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RIP Mr Reg Hunt


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#1 Lola5000

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 05:09

Reg Hunt , passed away in his sleep today .

 

Perhaps the longest serving current member of the BRDC and the last remaining driver of the Albert Park 1956 AGP

 

RIP.



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#2 ellrosso

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 06:34

RIP Reg Hunt. One of the biggest car dealers in Melbourne back in the day and a top racer during the 50's. Don't have a shot on track I'm afraid - this is the only one we have of his Maserati in the Orange pits 1955.

7257-V-Hunt-55-TNF.jpg


Edited by ellrosso, 29 August 2022 - 22:01.


#3 MarkBisset

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 08:32

3-BF66-B27-87-FF-451-A-88-DA-66-A0-CA4-F

 

 

99 years of age is a good innings and he lived it to the full, active to the end.

 

Hunt’s father was in the motor trade in the UK, Reg’ mum and dad joined he and his wife when they emigrated to The Great Brown Land. Hunt made a fortune as a motor dealer and property developer after his premature retirement from racing in 1956.

 

A2-BBF81-C-66-AC-4203-8758-23-E65-A85-D1

 

With just arrived A6GCM @ Fishermans Bend in December 1954 - Otto Stone in overalls (Cummins Family Collection)

 

When he imported a 250F engined Maserati A6GCM in 1954 he raised the stakes of the Formula Libre competitor set, then did it again with his 250F. He was quick, with more luck he could have won the ‘55 AGP. 
 

It seems he contracted Covid a week ago and developed respiratory complications this morning, transferred from the facility in which he lived to the Alfred Hospital, he died about 10.30am 

 

1-F370-A46-5304-4493-B802-E015-D7634914.

 

Reg looking very much the cool dude aboard his 250F at Albert Park before the 1956 AGP (Hunt Family Collection via David Zeunert)


Edited by MarkBisset, 22 August 2022 - 09:12.


#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 09:52

I went to his apartment to visit him maybe twenty years ago...

 

He was surrounded with papers and all sorts of things, he told me all about the family's long history in the motor trade and that they had sold (well, I don't remember the figure...) over a million cars.

 

Not hard to believe. A gentleman of the first order, an enthusiast to the core.



#5 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 23 August 2022 - 12:29

Very sad, so near the 100 to be got by the pandemic.

Commiserations to his family and friends.



#6 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 August 2022 - 16:06

Tribute just received from the BRDC:

 

We regret to have to report the death of one of the BRDC’s oldest and longest-serving Members, Reg Hunt, who passed away yesterday in Melbourne, Australia at the age of 99 from the effects of COVID-19. 

 

Originally from Manchester, Reg’s competition career should have begun at the age of 16 in 1939 racing a motor-cycle in the Isle of Man but, as he used to say, ‘Hitler put paid to that’ and he had to wait until peacetime returned to resume his motor sport ambitions. That he would compete was never really in doubt from an early age for Reg’s family ran a car and motor-cycle business and his mother and grandfather had both raced motor-cycles at Brooklands and elsewhere. In the immediate aftermath of World War 2 opportunities to compete were somewhat haphazard and Reg chose to follow the trials (aka mud-plugging) route both on two wheels and four with considerable success. 

 

In 1949 Reg emigrated to Australia, taking with him various major components such as a JAP engine, Morgan suspension and Norton gearbox with which to construct his own 500 cc Formula 3-type single-seater which came to be known as The Flying Bedstead and with which he scored a good number of victories. To stay ahead of the opposition Reg worked with legendary engine designer Phil Irving to instal a supercharged Vincent Black Lightning engine and continued his winning ways. By 1953 The Flying Bedstead had lost its edge over the opposition and Reg replaced it with something completely different - an Allard J2 – with which he also enjoyed success in both hillclimbs and circuit races.

 

All the while since arriving in Australia Reg had been building up a flourishing motor dealership to the extent that he felt able to take a year away and go racing in Europe. He purchased a new Cooper-Norton Mk VIII and joined the international Formula 3 circus racing against such luminaries as Stirling Moss, for whom 1954 was his last season in Formula 3 whilst also racing his Maserati 250F in Grands Prix, Stuart Lewis-Evans and Graham Hill. There were race wins at Brands Hatch twice and at the Orleans street circuit in France where he also set the Formula 3 lap record.

 

At the end of the season Reg headed for Modena and came away from the Maserati works with the Formula 1 A6GCM with which Juan Manuel Fangio had won the 1953 Italian Grand Prix in 2-litre, F2 guise and which had spent most of the 1954 season in the hands of Franco-American Harry Schell. The car had its first race in Reg’s hands in the 1955 New Zealand Grand Prix, running well in third place behind Siamese Prince Birabongse, for whom the race brought the curtain down on a long and illustrious career, and Peter Whitehead’s Ferrari 625/770 before the drum brakes started to fade badly and Reg dropped back to finish fifth. Later Reg was leading the Australian Grand Prix at Port Wakefield by a handsome margin only to suffer a broken cam follower which left the engine firing on five cylinders, and he dropped back to be passed by Jack Brabham’s Manx-tailed Cooper-Bristol just before the finish. There were other strong results which established Reg as one of the very best of Australian drivers alongside his great rival Stan Jones, father of future F1 World Champion Alan.

 

At the end of 1955 Reg sold the Maserati A6GCM and took another trip to Europe, specifically to Modena naturally, where he acquired the 250F 2516 which had been Jean Behra’s works car through the season, winning the Pau and Bordeaux Grands Prix. In Reg’s hands the 250F continued to win races including the Bathurst 100, at Albert Park, Melbourne and at Fisherman’s Bend to secure the South Pacific Championship. Although Stan Jones had been doing great things with the Lycoming-engined Maybach Special, he had come to realise that the only way to beat Reg was to join him with his own 250F #2520. To coincide with the Olympic Games in Melbourne, the Australian Grand Prix organisers pushed the boat out and attracted the works Maserati team to Albert Park, using a rather different circuit from the current version. Stirling Moss and Jean Behra finished first and second with another overseas visitor, Peter Whitehead, taking third place in his 3.4-litre Ferrari Super Squalo. However, local interest focused on the battle for fourth place between Reg and Stan in their 250Fs. For lap after lap of the 2 ½ hour race the two intense rivals circulated in close company with Stan more often in front until he was delayed by a fractured oil breather pipe and Reg took the honours.

 

Although he had an entry for the New Zealand Grand Prix the following month, Reg decided to hang up his helmet and concentrate on his ever-growing motor dealerships which he did to such good effect that he became the largest Holden distributor in Australia. However, his passion for classic cars never left him and over the years he built up a collection estimated at some 200 cars and motor-cycles. In 1976, after moving to Monaco, he acquired the ex-Franco Bordoni Maserati 300S which he owned for 24 years, rather longer than either of the F1 Maseratis. The glorious 300S tempted Reg back behind the wheel to compete in historic events. 

 

Apart from 1954 when he raced in 500 cc Formula 3 in the UK and Europe, Reg never raced outside Australasia but his record on home turf suggests that, had he done so, he would have been one of the better privateer Formula 1 drivers of the 1950s.

 

As the years went by, he never lost touch with the BRDC and continued to wear the badge very regularly. Reg is survived by his wife Julia Wood, his son Graham and daughter Cheryl, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to whom the BRDC offers its deepest condolences. 

 

DCN

 


#7 Ian G

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Posted 23 August 2022 - 23:08

Thanks,certainly a well written article,i also learned something,he was the original guy behind Hunt Holden out here.

 

RIP...



#8 cooper997

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Posted 23 August 2022 - 23:13

He set the bar high when his first Maserati arrived in December 1954, sending the other 'car dealer' racing drivers off to find exotic (by Aussie standards) to move up a notch or two as well.

 

Here's how AMS reported the A6GCM arrival in Oz.

1955-AMS-Hunt-Maserati-TNF-01.jpg

 

1955-AMS-Hunt-Maserati-TNF-02.jpg

 

My condolences to Reg Hunt's family and friends.

 

 

Stephen



#9 cooper997

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 04:01

Reg Hunt, the businessman.

 

Mind you 42 years ago, with this factory GMH Pointers magazine feature. Having been a Standard dealer when the Maseratis were fresh off the boat in the 1950s. 

 

As an aside, this was Gavin Green's first editorship gig (and 1st issue). Wonder how he'd go in the publishing caper! (Tongue in cheek)

 

1980-Reg-Hunt-Holden-Pointers-mag-TNF-01

 

1980-Reg-Hunt-Holden-Pointers-mag-TNF-02

 

 

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 24 August 2022 - 04:10.


#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 04:42

"What is now the Gold Star Championship..."

 

Interesting, I wonder what that was.



#11 MarkBisset

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 06:36

Stephen,

 

Thoroughly enjoyed both articles, apropos the phone conversation earlier, the other Victorian GMH dealers who were also always towards the Top of the GM Pops were Patto and Dennis Gowing.

 

As to "winning in 1955 what is now called the Gold Star championship" that sounds like a mistaken Hunt soundbite Gavin swallowed...

 

Mind you, if you awarded a 'Claytons 1956 Gold Star' Reg looks pretty good...

 

His wins aboard his new Maser 250F came at the South Pacific Championship at Gnoo Blas in January, the Argus/Victorian Trophy at Albert Park in March, the Bathurst 100 at Easter (if you use the scratch results rather than the handicap ones) and the AGP at Albert Park in December. For the latter I am discounting the first three Furriners home, as non-residents they are ineligible for Claytons Gold Star points.

 

The only Oz big-race Hunt didn't win that year was the NSW Road Racing Championships at Bathurst in October. Stan won that in his just arrived 250F, while Hunt didn't make the trip from Elsternwick, maybe he was slowly getting his Maserati in shape for the AGP and decided not to go.

 

This is crude analysis as there was no championship, if there had been a championship various folks may have ran meetings they didn't...but Hunt did beat Davo's Ferrari 500 in the Argus/Victorian Trophy, in the Bathurst 100, and at the AGP. And he beat Stan's 250F at the AGP.

 

Yep, I think Reg Hunt is our Claytons 1956 Gold Star victor...

 

ps; Away from home and my records, was there a 1956 Qld Road Racing C'ship @ Lowood - if so who won?

 

503-ACA81-9196-432-F-B721-A6390-CD9-F73-

 

Hunt on the way to winning the SouPac C’ship at Orange in January, Maserati 250F (gnooblas.com)


Edited by MarkBisset, 24 August 2022 - 06:46.


#12 cooper997

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 07:36

Mark, Not so sure Reg ever ventured to Lowood. Arthur Griffiths ex Davo HWM Jaguar won the June 1956 Lowood Trophy meeting.

 

 

 

In an era where sponsorship was not allowed Reg Hunt was entering his cars as the KLG Maserati and KLG ran adverts like this (Dec 56 Phillip Island). Although Brabham and Redex had already pushed the envelope.

 

1956-KLG-Hunt-Maserati-advert-TNF.jpg

 

 

Stephen



#13 Lola5000

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 11:44

For those who have had the privilege of driving the ex Hunt 1910 Silver Ghost #1425, to many it’s regarded as the fastest Silver Ghost getting around.

Just a small piece of trivia .. :up:

#14 Kendevine

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 02:48

The photo credited to me by Old Race Photos is actually the early Maserati at Orange 1955 and not Fishermans Bend. Thanks Lindsay.

#15 ellrosso

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 21:31

Thanks Ken, will change the caption. Cheers Lindsay



#16 MarkBisset

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 23:12

Stephen's post about Reggie's 'KLG Maserati' has my mind wandering and wondering about payments to 'drawcard drivers' in the 1950s.

 

The organising clubs obviously paid prizemoney, but were they in the habit of paying appearance fees to the likes of Hunt, Jones, Davison, Gray et al?

 

I'm not for a moment thinking they would get a commercial return on their Big Red (or blue) Car. Just wondering what the practice was?

 

3-EB65233-08-BD-41-DC-9-E85-7-D2457-E375

 

Hunt - note the BRDC badge, awarded for 500cc results in Europe? - 250F, Gnoo Blas, SouPac meeting 1956 (Reg Hunt Collection)


Edited by MarkBisset, 25 August 2022 - 23:16.


#17 Lola5000

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Posted 26 August 2022 - 04:16

Stephen's post about Reggie's 'KLG Maserati' has my mind wandering and wondering about payments to 'drawcard drivers' in the 1950s.

 

The organising clubs obviously paid prizemoney, but were they in the habit of paying appearance fees to the likes of Hunt, Jones, Davison, Gray et al?

 

I'm not for a moment thinking they would get a commercial return on their Big Red (or blue) Car. Just wondering what the practice was?

 

3-EB65233-08-BD-41-DC-9-E85-7-D2457-E375

 

Hunt - note the BRDC badge, awarded for 500cc results in Europe? - 250F, Gnoo Blas, SouPac meeting 1956 (Reg Hunt Collection)

Mark,was it not starters money, main reseason Doug W bought the 300S so as he could enter multi events  be it Libre,formula or sports car?



#18 MarkBisset

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Posted 26 August 2022 - 06:39

Rob,

I really don’t know what they did, am intrigued to know.

Shall give KB a yell to find out what the practice was a little later in the Tasman and Gold Star

m


Edited by MarkBisset, 26 August 2022 - 06:39.


#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 August 2022 - 08:56

Definitely starting money...

 

But when there was a Gold Star at stake and the runners needed to turn up, the starting money bin was partially zipped up.

 

This is what led to the 'Big 8' or whatever it was, a kind of GPDA of Australia C1961. Davo, Patto, Bib, David McKay, John Youl, and (obviously) three others. They held out for a reasonable starting purse and stuck together for that purpose for a short time.

 

Lowood, 1962? They couldn't get their money so the Gold Star race was to be run without them. McKay entered Greg Cusack (not a member) in his car so his sponsors would still get kudos, Greg naturally won.

 

While it did upset the others to some degree, it wasn't a breach of their deal and they continued with it all. For a short while. Caversham was always a hard one to negotiate, part of the deal was so many quid for each border crossed.



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#20 cooper997

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Posted 27 August 2022 - 00:55

It's fair to say without a fuel company contract (or like) there was little chance of start money helping the coffers much. Bryan Thomson getting a BP contract helped establish him.

 

The 'Big 8' Drivers Union was formed after no start money was forthcoming from the SCCSA for the 1961 AGP meeting. The missing members from Ray's list being Jones, Miller & Glass.

 

The boycott was the June 1962 Lowood Gold Star meeting.

 

 

 

Hopefully that wise Mr Medley, who produced 'Bathurst - Cradle of Australian Motor Racing' when he was 25 years younger, doesn't mind me borrowing this wonderful photo from it.

 

Easter 1955 Bathurst with Reg sweeping through Hell Corner as Curley Brydon MG special follows his tracks.

 

1997-Medley-book-Hunt-A6-GCM-TNF.jpg

Attribution Fred Smith/ John Medley

 

 

Stephen



#21 MarkBisset

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Posted 27 August 2022 - 23:50

A few more happy snaps which have popped up on social media - read Facebook - in the last few days

 

B193-F0-ED-072-D-4-CBD-8177-F690899051-E

 

 

Maserati 250F

 

1607-B411-AE4-C-47-F2-B8-F8-6-ECBA17-B25

 

Reg Hunt’s Golden Mile of Cars before it was that long, 77 Nepean Highway, Elsternwick 


 

4-E9-A0-E50-A021-41-D9-B051-206-CF84-A74

 

 

Maserati A6GCM 2.5-litre 


Edited by MarkBisset, 27 August 2022 - 23:53.


#22 cooper997

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Posted 28 August 2022 - 01:23

July 1955 shortlived Aussie magazine, Cars Today cover. The b&w photo this cover is based on is in 'Bathurst - Cradle of Australian Motor Racing' and gets credited to Ross Woodbridge. Although my thought of having been taken in front of Reg's home,varies to what JM states.

 

1955-Cars-Today-Hunt-cover-TNF.jpg

 

 

Stephen



#23 cooper997

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Posted 28 August 2022 - 03:23

Nigel Hunt, Reg's grandson has posted funeral details to social media. Taking place tomorrow directly over the road from where Lex Davison called home.

 

https://www.facebook...240342134460666

 

 

Stephen



#24 cooper997

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Posted 28 August 2022 - 05:00

During Reg's 1954 UK/European tour he ran at Ibsley RAF base race meeting on May 8 and then Prescott the following day.

 

Shown here in the 27 Cooper MkVIII in what appears to be third place on lap 1, just clear of the haybale. Tyrrell (part wheel just visible) and Loens ahead, by end of the race Reg had fallen back to 6th.

 

1954-Autosport-Ibsley-Hunt-27-Cooper-TNF

attribution: 14/5/54 Autosport

 

 

Stephen



#25 Ardmore

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Posted 28 August 2022 - 05:45

These results from the May 9, 1954 meeting at Prescott show that Reg Hunt set the third fastest time in the Under 500cc unsupercharged class. Les Leston's time was a new class record.

 

IMG-2403-2.jpg


Edited by Ardmore, 28 August 2022 - 05:47.


#26 cooper997

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Posted 28 August 2022 - 07:50

Part of Wilson McCombs Autosport report for the May 1954 Brands meeting where Reg picked up 2 wins.

 

1954-Brands-Hatch-hunt-wins-TNF.jpg

 

 

Stephen



#27 cooper997

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Posted 29 August 2022 - 00:54

Funeral livestream starts in 5 or so minutes. Access here or view later

https://www.nelsonbr...celebrationWall

 

 

Stephen



#28 FrontMan

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Posted 30 August 2022 - 09:36

It doesn't seem that long ago, but it must have been some forty-odd years back when I had the pleasure of meeting Reg a couple of times when he was back in England for a visit. I think the main attraction was the F.I.V.A. International Rally, and he was running the ex-Elizabeth Nagle, Jarvis-bodied 3 Litre Bentley. It matters not!...What sticks in my mind is the memory of an instantly likeable human being, and happy to talk cars from morning to night.

 

At Prescot, I think, he had come across a group of young firebrands who were discussing how to squeeze even more power out of an already tortured historic racecar. This clearly struck a nerve with Reg, who wandered away from the plot, muttering, "If they want the thing to go faster, why don't they just stick a V8 Chevvy in it?".  :lol: .

 

So sorry to hear of his passing.

 

Paul



#29 cooper997

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Posted 30 August 2022 - 22:28

David Zeunert's social media post with the 250F outside St John's church, Toorak on Monday.

 

https://www.facebook...584733140021562

 

 

Stephen



#30 cooper997

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 03:39

The Hunt Special evolved in appearance and power during its time.

 

Here adorning AMS after the November 1951 Rob Roy AHC meeting had been run. Six cars entered the 851 -1100cc racing class, although only 4 ran. Reg won with Vincent power from John Crouch and Keith Martin, both in Cooper Jap's - with Cuming's K3 the 4th car. That man Brabham in his Twin Spl (midget) set FTD.

 

1951-AMS-Rob-Roy-Hunt-TNF.jpg

 

 

Stephen.



#31 Ardmore

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 12:45

From Motor Manual's 1950-51 Australian Motor Racing booklet.

 

IMG-2415-2.jpg

 

 

 

From Motor Manual's 1952 Australian Motor Racing booklet.

 

IMG-2417-2.jpg



#32 MarkBisset

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 21:51

Wonderful stuff Stephen, Milan.

 

I don't recall ever seeing the car, and have lost track of who/where the owner is.

 

The shot below is another of Paul Cummins' from the family archive. A6GCM again, and again Reg on the first local test at Fishermans Bend in December 1954.

 

AD4275-D7-65-AC-4-DEA-AA16-528739-AEE2-F


Edited by MarkBisset, 31 August 2022 - 21:52.


#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 22:25

There's fantastic movie footage of Kevin Neal driving this at Albert Park...

 

Right on the edge.