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#1 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 04:58

To my great surprise I was advised today that the weekly publication of Auto Action was finished...

The magazine started as a paper some time in 1971 with Paul Harrington at the helm. We all called it the "Fishwrapper's Fortnightly" but it has stayed well to put in 45 years of service.

Where will the V8 Supercar followers now go for their weekly fix of gossip in that field?

I don't know how many readers I had for my column...

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#2 MKI220

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 05:08

It was announced by Rob on Facebook about a week ago.

.

For the non twitter / Facebook users: There had been a quite heated battle between Rob Margeit and Eugene Arocca over F4 after Rob said what everyone is thinking.

 

https://twitter.com/...it/with_replies



#3 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 07:24

I was told yesterday that the 'Fiction' is finished. As a newspaper. like most things I stopped buying it a decade plus ago. I used to have it home delivered when I was racing. That being a long time ago now. I still glimpsed it at the newsagents [remember them!] and bought one very occasionally. I started buying it in about 78.

It is still online where Motorsport News went until it started charging.

I look at their website semi regularly as well as Speed  Cafe.

Do you still contribute Ray? 

In the past I have seen your name on occasion


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 29 April 2016 - 07:26.


#4 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 07:25

It was announced by Rob on Facebook about a week ago.

.

For the non twitter / Facebook users: There had been a quite heated battle between Rob Margeit and Eugene Arocca over F4 after Rob said what everyone is thinking.

 

https://twitter.com/...it/with_replies

F4 the CAMs members subsidised racing. Total waste of money and TV too.



#5 stuartbrs

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 09:49

Not entirely suprised to be honest. Most of their demographic would own a smartphone.

 

I used to buy it religiously in the 90`s. I would literally read every single word in both Auto Action and Motorsport News.

 

I cant remember exactly why I stopped buying them, it certainly wasnt to do with the Internet. Must have been around the early 2000`s.

 

Maybe when my interest in older motor racing picked up and I began to feel nostalgic, or perhaps when I started losing some interest in contemporary racing.



#6 timbo

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 11:20

I gave up buying Auto Action (yes, Auto Fiction), years ago, when, as is now, they were all for V8 Supercars, and not much else.

And, Ray Bell, I kept on thumbing  through it at the local newsagents every issue just to read your column and the National racing updates, but not actually buying it, as the rest wasn't really worth the money. (my opinion).

I suppose, the the big question is, will it be missed?


Edited by timbo, 29 April 2016 - 11:21.


#7 Librules

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 13:18

I think it will be missed more by fans and competitors of State and lower echelon National competition.   As an example the coverage of state Hillclimb rounds, particularly NSW and Vic, had been regular and I don't know of any other printed media that covered it since the demise of Neil Roshier's 'Race' magazine last year.   There was the suggestion it may continue under new ownership but nothing seems to have come of that as yet .



#8 ken devine

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 23:46

That's bad news i have been buying it every week for many years,for sometime it has been the only coverage of all motorsport in Australia.I have noticed in the last few weeks it has been hard to find here in WA.I enjoyed Ray's column every week.

#9 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 00:01

I will have to go buy the last edition.

Like many the saturation of V8 Stupid Cars has been the turnoff for many.

And no Stonie cartoons either.  :stoned:



#10 TerryS

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 03:41

The very first edition of AA was 24 February 1971. It was only of 16 pages.

There was a lot of racing going on at the time as it was the middle of the Tasman Series. For interest I note:

It reported that 20,000 people packed Warwick Farm for the International meeting. Favourites were Niel Allen or Graham McRae, but Frank Gardner came through to win in the Lola 192 with the strange side winglets. Colin Bond won the Series Production Race and Pete Geoghegan won the Sports Sedans.

Another meeting reported on was at Philip Island. LIonel Ayers won the first round of the Australian Sports Car Championship after John Harvey retired from the lead. Most attention at the meeting was on poor Peter Wakefield. HIs Torana broke its steering at high speed and he ended up in a lake. He managed to swim back to shore, and his car was dragged to the surface from 10 feet underwater.

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 04:05

Well, at least it outlasted Auto News... and by a good margin...

But Harrington could be a headache at times!

Of note, a nom de plume in Auto Action was Barry Lake's play on his own name, does anyone remember what it was?

#12 ellrosso

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 05:13

Well that's sad news - I've been buying it since issue no 1 and its always been good for keeping up with grass roots Motorsports and Karting. My good mate Mike Stacey in Melbourne has every issue bar none since it started in 1971.

Will miss your column too Ray. Always enjoyed Graham Howard's insights before your turn too. I'm not big on computer or phone reading but I guess that will have to change now! Pretty soon you won't get hard copies of any of them.



#13 TerryS

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 07:57

Bauer Media have advised the last edition of AA will go on sale Thursday 5 May.

They have formally put the masthead on the market. They claim a weekly readership of 99,000. I find this a bit hard to believe as I saw somewhere they were only selling about 10,000 copies a week. Obviously each was very well read....

Last August they sold three motorbike mags to boutique publisher Citrus Media, being
Australian Motorcycle News
Australian Dirt Bike
Motorcycle Trader

in October they closed TopGear magazine.

Worse still they intend to close CLEO (you know the one with the male centrefolds) and refocus on Dolly magazine.

#14 Ian G

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 11:27

Bauer Media have advised the last edition of AA will go on sale Thursday 5 May.

They have formally put the masthead on the market. They claim a weekly readership of 99,000. I find this a bit hard to believe as I saw somewhere they were only selling about 10,000 copies a week. Obviously each was very well read....

 

Yeah,Friend had a couple of Sydney Suburban throw-ins during the 1970's,Fivedock Recorder & Auburn News,after Murdoch purchased Cumberland Newspapers the circulation went up 4 times(5?),number of papers printed times the average number of people in a house that had access to it. 

AA used to give Rallying a good coverage,i think John Bryson use to cover NSW Rallies for them.



#15 Brian Lear

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 11:28

Of note, a nom de plume in Auto Action was Barry Lake's play on his own name, does anyone remember what it was?

 

 

Jerry Brook



#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 02:49

That's right, Brian...

And John Bryson wrote rally reports for RCN for many years, I don't know if he ever did for Auto Action.

#17 Ian G

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 03:40

And John Bryson wrote rally reports for RCN for many years, I don't know if he ever did for Auto Action.

Again Ray,not that its makes any difference but early to mid 1970's in his  Roseville Rally Shop('Competition Equipment'?) days but i'll check the clippings i have for that era when i get back home to make sure i'm not going senile.

 

Edit...your half right Ray,made a phone call,another nom de plume ,he entered articles under his then girlfriends(now wife) name,Sonya Kable-Cummings.


Edited by Ian G, 04 May 2016 - 05:18.


#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 12:15

I think he closed down that business to go on the London-Munich Marathon...

Writing in Sonya's name would be no surprise, it wouldn't bother him to miss out on the kudos.

#19 Dick Willis

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 01:48

After 45 years reading AA I received my last issue today and not even a Ray Bell column in it, what a pack of losers to can it.



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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 02:21

What was the last column of mine used, Dick?

If you let me know that, I'll post the next one here for you...

#21 Dick Willis

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 04:44

Ray, Things that go bump.



#22 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 09:43

I just bought mine, a bit predictable as I glimpsed through it. I will read it later when the ph stops ringing.

I found Stonie,,, in Muscle Car. Quite a good story about him.



#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 12:41

Originally posted by Dick Willis
]b]Ray, Things that go bump.[/b]

I guess that's the one about Northam? If so, this should have been next...

Parramatta Park

This is a circuit which should have been close to my heart. Certainly, it was close to where I lived, about four miles away in Merrylands.

One day we were having watermelon in the park and I spied a notice on a tree or pole about racing to be held there the following weekend. I begged my father to take me back to see the races, but he was having nothing of it.

Later we would have some of our school sport in the park, right whre the pit area was, and we'd walk around the roads on which famous car/driver combinations like Stan Jones and the Maybach had raced.

There were two circuits, one much longer than the other. This one used the road alongside the river and around Old Government House. The shorter was confined to roads on the western side of the tram sheds.

What surprises me today is the frequency with which they raced there. For a while around 1952 it was like Mt Druitt, with several meetings per year.

Parramatta Park was a contemporary of Albert Park, and shared some background. Both were first mooted to be used for racing in the thirties and efforts to make it happened floundered amid official opposition.

After World War 2 it was Parramatta Park which got going first of the two, and it certainly had a lot more events in those early years. For a while the narrow tree-lined section along the river was considered too narrow and dangerous it was a no-passing area.

That it didn't last long is no surprise considering the official attitudes of the time and the desires of other park users. Its lawns were great for picnics, and eating watermelon, while the shade of the trees along the river and on the ridge gave relief from summer sun.

Our picture shows an MG TD at Parramatta Park, with a strong crowd in the background. I'm at a loss to work out exactly what part of the circuit it's from, the fence should be a giveaway.

Judging by the trees, it might be near the Rotunda, a fascinating structure near the highest point of the circuit. Or it could be descending near the 'Female Factory' end onto the run along the river.

Does anyone know?

AA250416_MGTD.jpg

#24 GMACKIE

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 23:14

In 1945, Dad took my brother and I to the 'Speedway' at, what we knew as Parramatta Park. It was an 'oval' dirt track, and at night. I was aged 4 at the time, but still remember it. Where exactly was it?

 

We lived at Merrylands then, and often went to Parramatta Park by train...Dad bought his first car in 1953.



#25 cooper997

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 00:18

In relation to Ray's feature, perhaps with some irony it was sidelined from AA a bit like the first Parramatta meeting of November 1938. Where a couple of practice mishaps saw the police step forward and cancel the race day.

 

I'm not 100% certain, but the no passing section may have come about after Bernie Yates fatal motorcycle accident with a tree at the September 1952 meeting.

 

Stephen



#26 timbo

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 06:09

Another defunct magazine, Motor Racing Australia, often had a piece on old motor racing circuits around Australia, and I recall an excellent article on Parramatta Park and it's short motor racing history. Of course, the magazine has been handed on, so I can't quote anything.

A motorcycling magazine, Old Bike Australasia often has similar articles on old circuits, but from a motorcycling perspective, and is well worth they money when it comes out.



#27 timbo

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 06:19

Wea re getiing a bit off topic from the original subject, but here is a bit more about Parramatta Park from Parramatta Councils archives.

 

http://arc.parracity...tta-grand-prix/


Edited by timbo, 06 May 2016 - 06:20.


#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 11:06

Originally posted by GMACKIE
In 1945, Dad took my brother and I to the 'Speedway' at, what we knew as Parramatta Park. It was an 'oval' dirt track, and at night. I was aged 4 at the time, but still remember it. Where exactly was it?
 
We lived at Merrylands then, and often went to Parramatta Park by train...Dad bought his first car in 1953.


That's a long train ride for a short journey, Greg! Why not take the 171 bus?

Parramatta Speedway was in the oval next to the swimming pool. The pool went in about 1961 or so, just opposite the King's School.

I'm not sure whether it was where the football stadium is now or the oval adjacent to it... I think the former, someone will know...

0516pmattaoval.jpg

#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 11:13

Originally posted by timbo
Another defunct magazine, Motor Racing Australia, often had a piece on old motor racing circuits around Australia, and I recall an excellent article on Parramatta Park and it's short motor racing history. Of course, the magazine has been handed on, so I can't quote anything.....


That was a series I devised, the first article being on Catalina Park if I recall...

Then Graham Howard took over, he did the Parramatta Park article so I didn't have the pleasure of researching that one. I was given the series back and all Closed Circuit articles from Lobethal onwards were mine.

#30 timbo

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 06:00

Maybe off topic, maybe not, given F4 in Australia.

The first year of F4 in Australia saw 13 cars on the grid. This year, 9 cars, for a category fully supported by CAMS as the open wheeler category of the future for Australia.

This weekend as a support class for V8 Supercars (just like F4), the Toyota 86 series sees 38 cars on the grid, for the first round ever of the series.

F4 was brought in as the premier series for open wheelers in Australia at the expense of both F-Ford and F3, but I feel both F-Ford and F3 will survive in State Series events, but F4 may die a very premature death, as young drivers see a class like the Toyota 86 series as the first step up to a professional driving career, eventually ending up with V8 Supercars (sorry, Supercars).


Edited by timbo, 20 May 2016 - 06:31.


#31 Dale Harvey

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 06:30


Will F4 exist after the end of this year?

Who knows??? I do know a lot of people are not happy that CAMS seem to be wasting a lot of money!!

Dale.



#32 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 10:33

Who knows??? I do know a lot of people are not happy that CAMS seem to be wasting a lot of money!!

Dale.

You can add most thinking current and ex motorsport competitors. Myself included obviously.

Get on Speed Cafe, Mike Jacobsen and Niki Norden are hammering this on comments very regularly.

The 86 series though while I am sure a LOT cheaper to set up will be like every one make series ever,, a demo derby.

Even with the best intent 38 competitive drivers is going to be chaos, especially at tight little Winton.



#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 11:18

That would be 'Nicky' Norden... definitely not 'Niki'...

Is this a series for the production cars? Yet another one-make series?

#34 brucemoxon

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 04:07

That would be 'Nicky' Norden... definitely not 'Niki'...

Is this a series for the production cars? Yet another one-make series?

Yes. At least these are a decent car to start with.

 

And they have three 'guest' drivers who are not only competing, but are mentoring the younger drivers; Steve Johnson, Glenn Seton and Leanne Tander.

 

Racing looks good and close so far.

 

 

 

BM



#35 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 04:44

That would be 'Nicky' Norden... definitely not 'Niki'...

Is this a series for the production cars? Yet another one-make series?

Russell was well known as Niki back in his heyday late 80s early 90s.



#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 04:53

No, he was known as 'Nicky'...

The name came from John Smith, he called him 'Nicky No Mirrors'. Spelling it 'Niki' would have implied great skill as in Niki Lauda. that was not intended.




.

Edited by Ray Bell, 21 May 2016 - 05:40.


#37 Catalina Park

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 06:37

Late 80s early 90s is a bit of a stretch. His heyday was around 1980 and I think it may have been a Wednesday.

#38 MKI220

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 10:49

Still offtopic but..... Cameron Hill is a real talent which he showed today. Hope he gets a shot overseas.

#39 timbo

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 04:44

That's the problem MK1220, he has shown it in a Toyota 86, which would mean nothing on your CV if you head overseas.

In a F4, with a decent grid, it would get a lot more notice in places like the UK, which has a vibrant F4 series.



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#40 MKI220

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 07:00

He also showed it in Formula Ford last year.... which yeah also proves your point. Right path for V8s, wrong path for an open wheel international career unless he makes the switch next year.

#41 Dick Willis

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 10:55

Auto Action is coming back, stay tuned !



#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 18:25

Sounds good... I hope...

I wonder if I'll hear from them?

#43 Dick Willis

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 09:30

Auto Action is back and better than ever, issue no 1 of the new management in newsagents now



#44 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 00:01

Nothing on the website however.



#45 ken devine

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 00:20

Welcome back. It's a good read.

#46 Librules

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 06:16

Certainly a good first effort, with more emphasis on feature articles and less race reports (which should resolve the problems which in part caused its demise).  Hopefully they'll give some good coverage to state based series including Hillclimbs etc (highlighting some of the cars, their builders and drivers from that sphere - a bit like 'Race' magazine used to do)

 

Lee, you'll probably find the website belongs to Bauer.   If you check Facebook they have an active presence there..  



#47 cooper997

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:32

Despite the thread title (that was relevant at the time) Auto Action has published its 50th anniversary issue today. So perhaps the 'ceases' could be removed by Tim or Richard?

 

You'll find a few samples from the special edition here... https://autoaction.c...uto-action-1805

 

The hardcopy is in Oz newsagents today (and for the next 2 weeks), overseas enthusiasts can buy an online copy.

 

2021-Auto-Action-1805.jpg

 

As some will have noticed a member of this parish began late 2020 contributing features to help increase the historic content and is spending time learning how a hardcopy magazine gets to the presses. Late Monday night and all. Eye opening different to his own popular online efforts..

 

 

Stephen



#48 ellrosso

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 08:12

Bit surprised there's no b/w of Frank Gardner in the Lola at W Farm from Issue No 1 on the 50th cover...... guess they wanted to keep it all colour.



#49 MarkBisset

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:13

50 years is pretty amazing really, so many great publications have come and gone in that 1971 to now period. 
It would be interesting to try and do a list of all commercial car/racing mags in Oz since day dot...

The three I would love to resuscitate are Racing Car News, Sports Car World and Barry Lakes very shortlived Cars and Drivers.

 

It’s a tough world out there for ‘real magazines’ because tosspots like me provide so much for free. Now that is every schmo’s expectation.

 

AA fans are lucky that Bruce Williams had Auto Action running thru his veins given he had flogged ads for AA since the Syme Media days. 
 

He is a racer to the core having run Auscar, Sprintcars, various taxis @ Bathurst and elsewhere not to forget some Gold Star points in Formula Holden.

 

92 pages for this 50th was nuts but he flogged a few ads late last week so she grew by 4 pages from Friday to Monday nite. It’s sposed to be in the can by 7 but El Chieftain was still dicking around with his own piece and the cover till 10.30pm- penalty land with the printers but they had mercy!
 

Timelines are interesting, 60 pages a fortnight. Cutoff @ 7 every second Monday, printed late Monday/early Tuesday in Richmond, Sydney then to the distribution outfit and on trucks etc. AA gets a bundle Wednesday at about midday, in the shops yesterday or the likes of Hobart on Monday morning.

 

One of my bits was to pull out the first magazine each editor presided over- it was fun to see in the day that took, the changes wrought by technology and editorial bent over 5 decades.

 

I wrote the Top 50 cars, albeit we all had input with ‘Osama bin Williams’ the casting vote.

 

‘Yerv only given me 40 dick-Ed’. ‘The balance are for your maxi-taxi shite-heaps champ!’ I responded, I don’t know one from the other. And so the banter went on for days. I got keel-hauled for leaving out KB’s Camaro, dunno how I did that given my oft-declared KB bias. Jano and Harves McLaren M6B was an epic fail too but at least I woke up in a cold sweat about that one. Then we had a barney coz Williams wanted me to offer one of my single seaters to let it in whereas I said you can lose your illegal 427 Monaro enduro car...The compromise was the Tattslotto like ‘Supplementary’, so there are 51 cars not 50...Let the debate begin.

 

Of my original list the Lancia Stratos, Elfin MR8, Kaditcha/Romano Ford DFL and Ferrari F640 (first F1 sludge box) missed the cut but otherwise it’s not a bad mix of ‘all the food groups’ as Williams puts it.

 

All good fun, do support a real magazine or three coz otherwise we won’t have em...

 

Mark

 

F50-C7-C7-B-7485-47-A3-A6-E7-33765-F97-A


Edited by MarkBisset, 27 February 2021 - 00:13.


#50 cooper997

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 09:41

There's been a couple of issues published since the previous post about the 50th anniversary issue 1805. Today a new issue 1808 came out and the Mark's of Bisset and Fogarty have a couple of features that should be of interest to TNF members.

 

An Elfin 600 feature, using some studio shots from Bill Hemming's huge Elfin tome is from Mark B.

 

With Mark F having part 1 of a John Sheppard feature. A man who has built his fair share of winning cars.

 

Available at newsagents and online https://autoaction.c...uto-action-1808

 

 

Stephen