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Lotus 12: Australia to the FoS


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#51 bradbury west

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 20:38

Maurice , he was on very good form, and excellent company
Roger Lund

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#52 llmaurice

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 11:27

Maurice , he was on very good form, and excellent company
Roger Lund


Good to hear it Roger .I hope to leave him in the same condition !
My annual ritual is to feed the fish in the BRDC campsite pond with Merv
Then down to White Hart to "relax" over lunch.

#53 Gary C

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 19:28

courtesy of Mike Bennett and Barry Boor, I am currently rather enjoying Mike's book on 353. Very good it is, too. I'm up to Monaco, so far. Really nice printing an dpaper quality too. If you've been hanging back from buying, I'd get in there while they last!

#54 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 19:40

courtesy of Mike Bennett and Barry Boor, I am currently rather enjoying Mike's book on 353. Very good it is, too. I'm up to Monaco, so far. Really nice printing an dpaper quality too. If you've been hanging back from buying, I'd get in there while they last!


Seconded - darned good effort - it was great to welcome Mike and Merv to Goodwood and really heartwarming that they so evidently enjoyed the experience. One S.C.Moss expressed interest in the 12 - "Coo - what's it like to drive, Boy?".

I'll post some FoS happy snaps when I can find the time.

DCN

#55 Gary Davies

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 00:26

Here it is partially disrobed at the All British Day at Uraidla in South Australia in February 2010.

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#56 David Birchall

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 02:03

Chapman was really testing the limits wasn't he? :eek:

#57 M bennett

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:49

After a tremendous weekend the Lotus 12 is safely tucked up in its container and on its way back home. The whole weekend was made even better by all the people who came by for a chat. It was extra special to see Merv Therriault sit in the car for the first time since 1958. Surprised too by the number of Aussies who made it to Goodwood, something to do with the strong dollar?
Bette Hill was very eager to meet up with the car, making her way hastily from the Blackrock facility to sit and pat the car!
Sitting down at the start area with John Surtees and Sir Stirling Moss behind, I looked left and there was Emerson Fittipaldi, I don't really belong here I thought.
The rebuilt gearbox worked well all weekend, and by Sunday I was motoring quite quickly with a big smile all the way up the hill.
Several more enquiries/orders for the book on the car which is self published from home, maybe even a "Goodwood" chapter to be added.
Thanks to Gordon Palmer who handled all the shipping arrangements to and from Australia and to David Head who traveled from Geelong to assist and operate the starting battery. In Australia when my daughter operates the battery she is the "battery chick" when my wife does the same she is the "battery hen" A black eye is the usual consequence of the latter.
A wonderful event, the magnitude of the whole thing, the attention to detail and the luck we had with the weather will entice us to do something similar in the future of the opportunity arises.


#58 bill p

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 16:36

On the subject of colours...
Met up with Mike on Sunday. He has recently accumulated some interesting old photos which include a Lotus 12 painted red. This is a bit of a mystery. Does anyone recall a red 12?


This Lotus 12, painted red with yellow wheels, was raced in the 1960s in Northern Ireland by Mike Weineger (here pictured at Bishopscourt, Co. Down) and Tom Megrath. Note modified rear suspension. Photo: A McGrath

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Edited by bill p, 13 July 2012 - 07:54.


#59 2Bob

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 21:28

A wonderful event, the magnitude of the whole thing, the attention to detail and the luck we had with the weather will entice us to do something similar in the future of the opportunity arises.


If you decide to do this, or similar, again please inform me in plenty of time for me to organise to be your bag carrier / gopher all the way from Adelaide and back! No charge to you of course!

Well done!

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#60 Tim Murray

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 12:14

#351 had it survived would be a real piece of Lotus history, it was the first Lotus single seater to turn a wheel. It was built from new with an MG Magnette gearbox with a stepped down special rear diff unit in the tail. It was sold new to Ernie Tadgell of Australia. It was imported into Australia in the belly of a cropdusting aircraft which somehow bypassed a few customs officers. Thereafter it was known as Sabakat. After blowing its engine it was fitted with a Lycoming aircraft engine crashing and burning at Lowood Queensland in 1960.


Stephen Dalton (cooper997) suggested I post the link below in this thread. I originally posted it in the Doug Whiteford thread, as it shows a page from The Age for 12th April 1960 with an ad showing the then address for Whiteford Motors. However, if you scroll a little to the left, there appears a preview of the forthcoming Phillip Island races. including a couple of photos featuring Ernie Tadgell and the Sabakat. The article talks about it being a Cooper, but Stephen reckons it has to be the Sabakat. It certainly looks like a front-engined car with Lotus wobbly-web wheel.

https://news.google....1,2034609&hl=en

#61 cooper997

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 03:16

Thanks Tim for adding the newspaper link.

 

Back in March 1997, Mike Holloway and the Victorian Mini Club were into their second year of running Phillip Island Classic for the VHRR. I was given the gig to sort the Dummy Grid and keep a lane for the recovery vehicles to bring cars through. Easier said than done with the Phillip Island setup in those days! So I'd try and snap a few photos the old fashioned way to record the moment, Because basically that's as far as I could venture.

 

Here's Mike B's, then very freshly restored 12 in said Dummy Grid - awaiting other cars to appear for the Demonstration laps.

 

1997_PI_Classic_Lotus_12_a.jpg
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1997_PI_Classic_Lotus_12_b.jpg
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Stephen 


Edited by cooper997, 03 April 2015 - 03:18.


#62 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 06:29

With regard to the newspaper reference to 'Cooper'...

We were inundated with 'Cooper Climax' in those years as Jack Brabham had just won his first title and was winning a bunch of races at this time. A regular journo would quite likely think that 'Cooper' always went with 'Climax' and no doubt Ern was telling them about taking the 'Climax' out.

Lotus would easily be forgotten.

#63 billturnbull

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 08:07

Interesting to note that Ern Tadgell's Sabakat (Lotus 12), was most likely the first Lotus 12, if I'm reading it correctly.
As a youngster in Toowoomba when Ern put the Sabakat together after flying it out to Australia in a crop duster, I was very much awed by beauty of this racer. I think Ernie may have picked up the name Sabakat while passing through the Middle East on possibly a refuelling stop in that region.
I spent many a day helping out with the lesser tasks of keeping his previous Porsche Special and the new racer in good trim.
Originally the Sabakat was silver in colour, but the wheels were originally in the factory yellow. Ern had given me the Lotus wheel hub badges which unfortunately were lost. Later the racer was painted in a spectacular gold colour with a black stripe up the middle of the bonnet.
I notice the replica Sabakat looks to have Stromberg carburettors. I'm quite sure it had Webers. Ern used methanol fuel which did not suit the cork floats.There were also overheating problems that warped the head.
Lotus 12 had some good successes in Formula1, both at Monaco and Spa, albeit with larger capacity Climax motors.
Also interesting to see there was another Lotus 12 out here. Still the case?


Edited by billturnbull, 03 February 2016 - 07:14.


#64 M bennett

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 10:49

Bill, wonderful to hear from someone who worked with Ernie on the original Sabakat. The Sabakat replica, which I believe to still be in Victoria, runs  a pair of the twin choke SU carburettors. Google 'Sabakat Images' and you will see what they look like. The original Sabakat you worked on was chassis No 351 and was the first single seater Lotus to be tested on a circuit. A great pity it did not survive. The car in the above pictures is chassis No 353  brought out to Australia in 1960 by Frank Gardner and sitting comfortably with me in Adelaide. The carburettors in the above pictures of chassis No 353 are 40 DCO3 which predate the more common 40 DCOE units. Team Lotus used both the SU and DCO3 carburettors in their Lotus 12 cars.

        The original Sabakat which you worked on was Lotus' first test bed. I have wonderful pictures of it on test at Silverstone surrounded by Mike Costin, Graham Hill, Willie Griffiths and Colin Chapman. Tested that day by both Graham Hill and Colin chapman.

No 351 of course was built with a Magnette gearbox and unique step down rear diff unit. It is a great pity it did not survive. All later cars had the five speed Lotus Queerbox.

          I have a colour photo of Sabakat at Longwood in red with black/grey wheels, my contacts with the branches of the Tadgell family did not bear much fruit regarding photographs - though they are still involved with aviation servicing helicopters.

         I would like to send you a hard copy of a detailed article on Sabakat (which I am sure you can add too). It was in the Historic Lotus Register magazine Spring 2008 issue. See a PM I have sent you.

         Regards Mike Bennett  Adelaide

              

 



#65 billturnbull

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 01:02

Thanks Mike - yes, I've seen the images of the replica up for sale in Victoria. My brother, John Turnbull, in Toowoomba, brought it to my notice some time back. He races a Renmax open wheeler with a 2 litre Lotus motor - hoping to race it at the Philip Island historic meeting in March.

I'm sure I already have the Sabakat article from Lotus Register magazine, but just in case that's not so, please send me your copy. A scanned copy by email will do if you prefer.

 

That's a great photo of the No 351 you have in Adelaide. Do you do any Historic race events with it.

I've seen photos of Lotus 12s performing at the annual Goodwood event. They look to be well maintained and presented. Not sure how many have survived.

 

The colour photo you have with the Sabakat in red could well be its appearance at the Australian Grand Prix at Lowood in the late 50's. Ern had the car drastically modified with front section stretched to take the flat 6? Lycoming aircraft engine. The rear section behind the driver was an iridescent red, somehow used in aviation.

 in the preliminary warm-up event for the grand prix, the torque of the Lycoming was too much for the rear suspension hub which broke, overturning the car and with a full lot of fuel burnt furiously. The magnesium wheels contributed to the blaze. Erin luckily was thrown out but received quite serious burns.

The remains of the car were for some time stored in an aircraft hanger near Oakey on the downs.

 

There are perhaps acquaintances in Toowoomba who could tell you much more though as with those family contacts it may not be too fruitful.

Cheers - Bill Turnbull



#66 Catalina Park

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 06:28

Something I learned a little while back what I was doing some research on the twin choke SU DU6 carburettors was that they were unsuitable for alcohol fuels because of the floats reacting with the fuel.
So I would suggest the carbys with the rotted floats might have been the twin choke SUs.


Edited by Catalina Park, 02 February 2016 - 06:31.


#67 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 07:23

SU carbs are generally used with methanol as the design of the carb suits the application. Webers however do not as they are very precise PETROL carbs.

If the floats are not compatible with methanol I feel sure it would not be hard to fabricate one that are.

I have never seen one of those dual choke ones apart.

to run ANY petrol carb on methanol they require a good deal of work. SUs will make more power and generally run cooler BUT the driveability goes away and the fuel wash wears out engines faster too.

Even with proper methanol carbs. 



#68 billturnbull

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 07:29

Thanks for backing up my recollection of the effect of methanol on the Weber carbs.


Edited by billturnbull, 03 February 2016 - 07:15.


#69 Catalina Park

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:59

SU carbs are generally used with methanol as the design of the carb suits the application. Webers however do not as they are very precise PETROL carbs.

If the floats are not compatible with methanol I feel sure it would not be hard to fabricate one that are.

I have never seen one of those dual choke ones apart.

to run ANY petrol carb on methanol they require a good deal of work. SUs will make more power and generally run cooler BUT the driveability goes away and the fuel wash wears out engines faster too.

Even with proper methanol carbs. 

Webers were being used on all the front running cars in Australia in the late 50s early 60s, the ex F1 Ferraris, Maseratis, Coopers, Aston Martin, etc. They were mostly running on alcohol fuels in Australia in this period. 



#70 Peter Morley

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:27

The original sandcast Weber DCOs are fine with methanol but were always expensive (they just need very large jets to pour enough methanol in).

The problem is the later, cheaper, diecast DCOEs which react if methanol is left in them.

The solution is to flush DCOEs out with petrol once play time is over.

 

It's normal to flush the whole system with petrol anyway since methanol turns into jelly and clogs the system.

Using stainless steel fittings rather than anodised aluminium is also a good idea, since the tiniest defect in the anodising leads to the fittings rotting away!



#71 DogEarred

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:35

I do recall the short lived, methanol fuelled, Formula Talbot race series, back in the 70s or 80s required this type of procedure.

A right pain in the derriere it was too.



#72 Peter Morley

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:05

Yep cleaning the system out is a pain but once you've got a routine/system it isn't too bad.

The need to carry drums of methanol to events is also a bit of a pain.

 

There are a wide variety of products available in the States to go with methanol - special flushing products/oils to keep everything in good shape and products to colour and add a variety of smells (including bubblegum aroma!) to it etc.

However the latest version (e.g. no longer made in the USA) of the most popular fuel pump for methanol turned out to have magnets glued in place with a glue that didn't like methanol!



#73 DogEarred

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 10:43

Yes, at the time, in England, you could only buy it in 52 gallon drums.

I remember somehow managing to load a full drum into my Transit van by myself. I then carried it around everywhere with me because I didn't want the hassle of unloading/loading it again!

I went everywhere with this inflammable load for weeks - work, leisure, shopping & even on the occasional date! (Anybody know why they never seemed to want to see me again?)

Gradually, as my mate did his races, the level went down & it was light enough to load/unload each event.

May sound strange but I did like the smell..


Edited by DogEarred, 05 February 2016 - 10:44.


#74 cooper997

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:51

Mark's been busy trying to piece the Australian Lotus 12 jigsaw together.

 

https://primotipo.co...-add-lightness/

 

Stephen