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Rennmax - and their creator, Bob Britton


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#351 MarkBisset

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 02:11

Terry-Ray,

There is a bit about this car in here- if I've got it right the car is still owned by Jim or his family in Melbourne's outer east

https://primotipo.co...scar-stalwarts/

M

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#352 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 08:36

Bob confirms that he had to beef up the uprights on this car...

It had bigger brakes and other things were different from the smaller cars, but the uprights he didn't upgrade until Lionel had trouble with them at Phillip Island.

#353 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 12:53

Going through my old photos yesterday I came across these:

0918fr0806brittoandhyabusa.jpg

0918fr0806unpaintedhyabusa.jpg

Taken in July 2006 when the Hyabusa-powered single-seater with road equipment was yet to be painted green.

The pics I posted at the start of this thread were from a couple of months later, on the eve of it being trailered to Speed on Tweed.

#354 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 22:27

Originally posted by TerryS
Ray what is the red car #26?

It almost looks like an Elfin 600.


My apologies, I seem to have neglected posting the line-up of cars in Britto's storage shed (his 'museum') as at July 2016...

0716shedlineup1.jpg

0716shedlineup2.jpg

There's Britto's personal Lotus 7 replica, the F3 car, the coupe, the rear-gearbox Lotus 7, the Hyabusa single seater and the BN2.




.

Edited by Ray Bell, 26 September 2018 - 12:25.


#355 MarkBisset

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 05:10

Eeny- meeny miney- mo!
Nup, I'll have the lot please.
M

#356 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 23:52

Further pics, when the BN11 was complete and ready to go to Speed on Tweed...

0906_BN11_Fbobin.jpg

I'm rather glad I got these pics with Bob sitting in the car, it kind of suits him.

0906_BN11_Lbobin.jpg

0906_BN11_LFbobin.jpg

The rear is a good angle...

0906_BN11rear.jpg

0906_BN11_RFbobin.jpg

#357 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 11:40

Mark Bisset, in digging around for photos, has found this one:

1018fr_MBmuircoopersingapore.jpg

From the Archives of Singapore, it's the immaculate Ken Goodwin BN3 with Bob Muir at the helm, closely followed by Garrie Cooper in his Elfin 600D.

Nice pic, Mark, thank you for that...

#358 MarkBisset

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 09:08

Makes me wonder Ray how many different Rennmax' Bob actually raced?

M

#359 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:07

The Vee, his own BN3 and Kenny Goodwin's as above...

Plus the Terry Quartly BN7. I think that's about it, four in all.

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#360 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 23:19

Which raises the question, "Which driver raced the most Rennmaxes?"

Kevin Bartlett drove the Mildren Maserati and the BN3 fitted with the Alfa 4-cyl engine, I'm pretty sure he drove a Rennmax Vee in a guest race, so that might be three.

Any further suggestions?

Ray Hanger, Dick Bailey and Doug Heasman each owned and raced two Rennmaxes, I don't know how many Damon Beck raced but it was at least three of the Vees.




.

Edited by Ray Bell, 12 October 2018 - 23:20.


#361 brucemoxon

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 00:32

Mark Bisset, in digging around for photos, has found this one:

1018fr_MBmuircoopersingapore.jpg

From the Archives of Singapore, it's the immaculate Ken Goodwin BN3 with Bob Muir at the helm, closely followed by Garrie Cooper in his Elfin 600D.

Nice pic, Mark, thank you for that...

 

And yesterday I spent a little time with Bob Muir, Ken Goodwin and Bob Britton, at John Moxon's 80th birthday party. All were in good spirits and health. 

 

 

Bruce Moxon



#362 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 11:58

More from Mark's energetic photo-searching:

1018fr-MBbernieonatservo.jpg

1018fr-MBbernieonpole.jpg

Often known, during Bernie Haehnle's ownership, as the 'Hahn Rennmax Vee'. It was a huge winner, of course, and its winning ways began with its first owner, Ken Goodwin.

#363 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 22:34

More from Mark's energetic photo-searching:

1018fr-MBbernieonatservo.jpg

1018fr-MBbernieonpole.jpg

Often known, during Bernie Haehnle's ownership, as the 'Hahn Rennmax Vee'. It was a huge winner, of course, and its winning ways began with its first owner, Ken Goodwin.

I learnt something,,, Vees used Goodyear.



#364 MarkBisset

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 08:59

I think Bernie went pretty well in a P6 Bowin too for a bit- the magic Bernie moment was him manoeuvring that rolled Mazda R100 back upright at Bathurst circa 1969'ish with a mix of nouse, tree branch and the lie of the land!

#365 SJ Lambert

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 22:01

Posted 05 March 2017 - 01:12

Since leaving Bob's place last week I've put some effort into learning more about the first Rennmax...

I phoned Richard Bendell, the current owner. He has Mike Borland working on the rebuild and sent through a couple of interesting photos:

0217fr_RBrennmaxnose.jpg

This was the only 'Rennmax' identification on the car. Bob was yet to have an artist design his proper badge.

0217fr_RBrennmaxcockpit.jpg

Almost like a time capsule, isn't it?

0217fr_RBrennmaxtail.jpg

The tail section is alloy, and there's nothing like the Cooper's transverse leaf suspension there.

As mentioned, Bob was enamoured with the performance of Lotus' suspension. When the time came to build this car he was in a position to use dimensions and layout from the Stirling Moss Lotus 18/21 which was at the Farm in 1962. The success of this build became evident in Hall's increased competitiveness, but this comment posted by John Medley last week is telling:
 

Quote

.....On another matter, the original Rennmax: In the days when MGTCs used to crash from crag to crag up the hill at Bathurst, Coopers doing it markedly better, that first Rennmax was really surprising, its handling and suspension a minor wonder, its performance visually being as big a gap from the Coopers as the Coopers were from MGTCs.


Remembering that the first Brabhams had yet to arrive in Australia, it's natural that Lotus was the make to set the pace. And now Rennmax was as good as anything out there. Noel, in fact, told Bob how good it was in glowing terms.

It occurred to me that Bob later fabricated uprights out of steel, but the earlier cars had cast alloy uprights. So I asked what was the story about how they came about.

A story ensued about a broken Lotus 18 upright and included the name of Bruce Coventry of Texas in Queensland, nobody else seemed to know he came from Texas. Now, Texas is a long way from any motor sporting activity, or it was back then, but it's not that far from my place and I checked the local phone book.

I checked and phoned someone named Coventry and soon had the phone number of Bruce. He didn't recall the incident at all, he never had any need to replace any damaged uprights but admitted it was all a long time ago.

But the other Lotus 18 which lived away from the big cities and in that general direction was that of Harry Cape, and Jim Wright had crashed that one quite badly late in November, 1961. That was at Lakeside and Coventry was at that meeting too.

The outstanding feature was that Britto, who had no other dealings with Bruce Coventry, knew that he lived in Texas. And associated that fact with the casting of a replacement upright for a Lotus 18.

My suspicion is that Bruce, knowing that a replacement was being made for Jim Wright, got a spare made for his car at the same time.

However it happened, Britto had a damaged Lotus 18 upright from which he made a pattern for replacements. And he tacked bits on to enable the uprights to be made with top links for the Lotus 21 and 20 style of rear suspension.

That alloy work in the rear bodywork is nice. Not Bob's work, that's not his forte, he had a hearse builder 'just around the corner from Rookwood Cemetery' do that job.

The fact is that Bob had very little of his own equipment at this stage. Machining was done on other peoples' lathes and mills, or was jobbed out. Much of it on Charlie Ogden's machines.

But, even without a 'BN' number, even without a 'Rennmax' badge, this car is a Rennmax. The first Rennmax.




.

Edited by Ray Bell, 27 April 2018 - 15:26.

 

 

Just this morning I've spotted photos of this car at Borland Racing, so I guess it might still be there!


Edited by SJ Lambert, 06 November 2018 - 22:02.


#366 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 16:06

A couple of Britton chassis on the grid at Oran Park...

1118fr-MBstewartandharveyon-OPgrid.jpg

Max Stewart in the Mildren Waggott and John Harvey in the Brabham Repco. If I'm not mistaken, this is the Gold Star race in which Harvey had the overloaded fuel tanks holding him back. Anyway, the Brabham had been rebuilt with a Britton replica chassis. The pic was taken by Peter Greenfield and pointed this way by Mark Bisset and it would be interesting to identify the people standing around, one of whom looks like Toby Bent to me.

In the meantime, Bob's been making some more progress with his front-engined car, doing little jobs as it nears time to send it away for the electronics to be sorted out. He's made up the belt tensioner for the engine and reckons it is almost down to just needing some paint.

His shed extension is complete, his Saturday afternoon group gatherings continue and he's getting down to the job of taking the dud auto trans out of the Commodore car ready to put in the one I removed from the VS when I was last there.

And he's been drawing up plans for the 300S lookalike. And further to improvements to his workshop, he's removed the roll-a-door on the right side of the workshop, which if it was opened would simply reveal the lathe, and put in a bit of wall. The main reason for this was to enable him to have a personnel door into the workshop rather than have to open the other roll-a-door every time he goes in or out. Bear in mind that Bob keeps the doors shut when the weather us either very hot or very cold, so opening the big doors has become a bit of a task for him.

"If I've got nothing to do I'd get depressed," he said last night.




.

Edited by Ray Bell, 25 November 2018 - 16:15.


#367 MarkBisset

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 11:00

It is a beauty of a shot Ray! Shows the ride height of the times too- still intrigued to know the name of the nattily dressed driver with the leather blazer over the top of his Simpsons? Toby Bent the Castrol fella- guy in the hat?
Totally irrelevant but looking at the TC4V makes me wonder what the maintenance cycles of the motor between minor and major tickles was?
M

#368 Wirra

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 11:29

Not brilliant, but sharpened up a bit.

 

Max-Stewart.jpg



#369 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 12:26

Yes, Mark, I think that's Toby in the hat...

 

The brown suit to the left might be another representative of some sponsor. I can't for the life of me make any guesses at the bloke who interests you.



#370 bradbury west

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 20:53

Spot on with the point about the ride height, Mark. I always reckon the cars should be put over period height blocks at scrutineering like at Le Mans.
Roger Lund.

#371 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 22:20

Spot on with the point about the ride height, Mark. I always reckon the cars should be put over period height blocks at scrutineering like at Le Mans.
Roger Lund.

Ride height was always adjustable, modern 'historic' tyres seem to be generally lower profile. Ride height is free unless period rules stated that there was a mininum ride height.

On tintops there often was but not so AFAIK with open wheelers.



#372 Librules

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 01:59

For Sale at Phillip Island last weekend. I don't know Ian or the car, just putting it here for those interested.

 

I've taken the liberty of covering Ian's contact details, I can provide via pm if required.

Rennmax_advert.jpg

 

Stephen.

This car is currently listed on My105  ...   



#373 Librules

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 02:01

The last piece of my post seems to have disappeared..   



#374 Librules

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 02:02

It seems I can't post the link.   The main pic in the ad shows the car in the air.   I'm just interested to know where it was taken -   a circuit,  hillclimb or some other event?



#375 Tim Murray

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 03:41

I hope I’ve found the right ad:

http://www.my105.com.../20738/latest/1

with this the relevant photo:

61282_612829_m.jpg

#376 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 03:49

No circuit in Australia has that kind of jump...

I'd say it's at some Victorian hillclimb.

#377 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 04:19

No circuit in Australia has that kind of jump...

I'd say it's at some Victorian hillclimb.

Hillclimb somewhere at least. Ride heights?  Probably wind it up for the jump if nothing else.



#378 john medley

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 04:30

Speed on Tweed?



#379 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 09:04

Good suggestion, John...

The background looks right.

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#380 Librules

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 14:28

Certainly not a Vic hillclimb track of any recent time...    Did many cars leave the ground at Tweed or did it depend where you were placed on the track?



#381 Librules

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 16:11

Re the advertisement,  I presume Axel Mildren was Alec's rock music alter-ego  :drunk:



#382 Librules

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 16:15

Tweed confirmed  .......    https://www.motoring...-weekend-21567/



#383 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 12:49

Dont know as if I would be keen to emulate that jump. Not the ideal car for it. Though there is many period pics of F1 and below doing such.



#384 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 22:55

Meanwhile, back at the Rennmax 'works'...

When Bob built the stretched Lotus 7-based car with the Commodore V6, he was working with the total mechanical package out of a Commodore which he'd basically been given. As it was an automatic it saved him having to worry about a clutch pedal, but as it had lots of electronics he had to get a genius to wire it up for him

So after some long delays in getting that done it was finally driveable, but it barely started moving under its own power and the gearbox failed. Hence the purchase of the later Commodore from which I removed the engine and box for him a few months ago. That gearbox had to be installed, but to instal it he first had to remove the engine and box that were in it.

Here he discovered that there was some wiring installed by one of his electrical men which bridged the gap between firewall and engine, but had no ready means of disconnection. No provision to undo the wires for the engine's removal!

For this reason Bob had to obtain some wire joiners which enabled him to properly identify each wire as he was putting it back together. It was these he was soldering on when Pat Clarke visited on Saturday.

Meantime the BMW-engined Lotus 16 lookalike is ready for its wiring to be done. Fuel, oil, water and brake lines all plumbed and carrying fluid, not much now before some wires and some paint enable it to hit the road.

And plans for the 300S-bodied car are starting to excite him, it won't be long before he starts cutting metal for this one. Which, of course, will have the V6 I pulled from the VS.

So if anyone has a VS flywheel and clutch to sell/trade/donate to Bob for this car, he'll have all his mechanicals...



.

Edited by Ray Bell, 08 December 2018 - 22:59.


#385 Pat Clarke

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 01:09


For this reason Bob had to obtain some wire joiners which enabled him to properly identify each wire as he was putting it back together. It was these he was soldering on when Pat Clarke visited on Saturday.
 

 Actually Ray, Bob was soldering in some extensions to the wiring harness in order to fit the connectors. He asked me how the connectors were attached and showed me some very expensive weatherproof connectors that require special tooling and are totally unnecessary for his application.

 

I advised him to send them back for credit and use some simple preinsulated spade connectors, preferably those with heat shrink insulation and available cheaply from Jaycar. Though I do feel odd about sending Bob to Jaycar as God knows what will take his fancy  :)

 

Meanwhile, he showed me a letter which caused me to shake his hand and enthusiastically congratulate him. He asked me not to divulge the contents just yet, but all will be revealed in due course.  Watch this space   ;).

 

As usual, we had an enjoyable and interesting afternoon.

 

Pat



#386 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 07:44

More progress at Bob's place...

Some backward steps first. The little alloy box he made to contain those drop gears developed a leak and he's working on fixing that. The openwheeler is completely ready now to be taken away for the wiring to be done.

The Commodore-powered Clubman was the source of amusement the other day for some people - Terry Quartly included - as it's now going and the gearbox works, but it has some kind of a problem with fuel or ignition that causes it to cut out. Terry offered to send around a friend of his who specialises in Commodores, as Bob says, "That's a car guy's problem to solve, not my cup of tea."

And he's on the verge of picking up the Maserati 300S replica body. Very excited, in fact, and he's cleared the decks and has the drawing board out read to start drawing up the various chassis and suspension bits he'll be making.

Oh, and Gene Varnier visited with him the other day. Years ago Bob wrote Gene a reference which led to him working for Lotus and a whole bunch of other teams in both Europe and the USA.

#387 DogEarred

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 10:10

Is Gene Varnier full time back in Oz now?

 

I worked with him at Lotus a few years ago. Full of knowledge & good stories. Instrumental in the design of Le Mans winning Bentleys of 2003.



#388 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 11:31

I'm not sure, but I will find out for you...

From what Bob told me today he's certainly covered some ground after getting a reference from 'Rennmax Engineering'.

#389 Gene Varnier

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 11:48

Here in Australia for a visit. Heading back to UK at the end of this week. Bob certainly has some interesting little projects on the go.

#390 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 12:46

And he really enjoyed your visit, Gene...

You didn't happen to take some up to date photos we can put on this thread did you?

#391 Gene Varnier

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 11:47

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit as well, though no time for photos unfortunately.

#392 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 21:23

Today there will be another gathering of the clan at Bob's I'm sure...

I'm expecting to get photos of the latest activities at Rennmax through some time in the next few days, but in the meantime we have this pic of Lynton's to show the beautifully-prepared Ken Goodwin BN3 as Ken waves Leo Geoghegan's Lotus 59 by on the Hume Straight, 1970 AGP meeting...

1218fr-LHv-MBgoodwingeoghegan70-WF.jpg

The 300S replica body is in place now and Bob is actively planning a chassis to carry it.

#393 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 10:47

Graham Ruckert, whose father took movie film of the Woody Point High Speed Reliability Trial in 1936, shot this nice pic at Lakeside in 1971...

1218fr-MBby-GRheasmantighe.jpg

Doug Heasman heading Ivan Tighe, the Heasman family were friends of Bob's and Doug had two Rennmaxes. This run was spoiled by a broken brake line.




.

Edited by Ray Bell, 30 December 2018 - 19:15.


#394 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 20:08

Good mates...

1218fr-RWbobandray.jpg

Ray Eldershaw is a regular visitor at Bob's workshop, while Bob holds him in very high regard. Both have some similarities in their character, not egotistical in any way and very methodical in the way they go about doing things.

Thanks to Bob Winley for the pic...

#395 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 22:53

Another Graham Ruckert photo...

0119fr-MBpic-GRayers-Rennmax.jpg

Via Mark Bisset, whose comment was, 'doesn't it make a big car look small?'

Of note here are the monocoque wheels. This is, of course, the most powerful car ever built as a Rennmax, 5-litres of Repco V8. Here Lionel is lining up for his entry into the Eastern Loop.

#396 MarkBisset

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 11:31

I don't recall seeing Lionel race this car but when it became resident in Victoria with the Gibsons and Jim Phillips saw it race many times and always found it an impressive piece of kit-5 litre 740 Repco made it both a potent and nicely balanced sort of car.
I raced my little Venon Vee a lot in 1979 and saw Paul Gibson win the Australian Tourist Trophy in it at Winton that October with Grant third in the 2.5 litre Rennmax (I think it may have been 3 litres by then) - Stuart Kostera was second in the Elfin MS7 Repco Holden. I'll never forget the look on a very proud Hoot Gibsons face at the prize giving - a marvellous day for the family and a mighy car it was .
Hopefully we shall see it back on circuit one day.
Mark

Edited by MarkBisset, 01 January 2019 - 11:33.


#397 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 21:08

Old 'Hoot' Gibson was a great chap...

He had some interesting stuff he'd collected in his lifetime, and he put those Repco V8s together himself when it was necessary. One of his great achievements was to repair the final drive in the 'Queerbox' on the Lotus 15 when the crownwheel wore out.

He found a Vauxhall crownwheel which was a close fit and then set it up to run against the pinion overnight in the lathe with grinding paste to get the mesh right.

I think the 3-litre engine was in the ex-Macarthur Rennmax long before that Winton ATT.

#398 Pat Clarke

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:04

Probably enough time has passed since my mysterious announcement of something where Bob was to be congratulated.

 

I spent an interesting afternoon there on Saturday when we had an intensive thunderstorm which took out the power. So we had to eat the cake without the usual cup of tea   ;)

 

We amused ourselves by looking at pictures from the AMARC boneyard in Tucson on my laptop as well as some Formula Student stuff.

 

The announcement???

Oh, Bob will be awarded the Phil Irving medal for his contribution to Australian Motorsport at the upcoming CAMS annual dinner! Fantastic and well deserved! It couldn't go to a more deserving guy!   :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

 

Pat


Edited by Pat Clarke, 07 January 2019 - 04:06.


#399 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:15

I understand Bob is going to make the trek to Melbourne for the night, too...

 

His family will go as well, or many of them, though the risk to his health is everpresent with this kind of thing.

 

It's great to see he's getting this award, and that he's so accepting of it. Bob's attitude to this kind of thing has changed a lot since the tribute day they had to Rennmax several years ago at Eastern Creek.

 

It will be recalled that Dave Mawer won this same award two or three years ago, does anyone know who else has had their name inscribed on the... well, I guess there's a shield or a trophy or something?



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#400 Pat Clarke

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 00:47

The full list of PI Award winners is here... https://www.cams.com...il-irving-award

 

Pat


Edited by Pat Clarke, 08 January 2019 - 11:40.