Brolga Sports Car 1969
Posted 10 August 2015 - 09:48
As advised from the very popular nostalgia thread I am starting a thread to see if anyone can shed some light on the whereabouts of any survivors of the 5 (I believe?) examples of the Brolga made in 1969?
The reason for this is that my father, Nick Grace, had a significant hand in building the car and racing it. I have numerous photos of it in various stages of development and build but there's no substitute for seeing the real thing!
I'll post some pictures and would greatly appreciate if anyone had any that I might not have seen
All the best
Posted 22 March 2019 - 21:16
By way of a bit of an update on this thread.... a Brolga has been located!
Thanks to the stirling work from my brother in law Paul Mabbott, the tremendously helpful John Dell and my mother Carolyn I am happy to confirm that we have a Brolga back in the family.
There is some work to do to get the vehicle back in shape but luckily that is what we do for a living with vintage aircraft so it hopefully won’t present too much of a problem!
If anyone has any leads on the whereabouts of the other two surviving vehicles I would be most grateful
I’ll do my best to post the odd update of the process of getting it going, it should be an interesting task
Posted 23 March 2019 - 10:55
No leads on cars, but this might be of interest to you...
A few months ago Bob Britton was talking to me about Nick Grace and Brolgas, I'm sure he'd have some information to help you along.
I thoroughly recommend you go visit him one Saturday when he has his group of friends around to talk about such things.
Posted 24 March 2019 - 19:05
I’d post a picture if I could figure out how!
Posted 09 November 2021 - 04:55
Once again I've been talking to Bob Britton about Nick Grace and Brolgas...
Bob was always in admiration for the way Nick built the chassis, which was a platform stitched together with some MIG welding and lots of spot-welding. He says it was incredibly strong. Of course, Bob's connection was that Nick got him to supply the engine-gearbox adaptor and make the rear uprights, which were fabricated.
Bob would also like to make contact with Richard.
We all wonder, of course, what's happening with the car Richard has acquired and his suggestion of posting photos two and a half years ago really should be followed up.
I hope a PM finds him...
Posted 10 November 2021 - 00:04
We have photos...
As found. This is how the car Richard acquired looked when he bought it. The Ferrari decal is indicative of the attitude of the previous owner, I guess.
In its new home. Soon enough some dismantling took place. The car is in a 'dusty shed' still in Australia, which makes restoration difficult for someone in England.
Much-changed. Perhaps driven by a need for better rearward vision, perhaps a desire to adopt the European 'Targa' style, a comparison of this picture with others available on the internet shows a lot of changes have been made.
Strong chassis. Bob Britton was in awe of the way this chassis was built. Here it's shown (from the front end) with the top and bottom sheets of steel removed, they were spot-welded in place.
More detail. Note the depression for the seat, it was similar for the lower legs and the battery, otherwise there was a top spot-welded to the chassis parts shown.
Richard tells me he's taken the engine and gearbox to England to rebuild them. This car was the one which did all the public showings for the Brolga, painted blue, it was featured in many magazine articles.
Posted 10 November 2021 - 00:59
69320 - N. Grace, Brolga M 1500 GT - Warwick Farm 1969 - Photographer Lance J Ruting. - AUTOPICS
69413 - G.Wood - Brolga / T. Porter - Manx Mirage - Oran Park 1969 - AUTOPICS
694026 - M. Bailey Lotus Climax, / G. Wood, Brolga & Robert Martin, Hustler SC1 - Bathurst 7th April 1969 - AUTOPICS
Jabiru, Brolga, Magpie Geese and Whistling Ducks at Parry s Lagoon near Kununarr W.A. - Product Code 38002 - Photographer David Blanch - AUTOPICS
Edited by TerryS, 10 November 2021 - 01:01.
Posted 10 November 2021 - 13:42
Further pictures which show (among other things) the components that Bob Britton made:
Gearbox adaptor. This is from a pattern Bob did to make adaptors for very early Brabham Juniors and 1.5s.
Uprights. Not much of them is visible and it's virtually impossible to tell from this pic how they're made. These pics were taken by Richard purely for reference when he dismantled the car.
Posted 11 November 2021 - 04:14
Is it me or the pic? The engine would appear to be very high in the chassis?
Posted 11 November 2021 - 05:22
It was a very low car, Lee...
But it's true that the engine fits above the gearchange rod/tube. Though it's possible there's a bit cut out of the sump for clearance.
Posted 12 November 2021 - 23:27
Enjoying these posts Ray,
not a car I’m aware of other than an SCW article somewhere, I must look for that...Also did not realise one (several?) were raced.
design tenet seems to be the exact opposite of our Col Chapman...
Posted 13 November 2021 - 04:15
That should be August 1968 SCW - appears on cover (but a gap in my SCWs).
Posted 13 November 2021 - 10:53
I hope Richard is looking at the thread, too...
In time I'm guessing we will be able to coerce him to provide restoration pictures.
I'm thinking there was only the one raced, Nick racing it himself and then passing it on to Graham Wood, but I could well be wrong. The photos are of the SCW cover photo car.
Posted 18 November 2021 - 11:25
Further clarification from Bob...
"This car must have been built before I came on the scene," he told me. "The adaptor looks like one from Lynx and the uprights - I didn't make those. The gearbox hasn't been inverted, either, which makes the engine fit up about 5" higher in relation to the gearbox."
You were right, Lee...
Posted 05 December 2021 - 21:33
Sorry for the lack of comms, I’m not inherently the forum type but I can tell you chaps really do know what you’re on about!
It’s definitely a clever car, light and strong.
The engine, a 1500 pre-cross flow Ford “Kent” is mounted at an angle in the car and has been modified carefully to ensure that it still runs right.
The carb has been changed out at some point, it’ll be getting changed again to something functional and correct for the period.
All the bodywork is in surprisingly good shape and by looking inside the panels it’s possible to see exactly where it’s been modified from when initially built as all the new stuff has been done with woven glass whereas the original stuff was chop strand. With careful picking you can even see good chunks of deep blue paint. The pretty ugly (in my opinion) targa style back end mod is going, as is the rear mount radiator, everything is getting put back to as close to stock as I can manage based on the family photos I have of the construction.
Wheels brakes and shocks are as per the 1969 magazine article (and other articles), wheels don’t fit and utilised large spacers to cope with the incorrect offset so I’ll have to make new ones to the original design. It is my understanding that the original wheels were very heavy, I’ll try to get round this.
Good news is it’s never been bent as best I can tell which really helps.
Have had a great chat to Bob, a great privilege to be able to talk to people who knew my father. When I can eventually get back there I’ll be sure to visit.
The plan going forward is to get the job done but I’m not sure exactly when, sorry. With the “interesting” current travel situation I think I may well ship the rest of the car to myself in the UK where I am thoroughly set up to undertake the scope of work required to get the job done properly. I hasten to add that should that happen I’ll be immediately shipping it back once finished.
When there’s something worth updating I’ll get you chaps an update.
All the best
Posted 06 December 2021 - 09:06
Thanks for the update, Richard...
As I talk to Bob regularly I will keep him abreast of things. He was, I can tell you, delighted to hear from you when you called the other week.