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Your most-enjoyed Australian race cars?


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#1 Wirra

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 13:22

Many of the cars shown on the 'Australian Photos' thread stir wonderful memories but for me there are a few stand-outs. Generally it was the craftsmanship in the construction and presentation, combined with performance, but not always.

 

I'd be interested to see what commonality there is with fellow TNF-ers.

 

My list is no specific order;

Centaur Waggott

Lotus 39 Repco V8 (pre-wings)

Birrana 272

Bob Jane's Torana Repco V8

Matich SR3



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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 19:38

For all too short a time, the Ferrari P4...

The 250LM was also stirring in its early life.

Niel Allen's Elfin 400.

Bob Jane's McLaren M6 was great in this regard.

You had to be at the fence watching as KB wrestled the speed out of the Brabham BT11.

Brian Muir's S4 Holden when it was in Scuderia Veloce colours.

The Galloway driven by John Smith.

KB again when he was driving the Mildren Maserati.

#3 E1pix

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 19:52

Elmo the Elfin.

:-)

#4 Wirra

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 22:59

Niel Allen's Elfin 400.

You had to be at the fence watching as KB wrestled the speed out of the Brabham BT11.
 

 

I had both these on my short list.

 

Interesting that we preferred the 'Traco Olds' in Niel's hands rather than Frank's. The Bathurst 100 MPH lap was probably the most exciting motorsport moment I experienced and that probably flavoured my excitement about the Mildren BT-11. I wonder if Spencer had got there first it would be the Jane BT-11?

 

I tried to stick with locally build cars (took some liberties with the 39) so that somewhat excluded the P4 and 250LM although they were not that competitive in our sprint race format and I was never really a big fan.  



#5 Ian G

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 23:46

For all too short a time, the Ferrari P4...
 

Without doubt the P-4,looks,sound,aura.

I still remember standing around when they were fitting Webers(may have been vv,refitting the FI) on the Saturday at WF,i think they still had problems on the Sunday but the sound when starting and going down Hume Straight was amazing,F1 cars were briefly in the background that day.

We were only talking about the car during a reunion a couple of years ago,one of the guys in our car club was connected with McKay and apparently a over zealous Custom Official  contacted the Ferrari factory to get a valuation after not being happy with the figure on the Custom Declarations,i don't know how many Million Lira it was but it was multiple times what was listed on the Custom form so the Custom duty levied for it to stay in Oz. was not viable.

Someone on here will probably know more about that drama.  



#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 23:57

Originally posted by Wirra
I had both these on my short list.
 
Interesting that we preferred the 'Traco Olds' in Niel's hands rather than Frank's. The Bathurst 100 MPH lap was probably the most exciting motorsport moment I experienced and that probably flavoured my excitement about the Mildren BT-11. I wonder if Spencer had got there first it would be the Jane BT-11?


I don't think so, Peter...

KB was to go on flinging that car around in a manner in which Spencer never did. And he was newer in the seat, too, which added to the excitement.

As for Niel's 'Traco Olds', it was a more interesting car in the white with red stripes. Again, Niel was all-new on the scene too, stepping into this car just a couple of years after running an E-type, he was someone to watch.

I have to agree, by the way, about the excitement about that first-ever 100mph lap at Bathurst. Interestingly, I only learned a little while back that it didn't happen on the lap we thought it did, but on the third or fourth lap as the lap length used for the calculation was wrong. And it was still KB who did it first.

#7 Wirra

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 02:55

Ray, we're probably drifting into car/driver experiences rather than just the car as was my original intention, although the combination may influence one's decision.

 

The Jane Torana was pretty much a dud but oh a such thing of engineering beauty.



#8 ellrosso

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 06:58

The Jane McLaren M6 was one of my favourites and I was lucky enough to be at the 1969 Symmons meeting where Geoff Harrisson took the attached photograph. Such an impressive racing machine and immaculate like all of Jane's cars.

The Geoghegan's Lotus 39 Repco and Mustang were also right up there too (from 1969 Symmons meetings also). Pic of KB attached for the uninitiated (me too, my first taste of KB's driving was Symmons '69 in the yellow sub)1437-H-Mc-M6-69-TNF.jpg530-K-Bart-67-TNF.jpg



#9 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:20

Ray, we're probably drifting into car/driver experiences rather than just the car as was my original intention, although the combination may influence one's decision.

 

The Jane Torana was pretty much a dud but oh a such thing of engineering beauty.

The Bob Jane Torana was never a dud. Very pukka with the Repco and Bob did not like it with the Chev,,, but it was faster.

Though for speed, at least in the late 90s mine was a good deal faster than all of the others. And that was just evolution. 

And yes I did race against it in the hands of the Lustys.

 

As for cars?? I like quite a few classic and newer.  5000s, big sporties and ofcourse Sports Sedans. 

The best to me is the Ricciardello Alfa. I saw it being built at K&A and near 30 years later it is still winning. And is near as fast around Sandown as the new S5000s. Though currently today they are slower than Tweedies 70s Chevron.



#10 D-Type

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 12:22

Living in the Northern Hemisphere - I don't have a dog in this fight.

 

When I saw the question, I immediately thought of Stan Jones's Maybach Special - the only 'native' car to take the fight to the European cars in the 'pre-Tasman' deries



#11 E1pix

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 15:28

Your photos sure add a lot to this site, Mr. Ross.

Thanks.

#12 king_crud

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 15:41

As a 42 year old youngun around here my favourites tend to be from 80s and 90s touring cars. Despite the hatred of them, especially at the end, i was a Nissan fan. My earliest memory is George Fury getting Bathurst pole in 1984 with the Bluebird, and i thought it was such a great sight. And they finished with my favourite, Godzilla. What a car, just amazing to watch

#13 opplock

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 17:50

I chuckled at mention of the McLaren M6, built in England by Kiwis, so in answer to D-Type - as the Maybach won the NZ Grand Prix it must be a Kiwi race car. If the criteria is cars that raced in Australia rather than cars built in Australia I'm surprised no-one has lowered the tone by nominating the HRT F110. Oops I just have.    



#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 22:29

Okay, I missed the nuance of the cars needing to be 'Australian' rather than just raced in Australia...

Then the P4 is off my list, it certainly had no Australian content.

Jane's McLaren did, however, as it was modified in Australia and fitted with an Australian engine. In just the same way as Peter has nominated the Lotus 39 when fitted with the Repco V8, both of them being finished delightfully and a pleasure to look at as well as well-driven too.

The BT11 comes off my list too, for although it spent its early life here it was as built in England (though designed and constructed by an Australian-based maker) and didn't have the Aussie power plant. Nor was it, as at the times nominated, modified in Australia as its short term with a Maserati V12 was under Frank Gardner's control.

I'd better add another, a model of car which I've always admired for its simplicity and effectiveness, and speed:

The Cheetah Corolla F2 cars - Mk 5 or whatever - but in the form with the full-width nose and the side deformable structures. They were so quick and virtually all of them were well-presented.

And the car which presented the greatest competition to them, at Amaroo Park at least, the Elfin 700 Corolla of Mal Brewster.

#15 GMACKIE

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 23:01

Living in the Northern Hemisphere - I don't have a dog in this fight.

 

When I saw the question, I immediately thought of Stan Jones's Maybach Special - the only 'native' car to take the fight to the European cars in the 'pre-Tasman' deries

That's more like it. A true "Australian Race Car".

 

Eldred Norman's Zephyr Special is another...



#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 23:51

However, to be 'most enjoyed' then I would think you'd have to have seen it race...

Is that correct?

I never saw either of those cars in-period but I'm sure those who saw the Eclipse Zephyr leading the Coopers at Phillip Island (1959?) or the Maybach striding out in front of the AGP field at Soutport (1954) would have really appreciated them.

#17 E1pix

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 01:51

However, to be 'most enjoyed' then I would think you'd have to have seen it race...Is that correct?

That'd throw enjoying things in print and video right out the window.

Which makes both our careers completely inconsequential. :-)

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 04:41

You have a very good point...

Then the Eclipse Zephyr would be on my list. I just love the innovation in that car.

#19 MarkBisset

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 06:49

Lots of interesting cars amongst the contributions so far.
My ‘time’ started from the 1972 Sandown Tasman- two from that meeting were the GTHO Ph3 and Matich A50 plus the two Tyrrell nosed Elfin MR5’s
The Birrana 274/374 were jets with Leffler’s Bowin P8 Hart F2 even more impressive- i was so proud we built cars like that here.
FM’s Matich A53 was his best- and ‘small’
Coopers Elfin MR8 @ Sandown first time out in 1976 had big wow factor, ditto MR9 GE car.
Loved his MS7 sporty and Bob Brittons Rennmax Repco 5 litre for Lionel Ayers. His BN7’s were excellent too.
Cheetah Mk5/6 won lotsa races.
Barry Lock’s Kaditcha DFL for Romano was a favourite ditto the Cosworth Vega one for Hinrichs (spelling)
Veskanda showed K&A boys to great effect
Richards 201 VW was a mini-FW07
All of Mike Borlands cars for the last 20 years- including Chris Lambdens Thunder 5000- enough Oz content to qualify? Ditto the cars @ Sandown today
Tourers aren’t my thing but Janes Torana Repco, Thommos Volksrolet and Gardner’s Corvair were mighty cars to watch

Edited by MarkBisset, 21 September 2019 - 06:50.


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#20 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 08:47

As a 42 year old youngun around here my favourites tend to be from 80s and 90s touring cars. Despite the hatred of them, especially at the end, i was a Nissan fan. My earliest memory is George Fury getting Bathurst pole in 1984 with the Bluebird, and i thought it was such a great sight. And they finished with my favourite, Godzilla. What a car, just amazing to watch

All ricers!



#21 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:00

Living in the Northern Hemisphere - I don't have a dog in this fight.

 

When I saw the question, I immediately thought of Stan Jones's Maybach Special - the only 'native' car to take the fight to the European cars in the 'pre-Tasman' deries

Aussie chassis and engine development. But all the mechanicals were from imported vehicles.

Though in reality very few real Aussie cars, plenty of very good [and bad] chassis. The early Holdens on the Baskeville thread more Aussie than most.

Or an Elfin with a Repco Holden. And there was very few of those.

And none of the above is putting anyone or thing down. But most motorsport engines  and transmissions are imported. Lotus, toyota, Nissan Chev, Ford, etc And Hewland transmissions or  for tintops Muncie, Super T10, Jericho gearboxes as well as VW based and a variety of rear ends from England Europe and The US.

So a Holden grey red or blue engine running through an Aussie gearbox through to a banjo Holden diff.

Speedway midgets were probably a little more 'pure' with a grey Holden,,, or a Mitsi Sigma engine on a locally made frame. Though even those generally used a quickchange or the basic A40 diff.



#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 10:03

The Cheetahs mentioned generally had a Holinger-built version of the VW in the same manner as the Hewlands...

But seeing as Peter opened the thread with a list including the Lotus 39 when fitted with the Repco V8 we have to accept that the Australian-modified version of a car is acceptable here.

#23 Lola5000

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 07:15

Matich F5000s,Elfin 600 as a F2 or with the 2.5 Repco.

 

Matich sports cars SR3/4

 

Maybach 2.

 

Jane Torana Repco.



#24 Wirra

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:01

...,Elfin 600... with the 2.5 Repco.

 

 

:up:



#25 Martyn Hey

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 09:50

First sight of Matich and the SR4 at Sandown blew my 13-year-old eyes... low, mean and sounded great. Got to the GP/Tasman round later in 1972, loved the look of those Elfins with the Tyrrell noses, and the Moffat/Goss HO show...

 

https://postimg.cc/N5xMxDXf]

 

https://postimg.cc/q6s7SXZw]

 


Edited by Martyn Hey, 24 September 2019 - 09:58.


#26 Martyn Hey

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 09:56

Hope the pics are viewable - seems a clunky way to post images (make allowance for image quality - best efforts at the time with an Instamatic)...


Edited by Martyn Hey, 24 September 2019 - 10:01.


#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 13:15

Works out if you do it right...

Frank-Matich-Matich-A50-Repco-Sandown-Ta

Garrie-Cooper-Elfin-MR5-Sandown-Tasman-1

Allan-Moffat-John-Goss-Sandown-20-2-72-1

You need to click on 'Hotlink for forums'.

#28 Martyn Hey

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 20:24

Aha! thanks Ray.

 

PS Re: Sandown, I just viewed a clip of the inaugural S5000 race - what are people's views of this new series?


Edited by Martyn Hey, 24 September 2019 - 20:28.


#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 21:06

I understand that the drivers' view is that they've chosen the wrong tyres...

Any chance of a link for that clip?

#30 Wirra

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 01:29

This topic needs it's own thread.

 

I understand that the drivers' view is that they've chosen the wrong tyres...

Any chance of a link for that clip?

 

Wrong formula more like it, Ray.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=A2mNXqSCJIo

 

 

Aha! thanks Ray.

 

PS Re: Sandown, I just viewed a clip of the inaugural S5000 race - what are people's views of this new series?

 

Terrible - Just picking up where it left off all those years ago.

 

In my view the performance of racing cars today (past 40 years) has simply out-grown their environment (circuits). Overtaking and race craft, etc, has been superseded by tyre conservation, technical tweaks, etcetera. F1 is all about driver or team personalities/nationality/tradition, very little to do with RACING.

 

Locally, they'd be better off trying to create a Formula Ford type class - no wings, skinny tyres, etc. 



#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 07:05

What an ironic crash for Davison...

Right where his grandfather died.

#32 ellrosso

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 09:46

I was thinking the same thing Ray........ would have been a tense moment for his parents I'd imagine. They still have some work to do on S5000 - very early days. Some good battles in the heat I saw on Saturday but the cars are very tricky

to drive at the moment as in unpredictable. They are quick and sound good but not much quicker than Tom Tweedie in the Chevron B38 though. Definitely more exciting than watching F3 or even worse, F4.



#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 12:30

A minute and five seconds around the new Sandown is hardly hanging around...

And if the tyres are as bad as Big Dave tells me then they'll soon be changing them.

#34 JacnGille

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 18:02

I was gonna say Talon F5000 but a quickie Google search says they were built here in the States.



#35 Wirra

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 11:17

I was gonna say Talon F5000 but a quickie Google search says they were built here in the States.

 

Perhaps your Google is coming to you via the Ukraine as my Google suggest they are French built by a firm of Ligier origin.



#36 opplock

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 13:32

Perhaps your Google is coming to you via the Ukraine as my Google suggest they are French built by a firm of Ligier origin.

 

I think JacnGille is referring to the Talon MR1, these were McRae GM2 copies built in USA. Chris Amon drove one in 1975 Tasman Series and was rather taken aback to discover that it was more than 50kg heavier than Cassius' supposedly identical GM2.  



#37 JacnGille

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 20:38

I'm most familiar with the one Jon Woodner peddled.



#38 Wirra

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 23:06

I think JacnGille is referring to the Talon MR1, these were McRae GM2 copies built in USA...

 

Apologies 'JacnGille'. My mind can't cope with two topics running in the same thread. As the saying goes, it's easy to confuse a stupid person!



#39 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 27 September 2019 - 00:30

A minute and five seconds around the new Sandown is hardly hanging around...

And if the tyres are as bad as Big Dave tells me then they'll soon be changing them.

1 04.5 actually.

The races are on You Tube. Quite good to watch. Lets hope they can get the numbers up and keep them up.

And they have a contract for tyres so unless Hoosier change the spec compound will not change either.

And if Max orders today probably 8 weeks at least for delivery. I presume the tyres are  a Hoosier [US] stock line. Which are usually made 2 or 3 times a year in volume of what they expect to sell. Made in various compounds at that time. Setting up the moulds is the hard job. And since they make such a huge range of small volume runs. It takes time and forward planning. They make a huge range of dirt tyres, road race, bitumen ovals,  drag and even a few semi street tyres.

And after all of that the category is designed to be a bit hard to drive and having a too hard a tyre is far better than too soft a tyre.

 

Watching the You Tube clips last night I was very surprised to find out they are so damn heavy. 900 kilos. my Torana XU1 Sports Sedan was 920kg  and that a standard steel body shell from A-C pillars with an iron block Chev, steel bellhousing, iron Super T10 and all iron/steel 9" Ford diff. And bigger tyres and brakes. And unfortunatly about 6 sec a lap slower!

The K&A Monterosso Escort was just under 900.  And about 3 sec a lap slower. So those S5000s are very Porky!



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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 September 2019 - 01:53

F5000 was 562kg...

900kg is a huge jump!

#41 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 27 September 2019 - 03:22

F5000 was 562kg...

900kg is a huge jump!

Some of that is the quad cam lump they are using. Sounds good goes well. Just fat!

How true I do not know but I have read the road version is heavier than a 427 Chev with an iron intake.



#42 gkennedy

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Posted 27 September 2019 - 03:40

Minimum weight is 845kgs wet - 925kgs including driver and racing apparel. (CAMS S5000 regs T.4.1)

So far the racing looks look it’ll be good, but unlikely they will make this list of most enjoyed Australian race cars.

Edited by gkennedy, 28 September 2019 - 01:25.


#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 September 2019 - 03:47

That's true on a few counts...

One is that very few of us will be going to watch them. Then they are 'spec' cars so, without variety, none will stand out. Finally, they're really a 'nostalgia' class anyway so the memory of the real thing will be lessening their impact.

#44 Martyn Hey

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 12:55

Found this again - chilling to see how Alex came off at exactly the same spot, but happily unscathed.

IMG-6730.jpg[/url]