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Andrew Mustard, Campbell's reserve driver for Bluebird


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#1 Fred.R

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 23:56

Andrew Mustard the reserve driver for Donald Campbell record attempts on Lake Eyre , i understand he was employed by Dunlop for tyre testing and also contracted to provide support for the record attempts as Andrew Mustard and associates.

 

After the record attempt he stayed in Adelaide was involved in the WRE record attempts and The former Dunlop  Elfin was entered at race meetings at Mallala with various drivers in supercharged and un supercharged forms untill its sale to the Rainsfords in 1966 ? , an agent for the sale of Wray superchargers

 

In a recent coversation  with Alex Smith, a driver in the 1965 record attempts Alex said that he had attended a talk by Mustard were he said he had been a Works / Test rider for BSA on the continent

 

So my question is were did Mustard come from and were did he end up ?



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#2 cooper997

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 05:40

Hidden away somewhere here there might be a few snippets on Andrew Mustard. Meanwhile hopefully a TNF member might already be clued up on him.

 

2014 Motorclassica ex Mustard Elfin, as part of the Campbell / Bluebird display

2014_Motorclassica_02_a.jpg

 

2014_Motorclassica_03_a.jpg

 

Stephen



#3 f1steveuk

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 14:44

Knowing the feeling between Donald Campbell and Mustard, reserve driver ? No chance. The official reserve drivers for 1963 were Ken Burville and Peter Carr, though even they were unlikely to ever drive CN7 in anger, Burville, Leo Villa and designer Ken Norris were given runs in the car . Burville was also nominated in 1964 as was Andrew Mustard, who was using a modified Elfin racing car to test scale versions of BLUEBIRD's tyres, but he became determined to have his turn at the wheel. Indeed he once publicly stated that he would sacrifice a very personal part of his lower anatomy for the chance. Mustard started the rumours that Campbell was scared. and again the murmuring started to circulate, more so after Campbell called an osteopath to the salt to treat his recurring back problem. Mustard wasted no time in announcing he felt Campbell was physically unfit to attempt the record and tried to take over the project. He was soon relieved of his post of reserve driver and project manager.

#4 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 18:19

Knowing the feeling between Donald Campbell and Mustard, reserve driver ? No chance. The official reserve drivers for 1963 were Ken Burville and Peter Carr, though even they were unlikely to ever drive CN7 in anger, Burville, Leo Villa and designer Ken Norris were given runs in the car . Burville was also nominated in 1964 as was Andrew Mustard, who was using a modified Elfin racing car to test scale versions of BLUEBIRD's tyres, but he became determined to have his turn at the wheel. Indeed he once publicly stated that he would sacrifice a very personal part of his lower anatomy for the chance. Mustard started the rumours that Campbell was scared. and again the murmuring started to circulate, more so after Campbell called an osteopath to the salt to treat his recurring back problem. Mustard wasted no time in announcing he felt Campbell was physically unfit to attempt the record and tried to take over the project. He was soon relieved of his post of reserve driver and project manager.


You sure? I thought Mustard was let go because he couldn't cut it.

#5 f1steveuk

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 19:01

That extract is from my own book on Donald Campbell, I'm pretty certain



#6 Fred.R

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 03:09

" You know Ken I'd give my right ball to drive that car " said to Ken Norris From Bluebird and the Dead Lake by John Pearson

 

In this book he is said to be the  reserve driver, as to the acrimony between Campbell and Mustard i don't think he was Campbells Pick who who chose him ? Sponsors i assume

 

From https://www.iomtt.co...d=1654&filter=D

 

Stan Debden "In 1964, was appointed personal assistant to Andrew Mustard project manager of the Donald Campbell Bluebird successful land speed record in Australia 1964. "

 

I though Evan Green was the project manager ?

 

From https://manxnational...d-speed-record/

 

Stan was recruited for the project by Andrew Mustard, Project Manager for the attempts and a Clubman’s TT Bronze Replica winner.

 

 

 

From https://www.imuseum....nt-1272831.html

 

 

Competed in Race Position Time Speed Machine 1958 Junior TT 45 3:21:40.00 78.59 Norton 1957 Senior TT R     BSA 1956 Clubman Senior TT 13 1:25:43.00 79.24 BSA 1955 Clubman Senior TT 6 1:25:24.00 68.23 BSA

#7 cooper997

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 09:56

Andrew gets a brief mention in Lex Davison's AMS column.

 

If AM was so keen to have a run in Bluebird then he must have been rather annoyed when Lex got a run. Admittedly speed governed.

 

In the next day or so I'll try to photograph the article for inclusion here.

 

Stephen



#8 cooper997

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 10:55

Connection of Elfin and Dunlop means likely to be our man?

 

b5e5553be99edaa96d77b4962bc492a2.jpg

 

Stephen



#9 Fred.R

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 20:09

Stephen , the Elfin yes but i don't think thats Mustard in the car, the shots i have seen he is bearded and older



#10 cooper997

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 04:11

Fred, be handy to see one of the Andrew Mustard photos you're aware of.

 

Here's Lex Davison's July 1964 AMS column relating to Bluebird

1964-AMS-Davison-column-01-TNF.jpg

1964-AMS-Davison-column-02-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#11 MarkBisset

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 08:50

Stephen,
I just re-read Evan Green's stunning account of the record attempt- he managed the project for Ampol in 1964. The long piece includes snippets about Mustard and the really important, if not critical role Lex played.
Well worth a read.
https://www.whichcar...ld-speed-record
Mark

Edited by MarkBisset, 06 November 2018 - 20:50.


#12 cooper997

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:58

Great addition Mark.

 

Evan wrote many features and books. It's just a pity one wasn't his own biography.

 

Stephen



#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 11:26

A Boot Full of Right Arms was a true epic...

It should be mandatory reading for all motor sport followers.

#14 f1steveuk

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 13:14

I have a couple of pictures of AM in the car, with a cine camera roped to the nose. He did indeed have a beard

 

Not one of mine

 

https://www.flickr.c...@N07/3833449080


Edited by f1steveuk, 06 November 2018 - 17:00.


#15 cooper997

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 07:16

It is curious that Elfin Catalina chassis number '6313' (as shown in the flickr link F1steveuk posted) ever got a run at Lake Eyre.

 

As Evan Green's April 1981 WHEELS magazine feature tells (link in Mark's post 11) Donald's superstitious nature meant 13 was avoided. Obviously he had more things to worry about than a car's chassus number, but one can only think that the Elfin would have been sent packing if known.

 

I've found another Modern Motor issue with Campbell's Bluebird success and Mustard in one of the photos. I shall add here asap.

 

Stephen.



#16 Catalina Park

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 09:28

Mustard01_zpskedgquwn.jpg

#17 cooper997

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 00:07

Nice find Michael.

 

Here's the Modern Motor Bluebird feature after the successful record grabbing runs, published in the September 1964 issue. Andrew Mustard can be seen with Ken Norris,Donald Campbell and Leo Villa in the bottom photo.

 

1964-Modern-Motor-Bluebird-TNF.jpg .

 

Mark Bisset has filled my inbox with Mustard/Elfin/Bluebird photos. So I'll add them soon and he's encouraged me to add Lex's August 1964 AMS column on driving Bluebird. Stay tuned 

 

Stephen



#18 cooper997

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 08:56

As a folow up to Lex Davison's July AMS column (post 10) this one published in August 1964 AMS covers his run in Bluebird.

 

1964-AMS-Davison-column-Aug-01-TNF.jpg

1964-AMS-Davison-column-Aug-02-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen

 

 



#19 MarkBisset

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 09:29

Fascinating Stephen,
Thanks for posting- no simple 'digital controls' to say the least, 5 tons at 400 mph, blows the mind really
Mark

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#20 f1steveuk

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 10:19

Ken Norris told me about the time he drove CN7. Leo Villa did the outbound run, and got the car to the turnaround point. The car was turned and Donald Campbell shouted out to Ken that he knew the procedure and drove off with the others. From my book: 

 

".  Leo went away first, but spent most of his run with his foot hard on  the brake pedal, trying to cancel out the effect of an over  exuberant get away. When Campbell and Ken Norris arrived, Leo jumped  out and claimed to have found the whole thing quite enjoyable, if a  little bumpy. It would be a different experience for Ken Norris.

 


" I was peering into the cockpit, wondering if it was all such a good idea, when I heard Donald shout out something to the effect of, " cheerio ", and the team all disappeared. I was about eleven miles  from camp with only one obvious means of transport. I remembered the  start up drill and set off along the course marker line. I remember  thinking something like, " this doesn't seem so bad, I'm only  poodling along ", when I noticed the tents of base camp along the  horizon. In the seconds I had thought about easing up and braking I'd  zoomed past it, and was going off in the other direction. Donald  thought it was hilarious "."



#21 Fred.R

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 04:13

Found this, audio recording , apparently the whole interview is at Beaulieu , there is also a photo of Mustard at the WRE record attempt

 

 

 https://www.facebook...?type=3



#22 Fred.R

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 04:55

And from Noel Tuckey

 

Andrew Harry Mustard was an England based mechanical engineer employed by Dunlop Rubber, racing 350cc and 500cc motorbikes as part of Dunlop's competition staff. His privately owned racing motorcycle transporter was a heavily reworked, 1948 Ford 8HP commercial van, until pressure from the Dunlop management and a growing family ended his racing career, and the decision was made to fulfil the immediate need for a more practical, road registered family vehicle. 

 

Andrew then purchased the original glassfibre moulded, prototype coupe body from the Rochdale works in Lancashire during the year of 1958, wrecking his 8HP Ford transporter van to salvage the mechanical parts, commissioning the engineering shop workers at Dunlop to fabricate a light tubular steel chassis which would fit underneath the Rochdale coupe body.

 

Mustard was assisted during the design phase by Colin Chapman of Lotus, the completed coupe was registered 114DNX. After discovering that the cornering ability of the new car was fairly frightening, the leaf spring front suspension was modified by retaining the upper leaf spring, and fitting fabricated lower wishbones. Dunlop then became involved with the creation of Donald Campbell's Bluebird land speed record car, and Andrew Mustard was called in as the Chief Project Engineer. The Bluebird was scheduled to set a new world record for wheel driven cars on South Australia's Lake Eyre dry salt pans, and Mustard was an integral part of the LSR team which travelled to Australia, and he also shipped out the Rochdale coupe to Adelaide, to arrive early in 1963.



#23 cooper997

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 06:15

Ken Norris told me about the time he drove CN7. Leo Villa did the outbound run, and got the car to the turnaround point. The car was turned and Donald Campbell shouted out to Ken that he knew the procedure and drove off with the others. From my book: 

 

".  Leo went away first, but spent most of his run with his foot hard on  the brake pedal, trying to cancel out the effect of an over  exuberant get away. When Campbell and Ken Norris arrived, Leo jumped  out and claimed to have found the whole thing quite enjoyable, if a  little bumpy. It would be a different experience for Ken Norris.

 


" I was peering into the cockpit, wondering if it was all such a good idea, when I heard Donald shout out something to the effect of, " cheerio ", and the team all disappeared. I was about eleven miles  from camp with only one obvious means of transport. I remembered the  start up drill and set off along the course marker line. I remember  thinking something like, " this doesn't seem so bad, I'm only  poodling along ", when I noticed the tents of base camp along the  horizon. In the seconds I had thought about easing up and braking I'd  zoomed past it, and was going off in the other direction. Donald  thought it was hilarious "."

 

Steve, Do you have a list of all those who had a drive of Bluebird during the record attempts period? Or can we safely assume it's Campbell, Davison, Norris and Villa in the exclusive club?

 

Stephen



#24 f1steveuk

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 16:26

You can add Peter Carr and Ken Burville to that list



#25 MarkBisset

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 19:52

Thanks Fred,
Both the recording and Noel Tuckey's piece all add a lot to the picture of Mr Mustard
Mark

#26 Fred.R

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 01:06

I found this earlier post

Elfin Catalina Chassis Number 6313 was built for Dunlop Tyres for use on the Lake Eyre salt to determine certain characteristics for the tyres that were fitted to Donald Campbell's Bluebird Record Attempts during 1963. The Elfin was fitted with 'miniature Bluebird Tyres" and driven over the salt to determine factors such as co-efficient of friction and adhesion.

There are references to this Elfin Catalina Chassis Number 6313 in the associated thread titled "Clisby V6":

http://forums.autosp...showtopic=28535

The images attached to this thread have only recently been found and were shown to several Elfin Owners at the Elfin 50th Anniversary Exhibition at Wayville, South Australia on 16 August 2009.

http://forums.autosp...howtopic=113585

When the Bluebird Records were completed in 1963, the Bluebird Tyre designer Mr Andrew Mustard bought the Elfin from Dunlops. The Elfin was in quite poor condition as a result of its work on the Lake Eyre Salt. The Magnesium based suspension struts, etc were quite corroded.

Mr Mustard asked me if I knew where there was an available workshop where the Elfin could be stripped to its bare elements and then restored. A close acquaintance of mine had a workshop and the restoration took place over the end of 1963 and into 1964. Mr Mustard was living at North brighton and so I became associated with the car and its exploits at Mallala and its Record Attempts for 1500cc vehicles in 1964 and 1965 using the access road, alongside the Main Hangars at Edinburgh Airfield (Weapons Research Establishment) South Australia.

The car was used for training the SA Police Force Driving Instructors in advanced handling techniques, etc. the car was regularly used by myself and others at Mallala and other venues (closed meetings for Austin7 club, etc).

The images I had of the car when I drove it at WRE in October 1965 were lost in Cyclone Tracy in 1974. At that Record Attempt, the Elfin had two Eldred Norman Superchargers mounted over the gearbox, 2 x 2" (with 4 fuel bowls) SU Carburettors jetted for methanol by Peter Dodd, a heavily modified head by Alexander H Rowe and a 20 second life expectancy at peak revs!!

The following day ( Labour Day October 1965), I raced the car at Mallala as a "Formula Libre" with the two superchargrers, the 4 'stub' exhausts and methanol as there was insufficient time to revert the engine back to Formula II specifications.

Wonderful little motor car!!

I understand the car is currently owned by the Rainsford Family of South Australia.

Michael McInerney

http://farm4.static....8e6997116_m.jpg

http://farm3.static....9f418afaa_m.jpg

http://farm3.static....9dafc4cd7_m.jpg



#27 theotherharv

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 00:01

Over the course of 2018, some literature has been published on Andrew Mustard: Enteprise on the Edge of Industry, Stan and Mark Dibben, Australian Scholarly Publishing Pty Ltd, ISBN 978-1-925801-48-4. The book is an interesting read, as it reformats Dibben’s Hold On! autobiography, whilst expanding into his family’s history. The book has a decent bio of Mustard and his family, and touches on the Elfin at both Lake Eyre and Salisbury. Dibben is a wonderful source, as he was both a strong personal friend of Mustards, and was present on The Great White Dyno during the Bluebird trials. The book recognises the grim picture painted of Mustard in literature subsequent to the trials, and paints are far more positive view.

 

I had hoped the book would contain some background to Mustard’s Wray and Norman links, but sadly not.

 

Some notes from my reading:

• Mustard’s father was also named Andrew. Fought in WW1 in tanks, moved to Malaysia for some time after the war (family remained in the UK), and was interned when Singapore fell in WW2.

• Mustard was born in November 1930 in Sandhurst, UK. Studied engineering at Southampton University for a year before dropping out. Worked for the Bristol Airplane Company, doing work on high-speed coach design. This led to a role working for Dunlop’s experimental division.

• In the previous record Bluebird land speed record attempts in Utah, and the 1963 Lake Eyre attempt, Mustard was employed by Dunlop. For the 1964 Lake Eyre attempt, Mustard was self-employed (as  Andrew Mustard & Co), being engaged by Campbell, not Dunlop.

• Looks like Mustard knew Dibben from Mustard’s time in the UK, including Mustard competing in Isle of Man TT races. Mustard was acting as project manager for the Bluebird trials, and called Dibben across from the UK to act as 2IC, including help with track preparation on the salt. Dibben spent 8 weeks in SA, witnessing the record being broken, before returning to the UK. Mustard had emigrated after the 1963 attempt, and stayed in Australia.

• Mustard took the Elfin onto the salt as a test vehicle, but also with an intention of setting his own land speed records whilst on the salt. Campbell was rather upset (it seems to be a large cause of their animosity), and sacked Mustard in June. Campbell, with an unfinished track, almost immediately reinstated him. Mustard would be sacked a second time later in the project. The Elfin land speed record trial runs did not go ahead on the salt, and were later run at WRE Salisbury.

• Mustard was very keen to be the “backup driver” for Bluebird, and would “give his left ball to drive the car”. Campbell was less appreciative of Mustard’s Elfin - “I wouldn’t drive that nasty, dangerous little thing”.

• The Elfin was fitted with a memory accelerometer. The car would be put into a 360º spin at speed (!), and the g-meter result used to calculate the tracks coefficient of adhesion. This would then set Bluebird’s maximum power for the run.

• After the Bluebird works, Mustard worked on various initiatives (e.g. a self steering semi trailer) which were largely not successful. By 1968 he was doing some work for the Police (insurance typework on road accidents). He would then move into various mining roles (often living remote), before moving to Townsville. He operated a garage in Townsville, and lived at 23 Dyer Street.

• Mustard retired in Townsville, and was strongly regarded for his passion for older outboard engines. Sadly, he passed away in July 2002.

 

Cheers,

Harv



#28 brucemoxon

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 04:32

Please please please tell me he was a Colonel?



BM



#29 theotherharv

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 02:19

G'day Bruce,

 

Sorry for my slow reply. I left the book at home while travelling for work.

 

Andrew Mustard senior served in the 8th Battalion of the Tank Corps during WW1. He was a Second Lieutenant when awarded the Military Cross of conspicuous gallantry during the battel of Canbrali (20-23rd November 1917). We was promoted to Captain shortly thereafter.

 

During WW2 he was called up as a Lance Corporal of the Malaya local defence force. He travelled to Singapore, and was appointed a Sergeant of the Straits Settlements Police. He was later reassigned as an Assistant Superintendent of Police before being interned following the fall of Singapore.

 

Regards,

Harv



#30 Tim Murray

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 10:07

Andrew Mustard senior served in the 8th Battalion of the Tank Corps during WW1. He was a Second Lieutenant when awarded the Military Cross of conspicuous gallantry during the battel of Canbrali (20-23rd November 1917). We was promoted to Captain shortly thereafter.


I suspect a typo has crept in somewhere along the line. The Battle of Cambrai began on 20th November 1917. Google throws up no mention of any battle of Canbrali.

#31 theotherharv

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 19:35

Apologies - the book has Cambrai. The typo to Canbrali is my error.

 

Cheers,

Harv



#32 MarkRDibben

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 20:44

Thanks to 'theotherharv' for distilling some of what I tried to do in 'Enterprise on the Edge' with my late Father. I should say up front that Andrew was, next to my Father, the one man who most influenced my early adulthood. I was very fortunate to spend three months en-famille in North Queensland during a gap year between finishing school and going to university.

Nonetheless, what I tried to do was paint a more balanced portrait both of the 64 Lake Eyre attempt and Andrew's (and my Father's) role in it than had been painted hitherto. As Andrew himself explained in an interview he gave at the Beaulieu Motor Museum, where the car now resides, the Bluebird WLSR project consisted of two quite separate factions, one which was concerned with breaking the land speed record and the other which was concerned with engineering and technological development. What you tend to hear most in the published record is the view of those from the first faction, who were not overly enamored with that of the second faction! Andrew felt the record being officially - see below -  broken by such a small margin, amounted to a failure. He was not the only one, for that was the view of the industry that built the car and supplied the materiel. For Campbell never again received any support from British industry for any of his future WLSR project ideas.

How did Andrew come to be project manager and reserve driver? He was the person who designed the tyres for Bluebird when he worked for Dunlop in the 1950s - and by the way he readily admitted that he did not take account of the build-up of salt on the wheel rims during the runs that was causing vibration. Nor did he take into account, when designing the tyres, the poor quality of the salt that resulted from the rains in 63 and that broke up and cut into the tyres in 64. The tyres were designed, reasonably I think, on the assumption of a stable surface.

For Utah 60 and Lake Eyre 63, Andrew was an employee of Dunlop. After 63, he decided to make his home Australia because the country offered such greater promise for a young family - and he's been proved right!! He resigned from Dunlop and established his own engineering consultancy based in Adelaide.

The problem that DC had was that the failure of the 63 attempt, coupled with the Utah crash and the analysis of the reasons for it, led to British industry losing their trust of him (i.e Donald).

He didn't own the rebuilt car. It was released to him for his use and I may say with very great reluctance for 1964. Three of the major sponsors of the project knew Andrew well and trusted him. He had worked at Bristol, the engine maker, he had worked at Dunlop. He had a reasonably successful motorsport background of his own - he had won a trophy at the 1956 (I think it was) Isle of Man TT motorcycle races for example. In his motorsport activity, he was sponsored not only by Dunlop, naturally since he worked for them, but also by Castrol. Castrol supplied the oils for the Bluebird project. (The fuel was supplied by BP and then DC organised for Ampol to pay him to use their fuels...). These three major British companies, Bristol, Dunlop and Castrol, got together and effectively made it a condition of their involvement in 64 - and thus by default a condition of the release of the car to DC - that Andrew be appointed project manager and reserve driver. This was their way of raising the chances,as they saw it, of a successful outcome.

Andrew needed a 'right hand man' and he decided my Father was the right 'right hand man' for the job. So my Father was responsible not only for building the track but also for getting the whole train of vehicles etc up to the Lake. I have his diaries here with numerous to-do lists in that respect! In the run up to the attempts, Andrew was busy "haunting ministries" of the South Australian Government making sure the whole thing came together. Once the car and the whole circus got to the Lake, then he fell back largely into his role of tyre man, which 'theotherharv' has alluded to, using the Elfin to do all the coefficient of adhesion tests. So when other people we know more of in the published accounts who have spoken of their management role in the project, what they are speaking about is their role as part of DC's own group. They were not at all happy that Andrew had been, in his own words "foistered on them." As far as DC's faction was concerned, and for their own very understandable reasons, they ran the project. Err, not quite. This is the underlying source of all the tension you pick up in, for example, the Bluebird and the Dead Lake' book. Besides, it's always useful to have a villain!

There is no question, and as Andrew has again admitted, he "was young and dying to have a go" but he would never, in seriousness, have thought of doing anything and - from what I can discern - never did anything to jeopardise the Bluebird project. He'd given over a decade of his life to see it succeed...

On the other hand, the DC group and DC himself, were not at all impressed that Andrew intended to beak speed records of his won with the Elfin. In Andrew's mind, though, why shouldn't he? Perfect opportunity, got the track there, got the Elfin all set up. And indeed of course in the end he did break speed records with the Elfin - and some of the records still in fact stand today.

In DC's mind, however, to even consider doing one's own record attempts was in and of itself disloyal, denigrating and disrespectful. DC finally fired Andrew because of this. The difference in view says a great deal about the different characters of the two men. Andrew had resigned from Dunlop and moved to Australia in no small part to get away from British motor industry leaders who were not willing to support others - if they feared to do so would take the spotlight away from themselves. This is a British class question, frankly. Although Andrew was from the upper class, apart from his accent (which he never lost and for which he was very frequently misunderstood, ironically, in Australia) there was nothing upper class about him. He was an egalitarian who despised the class system.

I might also add, for interest, that the telemetry data from the car published by Donald Stevens and that I analyse at great length and with great care in 'Enterprise on the Edge' strongly, strongly suggest that the car achieved an average speed far higher than 403.1mph. The data for the first run does correspond to an average speed over the mile of 403.1 because it seems DC misread his instruments and established the car initially at 330mph. He then accelerated hard through the measured mile - a most unusual thing to do. However, the data for the second run, knowing what we know of DC as a consummate professional speed record breaker and I might add an excellent aeroplane pilot, suggest the car was established 'in the cruise' prior to entry into the measured mile at 440. With the clear difference in the speed profile that the (admittedly partial) telemetry data provide, it would be to all intents a physical impossibility to average exactly the same speed to within 0.1 of a mph over two runs. Particularly two runs that have such different speed profiles. We can only speculate as to why it was that the ratified speed for both attempts was an identical 403.1. In my opinion, having analysed that data, DC went a lot faster that day, not only on one run but also therefore on average, across the two runs. There must therefore be another reason why it was that the speed ratified by the FIA delegate for both runs was 403.1...

When one realises that the first time DC had gone any speed at all in a car was in Bluebird at Utah (he was a boat man), his achievements with the car are absolutely remarkable!

I hope that helps explain Andrew's involvement and also adds a little extra to the Bluebird story. Happy to chat further if that is of interest.


Edited by MarkRDibben, 14 April 2021 - 21:29.


#33 theotherharv

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 21:16

G'day Mark,

 

Great to hear from you, and really appreciate the discussion. Andrew's exploits are fascinating, and the extra insight is great.

 

Andrew would go on be part of the 1960's go-fast scene in South Australia, dabbling in Norman superchargers with the Elfin. He set several Aussie land speed records in his own right. Sadly, the entries have been removed in error from the Aussie record books (Motorsport Australia, our FIA recognised body). Some detective work (with many thanks to Fred R) has unearthed the records from the archive.

 

It has been a looooooong conversation with Motorsport Australia (several years :() to get them to reinstate the records. Whilst they recognise the issue, I struggle to get enough interest from them to update the online document. I will keep trying though - it will be a fitting tribute to both Andrew and the Norman clan.

 

Regards,

Andrew (theotherharv)



#34 Doug Nye

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 12:30

Absolutely fascinating material presented above.  Thank you so much Mark and Andrew for taking the trouble...

 

I certainly recall from my early days at 'Motor Racing' magazine in 1963-64 the degree of disregard in which Donald Campbell was held by so many who came into our office at Brands Hatch.  There was indeed respect for how self-evidently committed and driven he was to his cause, but even then it seemed an attitude left-over from a bygone era.  It would have been 'nice' to see the Union Jack emblazoned on a world-beater, but by and large enthusiasts would rather see it emblazoned on a Formula 1 Champion or on a Le Mans winner - rather than upon a straight-line point-and-squirt LSR car...wasn't that an obsession left over from, well, way pre-war?

 

Into the mid-1960s times were changing so fast, and attitudes changing in step, that DC and his ambitions in matching or exceeding his late father's achievements did seem something of an anachronism.  What didn't help - certainly amongst the circles in which I was then growing up in the racing world - was that Sir Malcolm personally was widely recalled as having been "a total sh--".  

 

Sorry, to Campbell fans, but that is my clear recollection from the time.

 

DCN



#35 ensign14

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 13:43

I bought a second-hand WSLR book from a dealer at an Autosport show, and he was strongly hinting that, in Donald's case, it was a good thing that the apple had fallen far from the tree...



#36 theotherharv

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 21:41

Connection of Elfin and Dunlop means likely to be our man?

 

b5e5553be99edaa96d77b4962bc492a2.jpg

 

Stephen

 

I was re-reading this thread last night, and note the post copied above. I hunted down this lead, but not sure if I shared the material here. The black haired gentleman shown in the photo pops up in a few of the Bluebird trial photos. The gentleman is Ted Townsend. Ted currently lives in Renmark, and I was fortunate enough to speak to him a while back.

 

 

Ted was a tyre fitter working for Dunlop, and knew the South Australian Dunlop manager well, taking him spotlighting from time to time. When the Bluebird team was being put together, the manager nominated Ted as someone who would be practical enough to ensure the conditions, whilst also understanding tyres. In early April 1963 Ted went to the property being used as the staging ground for the trials. Mustard was the head of the tyre team, and shared a caravan with Ted. Mustard was a long sleeper, with Ted having to wake him up in the morning. Ted remembers Andrew referring to himself as Catweazle (!), though the pointy-bearded character placed by Geoffrey Bayldon did not air on TV until the 1970s. Mustard apparently also helped develop the rounded motorcycle tyre, an improvement on the flat tyres used previously (which prevented a bike being leaned over fully). BP fuel was represented at the Lake by their Phillip Island agent, who Ted would meet again decades later on a bus trip. The Dunlop team had two Australian tyre fitters (Ted, and Munro Constable, who balanced the wheels) and two English tyre technicians. Constable has since passed away. The UK tyre technicians had been involved with many of Malcolm and all of Donald Campbells land speed trials. Ted remains unconvinced of the UK tyre fitters practicality – they knew tyre fitting very well, but could probably “not tie a knot in a rope”. The tyre team changed tyres in the hour between each Bluebird run, with several different speed rating tyres available.  The high-speed rated tyres were not used in 1963, with Campbell the only 1963 driver. The Elfin was used for tyre testing, but did not need to be spun to get the Tapley meter to record track adhesion – a tap on the brakes would be sufficient to make a reading. The Elfin was fitted with a 4-cylinder Ford engine and VW gearbox, with Ted getting the opportunity to drive it at one stage. Campbell did have set views on things. Lack of radio reception at the end of the track led to the aerial being moved from the guard to the fin of Bluebird, a whole day exercise. When Ted queried Villa on why the base station was instead not simply moved to the end of the track, Villa responded that that was the way that the boss wanted it. Rain eventually prevented the trials continuing. The track was marked with orange banners, with red banners each mile of the 7 mile timed track. Andrew and Ted piled into the Landrover to recover the banners as the rain started, having piled railway sleepers onboard in case the car go bogged in the 6” water depth. The banners were recovered from the far end first, returning to the start point. This was done for fear that if the starting banners were recovered first, they would end up stuck in the middle of the mirage-ridden track and may not find their way off again. Ted moved to Alice Springs to start a new Dunlop branch, and was not involved in the 1964 Bluebird attempt. He was unaware of the latter Elfin history, where Mustard set his own LSRsg. Ted would leave Dunlop in 1966 to purchase a bus and commence a bus run, building the company up into an 18-bus fleet that undertook Australian tours before retiring ten years ago. He was quite surprised that I had seen a copy of the photo of him sitting in the Elfin.


Cheers,

Andrew



#37 cooper997

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 12:24

The July Motor Sport has just lobbed in selected Aussie newsagents a couple of days ago.

 

Point being this issue has some fresh colour photos taken at Lake Eyre by a team member, part of 93 donated to Beaulieu Motor Museum.

 

The Elfin shown in earlier posts on here is included as one of the 16 photos published.

 

 

Stephen



#38 theotherharv

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 21:26

Very cool.

 

I have seen perhaps half a dozen colour photos of the Elfin on the salt (parked beside Bluebird, parked beside the Landrover, at speed moving past the marker cones), but not that one.

 

Posting it here in the spirit of historical research - mods, if this pushes the bounds of copyright please delete.

 

5wvVDj4.jpg

 

 

Cheers,

Harv



#39 cooper997

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 04:48

I've just reminded myself that 5 years ago, I posted the Elfin next to Bluebird photo in post 43 here...

https://forums.autos...otorsport-quiz/

 

Bluebird-Elfin-TNF.jpg

 

However, in post 46 AAA-Eagle added relevant information suitable to be here.

 

It might be better if Tim or Richard make the executive decision to paste that here?

 

 

Stephen