MotorMarques Team

MotorMarques Team

Sunday, 02 October 2011 00:43
Published in Melbourne Desk

Wakefield Thunder

Text and photos by Lucas and Bill Hunter
For the last few weeks Motormarques has been promoting two major motorsport events in Australia - the Historic Sports and Racing Car Association event at Wakefield Park in New South Wales, and the Collingrove Hillclimb in South Australia.   Since each of them is 5 or 600 miles or more from Melbourne, we had one part of the Motormarques team going north to New South Wales, and the other part heading west  to South Australia.   The HSRCA attracted a field of  some of the greatest cars in the country, participating in 38 events.   Wakefield Park, you would have to say, is a bit off the beaten track. It's not that far out of Goulburn and the big Merino (a giant concrete ram you can climb into if you want. )   We walked across muddy ground and paid the entrance money. The ticket mentioned that Wakefield Park is "The best spectator track in Australia", which could be true, but I think that the Haunted Hills track near Morwell in Victoria would go close to equalling it.
Above: TVR M
I spotted a fine looking TVR on a trailer, just near the entrance.  It was shown on the entry list as a 1972 TVR 2500M.They’re not all that common a car, and I had to look them up in a book later on to find something about them.   TVR started off in the 1950s in Blackpool, England, producing kit cars. They had a multi-tube frame and a fibreglass body. TVRMs came later, fitted with Triumph 2498 cc and Ford 2944 cc engines .   There was another TVR M at the meeting - David Price's 1972 car.I had a word to Bill Donoghue, who was taking a coffee break while another TVR nearby (See car No 82 - left) was being prepared for racing.It was fitted with a cage that looked very neat and strong. Apparently the job had been done by a friend of Bill”s.   “A bloke from Sydney?"   " No. He's from Canberra. He's a rally fanatic, and he does a lot of work on a lot of cars in the Canberra area "   On the subject of trailers, I later had a word to Wes Dayton who was roping his MG TC to one. He was getting ready to head back to Sydney.   It was quite a few years since we last met. I couldn't see the 1960 TR3A he normally drives.   "It broke on Friday. Nothing too serious."   I hadn’t seen this MG before. Wes told me a bit about it. He built it up from scratch with parts he had got from all over the country.   "The chassis was hanging in someone's garage for about 20 years. It took us seven years to build it. It is entered in a special CAMS class called Lc* ""This is a class for cars that have a racing history and are in the likeness of the car that the guys are used to drive."   "The car you're looking at has all standard TC parts - all the way back. The chassis was straightened but it is standard as is the transmission, differential, driveline, everything."   I asked him where were all the cosmetic bits.   "Never had them. All the bits came from different places."   "Are you going to race it again today?"   "No. I've got to get home." MG TCs featured in another category at Wakefield. The 'Aussie Special' Group that attracted Dick Willis' Stewart MG, Syd Reinhardt's 'John Blanden' Special,John Gillett's Special, Bob Boast's TC-powered Special, Richard Townley's Patterson/Bryden TC,  Brian Parkinson's 'The GAF', and Chris Farrell's Special. The Aussie Specials category was truly magic, attracting, amongst other famous machines, the 1935 Kleinig Hudson shown below.* Confederation of Australian Motorsport - (Lc - Square Riggers - This group caters for “square rigger” sports cars (primarily MG TC) where it was common practice to remove the windscreen, mudguards and headlights and run as a racing car, at the whim of the owner. One-off special type vehicles constructed at any time after 1 January 1940 but prior to the end of 1960 are also catered for in this group. ) 
Above: David Roberts in the 1935 Kleinig Hudson
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
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 23:30
Published in Melbourne Desk

Martin Stubbs - Photographer & Driver

       Vintage Sports Car Club of  Victoria Rob Roy Hillclimb August 21, 2011 Being a competitor at a motor racing event takes much time and effort.  Apart from having to meet all the requirements for entry, your first bigtask is getting the car to  the circuit. That means an early start to the day putting the car on its trailer, driving to the circuit - which may be a long distance away, parking and getting the car back back off the trailer again, waiting to sign in, getting through scrutineering and driver briefing, waiting on to the starting line, and then pouring what is left of your energy and skill into doing the event itself.It is much easier being a photographer at these meetings, but it still involves expense, time, skill, and patience.  You have to find the bestpositions, get the light right, set the camera/s up, and make sure of getting good shots.  Then when the event is over there is the business of selecting the photographs for an article, and editing wherever necessary.Writing an account of the meeting takes time and patience.  You need to have kept good records - talked to people to ensure that you're getting your details right, and decided what sort of information your readers will be interested in.  You have to do this on the run, as there is no desk to lean on, and your papers tend to fly away in the breeze. And it is not the sort of thing you would do if you were wearing, say, a driver's helmet and gloves.Martin Stubbs (driver of the Austin 7- Car N0 82 in the photo above) did all of this single-handedly at the Vintage Sports Car Club of Victoria Rob Roy Hillclimb on Sunday, August 21, 2011.  
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Above: Daniel Morling - 1950/60Austin 7 'Tyrrell'. Above: Michael Hipkins, 1926 Vauxhall 30/98 with Peter Holbeach 1925 Vauxhall behind. Above: John Pickford - 1929LanciaLambda Special. Above: Bill Morling - 1930 Austin 7Ulster Sports Replica.
60 cars competed, including 12 Austin Sevens, 7 MGs, 7 cars from group K. Racing (with old favourites Jim Russell, Ray Sprague, Lyndon Davey-Milne). John Nash competed in this group, driving a spectacular 1948 Indy USA Ford),  5 Vauxhall 30/98, 4 Bugatti, and the one air cooled driven by John Coffin.With such illustrious company, the VSCC noted that the Rob Roy Hillclimb evolved from Clinton's Pleasure Grounds and avoided putting too serious a tone to the day by conducting a Billy Cart race, and by making provision for drivers to take passengers for a timed run up the hill.   They also paid compliment to the master chefs who provided gourmet sausages, roast beef, and brewed coffee.  Hurrah.It was a long day and everybody seemed to have enjoyed it thoroughly.
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Above: Allan Tyrrell, Austin 7 Sports, supercharged. Above: Neil Murdoch, MG TB Special. Above: Andrew Cannon - 1928 Bugatti. Above: Lucas Morling, 1950/60Austin 7 'Tyrrell'.
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Above: Michael Farrell, 1926Vauxhall 14/40. Above: Robert Sales - 1933 Fiat 508. Above: Unknown owner/driverFiat Ballila display car. Above: Ian Barber, 1932 AlvisSilver Eagle.
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Above: Graeme Lowe, 1936 AltaSports. Above: Phillip Hallo - 1930 Austin 7Ace Special. Above: John Noble - 1946 MG TC. Above: John Nash - 1948 IndyUSA Ford.
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Above: George Hetrel - Bugatti Type 35 - Display car. Above: Trevor Cole & Bob Booth discuss water pump drive problemon the 1936 Austin 7 Special, S/c. Above: Andrew Cannon: 1928 Bugatti Above: Mark Burns - 1924 Alvis 12/50; Michael Farrell - 1926 Vauxhal 14/40; Andrew Green1924 Alvis 12/50
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Above: Unknown driver - MG J2 Above: John Balthazar, 1934 Wolseley Hornet supercharged Above: Neil Murdoch - MG TB Special Above: Grant Cowie - 1934 Frazer Nash Shelsley.
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.
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
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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.   
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Above: 1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1934 Fraver Nash TT Replica Above: 1933 MG J2 Above:1931 Austin 7
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Above: 1928 Austin 7 Special Above: Macdonberg Special Above : MG TC Special Above: 1931  MG
start_800More to follow: Click here for Part 2
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 04:31
Published in Melbourne Desk

Belles voitures françaises

D'un bout du monde à un autre - Salut les amateurs de voitures de collection - en France, en Australie - et partout.De la France - J-P Bush nous a envoyé de belles photos, y inclus celles d'une journée à Savonnières, (Indre et Loire)dans l' arrondissement de Tours, France...De l'Australie - Richard Abey et Bill Hunter apportent des images d'une journée passée parmi de belles voitures françaises dans un grand parc près du centre de Melbourne                                                             Au dessus - En voici quelques unes assemblèes au bord de la Loire.                             Au dessous -  et voici quelques unes assemblées à un French Day meeting à Melbourne (Australie)P5010169                                                                      Dessous - deux trèsors à la meeting à Savonnières.  
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Hotchkiss Roland Pilain (1906 - 1931)
                                                               Dessous - d'autres trésors à Melbourne,  Australie.  
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My name is Buttercup. I am 100 years old.Je m'appelle Buttercup. J'ai cent ans. Renault 4cv Citroën Maserati
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1972 Maserati  Indy Peugeot 302 (francaise)
Ci- dessous - Déjà assez rare dans le monde  - une autre Peugeot 302 en Australie. La Matra vient aussi de Melbourne
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Peugeot 302 à Melbourne  Simca Matra
                                           Et finalement  - cette belle 407 de Richard Abey a gagnê 1ère dans sa classe.