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Forgotten New Zealand racing drivers


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#101 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 01:09

What about Robbie Francevic, or Franicevic as he was when he started racing.

Touring Car champion in NZ and Australia.

First Kiwi home in the 1972 NZ Grand Prix.

Started in the early sixties and is still competing today in Targa-type events.

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#102 Vicuna

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 02:10

Has Robbie ever been forgotten though?

Egos of that magnitude don't get foregotten...

#103 hiteknz

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 03:04

Originally posted by Milan Fistonic


Could well be. Motorman had both spellings in the one article and the programme just had G. Harvey.


MANZ have him as Grahame as the winner of the 1971 Sports Car Championship ,I actually think that was his correct name,but it did get put in the results etc ,both ways

#104 David McKinney

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 05:53

I'm pretty sure he was Grahame in the electoral roll

Incidentally, and largely OT, I've been trying to think of the name of the road Automotive Service was in - something maritime, but it won't come back. Portsmouth?

#105 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 06:46

Originally posted by David McKinney
I'm pretty sure he was Grahame in the electoral roll

Incidentally, and largely OT, I've been trying to think of the name of the road Automotive Service was in - something maritime, but it won't come back. Portsmouth?


If it was just around the corner from Riley's car yard it was probably Portage Road.

#106 wenoopy

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 09:22

Re the Golden Holden.

Wasn't it the the Ray Olenius Holden which was painted metallic gold. My recollection was that Olenius was a car painter and his cars, Holden and Lola Sports were immaculately turned out. I think he also did the paint jobs on single seaters for Johnny Riley and Ken Smith(?) around the same time (early 1960's).

I don't know where Graeme/Grahame Harvey operated from, but after turning left from No 1 Great South Road Otahuhu into Portage Road the next corner would take you into Saleyards Road. That would sound quite nautical if you were into cryptic crosswords!

Has anybody mentioned Geoff Mardon yet or is he too unforgettable to count as a "forgotten driver".
He drove a lot of cars over the years, from the RA Vanguard to the Stanton-Corvette to George Begg's
F5000 cars. I have just re-read George Begg's hilarious description on Mardon winning the October 1970 Pukekohe Gold Star race and then having the car die out on the circuit on the slowing down lap, and eventually getting back to the pits to find the organisers presenting the gong to Dexter Dunlop who was actually second!

#107 Vicuna

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 11:25

Originally posted by David McKinney
I'm pretty sure he was Grahame in the electoral roll

Incidentally, and largely OT, I've been trying to think of the name of the road Automotive Service was in - something maritime, but it won't come back. Portsmouth?


Cnr Portage and Saleyards Rd ;)

#108 thunder427

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 12:11

Re 'Blue" Camaro photo,'think'!!!!! that maybe the "Indy Speed Shop Camaro ,from Adelaide ,pre its 'Stars and Stripes' paint scheme,the 'Flares' are very much the same....'Ugly'...........But Ray,!!!!!! "I can stand being Corrected" !!!...............there were a great collection of photo's in that file, Ray ,perhaps you could post the rest here, there was a couple of shots of Rod Coppin's,Ex (USA)Joe Chamberlain's Camaro, and a couple of great 'Early' Photos of My favourite 427 Camaro..........along with Harrop's Repco/EH and the Beautifully (John Sheperd)prepared Repco/Torana of Bob Jane's...........regards427

#109 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 13:45

I've only posted these here because of the NZ connection...

Strangely, there's been no attempt to identify them yet! I'll post the others in the Aussie race pics thread.

#110 David McKinney

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 15:00

OK, Ray
I recognise the Escort, but can't remember whose it was - Rod Collingwood's?
The Capri is presumably the Cologne Clone (I like that :) ) built by the Halliday brothers
Don't recognise the Camaro at all, at least not in those colours

But then I always was a single-seater man at heart :cool:

#111 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 22:28

Like David I have always been a Single Seater person myself at heart :cool:
"Real race cars don't have doors"

#112 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 22:52

Yeah, me too... but the pics come up and someone should know who they are...

They look like they were taken at Calder.

#113 hatrat

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 02:49

Back to the single seaters then. This photo has both interesting cars and drivers (and venue).

Posted Image

#114 wenoopy

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:15

Re : hatrat photo

Looks like Mt Maunganui December 1962 rectangular road circuit near the wharf. Looks like Shelly/Amon/Maurie Stanton on front row, but not sure of sports car behind Shelly on row 2.
They used logs as barriers at the sides of the track. This may have been one of the two preliminary races as I have a paper clipping showing front row of Amon/Stanton/Shelly from drivers' right to left.

Finish order was Shelly/Amon/David Young(Cooper 1.5)/Stanton/Forrest Cardon(Lycoming). Wasn't Cardon a Motor cycle racer? His wife Pauline was a top local fashion model of the time.

#115 thunder427

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:26

??????????????????would the 'Sports Car ,could be a young Jim Palmer !!!!! Lotus ?????......the period would be about right ..........................regards427

#116 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:35

I agree that it's the 1962 Mt Mauganui meeting. There were two Lolas,driven by Doug Lawrence and Barry Cottle. Cottle's was dark green and grey so I would pick it is him on the second row.

It was at that meeting that the Stanton rode over the top of Young's FJ Cooper right in front of us. I had a camera but it all happened so fast that I didn't get a photo. I did get a shot of the Stanton being carried away suspended from the back of a tow truck.

#117 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:49

Posted Image

#118 hiteknz

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 09:55

Originally posted by David McKinney
OK, Ray
I recognise the Escort, but can't remember whose it was - Rod Collingwood's?
The Capri is presumably the Cologne Clone (I like that :) ) built by the Halliday brothers
Don't recognise the Camaro at all, at least not in those colours

But then I always was a single-seater man at heart :cool:


I will go with David on the Capri,its The Halliday Car,The Escort is the ex Collingood car,that went via Peter Sundberg to Grant Aitken,Fairydown was a Dunedin company and was Grants Sponsor back then,also unless I am mistaken that is Grant himself standing behind the car ,the Camaro is not familiar to me in that colour but the flares look familiar ,the Escort when it was Collingwood 's carried Amco Jeans sponsorship and signwriting

#119 hiteknz

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 10:38

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Yeah, me too... but the pics come up and someone should know who they are...

They look like they were taken at Calder.


Ray
Courtney and Patterson Ford as written on the other car in the next garage is in Melbourne
Bob

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#120 David McKinney

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 13:11

Yes, that could very well be Grant Aitken. I should have looked more closely

#121 hiteknz

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 06:34

Originally posted by wenoopy
Re the Golden Holden.

Wasn't it the the Ray Olenius Holden which was painted metallic gold. My recollection was that Olenius was a car painter and his cars, Holden and Lola Sports were immaculately turned out. I think he also did the paint jobs on single seaters for Johnny Riley and Ken Smith(?) around the same time (early 1960's).


The Olenius Holden was the same car as the Harvey one .Ray worked as NZR Loco driver back in those years,a job he still carries out in his retirement at the Glenbrook Vintage railway,he owned a panel businees later on in the sixties early seventies.I think the Golden Holden phrase was spin off from the GM advertising as I can also remember the words being used in the adds in the local picture theatre

#122 David McKinney

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 09:11

I know the Holden was 'golden' for a while, but I remember it most clearly in BP green. I believe Harvey first drove it for Olenius, but I wonder if the then bought it (and repainted it)?

It always struck me as strange, considering NZ's close proximity to Australia, that there were no hot Holdens before this, and that this was really the only competitive one until the Gp1 era

#123 normbeechey

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:05

You are correct; it is the Camaro of Peter Finch and the now sadly departed John Kay of South Australia. It's an early photo of the car before it acquired the fabulous Winston cigarette colors.

Do you mean the Dennis Marwood ex-Joe Chamberlain's Camaro?
http://www.motorspor...ro_Trans_Am.jpg

You may have to manually 'copy' and then 'paste" this web address manually onto your web browser address bar.


Originally posted by thunder427
Re 'Blue" Camaro photo,'think'!!!!! that maybe the "Indy Speed Shop Camaro ,from Adelaide ,pre its 'Stars and Stripes' paint scheme,the 'Flares' are very much the same....'Ugly'...........But Ray,!!!!!! "I can stand being Corrected" !!!...............there were a great collection of photo's in that file, Ray ,perhaps you could post the rest here, there was a couple of shots of Rod Coppin's,Ex (USA)Joe Chamberlain's Camaro, and a couple of great 'Early' Photos of My favourite 427 Camaro..........along with Harrop's Repco/EH and the Beautifully (John Sheperd)prepared Repco/Torana of Bob Jane's...........regards427



#124 normbeechey

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:12

Yes, at Calder. BTW, that's Pat Crea's Cortina with the Courtney and Patterson Ford signage.

Originally posted by hiteknz


Ray
Courtney and Patterson Ford as written on the other car in the next garage is in Melbourne
Bob



#125 thunder427

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:26

normbeechy................correct,I was of two minds (happens a lot lately !!!)Denis Marwood Is Correct,Rod Coppins,if I took time to think it through ,bought his Pontiac Firebird out to race at Calder Park, If I've now got the facts sorted............................regards427

#126 normbeechey

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 11:26

Yes 427, he came out here with Fahey and Marwood to the same meeting (Aust Vs NZ Challenge) and became a bit of a semi regular at Calder during the $100,000 Sports Sedan Series days, still with the Firebird.

#127 hatrat

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 04:41

Another photo with a number of interesting cars and drivers:



Posted Image

#128 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 05:39

That's got to be the March 30 1963 meeting at Pukekohe.

128 - John Histed - Lola
133 - Roly Levis - Cooper
132 - Rex Flowers - Lotus
134 - Jim Boyd - Cooper-Holden
The Lotus at the back could be Ken Sager though the number doesn't match up with the programme.

#129 David McKinney

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 06:14

And no doubt Bill Thomasen obscured by Levis

#130 hiteknz

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 06:33

Originally posted by David McKinney
And no doubt Bill Thomasen obscured by Levis

That is correct ,that was one lousy wet day,but notice the basically unguarded entrance on to the track in the background,things have changed
Bob

#131 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 07:50

It was of course the meeting that ended tragically when Rod Coppins crashed the Tec Mec killing two people.

Jim Boyd's Cooper-Holden crashed after the driver bailed out of his burning car.

#132 hiteknz

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 07:55

Originally posted by Milan Fistonic
That's got to be the March 30 1963 meeting at Pukekohe.

128 - John Histed - Lola
133 - Roly Levis - Cooper
132 - Rex Flowers - Lotus
134 - Jim Boyd - Cooper-Holden
The Lotus at the back could be Ken Sager though the number doesn't match up with the programme.

Milan
I have had a real good look at that photo,I am pretty sure that is Ken,especially the crash helmet style ,Ken had carried No 27 at the NZIGP the same year
Bob

#133 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 08:22

He probably doesn't qualify for this thread, but he was living in New Zealand at the time.

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#134 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 08:34

Now you need a Paul Bolton pic...

He lived there for a while, didn't he?

#135 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 08:47

The driver of the Sprite should pose no problems - even Ray knows him - but the Morgan driver will be a little less familiar.


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#136 Dallas84

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 09:26

Is the Sprite driver Roger Anderson?

#137 Dallas84

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 09:27

Originally posted by Milan Fistonic
He probably doesn't qualify for this thread, but he was living in New Zealand at the time.

Posted Image


Richard Melville I think

#138 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 09:43

Originally posted by Dallas84
Is the Sprite driver Roger Anderson?


Yes, but it was Rodger with a D.

#139 hatrat

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 10:26

Richard Melville I think



Another driver who went sailing - I think his yacht was called "Grand Prix".

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#140 wenoopy

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 10:44

Pukekohe March 1963 Photo -

Programme shows Ken Sager as No 129 - A closer look at the photo suggests that the "27" has been crossed out with diagonal hatching and the number 129 painted on engine cover (Partly obscured by Jim Boyd in Jack Malcolm's Cooper Holden). Does Malcolm qualify as a forgotten NZ driver or was he really Australian?

How times have changed, I don't think you would see crossed-out numbers even at a closed club event nowadays.

The Jim Boyd incident was quite scary viewed from the Hill. I remember wondering just where the car was going to end up after Jim jumped out. the other incident was out of view on the back straight towards the hairpin as I recall.

Richard Melville was purportedly from Jamaica - do we know of any other Jamaican drivers anywhere??

#141 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 11:01

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I think we discussed the candy-apple red earlier.

#142 David McKinney

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 11:31

Originally posted by Milan Fistonic
The driver of the Sprite should pose no problems - even Ray knows him - but the Morgan driver will be a little less familiar.
Posted Image

A bit late for Gordon Miles - Ian Morrison?

#143 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 11:57

Originally posted by David McKinney

A bit late for Gordon Miles - Ian Morrison?


Correct. Ian was a mate of mine (we share the same birthday). I did a lot of work on that car and did many miles in it as well. Some of the engine work was done by Tony Kriletich who built the Custaxie for Robbie. Ian bought the Morgan from one of the Housego family. Not long after the repossessers came looking for it. Housego had great plans to set up a racing team (was it South Pacific Racing?) but eventually sold up and moved to Australia.

After he sold the Morgan Ian bought the U2 sports car that had been built by Graham McRae. It was different to all the other U2s at that time in that it had independent rear suspension. The car is still being raced in historic events today but it is much modified and lacks the IRS.

Terry Waterfield was another who raced Morgans in those days. His was supercharged if I remember correctly.

#144 David McKinney

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 12:09

Ecurie Palm Court was the ill-fated venture Housego (Sr) was involved with

I remember Morrison in the McRae U2 - always nicely presented (was that your doing?)

Terry Waterfield's Morgan was a supercharged 4/4, not a Plus Four like the Miles/Housego/Morrison cars

#145 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 13:40

Was that Rod Housego? Didn't he finish up racing in WA?

Good thing someone picked up on that 'd' in Rodger! I never knew he raced a Sprite, by the way, or if I did I've forgotten it. He was racing a Mini when I met him.

#146 David McKinney

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 14:53

Rod Housego was the son of the Palm Court man. After racing the Morgan he was entered in various exotica such as a 2-litre Cooper-Climax and 2.5 Lola-Climax but I don't think he ever raced them. Then, yes, he emigrated to WA and raced various things up to F5000.

Rodger Anderson raced a Sunbeam Alpine, MG Midget and MGB before the Sprite, and a Cortina 1200 and Lotus-Cortina a handful of times. He also raced 1275 and 1071S Mini-Coopers before winning the 1000 class of the NZ Saloon Championship one year, the 1300 the next and, in an Alpina BMW 2002Ti, the 2000 class the next.

#147 hiteknz

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 15:36

Palm Court was based in Papakura,Ray Thackwell who lived in Papakura and Ian Green from memory also drove for them from memory ,they did manage to collect up quite a few cars ,some one else associated with them back then was Neil Francis who had worked for Lotus ,when they were devoloping the Lotus Twin Cam Motor .He set up a workshop in Papakira ,it was from here that the remains of the crashed Rex Flowers Lola went missing,other's who were around Papakura in the same era was Matt Thompson who raced a Mini and operated Car Frieghters out a yard in the same Tironui Road area.and Joe Hayes who raced a Lotus Cortina this was the car brought by Ray Thackwell and raced by him and Ronnie Moore at Pukekohe,eventually being onsold to Ray Wilson who raced it as part of the Silver Fern Saloon Car Team I was involved with in 1965 which was a collection of locals including Jim Richards

#148 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 15:52

The candy apple car is Johnny Riley isn't it?

#149 David McKinney

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 16:12

Certainly is
And before anyone asks, the others are Andrew Buchanan (8) and Red Dawson (35)
Looks like Teretonga 1965 but I'm not putting any money on it

#150 David McKinney

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 16:26

I never quite got to the bottom of Ecurie Palm Court but ISTR Wally Housego and Arthur van Thiel were the men behind it.

They started off at the end of the 1964/65 season with the ex-Thomasen 2.5 Brabham which, yes Bob, Ian Green drove for them a couple of times, and the ex-Amon/Flowers 2.5 Lola.

Before the 1965/66 season they announced plans to import a Lotus with V8 Climax engine, and there would also be a 2-litre Cooper-Climax (for hillclimbs) and a Lotus 22. Principal drivers would be Ronnie Moore, Ray Thackwell and Merv Neil, none of whom had been seen in a single-seater more recently than 1960, and Rod Housego would handle the Lotus 22. Before the first race of the NZ season, a Brabham Twincam had been added to the mix

John Riley raced the 2.5 Brabham once (in Australia) and, and Robbie Franicevic drove the Brabham Twincam at Paritutu, and at Pukekohe the next weekend was in the 2.5 Brabham, and from then on it was all downhill. Thackwell took over the twincam Brabham and raced it under the 'Team Tiki' banner for the rest of the season. The other cars were sold except for the Lola, which disappeared, and the Lotus-Climax V8, which never materialised.