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Rice Trailers - Australia


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#1 Leo D

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 04:43

I have seen pictures of Rice Trailers being used by such people as the Geoghegans and the Tasman Repco Brabham Team (matching HR panel vans towing matching trailers).

I'm wondering how many Rice Trailers were used in Australia?

Were the units here imported or built locally under licence?

Are there any still around, and who may have them, and are any still in use?

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#2 cooper997

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 04:59

Doug Whiteford's Rice Trailer for the 300S, spent a fair bit of time sitting in the fuel tanker compound in the Sandown pits in the 2000's. Last I saw Glenn Coad had a for sale sign on it at Phillip Island Classic in 2007 or 2008 IIRC. In those days Glenn was married to Cathy Davison, sister of Jon (then Sandown promoter).

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#3 Lola5000

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 06:29

From memory Mr Rice also built very fine horse floats and lived in Carnegie Melbourne,around about 1968 my father bought of him the most magnificent Rolls Royce Phantom 3 with a Gurney Nutting body (they did Sir M.Campbells land speed cars and boat bodies)
At the time he was an older man and i think his business had just folded thus why the car was sold.
The Maserati 300s trailer is now in New Zealand.

#4 Leo D

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 06:49

Stephen,
So that's 1 Rice Trailer we can put down as still being in existance.... hopefully a few more are known about.

Rob,
You mention Mr Rice being in Carnegie, and you mention horse floats. Does this mean that there is some connection between "Rice" in Australia, and "Rice" in the UK?

I'm also wondering if there may be any relevant pictures out there?

#5 Lola5000

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 07:05

Stephen,
So that's 1 Rice Trailer we can put down as still being in existance.... hopefully a few more are known about.

Rob,
You mention Mr Rice being in Carnegie, and you mention horse floats. Does this mean that there is some connection between "Rice" in Australia, and "Rice" in the UK?

I'm also wondering if there may be any relevant pictures out there?

Hi Leo,to my knowledge he was a local builder in Melbourne of fine trailers and no relation to the UK current Rice units.
i was ten at the time and I can still remember going with my father to pick up the car,older style (Edwardian home/wooden) on a corner block,I remember my father paid $4,000 for it and sold it to Coys of Kensington in about 1972 for $30,000 at the time that would have bought a new Rolls Royce Silver Shadow or a Maserati 300s or a Jaguar E-type lightweight.
The sister trailer to Whitefords lives in Kew owned by the Bests,i think that is the ex Stan Jones trailer.

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 11:49

Scuderia Veloce had one... Stillwell had one...

And there's a photo here somewhere that I posted several years ago of Stewart (Stuart?) Randall sitting alongside the Hume Highway with one with a broken axle. It was the Mildren team's trailer.

#7 Leo D

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 12:21

So could the list could start to look something like this, not necessarily in any particular order?

- Doug Whiteford
- Stan Jones
- Alec Mildren
- Geoghegan Team
- Bib Stillwell
- Scuderia Veloce
- Repco Brabham x 2



#8 cooper997

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 22:59

Leo,

There's a couple of photos in 'David McKay's Scuderia Veloce' book - both publicity type shots.

On page 23, the Castrol liveried Rice trailer is featured with the pair of Lolas (FJ & 1100 sports) and early (XK?) Falcon tow car. Then on page 158, the trailer is predominantly 'Scuderia Veloce' liveried with their Repco-Brabham and HR Holden wagon tow car.

In an early issue of Motor Racing Australia magazine there's a great colour photo of the 'Scuderia', but I'm yet to pinpoint which issue.

Stephen

#9 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 23:45

They were the quality transporter 40 years ago. These days you probably are not even allowed to tow one behind a HR [or VE] wagon with all the rules.
But there is some lovely enclosed trailers out there for sale at a fraction of the price[relative] to what those Rice Trailers were then. Yet alone all the semi trailers that so many use now.
The flashest I ever had was an open tray 510 Acco with 1/4 sides and a big belly toolbox. 280 litres of gas in one tank. Adelaide Melbourne without a stop!

#10 Lola5000

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 01:05

They were the quality transporter 40 years ago. These days you probably are not even allowed to tow one behind a HR [or VE] wagon with all the rules.
But there is some lovely enclosed trailers out there for sale at a fraction of the price[relative] to what those Rice Trailers were then. Yet alone all the semi trailers that so many use now.
The flashest I ever had was an open tray 510 Acco with 1/4 sides and a big belly toolbox. 280 litres of gas in one tank. Adelaide Melbourne without a stop!

There is still a few around,I know DL has one in his carport.
They were very strong,wooden floor ect,we had a farm and we often loaded the trailer up with couple of tons of wood and drove it back home,from memory that trailer was red with a large MG logo in white on its flanks.

#11 GREENXC

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 00:42

My old man has the ex scuderia veloce rice trailer.

#12 sandy

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 03:32

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#13 Leo D

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 07:35

Sandy,

The Stan Jone unit pictured looks like it has an extended tail piece?
My memory was of a flat fold down rear door being the standard issue so to speak?


GreenXC,

The trailer came to your dad from David McKay?
Your dad being?... maybe you'd prefer not to say?....


Anyone know who ended up with the Repco-Brabham matching units?




Edited by Leo D, 30 May 2011 - 07:40.


#14 terry mcgrath

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 13:31

Advertising was not allowed on the cars but the trailers were obviously a "free for all" !

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#15 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 22:35

Sandy,

The Stan Jone unit pictured looks like it has an extended tail piece?
My memory was of a flat fold down rear door being the standard issue so to speak?


GreenXC,

The trailer came to your dad from David McKay?
Your dad being?... maybe you'd prefer not to say?....


Anyone know who ended up with the Repco-Brabham matching units?

I would suspect the basic trailer could be ordered however you wanted it.
I love the treadlys just dumped on the grrass in the vicinity.

#16 GREENXC

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 00:01

Sandy,

The Stan Jone unit pictured looks like it has an extended tail piece?
My memory was of a flat fold down rear door being the standard issue so to speak?


GreenXC,

The trailer came to your dad from David McKay?
Your dad being?... maybe you'd prefer not to say?....


Anyone know who ended up with the Repco-Brabham matching units?

He bought it off Ray Winter.

#17 Ellis French

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 01:19

Trailers (Rice & Others) in backgrounds at Longford Tas....

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(Source of Repco Pic unknown)

Edited by Ellis French, 31 May 2011 - 01:28.


#18 Catalina Park

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 02:08

Just to add to the confusion of the Rice trailer story, David McKay wrote this in his early book "Behind the Wheel"...

With such a valuable car as the "Works" Aston coming I thought it should be suitably housed in a fully-covered weatherproof trailer. I shopped around Sydney trying to interest trailer builders and finally had to go to Melbourne where the English firm of Rice had already built special trailers for Hunt, Davison, Jones and others. They undertook the job in aluminium panelling and were nearly £200 cheaper than any Sydney quotes in sheet steel! It was a first rate job with tandem bogies, a ramp style back, locking side door, electric light and enough headroom to walk about comfortably inside. The only problem that was never satisfactorily solved was an easier method of getting the car in and out - a universal problem judging by the generally complex systems I've seen used at race circuits around the world.


Here is a photo of his trailer taken from that book. (copyright probably belongs to Caltex as they took over Ampol)

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#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 03:25

That's certainly a different style to the later ones...

But there were double-decked trailers built by Rice, too. Greg Cusack had one of these for the Brabham and the 23.

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#20 Catalina Park

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 03:51

The main thing I was getting at was McKay saying "the English firm of Rice"

It certainly looks like McKay got the biggest and best one for his (sponsors) money.

#21 ken devine

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:00

I dont know if it is the same trailer as the one McKay had but i beleive the one Ray Barfield carried the Aston in may still be at the
property in Mt Helena.

#22 Lola5000

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:10

That's certainly a different style to the later ones...

But there were double-decked trailers built by Rice, too. Greg Cusack had one of these for the Brabham and the 23.

I don't know where or why he thought it was the Rice trailers UK,but it was not,it was a Melbourne operation owned and ran by a Mr Rice.

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 09:43

Well, it's definitely too late to quiz Sir Mal on where he got that idea...

But it could well be that, as he had recently been to England, he simply put the wrong 2s together.

The Lola also had a Rice trailer, didn't it? I feel sure there's been a photo posted somewhere of it beside one. And was Stillwell's a double decker too, for the Monaco and the Lowline?

#24 Catalina Park

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 12:08

McKay's second book shows the Lolas with a Rice trailer in the background being towed by a Falcon. This is a smaller trailer with separate mudguards and a flat back door. There is another photo of this trailer being hauled by a Zephyr.
Later in the book there is a shot of a longer Rice trailer, firstly in NZ with the LM alongside it and a few pages later with a Repco Brabham and being towed by a Holden HR Wagon.

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 23:22

So that's a double-decked trailer?

And it could have gone on to be the Cusack trailer (which for a time was towed by a certain 1961 409-engined 2-door Chevrolet, then a Dodge Phoenix)? And didn't the Geoghegans also have a double-decked Rice trailer for the 32 and 23B? What about the Howards for the 23 and 27?

#26 Repco22

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 01:25

The Lola also had a Rice trailer, didn't it? I feel sure there's been a photo posted somewhere of it beside one. And was Stillwell's a double decker too, for the Monaco and the Lowline?

Ray, some time back Terry Walker ran a colour pic of Bib's double-decker at Caversham in '62 but I can't recall if it showed the front of it. I thought it might have been a truck?
I don't know if I'd agree with Catalina that the DB3S one was the best. Not the best looking in the Rice style anyway. As young blokes we always lusted over Rice trailers, almost as much as over what was inside them! The Lukey one in the background of the Glass 250F pic has a nicely tapered front as did Whiteford's. More shapely than the Repco Brabhams'.


#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 03:41

When I get a chance to go through Bob Britton's pics I'm sure I'll find some...

Including Stillwell's.

#28 ken devine

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 07:03

The Stillwell transporter at the 62 AGP was a Bedford J2 truck.

#29 ken devine

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 07:21

I have shown this shot of Bill Patterson before, his trailer in the background.




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#30 Lola5000

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 07:47

I have shown this shot of Bill Patterson before, his trailer in the background.




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i think that trailer ended up with Murray Richards when he bought Pattersons Cooper.
John Sheperd also built up or had the Geoghegan trailer which carried his lotus 23 and early Lotus 22?
Miles would be able to confirm but i think for many years Janes Brabham Climax was parked in his Rice trailer.


#31 Leo D

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:59

There seems to be more trailers and information about them floating about, so to speak, than I first thought.

Thanks for the info guys.... I'm keen to know how much more is out there :wave:

Edited by Leo D, 01 June 2011 - 08:59.


#32 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:40

Here's another, but I'll let Robert explain it to you:

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And he's sent a pic of the Doug Whiteford trailer as it is now, restored in NZ:

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While he also has a story about this Rolls:

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#33 Lola5000

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:58

Thankyou for posting the photos Ray .
1st photo a Rice trailer my father owned which used for the Lago Talbot T26 in the photo a family friend,my mother and myself as a child,the RR Silver dawn was towing a veteran car to a meeting.
2nd photo a recent photo of Whitefords ,trailer restored in New Zealand,I understand its now in Europe doing the rounds with a 300s on board.
3rd photo a RR Phantom 3 V12 Gurney Nutting 3 postion coupe,my father bought of Mr Rice in 1968.

#34 Leo D

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 13:16

Rob,

Your pictures have certainly added another dimension to this topic that I could not have imagined.....

#35 Lola5000

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 00:21

Rob,

Your pictures have certainly added another dimension to this topic that I could not have imagined.....

Leo,that Rolls Royce phantom 3 would be one of the finest pre war RR's around.Reason i got Ray B to put it up was to show Mr Rice's fine taste was also with coachbuilt cars and also that the body builder of that car Gurney Nutting did the body work on the Bluebirds for M.Campbell.Google Gurney Nutting they fab work on coach buses also.

#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:42

Originally posted by Repco22
Ray, some time back Terry Walker ran a colour pic of Bib's double-decker at Caversham in '62 but I can't recall if it showed the front of it. I thought it might have been a truck?


Here's a kaydee photo of the Stillwell equipe... yes, it's a truck:

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#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:58

A couple more, perhaps:

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Both single deckers...

And wouldn't Glynn Scott have had a double decker? Possibly the Geoghegan or Cusack one?

Edited by Ray Bell, 02 June 2011 - 12:03.


#38 Leo D

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 08:16

Ray,

By any chance do you know what tow vehicle the Geoghegans used when their "Rice" was in the black colour scheme? I've seen latter pictures, where it was in the "Total" colours being towed by a Ford truck (which I think ended up with Allan Moffat?), with Pete's Mustang on the Ford truck.

BTW, the red "Rice" looks like it has "Capitol Motors" on the side?.... Arnold Glass?

#39 cooper997

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 11:26

Leo,

Yes, that's Arnold Glass' BRM with Scarab V8 & Rice trailer.

Stephen

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#40 Leo D

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 13:39

Leo,
Yes, that's Arnold Glass' BRM with Scarab V8 & Rice trailer.
Stephen


Thanks for that Stephen.


The Repco Brabham Trailers interest me.
Were they built specifically for the Tasman Series (Australian Rounds)?
Does anybody know where they went?

#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 13:15

The question was put about what towed the Geoghegan Rice trailer pictured above...

I think I might have found the answer, though I'm pretty sure it's hooked up to that Mopar sedan at Lakeside. What, exactly, is this anyway?

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Mainlines didn't come in van form, did they? So it would seem to be a custom build... I wonder for what purpose?

Whose is this, by the way, I think it's a Rice trailer?

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Being merely a part of the background of one of Britto's pit shots, it's blurry and small-ish. But it's clear enough for the purpose.

And for some who didn't go to Mr Rice, this might have been how their trailer looked semi-finished:

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Finally, some evidence that the Lola didn't always travel first class:

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#42 cooper997

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 13:33

That's David McKay's SV 'Rice' in Castrol livery from 1961/62.

Stephen





#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 14:06

It's '61...

By '62 he was Shell-sponsored, wasn't he?

Most of Britto's pics of this type seem to be from '61.

#44 hatrat

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 00:17

The David McKay Lola Mk2 FJ BRJ18?

Finally, some evidence that the Lola didn't always travel first class:

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#45 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 03:35

The question was put about what towed the Geoghegan Rice trailer pictured above...

I think I might have found the answer, though I'm pretty sure it's hooked up to that Mopar sedan at Lakeside. What, exactly, is this anyway?

Posted Image

Mainlines didn't come in van form, did they? So it would seem to be a custom build... I wonder for what purpose?

Whose is this, by the way, I think it's a Rice trailer?

Posted Image

Being merely a part of the background of one of Britto's pit shots, it's blurry and small-ish. But it's clear enough for the purpose.

And for some who didn't go to Mr Rice, this might have been how their trailer looked semi-finished:

Posted Image

Finally, some evidence that the Lola didn't always travel first class:

Posted Image

The Cusso/ Mainline was almost certainly an ex Ambulance.Which have been towcars for lots of cars over several decades.
I am sure that plenty of people built their own enclosed trailers, I suspect that some of those atributed to Mr Rice may well not be. Though it seems they instigated/inspired a lot of people.
And the Lola seems to be on a good trailer, it is just open!
On these threads there has been some pretty average trailers over the years world wide.
These days most seem better, though some are still very average. A regular contributor here owns a very average one, complete with FJ Holden wheels,,, and tyres. But at least it has paint!

#46 Repco22

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 04:32

The Cusso/ Mainline was almost certainly an ex Ambulance.Which have been towcars for lots of cars over several decades.
I am sure that plenty of people built their own enclosed trailers, I suspect that some of those atributed to Mr Rice may well not be. Though it seems they instigated/inspired a lot of people.
And the Lola seems to be on a good trailer, it is just open!
On these threads there has been some pretty average trailers over the years world wide.
These days most seem better, though some are still very average. A regular contributor here owns a very average one, complete with FJ Holden wheels,,, and tyres. But at least it has paint!

I know where there is a "Rice-inspired" trailer taking shape. Rounded corners and tapered front -- but 6'2" headroom. And, wait for it... P76 wheels and hubcaps!
It's a few metres from where I sit. ;)


#47 2Bob

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:54

A regular contributor here owns a very average one, complete with FJ Holden wheels,,, and tyres. But at least it has paint!


Well the rust is starting to show through the paint in places. It has FJ hubcaps as well as wheels and it is in keeping with the age of the car it carries - well is probably 10+ years older but near enough in keeping. Oh, and the price (25+ years ago) was right although I didn't actually get paid to take it away, as had been discussed, from the previous owner's back yard (after removing a quite large sappling growing through the floor). It got a complete overhaul, along with the car it carries, a few years ago, will probably outlast the driver I reckon.


#48 Lola5000

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 08:13

I think Earl Davey M.... also has a Rice that he tows behind his pre war Bentley Derby,perhaps some photos are on the VHRR web site?

#49 cooper997

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 08:20

It's '61...

By '62 he was Shell-sponsored, wasn't he?

Most of Britto's pics of this type seem to be from '61.


The way I understand it McKay's Castrol backing was a 3 year arrangement - 1960, 61 & 62. Shell went to him towards the end of 1962 with their proposal to sponsor SV, from early 1963.

Stephen

#50 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 09:06

There is a photo of the SV Rice trailer in New Zealand somewhere in this group of photos.

http://www.theroarin...llection-Part-1