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RIP Frank Gardner


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#151 johnfitzpatrick

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:21

I just found this photo of Frank that I took on my first visit to Bathurst in 1974. Sort of sums him up I think.

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#152 275 GTB-4

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:42

Yes, Frank had been driving for Ron Hodgson and put me into the drive when he had to withdraw. The oil seal had gone between the bell housing and the crank case
towards the end of the race and the clutch was slipping like hell. Brockie and Bondie had been leading and had problems which allowed us to go into the lead but when we started to get the clutch slip he was catching fast. I could see the emotion in our pit from the car. It was a big win for me but even bigger for Bobby. I drove with Bobby on many other occasions but never quite made it. We would have won in the Falcon in the early eighties when we had a comfortable lead, but Bobby was caught up in the big accident on the mountain which stopped the race. I was also leading with Moffat in the Falcon one year when it expired. I used to love my trips to Bathurst and it was there in late '79 that Dick Barbour asked me to drive for him in the IMSA series in 1980.

Couldn't believe it when Brockie died. He was a great driver and a great Australian. We had been together the week before at the Goodwood Revival, both in Corvettes, having fun.


Welcome Fitzy :) Terrific to see you posting here...

Bathurst? Why not pop over one Easter for a Guest drive!!

http://www.fosc.com....SC@Bathurst.htm

#153 johnfitzpatrick

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 12:19

Welcome Fitzy :) Terrific to see you posting here...

Bathurst? Why not pop over one Easter for a Guest drive!!

http://www.fosc.com....SC@Bathurst.htm


I would love to come back to Bathurst. Great Memories.

#154 Giraffe

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 13:34

I've recently uncovered this pic of Frank and his wife with Sid Taylor in Sid's archives, but have yet to tackle him on date & place. It's a while back, that's for sure.....

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By giraffe138 at 2010-06-24

#155 Giraffe

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 20:47

I've just heard from Sid Taylor that there is a new Frank Gardner book under preparation, and that the author is over in the UK from Australia conducting research and visiting Birmingham tomorrow. Sid's not sure who it is and has asked me to ask the forum if they can offer any clues?
(I'm likely to meet the guy tomorrow so it would help me to know his identity).

#156 kevinbartlett

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 23:29

I've just heard from Sid Taylor that there is a new Frank Gardner book under preparation, and that the author is over in the UK from Australia conducting research and visiting Birmingham tomorrow. Sid's not sure who it is and has asked me to ask the forum if they can offer any clues?
(I'm likely to meet the guy tomorrow so it would help me to know his identity).



I believe the chap you ask about would be one Tony Whitlock, a journalist well known down here. He has talked to me about my days racing with Frank in the Mildren team and I'm sure he mentioned a trip to UK for more background for the book he is writing about FG, I am told, with the family's permission

#157 Peter Darley

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 08:43

I've recently uncovered this pic of Frank and his wife with Sid Taylor in Sid's archives, but have yet to tackle him on date & place. It's a while back, that's for sure.....

Posted Image
By giraffe138 at 2010-06-24


I do not know who the lady in the photo, but she is not Gloria Gardner.


#158 Giraffe

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 08:59

I do not know who the lady in the photo, but she is not Gloria Gardner.


Correct Peter, that's Mary Taylor & maybe you can confirm that this is Gloria with Mary?

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By giraffe138 at 2011-02-17



#159 Giraffe

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:01

I believe the chap you ask about would be one Tony Whitlock, a journalist well known down here. He has talked to me about my days racing with Frank in the Mildren team and I'm sure he mentioned a trip to UK for more background for the book he is writing about FG, I am told, with the family's permission


Thanks Kevin, it is indeed Tony Whitlock who I hope to meet in an hour or so.


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#160 Peter Darley

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:19

Correct Peter, that's Mary Taylor & maybe you can confirm that this is Gloria with Mary?

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By giraffe138 at 2011-02-17


Confirm that is Gloria. If Tony Whitlock wants to contact me, feel free to give him details


#161 Giraffe

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 17:30

If Tony Whitlock wants to contact me, feel free to give him details


Tony Whitlock, author, journalist and editor of "Racefax" & "Autofax" interviewing Sid Taylor for his forthcoming book on Frank this morning.

Posted Image
By giraffe138 at 2011-02-17


Tony left Birmingham to visit Frank's old engineer at Lola, Bob Marston and then onwards for an appointment at the Athenium Club with Prof.Sid Watkins. :eek:

Tony tells me that Frank had been a wily old investor during his racing days and owned multiple properties in UK, Europe and Australia, about eight in total which he was visiting and photographing during his travels for the book!

Whilst introducing Tony to the joys of TNF, I mentioned your offer Peter, and if you PM me with your e-mail address etc, I will pass them on to Tony.



#162 eldougo

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 04:09

I only found out last week that he passed away around Christmas time.....Not detail yet. :cry: VERY SAD indeed.

Posted Image...He and Tom Nailard worked on the Corvair.

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Edited by eldougo, 26 February 2011 - 04:11.


#163 Hank the Deuce

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 01:00

happened upon this thread again via the Bathurst one... felt it to be appropriate to remember Frank today.

#164 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 02:10

I heard from Tony Whitlock last week, too...

He's still advancing the book on Frank, I don't know how long before it's to be finished, however.

#165 richie

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 20:53

I've been in touch with Hugh Dibley about the Palliser F5000 that he produced:

"I drove it once at Silverstone just to see if it worked – then I think Frank Gardner might have done something with it?"

Anyone know if this was correct?

#166 Tim Murray

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 21:24

The car was designed by Len Bailey for Frank Gardner and built at the Palliser factory with which the Winkelman operation was linked. Palliser cars were at that time sold in the US as Winklemans
The car was originally called the Franklen-Palliser but raced only once (I think) before it was taken to Australia and renamed the Mildren-Chevrolet

When Allan Mann closed his race setup, Frank Gardner formed Motor Racing Research and with Len Bailey and some ex Mann personel the Franklen was built in one of Mann's hangers with a Ford engine. Wheels/uprights/brakes were from the Bailey designed Ford DFV lightweight sports car (P6 ????)
Lola then supplied a T190 to Gardner, who sold the Franklen to Palliser.
Hugh Dibley maintains that all Palliser did to the car was put a Palliser sticker on the nose.
Was sold to Mildren, KB drove it in the '70 Horden Trophy at Warwick Farm and then the '71 Tasman Series with a Chev engine. (Still trying to find out where and when this was fitted)
Sold to Jack Wortmeyer late '72, ran at the '73 Warwick Farm and '74 Oran Park Tasman rounds - Albury meetings and some hill climbs.
It's last outing was the '74 Oran Park Tasman and has been sitting in Wollongong ever since.

Complete restoration is underway

This car has no connection with Peter Gumley's or any of the other Wortmeyer SCV hill climb cars



#167 LouiseRoy

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 23:34

I just received a phone call from Ray Bell saying that Frank Gardner has passed away.

Does anyone recall the racing drivers' school at Calder? I've just been searching Trove online and can't find a single reference to it. I spent a week learning race driving with Frank Gardner in a Formula Ford around the time he was also mentoring Robyn Hamilton. It's a shame I have no photos; no phones with cameras back then. I'd already been involved in hillclimbs, rallies and sprints, had trained with Peter Wherrett and was keen to find out if I had what it took to go further. Peter certainly thought so and gave me a lot of encouragement. I remember the first day at Calder we started out in a small tin top - I can't recall what car it was - with Frank beside me giving instructions. I can hear his voice still; squeeze the brakes; always be smooth; conserve the engine and gearbox - if you don't finish the race you can't win; relax your shoulders - no-one can drive with stiff shoulders. I always found this great advice when a little nervous amongst all those Vees. Frank told me he didn't believe women could drive but after observing me and Robyn he completely changed his mind. Robyn had a very different style from me - I was always very conservative and careful, mainly due to having very little money to repair any crashed cars. Thanks to Frank's training I never had an accident while competing and I am still competing at the club level today. I was honoured to be offered a drive at Bathurst in an SLR 5000 with a German team but unfortunately I didn't have the $3000 entry fee for the co-driver at the time - one of my greatest disappointments to have missed out on competing there. Frank was a brilliant teacher and I'm so fortunate to have spent a whole week under his instruction. I recall in his office there was a cartoon of a lady in racing suit beside a Formula Ford asking, "Is it an automatic or a manual?" Frank wanted me to go into Formula Ford but as Formula Vee was the cheaper option and I wasn't flush with funds, that's what I did. - Louise Roy


Edited by LouiseRoy, 05 June 2014 - 23:58.


#168 Librules

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 23:03

Without going through old mags, I think the driving school was called the "Bob Jane - Frank Gardner" driving school or something similar.   It was set up at Calder after Frank had re-settled in Oz and was doing some work for Bob. This included re-engineering the Torana Sports Sedan by replacing the Repco engine with a Chev (again from memory, don't shoot me if that's wrong).   I think the small car that Louise referred to was probably a Gemini.    Frank eventually moved up to Sydney to kick off another chapter in his racing career.



#169 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 01:41

I think you're right about the name...

And yes, the Repco Torana got a Chev engine.

#170 cooper997

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:48

Louise,

There's a 6 page feature on the Calder-based Frank Gardner Driving School in the one-off '41 out of 49' Frank Gardner Corvair magazine from 1977. Cars shown are Datsun 180B's and Elfin F/Fords. There's a mention that the 200B was about to replace the 180B.

If you would like a scan emailed, use the TNF personal message system to let me know your email address. Or if there's interest, I could try and add the 6 pages here.

Stephen

#171 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 00:15

Does anyone recall the racing drivers' school at Calder? I've just been searching Trove online and can't find a single reference to it. I spent a week learning race driving with Frank Gardner in a Formula Ford around the time he was also mentoring Robyn Hamilton. It's a shame I have no photos; no phones with cameras back then. I'd already been involved in hillclimbs, rallies and sprints, had trained with Peter Wherrett and was keen to find out if I had what it took to go further. Peter certainly thought so and gave me a lot of encouragement. I remember the first day at Calder we started out in a small tin top - I can't recall what car it was - with Frank beside me giving instructions. I can hear his voice still; squeeze the brakes; always be smooth; conserve the engine and gearbox - if you don't finish the race you can't win; relax your shoulders - no-one can drive with stiff shoulders. I always found this great advice when a little nervous amongst all those Vees. Frank told me he didn't believe women could drive but after observing me and Robyn he completely changed his mind. Robyn had a very different style from me - I was always very conservative and careful, mainly due to having very little money to repair any crashed cars. Thanks to Frank's training I never had an accident while competing and I am still competing at the club level today. I was honoured to be offered a drive at Bathurst in an SLR 5000 with a German team but unfortunately I didn't have the $3000 entry fee for the co-driver at the time - one of my greatest disappointments to have missed out on competing there. Frank was a brilliant teacher and I'm so fortunate to have spent a whole week under his instruction. I recall in his office there was a cartoon of a lady in racing suit beside a Formula Ford asking, "Is it an automatic or a manual?" Frank wanted me to go into Formula Ford but as Formula Vee was the cheaper option and I wasn't flush with funds, that's what I did. - Louise Roy

I feel the ladys comment was 'oh poo it is a manual' A Stonie cartoon.



#172 TerryS

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 02:56

I've just heard from Sid Taylor that there is a new Frank Gardner book under preparation, and that the author is over in the UK from Australia conducting research and visiting Birmingham tomorrow. Sid's not sure who it is and has asked me to ask the forum if they can offer any clues?
(I'm likely to meet the guy tomorrow so it would help me to know his identity).


Does anyone know if the Frank Gardner book was ever finished/published?

#173 terry mcgrath

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 03:24

I don't think the last one ever got done!

I knew frank quite well due to the jaguar connection and he wrote the forward for our Jaguar book.

terry

Does anyone know if the Frank Gardner book was ever finished/published?



#174 TerryS

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:52

I don't think the last one ever got done!
terry


Are you implying with "the last one"that there were some other books on Gardner?

#175 group7

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 15:06

Terry, I don't know if has been mentioned here before but there was the small hardcover, running 160 pages,   Castrol "Racing Drivers Manual" by Frank Gardner, with Doug Nye, and forward by Eric Broadley published October 1973, of which I have a copy.

 

Michael (group7) in Canada

 

 

here is an image of the book, on e-bay

 

https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/085059135X


Edited by group7, 20 December 2016 - 16:03.


#176 E1pix

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 17:13

I have that book as well, Mike... boxed up with our other 40+ feet of books in storage.

#177 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 20:45

There was the Castrol book by him...

It was called The Castrol Racing Driver's Manual published in 1973. Frank's 'line' about it was that he was offered two options with regard to rights or royalties, an outright up-front payment or an ongoing royalty. He opted for the former, expecting it to be a small seller, but it was something of a hit and he would have done better the other way.

It seems he did another for Mercedes Benz in 1980, Drive to Survive.

#178 eldougo

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 21:57

I got Frank to sign my copy when i worked for him in 1982.....GREAT man to work for.



#179 TerryS

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 03:46

Terry, I don't know if has been mentioned here before but there was the small hardcover, running 160 pages,   Castrol "Racing Drivers Manual" by Frank Gardner, with Doug Nye, and forward by Eric Broadley published October 1973, of which I have a copy.


Yes I have a copy of that book. I bought it just after released from Kirby Book Co. in Pitt St Sydney down near Central Station. Blimey that was over 40 years ago......

I bought a number of books from them before they moved to Military Rd Cremorne/Mosman.

In those pre internet days you actually had to go into the shop to make a purchase. How strange.....

Anyway what I was after was is there a book on Gardner on his life and including some of his stories and lines?

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#180 Tim Murray

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 04:08

The book was well under way at one stage, as discussed here:

Frank Gardner biography is underway

but it's all gone very quiet in the last few years. Let's hope someone has some concrete info on its progress.

#181 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 23:33

Just read these posts as a reminder of some extremely happy times spent with Frank and Gloria in their then home at Huntingdon.  Frank and I just spent hours cracking up and roaring with laughter at one thing or another. Gloria was absolutely gorgeous - and a lovely person too. One day there coincided with the Miss World contest on the TV and we sat with dinner on on trays on our laps and watched the telly.  Not only was Francis's commentary as side-splitting as you can imagine - but Gloria contributed a terrific commentary of her own, both on the contest itself...and upon her husband.  They were a lovely couple...very fondly remembered...

 

DCN



#182 eldougo

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 08:32

That is a great story  Doug and i can just see it ,must have been funny he sure was a one of a kind Frank and Gloria could hang in there with him sometimes..

And as you say..........They were a lovely couple...very fondly remembered..

 

Cheers Happy Christmas.



#183 TerryS

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 02:39

I heard from Tony Whitlock last week, too...

He's still advancing the book on Frank, I don't know how long before it's to be finished, however.


Ray, as you seem to be the last one on this thread to have communicated with Whitlock, is there any chance you might be able to get a status update from him?

#184 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 08:14

He communicated with me...

I don't have contact details for him.