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50 Years of Formula Ford in Australia


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#1 TerryS

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 22:17

50th anniversary this year in Australia

Great article attached focussing on the early years and in particular Bowins.

Some wonderful period photos which should bring back lots of memories

https://primotipo.co...ford-formative/

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#2 Wirra

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 01:30

ff_1.jpg


Edited by Wirra, 31 August 2018 - 07:15.


#3 MarkBisset

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 09:59

Must admit I get Bob Beasley and Bob Skelton muddled, I think this is the Bob Beasley P4X ?

#4 DanTra2858

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 21:01

Get away 50 years, the worst thing is I remember FF starting, not to forget the special events on how long does it take to assemble a FF motor & have it running.

The worst part of getting old is what you remember but it was so long ago, more spefic is why did I not achieve more, the stupid rumblings of an old fart.

#5 GMACKIE

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 22:47

No Daniel...the best part is what you remember! :wave:



#6 Wirra

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Posted 01 September 2018 - 01:12



Must admit I get Bob Beasley and Bob Skelton muddled, I think this is the Bob Beasley P4X ?

 

I'm guessing as well, but it might be Len Searle?

 

Pretty sure the third car here is Bob Skelton 

ff_4_b.jpg

 

Again guessing, but this might be Rush (leading) and Perkins

ff_3_b.jpg

 

I think the Busselmann brothers bought their yellow 600 from Rush. Like Dan it's all getting a bit scratchy.



#7 MarkBisset

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 11:32

Wirra,
Can't help you with the Garry Rush ID but he did race an Elfin 600 after his early stint in a Bowin P4 so you may well be right.
First shot is Leffo, then the yellow 600 and Bob Skelton as you say- late in the 1972 year given JL's Grace Bros sponsorship.
Agree re Perkins in the red Elfin 600 second shot.
Mark

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 14:52

As there were very few 600s that far up the field in yellow, and as it's not Rush in that car, it must be Enno...

Again, I am away from home and cannot check the reports.

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 22:44

Originally posted by Wirra
.....Again guessing, but this might be Rush (leading) and Perkins
ff_3_b.jpg.....


June or September 1971...

Rush led Perkins for a number of laps in June as he led the way in that race, Larry kept going off in the early laps but got by for the win.

September it was rather more mixed up and Rush was excluded from all results for hitting Skelton under brakes. He did lead Larry in that time, however.

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 23:24

Originally posted by Wirra
.....Pretty sure the third car here is Bob Skelton 

ff_4_b.jpg
.....


I have a feeling the yellow Elfin is Bob Kennedy. But I can't line this scene up with any race report.

Could this have been taken in practice?

#11 Wirra

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 00:21

June or September 1971...

Rush led Perkins for a number of laps in June as he led the way in that race, Larry... got by for the win.
 

I'm not surprised, that's a very tight exit Rush is taking out of BP. Larry would have had the momentum to easily slipstream and overtake down the straight. By the way, did the main straight have a specific name?

 

I have a feeling the yellow Elfin is Bob Kennedy. But I can't line this scene up with any race report.

Could this have been taken in practice?

 

Ray, I doubt very much it is practice, but I can't be certain. It appears to be the Rush car by the matching colour of the rearview mirrors in both shots. The peak on the helmet triggers a suspicion it might be Enno. He always used a peak on his open-faced helmet.



#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 01:18

The Oran Park race was apparently a round of the TAA series, but no name is recorded in the report...

The meeting was the Toby Lee tintop final, the TAA race was over 15 laps and Rush led Perkins for about five laps during the race with Larry taking a couple of trips onto the dirt at Suttons, while it was a mistake by Rush that let Larry get by in the end. The gap after fifteen laps was four tenths of a second.

As for the Amaroo pic, it seems that Leffler's first appearance in the Grace Bros colours was at the June 4 meeting of 1972. Enno is not mentioned in that report at all, but was still in his Vee at the previous Oran Park on May 21. He was certainly in the Elfin on July 9 at the Farm but he's not mentioned in the Amaroo July 23 report, nor the August 20 report.

This is a bit of a mystery to me now as it seems Enno couldn't be in this mix, but he did run No 30 at Warwick Farm, albeit without a peak on his white helmet. Maybe the peak was to cope with the run up the hill late in the day?

#13 ellrosso

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 08:09

The Amaroo shot is an odd one. As you mentioned Ray, Leffler's first meeting in GB colours was June 4th and Bob Kennedy was running up with Leffler, but there is no mention of Bob Skelton at that meeting. Then at later meetings there is no mention of Kennedy but Skelton is present. Not totally conclusive of course but if he (Kennedy) was up with Leffler you would think he'd warrant a mention. I also have the RCN Sept O Park meeting with a pic of Rush leading Perkins to confirm that one, very evenly matched they were too. Looking back Rush was doing a great job mixing it with those guys.....



#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 08:17

He didn't do it often...

I wonder if he tweaked the engine to help sell the car?

#15 TerryS

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 05:46

It has been announced that to celebrate the 50th anniversary a special Formula Ford race will held next January at Bathurst as part of the 12 hour race programme.

It is open to Historic cars plus Kent engined cars. Duratec engined cars are not eligible.
It received the maximum 55 entries within a few days of entries opening and there are already 10 reserves.

Just proves how popular Formula Ford is after all these years .

And shows how stupid CAMS were to try and replace it with their ridiculous Formula 4 cars.

#16 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:20

Read this on Roaring Season tonight ...

 

Toto Wolff on Scott Dixon:

It’s no surprise that a multiple champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner has plenty of fans, but one may be a bit of a surprise: Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff, who has quietly followed the Ganassi Racing driver’s career for the past 25 years, thinks Dixon’s accomplishments are “amazing.”

Dixon caught Wolff’s eye in 1994 when the future Mercedes boss was racing Formula Fords in New Zealand. Wolff recalled Dixon being the class of the field in Formula Vee, a series where he described the cars as looking like someone took one of the plastic trays that restaurants use to bus tables and bolted it to the top of a racing chassis.

“I know him, but he doesn’t know that I know him,” said Wolff, who still appeared relieved that Dixon was too young to race against him in Formula Fords 25 years earlier.

“There was this 13-year-old kid who was doing a strange kind of series where the cars looked like a bus tub on wheels and he won that. So, I remember this ginger-haired young boy driving bus tubs and I’ve followed his career since then.”



#17 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 11:26

Formula V cars were so good in 1994 - why did CAMS go backwards to Formula IV ?

Oh and well done Scott.



#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 12:49

They had spare cash on hand and decided it was better to spend it than reduce their fees...

Everybody knows that.

#19 TerryS

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 03:41

The Elfin FF that Larry Perkins used to win the 1971 Aust. FF Championship is now for sale.

At AUD 38,000 it would seem good value for such an historic car.

http://www.my105.com.../elfin/id/19498

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#20 GazChed

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 12:31

At the Australian dollar price it's an absolute bargain ! On Racecarsdirect website the same car is listed as for sale at £25,000 , at the current exchange rate just over Aus$46,000 . Even that price is quite reasonable compared to the similar spec Crossle two rows below which is for sale at £33,500 ( Aus$62,000 ).

Not strictly TNF territory , for the last couple of years I have enjoyed reading about Elfin , Matich , Rennmax , Birrana etc competing decades ago and it set me wondering how many Australian racing car manufacturers still make racing cars today . I know Spectrum make Formula Fords ( several compete in Castle Combe's Formula Ford championship ) . Are there any others ?

#21 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 21:35

As I understand Elfin Heritage can still supply parts, James Lambert will know more, Rennmax possibly the same, Ray Bell knows him well and there is a Rennmax thread, Birrana exists in some way, possibly parts?

Matich is long gone. 



#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 23:20

There certainly was a number of them (not counting one-offs or specials)...

 

Air-cooled cars included Ralt, Nota, Jolus

 

In Formula Ford there was Elfin, Wren, Birrana, Bowin, Elwyn, Mawer, Aztec, Hustler and latterly Spectrum.

 

In Vees there was Nota, Rennmax, Elfin, CMS, Malmark, Nimbus, Stag, Kleinig, Revell, GAS, Mako,

 

FJr/ANF2/ANF3 saw Elfin, Rennmax, Lynx, Jolus, Cheetah, Birrana, Nota, Wren

 

Medium-sized racing cars, ANF1½/ANF2 1.6/FAtlantic etc had Jolus, Nota, Lynx, Elfin, Delta, Rennmax, Bowin, Birrana, Kaditcha, ASP, Cheetah, Galloway, Liston-Fisher, Dolphin, Jabenti, Avanti, Hardman

 

F5000 saw Matich, Bowin, Elfin

 

There may be more, but I have specifically excluded self-built cars which were not intended to be marketed, even though they might have been sold off to others.

 

 

 

.


Edited by Ray Bell, 15 October 2018 - 21:28.


#23 ellrosso

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 04:34

Good shot of Larry Perkins in his Stillwell Ford Elfin 600 F Ford at Warwick Farm in 1971. Also Bob Skelton's Bowin P3 FF from the same meeting and John Bowe in his Elfin 600 FF at Bask in 1973.6654-T-Perk-71-lo.jpg6653-T-Skel-71-lo.jpg235-H-Bow-73-lo.jpg



#24 TerryS

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 05:19

Good shot of Larry Perkins in his Stillwell Ford Elfin 600 F Ford at Warwick Farm in 1971. Also Bob Skelton's Bowin P3 FF from the same meeting and John Bowe in his Elfin 600 FF at Bask in 1973.6654-T-Perk-71-lo.jpg6653-T-Skel-71-lo.jpg235-H-Bow-73-lo.jpg


Is that shot of Skelton really at Warwick Farm? Background doesn’t look familiar.

Could it be Hume Weir?

#25 ellrosso

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 06:12

Part of the same batch of slides from Warwick Farm 1971 meeting. I don't think Peter ever went to Hume Weir - I'm sure he would have given me the pics if he had.



#26 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 06:27

I also tried to work out where it was taken...

 

No, not Hume Weir. I think it might be in the braking area for Creek, or it might be heading across towards Homestead. But the background has me a little baffled. Possibly just leaving the esses?

 

Clearly, it was taken in a dry season.



#27 Wirra

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 21:45

... Possibly just leaving the esses?...

+1



#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 03:10

The Perkins and Skelton shots were taken just a hundred yards and a crossing of the Shell Bridge apart...

 

Probably in the same practice session.



#29 GreenMachine

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 04:50

As a regular inhabitant of the Esses and environs, that does not gel with my (very faded) memories, particularly the background.  Can someone please explain what direction the camera is pointing, and what carpark that is, and what are the buildings(?) in the background.  Thanks :wave:



#30 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 05:31

Looking towards Homestead from inside the last corner of the Esses...

 

The building to the right is a farm-type building, seen here:

 

matichhume.jpg

 

The carpark is the main Hume Straight carpark.



#31 GreenMachine

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 12:44

Thanks Ray.



#32 MarkBisset

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 08:36


1971 Calder 'Race of Champions' won by Brabham's Bowin P4X...
https://primotipo.co...ns-august-1971/

#33 MarkBisset

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 04:12

More Jack and the Bowin P4X

https://primotipo.co...ks-bowin-again/

Mark

#34 GazChed

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 11:56

A wonderful forty five car field has been taking part in three races at Bathurst celebrating the 50th anniversary of Formula Ford in Australia . Although I'm not sure of the age of his car , a particularly meritorious performance was put in in the first race by Garry Watson in a Mawer , finishing fifth just four seconds behind the much more modern winning car .

Edited by GazChed, 02 February 2019 - 11:57.


#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 12:13

The Mawer first raced in 1973 or 1974 IIRC...

Built by Dave Mawer for Paul Bernasconi.

#36 Sterzo

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 13:50

...who later raced in British F3 if I recall correctly.



#37 DogEarred

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 15:05

Correct

#38 SJ Lambert

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 22:28

Ellery Motorsport fettled one or two of the Historics at the pointy end of the field:-

https://formulaford....-Mount-Panorama

#39 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 00:08

Go on Speedcafe and it never happened! Not a mention at all about any of the support events. 

A very poor effort, just another mouthpiece for V8 Stupidcars [who stole the event from the previous promoter]

Yet they take huge entry fees from competitors of said events. And if the hero categories run late  miss out on their events. OR if the supports misbehave much get their races declared.



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#40 SJ Lambert

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:01

On board with Richard Davison at Bathurst

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=L3fsj4YNXr0

#41 GazChed

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 12:54

I didn't think there was much run - off at Castle Combe . Those concrete walls look mighty close in a Formula Ford ....

#42 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 10:01

I'm guessing as well, but it might be Len Searle?

 

Pretty sure the third car here is Bob Skelton 

ff_4_b.jpg

 

Again guessing, but this might be Rush (leading) and Perkins

ff_3_b.jpg

 

I think the Busselmann brothers bought their yellow 600 from Rush. Like Dan it's all getting a bit scratchy.

A sprintcar driver and a touring car hero!! Or in the case of Rush between then midgets and SuperMods and his trotters.

For Larry an off road racer come F1 driver and Rallycross champion. And preparing some very good cars all through that. Often on far less money than the opposition.



#43 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 10:06

Maybe they should have asked Larry,, he always fancied himself among the younger drivers. Or even his one time mate Ingall.

Richard Davidson was around in Larrys days and Paul Morris had a weight handicap being Paul Morris but he did fairly well too. And had he ever raced FF before? Not in my memory.



#44 ellrosso

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:06

I actually thought Paul Morris started in FF - might be getting him mixed up with Brett Peters though.



#45 MarkBisset

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:44

He did Lindsay- he and another Queenslander, Troy Dunstan built FF engines for a while- 'Speedtech' - 3rd in the 1990 DTE behind Ingall and Stokell

#46 ellrosso

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:50

I just checked a 1990 RCN and Tony Longhurst gave 5 top FF drivers a run in the B&H Sierra - Ingall, Troy Dunstan, Brett Peters, Paul Morris and Russell Becker. I don't have a lot of FF shots on the website but this is a good shot of Neil Hammond's from 1982. Neil Cunningham got me to do a search of all his old racing cars a few years back and ordered a good swag of prints. Sadly I think he knew he didn't have much longer to live and perhaps wanted a record for his family. Passed away far too young. Really liked your FF story too Mark BTW.6732-N-Cunn-82-lo.jpg


Edited by ellrosso, 11 February 2019 - 08:52.


#47 ellrosso

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:57

Also for anyone who hasn't seen it - check out "Awesome Formula Ford fightback" on YouTube, onboard with Luke Ellery in 2011 at Bathurst. Just fantastic - hold onto your hat!!!



#48 MarkBisset

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 10:20

Bit of understeer or missed turn in point from Neil's VD- that's Chris Davison's 'Bisleri' Elfin 620B, a no idea, then Laurie Bennett's Wren- a car he/Nick still own. Bringing up the rear is the one-off Elfin Aero first raced with some success by David Earle- no idea who had it by 1982- nice jigger to have now

#49 ellrosso

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:05

Few shots from the 1985 Mallala Formula Ford Championship round - which Mezera won from Geoff Walters in the Elwyn. Clinched the series too - he drove very well.1953-R-Mez-84-lo.jpg1949-R-Walt-84-lo.jpg1952-R-FF-s-84-lo.jpg


Edited by ellrosso, 14 February 2019 - 21:08.


#50 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:11

Jogs my memory, I was there! Probably as an entrant in a Sports Sedan