MotorMarques Team

MotorMarques Team

Wednesday, 14 September 2011 22:10
Published in Melbourne Desk

Rally Australia 2011

Text and photos by W S Hunter A few weeks ago, the Hunter family decided to unload our free airline miles and head up to Coffs Harbour to go and see Rally Australia.  This was the third WRC in Australia which we have been fortunate enough to see. The first time, when Lucas was only 7 was WRC 2002 in Perth. You might remember that this was the rally when Francois Delecour famously launched his EVO VIII at very high speed into a tree, which ended with his Mitsubishi 4G63 engine over 100 metres down the road. We also had been to the 2009 WRC which was unfortunately marred by protests from a bunch of unhappy hippies in Nimbin. Hence, we were very much looking forward to this event, which would be a “first” for Australia in many different ways, including the new 1600 cc WRC cars, the new Mini entrant, a chance to see Ken Block do his thing. Add to this a nice classic car field to round it out, and a chance to get some sunshine into the system, and what more could you desire? We actually arrived on Thursday, 1 day before the rally started, which was a good thing as we got a chance to settle in and see some of the shakedown stuff happening. By a complete fluke we decided to head into the Bucca stage (SS21-24) on the off chance that any teams were practising in the forest. After a stiff walk up some steep hills (in thongs – not a good idea) we arrived at a magnificent spot, very close to the shakedown actions somewhere in the forest with a handful of police on trail bikes watching the ARC field going through multiple practise runs. Highlights were the unbelievably fast EVO X of Dowell and Lee (now running an unrestricted turbo and rumoured to be putting out 400 HP), the insane-revving Civic Type R driven by Eli Evans, and a very quick looking RWD Nissan 200SX punted along by Will Orders. If you get a chance to see these cars at Rally Victoria later this years, I highly recommend it.  After that, rally spirits were high as we arrived later that evening at the first super special stage. I don’t normally enjoy these things, however the sight of the WRC cars with exhausts and brake discs glowing red travelling very rapidly around tight twists and turns was spectacular. The new Mini Countryman piloted by the young Brazilian driver Daniel D’Oliveira sounded fabulous, but seems a little off the pace. I have to admit though, I was expecting more spectacle from Ken Block, but perhaps due to a local shortage of gorilla suits and rocket-powered Segways from the local Coates hire outlet, Ken couldn’t quite get his Mojo happening. Comment of the night from the expert commentary team – “…some of these competitors are running 30,000 Watt driving lights!”. Hmmm, looks like I’m going to need a slightly bigger alternator for the Stanza then – say about 2500 Amps should do it, but at least I should be able to light up the MCG.  Friday morning saw us head over to the Shipman’s stage to view the first forest stage of the WRC. We purchased “enthusiast passes”, which are much better spectating points and no more expensive than the general admission passes. The officials warned us that the spectating point contained more than a few paralysis ticks, and leeches – the former with a fondness for burrowing in to gentleman’s parts. One of our party (who shall remain nameless) experienced the joys of this, with a few fire-ant bites added in to the groin region for extra good measure.  This was a superb spectator point. Unusually for a WRC stage, the spectators were allowed right up close to the cars (within 2 metres) as they approached a 90 degree left hander over a fast downhill section. Several drivers (Solberg P, Ogier, Loeb) cut the corner, nonchalantly putting the car on two wheels as they did so at an insane speed which I can only say defied the laws of physics. Both leading Fords were missing front guards, in Latvala’s case a lucky escape from an altercation with a barbed wire fence which nearly ended his rally. Poor old Ken Block was out of the rally already – not even 10 kms into the first stage, victim of hard tyres on slippery clay roads which some of the competitors described as like a dog trying to walk on wet lino. Wimps, I say. Let ‘em run the next WRC in the Heathcote area after a big deluge. Then they’ll find out what “trees close to road” and “slippery clay” really means. In reality these Coffs Harbour roads looked superb. Big wide shire roads (like Bega) with the trees well off the road, and the road surface hardly cutting up at all. How hard could it be?  After watching the rest of the field go through we went back to the service area at the airport. If you have never been to a WRC before, service is also a must. It is incredible to think of the logistics involved in getting these factory WRC teams to an event, and the humongous set ups involved. We watched Ken Block’s Fiesta being unloaded from the back of the truck, looking rather sad. You can get an idea of how hard he hit a rock at the side of the road from the fact that the rear brake disc was cracked in half. No problem, after a few bazillion dollars worth of new brakes, panels, suspension etc, Ken’s car was good as gold again. Next casualty into the service park was Loeb’s Citroen DS which he had rolled multiple times (an event which occurs about frequently as Footscray winning a grand final). Due to the unusual nature of this event, as the car came in on the back of the truck, the entire Ford service team rushed over to see it, madly trying to photograph some of the Citroen secrets, and duly being shooed away by the Citroen team. Later in the day we heard that Ogier had also gone out, leaving the rally as a lay-down misere for the Ford team, which they subsequently capitalised on. Final interesting site at the service park was a bored and solitary Japanese Honda engineer at Eli Evans tent. Poor guy. Anybody could have told him that no Honda VTEC engine has ever broken, and you could drive one from here to Pluto and back on the rev limiter and it wouldn’t even use a teaspoon of oil.   Next day (the Saturday) we headed down the Pacific Highway to Nambucca Heads to watch SS11, the Talarm Hall stage. We kindly let Novikov’s Fiesta have right of way into a roundabout, and duly followed him about 65 kms down the road which was a delight to see and hear. I thought how nice it was that Novikov had managed to keep his Fiesta intact on the slippery Friday when Loeb and Ogier had crashed. I spoke to soon, but here is a camera phone shot from the car (possibly one of the last) of the Novikov WRC Fiesta still intact on the Saturday as we drove behind it.Now here is the same car after the “Plum Pudding” stage, later that day. Possibly this helps to understand why Dale Moscatt declined further participation as Evgeny’s co-driver in the WRC. rally20113Novikov rated this accident as the biggest of his career, blaming the crash on an incorrect pace note. Before the rally, his co-driver Giraudet had said about the  stages “It’s really something special, very fast with a lot of cuts. The trees are very close to the road and when you hit a tree on your door it’s not so friendly but it’s part of the game. You can’t cut all the trees.” Now I don’t know about you, but if my co-driver said to me that hitting a tree on your door was all “part of the game”, I would be a bit anxious. And I would have thought that you couldn’t cut any of the trees, but maybe I’m just old-fashioned. Given that Novikov’s Fiesta was probably worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars, and given his tendency to crash, I wondered who Novikov’s deep-pocketed sponsor “ALM Russia” was. I googled it, and got onto a Russian site called “Automatic Love Matching”, a place for many young Svetlanas, Olgas, Natashas and so on, all anxiously seeking Western gentlemen. So perhaps the cost of wrecking so many Fiestas is easily borne via “rally love” after all. Anyway, I digress. The Talarm Hall stage was a beauty with the cars coming around a fast right hander up a hill and into a fast 90 degree left hander. Petter Solberg was driving on the ragged edge. The Fords (Hirvonen and Latvala) were cruising along comfortably in the lead, while Loeb and Ogier were trying to play catch up. Tidiest looking driver was Matthew Wilson (Fiesta), with both he and the “The Sheikh” (Al Qassimi, Fiesta) having their best events and placings yet. Prize for“testicles out” driving went to the Porsche 911 in the classics field driven by Jeff David Probably not exactly a cheap car, but being driven with great verve and gusto. We left on Saturday afternoon, delighted to have been part of such a spectacular event, and with the mid coast NSW towns all strongly behind the event generating a lot of good vibes around the place. Great to see lots of kids and dads standing out on the Pacific Highway in the morning to watch the rally cars go by on their liaison stages. If you get a chance to see it in 2013, and have not been to a WRC recently, I can’t recommend it highly enough. RESULTS (Happily for fans of the Blue Oval, and great result from Hayden Paddon in 6th ):
Pos No Driver   GroupClass StageTime Penalties TotalTime DiffPrev Diff1st
1 3 M. HIRVONEN M A0 3:35:59.0 0.0 3:35:59.0 0.0 0.0
2 4 J. LATVALA M A0 3:36:13.7 0.0 3:36:13.7 +14.7 +14.7
3 11 P. SOLBERG M A0 3:36:43.8 0.0 3:36:43.8 +30.1 +44.8
4 5 M. WILSON M A0 3:44:44.2 0.0 3:44:44.2 +8:00.4 +8:45.2
5 10 K. AL QASSIMI M A0 3:48:32.3 0.0 3:48:32.3 +3:48.1 +12:33.3
6 38 H. PADDON P A0 3:53:08.3 20.0 3:53:28.3 +4:56.0 +17:29.3
  - Bill Hunter
Sunday, 24 July 2011 02:49
Published in Melbourne Desk

Vintage Collingrove

Vintage Collingrove - 2011 Hillclimb Angaston, Barossa Valley
Vintage Collingrove Speed HillclimbWeekend is on again this coming spring. Located in superb scenic countryside with majestic red gums and rolling hills just a 90 minute drive from Adelaide and 7 km south of Angaston at the top of the Barossa Valley. Collingrove is most often considered Australia’s premier hillclimb track. Vintage Collingrove is run by the Sporting Car Club of South Australia specifically for vintage style machinery as well as CAMS Group J & K pre-WWII cars. There are classes for racing, sports and touring cars. Certain early post war cars may be accepted on an invitation basis providing they are of ‘vintage’ style and character. If you have been to the famous Vintage Sports Car Club event at Prescott in England, then chances are you will feel at home at Vintage Collingrove, and if you haven’t, well this is probably the next best thing in Australia.   For entrants and friends there is a full weekend of activities. This includes a run on public roads in which unregistered cars provided with permits can participate. There’s also the fun Saturday night ‘Climb Dinner’, the Sunday ‘Partners’ Program’ and in the evening the Roaring Forties café farewell gettogether meal.   Come-and-Run permits are available for entrants who do not have a CAMS competition licence, so this is a very economical way to enjoy your favourite pre-war sporting or touring car.   As they say, “just feel the atmosphere.” The competitive hillclimb is held on Sunday and while the ‘paddock’ obviously has a vintage feel, there is also the spectator car park for ‘collector’ style vehicles. Clubs are welcome to arrange their own display.   So, if you like the idea of vintage Amilcars, Austin 7s, Bentleys, Bugattis, Buicks, Chryslers, Essex, Fords, Rileys and MGs competing in superb countryside, then Vintage Collingrove is a must for you and your family. Spectators are most welcome on the Sunday from 9.00 am for a most reasonable charge.
CollingroveMG Friday 30th September Meet entrants and others at the ‘Vine Inn Hotel - Welcome Dinner’ Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley. Saturday 1st October Vintage Road & Race Car Tour from Tanunda to the ‘Gungellan Hotel’ Freeling for morning tea, then via Kapunda to the ‘Greenock Aviation Museum’ catered lunch provided for participants, partners and others.The tour returns to Tanunda. Vintage Dinner at Peter Lehmann Winery, Tanunda. Sunday 2nd October Hillclimb at the historic SCCSA Collingrove track. Historic Racing Classes and Come & Run touring entries welcome. Join the Partners’ Programme visiting places of interest. Farewell Dinner at the Roaring Forties Cafe, Angaston. Entries Entry Forms available from the SCCSA Office or at Event Office Contact 08 82715689 (fax 08 8272 5396) Event Committee Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Sporting Car Club of South Australia Inc.
Sunday, 17 July 2011 07:03
Published in Editorial

Email from Picardie

An interesting email came during the week fromJacky Pasek - a man who creates space. His business name is CREA (CRÉATION RÉSTAURATION ESPACE AUTO) His website is Jackie comes from a small town called Mélicocq in PicardieClick here for Google Map for 60150 Melicoq France. Mélicocq est une ville de France, située dans le département Oise, de la région Picardie.Les habitants de Mélicocq sont appelés les Mélicocquois, Mélicocquoises.Les 665 habitants de la commune vivent sur une superficie de 7 km² avec une densité de 95 habitants par km² et une moyenne d'altitude de 50 m.Le maire actuel de la mairie de Mélicocq est Monsieur Michel FLAMANT. Les villes voisines sont Chevincourt, Machemont, Longueil-Annel,
Saturday, 16 July 2011 13:14
Published in Melbourne Desk

Rob Roy Challenge Series - Sunday 10th July 2011

Photos by Richard Abey, Martin Stubbs, Bill HunterMain story with kind permission of Graeme Raper   Altogether, there were 60+ cars entered for the Club Challenge event at Rob Roy Hillclimb in midwinter 2011. Cars varied from a Mini Moke to a brand spanking new Fiat Abarth (Ab4th) 500 in glorious Italian racing red.   As usual, a good number of Austin 7s showed up. The evergreen Trevor Cole was in car 93, Martin Stubbs ( car 182) Peter Ward (car 43) John Marriott (car 50).  All were fitted with skinny tyres that, generally speaking, did not like the cold wet track.   Cold wet weather was good for some and bad for others. Tony Kaefer (Below)  in the yellow and black Ford Escort, explained why the  supercharger fitted tohis car performed well in the cold air, but the racing tyres fitted to his car did not. Click here to see video.
Tony Kaefer - Supercharged Ford Escort
austin7white_S minimoke_S escort_200 Ab4rth_S
Peter Ward - Austin 7 Adam Coakley - Mini Moke Ute Tony Kaefer - Ford Escort s/c Peter Bartold - Fiat Abarth
Tony Kaefer (Ford Escort - car 76)  talks to Bill Hunter about his car on Youtube .
Buchanan Special
The lovely little Buchanan (above) was caught out later in the afternoon -  its tyres losing traction on the cold wet track. The car went off the road and became badly damaged, and the driver required ambulance attention.   The big bangers - power and glory Jim Russell’s fabulous Ford V8 (Testa Plata)  roared up the hill in its usual style.   There were a few other big banger Fords present at the meeting, including Graeme Raper’s ex-Frank Walters/ George Reed-built SoCal Special - Car No 41, seen below.  
Above: Graeme Raper warms the engine of the SoCal special
    Car No 41 (above) represents a quality that typifies  the early post-war days of Australian Motor Racing. It was was written up in the "Sports Cars and Specials" magazine of November 1956 (Price 3 shillings)   The writer - John Bartlett - described it as one of the best-known and most consistent cars ever to race on Australian circuits. It was strongly built, could easily run at 120 mph, and often beat some of the most expensive imported cars.   SoCal was never a non starter, and never retired, in the 70 odd races that owner-driver Frank Walters entered during the two and a half years he owned the car. And in those races -- averaging one a fortnight -- Walters usually managed to finish in the money.   What is more remarkable still is the fact that he always drove the car to every meeting he competed in. He used the car as a personal transport around Sydney between meetings, and did all his own maintenance work on the SoCal in his home garage.   George Reed, Jesse  Griffiths, Frank Walters  &  Alex Xydias    George Reed built SoCal in 1948 using a Ford chassis, a Mercury V8 engine and a standard four box as a basis.   Jesse Griffiths took it over and put in a Wilson preselector box. This was not particularly unusual. Tom Sulman had one on his old Maserati.   Griffiths, who was not at the time a member of the Australian Sporting Car club, took the car to Mt Druitt. But since he was not permitted to race, he offered the car to Frank Walters to drive in the last race.   The cars were already going into the grid. Frank hopped in and drove to the end of the airstrip and back to the grid. That was all the practice he had in it. And SoCal won the race.   Frank was clearly impresed with the car, and managed to buy it. Soon after, he got in touch with an American V8 specialist, Alex Xydias, who ran the SoCal speed shop in Burbank, Southern California.  From then on Xydias actually developed the car by correspondence.   Xydias first sent out the Edelbrock head which was regarded as the basic step.   That worked fine but the stock ignition wouldn't handle anything past about 4200 revs per minute. The American sent out a Kong Guild ignition set up.  With this system Xydias said, the engine could go to 8000 rpm. Frank never exceeded 5500 rpm, and at that speed the engine was as 'clean as can be'.   With the Kong ignition such a success, Frank decided that a special camshaft would be in order. he drew a map of the Mountt Druitt circuit a and marked the rises and falls,  making a note of  the engine’s rpm at various points, the change points -- the lot.   Then he wrote a long description of every move he made during one lap of Mt Druitt. He posted this information to Xydias.   A new camshaft was made specially to match the car to Mt Druitt. Then Xydias completed the job by sending out an Edelbrock triple manifold setup.   All done by correspondence !   Reliabiity   One time, Frank drove the car to Bathurst, took off the windscreen, fitted the aero screen, turned the headlights around and went on the track.   He won one event and came third in the main event after leading up to the last lap, when the brakes failed at the top of the last straight and he had to coast down the straight round the corner and over the line. Two other cars passed him in the process.   He fixed the brakes in the pits, drove to Orange the next morning, ran sixth in his event and drove home to Sydney that night.   In all the SoCal took part in about 70 or 75 races . Frank won the Racing Car Championship at Mount 1954.
Friday, 03 June 2011 10:10
Published in Melbourne Desk

Part 2 of Magnificent Winton

Magnificent Winton - Part Two 1927 LANCIA MEADOWS single seater  - Rob Harcourt  Great Aussie Special - Car No 87
"The sight of a single seater chain gang Fraser Nash in full flight over the first crest at Collingrove Hillclimb, South Australia in 1961 inspired me to own a vintage racing car.      My dream of owning a Type 35 Bugatti, P3 Alfa Romeo or a Talbot Darraqc was not possible as I was a University student, so I decided to build the next best thing, a 'Vintage Special'.    In 1967 I found a car in Broken Hill called the Meadows Special, and then I acquired aLancia Lambda Special without an engine from Melbourne. I combined the best of each to create the Lancia Meadows and competed at the 1968 Collingrove Vintage Hillclimb.      My goal then was to beat the times of my earlier dream cars.  In the next 3 years I betteredthe times of the Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and the Talbot Darraqc culminating in setting a newhillclimb record at Collingrove for pre-War cars of 39.7 seconds, breaking that illusive 40 second barrier.    Over the past 40 years, the Lancia Meadows and I have travelled the eastern states ofAustralia; sometimes winning, sometimes not, but always enjoying the thrill of competing in a car that I have created.     The Lancia Meadows has competed at Collingrove , Mallala, AIR, Adelaide Grand Prix, Philip Island, Winton, Lakeland Hillclimb, Geelong Sprints, Leyburn Sprints, Mt Tarengarra Hillclimb, Amaroo, Oran Park, Eastern Creek, Wakefield Park, Grafton Hillclimb, Lakeside, Surfers Paradise, Albert Park, Picnic Point Hillclimb, Mt Cotton Hillclimb,Noosa Hillclimb, Rob Roy Hillclimb, Speed on Tweed, a sprint at the old Leyburn Circuit and has held the lap record for Group J at Amaroo, Oran Park, Lakeside and Eastern Creek.    In addition, both my sons have enjoyed competing in regularity events at the various circuits. One year at Philip Island, the Lancia did 256 kilometers in racing and regularity events.     The chassis is 5th series Lancia Lambda  front end, differential, gearbox and brakes are 7th series Lancia Lambda; the motor is a 1923 4-cylinder Meadows of 3.0 litre capacity.     2011 Historic Winton commemorates 40 years of circuit racing for myself and the Lancia Meadows."Dirt-track car once owned and driven by  Sir Jack Brabham (OBE) - Andrew Halliday
 Above: The signwriting on this car tells it all. Rob Harcourt's Lancia Meadows (#87) is  in the background.
.The little yellow car shown above was built in 1947 for American Johnny Schonberg who raced it for a short while before handing the wheel over to Brabham, who went on to race against other "greats" such as Revell, Brewer, Peers, McGovern, Beasley, Playfair, Discombe, Paynr and Bradshaw.    It was also driven to many wins by Len Golding and Murray Hoff. Among Brabham's numerous victories were the New South Wales title (1948/49 season) one Australian and two South Australian titles and even an Australian Hillclimb championship.       Originally powered by a 1000 cc JAP 8/80 it is presentled still as raced in the 50s and 60s with a 1400 cc Brabham copy of an 1100 cc JAP driving through a dog clutch and Amilcar differential.  The body is all steel.      Brabham raced the car at the Sportsground and Showground, Parramatta, Windsor, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and New Zealand.  Brabham in this car held a 12 hp record at the Sydney Showground for several decades.       The car was awarded Vintage Speed car Association restoration of the year 1990.  We were lucky enough to talk to its current owner - Andrew Halliday.    The photo above shows his car alongside Rob Harcourt's Lancia Meadows Special.(#87)Andrew has met Sir Jack, and when Motormarques asked him if he had raced the car himself. He answered that he only demonstrated it these days at vintage speedway meetings and occasional hillclimbs.    Andrew: We travel all over the country - New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Victoria. We go to Murray Bridge - all over the place.    MM: It's a very unusual looking engine.    Andrew: Yes. It's a 1400 cc engine copied from JAP 1100 cc castings, rocker boxes, etc.    MM: It sounds like it could put out plenty of power. What is its top speed?    Andrew: Oh, top speed is not its main feature - specially with with these small wheels.    MM: The wheels are unusual even for those days - wire wheels with narrow tyres..    Andrew: That and the fact that it was never built for flat-out sprint racing, it would be somewhere around 80 miles an hour. It was designed for dirt track racing. This is the original Jack Brabham car that he used to race before he got into what you might call the big-time when he used to race at Sydney Showgrounds. Car No 133 1932 MacDonberg Special – Keith Robertsmacdonberg_800 Here's a little synopsis from its present owner, Keith Roberts.     The MacDonberg Special was built in South Australia by the McDonough brothers during the 1930s to specifically race at Lobethal meetings. It was based on a 14hp Amilcar chassis and running gear plus a Wizard Smith Essex motor, and sported a most attractive Monoposto body.     At the end of WW2, after a rather unsuccessful racing career and a change of interest by the McDonoughs, the car was sold in a dismantled condition to John Opatt who rebuilt it; but again, it was no world-beater. The next owner solved the performance problem by replacing the Essex engine with a more powerful side valve Ford unit.     After passing through numerous hands, all the time being "bastardised", including a conversion to a two seater sports with disc wheels, it finally ended up in the late 1950s lying in a Victorian farmer's paddock, who had bought it solely for the V8 engine.     The present owner stumbled across the remains forty-plus years later and spent an arduous eight years bringing it back to original pre-War configuration, but retaining a V8 motor.     2009 Historic Winton was the first public outing for the MacDonberg Special in more than fifty years. Chris Terdich
Chris Terdich lives in Mount Eliza. His ‘toyshop’ is an old factory in close-by Mornington where he stores and does maintenance work on his 2 Wanderers (one of which was formerly owned by Lex Davison) and a newly-acquired MGB.      The German firm, Wanderer was established from 1911 as a builder of superb tools, bicycles, motorcycles and cars. In 1924 the firm produced the 1550 cc 4 cylinder car. Its engine had a cross-flow head with roller cam-followers and rockers.      With DKW, Horch and Audi, Wanderer became part of the Auto Union in 1932.      1n 1924 the Wanderer was said to have a top speed of 86 mph. But Chris has no desire to get his car up to more than 90 km/h – due in part to the fact that it has only rear wheel brakes that are 1” wide and 6” round. And despite its technical qualities, it is not what Chris would call a ‘hill stormer’.      Chris: Of course the main thing about maintaining a car like this is that things always need to be tightened. For example, the banjo on the differential came apart. It was quite easy to tighten up, but everything works itself loose.      MM: Is it a car with a lot of vibration?      Chris: No it's not bad actually. It rides surprisingly well. It just doesn't like going over things like potholes and speed humps especially on full lock. It's a good little car to drive but I must admit it has no power up hills.      MM: You mentioned something about an Austrian Alpine Rally.     Chris: Yes I have a book that includes the story of an Italian guy who used to race it in rallies and things like that. And he won an Austrian Alpine Rally which is 1000 km. That was in the early to mid 1920s. In fact the car had quite a racing history. But the history was governed by the fact that it was spend between the two world wars, and did not survive. But this is the only racing Wanderer in the world. It must never be locked away. Vaux3098nSinger_800  End - Magnificent Winton 2011    
Thursday, 02 June 2011 00:29
Published in Melbourne Desk

Magnificent Winton

Part One - Photographs by Martin Stubbs and Bill HunterStory and interviews - Bill Hunter
 .Winton Raceway is close to the New South Wales/Victoria border.The aerial photograph above gives an idea of the topography of the circuit. The Administration area and the garages are seen top centre. The start of the  'Long Circuit' can be seen leading out  from centre left of the picture. The photograph was taken from a single engine Cessna Skyhawk, flown by my grandson Patrick whilst we were on a flight from Moorabbin to Canberra in February this year. The aircraft was flying at rather less than 1000 feet at that time. I was too busy taking picturesto take notice of the  instruments.   Tthe Raceway is quite a distance from  Melbourne  --  Over 200 km,  Something like 600 km to Sydney.  Competitors and spectators came from Queenland, South Australia.Tasmania and Western Australia. One competitor came from Japan. In the past cars and drivers have come from further afield, including America, UK,and Europe. Whilst the course is brilliant, the event itself is even more remarkable .No fewer than eight cars racing there were built before 1930, some of which are featured In the story that follows. .I feel that, with the hullabaloo about the Formula One Grand Prix circus going on at the moment, it's good to reflect on the fact that all the hyped-up performance has its origins in meetings like this - where the excitement and wonder of the sport began.Note: In the series of photos below, click on each one to get an enlargement.   
alfa#97_S FNReplica_S 2MGs_S Austin7#44_S
Above: 1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1934 Fraver Nash TT Replica Above: 1933 MG J2 Above:1931 Austin 7
stevens_S Macdonberg_S MG#54_S MG1931_S
Above: 1928 Austin 7 Special Above: Macdonberg Special Above : MG TC Special Above: 1931  MG
start_800More to follow: Click here for Part 2
Thursday, 05 May 2011 04:30
Published in Melbourne Desk

Myrniong Part 2

Lloyd Hocking - car number 105 Austin - Renault. "Renault Dauphine engine. 840 CC Gordini tune. It has had a fair bit taken off the head and it has only been ported and polished. It runs one great big carburettor. A big SU. It runs on heavy oil because if you don't it develops a real flat spot because the piston rises to quickly. I have had the car for 23 or 24 years."   MM:- It's a good-looking machine.   "Yes, yeah. David Lowe's wife used to race it back in the 1950s. It is extremely reliable, but having said that it will probably conk out. It revs very freely. Up to about eight, eight and a half. I bought it in pieces years ago for $3000. I have had about $20,000 worth of fun out of it."    
  John Hardy - Renault Alpine. Car number 110. He gives me the Renno Alpeen pronunciation of people trying to get the sound right. "I just say Alpine Rennoh. We're in Australia now not France."  MM: - The engine looks rather hotter than I would have expected.  "It is a full works group 4 specification car. It was never run by the factory. It was sold with a heavier body than the works car."  MM: - What's the body made of?  "Fibreglass. It has a central backbone chassis. The engine is a Marc Minutet(?) - Alpine's specialist engine builder. The Gordini engine had a 125 hp engine: this one has 165."  MM: - Was that originally a Gordini design head and all that sort of stuff?  "Yeah, but Minutet developed it. It runs a 11.3:1 compression with significantly more domed pistons, bigger valves. Makes maximum horsepower at 7800. Today I am using eight grand and a couple of times. I go to Phillip Island and Sandown and I run some of the Rob Roy historic events, and I will also do Mount Tarrengower in October. We were in France last July/August. I had long service leave from work that started in 1976. We need 12,000 km through France Italy and the UK. It was different this time because last time we went I spent such a long time at Dieppe where the Alpine factory is located. In Paris I went out to Billancourt drove on their track one of the Alpine mid engined Megane Sports - a 3 1/2 litre, 390 hp, six, under the care of Jean- Pascal. I had met him at the last Grand Prix at Adelaide in about 1995." 
nigelsinger270 photon270 geermans270
Nigel Gray - Singer Dick O'Keefe - Photon Ted Geermans - Lagonda Rapier
  jagandam_800 Don Green approaches the steep section of the hill in his Jaguar MK2 - apparently not noticing water in the dam for the first time in years
Monday, 11 April 2011 22:55
Published in Melbourne Desk

Tethercars in Melbourne

From: Warren Evans   I first saw tether cars run In Melbourne in the mid 1950’s at the Exhibition Building in Carlton at a model fair . The cars were run In The Great Hall.The sound stayed in my memory  until 10 years ago when I read an article in “Rod And Custom” Magazinethat triggered my memory .Since then I have taken on the tethered car hobby and now have over 30 cars that  inlude Doolings. McCoys, Bunches, Kings, Morrisons, B.B.Corns, Satans, Dallaires, Rowells, Popp and several customs and one-offs.I find It an Interesting hobby and tried to get a trrack going in Melbourne .But to no avail  The only people interested had nomoney or were not prepared to put up any. as I was.They have no real Interest in the hobby but only want to make a quid out  of it. Here are some photos of  my collection of tether cars .and my 1938 Hinman Sprint Car.I also have a half built tether car portable track, 35 foot In diameter.I will keep In touch as I hope to have the track running  later this year. 
                                                         Above: The 1938 Hinman Sprint Car.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 11:47
Published in Buyers & Sellers

Austin 7 Racing Car

AUSTIN 7 'TYRRELL' RACING CARWell known Austin 7 Special is reluctantly offered for sale to make way for new projects.This car has undergone three years of development in my ownership.It has a pressure fed 'Phoenix' crankshaft with 'Renault' rods and pistons, lightened flywheel and pressure plate.A four speed gearbox and 15" wheels...All history is documented and it comes with a current Log Book and Certificate of Description.With or without a choice of two trailers.The new owner can expect loads of fun and ease of maintenance due to readily (minimal) removable bodywork.POA.Martin Stubbs can be contacted:Tel. (03) 9548 5552E-mail. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.