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The strange tale of the F5000 Brabham BT43


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#101 oldjonesfan

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 03:57



Fantastic amount of new information, but somebody must know the answer to this...

 

 

Did it really go to the States?

 

Well here it is in the States for the filming of "The Betsy" (and yes that is a young Tommy Lee Jones) which was released in early 1978 and it was out here for KB to drive in the 1978 Rothmans Series in February so this must have been taken in 1977?

 

BrabhamBT43TheBetsyTommyLeeJones_zps699b



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#102 BobPaton

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:27

Of the photos I have I think this is the only one of the BT43 Rollout photos that is not so common on the net :

 

BT43RolloutUpperRight_zps0be19fc6.jpg

 

This one of the BT44 Rollout is for Bob to see if he can still name all of them :

 

BT44Rollout_zpse4b1723c.jpg

 

And this one is one of the BT42 Rollout photos which I think was obviously taken at an earlier time than both the BT43 and BT44 Rollout Photos :

 

 

 

I'll get to this soon. Have been VERY busy and will be for a while yet. I do recall many of the names and will get a comprehensive list back on the thread as soon as ....



#103 Gary C

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 17:15

that B&W picture link in the Hemmings blog is my photo. They must have crimped it from Bernard Cowdrey's book on F5000's.



#104 oldjonesfan

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 11:53

I seem to recall at various stages either in RCN, or Auto Action, or Chequred Flag, or one of the other publications floating around at that time that the BT43 was incorrectly described as an "ex F1 car" implying that (like John McCormack's McLaren M23 and Alan Hamilton's Tiga modified McLaren M26) the BT43 had been reengined from being Cosworth DFV powered.  I don't know how or why this incorrect perception got around but it did seem to pop up now and again (even into the 1980 season when the CAMS Rules allowed cars other than F5000 such as F1 cars and Formula Pacifics when the BT43 was still rumoured to be in the country, supposedly had been repaired, and "could" be reengined as an F1 car!) until corrected by those in the know.

 

Obviously as everyone here knows it was a "one-off" F5000 with it's basic heritage from the BT40 F2 car and some of the design philosophy/concept from initially the BT42 and then the BT44.

 

Even this Japanese website not so long ago managed to get it right:

http://blogs.yahoo.c...k/11495929.html

 

 

Just had a read of KB's Wikipedia page and the ex-F1 myth is still given a run to this day :

 

"Bartlett was a fixture of Formula 5000 throughout the 70s with a series of Lolas and briefly a modified Brabham Formula One."

 

Anyone here with Wikipedia access able to correct it?


Edited by oldjonesfan, 23 November 2013 - 11:53.


#105 Mallory Dan

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:38

A late '73 A/Sport reported that Fred Opert was hoping to run a 2 car team of BT43s in US F5000 for the 74 series, Reuteman and W Fittipaldi being mentioned. Was this just gossip, or any reality to it I wonder? Fast Freddie never ventured into 5000/CanAm did he?



#106 f1steveuk

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 12:18

That BT44 roll out pic, 4th from the left (as you look at it) is that NDS???!!!!!!!!



#107 Gary C

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 13:21

d'you think??



#108 f1steveuk

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 13:47

I'd put money on it, Herbie looks very young!!



#109 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 16:04

From Alan Henry's "Brabham, The Grand Prix Cars"...

 

Nick Goozée, Gordon Murray, Derrick Walker, Dave Lonoregan, Pete Bedding, Bob Dance, Mike Bowron, Fred Bedding, Ron Cousins, Tony Harvey, Herbie Blash, Paul Amond, Jenny..., Ian Hilton, Kathy Howell, Harry Mendel, Ian...



#110 f1steveuk

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 16:57

I'd put money on it, and lose!!! Going back for a third look, he would be a bit short for Nigel, and it's a bit early for his "Jason King" period..........



#111 BobPaton

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 01:29

The names all look OK to me. The missing last one is Ian Taylour who is now in Australia. Nick G is holding "Mum" - the works cat. I don'trecall Jenny's last name but she and Ian Hilton had a bit of a thing going.



#112 dolomite

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 07:37

Why did the BT44 originally have such a tiny airbox? What was the thinking behind that?

#113 oldjonesfan

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 12:30



Why did the BT44 originally have such a tiny airbox? What was the thinking behind that?

 

Don't know other than it seems to be about the same intake area as on the BT42.  Obviously it was modified and made taller before it's first Race in Argentina in 1974 as this happened

 

1974-argentina-5_zps19c67235.jpg

 

before Reutemann (in)famously ran out of fuel giving the win to Hulme :


Edited by oldjonesfan, 30 November 2013 - 12:32.


#114 oldjonesfan

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:29

A late '73 A/Sport reported that Fred Opert was hoping to run a 2 car team of BT43s in US F5000 for the 74 series, Reuteman and W Fittipaldi being mentioned. Was this just gossip, or any reality to it I wonder? Fast Freddie never ventured into 5000/CanAm did he?

 

Hello Mallory Dan :

 

Would you know what issue that was in?

 

Regards



#115 oldjonesfan

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 12:13

Managed to find the time when I was Home to look at the Photos and can now describe what's on them.  Also managed to find some old Racing Car News I saved (despite giving most of the others away) and lo and behold one of the ones I saved had the article of the BT43 arriving in Australia for KB.  I've scanned it as a pdf (average size) and a bmp (quite large) - which is the best to upload here?

 

With respect to the Photos most have the following stamp on them :

 

PP

Phipps Photographic

581 Fulham Road

LONDON SW6

England

Tel No 01-3857769

REF. NO.

 

BT43 Photos

Right Front Overhead Three Quarter No Stamp 73 787-3A

Head On Stamp No Reference

Overhead Front (with Cat) Stamp No Reference

 

Now compare these (or more specifically the one Reference above) with the BT42 Photos

Head On 73 086 12

Overhead Front 73 087 34

Left Front Three Quarter 73 087 15

Gearbox Nothing

 

So as said before and going by the Reference Numbers the BT42 Rollout was obviously well before BT43 Rollout.  It's a pity I didn't get the BT44 Photos as their Reference Numbers would place when the BT43 Rollout was in relation to it's Rollout.



#116 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 19:40

You need .jpg or .gif to post pics here...

Look forward to the pics.

#117 275 GTB-4

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 20:27

Is that right Tinker?  I just uploaded this bitmap image of KB on the postie...maybe you should keep your poor advice to yourself rather than just confusing people...

KBonTiddler_zpsdfaa5c46.png

Image is from the Bob Jane collection...

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 15 November 2014 - 20:28.


#118 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 21:15

There you go, that's actually a .png file...

Not a .bmp.

I just tried it with Postimage, actually, it seems it automatically converted the .bmp to a .png file.

Imageshack is doing the same, so you don't strike the obstacle of not being able to post it, you have posted that from Photobucket, so obviously it's happening there too.

However, the file size is seriously reduced if you change the file to a .jpg.



.

Edited by Ray Bell, 15 November 2014 - 21:26.


#119 GMACKIE

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 21:34

Now I'm confused.....but that's easy to do.



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#120 The Chasm

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 00:18

Smart man that KB - the Lola limp stopped a lot of drivers getting around the paddock easily.

 

I am of course making a terrible assumption as to when this photo was taken and whether KB was using the bike for that reason.

 

A useless post this one !.



#121 oldjonesfan

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:03

RCNBT43_zps4ae830e7.png



#122 oldjonesfan

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:10

_57_zps2448f916.jpg



#123 oldjonesfan

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:12

TheBetsyi324858_zps5f77b2ee.jpg



#124 oldjonesfan

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:18

Posted above individually in case they are too big so they can be deleted are:

 

RCN Article

 

Chris Craft Brands Hatch October 20 1974

 

Another "The Betsy" photo.



#125 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 07:31

That car sure got around. US, UK, Oz and just about every pic has  a different front wing, or at least variations. Airbox too.

How many meetings did that car actually do? And it seems it was crashed often too. 

Is KB around? he should know, he crashed it last. What was that? a wheel failure I think.



#126 oldjonesfan

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 08:48

How many meetings did that car actually do?

 

See here :

 

http://www.oldracing...hp?CarID=BT43/1



#127 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 08:52

Virtually only the one airbox when it raced... and in the film...

But it looks like it has a Lola airbox in the last race.

#128 arttidesco

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 01:07

Kevin earlier forgot the fire mashal's name... so to bring this thread up to date, here's what he has to say about this car in F5000 Thunder - The Titans of Road Racing 1970 to 1981:

Quote

My last year in F5000 saw me see-saw between the Lola and the little Brabham BT43. Colin Bond and I swapped seats at different meetings. Development of the Brabham took on a similar scenario to that which we had faced with the Lola. Front end grip and unhealthy transition to spectacular oversteer.

Employing what I had learned the past couple of years with HU1, I changed the wing arrangement for better grip. In the process we had to address the location of the radiators and in the time we had just plopped them near the rear bulkhead, not a pretty sight I must admit, but to get the handling spot-on first was the order of the day. Pretty would come later.

But this never came to pass. In a Sandown Gold Star race I had the right rear wheel collapse while entering the bridge turn, in a high third gear, throwing me into the catch fencing at a great rate of knots. No doubt the fencing arrested my speed, but not sufficiently to prevent the abrupt stop against the abutment scuttling the poor BT43 and bending my body in a few places.

One thing I have to say about that crash was the devotion and bravery of the marshals attending the scene, since the race was only a few laps old and those cars carried enough fuel for a 165KM race, the broken tub was like a bomb ready to go off. One “firey” in particular, planted himself above me where the air box had been minutes ago, feet each side of the smoking engine and whilst the crash crew were cutting the car apart to extract me, leant down an said to me “Don’t worry Kev, I’m staying, and if she goes I'll drag you out no matter what” as he grabbed my fire suit lift tabs. Thanks once again, Derek Reed.

 

Thanks to help from Ray and Bob Paton I managed to cobble a blog together on the BT43 and one of the fb responses I got was from Geoff 'Toughie' Toughill ....

 

Keith_Toughhill_Collection_n.jpg

 

seen on the extreme right in the second row of this photograph, who with his Dad Keith, wearing the moustache at the front, worked with the Victoria Fire and Rescue unit the day KB got stuck in the BT 43 along with....

 

Derek_Reed_Keith_Toughhill_Collection_2.

 

the hero of the hour Derek Reed, above, who bravely stood above the Kevin and the ticking time bomb of a BT43 should the worst happen and KB need to get pulled out ! :up:

 

My thanks to Geoff for allowing me to share his Dad's photo :wave:



#129 arttidesco

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 09:10

And here it is, effectively the day it died...

Perhaps KB will return and explain the changes they made and how effective they were?

0211frgfbartlett.jpg

 

I believe the car in the background is Johnnie Walkers Lola T332 with the T330 HU23 plate if this is correct did the car still have the Repco Holden fitted ? AND is it John or Johnnie I have seen both used regardless of hemisphere ?



#130 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 10:05

John or Johnny is okay...

This car was Chevrolet powered.

#131 arttidesco

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 11:21

Thanks Ray, do you know when Johnny switched from the Repco Holden to the Chev ?



#132 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 12:38

Whenever Walker drove his own cars, from the MR5 through the Matich to the T330 and then the T330/332, he had a Repco-Holden engine...

In 1976 he sold his Lola (to Peter Edwards?) and was without a car for a while. He was offered the drive of Max Stewart's second car, but when Max was killed that put an end to that. But that weekend Martin Sampson offered him the drive of his T332.

This was Chev powered.

#133 arttidesco

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 13:25

@-) Gosh Ray, just to get this clear Johnny Walker won the 1979 Australian Drivers Championship in Martin Sampson's Lola Chev seen in the photo following KB at Sandown 9/9/79 ?

 

The reason I ask is because the T332 plated T330 HU23 runs in the Magnum wheels livery over here, I guess that may have led to some inncorrect assumptions. 



#134 arttidesco

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 17:43

@-) Gosh Ray, just to get this clear Johnny Walker won the 1979 Australian Drivers Championship in Martin Sampson's Lola Chev seen in the photo following KB at Sandown 9/9/79 ?

 

The reason I ask is because the T332 plated T330 HU23 runs in the Magnum wheels livery over here, I guess that may have led to some inncorrect assumptions. 

 

Should have looked in the "Getting a lift" thread.

 

Now back to the BT43 :blush:



#135 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 22:01

He also drove that car to victory in the last 'fair dinkum' Australian Grand Prix...

#136 planeimages

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 22:01

Following a recent Facebook item on KB's Brabham BT 43 F5000 I would like to add my contribution. As Bob Paton will recall, I was employed by MRD in the winter of 1972/3 as a detail assembler of production parts for BT 41/42s. My main task was to put the "Brabham" touch onto parts bought in for outside suppliers... Jack Knight steering racks, setting up the discs and calipers on the Hewlands, fitting bearings to front and rear uprights and so forth. I was racing a Palliser WDF2 Formula Ford and it just so happened that some of the parts were very similar to earlier Brabham bits. I recall that Bob allowed me to refurbish the Palliser's steering rack along with a tranche of BT41/2 racks. The rack had been bent in a prang at Oulton Park and I needed to rebuild the car in time for the first FF Festival at Snetterton where John Leffler, Larry Perkins and Bob Skelton had come over to contest the FF World Cup at Brands. Ex patriat, Buzz Buzaglo and I made up the five Aussie drivers at Snetterton. That event was in August-September 1972 so I must have been employed at MRD then.

 

To come to the point of connection with the BT43 I was asked to fettle the Hewland which had been removed from the ill-fated and only once-tested  BT39 Brabham Weslake which had lain in the Mill shop.

 

Now, at the time I was probably aware of the specifications of that particular gearbox but time fades the memory. This is jogged by the follwing entry from Sanderson's Brabham lineage website:

 

"Brabham  BT39 – Produced 1972 – 1 made
Formula One car based on BT38 chassis but fitted with Weslake V12 engine and Hewland FG400 gearbox. Tested but not raced."

 

So, if this listing is correct, it was an FG400 which I had on my bench.

 

Later information suggests that the BT43 had a DG300 Hewland. KB and I have had some deep and meaningful discussions on this point over recent years and if the above information is true then I can only surmise that the FG was replaced by a DG by the time he drove the car in Australia.

 

This chart shows the specifications for the main types:

 

"The following is the list of larger product range up to 1981.

Type

Year

Rating

sp.

Weight

Description

HD

1963

300 lb/ft

4

85 lbs

"Hewland Design", bespoke casing, alternative to ERSA Knight

HD5

1963

200 lb/ft

5

85 lbs

5 speed version of HD

LG

1966

600 lb/ft

2

136 lbs

"Large Gearbox" for Indy, internal oil pump

FT200

1966

200 lb/ft

5

90 lbs

All new HD5, big seller

LG500

1967

500 lb/ft

4

136 lbs

4 speed LG, LSD or 'Power-Loc' for CanAm

FG400

1968

280 lb/ft

5

110 lbs

FT gears with LG diff. for DFV

LG600

1968

600 lb/ft

5

145 lbs

5 speed LG500, longer bearing carrier, for F5000 and CanAm

DG300

1969

300 lb/ft

5

117 lbs

"Different Gearbox", LG diff., internal oil pump, for F1 and sports cars

LG2

1971

700 lb/ft

2

138 lbs

Second generation of LG, for Indy

LG Mk.II

1971

600 lb/ft

4/5

140 lbs

Second geneneration of LG600, new case, selector rod and diff.

DG300 Mk.II

1972

300 lb/ft

5

118 lbs

Second generation of DG300

FGA

1972

280 lb/ft

5/6

110 lbs

Second geneneration of FG400, for DFV

FGB

1978

260 lb/ft

6

112 lbs

Lower ratio FGA, larger case for bigger diameter gears, for high rev. turbo F1

DGB

1981

440 lb/ft

5

134 lbs

Higher torque version of DG300 Mk.II, stronger case, for sports car endurance

 

I also assisted in mahandling the BT42 aluminium tub to which had been grafted a pair of triangular-shaped crushable-structure panniers. I remember that a pair of tubes had been set inside these and the whole shebang was stood on end so that expanding foam could be poured into the cavities. There was probably extra fuel tankage included in the set-up.

 

In the early summer of 1973 my wife, Gaye, and I set off to contest the Europameisterschaft FF. We carried the Palliser in an ex-BA aircrew Bedford bus and raced at Zolder (2nd), Hockenheim (6 or 7th), Mainz-Finthen (5th), Djurslandring-Denmark (dnf punted off by a Swede), Osterrichring F1 meeting (2nd and into the lead of the championship), Anderstorp (4th), Brands Hatch GP (9th) to end up just one point behind the winner, Hans Binder. Binder won a fully-supported F3 car and went on the race in F1. Bernie Eclestone was with his F1 team in Austria and, encouraged by Peter Windsor, I asked BE if I could assist in the F1 race pits. Bernie clapped me on the shoulders and congratulated me on my performance in the support FF race. He offered me a "test drive" in the experimental narrow-track "works" F3  car. Although I rather triumphantly returned to the factory from which I had taken leave of absence for a seat fitting, the planned test day at Silverstone was cancelled. Shortly afterward, Bernie closed down the shop and the workers "let go." That would have been around August 1973.

 

Gaye and I went home to Australia, I set up a "learn-to-drive" school, took a position with Max Stahl's Racing Car News as the advertsing manager (Hi Ray),  worked with Peter Wherrett's advanced driving school (sometimes alongside KB) and eventually Gaye and I bought out the PW interests and ran Nationwide Defensive Driving School and Peter Finlay's International Racing Drivers' School until 2010.

 

We brought the Palliser home and I raced it for two more years, the second of which in 1975 was with the Grace Bros-Levis' team when I repeated my "bridesmaid" performance by claimining a close (1 point) finish to young Paul Bernasconi. Paul went to the UK and worked for Ron Tauranac at Weylock while running an F3 Ralt.

 

In 1992 I returned to my roots in Hillclimbing with one of the school's Formula Fords (the Mawer) and won the NSW state title as a hat trick in 1994,5,6. I took a couple of glorious runner-ups in the Australian Hillclimb Championships (the second of which was in the "works" Pilbeam MP62 at the Esses course on Mount Panorama. A three-event sortie to the UK with the Pilbeam team at Shelsley Walsh, Loton Park was a most enjoyable return to racing in the UK in 1997.

 

My last Hillclimb car was the ex-James King March 77B F3 re-tubbed chassis (C2) (ex- Paul Hamilton et al)) fitted with a 2 litre YBM mit der kompressor and running Motec on methanol. Noisy but too heavy.

 

I retirement I occasionally provide high-end chauffeur services and regularly fly a 3-metre wingspan model glider fitted with an "electric thermal" in the nose. My website is : www.planeimages.smugmug.com where some of my  aviation photography is displayed amongst other things. :)

 

 



#137 E1pix

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 22:43

Fan-bloody-tastic post!!!  :up: 

 

Signed,

Fan



#138 Doug Nye

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 22:53

Seconded.  

 

DCN



#139 E1pix

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 22:57

Yes Doug, and it makes me wonder what it would take to get our old driver friends to do something similar.

 

I've long contemplated a "Memories from the Cockpit" sort of thread. Tim Murray inadvertently really got this idea churning when I was staying with an old friend from F5000...



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#140 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 23:17

That post makes me shudder,, about those gearboxes. Dis a DG300 really only have 300 ft lb torque load? Those 5000 Chevs probably had about 400 ft lbs and the cars weighed more than F1s too.

People used those boxes in Sports Sedans with well over 600hp and 500 foot lbs in cars now weighing 1125 kilo. no wonder they are fragile in that application.

Question,, are DG 300s still made?



#141 Dick Willis

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 00:58

Well done Peter on a great career.



#142 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 00:59

I don't think anyone would dispute that DGs were fragile in F5000 applications...

And yes, agree that Peter has chimed in with an impressive post. May he make many more.

#143 GMACKIE

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 02:32

That was most informative and enjoyable, Peter.

 

Not as enjoyable, however, as some of the very close Formula Vee racing we had...almost half a century ago. :wave:

 

Cheers,       Greg



#144 Catalina Park

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 07:23

Great post Peter.

#145 E1pix

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 07:33

That was most informative and enjoyable, Peter.
 
Not as enjoyable, however, as some of the very close Formula Vee racing we had...almost half a century ago. :wave:
 
Cheers,       Greg

This just makes me smile.

#146 rasimmo

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 08:05

Probably doesn`t add much to the discussion, just an excuse to post this.

06b%20%20Kevin%20Bartlett.jpg


Edited by rasimmo, 23 November 2015 - 08:10.


#147 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 08:13

Probably doesn`t add much to the discussion, just an excuse to post this.

06b%20%20Kevin%20Bartlett.jpg

Decidedly not pretty but  GREAT action pic. Power oversteer and Kevin working very hard.



#148 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 11:46

It does add to the discussion...

Kevin has said that it only ran with those radiators and that nose at Sandown. Is this pre-Sandown testing?

#149 rasimmo

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 13:00

Hullo Ray, that pic was taken on Saturday the 28th July 1979 at Robin Orlando Corner, Oran Park, during practice for the 2nd round of the Australian Drivers Championship. KB was entered in the program but I don`t think he raced on Sunday. It`s a scan of an Ektacolor print film negative, so I dont have any EXIF data to back that up ( I love digital cameras ). From very unreliable memory Sandown was on in September 79.

Cheers Simmo.


Edited by rasimmo, 23 November 2015 - 13:08.


#150 BRG

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 20:40

That post makes me shudder,, about those gearboxes. Dis a DG300 really only have 300 ft lb torque load? Those 5000 Chevs probably had about 400 ft lbs and the cars weighed more than F1s too.

People used those boxes in Sports Sedans with well over 600hp and 500 foot lbs in cars now weighing 1125 kilo. no wonder they are fragile in that application.

Question,, are DG 300s still made?

Looking at Hewland's website, it looks like they may still service DG300 but they are not part of their current range.  Incidentally, they say the DG300 is good for 450 ft/lb torque.