics in his cars.

#768 David McKinney

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 21:55

The Talon nose was virtually identical to the GM2

I suspect you're referring to the elevated transverse wing which appeared on the GM2 in its second season

#769 arttidesco

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 22:20

I'm certainly glad the Talon didn't perpetuate that ugly front wing deal the GM2 had in the beginning...

In fact, after the GM1, it seems McRae lost all appreciation of the aesthetics in his cars.


I have no recollection of seeing the GM2's raised front wing in Autosport back in the day, was Graham mates with Chris Amon or Gordon Fowell per chance ?

#770 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 23:11

Sorry, David, you're right...

Its second season it was. Plain ugly!

#771 E1pix

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 23:31

... Plain ugly!

You're sure right about that! Never seen the GM2 in this ugfiguration.

I do recall the GM2 sharing a connection with the Talon (which I thought was a slick car). Were the Talons produced under a license agreement from Graham, or just copies?

#772 David McKinney

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:22

Relying on memory here, McRae sold the rights to the GM2 to Jack McCormack in the US, who sold then as Talons. I think McRae was one of the drivers, but soon fell out, and built a new McRae GM2 of his own

#773 E1pix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:43

Relying on memory here, McRae sold the rights to the GM2 to Jack McCormack in the US, who sold then as Talons. I think McRae was one of the drivers, but soon fell out, and built a new McRae GM2 of his own

Yes, 'Jack McCormack,' you're right. Thank You.

McRae may have done some early races in the Talon here in 1974, not sure. Sam Posey drove what I think was the primary/only Talon here in '74 (and again in '76), sponsored by Norris Industries in '74, and Warwick Brown drove the factory Talon here in '75. Also in 1975, another Talon went to Jon Woodner, under Carroll Smith's wrenches with Interscope Racing (alongside Danny Ongais in a T400, at least until going back to the better T332).

I think Steve Durst and Michael Brockman drove another pair of Talons late in '75 as well.

#774 ellrosso

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:22

Re Lee Seaton, I've found the article I was thinking of in the "Bits & Pieces" section in March '79 Racing Car News - quote "Lee Seaton, unimpressed with Graham McRae's performances in the Rothmans Series, has abandoned the Kiwi. He will, however, buy a new Lola for Colin Bond to drive in the Gold Star series later in the year."
Colin had been driving the Brabham BT43 for Lee in the Tasman series (the car KB had driven previously).

#775 goffer

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:40

Sorry, David, you're right...

Its second season it was. Plain ugly!


I can't agree - I saw the GM1, GM2, and Talon race in period (IIRC the GM3 never turned a wheel in NZ ?? - certainly not at a race meeting) and I think all of Graham's cars have a certain beauty. The GM1 was of course just an M19 copy, but his subsequent cars were his own work, most especially the GM3. The Talon rendition of GM2 (2 examples now in NZ) is not that elegant, but I liked Graham's GM2 - both conventional nose & high wing version. The GM3 really excites (and scares) me - that a designer / driver should care about fans so much he 'exposed' himself gains high praise from me, but crikey that tub is low.

Q for those in the know - did the GM3 tub become the GM9 CanAm machine ??

#776 E1pix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:55

Q for those in the know - did the GM3 tub become the GM9 CanAm machine ??

I believe the GM9 was a ground-up car specifically built for the Can-Am "II" series.

[Edit: If I may, per 'ugly,' I think Ray was only referring to the high-front-wing nose, not the entire car]

Edited by E1pix, 27 April 2012 - 07:57.


#777 goffer

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:04

I believe the GM9 was a ground-up car specifically built for the Can-Am "II" series.

[Edit: If I may, per 'ugly,' I think Ray was only referring to the high-front-wing nose, not the entire car]


I'd love for the GM3 to be discovered in a barn somewhere. Not that it really matters but did it ever run in NZ ?

#778 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:24

There were no races for it, so it didn't...

The GM3 didn't appear in Australia until the '78 Rothmans races, it possibly turned out in the US prior to that. McRae wasn't here for the '76 or '77 races and he wasn't in New Zealand in '76 either.

#779 E1pix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:25

I'd love for the GM3 to be discovered in a barn somewhere. Not that it really matters but did it ever run in NZ ?

I don't know if it ran Down There in the day, but it's alive and well it appears:
http://www.oldracing...om/f5000/mcrae/

Edited by E1pix, 27 April 2012 - 08:27.


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#780 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:09

I don't know if it ran Down There in the day, but it's alive and well it appears:
http://www.oldracing...om/f5000/mcrae/


As it was at Brands in 1973

Posted Image
Posted Image

Sorry for the rather ropey images which come from very dense slides - and this is after a bit of photoshop.... :|

#781 E1pix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:15

Simon, I know what you're up against with old imagery and they're still really nice to view. :) Nice use of the JPS sign.

For clarification, that's a McRae GM2... Chassis #1, I'd suspect.


#782 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:16

Re. McRae cars in generaL - I see on Allan's site that Graham's original efforts were funded by "London insurance broker John Heynes"

There was a gentleman of that name who bought Northampton stock car track (Brafield) in the mid 90s when it was on the brink of closure.
He looked quite out of place in his sports jacket and tie among the sledgehammers, boiler suits a and scrap-metal but was generally very popular for saving the track and the way he ran things.

Would this be the same chap? He obviously had a lot of cash to spare and by appearances would have fitted 'the city' image rather well !

#783 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:20

Simon, I know what you're up against with old imagery and they're still really nice to view. :) Nice use of the JPS sign.

For clarification, that's a McRae GM2... Chassis #1, I'd suspect.


I'm getting my digits in a mix... :blush:
I'm a bit discalculic (the number equivalent of dislexia) at least thats what a former girlfreind told me(she was a primary school teacher) and it makes for a good excuse anyway :)

#784 E1pix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:28

:wave: No worries, it happens... but with her using such words, "ex" may be best.  ;)

#785 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:58

:wave: No worries, it happens... but with her using such words, "ex" may be best. ;)


She was out of my league - she'd been educated you see, and I am but a humble "Forester", from the wild woods of West Gloucestershire, as anyone who's spoken me up will confirm from my accent :lol: !

#786 David McKinney

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:24

Yes, 'Jack McCormack,' you're right. Thank You.

McRae may have done some early races in the Talon here in 1974, not sure. Sam Posey drove what I think was the primary/only Talon here in '74 (and again in '76), sponsored by Norris Industries in '74, and Warwick Brown drove the factory Talon here in '75. Also in 1975, another Talon went to Jon Woodner, under Carroll Smith's wrenches with Interscope Racing (alongside Danny Ongais in a T400, at least until going back to the better T332).

I think Steve Durst and Michael Brockman drove another pair of Talons late in '75 as well.

McRae did I think four 1974 US races in a McCormack Talon, before switching to a Lola T332, and ending the season with a GM2

Chris Amon was involved on the driving front too. He ran one in the 1975 Tasman series (and won a round), and was subsequently fourth at Long Beach in one of McCormack's cars before a road acident put him out for the rest of the season

#787 Mallory Dan

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:45

Didn't Amon bring his Talon to England for the '75 F5000 season here, but couldn't ever get it going properly?

#788 MCS

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:15

Didn't Amon bring his Talon to England for the '75 F5000 season here, but couldn't ever get it going properly?


I think it actually appeared just once at Thruxton and somebody posted a picture of it on here recently with some other rarities. Great pictures.

#789 David McKinney

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:40

I believe he entered three European races but didn't start any. How many meetings he actually appeared at, I don't recall

#790 Tim Murray

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 13:41

I think it actually appeared just once at Thruxton and somebody posted a picture of it on here recently with some other rarities. Great pictures.

This one, I think (from earlier in this thread):

Posted Image

Chris Amon * (F5000) 5-litre Talon MR-1 - Chevrolet V8



#791 Patrick Sumner

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 13:44

Re. McRae cars in generaL - I see on Allan's site that Graham's original efforts were funded by "London insurance broker John Heynes"

There was a gentleman of that name who bought Northampton stock car track (Brafield) in the mid 90s when it was on the brink of closure.
He looked quite out of place in his sports jacket and tie among the sledgehammers, boiler suits a and scrap-metal but was generally very popular for saving the track and the way he ran things.

Would this be the same chap? He obviously had a lot of cash to spare and by appearances would have fitted 'the city' image rather well !


Indeed that was the same John Heynes, a charming man whom I had the pleasure of knowing since our schooldays. I recall he called in to see me one day to say that he had bought into McRae cars, I think he was already wondering what he had done! Sadly John died far too young in 2004, a little over a year after his brother David Heynes died whilst racing his Lotus 15 at the British GP meeting.

#792 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 14:09

Indeed that was the same John Heynes, a charming man whom I had the pleasure of knowing since our schooldays. I recall he called in to see me one day to say that he had bought into McRae cars, I think he was already wondering what he had done! Sadly John died far too young in 2004, a little over a year after his brother David Heynes died whilst racing his Lotus 15 at the British GP meeting.


A small world! He seemed to regularly mingle with the punters on the banks at Northampton, asking them how they were enjoying the event and what could be done to make things better. If only there were more of his kind.

#793 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 15:14

On eBay this weekend...#310396946779
Posted Image

Sorry for the shameless commercialism, :blush: this really was the next item in a big pile of stuff I have been listing on eBay all of today... and page 1 has a nice photo of the GM2 in action at Pukekohe. There's also a 2-page report of the race, a 12-page review of the 73 season and a profile of Teddy Pilette!
The most ironic thing is the editorial which forcasts "nothing but a healthy future" for F5000

#794 E1pix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 18:14

Hi, Simon:

It seems someone posted here a while back that they'd thought Jody Scheckter drove a Marathon Chevron.

I'd bet this Autosport cover is where that error originated. In this angle, that sure looks like Jody's helmet... though it's Gethin's before a trip to the helmet painter.

#795 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 19:35

Hi, Simon:

It seems someone posted here a while back that they'd thought Jody Scheckter drove a Marathon Chevron.

I'd bet this Autosport cover is where that error originated. In this angle, that sure looks like Jody's helmet... though it's Gethin's before a trip to the helmet painter.


With a yellow tinted visor to complete the look.

#796 MCS

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 19:38

Tony Dean leading Teddy Pillette, both Chevron B24 mounted, Oulton Park May 1973.

I would do anything to go back to those days. Anything.


#797 E1pix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 20:22

Tony Dean leading Teddy Pillette, both Chevron B24 mounted, Oulton Park May 1973.

I would do anything to go back to those days. Anything.

Thanks for the correction, wondered if indeed that was Peter... :blush: (today is not my day for accurate memories it seems :) )

As would I... God, those were great days, and I don't recall thinking they were quite so numbered. :cry:

#798 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 22:42

I'd have considered it suitable cause to migrate...

They kept going until 1982 here. New cars were built in the late seventies:

75 - Begg 018 (actually very late in '74, I think)
76 - McCormack's McLaren M23 fitted with Leyland V8
76 - Elfin MR8
80 - Elfin MR9
81 - Hamilton's McLaren M26 modified by Tiga to ground effect, powered by Chaparral Chev

Not to mention a couple of 'Specials'... the Adams built by Lugsy for instance.

Some people here actually got the T400 to work...

#799 E1pix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 23:32

... Some people here actually got the T400 to work...

Now that's shocking (no offense to current T400 owners, that kid's sure fast in one!). :)

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#800 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 03:39

John Wright reckoned he worked out the Broadley approach to rising rate suspension in his car...

KB made a lot of changes to his, including (IIRC) T332 rear suspension.