Jump to content


Photo

Australian driver - Wally Mitchell


  • Please log in to reply
79 replies to this topic

#1 Stan Patterson

Stan Patterson
  • Member

  • 682 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 21 September 2006 - 11:39

Greetings,

I am inquirng about the Australian driver, Wally Mitchell ....little known these days... but one of the few who paid the ultimate price.

As a teenager, in the early sixties, I remember going with my dad , who was in the nearby motor trade, and meeting Wally, (MR Mitchell), at his East Burwood garage.....in Melbourne's East.

In those days he had a Buchannan Holden, read Holden Special with an illegal Aston Martin DB3S glass-fibre body..probably with a Repco Head...a pretty and rapid car. I believe the car grew a roof in response to CAMS stupidity. I have read in the brilliiant Bathurst book he crashed and had trouble lighting a cigarette afterwards,

I remember seeing him at Calder Raceway in the MRD, indeed I have a pic of him spinning wildely circa 1963, after the start of the main race.....Stillwell, Davison, Mckay..2.7 Tasman Coopers and Brabhams...the rich amatuers..have long gone.

I know he built a 2.5 litre climax engined sportscar from the remains of the the Tasman Brabham in which Lex Davison died, but I have never seen a pic of the car, I know he died of burns recieved..I dont where he crashed, or why ..etc ..ec..

Can anyone help?

Advertisement

#2 Robert Bailey

Robert Bailey
  • Member

  • 212 posts
  • Joined: August 06

Posted 21 September 2006 - 12:04

Hi Stan,crashed in 1967 and died from injuries.also page 76 of the John Blandden book has the car now in the Uk.

#3 Stan Patterson

Stan Patterson
  • Member

  • 682 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 21 September 2006 - 12:19

HI robert,

Thanks for your reply...

Where did he crash?....i only have the first edtion..

what did..it look like?

No State Funeral?

#4 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 39,513 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 21 September 2006 - 12:25

http://www.motorspor...hp?db=ct&n=3420

#5 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 76,096 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 21 September 2006 - 13:07

There's a photo of the RM1 crashing at Bessant Hump at Symmons Plains in the race report in Racing Car News of April, 1967...

I guess I could present that photo here, along with two others...

Posted Image

So at the start, Mitchell is shown to the left of Glynn Scott's Lotus 23 and ahead of Bob Holden's Mini. The car was a little bigger than a 23, but fairly similar in shape.

The crash ripped the fuel tanks apart and caused it to burn for a long time. Mitchell had unstrapped himself (a rare one... belted in in 1967) and got out, but was already on fire.

#6 Stan Patterson

Stan Patterson
  • Member

  • 682 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 21 September 2006 - 13:22

Thanks Ray

Very sad...poignant......and forgotten....,............so sad..

the car looks good too....an Aussie specia...l prolly would have been a winner......very sad

#7 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 76,096 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 21 September 2006 - 13:30

From memory, Stan, it was a winner...

I remember meeting Wally. We saw him in his Mainline ute (I'm pretty sure it was a Mainline, and it was green, I think) at Parramatta, on his way back from Surfers I feel sure it was. Pulled him up, talked to him. The car was on the trailer, I think it might have even had a (minor) win at that Surfers meeting.

Then he drove away and we never saw him again.

#8 Stan Patterson

Stan Patterson
  • Member

  • 682 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 21 September 2006 - 13:43

thanks Ray,


I guess there is a reason why the Royal Navy never had another HMS Hood..

...I wonder how well made the car was?..your pics are the only ones i have ever seen

The "forgotteness" is what gets to me

Stan

#9 Clark Watson

Clark Watson
  • Member

  • 123 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 06 October 2007 - 10:03

Hi Guys,
I have just recently bought one of Wally Mitchells Buchanans and am heavily in the process of a full restoration. While I am in contact with Wall's Family very few photographs exist of either of his Buchanans. The White ex Wal Anderson car with a Lotus chassis and Repco Holden motor belongs to Greg Smith in Brighton while I have Wallys red buchanan which he raced when the white car was being repaired from his various misadventures.

I would welcome any help in the way of photos or even stories of Wally to aid Greg and I in our mission to restore Wally's cars to their former glory.

Thanks
Clark Watson

#10 ellrosso

ellrosso
  • Member

  • 1,517 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 07 October 2007 - 11:37

Hi, just to let you know I have numerous photos of Wally Mitchell's RM1 on my oldracephotos.com website, both at Longford and the accident at Symmons in 1967. I have an entire sequence of shots taken by David Keep of the accident in the library, but edited these down for the website. There are a couple taken by Geoff Harrisson on there also, plus a couple of color shots taken by Bob Wright's wife of the charred remains in the pits.
If you type Mitchell into Search Phrase on the Advanced Search - Home page, it will bring all these shots up. One of the shots Ray Bell posted is David's and the feature shot was published world wide . (David worked for the Examiner newspaper at the time).
Just as an aside, Bob Wright was following Mitchell just before the accident in his Tasma Climax and remarked that "he had his hands full" keeping the RM1 on the road.
Regards.

#11 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 8,274 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 07 October 2007 - 12:36

Originally posted by Stan Patterson
l prolly would have been a winner......very sad


Prolly?? :rotfl:

#12 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 76,096 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 07 October 2007 - 15:04

Originally posted by ellrosso
Hi, just to let you know I have numerous photos of Wally Mitchell's RM1 on my oldracephotos.com website, both at Longford and the accident at Symmons in 1967. I have an entire sequence of shots taken by David Keep of the accident in the library, but edited these down for the website. There are a couple taken by Geoff Harrisson on there also, plus a couple of color shots taken by Bob Wright's wife of the charred remains in the pits.....


Is there any chance you could post the ones you don't have on your site here?

#13 ellrosso

ellrosso
  • Member

  • 1,517 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 07 October 2007 - 22:39

I'll give it a go later in the week when I get some free time. Cheers,Lindsay Ross

#14 Clark Watson

Clark Watson
  • Member

  • 123 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 08 October 2007 - 02:34

Thanks Guys,
Much appreciated, I'll have read on how to post images so you can see the cars as they are today.....unfortunately ours was in pretty bad shape when we got to her but Terry Cornelius or Corrowa is going gang busters on the body work while my partner in the project and I are furiously reconditioning the rest of the car. Sadly the body was cut in half by the pervious owner to better fit in a ute!!! Sacrilege!!! But we're well on the way to sorting that out and hopefully we can have it ready for Winton next year...fingers crossed!

Thanks again
Clark Watson

#15 Nanni Dietrich

Nanni Dietrich
  • Member

  • 1,382 posts
  • Joined: February 04

Posted 08 October 2007 - 08:16

Originally posted by ellrosso
Hi, just to let you know I have numerous photos of Wally Mitchell's RM1 on my oldracephotos.com website, both at Longford and the accident at Symmons in 1967. I have an entire sequence of shots taken by David Keep of the accident in the library, but edited these down for the website. There are a couple taken by Geoff Harrisson on there also, plus a couple of color shots taken by Bob Wright's wife of the charred remains in the pits.
If you type Mitchell into Search Phrase on the Advanced Search - Home page, it will bring all these shots up. One of the shots Ray Bell posted is David's and the feature shot was published world wide . (David worked for the Examiner newspaper at the time).
Just as an aside, Bob Wright was following Mitchell just before the accident in his Tasma Climax and remarked that "he had his hands full" keeping the RM1 on the road.
Regards.


In the notes of this picture
http://www.oldraceph...9be609c7d86bed2
Lindsay wrote the Mitchell's RM1 was fitted with a 5-liter Chevy V8 engine instead of the Climax engine as is reported in several other sources (Racing Car News issue May 1967, etc.).

#16 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 76,096 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 08 October 2007 - 11:54

The tow vehicle had a 4.2-litre V8 if that's any help...

By the way, did I see somewhere that the engine was only 2-litres? It was a Davo Tasman engine, so it had to be 2.5-litres.

#17 ellrosso

ellrosso
  • Member

  • 1,517 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 08 October 2007 - 22:51

Yes, your dead right Ray,it was a 2.5. I was told it was a 2.0 but I just checked the 66,67 Longford programs and it was 2.5 in '66 and 5.0 in '67.

#18 Stan Patterson

Stan Patterson
  • Member

  • 682 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 09 October 2007 - 21:39

Good to see this thread come alive again..and i do so enjoy 275GTB's contributions..


Stan

#19 ellrosso

ellrosso
  • Member

  • 1,517 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 11 October 2007 - 01:31

Hi everyone,I have put the images as requested by Ray Bell onto the oldracephotos.com website re Wally Mitchell's accident (could'nt figure out how to put them on here- had a crack at it without success). Go to the Home Page - Advanced Search and type Mitchell into Search Phrase. This will bring up all images. The new ones are in General category. Chilling sequence,especially No 3516 - lucky we've come a long way since then re fire in racing.
Regards,Lindsay Ross

Advertisement

#20 Ellis French

Ellis French
  • Member

  • 475 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:01

Posted Image

I also took some 8mm movie from just after the impact periodically till the car was placed on the trailer and towed away by the Green Mainline ute. The race car was in a grey primer colour.
Wally died several days ( 3 or 4 ) later as a result of the burns sustained.
The slide is dated 3/67 at Symmons Plains Tas.

Ellis

#21 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 76,096 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 23 January 2009 - 19:13

Originally posted by Ellis French
.....Wally died several days (3 or 4) later as a result of the burns sustained.....


Crashed on March 12, died April 18...

#22 ellrosso

ellrosso
  • Member

  • 1,517 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:36

I spoke to David Keep, who took the main sequence of the accident pictures, about Wally, and basically he discharged himself from hospital far to soon (to get back to work) and contracted pneumonia which eventually took him out.That was the hearsay at the time at least.
Regards ellrosso

#23 Clark Watson

Clark Watson
  • Member

  • 123 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 04 March 2009 - 00:16

I recently spoke to Wally's widow Ruth and his son Russell about the horrible circumstances of the crash. I had heard similar stories of Wally discharging himself too early and another of him actually dying from lung complications on a plane on the way home after leaving the hospital far too early. The last story was actually published in the Melbourne Herald but turned out to be a mix up, and actually related to a Tasmanian miner who had chemical burns in his lungs and died on the way home to Sydney.

According the Mitchell's, Poor old Wally had burns to 80% of his body and his leg burns were so deep that they were told that his chances of recovery were very slight. To further dash Wal's chances the plastic on his helmet had melted onto his face and the chemicals had severely damaged his lungs which goes some way to explaining the mix up in the news reports. To add insult to injury the fire extinguishers used to put the fire out actually contained a poisonous chemical which got deep into his wounds and ******** the healing process and finally Wally succumbed to septicemia on the 18th.

At the risk of crapping on, it's worth noting that the car Wally was driving was actually built from 2 other previously smashed cars, one of which as Stan has already said was Lex Davisons car and the other (who's details escape me for the time being) was crashed at Symonds plains and written off. Wally put the two cars together to build the RM1 sportscar and when he had his final accident at Symonds Plains it was reportedly only 20 feet away from where the car had crashed in it's previous life.

#24 Ellis French

Ellis French
  • Member

  • 475 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:13

" and the other (who's details escape me for the time being) was crashed at Symonds plains and written off. Wally put the two cars together to build the RM1 sportscar and when he had his final accident at Symonds Plains it was reportedly only 20 feet away from where the car had crashed in it's previous life."

I believe the second wreck which provided parts was the ex Rocky Trezise driven car involved in the fatal accident at Longford (20K's away) in 1965..... not Symmons Plains.

#25 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:21

Ellis - I'll say to you what I said to someone else a few days ago:

It would make life much less confusing for us all if you'd use the little 'quote' button in the top of each post when applicable :)

#26 Clark Watson

Clark Watson
  • Member

  • 123 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:41

Ok thats interesting Ellis, Rocky Trezise doesn't ring a bell with me and you could be right about Longford however that's not quite the version I got? What make of car was he driving at the time of his accident and how did you know it ws Rocky's car? Just so I can put this to bed.

#27 David Shaw

David Shaw
  • Member

  • 1,732 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:44

Cooper Climax T62 ex-Lex Davison.

#28 Ellis French

Ellis French
  • Member

  • 475 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 04 March 2009 - 12:49

Originally posted by Clark Watson
Ok thats interesting Ellis, Rocky Trezise doesn't ring a bell with me and you could be right about Longford however that's not quite the version I got? What make of car was he driving at the time of his accident and how did you know it ws Rocky's car? Just so I can put this to bed.


Both cars were Davison cars. Both had been involved in the fatal accidents...Davison in Feb 65 at Sandown shortly before Trezise at Longford in March 65.
Trezise was engaged by Davison as a driver.
I am not sure where I heard Mitchell had used both cars to build the RM1.
It may have been at the time he raced the RM1 in Tas.
I attended Longford races when Trezise accident happenned in 65, then Longford meeting when Mitchell first ran the RM1 there in 66 and Symmons meeting in Mar 67 when Mitchell had his accident and it was probably talk around the pits.
The Symmons meetings were usually the 1st weekend or so after Longford .

#29 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 04 March 2009 - 16:15

Thanks Ellis :up:

#30 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 76,096 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 05 March 2009 - 09:42

Persistence pays off, David...

It was no secret that the bits for the RM1 came from the Davison estate, which sold off the remnants of both cars involved in the fatal crashes. These crashes were on the Saturday at Sandown (Davison) and the following week on the Monday at Longford.

Rocky Tresise was Davison's protege and drove the Cooper several times, while Tim Schenken was to be the next recipient of Davison 'coaching and encouragement' in a scheme that was planned prior to Lex's death and announced shortly afterwards. It failed to amount to anything.

#31 spersephone

spersephone
  • New Member

  • 9 posts
  • Joined: December 09

Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:32

Wally Mitchell (my grandfather) died on April 18 1967, as a result of pneumonia after surviving injuries sustained in the crash at Symmons Plains. He was taken to hospital back in Melbourne, where he stayed until he succumbed. His three teenage daughters were of course devastated when this happened. He didn't discharge himself early as some other reports have stated.

I went to Longford Pub about 10 years ago and was very humbled to see a photograph of him on the wall along with other drivers of the time. I don't know if it's still up but we have been searching for a long time for any information about him. We stumbled across this forum only today and it's just really wonderful to see that people remember him.

#32 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 76,096 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:44

We're glad you found us, Sarah...

More information will be forthcoming, I'm sure. Particularly if you ask direct questions.

#33 spersephone

spersephone
  • New Member

  • 9 posts
  • Joined: December 09

Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:55

Thanks Ray, but unfortunately I just don't even know what to ask! I'm just happy to have found this place. I guess what I'd love to find for my Mum in particular is any photographs of him - not of his crash, because we have seen those and they're not really the memories she wants. I would be very pleased if anyone can provide me with electronic images. I have a couple, but not very many.

Anyone who might have any newspaper/magazine articles about him I would love to talk to as well, if only to find out where I can source copies.

Thanks for your help!
Sarah

#34 ellrosso

ellrosso
  • Member

  • 1,517 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 19 December 2009 - 07:07

Welcome to the forum Sarah. We have 3 photos of Wally in the RM1 at Longford (2 from 1966, 1 from 1967 - quite a good overhead shot from the Viaduct) on the oldracephotos.com website. Type Wally Mitchell into the Advanced Search (Search Phrase) on the Home page will bring them up. I will change the caption on the website regarding Wally discharging himself from hospital too. Apologies for that - it was the common rumour at the time in Tasmanian motorsport circles.
Regards, ellrosso

#35 spersephone

spersephone
  • New Member

  • 9 posts
  • Joined: December 09

Posted 21 December 2009 - 01:49

Welcome to the forum Sarah. We have 3 photos of Wally in the RM1 at Longford (2 from 1966, 1 from 1967 - quite a good overhead shot from the Viaduct) on the oldracephotos.com website. Type Wally Mitchell into the Advanced Search (Search Phrase) on the Home page will bring them up. I will change the caption on the website regarding Wally discharging himself from hospital too. Apologies for that - it was the common rumour at the time in Tasmanian motorsport circles.
Regards, ellrosso


I just wanted to say thanks for your help! It has been an eye opener to see how on the one hand there are some really lovely people willing to help me work out more about my own family history, while on the other hand there are some who do not - it's really unfortunate that something that would mean so much to my mum and aunties (my grandfather's war medals) has been lost to us through Ebay. The buyer refuses to communicate with us at all, even to say that he/she doesn't wish to sell.

So thank you to those who have been forthcoming with information for us, it means so much!

#36 Dark Max

Dark Max
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: June 09

Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:10

Hi I am the nephew of the late Wally Mitchell, I was just a boy when he died, there is a video containing the fatal crash at Simmons planes on you tube. I have some photos in our family photo album. reading through some of the posts here I am catching up on some stuff I did not know. I know the RM1 had several wins, and was sponsored to go to the Gold coast. his story of that trip is in one of the 4 Filter Magazine/newsletter he wrote. Has anyone got more coppies of the club newsletters? Any photos? of any of his cars may help fill in the family history. I met a bloke who had a boat tailed MG in his back yard near Cranbourne, he claimed he bought it from Aunty Ruth who lived in ruby street just behing the old East Burwood Garage on East Burwood highway, the surviving family own it now that ruth has died. Big fight over that estate I can assure you. my phone number is 03 5495 1386 or 0403441631. I would like to get a hold of any car bits from one of his old cars. cheers and thanks for the info so far.



#37 Dark Max

Dark Max
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: June 09

Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:22

I just wanted to say thanks for your help! It has been an eye opener to see how on the one hand there are some really lovely people willing to help me work out more about my own family history, while on the other hand there are some who do not - it's really unfortunate that something that would mean so much to my mum and aunties (my grandfather's war medals) has been lost to us through Ebay. The buyer refuses to communicate with us at all, even to say that he/she doesn't wish to sell.

So thank you to those who have been forthcoming with information for us, it means so much!

Here Here on the retraction of the rumor, dad always said Uncle Jack died as a result of Golden Staff caught in hospital? I was rung up about the medals, someone thought it might have been me selling them, but it was not, however it looks as though it was Johnny Doppers widow who was the seller?, I tried to suggest to the buyer we (The family) could buy a set of medals the same type and from an Australian serviceman with similar service, and swap for Jacks medals but the buyer would not budge. that's now both sets of Wally Mitchell war medals gone, Wally Mitchell seniors medals from WW1 I think went back to Aunty Marg? I think I do have Wally seniors Discharge papers somewhere. my phone number is 0403441631 if you want to make contact again. cheers. chris.



#38 Dark Max

Dark Max
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: June 09

Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:50

Hi Stan,crashed in 1967 and died from injuries.also page 76 of the John Blandden book has the car now in the Uk.

Hi what book are you referring to and how can I get it?



#39 David Shaw

David Shaw
  • Member

  • 1,732 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:13

Historic Racing Cars in Australia by John B. Blanden

http://www.ebay.com....7#ht_2388wt_867

although that isn't cheap.



Advertisement

#40 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 8,274 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:25

Here Here on the retraction of the rumor, dad always said Uncle Jack died as a result of Golden Staff caught in hospital? I was rung up about the medals, someone thought it might have been me selling them, but it was not, however it looks as though it was Johnny Doppers widow who was the seller?, I tried to suggest to the buyer we (The family) could buy a set of medals the same type and from an Australian serviceman with similar service, and swap for Jacks medals but the buyer would not budge. that's now both sets of Wally Mitchell war medals gone, Wally Mitchell seniors medals from WW1 I think went back to Aunty Marg? I think I do have Wally seniors Discharge papers somewhere. my phone number is 0403441631 if you want to make contact again. cheers. chris.


Max, just a small point, but I believe that you will find a lot of people die of golden staph...if you do some research, I think you will find that a persons immunity keeps it at bay in a healthy system until some other injury/trauma breaks down the body's resistance and lets it do its evil work.

#41 austmcreg

austmcreg
  • Member

  • 316 posts
  • Joined: May 11

Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:33

Hi what book are you referring to and how can I get it?

I think there is risk of mis-information here. The car referred to in book that is back in UK is NOT the RM1, which as far as I am aware no longer exists. Wally built the RM1 using supension and other parts from two cars, both of which he purchased from the Lex Davison estate. 

1.  The Cooper Climax which was crashed fatally at Longford in 1965 by Rocky Tezise.

2. The Brabham BT4 Climax which was crashed fatally by Lex Davison at Sandown in 1965, a week before Rocky.

 

At the Wal Mitchell clearing sale after his death, the Brabham was sold to David Sternberg of Burnie, Tasmania, who over a year or so rebuilt it with 2.5 Climax. It was raced at least once by Dave Powell Jnr at Baskerville (in Sternberg ownership) in uprated form with 1968 style wider Brabham wheels etc.. It then disappeared, reappearing in ownership of Austin Miller who restored it to basically 1964 spec. I remember it being dispayed at one of the early Albert Park retro events in the 1990s. Then sold to UK.

 

The remains of the Cooper were around Melbourne for a few years (including with John Dalton for a while) and partially restored with new body, went to USA. That car is effectively a replica.

 

The 2.5 Climax from the sale, that was out of the RM1 (before being replaced by the Chev) ended up with Peter Turnbull in Tasmania, who fitted it to his Turnham Climax sports car. It was then sold as part of kit of parts for the ex Brabham T51 Cooper Climax which Peter also owned, to John Blanden who restored it. Car and engine now in UK via USA.

 

Rob Saward


Edited by austmcreg, 16 January 2014 - 11:26.


#42 Dark Max

Dark Max
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: June 09

Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:20

Max, just a small point, but I believe that you will find a lot of people die of golden staph...if you do some research, I think you will find that a persons immunity keeps it at bay in a healthy system until some other injury/trauma breaks down the body's resistance and lets it do its evil work.

Similar to other killer bugs, you are correct, however years ago, WA Hospitals warned Eastern hospitals how to get rid of Golden Staff by regular cleaning to roof and not up to window sill high, the Eastern hospitals told the West to take a hike, In WA no Golden staff, In Vic,N.S.W a Qld Golden staff still found in hospitals today, and I am sure was strong in 1967. Who knows how Jack contracted it? but maybe it could have been prevented? neither suggestion changes the fact he died as a result of his burns, We are talking the era where racing drivers were still racing in dinner suits. 



#43 Dark Max

Dark Max
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: June 09

Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:24

Historic Racing Cars in Australia by John B. Blanden

http://www.ebay.com....7#ht_2388wt_867

although that isn't cheap.

Hi thanks for the info, no it is not cheap, I think I will get it from the library and scan the page. cheers



#44 Dark Max

Dark Max
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: June 09

Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:34

There's a photo of the RM1 crashing at Bessant Hump at Symmons Plains in the race report in Racing Car News of April, 1967...

I guess I could present that photo here, along with two others...

mitchellsymmonshr8.jpg

So at the start, Mitchell is shown to the left of Glynn Scott's Lotus 23 and ahead of Bob Holden's Mini. The car was a little bigger than a 23, but fairly similar in shape.

The crash ripped the fuel tanks apart and caused it to burn for a long time. Mitchell had unstrapped himself (a rare one... belted in in 1967) and got out, but was already on fire.

Just a note on the belted in, his seat belt would not open at first, holding him in, another point the fire warden  with the first fire extinguisher had to run for another when the first extinguisher failed to work!



#45 Lee Nicolle

Lee Nicolle
  • Member

  • 10,651 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 13 January 2014 - 21:51

Similar to other killer bugs, you are correct, however years ago, WA Hospitals warned Eastern hospitals how to get rid of Golden Staff by regular cleaning to roof and not up to window sill high, the Eastern hospitals told the West to take a hike, In WA no Golden staff, In Vic,N.S.W a Qld Golden staff still found in hospitals today, and I am sure was strong in 1967. Who knows how Jack contracted it? but maybe it could have been prevented? neither suggestion changes the fact he died as a result of his burns, We are talking the era where racing drivers were still racing in dinner suits.

Golden Staph is rife in too many hospitals. I too got a staph infection from a hospital. That in early 2001. Thankfully I was not seriously injured at the time [minor neck surgery] so survived ok though with massive doses of antibiotics over a week in a different hospital. A scrub nurse friend is paranoid about it because she has seen what happens. Most hospitals even now are not nearly as clean as they should and could be. Lowest price cleaning!

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 13 January 2014 - 21:53.


#46 Ellis French

Ellis French
  • Member

  • 475 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:35

Single frame shots from my 8mm movies

Symmons Plains Tas Mar 12   1967

 

vlcsnap-10154812_zpsa4583dc8.jpg

 

vlcsnap-10152652_zps72281004.jpg



#47 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 76,096 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 14 January 2014 - 15:51

Ah, there's that Mainline we saw in Parramatta that night...

 

Originally posted by Dark Max

.....I know the RM1 had several wins, and was sponsored to go to the Gold coast. His story of that trip is in one of the 4 Filter Magazine/newsletter he wrote.....

 

I'd like to see that story!

 

And who sponsored the trip?



#48 ellrosso

ellrosso
  • Member

  • 1,517 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:34

Here are some shots from the ORP library of Wally's crash and aftermath. As others have posted images of the accident I have decided to post them. Some of the shots taken by David Keep , (some 16 in total - 6 of which I scanned) I feel are potentially disturbing for family members to see, so I have not included them. I should mention David was employed by The Mercury newspaper at the time (as a graphic artist) but he was working as a freelance photographer at race meetings in Tassy from about 1955 - 1968. His photographs of the crash were published world wide in newspapers and magazines. The photo of Wally leading Alan Hamilton is one lap before the accident. The 1966 Longford shot is of the car with 2.5 Climax power.3507-K-Spor-67-lo_zps28727c19.jpg3509-K-Spor-67-lo_zpsaf683858.jpg3513-K-Mitch-67-lo_zps56b6bcff.jpg3515_K_Mitch_67-lo_zpsdb26b416.jpg3523_K_Mitch_67-lo_zps9cb5692e.jpg3526_K_Mitch_67-lo_zps2f7eed7a.jpg4251_K_Mitch_66-lo_zps80fa08f2.jpg5341_B_RM1_67-lo_zpscf33095d.jpg5342_B_RM1_67-lo_zps7d942f74.jpg



#49 austmcreg

austmcreg
  • Member

  • 316 posts
  • Joined: May 11

Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:59



I think there is risk of mis-information here. The car referred to in book that is back in UK is NOT the RM1, which as far as I am aware no longer exists. Wally built the RM1 using supension and other parts from two cars, both of which he purchased from the Lex Davison estate. 

1.  The Cooper Climax which was crashed fatally at Longford in 1965 by Rocky Tezise.

2. The Brabham BT4 Climax which was crashed fatally by Lex Davison at Sandown in 1965, a week before Rocky.

 

At the Wal Mitchell clearing sale after his death, the Brabham was sold to David Sternberg of Burnie, Tasmania, who over a year or so rebuilt it with 2.5 Climax. It was raced at least once by Dave Powell Jnr at Baskerville (in Sternberg ownership) in uprated form with 1968 style wider Brabham wheels etc.. It then disappeared, reappearing in ownership of Austin Miller who restored it to basically 1964 spec. I remember it being dispayed at one of the early Albert Park retro events in the 1990s. Then sold to UK.

 

The remains of the Cooper were around Melbourne for a few years (including with John Dalton for a while) and partially restored with new body, went to USA. That car is effectively a replica.

 

The 2.5 Climax from the sale, that was out of the RM1 (before being replaced by the Chev) ended up with Peter Turnbull in Tasmania, who fitted it to his Turnham Climax sports car. It was then sold as part of kit of parts for the ex Brabham T51 Cooper Climax which Peter also owned, to John Blanden who restored it. Car and engine now in UK via USA.

 

Rob Saward

 

I have just located the advert in RCN for the sale of some of the Wally Mitchell bits, August 1967 edition. It looks like the sale was being handled by Bill Reynolds.

 

The Brabham chassis and parts went to David Sternberg in Tasmania, who rebuilt it. The complete Climax 2.5 ended up with Peter Turnbull but a few years later.

 

0gq0.jpg

Looking at some of the other adverts, it was not difficult to find a Climax engine in 1967.....

 

Ellrosso's David Keep photos of the accident show the RM1 had two different pairs of Brabham wheels, the earlier ones probably from the ex Davison Brabham chassis.

 

Rob Saward


Edited by austmcreg, 16 January 2014 - 12:05.


#50 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 76,096 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 16 January 2014 - 16:53

When did this happen?

 

I mean the installation of a V8 in the RM1. I certainly don't remember ever hearing or reading about that, I never saw the car with a V8 in it, but here it obviously has turned to Yankee power.

 

There's nothing in RCN in any of the places you'd expect to see a mention of it, either. Not from the January '67 issue through to April, when the crash was reported. December 4 the car raced at Winton, I see no mention of the car coming out again until Symmons (not even Longford), so it appears that was the period when the engine was fitted.

 

The report on Symmons mentions engine misfiring repeatedly, which is consistent with a fresh engine installation.

 

So what engine went in there? It looks like an Olds... from Niel Allen, perhaps? Or from Matich when he upgraded?

 

Does anyone have any more on this? I cannot believe this has escaped me for 47 years!