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The strange career of Australian Arnold Glass


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#51 Paul Hamilton

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 20:29

Arnold was still in fine form when I met him at the Dawson Damer farm early in 2000 not long before John was killed at Goodwood. He knew DD well and had accompanied him in a visit to a historic race meeting at Oran Park during the course of what I gathered was an annual summer holiday back in Oz.

He spoke of the purchase of the English Electric Lightning fighter aircraft mentioned earlier on this thread and I have since wondered if those now flying in private ownership in South Africa have any connection with Arnold. He has certainly had a long involvement with high performance aircraft and I can recall seeing a P51, Sea Fury and a DH Vampire in his hanger at Bankstown back in the 70's. Whatever the state of his health, however, I think Arnold would now be a bit too old to step into the cockpit of an aircraft such as the Lightning!!

My theory of the rationale behind at least some of Arnold's unusual choices of car is that he was looking for the 'unfair advantage' by getting something different to the others. If looked at in the context of the times the Cooper Maserati came soon after Mildren's success in a similar car and would have looked like a promising choice and, similarly, the BRMs came direct from the works with a reputation for a lot more 'grunt' than a Climax 2.5 which, as Dick Willis has said, were a bit hard to get at that time.

That theory also fits well with a story Tom Sulman told me about Arnold many years ago. They first met back in the Mont Druitt days and Tom initially developed a dislike for Arnold when he turned up with a great retinue and a newer Maserati than Tom's (as I recall he had a 4CLT when Tom had something older) and then proceeded to make Tom's life difficult. Arnold decided to confront Tom about the apparently quite open display of dislike and explained to him that he knew he was not much of a driver and therefore needed the very best of equipment to be in any way competitive. That open approach impressed Tom greatly and they then became quite good mates.

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#52 Derek Pitt

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 22:14

Well Paul,

Very interesting posting and along with the others, has answered a lot of the issues I had pondered over and the questions i had posed.

Seems the choice of cars has been solved although ..why buy 2 Super squalos and why buy 2 BRM's when in each case, the first car had been shown to be uncompetitive?

Likewise, the driving ability question seems to be settled but...his performance in the 250F in the 1959 AGP and at Bathurst in 1960 seemd to suggest he was capable of better things than he finally achieved

Very interesting

Derek

#53 Dick Willis

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 22:35

I didn't think he bought two Squalos, the Squalo came with a 3.5 litre engine which blew up at Bathurst when he was in sight of victory, the engine was sent back to Italy for repairs and came back as a 2.5 with a consequent drop of performance so he sold it.

Doug Nye's second BRM book gives a detailed account of the BRM deal, the first one was "lease" deal but he crashed it at Mallala on its first appearance so he sent it back to the UK for repairs ( bit like the Squalo affair ) but they deemed it unrepairable so they sent him a sister car which he must have later paid for, can't remember the exact nitty-gritty without reading the BRM bok again.

#54 David McKinney

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 23:16

No, he didn't buy two Squalos

#55 Ian Smith - Diz

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 10:44

When I saw the thread title, I remembered the name from Formula Libre races at Aintree in the early 70s - as there haven't been many Arnolds' racing.
I seem to recall him being explained to me as the Glass of "Glass's Guide"
Also, IIRC, he had a relative - probably a son - called Stuart Glass who did some Clubmans Formula racing in the UK.

#56 Adam F

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 11:17

Originally posted by Ian Smith - Diz
I seem to recall him being explained to me as the Glass of "Glass's Guide".


Ian,
That was Michael Glass, 1970s historic racer of ERAs etc.

#57 275 GTB-4

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 08:47

Originally posted by Adam F
Ian,
That was Michael Glass, 1970s historic racer of ERAs etc.


Any relation to Arnold?? a son?? I too also thought that Arnold was behing the guide.

#58 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 19:09

Not unless he kept a mistress in England and let her keep his name for any kids...

On the subject of 'Trinkets', I'll relate a little tale told to me by fellow car dealer Denis Geary, who was talking about having called in on Arnold one day during the latter part of the Capitol Motors adventure. Denis had just put the ex-John Scott-Davies Lola T70 on the road with a hardtop body he'd had made.

"What a lovely toy!" Arnold exclaimed, "What a lovely toy!"

Denis must have felt pretty good at hearing Arnold say that, the disparity in their wealth having grown enormously since they'd first got to know each other. But then Arnold went on to say, "I've just got myself a new toy too!"

"And what's that?" Denis asked.

"Two Meteor jets," Arnold replied.

Denis was floored.

#59 MCS

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 21:43

Originally posted by Ian Smith - Diz
When I saw the thread title, I remembered the name from Formula Libre races at Aintree in the early 70s - as there haven't been many Arnolds' racing.
I seem to recall him being explained to me as the Glass of "Glass's Guide"
Also, IIRC, he had a relative - probably a son - called Stuart Glass who did some Clubmans Formula racing in the UK.


This, I believe, is Stuart Glass - but no mention of his racing exploits....interesting to see Barry Foley cartoons illustrating the site though. http://www.stuartgla...the_company.htm

Stuart Glass has been an executive search consultant since 1985 and is the Managing Director of Stuart Glass & Company, executive search consultants.

Before moving into executive search in 1985, Stuart was for 12 years involved in financing the capital needs of commerce, industry and the professions both in the UK and overseas. During this time, he held senior management positions in the Asian merchant banking arm of The HongKong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and in Barclays Bank, developing new services and operations in the Asia Pacific region.

Like his grandfather, William Glass, the founder of Glass's Guide to Used Car Values, Stuart has a penchant for sharing useful information. He started writing part-time in 1968 for Motoring News and from 1977 to 1979 published Sports Racing News, the magazine of the Sports Racing Drivers Club. In 1978, he wrote a Guide to Leasing. This was followed in 1982 by The Businessman's Guide to Leasing, which was published in both English and Chinese. In 1983, he initiated and co-organised The First World Leasing Convention, and then published the resulting authoritative work which was sold in 36 countries. Subsequently, he was co-author of the 1st and 2nd Editions of Euromoney's Leasing Finance.

Neither Stuart Glass nor this publication has any connection with Glass's Guide or its publisher.

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#60 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 21:47

And neither of them, obviously, have any connection with 'Carnal' Arnold...

At least that's settled.

#61 johnny yuma

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:50

ah yes Ray,"Carnal" Arnold was the nickname I'd heard.Perhaps your reference to a mistress in England was not a joke! :cool:

Remember how our ancestors explored the globe and bought vast tracts of it for "glass beads and trinkets" from the indians ? Seems this bit of the average joe's knowledge of history,and A.G.'s purchases of bits and pieces to race,made trinkets a good nickname too.

#62 Paul Hamilton

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:35

Sad news.

I met an old aquaintance of Arnold's last night who told me that he has now returned to live full time in Sydney following a diagnosis of altheimers disease. He is said to be still quite bright and healthy otherwise but is showing clear signs of serious memory deterioration.

#63 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:20

That is so sad - hope his old mates from around Sydney don't forget him this Christmas.

#64 kevinbartlett

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 04:33

I have just recieved news that Arnold passed away last Saturday.He was back in Sydney for a holiday.
I have no other details.

#65 Derek Pitt

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 05:11

Thanks Kevin,

Does SMH have obituaries on the net or wouldn't Arnold be considered important enough?

Please let us know if you get any more information.

Derek

#66 Derek Pitt

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 05:16

Originally posted by Derek Pitt
Thanks Kevin,

Does SMH have obituaries on the net or wouldn't Arnold be considered important enough?

Please let us know if you get any more information.

Derek


GLASS, Arnold. 11 December 1926 to 9 January
2009. Passed away peacefully at home after a fulfilling and
exciting life. He was a loving cherished partner of 37 years
to
Jennifer, a much loved and supportive father to Amanda
and a beloved grandfather to Ryan, Tegan and Kirsty.

A Memorial Service in Celebration of his Life will be
held at a later date.
The Sydney Morning Herald Friday, 16 January 2009

#67 David McKinney

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:44

Another legend passes
Sad news

#68 fines

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 08:05

:( :(

#69 Barry Boor

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 09:27

I hate this getting old business because all the people you admired when you were young are getting even older.

Sad news indeed.

#70 Michael Gasking

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 10:52

I think you will find that John Ellacott's picture of Arnold Glass at Symmons Plains, is actually at the Longford road circuit nearby.
I have been saddened to hear of his passing. I knew him from the Tasman days, and his nickname 'Trinkets' definately came from the word 'Glass'.
I recall him also speaking with a slight lisp, particularly after he did so well at Longford.
Legend has it that he had 17 acres of Datsuns on Parramatta Rd. Several levels had to be aggregated for this calculation.
He also had a Mustang plane at Bankstown, one of only afew in private hands. This interested me as I knew about Ron Flockhart and his fatal accident in one.
I understand that in latter years he has been living in Monaco.
There are a few punters here in Adelaide who can recall Trinkets being the star attraction at one the major meets, and the pantomine in one of the hospitals when "famous racing driver Arnold Glass" was brought in after his tree or pole incident.
Michael

#71 John Ellacott

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 12:25

Hello Michael and welcome to TNF.
My photo of Arnold standing next to his 250F is indeed at Symmons Plains which was due to be opened the following weekend. As there was no racing on the Sunday of the Longford long weekend a number of the drivers, including Frank Matich and David Finch with their D types went out to check out the new circuit.

#72 275 GTB-4

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 00:37

Originally posted by Michael Gasking
Legend has it that he had 17 acres of Datsuns on Parramatta Rd. Several levels had to be aggregated for this calculation.

Michael


No legend Michael..true..biggest car yard you will ever see in this part of the world...I bought a new Datsun 1600 from them around 1970...it was more than just Datsuns though...welcome :)

#73 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 22:33

Originally posted by John Ellacott
Arnold Glass and his beautiful 250F Maserati at Symmons Plains March 1960

Posted Image


Thanks for the explanation of how that came about, John...

Yes, Sunday was always a day off at Longford, with the meeting being held on a long weekend (Labour Day for Tasmania, I believe, first Monday in March).

I will bring up the 'Mentioned in Passing' thread to record this unhappy occasion, the actual date of death being, as recorded in the obituary, last Friday week, January 9.

I believe my tale (a true one, by the way) about the assessor for the hail damage underlines the size of the car yard.

#74 johnfitzgerald

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:13

Sad to hear of Arnold Glass passing I did see him drive at least once, cant remember where possibly Sandown.

The website below may have some references to him it covers the Tasman Series aswell as NZ motor racing


http://www.sergent.com.au/

John Fitzgerald

#75 cm50

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 10:01

Sad to hear.
Although I never saw him race I did see the BRM Buick race at Pukekohe. However I did spend many hours with him over the years at Mitchell Hall, Cranfield where he had his Folland Gnat and English Electric Lightnings, he could never understand why the UK CAA wouldnt let him fly them (lightnings) and so as a regulator our discussions were often interesting, but I did admire him for his achievements and his adventures.

#76 megaquick

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 10:35

Incredible what you find on her, I spent ages looking at the personal clumbman photos and chats, started my own thread on Classic Formula Fords which I raced amongst others for many years and now I find this about Arnold Glass. My Wife Caroline is one of the Managers at Mitchell Hall and new Arnold & Jennifer Glass as they stayed there on many occasions, he did actually take one of the Lightnings up with permission from some jobsworth but only the once and I saw him and the whole of Bedfordshire heard him, I had no idea nor did my Wife about his motor racing days. His Lightnings are still here though in bits, they fire up the one remaining with an engine occasionally, my Wife is very sad to hear of his passing She always said what a lovely man he was, I would loved to of met him.

#77 Lola5000

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 10:59

Many people in the Offshore power boating were also sad to here of his passing.To many he was regarded as a good guy whom enjoyed his racing,always had a good crew and a top boat.

#78 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 11:10

Originally posted by megaquick
Incredible what you find on here, he did actually take one of the Lightnings up with permission from some jobsworth but only the once and I saw him and the whole of Bedfordshire heard him

That would have been so cool to see [Trinks in Lights] .. wow

#79 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:22

Is this by any chance Arnold Glass in his Lotus 27? The number would be right for Warwick Farm in Feb 1964.
Posted Image

If it's not then any ideas?

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#80 gray chandler

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 12:40

Please don't tell me you worked in the service Dept in the 1970s :mad: :rotfl:


So did i,afternoon shift in the service division.My boss was a guy called Fred. Can't remember his sir name. Homers,1200s, 240z,John Laws patrol.Good Days.Traded my Bultaco on a 2a Sprite they had on the lot..cheers,gray chandler.

#81 David McKinney

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 16:27

Not Glass and not his Lotus 27 (unless I'm very much mistaken...)

#82 La Sarthe

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 17:09

Adding to his aeronautical history, the Lightnings were stored at Cranfield in Bedfordshire (where I work) for many years. Despite long years of argument, the Civil Aviation Authority would not allow them to fly on the basis that they were very complex beasts and supersonic aircraft shouldn't be in private hands. Therefore eventually he was forced to sell them on. Two (I think) were sold to South Africa where they, surprise surprise, safely fly in private hands. One of the two seat trainers is still at Cranfield under different ownership and does occasional fast taxis down the runway (with afterburner :up: ). The others were scrapped I think.

He also had a Folland Gnat based at Cranfield for many years which he flew with an ex-RAF pilot. This continued until he shook himself up one day in the mid-90s when the brakes failed on landing. No damage done fortunately but I think it was sold on after that. I didn't really know him but the hangar chaps said he was very pleasant, laconic and apart from the sportscar he arrived in (a Ferrari 360, I think, the last time he was here), you wouldn't know he was wealthy.

Peter

#83 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 22:14

Originally posted by simonlewisbooks
Is this by any chance Arnold Glass in his Lotus 27? The number would be right for Warwick Farm in Feb 1964.
Posted Image

If it's not then any ideas?


Originally posted by David McKinney
Not Glass and not his Lotus 27 (unless I'm very much mistaken...)


You're right, David...

Not even the Howard 27 had outboard front suspension in early 1964, nor would any 27 owner of the day dispose of the unique windscreen. So this car isn't a Lotus 27 at all, nor is it the typical Lotus-Ford twin cam of the era.

It's definitely Warwick Farm, however.

#84 David Shaw

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 03:17

An early Rennmax?



#85 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 08:10

Definitely not a Rennmax...

I've been through RCN for about three years and find no clues to who this might be. Oh, and I was wrong about the 27 windscreen, that came in with the 32.

#86 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 08:49

Rex Flowers??

#87 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 09:30

What car would that be, Patrick?

I'm thinking it's a 22, but I don't think the rear suspension's right. And it's definitely not a twin cam, which would date it somewhat.

#88 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:02

Not 100% sure Ray.... but I am trying to contact Rex to see if it his car - nothing like speaking to the man who sat in the seat!
Rex was at Warwick Farm in 1964 and came in about third 1500cc - he was #22 at Teretonga in 1964 but I suppose the aussies would make him change it to #23 a few weeks later.

#89 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 12:02

Can we be sure the photo is from 1964 mr simonlewisbooks ?

#90 cooper997

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 12:18

I think it's later. Those tyres look oversize for a 1964 ANF2 car - as in too wide.

Glass was entry #23 for the 16/2/64 Warwick Farm Tasman round. But he was #17 at Sandown AGP/Tasman meeting the week before. If you go into www.autopics.com.au site and search 'glass' you'll see a sample of his car and it isn't the one in Simon's photo.

Rex Flowers is #22 in the 1964 WF programme - listed as Lotus 20B Ford


Stephen

#91 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 12:33

It does not look like Flowers - but because they are sleeping in NZ we may not know until tomorrow.



#92 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 21:09

Can we be sure the photo is from 1964 mr simonlewisbooks ?

No mate, I had no idea when the photo dated from or who it was or what it was. My guess at such details was entirely a based on a scout through entry lists for Tasman events.
I am actually quite chuffed I was on the right continent let alone the right circuit !

Edited by simonlewisbooks, 03 July 2009 - 21:11.


#93 Wirra

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 22:45

I am actually quite chuffed I was on the right continent let alone the right circuit !

Were at Warwick Farm is it suggested the photo taken? While it looks like possibly either of the crossings, I don't recall that building at Warwick Farm. There were many motor racing circuits built at horse racecourses in that period - Sandown and Aintree spring to mind and I suspect a few others in the UK and NZ.

#94 David Shaw

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 23:05

Wrong direction to be Sandown with all those horse railings in the background.

#95 wagons46

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 00:09

From the programmes, here are some cars that carried the #23 at Warwick Farm in the 60's. There were others in white and silver coloured cars which obviously are not our mystery car.

16.2.64 A. Glass Lotus 27 Red/Black

7.6.64 R. Tresise Lotus18 Green

6.12.64 K.Keller Brabham/F Red

18.7.65 K.Bartlett Elfin Imp Black

13.2.66 M.McEwin Elfin Ford Blue

19.2.67 R.Young Lotus 22 Green

13.7.69 J.Mellen Brabham/F Blue


Does this promt the experts in identifing #23

Edited by wagons46, 04 July 2009 - 00:11.


#96 David McKinney

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 07:21

It does not look like Flowers - but because they are sleeping in NZ we may not know until tomorrow.

Definitely not Rex Flowers, and definitely not his Lotus 20B


#97 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 12:28

Originally posted by Wirra
Where at Warwick Farm is it suggested the photo taken? While it looks like possibly either of the crossings, I don't recall that building at Warwick Farm. There were many motor racing circuits built at horse racecourses in that period - Sandown and Aintree spring to mind and I suspect a few others in the UK and NZ.


It's at the Western Crossing, probably taken from the inside of the track near the Homestead...

The building is the spectator entry gates (where people paid to get in) for the horse racing, which was just behind the area where the entry road that took cars to the paddock began.

Can anyone identify the car as a Brabham?

While checking things I found that Bob Young won the support 1500cc race at the Farm International meeting in '67... that must surely rank as the last win ever at the Farm for a pushrod 1500 racing car? I found a pic of his car at Oran Park, it has a white ring around the nose and retains the original engine cover, so that's not this car.

#98 Catalina Park

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 12:52

Are the little bulges on the nose to clear the radiator a clue?

#99 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 13:36

I've been looking at those...

I think they are a clue.

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#100 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 13:44

Confirmed not R Flowers ...... stripes under the nose is very Australian ...... has to be a pushrod so is R Young the man in the photo?