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Rennmax - and their creator, Bob Britton


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#151 TerryS

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 02:15

I was thinking about what is the plural form of the word "RENNMAX"?

There used to be rules about plurals when I went to school, but that was a long long time ago.

For a word ending in X, for the plural do you add , ies, is, es or just s?

Some examples of differences are the following single and plural:

complex complexes
tax taxes
matrix matrices
fox foxes
vertex vertices

Or is the singular and plural the same in this case?

I feel sure that Ray will have a view on this.

Perhaps it might be simpler just to say "Rennmax cars"?

Edited by TerryS, 04 August 2017 - 02:19.


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#152 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 04:24

I have no doubt that 'Rennmaxes' would be the more correct form...

And I suppose 'Lynxes' would be correct for multiples of the car Alan Stewart is driving in the 1969 clipping, or so it's identified in RCN. Which would be straight from the race programme.

Stewart formerly raced a self-made car called the 'Monarch', the plural of which would be 'Monarchs', quite successfully, and though he never ran a Rennmax he did (Bob thinks) buy a second-hand chassis from Bob. Not a Rennmax.

#153 SJ Lambert

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 12:38

I photographed a trio of Formula Vee Rennmaxes at Winton today, at least one of them a mk2! (Good looking cars to boot!!)

#154 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 12:44

With your absorption with Elfin, it's good to know you saw the sheer beauty of the Rennmaxes...

The Mk 1s, or Cee Bee Vees, were much more attractive than their counterparts of the time. The Revells, the CMSs, the Elfin 500s and the Notas. The Mk 2s looked a much more 'finished' car than the New Generation Elfins.

#155 SJ Lambert

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 13:07

Rennmax, together with a few other marques, hold a lot of interest for me Ray, there's not enough time to go forensic on them all!

As for the 3 Vees, the drivers are Ian Bloodworth, Nigel Jones and Ian Cutcher (and I think there's at least one more Rennmax Vee here this weekend!!)

Edited by SJ Lambert, 04 August 2017 - 16:49.


#156 SJ Lambert

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 17:17

Seeking improvements to his winning Vees, Bob introduced the Mk 2 Vee (BN8 these days) towards the end of 1975...The originals, which most will recall sold at first as 'Cee Bee' Vees, were still winning a lot of races. But very serious competitors in other makes, Mako, Revell and Elfin particularly, could mix it with them and take some of the spoils.Bob's thought processes led to a number of improvements, though the overall package might not have been any quicker, at least initially. Here's the thumbnail to show how the page-and-a-half story in RCN looked, followed by readable pages:0317fr_RCN1275_Veestory.jpgThe first page, this being from the December, 1975 issue:0317fr_RCN1275_Veestory_P1.jpgAnd this half-page told a lot of the story in pictures...0317fr_RCN1275_Veestory_P2.jpgI would think that this was the last period magazine article written about Bob and his creations. It was the last car he designed for competitive racing and it sold in the biggest numbers of any of his cars.Mind you, the price wasn't too bad if you look at the ad in the bottom corner..




I want one!

#157 Michael Ferner

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 20:43

As it's a German word, German grammar will have to be used:

The plural of Rennmax is Rennmäxe!




:p :rotfl:

#158 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 21:39

I don't think Bob would agree with that...

But if an auto-electrician turns up and gets his Holden and Corolla-powered cars running and speaks with a German accent he might lean that way.

His tasks this weekend are to get the Corolla car's brakes bled and to complete dismantling of the second BMW. This will be the third BMW-powered car he's built, and with the number of Vees maybe a German accent could creep in?

#159 SJ Lambert

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 19:46

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Front of queue at Winton FOS, August 2017



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#160 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 22:08

'In period' they eliminated those 'ears' which were intended for scooping air into the cooling system...

Too much drag.

#161 philparkinson

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 03:23

Rennmax, together with a few other marques, hold a lot of interest for me Ray, there's not enough time to go forensic on them all!

As for the 3 Vees, the drivers are Ian Bloodworth, Nigel Jones and Ian Cutcher (and I think there's at least one more Rennmax Vee here this weekend!!)

There were also two Mk1 Rennmax Vees Kevin O'Toole ( who I think only did the test and tune day) Kevan Peters, and the fourth Mk2 was mine (The ex Laverick /Bugformance car). All were from NSW



#162 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 03:43

G'day Phil - it was great to talk to you over the course of the weekend at Winton - thanks for Rennmax run down!!!

 

I'll post a few more shots soon!

 

Cheers

 

James



#163 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:19

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#164 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:21

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#165 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:23

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#166 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:24

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#167 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:25

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#168 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 08:18

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#169 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 08:40

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#170 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 08:48

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#171 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 08:50

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#172 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 08:51

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#173 SJ Lambert

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 08:53

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#174 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:49

Nice to see that Damon Beck Mk 2 Vee, James...

I don't know what the current situation with Damon is, it's a few years now since I saw him at the nursing home.

But I know that Britto is getting along with his BMW-powered project. No photos yet but I'll be visiting him in about a month.

#175 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 22:49

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The advertising works,,, I bought some Farah slacks recently!



#176 brucemoxon

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:27

The Mk1, number 56, is the Ken Goodwin and Bernie Haehnle car (the first of Bernie's - the one he has now was a different car, but has the same paint job).

 

 

 

 

Bruce Moxon



#177 Porsche718

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 20:22

The Mk 1s, or Cee Bee Vees, were much more attractive than their counterparts of the time. The Revells, the CMSs, the Elfin 500s and the Notas. The Mk 2s looked a much more 'finished' car than the New Generation Elfins.

 

Ray, not fair!!!!!

 

As I still own the Neil Revell car, I feel very put out.

 

I was driving the car at Wakefield Park around 2007-8. My wife heard the race commentator say " and here comes the Revell, surely a design only a mother could love"

 

Neil once said to me that the car had the aerodynamic qualities of a house brick!

 

But as Formula Vees go, the Rennmax Mk 1, and it's close relative, the Standfast, are the pick as far as looks. Cheers



#178 GMACKIE

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 20:47

I would put the Standfast at the top...and not just for looks!



#179 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 22:57

But Ken, Bernie, Bob, Damon, Denis, John, Dick, Graham and a few others put the Rennmax on top...

And Britto made it good looking.

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#180 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 03:44

Yet here in SA the most common Vees were Elfins of all their models. just a local thing I feel Bob was in NSW and catered to and for the locals and Elfin was here and catered for the locals.

And they were all good cars. The setup and driver skill made them fast.



#181 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:04

As I recall, not a single Rennmax ran in SA...

Elfins were plentiful, of course, and Victorian visitors turned out in numbers quite often.

#182 Porsche718

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:16

Lee, you're right. In SA up to mid '70s, the Elfin 500, (and its "clones" - Stag, Nimbus, Malmark) were the common cars at the time. But having driven a 500, Stag and Nimbus, to step into a Rennmax or Standfast, I found a world of difference. My driving ability (or lack !!!!) aside. The Rennmax based car felt like a race car. As soon as you started to push, you just sensed "I can go fast in this".

 

Most of the early Vees you had to work to get the speed, but the Rennmax it was more natural. To be fair,  though, when the NG Elfin came out it was very similar. Probably because both the Rennmax and the NG were built to the longest wheelbase allowed. Maybe making them a bit more progressive in the directional changes. Less twitchy. But I would still put the Rennmax Mk 1 based cars ahead of the Elfin. Sorry  ;)

Steve



#183 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 07:04

Only Vee I have ever driven was an Elfin, a front running car though that was the driver! It was a very loose thing!

He still wins in HQs and I suspect that is loose as well.!



#184 Porsche718

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:52

Doesn't "Days of Thunder" teach that - "Loose is fast"?



#185 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:56

When I say loose I mean shakes under brakes and the steering feels loose.

As for handling loose the Vee was tight!



#186 Porsche718

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:29

Ahhhh. You must be talking about the dreaded H-beam shake? Had the problem in many vees I've owned (or driven). But the Standfast (and Rennmaxes) never did it as the front of the chassis where the H-beam mounted was really well braced and supported. Very strong and would not allow twisting under braking which is the most common cause (there can be other causes).

 

Me thinks Britto new what he was doing?



#187 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 13:05

This mounting got further tidying up with the Mk 2...

As it also did on the New Generation Elfin.

#188 Jacer

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 22:27

Slightly o/t but I did a count of the nationals winners and their chassis dating back to 1973 I think it was. Elfin came out a long way ahead, the most winning model was the NG BUT.... there were a lot more Elfins made, I think it was 21 of the 500 and around 40 of the NG if you count the EP versions so weight of numbers help them a fair bit. Did Bob get the nickel bronze he was after? A mate was going to contact him.



#189 Porsche718

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 06:37

Ray, I had a re-read of this entire thread. As well as being a fantastic commentary on the 60's motor racing scene, particularly New South Wales and the East Coast Tasman period, the photos of Bob's workshop show little hidden treasures. His band-saw I never noticed before.

 

I have in my workshop an old butchers band-saw from the '40s. It is very slow revving, has a metal-cutting blade and I find it perfect for cutting chassis tubes, exhaust tubes etc. Priceless.

 

Steve



#190 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:50

Slightly o/t but I did a count of the nationals winners and their chassis dating back to 1973 I think it was. Elfin came out a long way ahead, the most winning model was the NG BUT.... there were a lot more Elfins made, I think it was 21 of the 500 and around 40 of the NG if you count the EP versions so weight of numbers help them a fair bit. Did Bob get the nickel bronze he was after? A mate was going to contact him.

The Elfins were nickel bronzed. I can remember watching Fulvio doing one on a visit to Elfin.



#191 GMACKIE

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 09:02

Mine wasn't.



#192 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:03

Originally posted by Jacer
.....Did Bob get the nickel bronze he was after? A mate was going to contact him.


I don't know, I'll ask him next time I call...

#193 brucemoxon

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 10:10

And in the hands of Noel Bryen, still winning races today:

21272611_10156035929203676_3979320359592



#194 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 10:29

The Kingsley Hibbard car...

If it had the same gearing as its Warwick Farm outing for the Fjr title race it would probably be geared just right for Wakefield Park!

#195 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 13:26

About time for an update on the goings on at the Rennmax works...

Problems getting someone to sort the electronics problems so that both the Commodore V6 car and the Corolla rear-engined car have meant that Bob has set them aside for now and is pressing on with his next unusual project.

I think I mentioned that he has been given some BMWs to provide him with the mechanicals, but the car itself is to be built for the purpose of creating a really nice looking front-engined racing car.

But an update on the stalled position of the Corolla-engined car:

0917birds.jpg

Oh, sorry, that's the birds. Two lorikeets, two sulphur-crested cockatoos and a king parrot, they come calling every day bothering Bob and slowing down his work. But then, sometimes they are company for him too.

This is the rear bodywork he's had Les make up for him after he created the shape. Of interest, the numberplate area is the same shape as it was on the Corolla so that the badge, the numberplate light and the light all fit straight on:

0917corollacarrear.jpg

Pretty neat, but the side and front-on pics are showing a few incomplete areas, like the instrument panel and nose panel.

0917corollacarside.jpg

0917corollacarfront.jpg

One of the donor BMWs is in the background of this pic showing the front of the chassis and the embryonic buck for the bodywork around the cockpit and rear of the car and the underside of it:

0917bmwfrontchassisrearbody.jpg

The rear of the buck still has a long way to go...

0917bmwbodyworksrear.jpg

...while the front is proceeding apace:

0917bmwside.jpg

And, as Britto has now turned 80 he has begun another decade in which we all hope he keeps right on doing what he's doing.

Edited by Ray Bell, 26 April 2018 - 21:40.


#196 DanTra2858

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 20:20

Ray, thanks for the update on Bob & his projects, much appriciated.

#197 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 20:29

Not a problem, Daniel...

Bob's task for himself with this car is to make a really good looking front-engined open-wheeler. Therefore the bodywork is of prime importance and he'll spend a lot of time on that.

He's never built a front-engined open-wheeler before, so there are some new challenges in it. Like getting the driveshaft low, working out a decent gearchange and the like.

#198 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 07:43

About time for some more Rennmax revelations...

I'm told that the nickel-bronze is coming from a lurker here! But it hasn't quite made it yet.

Marc Schagen went around to Bob's the other day to have a look at the new open-wheeler. For some reason he hadn't appreciated how similar it's going to be to a Lotus 16, and of course, Marc is a total Lotus perve.

He was delighted to see it and even though he spent quite a lot of time talking to Brian Rawlings, who he's never met before, he did take some photos. I'm waiting for him to send those through.

Electronics are still holding up the other two cars but Bob reckons he's soon to get them sorted. And to make things easier he's had some helpers give him a hand to put his main jigs down in another shed along with one of the cars in the 'storage' shed so he's got more room to work.

The birds, of course, are still being fed daily...

#199 brucemoxon

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:12

That Corolla-based car...


I've had thoughts of that sort of 21st Century 'Clubman' for a while. Ian Pope's Lolita may have inspired my idea.

 

Thanks for the update.

 

 

 

BM



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#200 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:40

Ian Pope's Lolita was good for its day, possibly built with more passion and definitely with more leaning to what was going to make it more competitive...

But for what Bob is seeking to achieve, it's just perfect. And a lot of people would like it, I'm sure.

Courtesy of Marc Schagen, here are some update photos of the open-wheeler:

1117fr_MSfrontchassis.jpg

The chassis sits on its wheels for its first wheel alignment. Bob had to remake two front wishbones to get them into the right range. And here's the rear of it:

1117fr_MSrearchassis.jpg

Note that the sidepod panel is sitting up high on a bench the other side of the chassis. You can see a couple of things here, first there's the initial stages of the drop gear arrangement bolted up to the front of the final drive, this will contain gears Bob had cut for Jack Myers just before Jack died at Catalina Park, which put an end to his projects.

The other thing to note is the hemishperical shapes along the top of the side panel, these are to locate the body parts together, the cockpit panels and the nose/engine cover panels. I'm keeping it secret how Bob made those locating hemispheres.

1117fr_MScockpitandtailbodywork.jpg

And the cockpit and tail, the screen is from a Brabham and the cockpit shaped to suit that. All fibreglass work is, of course, done by Les Puklowski.

Thanks for the pics, Marc... glad to know that you and Neil are lurking here...

Edited by Ray Bell, 26 April 2018 - 21:41.