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#101 ReWind

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 18:53

Does anyone know the exact birthday of Bill Patterson?

I also would like to know when exactly John Youl was born.

Ray, can you help?
(BTW: Would you mind to ask Leo Geoghegan for his birth day? I cannot find it anywhere...)

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#102 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 19:56

Originally posted by David McKinney
.....Was he the last of the late '50s/early '60s "stars"? Stillwell, Jones, Davison, Lukey, Whiteford, Mildren, McKay....


Reg Hunt is still with us...

Otherwise, I think you'd have to 'fast forward' to Frank Matich (Early '60s? Ran in the AGP in 1960, diced with Stillwell for the Hordern Trophy in '63, front of the grid for the Warwick Farm International in '64) to find a leading light still alive.

Tomlinson, however, continues to hold the fort for drivers of the thirties.

#103 David McKinney

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 20:55

Was Reg Hunt a late 50s/early 60s star?

ReWind
I have 30/8/23 as Bill Patterson's d/o/b

#104 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 21:14

I guess that depends on what you call 'late fifties', David...

He was first Australian home in the AGP in 1956, two laps down on the winner and one on Peter Whitehead in third, but a lap up on Stan Jones and two ahead of Reg Parnell and Lex Davison. He was second Australian driver on the grid for that race.

I don't have any other material than the AGP book to refer to here for that period, so maybe he wasn't a regular 'contender' in other races? The 1957 report says he'd sent his Maserati back to the factory for a refit and then he's not mentioned in 1958, apparently his racing days by then being over.

Then again, looking at David's Gold Star web pages it seems he never contested any of those races, so he was out by the beginning of '57.

What do you reckon?

#105 ReWind

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 21:29

I have 30/8/23 as Bill Patterson's d/o/b

Thank you very much, David! :up:


#106 David McKinney

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 21:44

Hunt's last race was that Albert Park GP
He entered the following month's NZ GP (January 1957) but instead sold the car to Bib Stillwell and retired from racing

But, continuing my semantic argument, even if you accept the end of 1956 at "late '50s", it's still not "late '50s/early '60s" :)

#107 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 21:55

You'd have to just about count Matich then...

He was in a relatively 'front line' car from the end of the fifties and into the sixties. But he'd be the last.

Interesting, though, when we still have Tomlinson from the thirties and Cobden and Hunt from the early fifties.

#108 David McKinney

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 22:50

You'd have to just about count Matich then...
He was in a relatively 'front line' car from the end of the fifties and into the sixties. But he'd be the last.

I wouldn't call him a Gold Star "star" in the late '50s - or until 1964 really


#109 JimBradshaw

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 09:54

WHOA

Am I to take it that "Ray Bell" gained PRIVATE access to Bill Patterson and his wife in their twighlight years?

If this is the case, and, given the appalling privacy invading, posting subsequently made by Mr Bell on the event of GWP's death, I am oboliged to describe such behaviour as nothing short of shameful.

The cold, sanctimous gloating over GWP's aged inability to sign his name, in his final illness, made my blood run cold.

The term "paedophillia' as used by Mr Bell in his attempt to appear "latest with the best", is both vindictive and quite simply, WRONG.

I am prepared to provide ACTUAL details of the charges and convictions , but I dont wish to perpetuate the betrayal of the Patterson family trust as generated .....WHY DID MR BELL EVEN MENTION IT .. on a motor racing forum?

I would rather rejoice in Bill Patterson, the racing driver..the Tiger in the white Coopers......David Mckay described him as always "the Hare"

I quote Lex Davison, writing in AMS, on the occasion of the first practice session for the Horden Trophey 1963.. "meanwhile our fastest driver, Bill Patterson, lacking recent activity , was rough and unpolished....." Sorry Mr Bell..no mentiom of boys.

With the passing of Bill Patterson, a Gold Star Champion, who was also unlucky not win the 1961 AGP, we have almost lost the last link to, what was described by Mr McKinney as the heroes of late 50's/early 60's.

Reg Hunt , Briuce Walton. Bill Pitt ?


JB











#110 wagons46

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 10:42

[quote name='JimBradshaw' date='Jan 24 2010, 20:54' post='4092524'

If this is the case, and, given the appalling privacy invading, posting subsequently made by Mr Bell on the event of GWP's death, I am oboliged to describe such behaviour as nothing short of shame
JB
[/quote]


I can't believe it's taken 4 days for someone to say this !!

#111 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 10:52

Does anyone else see that I've 'gloated' over anything? And was it 'cold' and 'sanctimonious'?

You can contact me privately if you have anything you want me to delete from my post, JimBradshaw. My e.mail address is at the foot of every post I make.

#112 JimBradshaw

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:51

[quote name='wagons46' post='4092571' date='Jan 24 2010, 11:42'][quote name='JimBradshaw' date='Jan 24 2010, 20:54' post='4092524'

If this is the case, and, given the appalling privacy invading, posting subsequently made by Mr Bell on the event of GWP's death, I am oboliged to describe such behaviour as nothing short of shame
JB



I can't believe it's taken 4 days for someone to say this !![/quote]

It is disgraceful beyond words

Bill Patterson's private life is of no relevance here ...sure it is on the public record

But why did Mr Bell choose to raise it anyway?

If that pic was my father, gained by psuedo , "I am a journalist " means , and I saw it posted on the net, complete with demeaning shallow and INCORRECT commentary regarding criminality, I would want the fellow removed, apart from wanting to kill him.

DB




#113 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:05

I've invited you to contact me privately...

If you don't want to do that, please tell me where I've posted anything that was inaccurate. I will alter it, apologise for it or delete it accordingly.

And for the record, the reason for the photo was because I embarked, back in 1986, on the task of getting as many AGP winners as possible to autograph my book. When they do that I photograph them with the book, and as a matter of record I have previously posted on this forum photos of two or three doing so.

The day prior to visiting Bill, which I have done about five or six times over the past seven or eight years... and remember that I live in Queensland... I did the same with Allan Tomlinson. I had taken the book to Melbourne because I was going to meet up with Tomlinson for the first time in 30 years and it was only when I was there that I realised that Bill should be among the winners who signed the book.

You are, of course, quite welcome to withdraw any of your charges and reduce the amount of angst you show in your posts.

#114 JimBradshaw

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 13:13

I've invited you to contact me privately...

If you don't want to do that, please tell me where I've posted anything that was inaccurate. I will alter it, apologise for it or delete it accordingly.

And for the record, the reason for the photo was because I embarked, back in 1986, on the task of getting as many AGP winners as possible to autograph my book. When they do that I photograph them with the book, and as a matter of record I have previously posted on this forum photos of two or three doing so.

The day prior to visiting Bill, which I have done about five or six times over the past seven or eight years... and remember that I live in Queensland... I did the same with Allan Tomlinson. I had taken the book to Melbourne because I was going to meet up with Tomlinson for the first time in 30 years and it was only when I was there that I realised that Bill should be among the winners who signed the book.

You are, of course, quite welcome to withdraw any of your charges and reduce the amount of angst you show in your posts.


The charges and convictions u so glibbly announce as fact, are WRONG... please delete all references, unless u have actual verifiable facts to support your comments
Upon what basis did u obtain the photograph?
Did u have permissiom from the Power of Attorney?
Did you have permission to publish any photographs?

Putting aside any legal issues..lets consider the moral issues

From your own discourse. .do you think it is moral to portray a Gold Star Champion.....a hero to many ... as being incapable of signing his own name?

You quote comments about "being home in 2 weeks" - freely given to you by an old and unwell man, but u quote them on the net for all to see..wouldn't that stuff be confidential, given u gained private access to GWP?..wuldnt you show some respect for age?

Would u like to see your own parent, even if he wasn't famous, depicted in total senile incapability?

You owe the Patterson family an apology ..for your betrayal of trust and their granting to you access to a loved one

You owe the forum an apology...for the factually incorrect statements

And most of all, you owe Bill Patterson an apology......an Australian motor racing hero

I am disgusted

JB

#115 David McKinney

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 13:55

Ray Bell is a long-standing member of this forum, and held in high regard
You seem to have signed up just to attack him
Please either accept his offer of direct contact with him, or take you agenda - whatever it is - elsewhere

#116 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 20:03

Ray, as I've found myself, although not to the same level as is being accused at you, you do have to be very careful sometimes what you post on here, as one, everything on here can be searched on Google, and as Autosport/Atlas appears quite high up the Google ranking, as it were, then any comments about Bill do appear pretty high up in any general search for him, especially if a driver/racer doesn't have a Wikipedia page.

I suspect this might be the problem here. We are used to your own writing style, but others, perhaps just scrolling through, aren't.

In a way, it's a shame, as you can't quite always post what you'd like (or some of us won't!), but on the other hand, I think it helps TNF be what it is/was and be a more 'civilized' forum.

I wouldn't want you to drastically change your writing style though - it's what makes you, you.

#117 Dale Harvey

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 21:37

Ray Bell is a long-standing member of this forum, and held in high regard
You seem to have signed up just to attack him
Please either accept his offer of direct contact with him, or take you agenda - whatever it is - elsewhere


I agree with you David :clap:

Dale.

#118 JimBradshaw

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:45

Ray Bell is a long-standing member of this forum, and held in high regard
You seem to have signed up just to attack him
Please either accept his offer of direct contact with him, or take you agenda - whatever it is - elsewhere


Mr Mckinney

I signed up to this forum because I was advised by concerned people that Bill Patterson's non-motor racing private life and thus his reputation, was once again under "focus".

Direct PRIVATE contact with Mr Bell will not deal with the issues of concern - only removal of the offending PUBLIC post and photograph, will go some way to addressing the moral and legal issues.

The argument that, because Mr Bell is a "long-standing member and held in high regard", it somehow excuses him from what an outsider, new to the forum and with a parent in an aged care facility, regards as totally unacceptable behaviour, suggests to me that the forum perhaps needs to widen its gene pool.

I reiterate, I am not here to make trouble or attack people, but I will defend the late Bill Patterson or anybody else for that matter, wherever and whenever, from this sort of behaviour.

JB


#119 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:20

You seem to focus heavily on the photograph...

What on earth is wrong with it?

That's a picture of Bill Patterson the last time I visited him. I took the photo purely to record his signing the book, as I did with several other drivers, one just a day prior to this. I don't believe there is any way in which that photo belittles Bill.

I expressed concern that his passing had not been noted earlier (take a look through this thread, it's usually a day or two at the most before deaths are posted on here), I also commented... I thought with some evident sadness... about his condition and his misplaced optimism about his future.

Bill was reading The Age when I arrived and he welcomed me and arranged for the staff to make me a cup of tea as he drank his. We talked about a number of things, which was what always happened when we got together, and I asked him to sign the book.

I think you sadly underestimate everyone here when you post as you do. Almost to a man, everyone here holds Bill's motor racing achievements in high regard. When we hear that a person such as he is unwell, we are all empathetic about it, we don't 'gloat' over it as you claim I have done.

As for the mention of his conviction, and if I'm wrong about the description of the charges I apologise (and ask that you clarify things that I might correct myself), that is a part of the whole man. It was mentioned with regard to the circumstances that had combined to make the latter years of his life less comfortable than he'd been used to.

You didn't, by the way, take umbrage when someone else posted that his conviction led to pressure from Holden to get out of his dealerships. That is something I'd not known about, but it seems someone did. Or wasn't it true?

There are people around, Jim, who would publicly expose, deride and vilify Bill for his personal behaviour, some have been doing it for decades. I suggest you target them instead of me, as I try to keep a balanced perspective, remembering that my interest in him is through motor racing but also remembering that it is the person as a whole who once raced.

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#120 gouldo

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 17:22

Ray,

Thanks for the thread.

Getting back to what it was meant to be used for, Paddy Robson was a wonderful lady. I remember as a kid going to Silverdale from the early 1970's watching my dad (Pat Goulding) race there in his Nota. One of dads favourite tracks, and one that he wishes was still around. I remember Jim & Paddy always being very friendly people, and a young kid, impressions meant a lot. Jim is a great bloke too. I only ran the once at Silverdale before massive storms destroyed the track, but i loved the place. I didn't know about Paddys death, and again thanks for the thread.

Ian Fergusson was a cocky from Leadville. A small town out near Dunedoo, central west NSW, he had a property a few miles from our family farm. Again, he & dad were pretty good mates. Had known each other since the mid 60's. Ian was a pretty good driver, running in the Gold Star races in the early 70's - Lotus 27? (Correct me here please Ray) and then I think in a Bowin P3. Dad & Ian caught up at the Tasman 08 meet. Ian was a real nice bloke. It's nice to remember good people in this way.

thanks again.

#121 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 20:47

I always got along well with both your dad and Ian, people I wouldn't have consciously put in the same mold but who were, on reflection, the same friendly country type people...

As you know, I also caught up with Ian for the first time in many years at that Tasman Revival meeting. It was quite a shock to hear he'd died.

Leadville, by the way, was one of the places my great-grandfather owned a pub back a hundred and ten years or so ago. And one reason I got to know Ian was that my uncle lived at Dunedoo for a very long time and was a scrutineer at ARDC events as well as one of the moving forces (and a competitor) at the Pound Hill track.

I've occasionally driven through the area in recent years. I pulled up at Dunedoo one day and there was a little street stall there with a couple of women sitting down with their cakes and craft stuff. "Do you people happen to remember Ted Moir?" I asked.

"Yes," said one of the ladies, "I used to work at the same place as he did, in the office. As a matter of fact, my grandchildren are still using the cot I got from Teddy."

She told me how, when she was a very young mother in the late fifties or the sixties, Uncle Teddy knew his wife could have no more children (and young John was to die, tragically, unmarried and childless about 1980 while driving home from a holiday in Darwin) and when she asked if she could buy his cot he got all thoughtful.

"Well..." he drawled, "I suppose we don't need it any more. If you bring in a bag of chick wheat you can have it."

Ted Moir died of a heart attack in a doctor's surgery aged, IIRC, only 52. He'd been a panel beater in Dunedoo for many years and I'm sure Pat knew him too.

I really should post a couple of pics I have of a house in Leadville, but I don't know where I'd find them right now.

#122 Catalina Park

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:30

I spent a bit of time in Leadville as a youngster. My great grandparents lived in the area and I recall going to the Leadville hall for a couple of big family get togethers. One would have been their 50th anniversary.
For a little old town in the middle of nowhere it seems quite popular. :lol:

#123 john medley

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:56

I sat in an astonishingly boring Department of School Education conference in Dubbo 25 years ago, went for an astonishingly boring lunch in astonishingly boring company in the Dubbo RSL Club all the time thinking about Bathurst book research I needed to be doing not least contacting Ian Fergusson(just an hour or so down the road at Leadville), finished lunch, pushed my chair in, and noticed I had been sitting back to back with the man. I walked out in high dudgeon and didnt even speak to him. Nice man true, his cars were nice cars too. Where now is that Bowin? I hope it is not the one that Des Kelly found the remains of on the Dunedoo tip.

Is Gouldo Brad? If so, hullo over the years. If not , say hullo to your parents from me( and welcome to TNF)

#124 gouldo

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:44

I sat in an astonishingly boring Department of School Education conference in Dubbo 25 years ago, went for an astonishingly boring lunch in astonishingly boring company in the Dubbo RSL Club all the time thinking about Bathurst book research I needed to be doing not least contacting Ian Fergusson(just an hour or so down the road at Leadville), finished lunch, pushed my chair in, and noticed I had been sitting back to back with the man. I walked out in high dudgeon and didnt even speak to him. Nice man true, his cars were nice cars too. Where now is that Bowin? I hope it is not the one that Des Kelly found the remains of on the Dunedoo tip.

Is Gouldo Brad? If so, hullo over the years. If not , say hullo to your parents from me( and welcome to TNF)


John, that is me....just might be back on the track again this year. Entered for the Historic meet at WP in Feb. I recall the Bowin that Ian had was sold on to a hillclimber named butterworth, then it went to a guy from either Canberra or wagga. He was a farmer too, cant remember his name, but it ended up with a Rover V8 in it. It ended up being burnt although not destroyed in a shed fire many years ago. I think it;s still in this fella's hands. Just can't remember his name........

The car that Des has. well, he has quite a few, is the V8 ford engined fergusson special. I think it was built by both Paddy & Ian, and used to run at pound hill climb as well as the dirt gymkhana track where Robbie Medcalf used to live at. A place called Craboon. Des also has or had a bowin FFord, which I think is the ex Paul Bernasconi Grace Bros? car. I havent seen Des for a while, but dad still keeps in touch with him.

Leadville was a popular little joint. My grandfather's 70'th was held there many years ago, I went to school there for 18 months back in 70/71, and head back 'over home' every now & then to see family. For such a small dot on the map, Dunedoo/Leadville had a few racers from that area. The Fergussons, Medcalf, Goulding, Geoff Davis in the holden engined Triumph herald sports sedan, good country upbringings.

Speaking of Rob Medcalf, he passed away 4 years ago. Rob owned and built a series of clubmans in the 80's called Robin's. In the end the car driven by Kieth & Wes McClelland won quite a few state sports 1300 titles, and was as quick as some of the F3/F2 cars of the time. Robs son John now has one of his cars and is restoring it.

Brad

Edited by gouldo, 27 January 2010 - 07:48.


#125 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:42

Knew the Medcalfs well too...

As I was a Clubman competitor for a short time, and a Clubman stalwart always, I knew most of those blokes. Pat and I had another thing in common... we both tried beam axle front suspensions in our cars after Col Wear showed the way with these.

When I find it I'll post a pic of the Garner Bowin.

#126 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:53

Even though the photo's gone to seed, you can still see the detail and finish of Barrie Garner's P3 Holden:

Posted Image

And speaking of Leadville...

Posted Image

Fortunately there isn't a housing crisis there generally.

#127 gouldo

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 22:37

As you can see, that Garner car was immaculate. As was the Bowin Hay that Ron Hay built for him. The Bowin P3 is now owned by Ted Dowd. Hasnt been seen in 20 odd years. Shame that.

#128 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 03:49

Just over a year ago we were burying my father...

A few months earlier he'd mentioned that he'd met someone who knew me and who used to race, but he couldn't put in the name. But after the service we had a gathering at the house and Darryl Singleton was there.

We had a great chat with each other, a lot centering on our present interests and some about the days he raced the Elfin 360 Repco his brother had owned. Darryl had not had much to do with Barry in recent times and his life was dominated by illness. His wife, Jan, and my wife got on famously and we talked about them coming to our new home and spending time with us.

With one thing and another, I barely made contact with Darryl in the intervening time. About July I phoned and we had a nice chat, promising to do something soon. Then in December I met someone from his area who knew him and I was reminded to call again. I tried, but Darryl was unable to talk to me.

He had been overtaken by the disease that had been eating away at him for some years, he simply didn't have the breath to talk to anyone. Poor Jan was nursing him at home for his final stint, with help of course.

On Wednesday we got a call to tell us Darryl had died during the night.

I have had a look, but I can't find reports with his racing period in them. It must have been about '77 or '78.

Edited by Ray Bell, 15 February 2010 - 21:08.


#129 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 07:02

And now I've been informed that Ron Haylen has died too...

He raced a Sprite and then went into Minis, first with a 997 Cooper (entered by Ron Hodgson) and then a 1071 S. He crashed a Mini in the 1965 Gallaher 500 but returned to race a Mini in conjunction with K Hillsdon in Sports Sedans.

He died on the Gold Coast of kidney failure. He was a long-time dialysis patient and was about to lose his second leg when he passed away.

#130 David McKinney

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 07:27

Alan Putt, too

A behind-the-scenes man in UK historic racing for many years. He established a Historic Formula Junior championship in 1976, perhaps the first-ever historic championship, and was later on the FIA's Technical Working Group, as well as working on eligibility for the MSA for many years

Alan died lat Friday, at the age of 73

#131 cooper997

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 08:03

And now I've been informed that Ron Haylen has died too...

He raced a Sprite and then went into Minis, first with a 997 Cooper (entered by Ron Hodgson) and then a 1071 S. He crashed a Mini in the 1965 Gallaher 500 but returned to race a Mini in conjunction with K Hillsdon in Sports Sedans.

He died on the Gold Coast of kidney failure. He was a long-time dialysis patient and was about to lose his second leg when he passed away.


More sad news.

Ron took over the P & R Williams BMC supported Mini drive when Brian Foley and Laurie Stewart went off to set up Brian Foley Motors. He was also a salesman with P&R, if I'm on the right track.

Do you have a date of his passing and age please Ray?

My condolences to his family and friends.

Stephen



#132 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 19:16

I should have remembered the P & R Williams connection...

No, I don't have the date or age. Probably googling the Gold Coast Bulletin or Courier Mail would get them?

#133 john medley

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 00:25

Last Saturday afternoon(20th Feb) after a long illness Kevin Shearer died. Kevin(and the rest of the Shearer family) filled many roles in 40 years of motor sport, perhaps most memorably as the exuberant driver of his self built Ford A Special which invariably won Driver/Car of the Meeting at any circuit in the 4 eastern states of Australia over many years. He was my friend. He will be missed. My condolences to Kevin's brilliant family, and to his many friends.

The funeral is at 1pm Thursday Annunciation Church 20 Montacute Road Hectorville (Adelaide)

#134 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 01:19

That is bad news to me too, John...

I last saw Kevin, I think, at Speed on Tweed a couple of years ago. I thought he looked ill, but I hadn't seen him in so long it didn't register that strongly.

Joan, of course, has filled some major roles in the SCC of SA and the whole family seemed to rotate their lives around the club and its activities and Historic motor sport in general. One also raced a Clubman, I seem to recall.

He will be sorely missed. A very knowledgeable man (I remember being in his shed one night in 1977, he was showing me all sorts of oddments... "and this worm drive is from a 1909 Rover... this carby (one that looked like a DCOE) is a Zenith off a WWI tank engine... and... and...") and an enthusiast of the very highest order.

His A-Model engine's rods had steel strap welded around their sides to strengthen them, and it worked, and that car was driven with great gusto.

To Joan and the children I also offer my condolences.

#135 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:35

Very sad to hear about Kevin, I saw him last at the Elfin thing last year and he was in a chair. But very busy talking to a lot of people.
The A racer was a very spectacular device, watching coming around the bowl at AIR with the rear tyres hazing smoke was a great memory, as was when the gearbox broke and it parked itself gently against the wall. Though from memory it was not seen for a long time after.
My commiserations to Joan and family.

#136 tania34

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 07:02

I have just heard that Kevin Shearer has passed away following his battle with cancer.
My condolences to Joan, Anne, Katie, Eric and the rest of the family.
An amazing man, part of an amazing couple. Kevin and Joan's involvement with historic motor racing is part of history and he will be long remembered


#137 gouldo

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 13:52

Last week Eric Barnes from Tamworth passed away.

Eric was the 1999 NSW Hillclimb champion. Eric & his father Noel, who also passed a few years ago, were both heavily into motorsports, with a number of different sports & racing cars over many years.

Eric was killed on the tuesday after the world Superbike Champs at Phillip Island a fortnight ago. He was returning from the event on his new Aprilia m/c & collided with a 4wd east of bathurst.





#138 Vitesse2

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 19:20

Drivers don't perhaps come more obscure than BH Talbot, who almost won the 1939 Leinster Trophy handicap race at Tallaght, having placed 7th in the Antwerp GP earlier in the year, both times in an Aston Martin. These seem to have been his only significant outings.

Bryan Hervey Talbot was from Rhyl in North Wales. He was born on January 15th 1916, son of Lt Col Douglas Hervey Talbot DSO MC and the former Olympia Annette Clarke and attended Marlborough College. Talbot seems to have been a friend of Tony Rolt, as Rolt was in his pit at Tallaght. In 1940, he married Katherine Hughes in Llandudno - they subsequently had three children.

BH Talbot died on June 14th 2008.

Sources: various genealogical websites, Times Online Archive, Irish Times, marlboroughcollege.org

#139 B Squared

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 18:14

From Robin Miller's column today at Speedtv:

Longtime car owner/sponsor Jim Hayhoe, who brought Bruce Walkup and Jimmy Vasser into Indy car racing and also partnered with Art Pollard, lost his battle with cancer on Monday

Advertisement

#140 bradbury west

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 22:44

Alan Putt, too

A behind-the-scenes man in UK historic racing for many years. He established a Historic Formula Junior championship in 1976, perhaps the first-ever historic championship, and was later on the FIA's Technical Working Group, as well as working on eligibility for the MSA for many years

Alan died lat Friday, at the age of 73


I tend not to look at this thread, so am a little late with this, but feel Alan's demise cannot go unmarked. He was a very knowledgeable man as David has said, and always ready to help with advice and factual clarification, as I know from my own endeavours. Again as David says, whilst very much a backroom chap, he nevertheless had a great influence in historic racing and helped to keep the cars and owners honest. His wealth of experience is now lost to our sport. He was a thoroughly good bloke. RIP.
Roger Lund



#141 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 23:17

To add to the Aussie Miller story...

Geoff Smedley has sent me this wonderfully readable account of how they won the Australian Land Speed Record:

The Australian Land Speed Record 1961

Reflections by Geoff Smedley 2010



This is perhaps the most unlikely but successful challenge to a record ever staged and it comes with a story that is equally remarkable the story of Austin Miller, Australian Land Speed Record Holder (1961 – 1964).

I had known my friend, the late Austin Miller, for a number of years previously and we had raced cars together in earlier times. Around 1959 Austin came to live in Tasmania after recovering from a fairly major air crash in Victoria, where he had operated an aerial crop spraying business for many years. He decided at that time perhaps a slower pace of life would be better suited to his wellbeing, and so he had bought a hotel in Launceston and renovated it and renamed it 'The Monaco Hotel'. It soon became the hub of motor racing fans from far and near.

It could be argued that the array of beverages served at the Monaco may have instigated the record attempt! Not so! But it was Aussie’s infectious desire and persuasive talents that eventually won out, and the idea grew into a reality early in 1960, with myself entrusted with the task of putting together a vehicle that could better the current record. This stood to Mel McEwan in the 'Tornado Special' with a speed of 157.5mph set in South Australia a few months earlier.

Some of the difficulties soon became clear. First there was no money in the kitty. This meant that all work had to done 'in house'. The only equipment available was the 1959 Cooper F2 fitted with a 2.2 climax motor that was Austin’s current race car, but it was certainly not suitable for the job in hand. But a friend of Aussie’s in Melbourne had just set a water speed record using the Corvette engine, and this power plant had been offered on loan as a starting point to our quest.

The thought of stuffing 400 hp into a petite Cooper F2 seemed almost as ridiculous as attempting the record itself. An assessment of the work needed to adapt the chassis to take the big and brutal Corvette engine proved it would need to be a bit of a 'suck it and see' effort, or do it as she goes, with all chassis work to be undertaken before the transplant could take place. In particular, the transmission drastically needed modification from the existing citroen light 15-based box used by Cooper at that time.

To this end I was fortunate in that I had the facilities of engineering facilities with the family business (Bedford Machine Tools) at my disposal. Being a trained engineer, I was able to modify this box to a beefy 2-speed specialised unit, and with savage cross bolting of the housing, in theory, it would withstand the short lived punishment expected of it. All this along with special beefed up drive shafts to cope with the extra power were made and, as it seemed, a never ending general tweek in all the right places.

Eventually we were starting to see some result and the project began to shape the car we hoped would bring us success. The only thing I was fully confident of was the fact that Aussie Miller was one of very few blokes in the world who could steer this mish-mash of bits to success. His long career in flying, and driving at the top echelon of open wheeler racing in this country, certainly proved he had not only the courage but also the anatomy to do the job.

Posted Image

After the work on the car was finished there was the hassle of setting up the legalities and finding a location suited to such an attempt. We had looked at a few areas as possibilities, but each had drawbacks, and we needed a course that would give us the very best of chances. A remote beach on the North-West coast of Tasmania (Bakers Beach) looked like the ideal place, a little out of sight in case of failure and some 4.5 miles of good surface to set up a good surveyed strip to test our hopes.

It took quite a few weeks for our little band of helpers to arrange all the last minute problems, including being told that the official timing gear was in Hobart the night before we were about to make the run! This meant someone had to drive the 250 mile journey to retrieve this very important bit of gear. While this was being attended to, my friend Bruce Burr and I decided it would be prudent to take the car to the beach the evening before to eliminate any holdup on the following day.

The best laid plans were in place, we were armed with arrowed placards to be placed on trees showing the way into this well hidden beach, and the evening turned into night before we reached the last mile or so of very dense bush. Not having ever tried to visit this remote place in darkness, we became hopelessly lost and had diligently placed our signes in areas that have never been found to this day!

Our problems didn’t stop there. Eventually we arrived on the Western end of the beach and it required about a four mile drive in the Land Rover, with car and trailer on tow behind, to the Eastern end to a base site we had previously chosen. We were finding this spot hard to locate in the darkness and the search required driving in the softer sand further up the beach.

Of course the trailer and race car became bogged and things became hopeless, so we simply unhitched the trailer and moved the Land Rover to a little higher ground and turned in for the night. We were woken just after daylight by a local TV crew that had somehow found us without the aid of our signs, and to our horror we found that the tide was in and was lapping the deck of the trailer and the car looked to be sitting on the water, which presented more of a comedy act than a serious record attempt. Anyhow, with the aid of the TV crew we managed to get things into a more respectable state before Officialdom and others started arriving, none of whom had seen any of the dozen or so directional signs we had placed the night before.

The timing equipment had been brought from Hobart and set up and it was then time for the first test runs up the beach. Bearing in mind that this would be the first test of the car itself, it was a very nerve racking time for me but if Aussie felt the same way he certainly didn’t show, it climbing into the car as if heading off on a fun drive up the beach!

Posted Image

The first couple of runs looked well but a problem with the timing equipment held up proceedings for some time. This made all previous runs null and void, but it did give us a chance to delve into a possible gearbox problem which, turned out to be a minor adjustment. However, stripping a transmission on a beach in the open is not really recommended, but we did the job and soon all was ready for the first official run from East to West.

The car achived 172mph, well on target. We had the car geared for around 202 mph @ 6,500rpm and this first run was looking good. The reverse run was a little down, which was expected against a growing wind, and adjustments were made to the car before the next speed run. While working on the engine, it was necessary to remove the canopy I had made to try and wind cheat the car. I had rigged up a quick realease arrangement for this canopy should the need arise but somehow the mechanism got damaged in the refitting after the previous run, causing a major drama on the next attempt.

At an estimated 170mph the canopy ejected and went skywards, also releasing the whole backhalf of the body, and certainly shocked the observers and dimmed the hopes of taking the record somewhat. But the 'never say die' Aussie, the pilot, was determined to have a go without such refinements even though beach conditions had deteriorated and the wind was lifting the sand into a heavy haze. Pulling down his goggles, the intrepid Miller lad set off, disapearing into a wall of sand and into the record books by pushing the record up to 164.7mph, not what we hoped, but a record that would stand for almost four years - and all on the smell of an oily rag.

Posted Image

It's good to reminisce on a time when this sort of thing was possible and practical learning was still in vogue. For me, I later entered into F1 as a race engineer. In those early days your skills were required on every aspect of the car, you featured dirty hands but aquired a lot of personal satisfaction.

It was an era in time we will never see again in the name of Motor Sport. Four years later when Donald Campbell in his jet powered Bluebird officially became the fastest man on wheels, he put the record up to 403mph on Australia’s lake Eyre, but the successful Miller challenge remained for some 4 years, and certainly must always remain as a dinkum piston engined record done on a shoestring by a a man of his time……… Austin Miller, My Mate!


Posted Image

Geoff Smedley, Tasmania


Edited by Ray Bell, 10 May 2010 - 23:23.


#142 Smedley (Geoff)

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 00:19

To add to the Aussie Miller story...

Geoff Smedley has sent me this wonderfully readable account of how they won the Australian Land Speed Record:


On re-reading the article I must correct the waffle in regard to the F 2 chassis Aussies car was an early T51 (ex Stan Jones)

Geoff Smedley

#143 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 19:44

A personal friend of mine, a good bloke, a highly respected engineer and great teacher...

Owen Wuillemin died Saturday morning 15th May. Very few here would have ever heard of Owen, but he was a motor sportsman of a high order and in particular a great engine man and engineer.

He was in everyday life a manual arts teacher, with a high position at the Kings School. This is a school that attracts high level students in both day and boarding capacities from all over NSW and is one of the 'Great Public Schools' in Sydney. Owen worked there in a head teacher capacity for about twenty years and was very highly regarded.

He also played with Lotus Elans and Peugeots, building race engines for Doug Macarthur's Ralt and a few other FPacific competitors, as well as some Lotus twin cam engines for ANF2.

He didn't seek recognition, just to do a better job, and was always thinking. One area in which he did a lot of this was with tethered cars, which he built from scratch and raced at the Model Park at Luddenham, and he was involved in school projects along the same lines.

For a few years he and his son Adrian shared a Peugeot 205 they ran in the Marque Sports Car Clubs Super Sprint series and he liked to feign disgust that the slightly heavier Adrian would always be a tad faster than he was. He modified and developed this car constantly so it was always a major threat in its class at these events.

His dream was to finish off one of the Peugeot 504 Cabriolets that Roley Pymm (sp?) imported, but that's something that other projects always had him put aside. He did, however, transform his Peugeot 504 pickup with the fitment of a turbo diesel just to show his broad range of interests.

About five or six weeks ago he went for his regular checkup on his Lymphoma, something that's been troubling him for about 13 years. All clear of that, but the doctor was concerned about something that showed up in the tests and sent him for more. Multiple lesions ('More than I can count,' the doctor said) in the liver were found. But a toothache was also bothering him and he went to the dentist.

"I think you'd better go back to the doctor," the dentist told him. He had a tumor in his gum and another was found on his shoulder.

It was at this stage I phoned him and asked how he was. He told me all about this and I called him a week later. He was sounding poor and said he was 'getting feeble'. It was a quick downhill slide from there, even though he retained a positive outlook and radiation beat the tumor in his mouth.

He was surrounded by friends in his final days. People from Club Lotus, the Peugeot Club, friends from all over. Norm Smith, a close friend for over forty years, drove down from near Ballina to visit him in his home at Toongabbie last Monday and spent three or four hours with him. He left there feeling he shouldn't go back. "I don't think it's fair on him, he's got people all around and he needs rest," he said and drove home the long way... via Mudgee. Like many others, I'm sure he's overwhelmed with thoughts of what kind of person Owen was. And how much the world will miss him.

I know I will.

To Dorothy, Claire and Adrian I offer my inadequate condolences.

#144 FLB

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 20:31

Loris Kessel has passed on:

http://www.swissinfo...tml?cid=8885054

Edited by FLB, 15 May 2010 - 20:33.


#145 Catalina Park

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 09:40

A personal friend of mine, a good bloke, a highly respected engineer and great teacher...

Owen Wuillemin died Saturday morning 15th May. Very few here would have ever heard of Owen, but he was a motor sportsman of a high order and in particular a great engine man and engineer.

To Dorothy, Claire and Adrian I offer my inadequate condolences.

I met Owen back in the early 80s when I helped Doug Macarthur with his RT4. I didn't know Owen very well but I did get to see what a great bloke he was.

My thoughts are with his family.


#146 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 13:23

Thanks, Mountain Man...

I spoke to Dorothy on Sunday night, she's 'doing as well as can be expected' but very alert to the loss. Owen suffered a fall on Thursday (I think) and hit his head on concrete, this... IIRC... precipitated his hospitalisation for his last 36 or so hours. Dorothy said she could not have gone home if he'd died there.

Yet, despite her grief, she thanked me 'for caring'. I thought that was a nice touch. Unfortunately my totally full work schedule at the moment will prevent me being at the funeral.

#147 Wirra

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 04:02

I met Owen back in the early 80s ... what a great bloke he was...

Conversely, I've only known Owen for the last 9 months and let me assure you he was still a great bloke.
A Thanksgiving Service will be held for OWEN JAMES WUILLEMIN in the Chapel at The King's School, on Friday (May 21, 2010) at 4 p.m.

Edited by Wirra, 19 May 2010 - 04:17.


#148 Haine Kane

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 14:21

The French driver Yvan LEBON passed away on this 18 may.

He drove last year a FERRARI F430 GT with Christophe BOUCHUT and Manuel RODRIGUEZand finished 29th at the 24 Hours of LE MANS.

RIP.

#149 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 19:49

Originally posted by Wirra
Conversely, I've only known Owen for the last 9 months and let me assure you he was still a great bloke.
A Thanksgiving Service will be held for OWEN JAMES WUILLEMIN in the Chapel at The King's School, on Friday (May 21, 2010) at 4 p.m.


Good to know you had the chance to experience being in his presence, Peter...

In the course of my 'other' work, I've met two Kings School students. One was in Moree, the other in the Southern Highlands, both spoke highly of him as a teacher. Even though he had retired from full time teaching, he still went in to the school two or three days a week.

I can't make it Friday, unfortunately, and I think Norm is also unable to be there. But I know the place will be absolutely packed out with people who knew and respected him.

#150 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 03:18

Mal Simpson will be a name known to many...

From Max Stahl:

IT IS my sad task to inform you of the passing on Saturday,

12th June, of our mutual friend, Mal Simpson, who in the 1960-

70 period earned international recognition as one of Australia's

finest racing mechanics.

Born in Queensland in 1930, Mal moved to Sydney in the

mid-50s to pursue his dream of working on racing cars.

He joined the North Shore Sporting Car Club, where he was

quickly recruited by Fred Vogel and Ralph Sach to work

on their MGs.

With his appetite whetted, but being an avid fan of Grand Prix

cars, Mal moved to the UK to further his career and soon fell in

with fellow Australians at the Steering Wheel Club.

One of them he already knew from Australia, Tony Caldersmith,

now working for Team Lotus, where he was introduced and

given a job.

Soon after he was engaged by Rob Walker to work with the legendary

Alf Francis on Stirling Moss's cars, a partnership that lasted until

the disastrous 1962 Goodwood crash that ended Moss's career.



When Mal left the UK and came home to Australia, he was

immediately employed by Comalco, then in 1984 joined Fred Vogel in

his Sydney automotive bookshop.

Five years there, another three in Fred's Mona Vale book

warehouse and a few years with Stephen Knox at his Cremorne

bookshop brought Mal to retirement age.

Mal chose to live his remaining years in Sutton Forest, in the NSW

Southern Highlands, near his long-time friend, David McKay, and his

wife.