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Niel Allen - RIP


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#1 Wirra

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 06:09

Ray can you confirm if this is our Niel.

https://maurerfunera...RCPz5IG1fkYSndI

 

 

(edit) Confirmed by the funeral home.


Edited by Wirra, 10 August 2022 - 08:53.


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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 08:25

The spelling is right, the area is right...

 

Very sad. He's been declining for some years now and it's hard to reconcile the man he's been with the tiger of a driver we once knew.

 

Even worse, his service will be at exactly the same time as Max Stahl's private 'family and close friends' service.

 

I'm sure many will have a favourite memory of Niel's all too short career on the circuits. Catalina Park, January 1970 would be one of mine, leaving two black stripes up the track through Carrington Curve chasing Matich in the SR4 while he drove the outdated Elfin 400.

 

I'm sure anyone who was at Pukekohe to see his NZGP win will still have graphic memories.

 

And the distress he had when his engine failed him in the Tasman Cup final round as he was storming away from the field at Sandown.



#3 lyntonh

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 08:30

The death notice in the SMH.

 

https://tributes.smh...tuaries/smh-au/



#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 08:56

No middle name showing anywhere...

 

We all know it was N. E. Allen, both in business and in racing.

 

But, again, the spelling is right.



#5 Wirra

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 10:24

I'm hopeful others will add better quality images but here are some of my schoolboy Instamatic efforts.

 

 

Niel-Allen-3.jpg

 

Niel_Allen_1.jpg

 

Niel_Allen_2.jpg

 

Niel_Allen_6.jpg

 

Niel_Allen_7.jpg

 

Niel_Allen_5.jpg


Edited by Wirra, 11 August 2022 - 00:46.


#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 12:47

Originally posted by Wirra
I'm hopeful others will add better quality images but here are some of my schoolboy Instamatic efforts.
 
Niel-Allen-3.jpg
 
Niel_Allen_2.jpg
 
Niel_Allen_6.jpg

Niel_Allen_1.jpg
 
Niel_Allen_7.jpg
 
Niel_Allen_5.jpg



Nothing to be ashamed of there, Peter...

And I'm sure Lynton and Lindsay, among others, will have more for us.

Maybe it's also an appropriate time to quote Niel himself:

Speaking about chasing pole position or a lap record, he wrote: "The latter was an exceptionally stimulating and heart-throbbing experience for me when pushed to the maximum.

To me, while subconsciously working to control your own sense of self-discipline, you knew you were testing the limits. Even with the intense concentration demanded, it was as though you were putting yourself in God's hands in giving it all you had by entering the zone of eleven-tenths driving. I'm sure these pressures applied to all of us who did it."

Niel was always one to take up the challenge. In 1967 he put himself out there in all the top classes in each of the three categories, Racing Cars, Sports Cars and Touring Cars. He seriously set out to try and topple the best in each of those fields.

But probably the most telling comment one could quote would be that from Frank Matich:

"On a Friday night we'd be coming back from testing at the track, it might be quite late, and going past Niel's building you'd see that the lights were still on and he was working late.

Then the next morning he'd be there at the circuit and ready to deliver his best, he could switch completely from Niel Allen the property developer to Niel Allen the racing driver. I couldn't understand how he could that."

#7 lyntonh

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 13:40

I only saw Niel race from mid 1969 until early 1971,

but didn't he squeeze so much into that brief couple of years.

 

That glorious music from the McLaren M4a, the purity of the ME5, 

the M10B on those rare laps around the Mountain.

 

Then the inevitability of him winning the Tasman in 1971.....

 

To be so enthused by his success that we followed him to Sandown

ready to enjoy witnessing him getting it done,

only to see it vanish in that bloody puff of smoke.

 

That moment of frustration for us all when he pulled the plug,

and the joy we felt at hearing of his return.

 

Then the shock when the news came of that rotten Lola trying to hurt him,

and the sad acceptance that he was right to stop.

8-A43-F6-FB-41-A6-4024-9-E50-A7-C1-E7681

66-D7-B4-E8-5469-4559-A8-A4-BD32-EEC067-

F05929-BB-81-FB-49-B2-B83-A-CFDEBFE175-D

AD66-CF90-2372-4-DE0-833-E-84-A859-C134-
7-CEF8-EE9-7472-4-AE5-A606-32270-CB2-AF0

AC89-D6-D9-998-A-41-BA-9-B19-6-C0-AD07-C

8-A19-BD82-97-A4-43-BF-A5-D7-4-EFF0-F931



#8 lyntonh

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 13:44

But I refuse to finish my tribute on a low note.....

 

This is the photo I will remember him by.......

 

166739-FB-A3-A8-4253-98-E1-A319-CA8-D593


Edited by lyntonh, 10 August 2022 - 13:44.


#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 14:12

Originally posted by lyntonh
.....To be so enthused by his success that we followed him to Sandown
ready to enjoy witnessing him getting it done,
only to see it vanish in that bloody puff of smoke.

8-A19-BD82-97-A4-43-BF-A5-D7-4-EFF0-F931


It's an expression I use way too much...

But it's true. I know the feeling well.

#10 MarkBisset

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 22:05

[url=https://postimages.org/]A9-CE7-B00-08-AF-4-CA6-A58-D-4-E4-B6-E1-[/u

 

The only man to tame the twitchy, tricky Elfin ME5 Chev at Warwick Farm in 1969 or 1970, McLaren M10B forgiving in comparison perhaps!? (oldracephotos.com-DSimpson)

 

Wonderful tributes and photographs fellas.

 

I missed him 'in person', sadly, he had just departed the stage as I became interested.

 

Three Tasman round wins is impressive especially against guys the calibre of McRae, Matich, and Pilette - in equal equipment - and Gardner et-al. All full-time Pro's to Allen's part time, funding it himself profile.

 

They - Allen and Peter Molloy - really hit their straps with that M10B didn't they?

 

To have seen Matich and Allen face-off in the lost 1970 F5000 Gold Star year would have been something. AGP duly noted.

 

Fred Gibson's career got a nice leg up thanks to his generosity too.

 

RIP.

 

[url=https://postimages.org/]6-B01-CE8-D-1-EC8-4893-884-D-964-A66-EBC[/url

 

 

With Chris Davison, Bathurst Easter 1970, the weekend he set the long-time lap record aboard the M10B (C Williams)


Edited by MarkBisset, 10 August 2022 - 22:14.


#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 22:45

Generous he was, too...

 

When he pulled out he sold his two McLarens quite cheaply to help others get going. Alan Hamilton and Kevin Bartlett were the beneficiaries there. And then when he crashed the T300 he gave Bob Muir a flying start.

 

Not forgetting that he funded Motoring News as well.



#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 01:07

I realised this morning that I have a photographic contribution I can make to this...

 

Most of my photos of his era have gone, either given away by others to others or destroyed by stupid things done by ex-wives. But this one was preserved because it was published in RCN in the report for the 1967 Boxing Day Hume Weir meeting:

 

0822fr-RCN268-Nielatscrub.jpg

Scrub Corner. The tightest corner in Australian motor racing, surely? Niel set the outright lap record for the circuit with a lap of 47.2 seconds. It wasn't beaten for some time.

 

It was not as heroic, I don't suppose, as the day he set the Symmons Plains outright record, crossing the finishing line backwards.

 

All a part of the picture painted by the life of Niel Allen...



#13 TerryS

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 03:36



[url=https://postimages.org/]A9-CE7-B00-08-AF-4-CA6-A58-D-4-E4-B6-E1-[/u

 

The only man to tame the twitchy, tricky Elfin ME5 Chev at Warwick Farm in 1969 or 1970, McLaren M10B forgiving in comparison perhaps!? (oldracephotos.com-DSimpson)

 

Wonderful tributes and photographs fellas.

 

I missed him 'in person', sadly, he had just departed the stage as I became interested.

 

Three Tasman round wins is impressive especially against guys the calibre of McRae, Matich, and Pilette - in equal equipment - and Gardner et-al. All full-time Pro's to Allen's part time, funding it himself profile.

 

They - Allen and Peter Molloy - really hit their straps with that M10B didn't they?

 

To have seen Matich and Allen face-off in the lost 1970 F5000 Gold Star year would have been something. AGP duly noted.

 

Fred Gibson's career got a nice leg up thanks to his generosity too.

 

RIP.

 

[url=https://postimages.org/]6-B01-CE8-D-1-EC8-4893-884-D-964-A66-EBC[/url

 

 

With Chris Davison, Bathurst Easter 1970, the weekend he set the long-time lap record aboard the M10B (C Williams)

 My favorite all time race car, the Elfin ME5. Like a stealth bomber.

 

It is such a pity it is currently in such a bastardised state.



#14 ellrosso

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 06:47

RIP Neil Allen - condolences to his friends and family. What a powerhouse he was in the short time he was involved in Australian/NZ Motorsport. I will put together a photo tribute in the next couple of days. I only saw him race "live" the once at the Symmons Gold Star in 1969

but you couldn't help get an appreciation of him both on and off track from the many articles written in the Motorsport press during the "golden" period he was active.

 

I saw him at the Tasman Revival at Eastern Creek a few years back and was shocked by his decline as Ray mentioned earlier. He was clearly enjoying being part of the scene again though which was nice to see. Mark - thanks for posting the ME5 shot of rasimmo's from W Farm - one of

my favourite shots.



#15 2F-001

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 08:25

How very sad… much less well known here in the UK, outside of real dyed-in-the-wool enthusiast circles (and seriously under-appreciated, I’d say) but what a treat it must have been to see Niel race.

Edited by 2F-001, 11 August 2022 - 08:26.


#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 10:25

Originally posted by lyntonh
But I refuse to finish my tribute on a low note.....
 
This is the photo I will remember him by.......
 
166739-FB-A3-A8-4253-98-E1-A319-CA8-D593


Perhaps singing his way around the Farm late in the afternoon in a 'discretionary' session, all by himself?

Knowing that in this car, albeit with high wings, he equalled Jack Brabham's outright lap record. And he won races against the 2.5-litre cars, just magic at the Farm and it should have been at Lakeside too.

What meeting did you take this photo, Lynton?

#17 GreenMachine

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 11:13

I will put together a photo tribute in the next couple of days. I only saw him race "live" the once at the Symmons Gold Star in 1969

 

I look forward to it.

 

I always had a soft spot for Neil, probably a result of his performance in the M4A at Warwick Farm to start with.  I saw him race a number of times at WF, maybe at OP but I don't remember anything specific, and at Bathurst.  IIRC I first saw him in a 26R(?) Elan at WF, the next time was in the McLaren M4A, and it just kept getting better - then suddenly it was all over..  Great memories a sad loss to the sport.

 

Condolences to his family and friends.  Thanks for the memories Neil, RIP.



#18 lyntonh

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 11:25

Perhaps singing his way around the Farm late in the afternoon in a 'discretionary' session, all by himself?

Knowing that in this car, albeit with high wings, he equalled Jack Brabham's outright lap record. And he won races against the 2.5-litre cars, just magic at the Farm and it should have been at Lakeside too.

What meeting did you take this photo, Lynton?

This was the second session of practice at the Gold Star meeting on  6th / 7th December 1969.

 

I had grabbed a spot on the stairs on the north-western corner of Shell bridge and refused to budge....the light was perfect.

 

Those spots were impossible to get on race days, and usually fully occupied for the main categories during practice.

 

It was arguably the best couple of hours of motorsport photography I ever achieved.

 

Unfortunately my race day attendances didn't begin until I got my own car early in 1970.

 

 

 

Late on the Saturday of the July meeting that year, if I have the correct meeting, Niel had that discretionary session that you recall.

 

The sound coming back from the trees and the grandstands was captivating for the 'tragics' like us who stayed until the end,

and, of course, it must have been a fitting reward for the effort put in by all of you blokes hanging the flags.



#19 10kDA

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 12:16



[url=https://postimages.org/]A9-CE7-B00-08-AF-4-CA6-A58-D-4-E4-B6-E1-[/u

 

The only man to tame the twitchy, tricky Elfin ME5 Chev at Warwick Farm in 1969 or 1970, McLaren M10B forgiving in comparison perhaps!? (oldracephotos.com-DSimpson)

 

 

Great action pic! I don't recall any mention of Niel Allen in period in the US. All I know about him is through this forum and the high regard in which he is held by forum members who know.

 

Interesting comments from Niel re: eleven-tenths driving. Knowing how to drive at eleven-tenths allows one to do, on a regular basis, what is shown in this pic, I suppose. Gotta love the distorted sidewall on the left rear, and the diminishing size of the right front's contact patch. A fitting tribute for a notably quick driver.

 

Thanks to all who posted pics. I don't mean to imply any of them were any less of a tribute.



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#20 TerryS

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 23:21

One of the most incredible things about Niel Allen was the variety of cars he raced and usually at the top of their class, ie racing, sports and touring cars.

 

No other Australian driver has ever come remotely close to this. For example Stillwell although four times Australian champion never raced a touring car.

 

A list of cars that Allen owned would include:

 

Austin Healey

Jaguar E Type  x 2

Lotus Elan 26R  x 3

Lotus 23B.

Elfin Traco Olds/Chev

Elfin ME 5

Brabham BT16 Climax

Mclaren MA4 FVA

Mclaren 10B Chev  x 2

Lola T300 Chev

Ford Mustang

 

And these were over a relatively short period. There may well be others I have overlooked.

I was very privileged to see him race a lot of these

 

Some of best racing I ever saw was between Allen and Gibson in their Lotus Elans at Catalina. Unbelievable.

 

He was one of a kind.



#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 23:34

While I agree with your basic idea there, Terry...

 

You are, however, neglecting Bob Jane:

 

Maserati 300S

Jaguar Mk 2

Holden 48/215

Jaguar E-type coupe

Jaguar Lightweight E-type

Elfin Type 100 Monocoque

Elfin Type 400 Repco V8

Ford Mustang X 3

Chev Camaro 7-litre

Holden HQ Monaro 350

Brabham Repco V8

Chev Monza

 

...and more. And he was competitive in all of them.



#22 Ian G

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 00:06

Yes,sad News,my only contact,other than peering over the fence at the causeway, was when he was in deep discussion with the Pat Burke mob when they had their workshop/storeage area under the Big Bear in Neutral Bay(Sydney).

 

RIP 


Edited by Ian G, 12 August 2022 - 05:18.


#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 01:01

Tony Williams...

 

What a fabricator he was. Possibly Paul Collins was there too.



#24 TerryS

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 04:22

A great interview with Niel Allen from 2011. Well worth a read

 

Niel Allen - Speedcafe



#25 ellrosso

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 06:06

Few pics from the library.

7075-A-Grid-69-TNF.jpg10156-F-NAllen-71-TNF.jpg9746-F-NAllen-70-TNF.png9064-A-F-NAllen-68-TNF.jpg6642-T-NAllen-71-TNF.jpg9027-A-F-NAllen-67-TNF.jpg



#26 ellrosso

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 07:12

Couple more.

8893-F-NAllen-68-TNF.jpg8874-F-Elan-66-TNF.jpg



#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 09:14

Good stuff  there, Lindsay...

 

Has the trailer suffered a puncture in that last pic?

 

Terry, there's a few errors in that Speedcafe story. Niel didn't buy his first Elan from Fred Gibson, he bought the one (26R-48) Leo Geoghegan had been racing, when he got caught up in a crash Gibson was having at Catalina the delay in having it repaired meant that he chose to replace it with one which Bob Jane had bought and never raced (26R-49). He only bought Gibson's car (26R-25) in November, 1967. It also speaks of him winning the NZGP, Teretonga and Pukekohe Tasman races in 1971. And of the Lola T300 it states that he did some 'early season racing' at Warwick Farm and at Surfers.



#28 ellrosso

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 05:16

Not sure re puncture on trailer Ray - could be the low angle pic was taken? Copyright on the last Elan pic is Dick Simpson/ORP



#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 06:41

That looks like a trailer wheel (ie. spare?) leaning up against the front of the trailer...

 

And the servo looks like it might be closed, a convenient place to pull up and change the wheel.



#30 MarkBisset

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 04:15

1982-F4-A1-210-A-40-FA-B0-B3-8396065-B8-

Allen's M10B Chev ahead of Bob Muir in the Sub, Warwick Farm 100 1971 - fourth in the race won by Gardner's T192 Chev (terry Russell/an1images.com)

 

 

Caught up with John Smailes by phone earlier, he attended the funeral yesterday.

 

The racing attendees he noticed and spoke to were Warwick Brown, Paul Bernasconi and Dr Michael Henderson.

 

John mentioned that years ago Niel had said to him that the very religious Anglican, Henderson, had been sent from Australia to England by God to save Niel's life!

 

Allen, as you all know, was the first to to fit Henderson's six-point-harness to a racing car - his McLaren M4A FVA - which was put to the ultimate test in Allen's aerobatics display at Lakeside circa 1969.

 

John introduced Niel's youngest son - conceived post Lakeside - to Henderson with the quip, "You wouldn't be here if it wasn't for this bloke!"

 

C4333255-F9-B6-4-D56-8-B3-C-9-BC4589-CDD

 

A few bottles of Porphyry Pearl from the AARC's John Stranger, again @ WF (Peter Windsor)


Edited by MarkBisset, 16 August 2022 - 04:37.


#31 lyntonh

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 10:59

A question without notice about Niel Allen......

 

It has been said in another place on the internet, that Niel 'was once considered for a F1 seat at McLaren'.

 

Does anyone on here have more information.....?


Edited by lyntonh, 16 August 2022 - 11:00.


#32 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:09

While I agree with your basic idea there, Terry...

 

You are, however, neglecting Bob Jane:

 

Maserati 300S

Jaguar Mk 2

Holden 48/215

Jaguar E-type coupe

Jaguar Lightweight E-type

Elfin Type 100 Monocoque

Elfin Type 400 Repco V8

Ford Mustang X 3

Chev Camaro 7-litre

Holden HQ Monaro 350

Brabham Repco V8

Chev Monza

 

...and more. And he was competitive in all of them.

Dont forget the Torana Repco, later Chev.



#33 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:16

Not sure re puncture on trailer Ray - could be the low angle pic was taken? Copyright on the last Elan pic is Dick Simpson/ORP

That is a shiny wheel and a ]skinny] race tyre. Elan size. Being towed with an EH so maybe taken out to get at something else in the back



#34 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:19

Few pics from the library.

7075-A-Grid-69-TNF.jpg10156-F-NAllen-71-TNF.jpg9746-F-NAllen-70-TNF.png9064-A-F-NAllen-68-TNF.jpg6642-T-NAllen-71-TNF.jpg9027-A-F-NAllen-67-TNF.jpg

I love the pic of the M10 in the dark color, great action pic.

The Lotus looks quite busy as well in the last pic.



#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:45

Originally posted by lyntonh
A question without notice about Niel Allen......
 
It has been said in another place on the internet, that Niel 'was once considered for a F1 seat at McLaren'.
 
Does anyone on here have more information.....?


I would quote Michael Caton on that one, Lynton...

As much as some parts of the proposition fit together, anyone involved would know that he couldn't get away from his business interests like that.

#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 12:02

Originally posted by MarkBisset
.....Allen, as you all know, was the first to to fit Henderson's six-point-harness to a racing car - his McLaren M4A FVA - which was put to the ultimate test in Allen's aerobatics display at Lakeside circa 1969.....


It was a defining moment in his career that Saturday in July. At Lakeside for the Gold Star race he’d set the track alight with a 52.7 second lap on the Friday, which excited us when we picked up our Daily Telegraph at Coolangatta on our way up from Sydney on the Saturday morning.

When official practice began we were ready to see him take pole position. Early in practice watching from a high point above the kink at the end of the straight, a point where you could see the cars most of the way around the circuit, but where the track was cut into the hill exiting the kink they went out of sight.

We watched as he came down the straight and entered the kink, then awaited the sight of him braking for the Karrussell, but instead there was a cloud of dust came up from behind that cutting and Niel and his McLaren appeared upside down and backwards about ten metres from the ground at 130mph. The underside of the car, all unpainted aluminium, and the chromed suspension members were glistening in the sun as the car flew on its trajectory.

It came down tumbling and rolling and tearing itself to pieces, ultimately the cockpit section of the tub, torn off at the rollover bar, was lying on its side with Niel unconscious in it.

Later Niel would tell us how that event helped calm him down. "A bang on the head makes you think about things," he said. And so he went on to be faster than ever, that little 1.6-litre McLaren setting the Warwick Farm lap record for the 2.5-litre class twice.

#37 GreenMachine

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 13:41

I would quote Michael Caton on that one, Lynton...

As much as some parts of the proposition fit together, anyone involved would know that he couldn't get away from his business interests like that.

 

My memory is that there was some chatter about that at the time.  What substance was behind it I don't know, but knowing he had a business to run I never expected anything to come of it, much as I would have wished it.



#38 lyntonh

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 23:06

I would quote Michael Caton on that one, Lynton...

As much as some parts of the proposition fit together, anyone involved would know that he couldn't get away from his business interests like that.

Perhaps the person suggesting this has become confused with the story that Bruce asked Frank Matich to go over in 1965.

 

I'm now wondering whether that story was true, as well ......

 

Niel hadn't raced an open wheeler until 1969, and Gurney and Gethin were the fill-ins after Bruce died and Denny had burnt hands in 1970.

 

Niel packed it in in early 1971, so the timeline doesn't work.

 

Maybe it was just one of those ''Was Niel good enough for Formula One' discussions getting the front bar going.



#39 Wirra

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Posted 17 August 2022 - 01:08

I noticed my old boss, Dr Michael Henderson, and Warwick Brown attended the service.

Niel-Allen-funeral.jpg

 

(edit) Just realised, reading Mark's post, that the chap on the right is Paul Bernasconi. I couldn't believe he looks that old as he's the same age as me!
Also John Smailes with his back to the camera.


Edited by Wirra, 21 August 2022 - 06:55.


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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 August 2022 - 13:35

Lynton, Niel did a couple of races in the BT16 with the 2.5 Climax in 1967...

 

He was in the McLaren (as shown by Peter's photo) at Bathurst's Easter meeting in 1968.

 

I would believe that Bruce told Frank that he'd do well if he went over in 1964-5, possibly even offering to find an opening for him.



#41 lyntonh

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Posted 17 August 2022 - 21:22

Lynton, Niel did a couple of races in the BT16 with the 2.5 Climax in 1967...

 

He was in the McLaren (as shown by Peter's photo) at Bathurst's Easter meeting in 1968.

 

I would believe that Bruce told Frank that he'd do well if he went over in 1964-5, possibly even offering to find an opening for him.

I did some hunting last night and discovered that my 1969 date is way too late.

One thing I couldn't establish was how long Niel took to recover from the Lakeside accident.

 

Fred ran the M4a at the Farm Gold Star meeting in December 1968.

 

Does that imply that Niel still wasn't right even then ?



#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 August 2022 - 22:00

Niel drove the Traco-Chev at that December, 1968, meeting...

 

I'll check when I get home and see if he raced at a Catalina or Oran Park in the interim.

 

He had announced his retirement after the crash, but he soon changed his mind. He was back in the McLaren by February for the Tasman rounds - again, I'll check and see how many. I know he was at the Farm and Lakeside.

 

By the way, did you happen to collect the Goodyear Tasman poster after the 1971 series?



#43 lyntonh

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Posted 17 August 2022 - 23:47

Niel drove the Traco-Chev at that December, 1968, meeting...

 

I'll check when I get home and see if he raced at a Catalina or Oran Park in the interim.

 

He had announced his retirement after the crash, but he soon changed his mind. He was back in the McLaren by February for the Tasman rounds - again, I'll check and see how many. I know he was at the Farm and Lakeside.

 

By the way, did you happen to collect the Goodyear Tasman poster after the 1971 series?

No, I can't recall having it.

 

On another 'Niel' matter....

 

There's a claim being made on that other place by someone who says that he had a conversation with Niel in the street in Cremorne sometime in the sixties.

Niel had a soft-top E type, which he let him see under the bonnet,

and in conversation, the person remembers Niel telling him that he raced that 
particular E type in club events back in 1962.

 

It's raised eyebrows among several of the group who I regard as knowledgeable.

 

Because I wasn't around in those days, I hunted through the Farm records last night

and found that at the Farm he raced a TR3 in 1963, and a Healey 100/6 in 1963,

before racing the often photographed hardtop E type in 1964.

 

You were around back then.....any comment ?


Edited by lyntonh, 17 August 2022 - 23:47.


#44 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 00:22

Somewhere I have a report on the first Farm Club Meeting...

 

I think it was in '63. I'll check it out when I get home.

 

I have a time card for N Allen in a TR3 at the June meeting in '62, DNF in a five lapper.

 

And Terry earlier posted that Niel raced a Healey and a second E-type, perhaps he can tell us more?



#45 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 07:36

The first and second of the AARC Club Meetings were reported in AMS with no mention of Niel...

 

Nor was he mentioned in the RCN report on the second, which was in August. Then AMS appears to have stopped covering these meetings while RCN gives some basic results only. The November 3, 1963 meeting, therefore, sees Niel in a 100/6 and winning one of the Marque Sports Car races ahead of Mike Champion in a Morgan, also setting fastest lap at 52.9 seconds.

 

There appears to have been three separate fields of Marque Sports Cars and Jim Sullivan won the first race in his Sprite with a best lap of 48.9. The final for the class was late in the day and Jim won it with a race time almost three seconds quicker than his earlier victory. But the unplaced Niel Allen 100/6 got fastest lap in that event with a 49.4.



#46 lyntonh

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 07:56

Were there club meetings at Catalina and Oran Park ?

 

The thing that has me curious, is why would you race an E type, and then go 'back' to a TR3 ?

 

Perhaps the '1962' part of the story is what isn't fitting.



#47 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 08:18

No Club Meetings at Catalina...

 

Prior to the September, 1963 circuit extension at Oran Park there might have been some meetings which were more 'club' than 'open'. But I think it's also possible he ran the E-type at events like Castlereagh Sprints or at a hillclimb.



#48 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 08:25

Thinking about that some more, in 1962 Niel would have been just 20 years old...

 

He could, I guess, have been in business by then. But not able to sign contracts for loans as would be needed to get to the higher levels. An E-type would have absorbed a lot of capital in 1962.

 

Starting out in a TR3 or a Healey, both much older and less expensive, is more reasonable.



#49 GreenMachine

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 10:14

Thinking about that some more, in 1962 Niel would have been just 20 years old...

 

He could, I guess, have been in business by then. But not able to sign contracts for loans as would be needed to get to the higher levels. An E-type would have absorbed a lot of capital in 1962.

 

Starting out in a TR3 or a Healey, both much older and less expensive, is more reasonable.

 

Family money? 

 

ETA: Apparently not (from interview below).


Edited by GreenMachine, 18 August 2022 - 11:21.


#50 MarkBisset

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 10:37

I mentioned a phone call with John Smailes earlier in the week. He mentioned an SCW article about Niel he wrote in 1971 - not an SCW edition I have. He offered to send it, here it is. Not a perfect scan but it will do - have focused on the pages with narrative other than opening page 

 

C966-E394-F38-A-489-C-AB90-0-E86-D51-F8-

 

 

BA4-F5047-0795-4-C80-999-C-DE15-E05-AE47

 

 

9-F7-FB2-E8-8671-4176-B472-44-E0-E1-DC14

 

 

0-B373419-9876-437-B-85-C1-71-B7753-CCA9

 

 

8-F034322-1-DB1-4-B9-A-A784-5-EAA4-C24-D


Edited by MarkBisset, 18 August 2022 - 10:44.