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pallmall
06-22-2011, 06:43 AM
Mentioned on another thread in the past few days, I thought this thread might provide much discussion and jog many memories.


Johnny Riley Cars Sales, late 1957. The NZ Stockcar Team about to set off the the Auckland wharves to load their cars for the voyage to Australia.
#2 Johnny Riley, #3 Red Dawson, #4 Louie Antonievich (All photos by Cliff Wadsworth)

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/RANDOM/NZTeam1957001750x511.jpg

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/RANDOM/riley2750x509.jpg

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/RANDOM/riley3750x491.jpg

The Johnny Riley 36 Ford Coupe with Chrysler Fire Power Hemi engine nearly finished for the Australian trip. L to R. Ron Riley, Graeme Harvey, Johnny Riley, Don McDonald.

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/RANDOM/Riley1750x506.jpg


This was quite a motor sport area at the northern end of Otahuhu, with the Riley yard, and a lot later Red Dawson's car yard next door. Graeme Harvey's workshop around the corner in the sixties and dragracer Brian Trigg. A lot of racing machinery was built and worked on around here.

Now established that the photos above were taken at Riley's earlier premises at the Southern end of Otahuhu, this was also a bit of a motor sport area back in the day, especially with stockcars and speedway. Stockcars, and later midgets were run out of Farmers Co-op Car Sales by "Bert" Jones who also did some circuit racing around the late fifties. No doubt there are other motor sport connections from this area that we will get informed of.

Steve Holmes
06-22-2011, 07:04 AM
Gavin, I hope you don't mind, I just edited the thread title so its not NZ exclusive. This is such a great thread subject, and we have members all over the world, it'd be great to get input from everywhere.

Fantastic post! And brilliant pics.

AMCO72
06-22-2011, 08:12 PM
I thought that might jog a few of the older members into life, so while I was mucking around thinking about it someone else has started the thread....thanks. Unfortunately I dont have any photos to go with the stories so words will have to do. Christchurch where I grew up had a number of interesting yards and I have mentioned Des Wild as one, but in the late 50's and early 60's there were a lot of, what are now, very collectable cars for sale on display in crummy little yards. As I said there was no Ebay or Trademe then so a car yard was the only place where a car could be seen. The amazing thing is how long it took to shift some of these cars....lots of MG's, D type Jaguar, SS90, 3 litre Bentleys, etc etc and as Bob said they just sat for months out in the weather. Salisbury motors in Colombo St seemed to specialise in sports cars and I spent many hours 'checking them out' I think the salesman knew that I had no money so he pretty much left me alone, writing me off as some dopey kid with nothing better to do......should have been doing a paper round!! I also had dealings with Wally Darrell, the ACE tyre distributor in ChCh and single seater special builder. My Dad had bought a number of Jaguars from Archibolds and they always had some interesting stuff, and I got to sit in the C type and SS100. So thats a start. I will expand on these and other tales soon as Im sure others will want to get in on the act.

AMCO72
06-22-2011, 10:43 PM
The only thing remotely connected with performance in this story is the AJS 7 R motorcycle. I was a student at Lincoln College in 1959 when I noticed an ad in the newspaper for a car for sale at 5 shillings...50p in todays currency. 'Petes' Autos in Riccarton Rd was having a promotion and because the WOF and Rego on this car was ready to run out 'Pete' decided to use it as a drawcard. The car in question was a 1934 Austin 10. The trick was that the 5 shillings was made up of coins from special dates, ie a 1952 halfcrown, a 1938 shilling, a 1956 sixpence etc up to the value of 5 shillings. My friend with AJS was also a part time server in the canteen so he had access to the till and a large amount of coinage to sift through to get the right years. We set out on the bike suitably attired in protective gear....T shirt. shorts and jandals....no helmets in those days... and sitting on 100mph down those long Canterbury straights arrived in ChCh to find we were the first outside 'Petes' yard. Our friends stayed back collecting the necessary coins and then followed us in. This was late afternoon friday so we had to set up camp to wait for the promotion to start on saturday morning. Dont remember getting much sleep but the weather must have been kind to us. When 'Pete' arrived on saturday we went straight to his office, signed the necessary papers and were the proud owners of the Austin. We didnt think of going for a run or even starting the engine so overcome at how smart we had been. I set out for Lincoln while my friend followed just in case. Actually I dont know how he could see through the clouds of oil smoke that issued from all parts of the car, and as Tom McCarhil said 'it didnt have enough power to pull a greased gumdrop out of a babys mouth" We made it home eventually and used the car occasionally to go to the pub at Springston but one needed a gas mask to ride in it. I think it got retired soon after and has probably been restored and is someones pride and joy today. As for the AJS 7 R, those of you who know bikes, was just one of many English machines at Lincoln in those days......Triumphs, Nortons, BSA, Velocette in the days when England ruled as far as the bike world was concerned. Fortunately there were not many cops around otherwise we may have gone for a skid....literally.

Steve Holmes
06-23-2011, 12:55 AM
Am loving there stories guys, keep them coming.....

thunder427
06-23-2011, 01:01 PM
Am loving there stories guys, keep them coming.....

...lets give this site a little 'Class'...Lets refer to these establishments as 'USED' car yards......I grew up in the 'Used Car World' in Christchurch,the heady days of 'No 1/2 Deposit', just a 100 down,jump in,drive away....!

My Father with his Business partner had an establishment on Ferry Road,Christchurch,called 'Merlyn Motors'..(MERven/LYNdsay) "Do A Great Deal Better" was thier catch phrase......Where to start ,,so Many great Moments.......I would get to go to the yard on a Saturday or School Holidays as long as the lawns were mowed with out having to be told and my 'Room' sustained a reasonable lever of sanitry......read, Bed Made most mornings!!!

I'm sitting in my fathers office and a Wolsley/Police car park's out the front,I noticed the Officer walk past the showroom and go next door to the Caravan builders....suddenly out comes my Dad with a Trolly Jack,Merv's got 2 'Besa' Bricks in hand and they proceed to jack up the police car,slipping the two bricks under the rear axel,down with the jack,rear wheels 1inch of the ground....I'm in "Shock'!!!..Dumb struck!!!,mean time they are beside themselves with laughter,hiding in the back of the showroom waiting for the 'Said' officer to return..given time, back he comes,looks 'left and right' marches around,unlocks the drivers door, slides in,hits the ignition...by this time the show room crowd as swollen to about 5,they are rolling around ,busting thier sides,,all I can think of is My 'crazy' Dad going to jail....well PC plod selects 1st gear,indicates his intentons to merge.....well the 'showroom' is a 'Roar' now.....out with the Clutch..nothing happens,door opens,out climbs the PC,scratching his head,thinking,..."I Drove it in here"..............!!!

Well, now its just too funny, the 5 spill out on to the foot path just as the Caravan builder comes to inspect the 'lack of forward motion...................the whole thing was accepted in the Good Humour' of the time....and No my Father didn't have to go to jail
..............regards thunder427/MJ:).............'great thread ,AMCO72...(more to come!!,naming names!)

AMCO72
06-23-2011, 08:04 PM
Ah yes....Ferry road Christchurch. This was a major route out of ChCh to the suburbs and had more than its fair share of Used Car Yards. We lived at Mt Pleasant and I attended school in ChCh city so I cycled down Ferry road regularly. Always a southerly wind into town and always an easterly wind home, so had headwind both ways!! Now, do you know I cant remember a single yard of all the dozens that were along this strip that had 'interesting' cars. They were full of sensible everyday vehicles for Mr Joe Average....Vauxhalls, Standard Vanguards, Hillmans, Etc. All the interesting ones were tucked away in dusty little corners round the town, and most, if not all their owners were members of the Canterbury car Club and were regular competitors in club events. Virtually the only way to advertise cars back then was via the Press or the Star Sun newspapers, but these guys had some sort of bush telegraph amongst the club members so a lot of the cars never appeared in the paper, hence you had to check them out for yourself on a regular basis. One I used to go to a lot was Salisbury Motors in Colombo St, another haven of used car lots, and this guy always had sports cars, mostly MG's, and here I am talking cars from the 1930's and early 50's. A nice 5 year old MG TD could be yours for 725 pounds [1500 bucks in todays money] Sounds cheap but remember you could buy a pretty good house for 5000 pounds so even then the sports cars were relatively expensive. I used to spend time sitting in these objects of desire wishing I could go to the bank and withdraw the necessary cash and drive out into the sunset. I couldnt, and in fact the first car I bought was from a wrecking yard...a 1928 Singer Junior, a car with no sporting or performance qualities at all, but it did 6 years later lead to the Singer LeMans a very honest little car which challenged the MG marque for a while. The thing about these yards is that they were all so small.....8 or 10 cars at the most....dont know how the dealer paid the bills but they seemed to survive. Perhaps a dealership licence was easy to get so lots of chaps had a go being salesmen, but 10 years later they were all gone. No more CASH...TRADE...TERMS...
we were entering the era of the professional car dealer...read SHARK.

Steve Holmes
06-23-2011, 08:45 PM
This is a great thread guys, loving the stories!

1009

AMCO72
06-24-2011, 01:25 AM
Actually, I am being unfair to the Singer Junior mentioned in my last post. It did have some sporting pretensions in that it had a Single Overhead Camshaft, so there! Also a strange back-to-front gearbox shift pattern ie 1st was toward you and down, 2nd away from you and up. and top, away and down......very confusing if you were not thinking what you were doing. On the road the car, a tourer, was about as 'fast' as a 1935 Austin 7....I know this as I had lots of 'races' with my friend who owned an A7. They could just about struggle up to 45 mph, but it felt like a 100 as everything was flapping and vibrating so much. But I tell you what, you learned very quickly to start applying the 'brakes' well before you needed to stop, so little was the retardation. Gave us fellas a good grounding for later on though, and when I see todays bover-boys driving on their brakes I would love to get them into an old car and see what would happen. Next post, a famous Mustang and some great Jaguar dealers.

thunder427
06-24-2011, 02:16 PM
This is a great thread guys, loving the stories!

1009

PMC......Prince Motor Company......Carlos Neate/not sure about the 'E'/raced a Prince 'Skyline'GT at the Puna!, a real car guy!!tttttook me for a BBBBlast ,in the RAIN!!! in a 'Red' 1969/70 Shelby Mustang through Christchurch during the 'Lunch'Hour'...Wow!!! comes to mind,The thing kept wanting to go 'sideways'!!!!!!!.................Showroom/possibly Hereford St ,the Jim Mullins Farina,Clyde Collins LWT Farina,a Skyline GT,not sure on the Anglia????................regards Thunder427/MJ:)

AMCO72
06-24-2011, 07:17 PM
Yep, your spelling is correct. Carlos Neate raced that Skyline GT seen at the right rear of the photo. Quite a tiny car and went damn well. Any of you who saw it will recall the howling sound it made on its journey round the track. I think that the boys had constructed some sort of megaphone which was attached to the exhaust outlet that gave it that distinctive sound. Neates car yard was one I was going to mention as my Dad had bought a car or two from them. The one I remember best was his 1960 Mercedes benz 190 SL.. Perhaps I was too one eyed about my preference for English cars, but I found the Merc the oddest machine. Unlike the 300SL, this thing had a puny 2 litre engine which could hardly pull the skin off a rice pudding. The gearing was incredibly low.....had to be to get it to go, and it seemed to be reving its guts out to get anywhere. Was constantly breaking down....dodgy electrics, and when my Dad died in 1977 I could have inherited the car but after driving it around Christchurch during the week I was tidying his affairs, I said no thanks and put it up for sale. I thought the correct thing to do would be to offer it back to Carlos Neate and duly rang him to see if he was interested. I got a guarded ' yes, but let me do some home work'. I told him that he had better be quick because I wanted to get back to the Nth Island and needed the car gone. I had also put an ad in the newspaper and a couple of days later got a ring from a chap who came and inspected the car and bought it on the spot. I rang Carlos to tell him it was sold, and he called me for every mongrel under the sun. I pointed out that I had given him first option and he had blown it by mucking around. For Gods sake, I only wanted $3000 for it......probably would sell for about $70,000 today. Funny fellow.

AMCO72
06-25-2011, 07:12 PM
We are jumping around the country a bit now, but in 1962 I was working on a dairy farm in the Waikato and had purchased a 1954 MG TF from that well known purveyor of cars, Spinner Black, who had a small yard in Morrinsville. Spinner [Spencer] was one of lifes characters who dabbled in all sorts of things and went on to compete in that brutal sport of Offshore Powerboat racing. Anyway the MG was just about the worst car I have ever owned...not quite, that prize went to a series 3 Sunbeam Alpine...and I needed to divest myself of it smartly. In the main street of Hamilton , the Golden Mile, there was a very upmarket yard called Fleetwood Motors, previously Monaco Motors, run by the infamous Bruce Mundy. He had on the lot a very nice Triumph TR2 that had had a very extensive and expensive rebuild after a crash.....new chassis etc etc. After much negotiating, about 30 seconds, I signed for the Triumph and left the hated MG behind without shedding a tear. More about the Triumph later,but the famous Mustang that I mentioned before was of course the Ivan Segedin, Red Dawson et al car that was sponsored by, yes youve got it, Fleetwood Motors and now restored and driven by Neil Tolich at classic events round the world. Fleetwood motors was one of the first yards to use flags and banners to grab your attention.....was way beyond its time. I made regular visits there because there was always something interesting to look at, and there might have been something better than the Triumph, there wasnt not in my price range anyway, and I kept the car until I traded it in on a 1953 XK120 C DHC at Des Wilds in Christchurch.

GD66
06-25-2011, 07:57 PM
.............Showroom/possibly Hereford St ,the Jim Mullins Farina,Clyde Collins LWT Farina,a Skyline GT,not sure on the Anglia????................regards Thunder427/MJ:)




Long shot : Ron Rutherford's #44 ?

David McKinney
06-26-2011, 08:30 AM
Colour looks right (from dim memory...)

GD66
06-26-2011, 08:54 AM
You too, David ?

See page 2 of the Jack Inwood thread, post #30.

Chris Kitzen
06-26-2011, 08:55 AM
Mentioned on another thread in the past few days, I thought this thread might provide much discussion and jog many memories.


Johnny Riley Cars Sales, late 1957. The NZ Stockcar Team about to set off the the Auckland wharves to load their cars for the voyage to Australia.
#2 Johnny Riley, #3 Red Dawson, #4 Louie Antonievich (All photos by Cliff Wadsworth)

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/RANDOM/NZTeam1957001750x511.jpg


This was quite a motor sport area at the northern end of Otahuhu, with the Riley yard, and a lot later Red Dawson's car yard next door. Graeme Harvey's workshop around the corner in the sixties and dragracer Brian Trigg. A lot of racing machinery was built and worked on around here.

This series of photos has been bugging me since it was posted. The building looks like one that was at the very south end of Otahuhu not the north end. It was I believe just over the Tamaki Esturary Bridge on the Great South Rd about 100m north of where Graeme Addis had his Wild Wheels business. It's long gone now but I grew up living close to it and used to deliver the Herald as a school boy and that building was the northern most point on my run in the late 60's early 70's. Does anyone remember Johnny Riley Car Sales being located there before being up the other end of Otahuhu?

thunder427
06-26-2011, 09:00 AM
....being the 'son' of 'Used' car dealer/salesman had a lot of 'Plus's
Kids at school thought that my father was a 'Car Thief',as I arrived at school (remember when you used to gather at the gate!?) each day in a different car.....My heavy 'Crush' at Intermediate' school (Heaton St Intermediate/ChCh) would have nothing to do with me BECAUSE my Dad was a 'USED CAR SALESMAN.....turned out that at the end of the year school concert when our Fathers meet,that the were in the 'RNZAF' together and had been friends prior to postings...people! I was strong,although I thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world,I chose to ignore Her!!!!........

a Biggy was You Got to ride in 'New' trucks that were being 'Test Driven' prior to delivery......and best of all was the Cars bought home for the weekend,one such vehicle was a ...Twin carby VW, that had belonged to a gentleman/Member of the Cantbury Car Club (just as AMCO72 stated! ) A Mr Jim Mullin's, the VW was that typical 'Boring' Fawn Colour that VW had an ability to provide...I'm cramed in the back,we are heading to some family engagment (Afternoon Tea!!..Yawn!) so with some encouragment from his son:D,my Father decides to 'Blow off a 55/56 Customline,the look on the Fords drivers face has we speed by was worth the Wrath that my mother served up to my Father ,whom gave me a wink in the rear view mirror..'Go! Dad!!...............regards427/MJ:)

AMCO72
06-26-2011, 06:22 PM
Talking of XK's and Jaguars in general the name Sybil Lupp springs immediately to mind. She was the other half of Archer and Lupp of Wellington and had a big following of enthusiasts in the area. Plenty has been written about Sybil so wont go over it again except for one little gem she shared with me during a JDC rally at Easter in Rotorua about 1969. She had a novel way of balancing the SU carburetors on an E type. She would remove the bonnet, take out the plungers from the dashpots, put a piece of dowel with graduations on it into the oil chamber of all three carbs and drive the car up the Ngauranga Gorge Rd....SH1 out of Wellington...and watch the dowels to see how far out they were poking while under power. She would then be able to see which carb was doing all the work and adjust accordingly. Not sure whether she was having me on but she was dead serious!!!!!! Sybil was often the invited guest in the early days of the Jaguar Drivers club and her expertise was put to good use as a judge in the concours. She had a good eye and liked everything to be right, even back in the beginning of her racing carreer she usually won best presented car, especially at the Lady Wigram Trophy race where she came 2nd in the MG TC in 1952. Was a supercharged car so went pretty well and of course, unlike a lot of the machinery in those days, was reliable. She did all the tuning herself and cut quite a dash in the pits with her blond hair and white overalls. The MG still exists in the hands of FAZZAZ owner Gavin Bain and will be restored to its former glory one day.

AMCO72
06-26-2011, 10:23 PM
Thanks for that Bob. Sybil was a bit of a hard case and sometimes I was not sure whether or not she was being serious. I could just imagine her flying up the Gorge rd, hair flying, a big grin, getting that E type just right. She couldnt have had access to a dyno....I suppose they were few are far between then...early sixties.

Steve Holmes
06-27-2011, 01:39 AM
Yep, your spelling is correct. Carlos Neate raced that Skyline GT seen at the right rear of the photo. Quite a tiny car and went damn well. Any of you who saw it will recall the howling sound it made on its journey round the track. I think that the boys had constructed some sort of megaphone which was attached to the exhaust outlet that gave it that distinctive sound. Neates car yard was one I was going to mention as my Dad had bought a car or two from them. The one I remember best was his 1960 Mercedes benz 190 SL.. Perhaps I was too one eyed about my preference for English cars, but I found the Merc the oddest machine. Unlike the 300SL, this thing had a puny 2 litre engine which could hardly pull the skin off a rice pudding. The gearing was incredibly low.....had to be to get it to go, and it seemed to be reving its guts out to get anywhere. Was constantly breaking down....dodgy electrics, and when my Dad died in 1977 I could have inherited the car but after driving it around Christchurch during the week I was tidying his affairs, I said no thanks and put it up for sale. I thought the correct thing to do would be to offer it back to Carlos Neate and duly rang him to see if he was interested. I got a guarded ' yes, but let me do some home work'. I told him that he had better be quick because I wanted to get back to the Nth Island and needed the car gone. I had also put an ad in the newspaper and a couple of days later got a ring from a chap who came and inspected the car and bought it on the spot. I rang Carlos to tell him it was sold, and he called me for every mongrel under the sun. I pointed out that I had given him first option and he had blown it by mucking around. For Gods sake, I only wanted $3000 for it......probably would sell for about $70,000 today. Funny fellow.

Ahh, for a crystal ball aye Gerald: http://www.classiccarfair.com/shop/Mercedes-Benz/1959+Mercedes+190SL.html

Steve Holmes
06-27-2011, 01:53 AM
Talking of XK's and Jaguars in general the name Sybil Lupp springs immediately to mind. She was the other half of Archer and Lupp of Wellington and had a big following of enthusiasts in the area. Plenty has been written about Sybil so wont go over it again except for one little gem she shared with me during a JDC rally at Easter in Rotorua about 1969. She had a novel way of balancing the SU carburetors on an E type. She would remove the bonnet, take out the plungers from the dashpots, put a piece of dowel with graduations on it into the oil chamber of all three carbs and drive the car up the Ngauranga Gorge Rd....SH1 out of Wellington...and watch the dowels to see how far out they were poking while under power. She would then be able to see which carb was doing all the work and adjust accordingly. Not sure whether she was having me on but she was dead serious!!!!!! Sybil was often the invited guest in the early days of the Jaguar Drivers club and her expertise was put to good use as a judge in the concours. She had a good eye and liked everything to be right, even back in the beginning of her racing carreer she usually won best presented car, especially at the Lady Wigram Trophy race where she came 2nd in the MG TC in 1952. Was a supercharged car so went pretty well and of course, unlike a lot of the machinery in those days, was reliable. She did all the tuning herself and cut quite a dash in the pits with her blond hair and white overalls. The MG still exists in the hands of FAZZAZ owner Gavin Bain and will be restored to its former glory one day.

Thats brilliant!

Her son Danny did a bit of racing also and carried on the family Jaguar tradition, by fitting a Jag V12 into he engine bay of the old Halliday brothers Capri. Ambitious but not very successful sadly.

pallmall
06-27-2011, 03:22 AM
This series of photos has been bugging me since it was posted. The building looks like one that was at the very south end of Otahuhu not the north end. It was I believe just over the Tamaki Esturary Bridge on the Great South Rd about 100m north of where Graeme Addis had his Wild Wheels business. It's long gone now but I grew up living close to it and used to deliver the Herald as a school boy and that building was the northern most point on my run in the late 60's early 70's. Does anyone remember Johnny Riley Car Sales being located there before being up the other end of Otahuhu?

I think you could be correct. The photos have bugged me for quite a few years because the location didn't look quite right for the north Otahuhu premises. I have shown them to a few people who were around in the day and none of them picked up that it wasn't where we assumed. I will be seeing Ron Riley in a few weeks and will ask him again, and add the new information. Thanks.

AMCO72
06-27-2011, 03:35 AM
Yeah.......Dannie [think that is the correct spelling] and I crossed swords a few times at Taupo race track in the early days of classic racing...1986. He had a pale metallic blue Mk 2 and was entered in the Collett Panel & paint series as I was, although I also competed in the BMC series, so I used to have quite a busy time. Anyway Dannie wasnt averse to punting people off the track, especially me, and one incident I can remember very well where he gave me a huge serve up the arse as I was trying to overtake him through the esses and sent me spinning, two 360's, into the stock car track. I protested vigorously to the stewards but was told it was 'just a racing incident'. Yeah right!!! I last saw him late last year when Angus and I were racing at Manfield at the MG meeting. He had grown into an old grey man. I could hardly recognise him.

bob homewood
06-27-2011, 05:17 AM
I think you could be correct. The photos have bugged me for quite a few years because the location didn't look quite right for the north Otahuhu premises. I have shown them to a few people who were around in the day and none of them picked up that it wasn't where we assumed. I will be seeing Ron Riley in a few weeks and will ask him again, and add the new information. Thanks.
Ron will no doubt confirm it ,but I agree with Chris ,in one of the photos I believe you can just make out the Mangroves in the Estuary,the other thing is there is no sign of Saleyards Road in the photos and it certainly is one of the older roads in the Otahuhu North End,its just a bit before my adult years ,but a couple of my older friends having seen the photos share the same opinion,Bert Jones was also in that South end area of Otahuhu by the Breweries for many years ,just South of where I believe those photos were taken

bob homewood
06-27-2011, 05:25 AM
Thats brilliant!

Her son Danny did a bit of racing also and carried on the family Jaguar tradition, by fitting a Jag V12 into he engine bay of the old Halliday brothers Capri. Ambitious but not very successful sadly.

Steve ,He also drove the ex Palmer / Kennedy Brabham a few times and raced the ex Tom Donovan Odlins sports car for a while ,before I brought that car from him ,that was just before his Capri V12 project ,there would have also possibly been more than one Jaguar over time ,David can probably fill in the gaps on that one

Shano
06-27-2011, 06:29 AM
When I saw the photos I automatically recognised them as being at the south end of Otahuhu. I was born on the other side of the road, in a little maternity hospital that was made up of ex-US army huts (pretty sure these were relocated to National Womens, then in the late 70s again to Middlemore. Not really motor racing but couldn't resist it...)

Amco - saw your Mini at Hampton Downs and was very impressed. It was always one of my favourites and was one of the very best presented cars.

Great stories, really enjoying them.

AMCO72
06-27-2011, 07:33 AM
Well, gee, ta Shano......it is a gorgeous little car thanks to a lot of work by Angus. It cant have escaped your notice that it isnt quite the colour scheme it was in 1972. I had a funny little man come up to me at the Bruce McLaren festival waving a copy of Motorman magazine which featured the car on the front cover. He says to me......'where is the orange bonnet'. Not only orange, I say, but vinyl covered. When I first restored the car in 1985 we didnt really know its full history....it soon came to light of course but by then I had painted the body in my favourite shade of green which was remarkably like the body colour in its 1st year, 1971, when it was sponsored by Dulux. So I decided to combine the 1st year body colour with 2nd year sponsorship, Amco. Big crime according to my magazine waving friend! Anyway I cant stand orange as a colour and it was only around 1 year with the orange, and has been around 26 years with the green. So call it continuos development. I cant think of any race car that stayed more than 1 year in the same colour scheme......different sponsors etc etc. We reunited both Rod Collingwood and Dave Panckhurst with the car at the festival and they were delighted. Angus would have loved to put it back to EXACTLY how it was at the end of the 72 season, but I have overuled him....maybe when I die he will do it!

bob homewood
06-27-2011, 07:40 AM
[QUOTE=Shano;1662]When I saw the photos I automatically recognised them as being at the sound end of Otahuhu. I was born on the other side of the road, in a little maternity hospital that was made up of ex-US army huts

OT Shano but thats where I came into the world as well ,its a small one "aye "

GD66
06-27-2011, 07:42 AM
Yeah.......Dannie [think that is the correct spelling]



I'm sure I recall mags from the day continuously spelling it "Danie"...

Chris Kitzen
06-27-2011, 09:17 AM
I think you could be correct. The photos have bugged me for quite a few years because the location didn't look quite right for the north Otahuhu premises. I have shown them to a few people who were around in the day and none of them picked up that it wasn't where we assumed. I will be seeing Ron Riley in a few weeks and will ask him again, and add the new information. Thanks.


Ron will no doubt confirm it ,but I agree with Chris ,in one of the photos I believe you can just make out the Mangroves in the Estuary,the other thing is there is no sign of Saleyards Road in the photos and it certainly is one of the older roads in the Otahuhu North End,its just a bit before my adult years ,but a couple of my older friends having seen the photos share the same opinion,Bert Jones was also in that South end area of Otahuhu by the Breweries for many years ,just South of where I believe those photos were taken


I have that building etched in my mind for some reason. Able concrete mixers were there in my time. As soon as I saw the pictures I knew where it was. Even the trees in the background are identifyable. One of my brothers was born in that hospital also Shano

beowulf
06-27-2011, 10:06 AM
I remember Danny with the Brabham at a GoldStar Hillclimb in the Wairarapa. Danny hit the bank quite hard, Sybill was there
and was not impressed. She didn't impress my wife who was secretary of the meeting when she hooked on of the tent guy ropes
with the trailer and collapsed it. No apology but that was Sybill. Her second husband I think was Percy Lupp who was Nz Motorsport
secretary. Ron Frost was president. Great site.

David McKinney
06-27-2011, 11:42 AM
I used to sometimes act as secretary of various Wellington CC meetings, and remember being surprised that he signed his name 'Danny'. We all knew him as Danie. On another occasion he telephoned me and announced himself as "Dahny Lupp". I guess he was as confused as the rest of us

I don't remember much about his Jaguars, Bob. He started out with an FJ Holden which did get Jaguar power (I presume a six), before he diverted his attention to an Anglia

Sybil's first husband (and Danie's father) was Jack Lupp, who died when the children were very young. She then married Jack's brother Percy. Lionel Archer was her third husband

AMCO72
06-27-2011, 06:39 PM
Yes, one too many 'N's......Anyway thinking of Sybils' MG brings to mind my first sports car after the Singer. The MG TC was one machine I just had to have, and one duly came up for sale in one of those funny little yards in Christchurch, and I think it was Manchester Car Sales...nothing very special about that yard but it did from time to time have sporty stuff on display. Now I couldnt have cared less what condition it was in I was going to have it,especially as it was REPUTED to have been the X Sybil Lupp car. I had saved the necessary 530 pound asking price, and I could hardly contain myself at the thought of owning such a famous car, but my Father being somewhat more sensible than me urged caution. Indeed he was not at all keen for me to buy it. I was living and studying at Lincoln College at the time, and he thought, probably with some justification that I would be out shooting the breeze instead of swotting for exams. We came to an arrangement that the car would be housed at at home and I would get to drive it at the weekends. Not ideal but it worked. Meantime my Dad would drive it during the week and in fact spent quite a lot of money on it getting the carbs rebushed, starter motor reconditioned and ignition overhauled, so you could say the arrangement worked very well in my favour. Now, back to the question of ownership. It quickly became clear that my car was NOT the X Lupp machine....I couldnt get past the red paint...but the euphoria was great while it lasted. A case of do your homework beforehand. Never mind it was a nice little car and I used it regularly, and drove it from ChCh to Hamilton to start a job on a dairy farm...that was a trip and a half....eventually trading it in on the MG TF from Spinner Car Sales mentioned earlier. BAD decision; dont know what I was thinking; perhaps I thought newer was better.....

AMCO72
06-27-2011, 06:48 PM
Hey Beowulf.....great to see you on board. Now YOU should have some stories to tell us.

beowulf
06-27-2011, 07:30 PM
Thanks AMC072. What a great site. I am a beginner against you guys when it comes to memories and knowledge. interesting how myth and facts blend over time. We certainly had some fun. Who remembers the after race parties in the pub in Levin, the name escapes me. Willow Park in Tauranga etc. etc. The modern race driver goes home and goes to bed, alone. Just never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.

Steve Holmes
06-28-2011, 01:08 AM
I remember Danny with the Brabham at a GoldStar Hillclimb in the Wairarapa. Danny hit the bank quite hard, Sybill was there
and was not impressed. She didn't impress my wife who was secretary of the meeting when she hooked on of the tent guy ropes
with the trailer and collapsed it. No apology but that was Sybill. Her second husband I think was Percy Lupp who was Nz Motorsport
secretary. Ron Frost was president. Great site.

beowulf, very cool post!

Steve Holmes
06-28-2011, 01:11 AM
Yes, one too many 'N's......Anyway thinking of Sybils' MG brings to mind my first sports car after the Singer. The MG TC was one machine I just had to have, and one duly came up for sale in one of those funny little yards in Christchurch, and I think it was Manchester Car Sales...nothing very special about that yard but it did from time to time have sporty stuff on display. Now I couldnt have cared less what condition it was in I was going to have it,especially as it was REPUTED to have been the X Sybil Lupp car. I had saved the necessary 530 pound asking price, and I could hardly contain myself at the thought of owning such a famous car, but my Father being somewhat more sensible than me urged caution. Indeed he was not at all keen for me to buy it. I was living and studying at Lincoln College at the time, and he thought, probably with some justification that I would be out shooting the breeze instead of swotting for exams. We came to an arrangement that the car would be housed at at home and I would get to drive it at the weekends. Not ideal but it worked. Meantime my Dad would drive it during the week and in fact spent quite a lot of money on it getting the carbs rebushed, starter motor reconditioned and ignition overhauled, so you could say the arrangement worked very well in my favour. Now, back to the question of ownership. It quickly became clear that my car was NOT the X Lupp machine....I couldnt get past the red paint...but the euphoria was great while it lasted. A case of do your homework beforehand. Never mind it was a nice little car and I used it regularly, and drove it from ChCh to Hamilton to start a job on a dairy farm...that was a trip and a half....eventually trading it in on the MG TF from Spinner Car Sales mentioned earlier. BAD decision; dont know what I was thinking; perhaps I thought newer was better.....

530 pounds seems a reasonable price Gerald? But do you know if the price would have been bumped up slightly with the 'apparent' Sybil Lupp connection?

AMCO72
06-28-2011, 02:34 AM
Dont know.......I do know that the price was originally 550 pounds and I hadnt quite got that amount, my father was unwilling to lend the extra so managed to talk the salesman into removing the radio, a fairly simple affair, and reduce the price to 530. I was very shy in those days and wasnt used to dealing with these sharp shooters. We didnt put so much value on history then.....it was just another old English sports car and there were quite a lot of MG TC's around at the time. Not sure where the reputed to be the Sybil Lupp car story came from as a quick check of the ownership papers would have revealed all. This was 1960, so the car was about 12 years old and the wage of a farm worker was about 5 pounds, 2 shillings and sixpence per week....$10, so took a long time to save up. I never regreted buying the car and is one of many [about 70] that have owned that I would like back.

Shano
06-28-2011, 03:22 AM
Not only orange, I say, but vinyl covered. When I first restored the car in 1985 we didnt really know its full history....it soon came to light of course but by then I had painted the body in my favourite shade of green which was remarkably like the body colour in its 1st year, 1971, when it was sponsored by Dulux.

I've got an old black and white photo of the car, without any sponsorship but sporting the orange vinyl bonnet somewhere. I'll dig it out.

AMCO72
06-28-2011, 05:09 PM
All the yards in my stories so far have motorsport connections running through them somewhere, and my involvement with them. This one is a bit different in that the premises didnt sell cars, but tyres. Wally Darrells' ACE tyre shop in Christchurch supplied not only passenger car tyres but performance tyres for those would wanted that bit extra. Now in those days, as Bob has pointed out, for 'performance' read BIG. However, Wally managed to get a set of Michelin X for me and they certainly transformed the car they were fitted to, the TR2. He also fitted a set of Dunlop C49's to my Dads Jaguar 2.4, the latest in technology even though they were still crossplys. The Michelins, which were those new fangled radials had a fearsome reputation of hanging on in a corner then letting go without warning. Never tested them that far but gave a very good ride, and seemed to last forever. Wally is best know for his A.C.E. specials which he raced in the fifties, always with number 13 and always driven with great gusto. The first A.C.E. was built from the remains of the Hec Green Wolseley, that I saw racing at the Aranui Speedway, through 2 and 3 with vauxhall and standard vanguard engines respectively to the A.C.E. 4 which was Zephyr powered. The A.C.E. 4 used to go like stink in a straight line but wasnt very happy in the cornering department, and one would frequently see Wally in the middle of a corner doing a 360. Couldnt have been a tyre problem as he was in the business, so maybe the suspension wasnt up to Wallys' enthusiastic driving. He did a lot of beach racing and competed at Wigram, Mairehau, and Dunedin circuits usually finishing about mid field. Wally apparently wasnt too concerned about winning so long as he had a good time. One thing I do remember is that he was very good at getting wheel balance right. The balancing machines back then were fairly crude affairs compared to the electronic devices of today, but with his racing experience used to go the extra mile in getting things spot on. The last time I saw the A.C.E. 4 in Wallys hands was at a grass gymkhana, of all places, still doing 360's and still sounding wonderful, and Wally still the Gentleman that he always was. The car survives and is raced in classic racing today. So....Ciao Wally, you were always damn good fun to watch and your cars always a credit to you.

David McKinney
06-29-2011, 08:47 AM
ACE III was Zephyr-powered in its later years with Wally. It's still racing, though I'm not sure that ACE IV is

AMCO72
06-29-2011, 06:30 PM
Two yards in Christchurch that havent disappeared, and should stir up some memories, are Sydenham Park Car Sales home of the Sylvester Chev which is being covered in another thread, and Trevor Crowes' yard in Morehouse Ave, now a Subaru franchise. Everyone remembers the Toyota Starlet that Trevor created to take on the big guns. Was developed over the years and eventually was Rover V8 powered. What stood out was the engineering on the car which was taken to another level when, bike racer Dr Roger Freeth took it over. He introduced technical innovations way beyond their time, in car cameras to check suspension movement for instance. This car has been saved and I think has been seen at classic meetings. Roger was of course Possum Bournes co-driver and was killed in 1993. A very intelligent man, had a PhD in physics, and I remember a saying that was attributed to him.................. 'I would rather have a full bottle in front of me, than a full frontal lobotomy'......Work that one out. Interesting isnt it that there have been a number of motorbike racers going to cars, John Surtees the most successful, but never the other way...cars to bikes.

Shano
06-29-2011, 06:41 PM
Rodger Freeth's data logging set-up involved motorcycle-style control cables attached to suspension points, then in the cockpit there were pointers that moved backwards and forwards across a graduated scale - all captured by a video camera mounted on the roll bar. He was a bloody good guy and a huge loss to NZ motorsport.

He was a hero of mine after his successive wins at the Bathurst motorcycle races on a bike whose engine was pretty much standard, albeit housed in a very good chassis. Us biker types also remember his experiments with airfoils on a Yamaha TZ750 - a scary enough bike without wings hanging off it.

Steve Holmes
06-29-2011, 07:01 PM
Trevor Crowe actually built two V8 Starlets. The first one probably had more success in Crowe's own hands, and raced from 1980 through until around 1985/86. The second one appeared in late 1986 (I think), but by that stage Crowe was getting involved in Group A, and I think he only ran it briefly before selling it to Freeth, and although it was incredibly fast straight out of the box, it still required further development to get the most out of it, which Freeth did of course. Both cars were Oldsmobile powered, and it was Freeth who fitted the second car with the TWR Rover unit.

The second Starlet has been restored to its Freeth/CRC guise, the first is in the South Island, nearing completion of a restoration. Both cars were the ultimate of the Kiwi Ingenuity expression.

Steve Holmes
06-29-2011, 07:01 PM
Two yards in Christchurch that havent disappeared, and should stir up some memories, are Sydenham Park Car Sales home of the Sylvester Chev which is being covered in another thread, and Trevor Crowes' yard in Morehouse Ave, now a Subaru franchise. Everyone remembers the Toyota Starlet that Trevor created to take on the big guns. Was developed over the years and eventually was Rover V8 powered. What stood out was the engineering on the car which was taken to another level when, bike racer Dr Roger Freeth took it over. He introduced technical innovations way beyond their time, in car cameras to check suspension movement for instance. This car has been saved and I think has been seen at classic meetings. Roger was of course Possum Bournes co-driver and was killed in 1993. A very intelligent man, had a PhD in physics, and I remember a saying that was attributed to him.................. 'I would rather have a full bottle in front of me, than a full frontal lobotomy'......Work that one out. Interesting isnt it that there have been a number of motorbike racers going to cars, John Surtees the most successful, but never the other way...cars to bikes.

Gerald, you must have some stories to tell of Ron Sylvester? He must have been a real character.

AMCO72
06-29-2011, 07:52 PM
Actually Steve I have none at all. Sydenham Park car sale seems to have been off my radar...was probably too far on my bike, so I thought someone else could do bit on it. While on the subject of yards, I see Mr McKinney was born and bred in Thames. Now I seem to remember that Thames was a hot bed of motorsport in the 50's and 60's and there was a yard in Pollen St that always had sports cars and the like on it. I cant for the life of me think of its name and thought that David might like to enlighten me.

Shano
06-29-2011, 08:00 PM
Amco - here is your car with the orange vinyl bonnet, although you'll have to take my word for it... I thought this was the first time it raced but it may well have just been the first time I saw it race. Even then it was clear the car was one out of the box with it's very high quality presentation. It had some Guthrie Bowron sponsorship which probably related to the amount of paint it had on it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/benderboat/Motor%20racing%20at%20Pukekohe/MiniCollingwood.jpg

AMCO72
06-30-2011, 12:21 AM
Shano.......I have never seen that photo, is it one of yours. We do have a lot of pictures of the car in the BNSW days, some black and white some colour but different ones keep turning up. Could you f/w that picture to my Email site....bentley6@xtra.co.nz I am not sure whether I can print off the site page.....my computer skills are pretty basic to say the least.

pallmall
06-30-2011, 04:42 AM
Actually Steve I have none at all. Sydenham Park car sale seems to have been off my radar...was probably too far on my bike, so I thought someone else could do bit on it. While on the subject of yards, I see Mr McKinney was born and bred in Thames. Now I seem to remember that Thames was a hot bed of motorsport in the 50's and 60's and there was a yard in Pollen St that always had sports cars and the like on it. I cant for the life of me think of its name and thought that David might like to enlighten me.

Thames was the home of one Bill Culver, I have some photos of Bill and a few of his cars to post once I clean them up a bit. I also have a lot of stories about Bill, but most will have to remain un published for now. Bill passed away a couple of years ago, he had been living in Queensland, in a town north of Brisbane.

Chris Kitzen
06-30-2011, 04:45 AM
......Roger was of course Possum Bournes co-driver and was killed in 1993. A very intelligent man, had a PhD in physics, and I remember a saying that was attributed to him.................. 'I would rather have a full bottle in front of me, than a full frontal lobotomy'......Work that one out. Interesting isnt it that there have been a number of motorbike racers going to cars, John Surtees the most successful, but never the other way...cars to bikes.

A bit off subject but I worked on Possums crew for 16 years and with Rodger of course. He was always the life of the party. He used to have a business card in his wallet.... Dr Roger Freeth and on the back - Not a gynaecologist but I'll take a look. :)

AMCO72
06-30-2011, 06:15 AM
Chris....what a hoot...I laughed my head off when I read that Roger Freeth business card quote. You know, Christians believe in everlasting life.....Im not a Christian but as far as Im concerned, remembering people like Roger because of what he said or did is giving them everlasting life. [plop.....that was my head falling off!!!!!!!!!]

beowulf
06-30-2011, 07:50 AM
Another yard we always inspected was Brian Green's in Palmerston North. Good to see he is still going strong. He would have some stories to tell. What has happened to Fazzazz, have sent several e.mails but no reply. it is about the only car place I can be bothered visiting now. No boring Jap imports

Steve Holmes
06-30-2011, 07:53 AM
He used to have a business card in his wallet.... Dr Roger Freeth and on the back - Not a gynaecologist but I'll take a look. :)

Ha ha ha ha! Fantastic!

Steve Holmes
06-30-2011, 07:54 AM
Another yard we always inspected was Brian Green's in Palmerston North. Good to see he is still going strong. He would have some stories to tell. What has happened to Fazzazz, have sent several e.mails but no reply. it is about the only car place I can be bothered visiting now. No boring Jap imports

I understand its suffered some damage from the quakes. Are you from Palmerston North?

Rod Grimwood
06-30-2011, 08:14 AM
Every time I see a Bourban, I think of Roger having a gentle chat about the days racing. And lets not forget his trusty Westminster on trips with starlet in tow. He was a beaut. Pity so many of these legends left early. That I think is the magic of this site as we can all remember and share.

beowulf
06-30-2011, 08:36 AM
I understand its suffered some damage from the quakes. Are you from Palmerston North?

I used to farm just out of Masterton. Was very involved with the Wairarapa Car Club. We had a heap of events on that farm. Gymkhanas, autocrosses, 4wd rallies, great way to drain a swamp! Motorcyle scrambles, grass hillclimbs, long distance races etc. My poor neighbours.Raced at Levin in a 64 HA Viva, slower than a wet weekend with no motorsport on TV. Dave McKinney may remember the "wobbly weekends" we used to hold. I will write about them one day.

David McKinney
06-30-2011, 09:02 AM
I see Mr McKinney was born and bred in Thames. Now I seem to remember that Thames was a hot bed of motorsport in the 50's and 60's and there was a yard in Pollen St that always had sports cars and the like on it. I cant for the life of me think of its name and thought that David might like to enlighten me.
Sorry AMCO. I left Thames at the age of 2, so don't have many memories of it:)

thunder427
06-30-2011, 11:30 AM
Amco - here is your car with the orange vinyl bonnet, although you'll have to take my word for it... I thought this was the first time it raced but it may well have just been the first time I saw it race. Even then it was clear the car was one out of the box with it's very high quality presentation. It had some Guthrie Bowron sponsorship which probably related to the amount of paint it had on it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/benderboat/Motor%20racing%20at%20Pukekohe/MiniCollingwood.jpg

...From my Memory of Rod the Collingwood,thats him standing directly behind the Mini in the 'Fastman' racing overals...................But!!!?.............regards Thunder427/MJ:p

PS;last time I had dealings with Rod Collingwood, he was managing the Christchurch Town Hall,driving a SLR5000' on a permantly mounted 'Trade Plate'........Traded/Sold this car(never been registered/as 'NEW') Purchased Graeme Vautiers ,1970-1/2 Camaro / 'Motion Performance' modified.........he asked me into his office,one Thursday ,(1974/50) where he draw a giant picture of a Tack on his White Board,sketched in some measurments and proceeded to tell me that this was todays ............'Plan of Attack'............!!!!?:confused:

My job was to refinish the 'Vautier/Crown Motor Court' Camaro 'S.H.I.N.N.I.N.G' BLACK ,Black that you could read your watch in and ..."I want to drive it next Friday night to a 'party" !!!!........7 days?????......but I shall save that story till later........................regards thunder427/MJ:p:cool:

AMCO72
06-30-2011, 06:38 PM
Do you know I could hardly brush my teeth last night, I was laughing so much thinking about Roger. But hey arent the bike boys a bit like that, a bit different, a bit of rebel in there, and they sure as hell arent BORING. Ok,a bit of lateral thinking there, now back to the yards. Tony Shelly's place in Wellington another of our yards with motorsport connections. Tony used to team up with Ray Archibold and do the long distance events in the Jaguar. My only involvement with Tony was in 1977 when I was selling my 1966 MK2 3.8 Jaguar and had advertised it as being the last 3.8 imported into NZ. Tony rang me to question my claim and pointed out that it was in fact HE who had the last MK2....that is before the 240 and 340. I asked him to lookup the ownership papers and check when the car had been first registered in NZ, and he came back with 10th December 1966. I told him as diplomaticly as I could that my car had been first registered on the 31st December 1966......couldnt get much later than that. The car, a black 3.8 on wires was a special order for Harvey Hingston in New Plymouth....it had no overdrive and a high-ratio diff....apparently Harvey distrusted O/D gearboxes. The whole thing has come a complete circle as the current owner has the car in Lyall Williamsons International Motorsport garage having among other things, an overdrive fitted. You cant win. Just as an aside, Harvey was principle at Opunake [I think] school, and as a dentention used to get the kids to clean the chrome wire wheels!!!!! Some punishment, and better than writing out 100 times 'I must not swear at the teacher'. Buy the way, the personised plates ...67 Jag....now fitted to the car are incorrect. It is a '66 model. Its original plate was....FF52. Now, why would anyone want to change from a black plate, on a black car with that distinctive number to one of those terrible white things, and yes, I do know who the culprit was and he should have known better! Another car I should never have sold. Unfortunately I got more speeding tickets in that car than all the rest put together, so I just got pissed off and Jerry Clayton took it off my hands for some miserable figure...$5,750. Storey of my life, selling things too soon.

AMCO72
07-01-2011, 10:43 PM
Does anyone remember Henry Philips. He had a small yard down by the lake in Rotorua. He was a keen Jaguar man and was always involved in the JDC rallies at the long weekends at Easter. Henry bought and sold a number of interesting sports cars so I suppose we could say he had motorsport connections. At one stage he had a very nice 1960 MK1 2.4 Jaguar saloon which didnt exactly have much performance and is universally decried by the Jaguar brigade as 'not being a proper Jag'. Well, maybe, but my Dad had one in the early sixties and, no it didnt have the get-up-and-go of a 3.4 but it was a very sweet and comfy touring car. I must be the only person who likes them because they all seem to have disappeared, not been thought of as collectable. my Dads car was bought by Christchurch business man Ron Barrow and my Dad was its second owner......was pale blue and was the first 2.4 sold by Archibolds in 1959. Hope it has been saved and restored by someone. Getting back to Ron Barrow, he was clearly a bit of an entrepreneur as he had imported the XK120C that I bought some years later from Des Wild. Ron had tried his hand at racing the XK, but was so shocked when he wore out a set of tyres at one Wigram meeting that he retired then and there!!

AMCO72
07-02-2011, 10:04 PM
Ron Roycrofts' garages at Glen Murray used to be a mecca for all racecar/sportscar enthusiasts back in the 60's and 70's and probably beyond. Not sure whether Ron had a dealers licence or not but he certainly bought and sold a lot of cars...interesting cars. When I first visited him in 1967 I was driving a Fiat 1500 Crusader, and the first thing Ron said to me as I got out of the car was 'at least you know what a good car is' !!!!!!! I had recently traded a Morris 1100 in on the Fiat, otherwise he might have thrown me out if I had turned up in something else. At the time I was looking for an early SS Jaguar to restore and I knew that Ron had the only 1932 SS1 coupe in the country. It was mostly complete except for one rather essential item....the engine. Apparently it had been repowered at some stage with a Chev 6 motor.....the original having disappeared. Lots of SS cars were repowered, often with Chev 6 motors; OHV and far better than the dreadful sidevalve Standard lump that was part of the SS deal Lyons had with Standard. The lack of engine didnt faze Ron one bit, and he suggested all sorts of things that could be installed. Ron was a great Chev enthusiast and I suspect that he had bought the SS to get the engine for one of his projects. Anyway the job was too big for me, and even at $150 decided not to buy it. Ron eventually sold it to some turkey in Hamilton, who in a fit of enthusiasm proceeded to strip the car to the last nut and bolt. The last time I saw it, the body was in the guys vegetable garden and the chassis propped up against the fence. Eventually I think it all went to the tip....should have bought it, a very rare car nowdays. Sometimes Ron was very hard to converse with as he was very deaf, probably through testing aircraft engines and race car driving, and his hearing aid was either not turned on or the batteries had gone flat! Unlike Sybil Lupp, Ron wasnt too concerned about how his cars looked....some were pretty rough, he was more interested on how they went. I will say this though, all of Rons cars were under cover, the old Jaguar engined RJR was parked in an old bus body out on the roadside, while the rest were in various sheds, old and new on the property. I feel very lucky to have met and chatted with Ron on a number of occasions which says much for this modest man that he was prepared to speak to someone as insignificant as me. I didnt attend the auction of his collection when he died, but I always had my eye on his very early 1923 Bentley 3 litre...think it went overseas.

AMCO72
07-04-2011, 02:00 AM
Charlie Conways motor emporiams, first down the Gt North road, then Symonds street were always good places to check-out when I went to Auckland. He had nice showrooms with lots of desirable machinery to look at, and he owned a Cooper single seater race car as well, so his connection to motor racing was sound. I purchased a Triumph TR6 from Charlie in 1981 and while I enjoyed driving it, it had the bad habit of not starting if left standing for more than a few days. Good old Lucas fuel injection was the culprit. Another case of the Poms getting it almost right but not quite. There was some pretty sloppy workshop practices at BL [or what ever it was called then] and I remember Triumph 2.5 PI saloons in Jan Wilds' Triumph dealership in Cambridge, undergoing warranty claims, after having done only 1500 miles, having their injection pumps overhauled. Something about swarf not being cleaned out prior to assembly! My cars problem was the fuel pump itself which always struggled to get up enough pressure. It was powered by a glorified wiper motor and overheated regularly. I guess owners today have the problem sorted out.....a bit like the Triumph Stag from the same source whos V8 gave trouble in the early days. Angus actually repowered a Triumph 2000 Estate with a Rover V8....a tight fit especially getting the extractor exhaust to fit. It went very well and the Rover engine was actually lighter than the original Triumph motor. Wonder if it is still around. Back to Charlie. I only met him a couple of times so there must be someone out there that can do justice to this entrepreneur.

Steve Holmes
07-04-2011, 02:10 AM
Gerald, your stories are amazing. This thread is one of the most popular on the forum. How many cars have you owned? Must be hundreds? How many do you know the whereabouts of? You must have a few regret stories of cars you shouldn't have sold?

AMCO72
07-04-2011, 03:25 AM
I hope folk are enjoying all this rubbish. I tried to keep the stories relevant to the thread title but I sometimes get a bit carried away, and the more I sit down to write of my experiences the more I remember. I didnt just want to have dry old stories, as threads have shown that this hobby of ours is more than just about nuts and bolts. I have a little book by me called 'Tuning and Maintenance of MG's' by Philip H. Smith, A.M.I.Mech.E. which I purchased on the 12th of August 1960. In the back on the fly-leaf pages I have listed all the cars, good and bad, that I have owned, starting with the singer in 1957 and counting. I am up to about 65, but I think there may be a few that that I have forgotten about probably because they were wrecks and I got them free. Unfortunately I have lost track of most of them though they seem to turn up on odd occasions...FF52 for instance, the black 3.8 Jaguar which is at Lyall Williamsons at the moment. There are quite a few that I wasnt sorry to see the last of....the Sunbeam is one which I will write about next, but I am usually a bit careful when rubbishing cars as there is always somebody out there that thinks they are OK. So good on them, go-for-it. As for cars I wish I HAD kept, well there have been a FEW. Funnily enough the 6 Jaguars have been the only cars I have actually sold for more than I paid for them, and I wouldnt mind having anyone of them again. Iv'e still got a few stories to tell, particularly about my Dad who seems to have featured here quite a lot, as his interest in cars, picked up from HIS father, my Grandfather, has rubbed off on me, and in turn has rubbed off on Angus. I still have a magnificent old 'King of the Road' bulb horn that came from my Grandfathers 1920 STAR.....a very large and expensive touring car which my Father learned to drive in. God, here I go again.

bob homewood
07-04-2011, 08:40 AM
1520

thunder427
07-04-2011, 01:55 PM
...Car Yard on the Cnr of Salisbury St and Colombo, which I sure 'AMCO72' correctly refers to as Salisbury Motors was prior to this name, called 'Autodrome',owned by a 'Suave' Gentleman (read 'Ladies' man) with Cary Grant looks whom used to have an appartment on Colmbo St just Nth of the Car Yard and cruzed around in a Black and White Nash Metropolitan.....Because the Ladies thought it was 'Cute!!!!

Don was a real nice guy,sorta understood teenagers with dreams and very little money (read, No Money!!)..I purchased from him a real 'Cool' green /lowered/with spats/12ft ariel/white Wall Tyres/'Starfire' Hubcaps/'38 Chev Coupe........the look on Don's face when I turned up with 5 other 'great pretenders'..."6 in a coupe????.....suppose that'll work,sign here"!!!.........but AMCO72 is correct ,that Yard always had some thing that would make you hang at the fence for hours,Dreaming!!!!!!!!!!!:p

1960/61 my father drove out to Burnside High...."Leave your Bike in the Bike shed and come with me,got something you might like to see"...I knew better than to ask.."What"???......we arrived at Autodrome/Salisbury Motors and sitting there was A REAL LIVE 1960 CORVETTE....RED ....well this just about did it for me ,this was the most Beautiful car I had ever witnessed at this time in my life..it was red inside and out with White concave's and White Hardtop..LHdrive...Don's latest "TOY!!!!.....Go for a ride,but my Father was quite happy to let me just Look,I seem to think he may have not been keen with the left steer thing........but a singular moment in time I have never forgotten.
....sorta got the 'bug'......my Son and I own a '63 roadster/327/4speed, '78 aniversary/one owner,'74 4speed/two owner (they only produced 3490 manuals that year production of 35000 odd units) and the usual 'collection of other projects......but that trip into Christchurch town to look at the 'Vette.........well, that did it!!!......................regards thunder427/MJ:cool:

AMCO72
07-04-2011, 10:39 PM
Montelle Motors in Hamilton a couple of doors down from Fleetwood Motors was one of the many tiny yards that seem to have been prevalent in the 60's and 70's. The proprietor had a liking for sportscars and seemed to have a regular turnover, so when a series 3 Sunbeam Alpine for $1500 turned up I decided that I would have to act swiftly to secure the deal. It had originally been a bright tourquoise colour and someone had squirted a coat of dark blue over it to make it somewhat more saleable. I had a very low mileage MG 1100 to trade on this vehicle, and the only criteria that I used to decide whether or not to buy, was that a pushchair had to fit into the boot as we had a young family at the time. Our two small children were carted about in this contraption, Angus over the back, and Belinda in one of those funny little canvas car seats that clipped over the passenger seat. This was completely useless in the event of a crash, as the front seats hinged forward to allow access to the back, and would have catapulted Belinda through the screen like a medieval trebuchet!!!! When I see todays toddlers strapped into their seats like fighter pilots I wonder how we got away with such a blatent disregard for safety. The under pinnings of the Alpine were the Hillman Husky van...hardly the most obvious start for a successful sports car. Something must have been right because they did OK in international events especially in Tiger form, but it was without a doubt the worst car I have ever owned. Even the old Singer was at least fun and challenging to drive. The Alpine had the most terrible diff whine that was even more obvious when the hood was raised so when I eventually sold it made sure the hood was down.....starting to sound like a used car salesman!!!! It also had an alloy head which over the years had become very corroded, so with lots of Bars-Leaks in the system found an unsuspecting enthusiast to take it off my hands. Whew! I will say one thing though. At some stage the drain plug had fallen out of the Sunbeams gearbox allowing all the oil to escape, and I drove the car a lot of miles before the gearlever started to get very stiff and I found the cause. Must have been one tough box.

thunder427
07-05-2011, 12:53 PM
..If Autodrome/Salisbury Motors was on the west side of Colombo St,when heading north,opposite,on the East cnr was a small 'servo' Garage/Workshop, this was the home of Mullins Tune Services,Proprietor Mr Jim Mullins,the local Mini specialist,back up Columbo St heading towards the City (southernly direction),right hand side was 'Barry Brown Used Cars', Barry was a real nice guy,not the typical 'carsales Type,would go out of his way to make a deal,also a very passionate Mini Racer in his own right,solid Canterbury Car Club Member,as AMCO72 pointed out it was a net work of Cant.Car Club people that made up the Car trade......................regards thunder427/MJ:)

AMCO72
07-05-2011, 05:43 PM
Ah, thunder427........Barry Brown Car Sales.......theres a name that I had forgotten. Just give me a little time and who knows what I might dredge up on that yard! Cant remember Mullins Tune Services, but as a Mini man now of course I know of him, and as I will relate later, I was not into Minis in those days.....just couldnt get my head around them....funny little cars. Well they were in comparison to an XK!!

AMCO72
07-05-2011, 09:05 PM
After thunder427 had jogged my brain cells into action, I sat down by the fire and was thinking about Barry Browns' and sports cars, etc etc and I knew there was a family connection there somewhere. Ah yes, not me but my Mother. At the dinner table some nights we would be discussing what we had done during the day....as you did in those pre telly days.... and I mentioned that I had checked out the 'BBC'. My Mother, a fan of the REAL BBC said 'what are you talking about..how can you checkout the BBC.' I pointed out that BBC was my abreviation for Barry Brown Car sales! ....laughter all round, as you did in those days. Anyway, years later, like about 10, my Mother with help from my Father of course bought a little jewel of a car from BBC...a Lancia Fulvia 1.3 Rallye 'S' , a car with very illustrious international motorsport connections. I reminded my Mother of our dinner time conversation all those years back but she couldnt remember, never mind. Do you know, that car was shod with those new fangled Michelin X tyres like Wally Darrell had got me for the TR2, and this was a car ideally suited to that rubber. My Mother still had the Lancia when my Dad died in 1977, and we as a family decided that she couldn't maintain a sports car like that without help, so we persuaded her to sell it....bad decision!!! She bought a new Honda Civic EB1 from Archibolds, a firm my Dad had had a lot of dealing with. The Civic was a great little car but hardly in the Lancia class. Bad decision because I would have inherited the Lancia when she died instead of the Honda! The Honda had only done 30,000 kms in the 10 years my Mother had it...she only used it to go shopping down at Redcliffs, a village in the news these days after the earthquake. Anyway unlike my earlier effort with the Mercedes 190SL where I offered the car back to the dealer from whence it came [and I have a ps. on that story too!] we advertised it in the Press and it sold immediately to a Lancia enthusiast. I think the selling price matched the purchase price of the Honda..$5520...as Im sure we did not raid any bank account for any extra. Cant imagine why I had forgotten about Barry Brown...couldnt see the wood for the trees...as his yard must have continued for some years and would have been a regular stop for the 'yard cruisers club'...me and my school mate John Sergel. John had had polio as a child and was a member of the Sergel family that owned Southwell School in Hamilton, so tons of money. John went on to be a successful rally driver..Heatway etc, more about him later as he also had his own yard selling hot stuff, sometimes literally, down Addington road.

Chris Kitzen
07-05-2011, 09:24 PM
Spears Speed Shop. A little before my time but I do have a vague recollection of it being in upper Albert St in central Auckland. Is that correct?

Gerald you need to write a book! Keep it up.

Steve Holmes
07-06-2011, 02:45 AM
Bloody hell you guys! This thread isn't conducive to me managing to get any work done today! Am loving the stories. I guess I can always get back to work tomorrow.

Gerald, about ten years ago a garage I called on in the Wairarapa suddenly had a dark blue Alpine arrive in one of its bays. The owner of the garage had bought it from up north somewhere, and had plans to restore it. But it slowly disappeared under a pile of rubble over time, and the garage was eventually bought out by another company and torn down. I assume the owner took the Alpine with him, but wouldn't it be interesting if he happened to now have the worst car you ever owned?

AMCO72
07-06-2011, 04:10 AM
Steve, as far as I'm concerned that is the best place for it. One pile of rubbish under another!!!!!!

David McKinney
07-06-2011, 07:25 AM
Spears Speed Shop. A little before my time but I do have a vague recollection of it being in upper Albert St in central Auckland. Is that correct?

Wasn't it Bill Norrish's outfit?
Sometime Hot Rod reporter and future F3 driver Rob Wilson worked there for a while

pallmall
07-06-2011, 07:44 AM
When Rob worked for Bill in 1969/70 the premises were on Gt North Road, can't remember if it had a shop front at that stage, and I don't think it was called Spears then. As I recall Bill moved into the Gt North Road premises after working out of his backyard workshop previously. Was Spears Speed Shop, Laurie Spears?

bob homewood
07-06-2011, 08:04 AM
1552


Bill Norrish originally worked out of his home in Te Atatu then moved into town we he out grew it ,he also later owned a BP service station in Williamson Ave
Steve Millen also worked at Supertune early 70's .I nearly worked there ,but ended up going back South
Spears Speed Shop was as Pall Mall said in the Laurie Spears building .Steve Horne worked there at the time of that photo,it was at the top of town Eden Terrace I think I used to call it ?

bob homewood
07-06-2011, 08:14 AM
1553

Maybe it should be in the Imp thread might answer a couple of questions that have been asked there ?

pallmall
07-06-2011, 08:47 AM
1552


Bill Norrish originally worked out of his home in Te Atatu then moved into town we he out grew it ,he also later owned a BP service station in Williamson Ave
Steve Millen also worked at Supertune early 70's .I nearly worked there ,but ended up going back South
Spears Speed Shop was as Pall Mall said in the Laurie Spears building .Steve Horne worked there at the time of that photo,it was at the top of town Eden Terrace I think I used to call it ?

Supertune, of course. Yes remember Spears being in the Eden Terrace area, another part of town with some much older motorsport connections, and a few car sales with Western Springs connections through the sixties.

thunder427
07-06-2011, 02:01 PM
..and Christchurch had 'Hamco' Speed Equipment,Oxford Tce,down by the 'Bridge of Remembrance',this was run in the 60's by the most patient gentleman,Mr Bill Clarke,we would buy those 'Have to have' items ,such as racing mirrors,the English bullit shaped,the only came in 'Chrome',you would order two then buy one one pay day,then the other a fortnight later........'Hood Pins' with the plastic covered cables......'Stick-on' GT/Racing stripes,that went along the door just above the sill's...'Chrome' wheel Nuts,looked great on the Anglia/Cortina/Mk1 Zephyr after one had removed the 'Hubcaps'.....And the MOST purchased item was the Cortina GT badge,we put them on every thing,instant Gooooooooo!!.....as I said Bill treated us all equal,he was a great supporter of our many 'Kustom Car Club' activities.....always had time to listen to my 'Hair Brain' scheme's, but would always put a 'positive Spin' on his answer.

Late 1969,Bill invited me to his beautiful old home/house, something to do with 'Autorama' which I was organising at that time,we meet in his garage out the back of the property,my memory still registers, WOW!!,in this workshop/garage was the Alfa,single seater ,1939/German Grand Prix Winner,in the final stages of restoration,this gentleman was there hand rubbing the Red Lacquer using 'Brasso'........(never 'ever' for got that tip!!!).........I believe Bill isnt so well these days,but if any Forum member is in touch with Bill, I would appreciate my regard being forwarded.........regards thunder427/MJ:)

AMCO72
07-06-2011, 07:11 PM
OK, this is going to be a long one so get comfy.......One doesn't normally associate wrecking yards with motorsport connections but in the 'old days' we in NZ were at the forefront of the homebuilt special and much of the raw material for that special came from wrecking yards. Clever guys like Hec Green, Wally Darrell, George Smith, Frank Shuter, the Stanton Bros, the list goes on and on, sourced their engines...often but not exclusively flat-head V8's, frames, axles, and almost everything else from a wrecking yard. Actually Hec Green is probably the odd man out there as he was VERY clever and designed and manufactured a lot of stuff himself. By the time all these bits and pieces had been cobbled together, and a thing of beauty stood in the driveway, a lot of hours rather than money had been spent. I should say that most of these things were definately NOT a thing of beauty and the scrutineers of today would have a heart attack if such devices were presented for inspection. Never mind, they did the business and some were extraordinarily successful, and some are still racing today 60 years after their initial conception. I mentioned earlier that I had bought my first car from a wrecking yard, not to build a special, but as a means of escape! It was however engineless and that came from another Singer that had been 'trucked'...a sort of early ute....a common procedure in those days. This car/truck had been sitting in a dirt floored shed not far from where I lived on Mt Pleasant and over the years through non use had sunk into the soft earth floor. I had known about it before I purchased the car from the wrecking yard, and it's owner Bob Scott, who had parked it up after one too many fires in the engine room...Bob was frequently seen beating out the flames with a coal sack....agreed to sell it to me for 10 pounds. The deal was that he would get the motor going again. I thought, yeh right, thats going to take some doing, but no. After cleaning things up, it had a magneto for the ignition so no battery required, some fresh fuel in the gravity tank, and sparkplugs and leads checked, it didn't take too many swings on the crank to awake the old girl from it's slumbers. Was music to my ears and I can still hear it today! We jacked it out of the mud, pumped up the tyres, amazingly they still held air, and I drove triumphantly down the hill to my home. My Mother nearly had a fit when she saw it.....'what will the neighbours think'. Stuff the neighbours, I had my first car and everyone reading this site has been there and remembers it well. I kept the good bits from the 'trucked' machine, installed the engine in the car from the wrecking yard and went cruising. Well sort of. She was a cantankerous old bitch and I spent more time under the bonnet than driving, but hey I was free. The cause of the frequent fires that Bob had experienced became obvious one day when I was watching it running with hood open..a tiny pin hole in the fuel line was allowing petrol to drip onto the hot manifold and all the stray sparks from the magneto set it ablaze. As I related, my friend Stacey had an Austin 7 and we used to have races round McCormacks bay road on a traffic cop, and traffic free course. I was amazed that the Singer could not beat the agricultural Austin 7...my car had an overhead camshaft for goodness sake, and was rated one more horsepower...8, so should have been able to eat the Austin. But no, and dont worry I had the accelerator THROUGH the firewall [what an appropriate name for that car] Both cars could get up to about 45 mph, but I can tell you that at that speed with everything flapping, rattling and vibrating, and oil smoke issuing from places it shouldn't, you felt as though you were really getting on with the washing!!!!!! I eventually sold the Singer when I left home to go to Lincoln because my Mother said 'it lowered the tone of the neighbourhood and insisted that I 'get rid of that eyesore at the front gate'. Goodbye old girl, the car that is, you taught me a lot. All I have left are memories, photos, and the 4, ring and open ended Whitworth Sidchrome spanners that I bought you back to life with.

thunder427
07-07-2011, 01:56 PM
AMCO72,there are a couple of things you and I have to discuss!!!!!,firstly I must appologise,Speed reading you last post,I read,Quote;'My Mother nearly had a fit when she saw it..."what will the Neighbours Think'..then the next line I picked up on stated..'she was cantankerous old Bitch'........I thought AMCO72 can't be talking about his Mother surely.....Ofcourse I slowed down a fraction and it all fell into place.....So, why do we call cars..SHE'???????????

Secondly I've had a security type camera mounted above my key board,I think I'm getting out of bed durring the night and posting short snipets of my life under the tag of AMCO72, truely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My first car was a Singer.9,sorta like a Morris.8,I too, spent my wages at the wreckers keeping it on the Road, Marshland Rd wreckers supplied the Gearbox and a radiator,Papanui Auto wreckers starter mtr and brake parts, my 2nd car was an Austin.7 'special' that came home on a trailer,took me nearly 2yrs to get it registered,and to top it off,when I bought my '34 Coupe 'Hot Rod' with hand painted 'flames', my Mother (could have been related to AMCO72"S Mum!!) ...."youre not parking that inview of our Neighbours,you get out there and clean up the garage,your Father and I are not against you having the car Dear,but I think it would be better of out of site,you don't want them to think you are a ...(Wait for this)....'TEDDY BOY"!!!!!!

Papanui Wreckers was a great place,I would buy things on a small deposit,such as my 1957 Ford steering wheel for the 'Rod',I would go into make a payment,spot some other 'shinny' bit I thought I would need,so Mr Parry ( I'm sure that was the owners name ,but time!!!?) would put me to manual labour.."Right Young'in get those 4 wheels over there and fit those 4 tyres and tubes and well see just how much that will be"!!...no fancy tyre Machines of today,thank you!!!..tyre levers and the bloody heavey thing called a 'Bead Breaker',try 'Back Breaker'......I would finish as fast as I could then he would offer the part, if it was a, get you to the 'Dance' on Saturday night part,...."Ok Young'in, you worked well, I think you and that part and I are about square"!!!!!.."Now Shove off before I think of something else for you to do"!!!!!

AMCO72,this whole thing of you cycling down Ferry Rd ,has me wondering, if I wasn't learning to wash cars as you rode past.............and absolutely no malice meant towards your Mum ,it just seemed funny, the way I read it.....regards thunder427/MJ:)

AMCO72
07-07-2011, 06:18 PM
Heaven forbid thunder 427 that I would call my dear Mother 'a cantankerous old bitch'!!!!!!! No she wasnt, she was very sweet, but she was always worrying about what other people thought, and I cant answer your question as to why we call cars [and boats] 'SHE'. I dont think you had better speed-read my stuff anymore or I will be getting up in the middle of the night to see if you have excommunicated me from the site!! Do you know that I have a piece of paper and pen by my bed so that any thoughts..no not those ones at my time of life....that come into my head can be jotted down...can even do it without turning on the light. Hamco speed shop has now gone the way of the flesh, maybe literally after the quake, and is now one of those yuppy type wine bars that have sprung up along that section of Oxford Tce. Lovely view while you sit there sipping your cheeky 'Chateau Avon' and the river glides slowly by. Hamco's stuff was out of my price range but the name speed shop brings to mind Hotrods, Dragsters, Bonneville and 'Roadsters'.....those chopped and channeled,usually B4's that became synonymous with Bonneville. One of my Lincoln pals had a B4, with a V8 transplant and I will tell you about it soon.

AMCO72
07-08-2011, 12:34 AM
" I'll think about it"......didn't that phrase get you out of jail. On my many inspections of car yard stock, that was my standard reply to awkward questions from the salesman. But not all used car salesmen were rogues...thunder427 mentions Barry Brown as being a good guy, and I can think of a few who you thought you could trust. Stan Richardson comes to mind. Stan had a yard in Hamilton East and frequently had sports, or at least sporting cars on the lot. He had, on one of my visits, a Mini Cooper 1071 S, grey with a white roof which Stan in his inimitable style tried to sell me. Now Stan was what I call a real car salesman, obviously an educated guy and he had as they say...'a good turn of phrase'... but you never got the impression that he was trying to talk you into something...... 'you catch more bees with honey'. I took the 1071 for a spin, as you did, Stan being a very trusting man, although I had more than a passing acquaintance with Stan as we had met a number of times at the Vintage car club. The car went very well of course, but the racket of the gears inside was something I couldn't come to terms with, so on that occasion Stans' sweet talk had no effect. I tried out a couple more Coopers around the same time but just could not bring myself to buy one. It wasn't until much later when Angus was doing rally-cross at Mystery creek with 'Mincer' that I got interested in Minis, and in 1984 we bought the X Rod Collingwood 2 time championship winning car to compete in classic racing. But that's another story as they say.

AMCO72
07-08-2011, 07:11 PM
Lincoln College, formerly Canterbury Agricultural College is hardly the sort of place one would associate with buying and selling performance cars, or have any connections with motorsport, but bear with me and I will explain. I have mentioned Lincoln a number of times in these stories...was there from 1959 to 1961 and the student car parks certainly resembled used car lots and a number of the cars parked therein were definately past their use buy date. I have already mentioned one of my escapades on the AJS 7R to 'win' the 5 shilling Morris. Christchurch,22 miles away was our entertainment centre, and Springston 3 miles up the road our drinking centre, so it was essential to have some form of transport or be able to hitch a ride, or you were house-bound. I did own the MG TC at the time but was kept at my parents home. We had an amazing collection of vehicles from which to choose, any one of which would be prized possessions in the VCC today. Lots of Fords...model A's and T's, Overland, Hudson, Chrysler, Whippet.....'finger-tip-control'....Reo, Buick, Austins and Morris's....no Jaguars. The bikes, all English of course, AJS, Triumph, Norton, BSA, Vellocette, Ariel, and Scott. There was a sort-of L.M.V.D. system working at the College, without the 'L' as vehicles were traded between the students so tended to stay on the campus. The ultimate car in my opinion was a 1928 Chrysler 77 roadster, the same model that came 6th and 7th in the 1929 Le Mans 24hr race. It had no hood, but who cared we just put on a raincoat when it was wet. Under the bonnet was a big lusty 6 cylinder side-valve engine that had a big lusty thirst for petrol, and we regularly exceed 70 mph in her on our forays into Christchurch. We had fitted our 'patented' oil injection system to some of the cars.....a small pipe leading into the exhaust manifold connected to a pump oil can in the cockpit. If we needed to set up a smoke screen, for what ever reason, all that was necessary was to pump some waste oil into the hot exhaust and, hey presto, instant smoke. We tried it during the capping procession through the streets of Christchurch in 1960 and the authorities were not impressed!! The old 5 shilling Morris never needed this device as it produced its own smoke screen.....not so much 'follow that car but follow that smoke'. Motor bikes were usually, but not always cheaper to buy than cars and were certainly a lot cheaper to run. I didnt have a bike licence...did you need one then, cant remember.. certainly no compulsory helmets and I did a lot of miles on them. My favourite was a Triumph Tiger 110. It that glorious sound that the Japanese manufacturers tried hard to imitate later..Suzuki I think,..I kid you not. Most if not all of the bikes had at some stage been raced and had good histories, and some were getting distinctly tired. Now the Lincoln pub, our 'local', was under the watchfull eye of Constable Paddy McGrail....'och aye the noo Jimmy'...who resided in Lincoln township. He knew that under age [21 years] students frequented the pub and would make lightning raids in his Ford Zephyr. Word quickly got around when he arrived and us illegal drinkers would try to escape out the back door, but Paddy was wise to that trick and generally rounded us up. What a sheepish looking lot we were!! I got fined 13 shillings and 6 pence for...'.being on licenced premises whilst under age' Wow, big deal. Well it was for my poor Mother when my name appeared in the court appearances section of the newspaper..'what will my friends think'!!! Actually Paddy, unlike a lot of the police, was an OK guy. He was just doing his job and we didn't hold it against him....I think he enjoyed giving the Zephyr a blast from Lincoln to Springston. So that was Lincoln, best years of my life and I'll bet the student car-parks today are filled with Jap imports. As beowulf said...boring.

Shano
07-08-2011, 07:39 PM
Well told Amco, loved the story about the smokescreen device. (BTW I got my car licence in about 1972 and that automatically qualified you for a bike licence, so you were legal.) Still got it, still ride bikes.

AMCO72
07-08-2011, 08:11 PM
Thanks Shano....we certainly had some fun, dont know how we found time to swat. As for bikes. I got all interested some years ago and thought I would just love to have a bike again. A dealer in Hamilton had a lovely Triumph Bonneville 750cc machine that had had total, 100% restoration. He had a sheaf of invoices and receipts an inch thick. The dealer allowed me to take them home where I spend ages checking them out. The restorers name was there so I gave him a ring. He was a Triumph man of course and the bike had been 'rescued' from a gang situation. He said he never intended to go so far on the restoration but just got carried away. Needless to say the cost in hours and money would never be recovered but he had to sell to pay some bills...very sad. Anyway I went for a spin, and do you know I got cramp within about 100 meters of the shop. The bike had low ape-hanger bars and I just couldnt get comfortable. Certainly went well although everything was tight, he cant have done many miles on it, and with my replacement knees screaming at me I decided, NO, I didnt need this. Anyway I would have had to put a snig chain around it in my garage or the 'tanga te whenua might have sneaked in during the night and 'borrowed' it. So I flagged it away. It didnt last long in the shop needless to say and I hope the new owner gets a lot of pleasure form it.

105angria
07-08-2011, 09:26 PM
what was the garage that was famous for WOF,s if the car wasnt quite right Tai Tap ?

AMCO72
07-08-2011, 10:47 PM
Tai Tapu.......dont know. We never used to worry about such formalities as a WOF. In those days the Rego and WOF were not tied, so all we did was register the vehicle, and if we got pulled up and had no warrant the fine was 10 shillings. So we paid that and got on with living. Actually cops were few and far between then. I have a story about a cop chasing me for 8 miles.....stupid really. I was in my XK120 C just minding my own business cruising back to the farm at Leeston at night, sitting just on 100mph. Imagine doing that today. I'll get it together and post later.

Shano
07-09-2011, 12:20 AM
THe said he never intended to go so far on the restoration but just got carried away.

That's what is known in bike resto circles as "scope creep."

Re warrants: we were sweet with that. Someone I know purloined two WOF books from the local garage when they left them lying round, so we had a ready supply of genyoowine wofs. I recall a traffic cop walking round my VW Kombi van - motocross bike transporter - shaking his head in disbelief looking at the totally rotten bodywork, and going back several times to study the newly-minted warrant on the windscreen. Computers have wrecked that sort of carry-on.

AMCO72
07-09-2011, 02:28 AM
OK, this has nothing to do with yards or anything else on this thread, it is just a bedtime story for your enjoyment. The story of the 8 mile chase happened in 1964 when I was managing a dairy farm on the outskirts of Leeston in Canterbury. Those familiar with the area will recall the long straight roads typical of Canterbury where high speeds could, and often were, maintained. These straights were bisected every so often by side-roads, often shingle, that gave access to the surrounding countryside. One summer evening after visiting my parents at Mt Pleasant and having enjoyed a nice home cooked meal...no wine...I was heading back to the farm. I had left the City boundary and was cruising along minding my own business, probably listening to the radio, or maybe the glorious sound of thre exhaust on the Jag, when, as I flashed past one of those side-roads I just caught a flash of a patrol car waiting just out of sight. I glanced at my speedo, as you did, needle wavering around 100mph, rev counter sitting on 4,500, and decided to keep going. After a short while I had another look in my rear vision mirror and could just make out the flashing light on the patrol car....they were small insignificant things then unlike the lighting displays today. I thought to myself....youll give up soon, Iv'e got a good start and I could easily push the old Jag beyond 100 if necessary. We continued like this for a while, the distance between us seemed to remain the same. Then I had a thought.....I wonder if the cop in the car was the one from Leeston, if so, I was known to him and he would get me eventually. Common sense prevailed and I 'slowed' to 70mph and kept going. Very gradually he caught me up, pulled alongside....they dont do that anymore....and ordered me to pull over which I dutifully did. He should have parked in front of me to prevent me from making a quick getaway as I was clearly a dangerous criminal, but no he pulled in behind. I again glanced in my mirror to see what he was doing...perhaps loading a gun... and noticed a cloud of steam/smoke issuing from all parts of the Zephyr, a mk3. The man himself hopped out, got halfway to my window, went back to retrieve his cap, and advanced to my now open window. He was clearly in a tiz. This was going to be official. His first words to me were not...'can I see your licence' but 'I'm going to throw the book at you'. Goodness I was in trouble this time.! My response in those days to jumped up cops was...NO response. The poor man was shaking from head to toe and not because it was a cold night....indead it had been a nor-wester that day and was distinctly warm, hence the elevated temparature on the Zephyr. [those Mk 3's were pretty good machines, had it been a Mk4 it would have blown up miles back] He eventually got the ticket written out, on a blue form I think.....my Dad used to get blueys regularly...and without wishing me so much as a good evening went back to the now clearly distressed patrol car. I was feeling very calm after all this, unusual for me, and continued on to the farm. Dont know what happened to the Zephyr but at the very least a head gasket job, and NO it wasnt the Leeston cop in the car after all, so I could have put my foot down and left him in the dust...bugger. I received a summons for my crime, although I didnt defend the charge, was only fined 13 pounds, probably because the officer had no idea what speed I was actually doing except for the last part of the chase when I slowed down to 70mph. I had expected a licence cancellation at the very least or maybe thrown in jail. You read of pursuits today that often end in crashes, but this was at 10 o'clock at night, on a safe and straight road, in a good car, with virtually no other traffic. A few days later I checked the distance from where I had been pulled over to the X road where it started......8 miles.

AMCO72
07-09-2011, 08:55 PM
We will get back to yards shortly so be patient. Yes Shano, all the fun has gone out of motoring now in this politicly and culturally correct world. We didnt worry about WOF's at Lincoln because quite frankly half the cars would have failed, and the WOF test then was a lot easier than now. Todays testers, at my garage anyway, wern't even born when they put my 1966 MG 1100 through. Back then a few pumps with the grease gun JUST before you drove to the garage usually did the trick and took up all the slack in steering components. And remember speeds weren't anything like they are today. A 50 mph open road limit was all that most cars were comfortable with and with relatively poor brakes you learned to drive very defensively. Can't remember what the road toll was then but I dont think it was studied quite as closely as it is today.

AMCO72
07-09-2011, 10:12 PM
What....no reply to my 8 mile chase story. Everyone must be in bed so I'll have a chat about another yard. Well not so much a yard as a dealership. Croziers in Christchurch was the Austin/BMC dealership in town and had in the early 60's one or two Mini Coopers on display.....cars that would later have a huge impact on the International Rallying scene. I remember visiting the showroom in 1958...my last year at school to check out the new Mini...probably an Austin Seven as they were called. Along with the rest of the ChCh car buying public I dismissed it as a funny little car that would never catch on. Croziers did a year or two later have a Cooper 'S' on display but they still looked like Minis and didnt interest me one bit. I was a 'dyed in the wool' English car enthusiast, as was my Dad although he made occasional forays into those funny foreign jobs....the Mercedes was one he did buy, but also got interested in Renault and Alfa Romeo, but I dragged him back into line fairly smartly. The little Lancia was the exception. Back to BMC cars. In those days we used to have the Mobilgas Economy run and the Austin 850's used to do quite well though I can't remember the details. Dominion Motors had the Morris version of the Mini and these two firms made a big thing out of the economy run results and eventually did very well.....so I was wrong about the Mini not catching on. While we are on the subject of ChCh, and I am obviously from there and I still have whanau down there.....we are thinking of you and how the place will change dramtically from how I remember it. I'm sure you will get it right eventually. Meantime keep warm and keep smiling....perhaps by reading some stories on this site.

pallmall
07-09-2011, 11:51 PM
"What....no reply to my 8 mile chase story."

Don't worry, I think we are all totally enthralled by your stories, and the memories.

AMCO72
07-10-2011, 12:48 AM
Thanks Pallmall, I was begining to get worried. Actually there was a Motorsport connection in the 8 mile chase bedtime story! The Mk3 Zephyr. May be it was too subtle.....think Ernie Sprague. Didnt Ernie and now Gary have a yard down Timaru way. I know nothing about it or them so perhaps someone can enlighten me and others. I was re-reading that 8 mile chase story and thought....100mph....160kph...wow big deal....your average 2 litre family saloon can do that today. Back then though your average 2 litre saloon couldn't get anywhere near that, 70 to 75 mph maybe, and that was it....downhill with a tail wind, and you better not keep it up for any length of time or your engine would end up like the Zephyrs'. You will have noticed that at 100 mph the big 3.5 litre, 220 hp Jaguar engine was turning over at 4,500 rpm, say 3200rpm at 60 mph. The family saloon now would hardly be doing 2,200 rpm at that speed now. They could really have geared up those long stroke motors a lot more, hence the use of overdrives, which made for much more relaxed driving. The XK didn't have overdrive, but had a close ratio gearbox with a very high 3rd gear which could take the car to around 110 mph, and on to perhaps 125 mph in top. Those high revs did not worry us at the time although the piston speeds must have been getting on towards the 2,500 ft/min that was considered unsafe to go beyond. Low revs on todays cars probably contributes to their long life, although I concede that metal technology, machining tolerances, oils and filters all help, and of course NO dusty roads so the engines are breathing cleanish air. Not sure what the top speed of the Zephyr would have been...probably about 90 mph, though the transport dept probably had 1/4 race camshafts and extractor exhausts on the patrol car engines, after all most of the stuff they had to 'chase' couldn't get anywhere near the Zephyrs top speed. I have never been a Ford man but have always liked the Mk3, unlike the Mk4 which was a pile of junk [in MY opinion] You see a few Mk3's restored today, usually in the hands of the rodding brigade, and it still looks a sharp car.

AMCO72
07-10-2011, 08:04 PM
Continuing on from the Mk3 Zephyr adventure, we really do need to do a bit about Ernie and his car, not just a mention of his yard on this site. The combination had a fearsome reputation on NZ race tracks way back when. I have a short video documentary done by TVNZ years ago ,where Ernie is being 'interviewed'...a rare thing for Ernie. He talks about recreating the car and how he found the original head and carbs in Thames [ theres that town again] He recalled that he was going to hang up his hat and invited Gary to 'step into my shoes'. His various exploits in the E49 Charger are also covered. Not one of our most lugubrious characters but by God what a determined driver. The video has some footage of Ernie giving the car some stick at Levels, or maybe Ruapuna, with that lovely 6 cylinder exhaust note booming round the track. In the film Ernie looks very old, and I say that in the nicest possible way... can hardly recognize him. Can hardly recognize the car either as it looks very pristine, unlike the battered old warhorse the original became in its racing days. It, or another recreation, appeared in the 1993 Hamilton Classic Street race....not the ideal circuit for a Mk3. So go for it someone who knows about this character, and no, I can't put the video on this thread because I haven't a clue how to do it....hopeless!!!!

105angria
07-11-2011, 12:18 AM
I have a clear picture of Sprague and Archiebold going nuts at Wigram both going off at last corner before start finish,into hay bales, finishing race with buckled wheels, all out racing

AMCO72
07-11-2011, 12:33 AM
Yep, that was Ernie. There are pictures of him entangled in the hay bales in Dunedin....he had the race in the bag but blew it on the last corner. You could say that about other drivers to..... big names, couldn't just cruise to the finish, had to keep racing!!!

AMCO72
07-11-2011, 01:24 AM
The documentary I mentioned is on Youtube. Just type in Ernie Sprague and youl'l see it. Good stuff. Turn the sound up!!!!

thunder427
07-11-2011, 03:42 AM
I have a clear picture of Sprague and Archiebold going nuts at Wigram both going off at last corner before start finish,into hay bales, finishing race with buckled wheels, all out racing

105angria,great race!!!,I was there that day,couple of my other favorites of that time where,Harold Heasley in 1600cc Humber 80, two tone Grey,if I'm remembering, then there was Bruce Kinset that pedal a ....wait for it!!!.....a 57/8 Vanguard blue if I remember correctly,no flash 'Graphics' in those days,but that was a 'spectacular' finish to that race,known as the "Allcomers", last race of the day and in my humble opinion,THE BEST RACE OF THE DAY!!!!!!.......regards thunder427/MJ

105angria
07-11-2011, 05:21 AM
Im guessing you may have some experiance at the Carlise st drags CHCH had some amazing hot cars in those days Roy Granger with the Orange Huski Sam NG Brighton ramp What was the infamous hot rod with the engine out of a killer Thunderbird ,Your Autorama that was Addington showgrounds?

Jac Mac
07-11-2011, 06:32 PM
That would have been the Barry Morgan built T-Bucket, not sure if second owner Bob Jarvis owned it at the Autorama show, I had a drive of the 'T' @ wanaka~68/69 & Barry still owned it then, think it was called 'TnT' IIRC.
Im guessing you may have some experiance at the Carlise st drags CHCH had some amazing hot cars in those days Roy Granger with the Orange Huski Sam NG Brighton ramp What was the infamous hot rod with the engine out of a killer Thunderbird ,Your Autorama that was Addington showgrounds?

AMCO72
07-11-2011, 08:09 PM
Listen up......a bit of psychology.......if your not into that sort of rubbish, don't read this!! The human mind is a wonderful thing, mention a name and it takes off in a Google like frenzy searching for connections with similar threads. There has not been a huge response to the original title, as I suspect all the yards of interest had disappeared at the end of the 1970's. Now I know that a lot of the contributors here are of an age that will remember such yards, but then again a lot aren't. You would have to have been born at least by 1950 to have any memory of them. So perhaps we could slightly modify the title of this thread from...car yards with........to, car YARNS with Motorsport connections. A term you dont hear much these days is....someone with a 'one track mind'. That person can focus on one thing to the exclusion of all others. Fortunately most of us can do some lateral thinking and allow ourselves the luxury to drift in all directions. Might I suggest, with the permission of our co-ordinator of course, that instead of creating ANOTHER thread, we adopt a lateral thinking mode in car yards/yarns, while perhaps keeping the original title as our heading. Obviously when a good subject comes up we can concentrate on that in another title, but there are masses of little anecdotes out there that can't support a thread of their own and will be lost forever if not jotted down. I know that a lot of people are shy about writing things down as they think they are not 'educated' enough. I edited a car club magazine years ago and had the very devil of a job to get members to contribute. I told them that, I, as editor would 'clean up' their grammar if necessary before publication....but no. A lot of members were just happy to look and read even though they ALL had a story to tell. But thats OK..takes all sorts, and the fact that increasing numbers of lookers are plugging into 'the roaring season' shows there is big interest out there. There are similar forums going on all over the world and I note that one is having a bit of strife at the moment because someones 'comments' have upset someone else. I have been repeatedly told that this is a FRIENDLY forum of like minded enthusiasts for sharing photos/memories/ stories etc.....keep it light.....don't get stroppy. I'm trying.

woody
07-11-2011, 08:53 PM
TnT is owned By Barry. Bought it back and restored it. Barry lives in Wanaka.

pallmall
07-12-2011, 04:07 AM
I like the idea of it being Yards and Yarns.

Steve, can you fix it please?

David McKinney
07-12-2011, 08:15 AM
ALL threads include yarns...

Steve Holmes
07-12-2011, 06:17 PM
OK guys, thread title has been changed as requested.

AMCO72
07-12-2011, 07:59 PM
'All threads include yarns'......yep, and I hope we can keep weaving threads, and that the yarns are not too implausable. After all, a yarn is part of the rich tapestry of life, and I hope I don't screw up.

AMCO72
07-13-2011, 12:04 AM
John Sergel Motors, one of dozens of yards down Addington road in Christchurch. John was part of the Sergel family that owned Southwell School in Hamilton, so not short of a bob. He was a good friend of mine at school in the 50's, probably because we were both hopeless at sport....John because he had had polio as a child and his body wasn't up to active sport, and me just because I hated the fact that it was compulsory. I couldn't see the point of running round a paddock in the middle of winter, getting cold and muddy, chasing a football! Johns polio didn't count either, you had to have spina bifida to get out of games!!!! John did have special dispensation to drive a car to school on a daily basis, the only day boy at that time to do so. His mother had bought him a new Standard 10 which he always drove with great gusto, an attribute that stood him in good stead when he later competed in the tough world of rallying. He competed in a number of International events...Heatway etc, and also in rallysprints.....Ashley Forest and others, and his name appears in the results tables of the time. On the odd occasion when we could skip sport after school, John would drive out the school gates in his car and I would follow on foot. We would meet at a prearranged spot down the road out of sight of the school, where I would get into the car and duck-down low so as I couldn't be seen, and we would head out into the country to find a good shingle road, of which there were plenty then, and John would practice rally driving while I 'navigated'!!!!!!! The thing I remember about John's driving was that he always had his left hand tucked under his leg on the seat, and just whipped it out for gearchanging and other more difficult tasks. His hand and arm may have been affected by the polio, but I always marvelled at his one handed car control!! I visited John some years later when he had his yard and he didn't seem to be too pleased to see me....this after what I had thought had been a good friendship at school. I later found out that he had been doing some dodgy deals, I have no idea what, but he obviously thought I knew all about it and was distinctly cagey . John was always very dismissive of circuit racing drivers. He decided that rally drivers were much more skilled....I was inclined to agree, but I conceded they are very different skills. When I think of John I remember what Timo Makinen said after one of the Monte's.......'you have to have a big VILLING to VIN. Amen to that.

AMCO72
07-13-2011, 08:03 PM
George Palmers' garage and service station was in upper Victoria street in Hamilton. Probably the better known Palmer was Jim, a very successful single seater driver, but George was good driver in his own right with victories to his credit. He had a single seater Cooper Bristol which he campagned for a couple of seasons, eventually selling to Len Gilbert who had a sports car type body constructed on it...well fairing the rear wheels and guards on the front....so he could compete with the sports cars. Hardly a thing of beauty but that was the key then....you did what ever was necessary to compete. Saw Jim at the Bruce McLaren festival, still very recognizable with his distinctive hair style...just a little older and greyer. He was sitting in one of his old cars, warming up the mechanicals before taking it out for some demo laps. He looked fairly bemused, and could have been thinking....'how the hell did I drive these things'. There are quite a few drivers from that era who you would think would be right into Historic motorsport now, but aren't. Maybe they have moved on from those days and just an occasional guest drive is plenty for them. Ken Smith is the obvious exception here.

AMCO72
07-14-2011, 06:33 PM
Saw a post last night that featured a race car powered by an outboard motor engine, not the first time time thats been done, or maybe it was. Anyway I got thinking...lateral thinking.....why not motor mowers? Probably stepping out on a limb here as I'm interpreting motorSPORT in the widest possible way. 250F to ZTR....sublime to the ridiculous. The ZTR is not some Corvette powered super mower.... stands for Zero Turn Radius....a handy feature on a ride-on. Modifications to 'racing' mowers are limited, removal of the cutting device, speed is relative, BUT it brings a smile to your face. When was the last time you saw spectators SMILING at motoracing? They are all standing, or sitting there, looking like stunned mullets thinking of the next hot-dog and chips!!!!! Anyway we went a step further at Lincoln College. I worked as a farm trainee on the Lincoln farms in 1959 and we would have clandestine 'race meetings' with the tractors we were assigned to drive. The College farms had about 18 tractors for the various jobs that we did on the mixed cropping unit. At the end of the days work a group of us that had been working adjacent paddocks would get together for an impromptu 1/4 mile drag down the farm track, before heading for the yard. Ferguson, Ford, Allis Chalmers and Massey Harris models all took part, but the King was always the Massey-Harris....this was before the Massey Ferguson. The tractor in question was the early 50's Massey Harris 101 which had ,unusually, a 6 cylinder Chrysler based car engine fitted as standard. We discovered that if we attached a length of baling twine from the governor arm to the steering wheel, we could over ride it's job of controlling engine revs from about 2500 to about 3500! All that was needed was a good tug on the string...trying to hold the string AND steer at the same time was a bit like the proverbial one armed paper hanger, and we had a few mishaps that had to be explained to the farm manager...Tom Taylor. Tom used to cruise round all day in his MK2 Consul ute checking up on us trainees...good job. The tractor fleet, all petrol engined, provided a source of fuel for the student cars. We could never siphon off too much, as fuel use was recorded but we got away with a gallon or two!!!! [you didn't read that] These days at the National Fieldays in Hamilton they have what is called the tractor pull where custom built machines with supercharged 1000hp engines, sometime 2, compete for trophys. There are usually some spectacular blow-ups but all this may have been started by a group of farm trainees doing 1/4 mile sprints on old Fergies all those years ago!

AMCO72
07-15-2011, 04:28 AM
Going on from there, I was thinking of SMILING at motoracing and todays crowd looking so damn glum, is it that all the excitement has gone out of motoracing. I wonder. Maybe in todays world with all the violence and mayhem on our telly screens, excitement means more than just a few cars going round and round. As I said my buddy John Sergel was very dismissive of circuit racers, where as rallying....now there was where the excitement is. Take a look at the crowds at those old race meetings. Have a look, not just at the cars, but the backgrounds, of the amazing photos posted on here by members. What was it back then? Well the cars were pretty wild LOOKING....they sure as hell were noisy, smelly, and all seemed ready to blow up any second. Drivers wrestling with the steering wheel trying to control the monster beneath them...poor suspension and tyres not helping. Just getting to the chequered flag by sheer guts. Todays stuff is all so antiseptic, so politically correct, so predictable....it's no wonder the hot dog and chips stands do so well. Iv'e often said that the only class today that is actually RACING are the formula Fords. They at least have...shock, horror.......overtaking!! Promoters wouldn't dare have the Porsche GT class as the last race on the programme as all the patrons would be heading for the exit gate. How can cars that can exceed 300kph be boring? I'm sure they are not boring to drive, in fact they are not. I have done a few laps with a decent driver, and I can tell you they are terrifying. So it's back to the spectacle of motoracing......the watching public.....the folk we try to entice to our meetings. Perhaps that is why classic racing has the following that it does. Just ask someone like Dale Mathers, who knows a thing or two about cars that look the part, and I'm sure that he will tell you that the cars are the stars at these meetings.....they LOOK, and SOUND, and SMELL..........like racing cars.

pallmall
07-15-2011, 07:12 AM
Too true.
How about choosing between watching these or another one make series, or for that matter a two make series.
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/1A%20Tasman%20Cars/083750x379.jpg

beowulf
07-15-2011, 06:45 PM
Well said Amco 72. I couldn't even be bothered going to Hamilton this year. After watching it on TV I am pleased I didn't as it would have been several hundred dollars that could have been better spent on the race car. The crowds in the amazing pictures we are watching are incredible. The numbers, the hairstyles, the side burns, a lot leaner, the cars in the background. About the only thing that is better now is the dolly brollies. Back then half of the adventure of going to the races was getting there, and back home. Drive from Masterton to Puke all Friday night, through the old Maungaweka's stuck behind the slowest Bedford truck in the world. There were some super slow ones. Watch practise and racing on Saturday and Sunday, sneak into the pits when the whitecoats weren't watching, a pair of grubby overalls worked well, "sorry mate I left my tickets with my good gear, Jimmy Richards will tell you I am part of his crew". After the last race we would then drive all the way back to Masterton, eating pies to keep us going. All this in a car that would qualify for the Vintage Car Club. Ah the good old days, it was all a lot simpler then.

AMCO72
07-15-2011, 11:37 PM
All this reminiscing, bad for you. But why was it a lot simpler then beowulf? I think telly has got to take a lot of the blame. But just look at that photo from pallmall...what a sight. A wobbly old AUTOMATIC Ford verses Bernie in the Mini...great stuff. Big verses small...10000cc verses 6000cc....and all competing together, and frankly who cares who won, it was a tussle. You might say, how can a 1000cc car compete against a 6000cc car, well it's surprising how well they do, but then there is always handicapping. Dennis Marwood has famously said that he can't see the point of a handicap race....well maybe he was always on the front row of the grid. I have watched some of the best racing ever under a handicap system. The endeavours of the back markers carving their way through the field has produced some absolutely riveting displays of driving skill. The spectators are sure as hell not going to the hot dog stand....they are busy calculating in their heads, watching the gap close, can he do it!!! Then the last frantic lap, if the handicapper has got it right, and the drivers are behaving. Theoretically they should all cross the line together. Of course this never happens...drivers get baulked, some cars suddenly find a few more horsepower, but usually it is pretty good. If you want a good example of a recent David and Goliath battle, and there have been a few, go to....youtube...skope classic, fogg morris [3 way battle]. Is a short clip taken by some cowboys on the top of a bus at Ruapuna this year. No one told Foggy not to take on the Sylvester Chev, and the X Reg Cook Datsun, certainly NOT in a Morris '1100', but being a racer he did. The Morris didn't win, but had the crowd on it's feet. The film shows why Classic racing is so good and believe you me those drivers are pushing those valuable cars HARD, and everyone is rooting for the underdog not the hotdog!!!!!! Even the young folk at the meetings, those bought up on 1 or 2 make racing get excited not just old fogeys [sic] like us.

pallmall
07-17-2011, 04:37 AM
I hope somebody from the Manawatu can tell a few tales about Pringle Motors in Palmerston North. It must have bee a go to place for those building race cars, hot rods, etc. in the sixties.
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/RANDOM/7750x545.jpg

AMCO72
07-18-2011, 12:56 AM
What a neat picture posted by pallmall of the old Ford outside Pringle Motor Supplies in the Manawatu. Bought to mind another Lincoln story. I have also been reading Scott Thomsons book....'Up to Speed'....the Roycroft years in NZ motoracing. Amazing stuff, and what a collection of photos, mostly B&W from the family album. I see one of Rons early speedway midgets was powered by a B4 engine, then a Plymouth 6. The B4 was the successor to the ubiquitous Model A but a much better engine in terms of smoothness...I think 'Henry' was actually balancing his cranks then. The B4 roadster became the machine of choice for the Hot Rod boys and with a V8 transplant was turned into some rather beautiful rods for the Bonneville speed weeks. So popular was it ,that to find a B4 in it's original shape today is rare, and I think a few have been restored back to their pre Hot Rod form. Anyway the next yarn features both these cars so here goes. A pal at Lincoln bought a fairly basic B4 while we were there. This chap, Brydon, had an insatiable appetite for cars and girls and we just couldn't keep up with his purchases and 'pussies'....the pillion variety, because at the start he had motorbikes. He was in fact the most hopeless rider....no 100mph pillion rides to get 5/- Morris's with him. Of course bikes are the most inconvienient things to carry girls around on, and some of the girls mothers had literally told him...'on yer bike sonny'....dont even think of taking my daughter out on that!! So while Brydon was casting his eye around for new girls, he was also casting his eye out for a suitable vehicle with which to impress these stroppy old tarts.....the mothers that is......and came up with a beaut. A 1938 Ford coupe... similar to the one in the picture......fitted three across the front very cosily, but Brydon being a very impatient bloke often had trouble starting the thing. With those old flat-heads you had to hold your tongue just right or they would refuse to kick into life. Brydon soon got sick of this nonsense and the next thing we know he turns up in a 1938 Morris 8 sports. What a sweet little car that was but at completely the opposite end of the performance scale to the V8. Problem was that Brydon found the Morris a bit TOO cosy with not enough room for 'heavy petting'. Blow me down a few weeks and a few different 'birds' later he shows up with the B4. It had had a mild chop 'n' channel and was fitted with a side valve V8 with special heads. It could go like stink, and was reputed to be able to exceed 90 mph in 2nd gear!! I think Brydon had tested this claim and the car had very nearly pitched him into the ditch. He got no sympathy from us and frankly was the most unsuitable vehicle for his needs, so he traded it, and the girl, on something new.....a 1936 Chev sedan.....of Roycroft engine transplant fame. Brydon had fitted this machine with a quick release seat back on the front bench, so that when things started to get a bit steamy with his latest catch, a sharp yank on the quick release and.....hey presto...instant bed!!!!!!! Thinking back on the starting procedure of those old flat-heads. I have driven a number of Ford V8 trucks on farms and almost without exception the drill was....full choke..full throttle. If it didn't start almost immediately you might as well have walked away and done something else. Can still hear that starter motor engaging with that ominous 'thunk'. Not sure whether they were 6 or 12 volt but the engines always seemed to be churning over very slowly.

pallmall
07-18-2011, 04:48 AM
Oh, they were 6 volt. First job on an old V8, change it over to 12 volt.

AMCO72
07-18-2011, 10:36 PM
I should have said that the B4 had a 3 speed gearbox, but even so, 90 mph in 2nd gear! Would that have been possible, or was it just an urban myth....the hotrod boys will know. And yes, the heads really were special, they had some sort of finning on them, the only detail I can remember....weren't just old heads with some silver paint sloshed on them. The thing is those old engines did the business with torque rather than revs. When I hear the old Gee Cee Ess 'chuffing' along these days it all sounds very relaxed compared to some of the screamers around it. Too many revs and that old enemy of the race motor, heat, sets in, and there were more steaming kettles on the track than at a Sunday school picnic!! Vintage car man Roy Rowe has a classic flathead V8 midget speedway car which I watched at the recent Roycroft Trophy meeting at Hampton Downs. A beautiful little machine with a wonderful history and really looking the part in it's yellow paint job.. He was telling me of his efforts to keep the thing cool..ish...and the water in the radiator where it belonged, it being a much more efficient item than the original. Indeed he has gone to 'waterless' coolant....very expensive but it works and allows a much higher boiling point. He was also saying that in the flathead V8 the exhaust gasses exit the block in such a way as to heat up the coolant even more than usual....is this right, can't remember the details. There are some pictures of the old GCS with a massive truck-like radiator that George has No8 wired on to the front of the beast in an attempt to keep the temparature down....didn't help the steamlining much. So, 90 mph in 2nd gear with a 3 speed box...yes or no. Has been worrying me for 50 years. I need to know, otherwise my vision of Brydon in the B4 ending up in the ditch will be for nothing.

bry3500
07-19-2011, 12:47 AM
off to school...I remember coming back from Ruapuna one day..back roads of Halswell and the wooden floor boards popping out with the air pressure

pallmall
07-19-2011, 04:04 AM
The Ford Flathead V8 engine is probably the worlds most efficient water heater! Especially the early versions.
But, I still love them.

We always raced our flathead stockcars in second gear, with a hook on the dash to put the gearlever in to stop the box jumping out of gear.

90 mph in second in a tuned flathead with alloy heads and maybe multiple carbs? Maybe, she would be screaming, certainly in top gear it would be possible.

Steve Holmes
07-19-2011, 05:57 AM
off to school...I remember coming back from Ruapuna one day..back roads of Halswell and the wooden floor boards popping out with the air pressure

Thats a curious looking beast Bry. Looks like a truck but it has car rear windows. Is it one of those World War II cut down cars turned into a truck? Front looks like 37 Ford. Or 38 Standard? Bet it was fun though!

105angria
07-19-2011, 07:52 AM
mums car bri

bob homewood
07-19-2011, 08:12 AM
We always raced our flathead stockcars in second gear, with a hook on the dash to put the gearlever in to stop the box jumping out of gear.
.[/QUOTE]

A old pair of underpants with a decent waist elastic was a good ticket to boost up the gearbox detents ,one end around the lever the other end hooked onto somewhere convenient on the dash

bry3500
07-19-2011, 09:14 AM
Engine always sounded great changing into 2nd gear

AMCO72
07-19-2011, 06:25 PM
Holy smoke......we are coming perilously close to breaking the rules here fellas. Steve has laid down the forum rules...no porn!! All this mention of underpants holding things from jumping out!!!! We have obviously struck a nerve here, mention a flat-head V8 and folks eyes go all glassy.I just thought they were cantankerous old devils just like Henry 1 himself. The legend in my day was that because the pistons in a V8 were sort of lying on their side, the cylinder wall only wore on that side, making the cylinder oval, and that is why so many old V8's smoked so much. I think a few, quite a few, tubes of Holts Piston Seal were purchased then to try and 'cure' that problem. Remember that stuff. The claim was that you could squirt a tube-full in each plug hole, replace the plugs, start the engine, and in a couple of minutes....a reconditioned engine! Well not quite. What happened was that the Piston Seal burnt to form carbon which gummed up the gaps between the cylinder and piston thereby increasing compression and reducing oil burning...smoking. I tried this on the Singer when I first got it and it SEEMED to work for a while. Then I got really keen and stripped the motor down for a 'proper' recondition and discovered that the Piston Seal had also gummed up the rings, what was left of them, and actually made the condition worse. I eventually re-ringed the 8 hp Singer engine with...CORDS rings...'designed especially for the worn motor'....remember them? The Piston Seal would have been OK for an unscrupulous car sales man....surely there weren't any of those....attempting to sell a 'smoker' to an unsuspecting buyer. Good try Holts, you must have sold thousands of tubes. And the answer to my question, straight from the horses mouth....a B4 COULD get to 90 mph in 2nd gear. There you go Brydon, you weren't having us on after all. I apologise for doubting you.

bry3500
07-20-2011, 12:24 AM
It was a 38 Steve..had a split rear window and a hand made wooden deck..handling was ..erm ..interesting to say the least

bry3500
07-20-2011, 12:28 AM
Mum had a Triumph Mayflower 105Angria... and it could outdrag a 100E :)

AMCO72
07-20-2011, 02:02 AM
Am I guessing right here......bry1500 and 105Angria.....are brothers now living in Australia? Have looked up the New Members page but doesn't enlighten me anymore. Like to know who I'm dealing with just in case I tread on someones toes!! You can see who I am by the way. Steve, shouldn't the new members page identify who your members are, or perhaps you do know, should there be any controversy if so, thats OK.

105angria
07-20-2011, 02:18 AM
Hi Amco72 not brothers but bros both lived in ChCH around the same time but didnt know each other,became good friends in Melbourne years ago, he has been a major help in the restoration of my Anglia sports sedan, he has a great eye for patina, and handcut decals,also does fab watercolour and pastal pics of historics , maybe one of the better base players in the country, we share a passion for volume colour and speed, a lot of Wigram can do that to a young person

AMCO72
07-20-2011, 02:38 AM
Thanks 105 Angria.......thought I might have been dealing with someone famous....you and he. He must be a talented guy, and probably you to, but I appreciate your reply. I am originally from ChCh as you have probably deduced. Lived on Mt. Pleasant...scene of some destruction now I'm afraid. Always thought I would like to go back and live there but not now I'm afraid. If you lived near Wigram you will know that the base is largely, or soon to be housing...shame. Anyway good to catch up.

105angria
07-20-2011, 03:08 AM
Thanks amco72 Didnt live near Wigram but had xmas holidays there up from Dunedin stayed with grangparents in Haytons Rd which was the main way into the track for everything used to watch the weekend unfold flatdeck trucks with haybails ,grandstands all the cars in and out from about 1962 up until the f5000s aussie sportsedan challange saw the first gold leaf Lotus wings allcomers Clark Rindt Hill still have the programs these things infect you for life in the best ways

Steve Holmes
07-20-2011, 03:23 AM
Am I guessing right here......bry1500 and 105Angria.....are brothers now living in Australia? Have looked up the New Members page but doesn't enlighten me anymore. Like to know who I'm dealing with just in case I tread on someones toes!! You can see who I am by the way. Steve, shouldn't the new members page identify who your members are, or perhaps you do know, should there be any controversy if so, thats OK.

Gerald, I like for everyone to enter a few details about themselves in the New Members section, as its a bit like going to a big party. You want to get to know everyone and let them get to know you. I encourage it, but its not compulsory. I know there are some people who'd prefer not to post anything about themselves, and thats fine.

AMCO72
07-20-2011, 06:06 PM
Thinking about the Holts Piston Seal in the last post brings to mind another product that has come in for a bit of stick. Bar's Leaks. It has become fashionable to rubbish this stuff but I have fond memories of it, especially the smell. Was always a good idea to have a can in the glove box just in case you were caught short, especially in the old jalopies we used to drive. Anyway the problem with Bar's Leaks was that it was usually, if not always, added to cooling systems when everything was on it's last legs, and with all the sludge and gunk still in there ended up like a kind of thick soup. However....IF THE INSTRUCTIONS WERE FOLLOWED...read drain system and flush....it was OK. Bar's Leaks was made up of a spoonful of little brown pellets and soluble oil. The pellets dissolved in the hot water, then adhered to areas where seepage was occuring, building up to eventually plug the hole. The liquid was soluble oil which was why the stuff turned milky when poured into the radiator. The soluble oil raised the boiling point of the coolant from 212 F to about 235 F so was usefull in that respect. We still use soluble oil in the cooling system of the Amco Mini today, just as Dave and Rod did in 1972....good stuff. Bar's Leaks is still on the market, maybe improved but seems to have lost it's smell. There are lots of other radiator/cooling system/ head gasket sealers for sale today, which just maybe superior, but good old Bar's Leaks got us out of some sticky situations a few times. You could also hunt down the nearest poultry farm or shop and buy a couple of eggs to crack into the radiator. Have not tried this but apparently works. 'Scrambled eggs anyone'.......

beowulf
07-21-2011, 10:04 AM
A long time ago I shepherded on a large station out on the coast at Waipawa. There was three single shepherds, a married head shepherd and three married odd job men. A great life if you were young and fit. We all drove cars that were early thirties, I had a Model A, my mate a 6 cylinder trucked Chev of the same vintage, a 1938 Hudson Coupe and various others. We used to recycle our oil, very green. When you changed the oil in the car you refilled from the top of a 44 gallon open drum. Then you tipped your old oil into that drum. The theory was that all the gunk would drop to the bottom leaving clean oil on the top. Occasionally the drum would be emptied and cleaned out and the cycle would start again.
Considering that oil from the tractor, bulldozer, Lister Stationery motor, etc, all went into that drum it was a pretty potent brew. While we had some mechanical problems from time to time I can"t remember any bearing problems. Must have been the pine needles, bird droppings, birds and once an opossum that ended up in that drum. Thank goodness for crank handles as there was only about one decent battery between the lot of us. You always parked on top of a hill.

AMCO72
07-21-2011, 05:53 PM
Well there you go, I knew there was an Historic Motorsport connection with Bar's Leaks somewhere. What an endorsement for a product from no less than the great Jack Brabham. I wonder if he got a couple of dollars/pounds for that little gem. Of course the other blurb on the can included the words..'.this is not a permanent repair'.....well mostly it was, until something drastic happened. But just remember that the cooling systems then were not pressurised, so you could get away with a lot more, and there was about 3 times as much water to play with compared to a modern system, so you could go a fair way before there was trouble.

AMCO72
07-22-2011, 06:15 PM
Anyone remember the standing and flying 1/4 mile sprints that the Hamilton Car Club held on the Bruntwood straight.....was on the back road between Hamilton and Cambridge. At that time, 1967, there were only about two farm houses down that stretch of road and most of the land either side was owned by a rough-as-guts farmer....Walter Byrne. I had a farm just a mile further on from the 'straight' in Mills road and used to attend this, what was an annual event. The last time I saw Logan Fow and the Ferrari GTO was there...wish I'd had a camera. Another competitor was Dennis Marwood in the Humber 80. Walter, the rough-as guts' farmer had a Daimler SP250 which he used to literally blow the cobwebs out of. Also a strange early front engined dragster powered by a WW2 Allison aircraft engine.....the type that powered the Mustang...the American fighter/bomber that is. I remember the 'officials' getting all us spectators well back from the road before they would let this thing go. Had a remote starter that plugged into the side. It certainly sounded the part but was disappointing as far as time was concerned, popping and banging it's way down the course. Logan could have given it 100 meters start and still beaten it in the GTO. There was also another very rough, and I mean ROUGH, old HWM sports car..maroon in colour with disc wheels that had been hugely extended. I recall this because not only had they been extended but also had pieces of steel strip spaced round the wheel like spokes to strengthen the widened piece. One of the strips had FALLEN OFF...shonky welding....and the owner was attempting to remove the strip opposite to try and balance the wheel.!!!!!!!!!!! Imagine that flying off when the car was doing a run. Anyway it was just a heap of junk, although probably hugely valuable today. I think Marwood had a better time. But everyone was there having a go with scrutinering in an adjacent paddock. One competitor with a Wolseley 6/99 was having a 'discussion' with the official who had just failed the Wolseley because of a worn tie-rod end. The said competitor was really getting very wound up and giving the tester a tune-up, telling him that the car would be OK because 'he was a mechanic and knew about these things'. Imagine that today.......'on yer bike sonny'.

AMCO72
07-22-2011, 08:19 PM
Just as a little aside to that yarn. As I said we lived a bit further along from the 'straight' and use to traverse that piece of road a lot. Walter Byrne, the rough-as-guts farmer who owned most of the land both sides of the road was not overly fussy about the condition of his fences, so although the road might have been traffic free, it was not always STOCK free, and Walters sheep were often out grazing the 'long acre' One evening my wife, Judith, was returning home to the farm after attending some soiree in Hamilton. At that time we owned the Fiat 1500 Crusader, the car Ron Roycroft approved of. Judith fancied herself as a bit of a hot-shot behind the wheel, and the Fiat had a bit of get-up and go. She must have been dreaming of Logan Fow in the Ferrari doing the flying 1/4 as she headed down the straight and gave the car a bit of wellie!! Anyway one of Walters sheep just happened to want to cross the road as the Fiat, just getting into it's stride, bore down on it. The poor sheep never stood a chance and the car hit it full on. Judith being a very compassionate person decided NOT to stop, as the animal was surely dead judging by the impact, and continued on to the farm where she sheepishly regailed me with the details. I immediately questioned her as to the state of the car and her response was, bugger the car, what about me!!!! Well, I had eyes, I could see that she was still standing and walking ,so was OK , wasn't she? I was also a very compassionate person, and decided that I had better go and check on the sheep to make sure it was dead and not suffering, lying on the side of the road with terrible abrasions. I was thinking I could toss the dead animal in the boot and fill the freezer with some free mutton. Well I hunted high and low for that dammed sheep but there was no sign of it. Maybe it was catapaulted into the paddock out of harms way. And the Fiat only suffered minor denting to the front guard. Amazing.

Jac Mac
07-23-2011, 12:13 AM
The 'Rough' HWM thing you mentioned was likely the John Donnelly HWM Corvette.

Not sure I agree with you in regards to the tech standards of today or the mechanical knowledge of competitors in general, there are many drivers/competitors today that wouldnt have a clue what end of a hammer to hold onto, & I see far to many examples of bad & dangerous engineering with recent tech stickers that have obviously passed over faults that have been present for some time.

AMCO72
07-23-2011, 01:16 AM
Jac Mac.......in your reply to my bit on the Bruntwood sprints you have got rough in inverted comas 'ROUGH' Are you questioning my description of the car as it was then? I dont know Mr Donnelly or whether he owned it then and maybe now, but I assure you it was ROUGH, rough everywhere...no inverted comas! The fact that something so obvious as welded steel strips on the wheels were detaching themselves maybe points to slack scrutineering or slack preparation. I'm sure that you, if you have scrutineered cars, and it sounds as though you have, have come up against all sorts of bodgy tricks that people have tried to get away with. The fact that you say that faults have been present for some time is a bit of a worry, and sounds a bit strange to me, as it suggests that a number of different scrutineers at different tracks have overlooked a potentially dangerous bit of engineering. And yes there most certainly are drivers today who, unlike the Wolseley 6/99 owner, are not mechanics backsides!

bob homewood
07-23-2011, 01:25 AM
2508

bry3500
07-23-2011, 01:51 AM
that Bars Leaks Ad reminds me of that Stalwart of of Kiwi Do-it-yourself - Robbie !!

Jac Mac
07-23-2011, 05:14 AM
Bob, sounds like you & I might be cut from the same piece of cloth..:)

AMCO72, The pic I have of the HWM in the NZ motor Racing photo book 1966, its definitely in need of some care & attention, so I agree with your 'rough' description. Interestingly Lycoming Special features in the same photos & also wheels with similar steel strips!. However the strength of any wheel modded in that fashion was largely in the hands of the guy on the welder.
With reference to 'bodgy tricks', no these cars or more correctly owners/drivers have been unaware of the potential danger they are/were in, they knew that something might be amiss, but had no idea what that might be, In some cases they had taken steps to address the problems, but the root cause had not been found, simply because it was so basic in nature & overlooked.

I widened/made most of the steel wheels on cars I raced, was convinced by the 'techs' @ Teretonga when I built the V8 Cortina that they would prefer I used a 'MANZ' preferred wheel manufacturer in the future, did as I was told & ordered a couple of alloy wheels. What happened, second club meeting & the center of the RF disintergrated, luckily on the slow down lap, VP of MANZ came over for a look afterwards, I left him with a very clear direction on where he could stick their recommended suppliers from there onwards.

nigel watts
07-23-2011, 05:30 AM
I was in the Hamilton car club in the mid 60's and can remember the V12 engined dragster. I seem to remember that the whole run was done at not much more than idle speed, and yes it popped and banged the whole way!! Safety standards were pretty laughable in those days too. I think we only had to stand in the paddock behine the fence!! Also remember going to some of the hillclimbs that HCC put on at Horohora. Red Dawson storming up the hill in his Willys Corvette was fairly spectacular to say the least!

David McKinney
07-23-2011, 09:57 AM
I remember the HWM-Corvette (as it was by then) getting scruffier and scruffier with each year

But in defence of John Donnelly, if you're right about the year, he would no longer have been the owner/driver

stubuchanan
07-23-2011, 10:06 AM
Didn't look too bad in 1965 for 12+ year old car.

AMCO72
07-23-2011, 05:30 PM
OK, so who was the owner in 1967/68 when it 'competed' at the Hamilton Car Club sprints, because it has done a BIG downhill slide from that picture. Its condition when I saw it looked as though it had taken part in a Butchers Picnic race at the speedway!!! Originally the car would have had an Alta motor, I think, then maybe a Jaguar engine would have been fitted fairly soon because the Alta was a pretty dismal thing. It certainly had wire wheels, as the photo shows. The wheels in 1967 were solid of some sort, as widening wire wheels leads to all sorts of problems, not least the access to the centre-lock wheel spinners. You have to wonder at it's miserable life in 2 or 3 years. Mind you we were pretty rough back then. There is that well known picture of John Riley, fag hanging out of his mouth, in the Monza Ferrari with silver overspray all over his tyres after some touching up with the spray can! Does anyone know what happened to the HWM, can't recall seeing it at at Classic racing events. I mean this was an iconic car in it's day so I'm sure it 'survived'......it was only JUST surviving in 1967. Probably snapped up by some English entrepreneur and whisked back home. Just maybe the owner of the HWM at that meeting , is out there, reading this, and can enlighten us, because I'm almost certain that it not make any runs that day because of problems other than 'loose' tacked on spokes.

AMCO72
07-23-2011, 06:03 PM
Right, got that out of my hair, now the other iconic car at the sprints that day was the 'other' GTO. It is very common amongst car spotters to exclaim how UGLY the car was, well sometimes I wonder if these people have actually SEEN the car in the flesh and heard it running. You can't compare it with the 'real' GTO as clearly the whole thing is a compromise with the short wheel base. But I put it to you that it is one of the MEANEST looking machines you will ever see. Look at that photo of DT4889 in post 9 of the GTO thread, obviously fresh out of the panel-beaters, perhaps that should be body-shop, and another one with Pat Hoare standing proudly beside it, and if that doesn't break your heart then you have no business reading these pages. By the time Logan had purchased it, it was starting to look a bit scruffy and it didn't improve in his ownership.We had it in a motor show in the Claudlands show building in Hamilton where that first picture in the GTO thread was taken, and you can see the faded looking red paintwork, more orangey than Ferrari red, The whole thing was starting to get loose and floppy back then, maybe the harsh suspension had shaken it to bits because I'm sure it had not done a big mileage. The other thing was that the interior was so tacky! The trim round the dash/doors etc was some weird sort of black padded diamond embosed vinyl!!!! Can you imagine it, well it's worse that that, it all looked so amateurist. Was supposed to have been done by some upholstery guru in ChCh, well I dont know who picked the material but he [would have to be a he] had no taste. The instruments were oddly laid out too from memory. BUT, I dont care.....that car really did it for me, and frankly I dont give a stuff what the car-spotters think or say, that machine should never have been put back to original. Was absolutely unique, and I'll have it in my garage any time thank you!!

beowulf
07-23-2011, 07:27 PM
Jac Mac.......in your reply to my bit on the Bruntwood sprints you have got rough in inverted comas 'ROUGH' Are you questioning my description of the car as it was then? I dont know Mr Donnelly or whether he owned it then and maybe now, but I assure you it was ROUGH, rough everywhere...no inverted comas! The fact that something so obvious as welded steel strips on the wheels were detaching themselves maybe points to slack scrutineering or slack preparation. I'm sure that you, if you have scrutineered cars, and it sounds as though you have, have come up against all sorts of bodgy tricks that people have tried to get away with. The fact that you say that faults have been present for some time is a bit of a worry, and sounds a bit strange to me, as it suggests that a number of different scrutineers at different tracks have overlooked a potentially dangerous bit of engineering. And yes there most certainly are drivers today who, unlike the Wolseley 6/99 owner, are not mechanics backsides!

With regards to the HWM I have a picture of Beowulf passing the HWM at the Levin 1966 March meeting. According to the Levin book the driver was a G.T.Hallen from Waitoa, the HWM was entered as a HWM Corvette with a 5300cc motor. It looked pretty rough, Beowulf is no object of beauty but alongside the HWM it looks good. Gone are the lovely wire wheels, in their place are widened steel ones. Crude flairs are tacked on and the whole thing looks tatty and rough. It didn't feature in the results so I guess it went about as badly as it looked. Where it is now goodness knows. According to Vercoe Gavin Bain bought it in 1989 and had started restoration with a Cadillac V8 motor.

David McKinney
07-24-2011, 07:31 AM
This particular HWM had a 5.4-litre Cadillac V8 from its inception in 1954, and from its first NZ appearance in 1957. It was raced in NZ initially by the Avery brothers of Hamilton, who used a variety of drivers in the latter years, including Ron Roycroft and Roly Levis. By the time they'd finished with it (1962) it had an 7-litre flat-six Continental aero engine - I can still hear Ron Roycroft accelerating out of the Hairpin at Ardmore and being almost out of earshot before he changed up.

A youthful Peter Haskett acquired the car from the Averys, then sold it to Donnelly, who replaced the Continental engine with a Ford Thunderbird and then the Corvette. Graeme Hallen raced it in the 66 and 67 seasons, then John Monehan put it over a bank in a hillclimb and it was soon part of the Roycroft collection.

It eventually passed from there to Gavin Bain around 1989 and I did hear he was going to re-fit a Cadillac engine, though there was also some talk of a Jaguar unit

David McKinney
07-24-2011, 07:38 AM
First picture shows Donnelly at Pukekohe in 1965, the second the same driver 12 months later. In the interim the Corvette engine had replaced the Thunderbird, steel wheels replaced the wires, and a tatty appearance replaced the more pristine:)

rogered
07-24-2011, 08:11 AM
Graham hallen most likely
If you check recent HRC entry lists you will see he is still tearing around
and correct, the "bones" of this car are with Bain

bob homewood
07-24-2011, 08:46 AM
First picture shows Donnelly at Pukekohe in 1965, the second the same driver 12 months later. In the interim the Corvette engine had replaced the Thunderbird, steel wheels replaced the wires, and a tatty appearance replaced the more pristine:)

I think that this was another of the cars that got bitten by,"The Firestone Bug" 1965 makes the timing right,and no doubt that was the reason the rudimentary panel work happened

Lee Tracey
07-24-2011, 12:54 PM
First picture shows Donnelly at Pukekohe in 1965, the second the same driver 12 months later. In the interim the Corvette engine had replaced the Thunderbird, steel wheels replaced the wires, and a tatty appearance replaced the more pristine:)


David(or anyone else)
Do you know anything about the #40 in the 2nd pic?

Cheers
Lee

AMCO72
07-24-2011, 06:13 PM
Lee.....I'm being silly here, but I'm sure you already know that it is a Daimler SP250 [Dart] Beyond that I cant help. And Bob, I just love your 'bitten by the Firestone bug' !!!!!! You mentioned in one of the earlier posts that a performance tyre means BIG. Were they made for some specific class...in America perhaps. They cant have done the unsprung weight much good.

AMCO72
07-24-2011, 06:21 PM
Regarding those WIDE wheels on the HWM. You can those steel strips, like spokes, that the scrutineer was objecting to in the HCC sprints. Rough as!!!!

David McKinney
07-24-2011, 08:31 PM
David(or anyone else)
Do you know anything about the #40 in the 2nd pic?

Trevor Sheffield's SP250

bob homewood
07-25-2011, 08:10 AM
Lee.....I'm being silly here, but I'm sure you already know that it is a Daimler SP250 [Dart] Beyond that I cant help. And Bob, I just love your 'bitten by the Firestone bug' !!!!!! You mentioned in one of the earlier posts that a performance tyre means BIG. Were they made for some specific class...in America perhaps. They cant have done the unsprung weight much good.

I can probably recount here my own involvement with Firestone in 1965 ,I was involved with some mates in setting up a saloon car racing team ( Silver Fern Saloon Car Racing Team ) and was looking around for tyres for the 1965 /66 season and I got talking to some one I knew in Firestone about racing tyres ,they told me that they were going to become a lot more involved in NZ motor racing in the forthcoming season and bring in some race tyres .I looked at the tyres they intended bringing in ,they were all too big to fit under the guards of the cars we had ,but in turn they seemed pretty interested in what we were doing so we decided to go with them using their road tyres called the F7 in those days ,The Dunlop C49 was their direct competitor at that time .Well we used those F7's they certainly didn't have a lot of grip .but you could go pretty quick on them as long as you didn't mind a car that slid around .That was Jim Richards first season and he was part of our team as such ,I think those tyres really suited Jims style at that time which probably reflects a lot in those photos of him back then.Firestone came out around about the November Levin meeting with the F100 Cavalino ,yes they felt better ,but I think by then we had sort of set our cars up around the F7 so stayed with them.I never used any of the racing tyres as I said they were too big to go under the guards and also they were too large in diameter so the gearing would have suffered .I did try some tyres I think they called wide ovals or wide awfulls as I called them they were hopeless ,but they also brought out a small diameter nylon cased road tyre from the states which I used they were great
I think a lot of people put those big race tyres on with no thought about size ,diameters,side wall flex or construction and just built big hideous rims to take them

bob homewood
07-25-2011, 08:48 AM
Oh I guess for the younger readers I should have said the the F7 and C49 tyres were cross plies ,the F100 was the first Firestone Radial which was brought out to counteract the Dunlop SP ,another reason we used those F7's and stayed with them was we got them for just about free ,one quid a tyre from memory ,that helped back then

AMCO72
07-25-2011, 11:46 PM
Dale Mathers visit to the speed-show over the weekend reminded me of an anniversary. Exactly 30 years ago.....to the weekend.....the Waikato VCC staged a car,rather than a speed show in the Claudlands Show building in Hamilton. Not quite to the standard of the Auckland event, but not too bad considering the couple of amateurs who ran it. Myself and my mate Barry Parsonson were put in charge of the whole thing and we were fortunate to get the local radio station...1ZH, to come on board for a bit of free advertising. One of the DJ's was a car 'nut' so that helped, and we decided to call this extravaganza the...'ZH Motorcade '81'. Also helping that weekend was the weather which was awful, but just right for Mum, Dad, and the kids to attend an old car show. In fact 'Old Crocks' weren't the only things on display. We didn't have Logan's GTO but equally impressive was a 'top fuel dragster' which had won an Australasian title. This machine, owned by that hard case, X MP from Tauranga, Bob Clarkson, was a big drawcard and Bob was very generous with his time and effort in getting to the show. The range of vehicles on display was very impressive, with veteran, vintage, PV, and sports cars....military vehicles, motorbikes, stock cars, stationary engines, and pretty much anything else that had wheels.....no tractors though. The military stuff was especially impressive...as well as a jeep we had an X German army half-track, and a Sherman tank on a transporter outside. Several of the cars were started up at some stage during the 2 day show, and this always drew a crowd gazing at the mechincal clatter with the bonnet open. Can you SEE mechanical clatter, well yes, when Theo de Leeuw started his beautiful yellow 1912 Model T, you can actually SEE mechanical clatter!! Theo's hand-cranking proceedure drew gasps of wonder from young and old. On the saturday evening we had a motoring orientated quiz with the radio's DJ as the quiz master. Barry had thought up some fiendishly obtuse questions which didn't favour the enthusiast, sometimes a good guess would get you through to the next round. We had a huge response to that, I think the whole hall joined in as there were some good prizes up for grabs. The usual car care products and wine, and for the major prizes, a battery, Lesco fuel cans, jumper leads, spanner sets, and oil. Took a fair bit of leg work to get companies to donate...no Super Cheap then, but they all got a plug on the radio, so everyone was a winner . A team assembling a model T engine and installing it on a chassis, complemented Theo's demonstration of Model T ownership. The whole object of the show was of course to make money, but for specific reason. The club had got itself into O/D at the bank and noises were being made. At a committee meeting an entrance fee of 50 cents was decided on, not without some protest from me as I thought we should charge at least $1.00 !!!!!!!! sounds ridiculous now doesn't it. We also organised our own security with groups of us sleeping overnight 'guarding' all that precious machinery. Amazing how comfortable the back seat of a large vintage Rolls Royce can be. So the only things we paid for were the building hire which wasn't too bad, and some liability insurance. Was a huge success, and much back-slapping ensued, and our goal was reached, and then some.

AMCO72
07-26-2011, 06:16 PM
I see Greg Stokes has posted some pretty sharp looking photos of his favourite cars on the Speedshow thread. If youv'e been reading this thread you will remember my buddy at Lincoln driving a B4......well the yellow one is just as I remember it, only it wasn't QUITE in that condition!! Greg, is that called a Hi Boy, and if so does this refer to the rear suspension being higher than the front or that the body has not been channeled, or only mildly so. Imagine roaring around the streets in that today....no hood, open to the elements. You wouldn't be able to park it up and go to the pictures, because it would be gone when you came out.....but that is what we did. I'm sure it didn't have a key, just a little switch for the ignition. God, we must have been mad...or young...or something!!!!!!

pallmall
07-26-2011, 09:04 PM
A High Boy or Hi Boy is a fenderless car with the body still at the stock height on the chassis.
Greg's car.
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/References/347750x461.jpg

Further back there was mention of the V12 Allison dragster at the Sprint. Here is the same car taken a few years ago part way through a restoration by Garth Hodgetts. I have some more up to date photos, but blowed if I can find them.
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/References/V12Dragster001750x600.jpg

AMCO72
07-26-2011, 11:02 PM
Golly, just look at the poor old girl, really fallen on hard times. She has had a wheel change from back then.....the rears were truck wheels, nothing like as wide, and the fronts small car wheels, certainly not spoked. Just look at that engine!! I wonder why it didn't perform that day, I mean aircraft engines were pretty damn good, especially the Allison, they had to be otherwise our fly-boys would be in the drink in a rubber raft..... if they were lucky.......or perhaps not, waiting to be picked up. Anyway good to see she survived and is being loved by someone. Nothing like the sound of a V12 when it's going properly.

AMCO72
07-26-2011, 11:42 PM
Greg, I'm sorry, I didn't know you were a big hotrod guru. Pallmall has pointed out that the yellow B4 is yours.....great stuff. I was reading the Morrari recreation and was thinking....yeh, a couple of dreamers, it will never get done, but dreams are free. Now I see why you want to do it, and I think you just maybe the best team to do it. I hope I'm around to see the finished article.

AMCO72
07-27-2011, 02:47 AM
The engine on the dragster would have been putting out around 1200HP at about 2500rpm so would have to have been geared UP. This engine was never quite as good as the Merlin, used on the Spitfire, at high altitudes because of its lack of turbo-supercharger which was of course not on the dragster. Pilots always thought the American Packard built Merlins were better assembled than the Rolls-Royce version, which was a bit of a kick in the teeth for R.R. I don't think there was even a radiator on the dragster...probably just filled the water jackets with glycol and hoped for the best....maybe had a little header tank, as it would not have been running for long. Come to think of it modern dragsters don't have radiators either do they.

bob homewood
07-27-2011, 08:36 AM
2619

Clipping I have which I think was in the Motorman,the no 54 Anglia is the Dave Jurie car mentioned in another thread on here

AMCO72
07-28-2011, 08:34 PM
The thread about Lost Race cars has got me thinking. Oh dear not another of Amco's ramblings I hear you say; nearly finished now and then we can all get on with deciding spelling. Cars that were lost, then found, rallied and sometimes raced, all before the big money hit the Classic and Historic car scene, indeed before the Classic car scene had even got under way. There is a big push today to find old race cars, and the thread about old Shellsport cars makes interesting reading. These machines have suddenly acquired a value, in cash and historic terms, way beyond what the original builders could have foreseen. My mate Barry who figured in story about Motorcade 81 is a consumate story teller. In the late 60's and early 70's he and I were hunting the highways and byways, barns and hedgerows, warehouses and lockups for that most illusive of cats......the Jaguar. During our forays into back- yards, pig-stys and chicken-coops in search of lost and forgotten cars we had a series of adventures and coincidences that you would only read about. And we thought, why not, lets put it all down. We did, and came up with a name.......'JAGNET...being the reminicences of a couple of big game hunters' . You may remember if you are old enough ,and before telly, a series of evening radio programmes called 'DRAGNET'.... thrilling detective stories, probably starting after 9pm when all the children had gone to bed, as they did in those days. Well we sort of borrowed the title, as we considered ourselves detectives following clues and leads, and altered it a bit to suit. The original is quite long so I will just put some extracts on here for your amusement. Needless to say, like all good detective stories, we had a successful conclusion to our endeavours. Barry ended up with a 1950 Mark 5 Jaguar, and I bought, first a 1948 Mark 4 then a 1935 SS 1 tourer. Barry's car was in very nice order requiring little in the way of restoration and he competed in a lot of JDC rallies over the years. He then went to live in heartland America to take up a teaching position at Kansas University. He was reluctant to sell the MK 5 so I offered to store it for him in one of our farm sheds. Needless to say I also got to drive it. He was away for several years but eventually returned, retrieved the car, and because he had money burning a hole in his pocket after American wages, had the car completely restored....a body off job. I think I would have left it as it was but never mind it now looks a million bucks and lives in Napier. My car, the 1948 MK4 was also in very tidy condition but after running it for a couple of years had it repainted and upholstered. When the SS 1 became available, I had been pestering the owner Dave Hill in Tirau, I advertised the MK 4, and the Emslies, father and son, motor body builders in Dunedin, flew up, bought the car and drove it home. The car ended up in the Queenstown Motor museum where it stayed for some years until that place folded and an Auckland JDC member bought it and has it to this day. The SS 1 came home as a rolling chassis, a trailer load of body bits, and 6 tea chests of sundry parts. Was a big job piecing it all together as I hadn't dismantled it, and it had had a fire in the wiring which had spread to the wooden frame. I was lucky that nothing was missing and eventually it all came together. I kept it till 1983 when I sold it to a chap in Perth WA. Was quite a business getting it there.....RO/RO cargo ship to Sydney...$1250, then train to Perth, $1250.....across the plain etc. It arrived in one piece...undamaged. Amazing!!! The amazing coincidence was that the buyer had a couple of years previously bought my old XK120, not from me of course, the one I had bought from Des Wild in ChCh, and he was able to take a photo of the two cars together on his front lawn, something I was unable to do. The last I heard of the SS was that it was entered in an auction in conjunction with the Melbourne grand prix. Dont know whether it sold but the auction estimate was $120.000. Not bad for and old bus that had cost me $2000!!! OK, enough of the preamble, next post will be the first of a few extracts from JAGNET.

105angria
07-28-2011, 08:43 PM
IS that the Emslies of Emslies and Flockton that made Mistrales

AMCO72
07-29-2011, 10:17 PM
OK, here we go. Excerpts from 'JAGNET..being the reminiceces of a couple of big game hunters'. Names have NOT been changed to protect the innocent! Narrated by Barry Parsonson 1971. [read in conjunction with post 172 of this thread] We pick up the story at about chapter 3 after a bit of a chat about our school life together, family ties, and the start of Jagmania. The Elephant guns have been stowed, provisions packed, and checkbook tucked into the back pocket..........THE HUNT IS ON......Henry Philips in Rotorua began putting out feelers on my behalf, and phoned one day to say that he had located a MK 5 for about $500. This was in my price range so we drove over to inspect.The car was a pale blue 3 and a 1/2 litre, what paint was left on it was original. The headlining hung down in taters. the upholstery flapped, there were no carpets and two of the doors carried the remains of rexine linings. 'She's a bit rough' says Henry, 'rougher than I thought actually' Talk about an understatement. We took it for a drive, for by some miracle the engine ran. She knocked and rattled and the cockpit filled with choking fumes. The oil pressure fell all the way from 25psi to about 3psi then sagged to zero on idle. We prayed it wouldn't sieze on the way back to Philips garage. I think somehow it was lubricated by the oil mist extracted from the clouds of smoke which pored from all parts of the engine. 'I'd only offer $400' says Henry. We wouldn't offer anything we said as we left for home. Early in 1970 I saw a quite fabulous MK 5 in Cambridge. I chatted the owner up who was not interested in selling, but he thought the car was worth around $2000, but where was I going to get $2000. Henry Philips sent another hopeful my way. It was a MK 5 painted 'BRG' The owner wanted $700 for it, and it was tidier than the earlier effort but the body was badly rusted, there was fungi growing out of the woodwork, and with a blown head gasket one could not easily assess the state of the engine. It didn't compare with the Cambridge car, but it was in my price range. Still I said no and let it go. I kept plugging my Cambridge owner without much success and continued to search else where. Gerald and I drove through to Tuakau to look at John Elliots MK 4 which he was trying to sell for $800, but decided it was in need of major surgery and left it. The car later turned up in Hamilton in the hands of Keith Wein after having been restored somewhat by Geoff Beatham. It was later sold to an Auckland buyer. About the same time, Henry Philips, still trying hard for us, told us of a MK 4 up in the Kaimais. The car had been in excellent condition the last time he had seen it, but was currently immobilised by a steering box failure, and had been parked at the Hill-Top tearooms for about 2 years. We phoned the owner who was reluctant to sell. Later he phoned to say he would sell, but when Gerald called at the tea-rooms he was out and the car guarded by a non too friendly dog, so inspection was impossible. We made a further arrangement to call but the owner was out again and the dog still in command. We never did get to see the car until sometime later when Geoff Beatham swapped it for another MK 4 that had also been living in the Kaimais. Life in that wet atmosphere had ravaged the car somewhat....it was restorable but would need plenty of time and money. I was still wooing my Cambridge friend and managed to get a promise of first option should he ever decide to sell. I followed up an Auckland ad for a MK 5 that had been restored and was in reasonable nick with a selling price of $1000. The vendor was reluctant to let me drive the car, which had a MK 7 gearbox, and only took it for a brief run around the block. I wasn't happy about this, even though the car LOOKED alright, and I decided to keep looking. I had been taught that cars, like books and women, should never be judged on appearance alone. Finally the Cambridge owner folded, but he would not sell the car outright for cash. I had to furnish him with a more modern vehicle of similar value. After presenting several cars for his inspection, he and his rather more choosey wife settled on a 1962 Austin A60 Estate. AZ435 was finally mine and the joys of owning that special breed of Cat were just beginning!!!!..................[next...Other Cats and Mutant offspring]

AMCO72
07-30-2011, 10:14 PM
Part 2. JAGNET......'Other Cats and Mutant Offspring' ......Early in 1971 we did a tour of Waikato SS owners. In Tirau we looked hopefully at Dave Hills SS 1 tourer which was then an interesting collection of bits and pieces. Dave wasn't interested in selling the car, but Gerald persisted and eventually became it's owner. We then looked over another SS tourer under restoration. It was being done fairly slowly and still hasn't emerged. Passing a house in Tokoroa we saw a couple of blokes painting a MK 5 in a similar billious green to a previous car we had looked at. Some peoples idea of British Racing Green has to be seen to be believed. We stopped for a chat. Yes, they would be willing to sell and a figure of $1600 was mentioned, but that colour was going to make it a hard proposition to find a buyer. Another MK 5 lay rusting on the lawn. Any parts we asked. The price for rusty oddments was beyond belief. We left with only a boot badge from the rusty wreck which later graced the the boot of Geralds' MK4. Incidentally, that boot badge was only fitted to NZ assembled MK 5's so is quite unique. Sometime late in 1972 we heard of a MK 4 out at Maramarua owned by a Maori gent named Bill. On arrival we were confronted by a MK 4 and a 'half'. The bulk of the car was indeed MK 4 but the front mudguards had been modified to take MK 5 headlamp fairings and the P100's removed. Amongst an interesting array of pre and post war American machinery on the farm was the body of another MK 4 which contained pigs! The MK 4 and a half contained fowls! To the enthusiast, parts is parts. How much did they want? For each of the oddments in the shed the price was '50 dollar' Too much says us. 'You come back nearer Christmas when the old man is hard up says the missus....maybe he will let you have them cheaper. We never did get back until much later and by then the MK 4 and a half had been sold. While on the premises we collected some bits from the pigsty MK 4 and went to Mercer in search of the 4 and 1/2. A guy called Roy had bought it and was initiating a restoration. He was later transferred to the South Island and drove the car down. An intrepid motorist if ever I saw one. Our next encounter was to be with the weirdest machine ever. Gerald was still searching for an SS and had advertised in the Beaded Wheels wanted section. A character from Opunaki phoned to say he had an SS for sale for $350 dollars. We couldn't lose, and the car sounded like an SS 90 or 100 from the verbal description. We grabbed an A frame, cheque book, took the day off and headed south in an air of anticipation. This car really turned out to be something. It's components were representative of every model between 1932 and 1952....twenty years of Jaguar history in one machine. Parts had come from 1932 SS 1's to 1952 MK 5's and everything in between, all cobbled together into someones idea of a sports car. Th body was someones dream that had curdled into someone elses nightmare in the process of it's amateur construction. The engine could never be run because the water could not be got from the radiator to the block by any known means. It was a complete shambles. We shrugged and turned for home....another wasted trip.........Next....The search for parts.

AMCO72
07-31-2011, 08:54 PM
JAGNET Part 3......SEARCH FOR PARTS:...One of the constant worries associated with owning a vehicle that is old is that of obtaining spare parts. The owner gets obsessed with gathering about him sufficient spares to cover most emergencies. I caught this disease too and set about searching for a source of bits. The idea was to buy an intact, but unrestorable, MK 5 and dismantle it for storage. My first attempt involved an approach to a guy who drove a dilapidated MK 5. I was going overseas on study leave and I needed to divest myself of an ailing A30 countryman, with an ominous knock in the mechanicals, and this other Jaguar owner was keen to swap. The MK 5 was very tired but continued to run despite a bent conrod which sounded like somebody working in the engine with a jack-hammer. The deal fell through because this potential Austin owner was suspicious of the knock in the A30. That MK 5 is still running, and still knocking which says something for the stamina of the marque. The next attempt was to be more successful but extremely frustrating. I heard on the grapevine of 2 MK 5's for sale, one restorable the other a wreck. I approached the owner and offered to buy the wreck. All or nothing was the response. I offered $200 for the pair and left. A week later my offer was accepted and I now owned 3 MK 5's. Gerald and I took both cars out to his farm and began to reassemble the engine on the restorable machine. After some ingenuity we got the thing together and it was time for a try out. We primed it, attached a battery and pressed the starter. The engine turned but refused to fire. Further attempts only succeeded in flattening the battery. Towing was in order. The Ferguson tractor was hooked up, and the car with engine churning towed along the drive. All to no avail. A reprime produced the required result. With no bonnet and no exhaust manifold the flames leapt about 2 feet from the ports and the noise was deafening. With a bit of tidying up the car looked vaguely respectable though attempts to polish the hand painted bodywork failed to produce a showroom shine. We then decided to sell the car to recoup some of the outlay, and this is where the fun really started. The previous owner had lost the ownership papers, and couldn't remember whether the car was in his name or that of his wife. They seemed to be living in about 6 addresses at once and couldn't remember which house the ownership papers might be at, and they needed the papers to decide which of them would sign the change of ownership form. Without the papers we couldn't register the car; without registration we couldn't get a WOF. Without the WOF we couldn't get the ownership papers or copies thereof in my name. The previous owner wouldn't sign anything or do anything in case it cost money, and they couldn't be contacted because they were not sure which of the 6 house they would be living in. Dealing with these people was like sellotaping eels to a greasy pole. Finally, on the verge of a mental breakdown, I registered the car in my name, got a WOF, told the owners that the change of ownership papers were overdue, and they could be fined. They accepted my offer to pay for the change, had a fight over who should sign the form, ended up by both doing so, and the business ended. We sold BS4440 for $500 to an erstwhile enthusiast who later sold it to the man with the machine with a bent conrod for $250....it's a small world. He was offering both cars for $400 a few months later, both in running order.....just. The wreck MK 5 we dismantled for parts, and despite the fact that the car had not been moved from it's place in long grass for over 10 years, many of the parts were in usable condition. If I learnt anything from this business is that, persistance pays, nothing is ever like it sounds from a distance, and there are some pretty odd people out there...weird even.

AMCO72
07-31-2011, 10:44 PM
OK, re reading all this now it seems a bit dated, after all it is over 40 years ago. But we certainly had some fun. The interesting thing is the prices we paid for these cars. The classic and historic movement was just getting underway. I think the first issue of Classic Car, the English magazine, which became Thoroughbred and Classic Car was in 1972, and reading copies of those early issues now it all seems a bit quaint and innocent. How things have changed, especially in the 80's when just about anything with wheels, that was more than few years old was being snapped up by 'collectors'. Well a lot of that lot got burnt, big time, good job I say. Fairly average E types were regularly selling for $120,000, now you can pick up those same cars for half that. I am at the moment trying to sell a 1954 MG TF 1500 for an elderly widow here in Cambridge. She, or rather her family, WANT $39,000 for it, exactly the price her husband, now deceased bless his soul, paid for it at the height of the Classic car boom in the late 80's and early 90's. I think he got sucked in because it is an American import, left hand drive, and has a fairly restricted market here in NZ. I even got in touch with the Classic MG club in Southern California but had no luck there either. I am sort of it's guardian and go for a spin from time to time ,but although it has had over 5000 lookers on a web site there have only been a couple of enquiries. So things have certainly changed from when Barry and I were hunting these things down. Glad we did it then, because old pensioners like me can only sit at their computers and write about such things now......Sigh.

AMCO72
08-02-2011, 04:06 AM
You remember the story about Judith in the Fiat hitting one of Walter Byrnes' sheep down the Bruntwood straight. [post 142 Yards & Yarns] Well our family must be prone to hitting stray stock as we had a similar incident some years, and a lot of cars, later. By this time Angus had honed his driving skills on the farm driving the Fergie and an old Morris 10 that we used as a farm hack. Good fun that was. I mean, neither of these machines would exceed 20 mph on the grass, but what fun can be had at 20 mph! We had at that stage a bach north of Thames on the coast and we were heading there one weekend with a trailer loaded of construction materials, as the bach needed a certain amount of restoration. To give Angus some practice behind the wheel, he was driving, and the car was a 1972 Triumph 2000 Estate. We were getting along at a good clip heading out of Cambridge towards Tauwhare when we were confronted by a herd of dairy cows exiting a paddock and coming towards along a temporary, electric fenced race, on the side of the road. Well one old biddy decided to take a short cut and leapt the fence in front of the Triumph. Needless to say we....Angus.... hit the beast fair and square. Now a cow is a good deal bigger and heavier than a sheep and the unfortunate animal ended up on the bonnet, that is until the brakes were applied ,whereupon it slid off onto the road in front of us. Well the farmer and his wife came racing down to check on the animals wellbeing.....it was making terminal gurgling sounds, and not showing the slightest willingness to get up! Of course, it was the BEST cow in the herd, according to the missus, and I could see her calculating a large compensation in her head. However with a few well placed kicks the dozey animal scrambled to its feet and took off with rest of the herd that were at that stage gathered round their fallen mate.....as cows do! We all breathed a sigh of relief and continued on our journey, with the farmer muttering something about being lucky.......who, us or the cow....cheeky devil. It is interesting to note that the farmer concerned now has a tunnel under the road to get stock from one side to another. Right, what has all this got to do with Motorsport you might ask. Well the driver that day went on to be a successful competitor in several classes of NZ Motorsport, two 16th places at Bathurst, and in the biff and bash of close racing must be reminded of the day the BOVINE ended up on the BONNET!!!!!

AMCO72
08-02-2011, 05:57 AM
The little bit about having fun at 20 mph on a tractor, brings to mind that wonderful BBC documentary with, a serious for once, Rowan Atkinson discussing the future of the motor car. He is shown in one clip having fun on a Fergie with sheep as mobile chicanes! Starts with Renault 5 racing and ends with Rowan driving a '2 horse power' chariot down a deserted motorway. Is brilliant. The title....."The Driven Man". Of course Rowan is a fairly accomplished Classic car racer himself. Has/had a very nice Aston Martin DB2.

Carlo
08-02-2011, 08:09 AM
Rowan has recently set the best lap time for a guest on the current Top Gear program too

beowulf
08-02-2011, 07:25 PM
Funny wasn't it how often in our younger days when we ended up in the ditch in our Model A or similar, and we were talking to the local farmer to give us a tow, some animal had walked across the road in front of us. This in spite of the lurid marks on the road. One time I blamed a mob of turkeys for my visit to the ditch. The cocky looked at me and muttered something about not being sure who the bloody turkey was.

Milan Fistonic
08-03-2011, 01:29 AM
Talking about having fun on a tractor, who remembers this tractor race at the Grand Prix meeting at Pukekohe?


2772

Steve Holmes
08-03-2011, 01:59 AM
Was that from the '73 event Milan?

AMCO72
08-03-2011, 03:30 AM
Right, and thats a Fergie 135 coming 3rd, and if it was a 'multi-power' version, which was a bit like an overdrive, it should have been able to EAT those damn Fords out front!!!! The Ferguson gearbox was a 3 speed with a high and low ratio, giving 6 forward speeds. The addition of 'multi-power' doubled that to 12 speeds and this gave the tractor quite a good road speed. Nothing like what the big tractors have nowdays though.....a permisable 50 kph, with no suspension, and huge tires feels about a 100!!!!!!!

Milan Fistonic
08-03-2011, 04:04 AM
Yes it was 1973.

In the programme the race is listed as the Ford Tractor Race and it's my memory that all the machines were Fords.

There was a fair bit of cheating going on. A number of drivers didn't bother going around the hairpin; cutting across the grass to shorten the lap. In the background of the photo above you can see someone returning to the track after looking for a short-cut.

2773

AMCO72
08-03-2011, 05:55 AM
Good, that makes me feel a whole lot better......all Fords. Without colour is hard to tell, but you MUST be right because there is no way that any Ford from the early 70's could beat a Fergie. But I tell you what, NO Fergie, Ford, or Field Marshal, could beat the Massey Harris 101, and that was built in the 1950's......see post 112 Yards and Yarns. Actually, the only machine that came close was a David Brown Cropmaster, built about the same time as the Massey Harris. So the Ford coming third in the photo must be a Dexter because its a lot smaller than the 2 Fords at the front......Fergie size........FERGIES FOR EVER!

Steve Holmes
08-03-2011, 08:03 PM
Didn't several of the GP and Aussie touring car drivers race them? One nearly tipped over didn't it? You couldn't do that today, imagine the insurance premiums!

AMCO72
08-03-2011, 09:02 PM
Steve, the driver must have been doing something pretty stupid to nearly tip a tractor over at Puke. I was at Lincoln, as you all know in 1959 when roll frames on tractors were just begining to be developed. We used to spend time as part of our training in the engineering shop fabricating roll frames, and to test them we took them up into the Port Hills above Christchurch where there is a lot of desolation today after the earthquake. We found a suitable steep and dangerous piece of ground to let an old, tethered tractor, complete with frame over a particularly bad piece of ground. The thing I remember was the DIFFICULTY we had in getting the machine to tip so we could assess the frames capability of stopping the tractor rolling. I know there have been a number of fatalities with farmers rolling on silage stacks, and some cockies do take their machines into places where they shouldn't. but it is almost always a sudden dip that sends the machine over.

AMCO72
08-04-2011, 12:03 AM
Beowulf.......you have driven tractors on some pretty dangerous slopes, what's your experience.

AMCO72
08-05-2011, 12:48 AM
The shots of the Northland Special and the GCS in post 5 of the 'sitting in someones workshop' thread shows a 'man sized' seat belt preventing Fred and George from being thrown from the race car in the heat of battle. We tried a rather different approach at Lincoln with one of the dairy farm workers in 1959. Apart from us farm trainees, there were a couple of permanent, paid staff, and one, Les decided that he was a cut above us, and had certain rights and privileges that he would protect rather vigorously. We had to be very quick to beat him onto the driving seat of the tractor, the Massey Harris 101 that was used for feeding out, and the general consensus was that he 'had his arse glued to the seat'. Somebody did a bit of lateral thinking and thought....'why not'. A tube of UHU was smuggled onto the site and while Les was otherwise engaged a good lashing of the said paste was applied to the perforated steel seat of the 101. We all sat back on the trailer, trying to keep a straight face, awaiting Les' return, whereupon he leapt onto the tractor with his usual gusto and planted himself firmly onto the prepared surface, and sat there quite happily! No seat belt needed here, he was securely attached. He obviously didn't notice anything untoward and we completed feeding out without further ado, and was only when he tried to get off that the fun started. It took some effort on his part to tear himself from the now very sticky adhesive, but to his credit he took it in good spirit, and from that point on was somewhat more generous in allowing us to have a turn at driving. 'Motorsport ????????? Well it was in fact Les that showed us the trick with the baling twine tied to the governor arm of the Massey Harris turning that fairly pedestrian machine into the King of the 1/4 mile sprints. "Don't say boohoo, say UHU" !!!!!!!!!!! [ see post 112 yards & yarns]

AMCO72
08-06-2011, 03:04 AM
Well it looks as though the Yards part of the Y & Y is dead in the water. We haven't had a post on that for a few weeks. I think my suspicion was right in that all the 'interesting' yards disappeared years ago, although I'm going to have one last shot. There used to be a yard in Greenlane on the Gt Sth Rd called...was it' Chequered Flag.'.. or a name similar to that. They seemed to specialize, as the name would suggest in sports cars. I'm sure I took a TR2 for a spin from there about 35 years ago. As I have related, I had a TR2 that I bought from Fleetwood motors in 1962 and had fond memories of it, and 15 years later thought I would like another one. Well after a very short run up the Gt. Sth Rd. I was fairly convinced that I DIDN'T want this one anyway. I know I was spoiled by the first one, it having just been completely rebuilt, new chassis and all, whereas this latest one was just another worn out old English sports car. The name of the yard might not be correct, but it was in Gt Sth Rd just off to the left after the Green lane turnoff. Bob, you probably know. Enjoying the new Books thread. I'm not much of a reviewer but should be able to dredge up some yarns about buying and selling rare and interesting books.

pallmall
08-06-2011, 03:22 AM
There will be some more Yard photos and stories in the future, just holding them back in case the thread needs a kick start at sometime.

AMCO72
08-06-2011, 04:23 AM
What a good idea pallmall. I see we are heading for 4000 hits.....pretty damm good eh. Was having a think about that yard.......wasn't 'Chequered Flag' Charlie Conways' yards? Flippin-heck, you would think you would remember wouldn't you. [hows that for woulds in a sentence] No seriously, things that seem very important at the time, and that you would never forget just get taken over by all sorts of other stuff.

AMCO72
08-06-2011, 05:45 AM
Thats it Bob.....Sports Car World. What nationality were the Favas......sounds Italian. I seem to remember it was a pretty successful outfit . What happened?

AMCO72
08-06-2011, 06:27 AM
Maybe the Mafia paid a visit!!!!!!

bob homewood
08-06-2011, 07:22 AM
Thats it Bob.....Sports Car World. What nationality were the Favas......sounds Italian. I seem to remember it was a pretty successful outfit . What happened?

Not sure on that one Gerald ,some one might be able to answer that one ,yes as Pall Mall said I too have probably got a few stories that I can trawl up some time along with a few other topics but hey they can wait ,I would like to see this site keep up the momentum its got keep going

David McKinney
08-06-2011, 07:50 AM
Was van Thiel involved with the notorious Palm Court Motors?

AMCO72
08-06-2011, 06:48 PM
Actually you are right Bob, yards and Yarns has got a good momentum, and do you know why. It's somewhere folk can recount all those stupid little stories and anecdotes that can't support a thread of their own and would otherwise never get told. I mean, I cant keep up with you guys with all your knowledge and the amazing photos I am seeing on here, so I have concentrated on the 'frivolous' side of motoring. The Concise Oxford English dictionary has....frivolous....as 'not having any serious purpose or value'. Well that may be so, but it makes for fun reading, and judging by the number of forum members reading Y & Y, they are more than just bedtime stories!!! Or maybe they are, something relaxing to look at while the're drinking their Milo. Talking of fun. I came across an old advertisement the other day which I'm going to share because although it has nothing whatever to do with Historic cars it is to do with History and does involve Horse-power, and a lot of danger! The advertisement from the Pony Express reads.......WANTED....YOUNG, SKINNY, WIRY FELLOWS. Not over 18. Must be expert riders, willing to risk DEATH DAILY. Orphans preferred. Wages $25 per week. Apply........ And you think we had it bad!!

AMCO72
08-06-2011, 10:24 PM
OK, it's Sunday, we are allowed to have a bit of levity today. One more funny, well sad actually, then back to the serious stuff. From the NY times......Bosses at a publishing firm are trying to work out why no one noticed that one of their employees had been sitting dead at his desk for 5 days before anyone asked him if he was OK. George Turklebaum, 51, who had been employed as a proof reader at the New York firm for 30 years had a heart attack in an open plan office he shared with 23 other workers. He quietly passed away on Monday, but nobody noticed until Saturday when an office cleaner asked why he was working during the weekend!! His boss, said 'George was always the first guy to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night', so no one found it unusual that he was in the same position all that time and didn't say anything. He was always absorbed in his work and kept much to himself. A post mortem revealed that he had been dead for 5 days after suffering a coronary. George was proof reading medical manuscripts when he died. You may want to give your fellow office workers a nudge occasionally!!!! The moral of the story is this....DONT WORK TOO HARD....NOBODY NOTICES ANYWAY.

AMCO72
08-06-2011, 10:35 PM
Talking of Horsepower in the Pony Express ad.......'.Ben Hur...... his chariot had less horsepower than a Williams, but he still won'.

AMCO72
08-07-2011, 10:28 PM
Thats a cunning trick Bob. If the guy had not screwed the grease nipples in so tight he might have got away with it. I did the king-pins on the 1935 SS1 that I had. I seem to remember it was a sod of a job to get them just right....tight with no play, and yet not too tight. They probably did free up a bit with use, but the steering, which was dodgy at the best of times was dynamite with tight king-pins.

AMCO72
08-08-2011, 01:53 AM
Was thinking about the Nash Metropolitan in your thread on the Mobilgas trial Bob......I dont think the Girls would have needed the No-Doz ,as I doubt that the car would have lasted for more than a few hours. There used to be a Nash in a wrecking yard here in Cambridge. Glen Horn is well known amongst BMC collectors, both here and in Japan, where incidentally he used to sell a LOT of stuff. The Metropolitan sat all forlorn for ages out in the damp Waikato weather, then Glen in his advancing years decided he had had enough of getting cold and wet wrecking cars and put the yard on the market. Unfortunately the local council got involved, and demanded that Glen clean up the site to the extent of removing the top soil to a depth of 1 metre, because of contamination problems.......oil, batteries etc. Holy-smoke that was going to set him back a bob or two, as there was about 3 acres to do, and after getting a quote from John Lamont to remove all the said 'contaminated soil', put it all on the back burner and is still untouched today. Anyway in the excitment to clean the place up I think the Metropolitan went the way of all flesh......the crusher. I mean who would want to restore one, even the Japanese didnt seem to want it, although it is the sort of thing they would go for. Glen used to wreck a lot of the big 6 cylinder Austin saloons and the Healey boys would snap this stuff up. Glen still has sheds full of parts on site, and I just wonder what is going to happen to it all. The trouble is that the site is now registered in the council records as being contaminated, and any potential buyer is going to be very wary of making a purchase. I think Glen is going to be stuck with it for a while.

bob homewood
08-08-2011, 02:41 AM
Gerald,if you are driving back from the Pukekohe race track on the Pukekohe - Tuakau Road ,about halfway to Tuakau you go down quite a long straight over a bridge on the corner ,just there to your left you will stil see a little old shed amongst a bit of gorse and fern there ,in my younger days that was Partridges wrecking yard ,often wonder whats buried in the ground out there ,I can remember going out there for work looking for a Packard gearbox which he knew he had somewhere,eventually we found it and a even stranger tale about it when we pulled the lid of it ,it didn't look like second gear had ever seen much use ,the previous owner must have just gone 1st to third ,which was a huge help to us as second was completely gone in the box we had taken out,now Packard that's a bit like Nash that must set a couple of minds thinking

AMCO72
08-08-2011, 08:05 PM
By the way, the contractor, John Lamont who was mentioned in the last thread in regard to carting 100's of metres of contaminated soil away from Glens yard, is the bloke responsible for having the pre 65 Morris 1100 that Foggy now drives, built. John is a larger than life chappie who lives in Cambridge, and who has been a motorsport fan for years. He did some racing in a MK 2 Ford Zephyr and a Mustang then unfortunately got bowel cancer and had to have a bag, which effectively put a stop to his motoracing. But John is as cheerful as ever and is always good to have a natter with. The story of how the Morris came into being, is rather interesting. Angus and John were in the pub one night having a natter, as you did, and John expressed the desire to build a pre 65, but NOT another bloody Anglia!! [sorry Bob] So Angus, just as a joke said 'well what about a Morris 1100,' being about the least sporting car you could imagine. Well the next thing we know the 1100 is under construction and those of you that have seen it perform will know how well it goes. John drove it initially until he was unable to for health reasons, and then the car just sat outside his house in the long grass. Eventually Angus made John an offer he couldn't refuse, and the mighty Morris had a new home. Sitting out in the weather hadn't done the car any good at all, but is now up and running and doing the old David and Goliath act on the race track. You don't want to know how much John forked out for the build, needless to say Angus only paid about an eighth of the cost of the car originally. We had a great time with the 1100 and the Amco mini in the South Island this year and with us both competing in the same races I was able to get some tuition from the Morris driver who positioned himself about half-a-hairs breadth from my back bumper!!!!!

AMCO72
08-09-2011, 12:16 AM
Back to Glen Horn's wrecking yard. There can't be many of these old yards left now, so close to a town centre. Glens' is situated down on Carters Flat in Cambridge, an area that used to be the local stock sale-yards and is now a busy industrial site. I think Glen is a bit of a thorn, or maybe Horn, in the side of the council, and it is fortunate that the yard is at the end of a street out of the public gaze. I actually looked up the site report at the council offices, and it says' POSSIBLE contaminated site', but clearly this is enough to put potential buyers off. Glen has actually done a few test digs to see how far the oil has soaked in and nowhere has it penetrated further than about 100mm, about 4 inches. In these politically correct times ,some little jumped up, self important clerk, has decided that a big overkill is necessary, probably to protect his backside against any future litigation. And 'Eureka', I was wrong about the Metropolitan......it was saved from an ignominious fate by a chap, or his wife, who just fell in love with it's 'cuteness' and just beat the crusher truck. It hasn't emerged yet, but when I last saw it was certainly an extensive and expensive restoration. I seem to remember that the 'Met' had a very limited turning circle due to the way the front wheels were shrouded by the guards. This made it not very suitable for round town, and parking, the very place it was designed for. I guess someone out there used to love them, but to most people they were an object of derision, so good luck to the restorer I say.

AMCO72
08-09-2011, 02:04 AM
Talk about winning against petty Council clerks......as James Hunt has said.......'there is only one way you can ultimately win at motoracing and that is to get out of it!! Well said James...... 'On yer bike Glen'.

pallmall
08-09-2011, 04:16 AM
I can remember a Metropolitan living along the road from us in the late fifties or early sixties, bright yellow and white with venetian blinds on the back window and lots of other 'extras' in bright chrome attached to it. Must have been someones pride and joy. Funny thing I can recall it being parked in a very short driveway in front of this house, but I don't think I ever saw it driven.

AMCO72
08-10-2011, 02:35 AM
This is about books, but is not a book review so decided to put it on here rather than sully Steves' thread. Books ain't dead yet even though the computer generation whizz kids would have you think so. I was going to say you can't take a computer to bed with you to read , but of course you can now. Like lots of car spotters I have rummaged through dusty old second-hand book shops looking for an elusive title. There seems to be a huge array on cooking, the Royal family, rugby, cricket, and gardening, but try to find a good motoring title and you had better not be holding your breath. So I decided to turn to the English dealers in these things, and here I was spoilt for choice, BUT, the problem is that because books are so heavy, they can be very expensive by the time they arrive in NZ. I usually get them sent Airpost otherwise the wait for the parcel can be interminable, especially as I am by nature a very impatient fellow. I suppose the best example of a high price for a book in my experience was 'Ford v's Ferrari, the battle for LeMans' by Anthony Pritchard. My 1st edition,by the time it landed at my doorstep, set me back $250, and a similar edition of Duncan Hamiltons' 'Touchwood' was comparable. I dont regret buying them, and this was 15 years ago, so I suppose this isn't too bad a value for money. What I think may not be good value for money is race programmes, and I have a 1953 LeMans item that I hesitate to tell you that I paid a dealer in the UK 95 pounds for, about $250 in NZ$ at the time. Whew, I must have been flush, or something, as I have bough a few since and none have reached those dizzying heights. The 1953 programme is nice in that the buyer, an Englishman I presume, who bought it that weekend at the track, wrote all sorts of little asides and observations in it and was careful to keep the loose lap-scoring chart with it. Some of the French spelling is a bit different to say the least.......how about..'STAWTHOM' for Mike HAWTHORN. Never mind the Frogs are funny people.....got a good race though. So, my " Programme Officiel des 24 Heures Du Mans, 13 et 14 Juin 1953", sits in a prominent position on display, if only because it's worth it's weight in gold!!!

Steve Holmes
08-10-2011, 03:03 AM
I'm loving these stories guys, and have read every one. This is now the most viewed thread on The Roaring Season!

pallmall
08-10-2011, 04:25 AM
A bit different to AMCO72s book story, this is one of my bargain buys. In the mid seventies I called into a bookshop in Palmerston North (it was the big one, now a Whitcoulls) to see what motoring books they had. Sitting on the shelf was a pristine copy of Automobile Year #1 from 1953/54 with the Indy car drawing on the cover, I had not seen it there on previous visits so it may have been found out the back in the storeroom, the price on it was $8. I grabbed it quickly and took it to the counter and suggested that since it was such an old book the price seemed a bit high! I was allowed to buy it for $5. Many years later when a bit short of cash I sold it in the UK for well over 100 pounds, I wish I still had it though.

AMCO72
08-10-2011, 06:09 AM
Talk about selling TO the UK instead of buying FROM the UK, and the sort of shuffling around that I used to do. About 15 years ago I purchased from Eion Youngs' Motormedia establishment in the UK a copy of Christian Moity's 'The LeMans 24 hr Race 1949-1973 at a cost of 125 pounds.....say $300NZ at the time. It was in good order, but a corner of the dust cover was missing, a fact that Mr Young alerted me to, but as it was quite a rare book I decided that I could put up with that small defect. I had had it for about 6 months when I found a copy here in NZ at a second-hand bookshop in Devonport....'Hard to Find'. The price on the NZ copy was $100.....a third of that which I had paid on the English one, and the dust wrapper was intact. After a quick think, I purchased it, having decided that would try to sell the earlier copy back to a dealer in the UK, not NECESSARILY to Motormedia. I had been dealing with another chap there who I had bought some stuff from, posters, prints and other memorabilia, and I asked him if he was interested in the LeMans book, and if so how much would he give for it. He said he would credit my account to the tune of 200 pounds a figure that I accepted, and I proceeded to spend that amount with him. Now I know that he was doing alright out of the deal, but then again so was I ,so I think everyone was happy, and for the price I originally paid for the UK book ended up with quite a bit of extra stuff. One of my better deals I think.

stubuchanan
08-10-2011, 10:28 AM
A bit different to AMCO72s book story, this is one of my bargain buys. In the mid seventies I called into a bookshop in Palmerston North (it was the big one, now a Whitcoulls) to see what motoring books they had. Sitting on the shelf was a pristine copy of Automobile Year #1 from 1953/54 with the Indy car drawing on the cover, I had not seen it there on previous visits so it may have been found out the back in the storeroom, the price on it was $8. I grabbed it quickly and took it to the counter and suggested that since it was such an old book the price seemed a bit high! I was allowed to buy it for $5. Many years later when a bit short of cash I sold it in the UK for well over 100 pounds, I wish I still had it though.

I remember the first Automobile Year. My brother found one second hand, must have been early 1960's. It had a soft cover, and the translation to English, from French perhaps, was distinctly quaint. I presume he still has it, buried in a Sydney basement somewhere.

AMCO72
08-10-2011, 05:41 PM
Bloody hell Bob, you are lucky to still be alive after the characters youv'e hung around with. You being a little guy and all. !!!!

Shano
08-10-2011, 08:07 PM
everything round here is for sale,except my wife and gun ,I said yeh how does that work ,he says well its like this my wife is not for sale and I need the gun to deal with anyone that thinks they can get her for free ,he adds there you are young fellow I have just told you a lesson..... That's a true story

I like it.

AMCO72
08-11-2011, 05:20 AM
Bob, there is no such thing as 'off topic' on Yards and Yarns. Speak your mind man, or otherwise hold your peace,or piece, whatever. I don't remember the cigarette lighters, not being a smoking man, probably didn't take much notice, but the WATCHES.....yeh right. The muscles on the left arm were twice as big as the right with all the extra weight dangling there. What is it about a big watch.....maybe was easier to see when the countdown had started, and the Boys were moving in to take over a patch. And it was always certified accurate to a depth of 50 meters. Could be handy when your feet are encased in concrete and your sinking to the ocean floor!!!!! Thinking of the ocean and motoracing......think Monaco. What did Somerset Maugham say about Monaco.........a sunny place for shady people. Next post, a bit about my friend John at 'Bookish', and Bob I have a VERY bad memory.

AMCO72
08-11-2011, 06:55 AM
OK.....John Gamby....'Bookish'....buying and selling, oldish, rarish, and otherwise interesting books. What started me thinking about John, was Bobs mention of cigarette lighters as big as an Aladdins' lamp. John was a HEAVY smoker and I'm afraid it got him in the end. He was one of lifes' gentlemen and his interest in old books was unbounded, and his 'library' as he called it, was just like Aladdins cave. I mentioned in the' Bovine on the Bonnet' post [178] that we had a bach on the Thames coast....Thornton Bay, well John lived a 100 meters one side of me, and Les Rydes lived a 100 meters on the other, they were permanent residents. I was never short of someone to talk to too.....John about books and Les about cars. We will get to Les.........John was what I call a professional gala day, bring and buy, car boot sale, Church stall attender, and the stuff he used to collect for his 'library' was amazing. In this day and age these sort of events get pretty well picked over before the public has a look despite what the organisers will tell you, but every now and then a gem slips through and John is on hand to snap it up. He really wasn't into 'car books' as such but he knew that I was interested and seemed to keep a weather eye cocked for suitable titles. One thing I prize very highly is a complete collection of 'Larry' cartoon books that I was able to purchase from his Wife after he died. He wouldn't let me have them while he was alive and seeing them siting on my shelf now brings back those days when we would have a good natter, not just about books. I also got a No1 Popeye comic from him which I believe is worth a couple of bob today....it's not for sale. Now, Les. A more different bloke to John you couldn't imagine. I doubt that Les had ever read a book of any sort but he was a real salt of the earth guy. In his working days he was a bushman, mostly truck driving, or pulling logs with one of those 'skidder' contraptions behind a bulldozer. He had also done some commercial fishing so he knew a thing or two about hard work. He had a delightful Wife who had had a severe stroke, and Les was a very caring looker-after. The stroke had mainly affected her speech and all she could say was......'tenidernider' Now I have looked in every dictionary printed in every language and nowhere can I find 'tenidernider' Amazing!!!! Of course our kids, especially Angus picked up on this, and anyone today who is a bit 'challenged' is....tenidernider [say...te-nider-nider] Aren't kids little buggers. Les was very keen on Renaults, you know those funny foreign jobs. He had a very nice Renault 16, which I have to say went rather well, but he was always tinkering with it, imagining problems that I don't think were there, but it gave him something to do in his old age. Les is gone now too I afraid. When his wife died he moved into a little unit in Thames and died because he had nothing to keep his mind active, and he missed the great view that he had across the Firth of Thames. So, cheers to both you guys, you certainly livened up my days at the beach.

AMCO72
08-13-2011, 01:30 AM
Whew, Bob, .....that was a close shave. I was begining to think that Yards and Yarns was going to end up on page 3....with you know what!! Those big cigarette lighters you saw on the sales desk were probably made by Ronsen.....they had several rather distinctive designs, one of which was fashioned after the shape of Aladdins Lamp. Talking about reposessing goods. For a bit of 'fun' I occasionally went with an aquaintance who did deliveries for the local whiteware store, gone now, and we would present ourselves at the door of some poor solo mother or what ever, to remove a fridge or washing machine that she had 'forgotten' to pay the HP on for 3 or 4 months. Well there was usually a flood of tears and a phone call to WINZ, and we would be told just to leave the item where it was and THEY would sort it out. My friend Graham who did this, fancied himself as a bit of a rally driver and the shop van would get a good workout on our pick-up sorties....no oiled up plugs on those adventures and a good run in the country to boot. He usually took someone with him if only because sometimes things turned ugly, especially if the boy-friend was at home, and we needed to beat a hasty retreat, not that I would have been very useful in a confrontation, I wasn't very brave in those situations. In fact we were told never to get into arguments with the offenders, and if necessary someone higher up in the food chain would deal with it. Stirling Moss had something rather interesting to say on the subject of bravery in racing drivers.......Bravery isn't hard to find. Skill is something else again. Drivers who only have courage don't last for long.

Carlo
08-13-2011, 04:23 AM
Thinking about the 1500 engine fitted to my Anglia started me thinking about how I got it home after purchasing it off Ron Rutherford in Chch. Rallying had just kicked off and a meeting was held in Chch to form the Canterbury Rally Panel which was to oversee the sport in the central South Island area and a car load of us went over the hill in in Rick Beirnes fathers PC Cresta to attend it. After the meeting we picked up a number of rental cars to return back to Jim Kennedy and Greymouth Motors and I drew the short straw and got stuck with a Mk2 Cortina. We all fueled up at Rons placeabout 10pm and loaded the engine into the back of the MK2 and then set off in convoy behing Rick's car as he was setting the pace to make sure that some people didn't thrash / race the rentals back to Greymouth. Unfortunately for Rick because of the fog he missed the turn off to the shortcut that bypasses Darfield but I didn't and neither did the 4 others who were following me.

Naturally I thought that Ricky was still on our road and skipping along a bit quick in the fog so thought that it was best I catch up on him and decided to press on a tad. The others followed. By the time the fog had cleared we were on the Springfield straights and 1600cc plus the weight of an engine found me slipping to the tail of the field on those long uphill drags toward Porters Pass. It was a little slippy on the white stuff the otherside down towards Lake Lyndon and I managed to get the best of a couple of them there finally taking the lead coming down the Craigiburn Cutting. If we thought that it had been on prior to then well this set a whole new standard as it was flat from there to Greymouth, ice, snow, fog, fords that were iced over, wet seal and gravel with a few rockfalls and slips thrown in for good measure it was a magic nights run accross the Island.

Next morning washed the car and dropped back off to Ricky at Greymouth Motors, told him he was an idiot for going that fast in the fog as we could not keep up with him and all was well, that is for about 2 hours until they went to refuel the Cortina as it only took about 4 gallons before fuel started pouring into the boot. A rock had punched up the bottom of the tank and a gearbox mounting lug had punched a hole the top of the tank.

My story of a slip coming down beween his car and mine lasted until the next Friday night at the Aussie.........

Jac Mac
08-16-2011, 08:07 PM
Mention of woodys Mustang on the 70's/80's thread brought back memory of an incident in the wrecking yard, It was around the time that a suitable means of crushing cars was being investigated nationwide & IIRC the Govt of the day was inviting suggestions & offering to subsidise anyone prepared to set up a facility. Woody got this idea in his head to use an old dragline with a suitable heavy weight to squash the cars, gotta admit that I had my doubts about the suitability of this setup long term, but he went ahead & got the thing, mounted a 'huge' swage block from a defunct engineering firm in place of the bucket & set to., Now 'we' had one guy on the payroll who wouldnt 'operate' this thing under normal daily circumstances, but was busting his gut to have a play, soo one dinnerhour he asked me to man the phone etc as 'he' had something to attend to, no problem. I finished my lunch, answered a couple of phone calls etc & as things were fairly 'quiet' went for a bit of a wander out in the yard. I could 'hear' a diesel engine working quite hard & 'something' caught my eye as it 'flashed' past a couple car bodys piled about three high, then there was a real loud crashing sound. I ran up the hill thinking there must have been a prang on the back road behind the yard but NO.

Here was my workmate in the cab, had worked out most of the controls, but had got it in the 'slew' mode & the thing was rotating anti-clockwise on its base, the swage block now out on about a 30 angle & demolishing everything in its path, plus as the swage block etc passed the cross wise position on each side it was lifting the opposite side of the base so the swage block was dipping & rising at those points, our wannabee operator was now becoming somewhat concerned & yelling out ...how....the....F***... do...you...turn...this...thing...off spread over several revolutions, he didnt really have to worry as with each revolution the swage block was taking a bigger bite of terra firmma & the whole deal eventually ground to a halt.

The second 'funny' bit was when a couple of 'suits' from the govt turned up to 'view' the operation, full of importance & complete with shiny briefcases they went up the yard to view this masterpiece, didnt stay long & said very little as they were leaving, man I would love to have had a remote microphone in their car as they headed back north, it would have been priceless

Shano
08-17-2011, 11:00 PM
Here was my workmate in the cab, had worked out most of the controls, but had got it in the 'slew' mode & the thing was rotating anti-clockwise on its base, the swage block now out on about a 30 angle & demolishing everything in its path, plus as the swage block etc passed the cross wise position on each side it was lifting the opposite side of the base so the swage block was dipping & rising at those points, our wannabee operator was now becoming somewhat concerned & yelling out ...how....the....F***... do...you...turn...this...thing...off spread over several revolutions, he didnt really have to worry as with each revolution the swage block was taking a bigger bite of terra firmma & the whole deal eventually ground to a halt.


That's fantastic - had a good laugh at that.

AMCO72
08-19-2011, 01:47 AM
There are not many similarities between University students and race-car fans except one perhaps.....the fondness for a pint or 3....maybe a celebration, maybe not, but never-the-less enjoyed by all participants. This yarn has as a thread running through it, a particularly popular beverage consumed in large quantities by sports fans and students alike.....beer, and in Canterbury, at the time I am writing about, 'Dominion Bitter' was King. Every year at University capping time, when degrees and diplomas are conferred at a posh ceremony, there takes place during the week before the serious stuff, a series of pranks so the students can 'let their hair down', in other words, misbehave!! Some outrageous feats have been performed over the years, although I think now OSH has stepped in and the accent seems to be only on drinking.. The people of Christchurch used to take all of this in good humour, well most of it, but occasionally things got out of hand and discipline followed. The capping 'procesh' was a big drawcard through the streets of ChCh....a bit like 'Boobs on Bikes' but definately NO nudity, and a lot of money was collected. The collectors party wound up the week where huge amounts of beer would be consumed.....no designated drivers then, the least pissed person got behind the wheel. The whole object of the week did have a serious purpose, that to raise money for a deserving charity, and in 1961 that charity was IHC, and usually a considerable sum was raised. That year our class of 20, decided to do something really spectacular, and to keep up the image of drunken louts, decided we would roll a 40 gallon barrel, wooden and empty, the 100 miles along the Great South Road, as it was then called, from Timaru to Christchurch. Someone had access to these things and we conducted a series of test to check the feasability of such a stunt, and found it was almost impossible to roll a barrel and keep it on course for 100 meters let alone 100 miles!! So we decided to cheat a little bit and fashioned a handle connected to a water-pipe axle through the barrel. This transformed the handling and we could get along at a good clip, depending on the fitness or otherwise of the pushers...always 2. The week of celebrations approached, and to keep our stunt within the law, we approached, with some trepidation, the transport dept for permission. Amazingly they were OK about it with a few conditions......no pushing during the hours of darkness; no pushing on the 7 or so bridges on that stretch of road, and a pilot vehicle 100 yards behind the pushers to alert traffic. No problem. I was lucky that I got the job of pilot vehicle driver, probably because I was useless at sport, and the other guys decided that they, the fit ones, would do the pushing. The pilot vehicle chosen was a 1928 Whippet roadster, and belonged to a fellow student Alister Hopkinson. Hoppy was a top rugby player, was in the Lincoln team and went on to represent Canterbury in the Ranfurly Shield, and eventually was a coach of the team. The old Whippet didn't seem to mind idling along all day and was great for me as I drove along in relative comfort while everyone else was busting gut shaking collection tins, and taking turns at barrel pushing. We probably had some spiritous liquor concealed in the rumble seat of the car, ready to boost flagging energy! We decided that one barrel would not make the entire journey without falling to bits so had 2 spares on the back of an Austin A40 ute just in case. In fact the first barrel made the whole distance without any bother, mainly because we were pushing on the grass verge on the side of the road. We started at Washdyke, just north of Timaru and finished at Hornby just south of ChCh, when these places were just small villages. The whole episode went remarkably, almost disappointingly smoothly, and even had some good Canterbury farmers wives keeping our spirits up with hot scones and pikelets. We split the journey into 2 days over a weekend, averaging about 6 mph, and with plenty of advertising on the Whippet and the A40, got a good reception....a bit like todays 'BASH'. I cant remember how much we collected but it was a sizable sum and the IHC benefited accordingly. So rather than being branded as useless drunken lay-abouts, our beer barrel roll came in for some praise which was a bit of a plus for us. Like a lot of things we did then, would be unlikely to happen today......probably would have to get resource consent or some other nonsense. Oh dear! Is interesting to note that the 100 miles of piloting in the Whippet stood me in good stead when 45 years later I did many 100's, indead 1000's of miles piloting for a roadside mowing contractor, upgraded a bit to a new Toyota Ute!

AMCO72
08-19-2011, 02:17 AM
A little bit of History wont go astray here as that is what we are into on this forum. The Whippet car came from the Willys-Overland Co, one of the more illustrious names in the auto business. Many people have never heard of, let alone seen a Whippet car, yet at one stage in America was selling in 3rd place behind Ford and Chev. Was only made for 4 years and didn't survive the great depression of the 30's It's name of course was derived from the dog of the same name....being small and swift. Many cars have been labeled 'DOGS' but not actually named AFTER a dog!! The car was famous for...'Finger Tip Control'. This was a button on the steering wheel which, switched the lights on when turned, sounded the horn when pushed, and activated the starter when pulled.! Was a complicated switch for it's time and in the left-hand-drive versions was responsible for a few engine fires. The wiring exiting the bottom of the steering column was exposed to fuel dripping from the carburetor.....didn't happen to the RHD NZ models. The company eventually went on to share production of a much better known vehicle.....the WW2 Jeep. The Whippet roadster we had at Lincoln was one of the better and more reliable machines at the campus, and I became quite attached to it. I would borrow it from Hoppy from time to time, when he was otherwise engaged in footy practice, to do 'messages'.......pick up a 1/2 G or two from the pub when Paddy McGrail wasn't looking. [see post 86 Y & Y] Is a very rare car today, and I have in fact never seen another roadster.....wouldn't mind it today.

Jac Mac
08-19-2011, 06:11 AM
Said I would tell the story about the Austin A55/60 fuel tank I used in the MK2 Cortina I built up as an OSCA saloon back in the mid 70's... Was having fuel surge/lack of problems & decided that it needed a pickup on each side that would then drain down into a small common tank from which the Holley electric pump would draw from..[ Tank was mounted up between the rear wheel arch's behind back seat area...Yeh I know height-weight etc, but I didnt know as much as I do now back then :) ].... anyway the tank had to come out to do this so was drained of fuel, blown out with compressed air at home, garden hose left running in it on the front lawn for 20 minutes, then I took it to work & stuck the steam cleaner in it for another 10/15 minutes, then filled it with water again, drained it out, blew heaps of compressed air thru it, took it into the w/shop & drilled the holes for the pipe fittings, sat it up on a couple of trestles in order to weld the two fittings into it.... light up the oxy acetylene & think to myself....perhaps I should wave the flame over the filler neck just to be really safe before I sit down & weld these fittings in........... WHOOMPH.... the tank goes up & hits the rafters in the shop [~ 6 meters ] comes back down, flattens a 2 gallon pour a can on the floor, then dissappears out the side door of the w/shop still with a flame about four feet long exiting the filler neck... I am left standing there in disbelief at what has just happened after taking all those precautions beforehand. Having gathered my thoughts I head outside expecting to find a totally useless fuel tank... but apart from a couple of kinks on the swage lines etc it appeared OK... take it back in ... light up the gas again for take two & proceed to weld the fittings in.... all done, used the hammer & dolly set to dress out the kinks etc , check it all out for any leaks & back home to fit it all back in the car...with some effort now as its not quite the same shape anymore... All good, fit up the new fuel lines etc & fill up the tank....bonus, it now holds about one more gallon:)..

That was a long time ago & I have learnt some 'new' tricks along the way.... The safest way I now know of to 'De-Gas' a fuel tank is to simply empty it, stick a hose from the filler neck onto the tailpipe of the family car & leave it running for about 20 minutes, has worked every time I have ever had to weld a fuel tank etc since....

beowulf
08-19-2011, 07:20 PM
Speaking of blowing things up. Back in my youth I was shepherding on a station (farm not railway) out on the coast from Waipawa. A great gravel road into town. In the "good old days" you could wander into Wright Stephenson's and buy gelignite over the counter. As long as they knew you it was fine.
Anyway, anytime there was a dead cow or horse on the side of the road we would purchase a couple of plugs of gelignite, fuse, and slow burning trace. At the scene it was only a couple of minutes to cut a slit in the side of the dead animal. Making sure you were standing up wind! Insert the gelly and fuse with the slow burning trace. Light it and depart. Five minutes later there wouldn't be much left! It also worked well on "long drop" toilets. Would be great in porta loos.The locals soon worked out who was responsible and we were told that if we persisted we would probably be the next things blown up. Then there was the time we took a couple of possums in a bag to a dance at the local hall and let them go. Quickest I have ever seen a hall empty. We got blamed but they couldn't prove anything. The district must have been a lot quieter after we left.

Carlo
08-19-2011, 10:24 PM
Which reminds me of a story regarding a couple of good old mates known to some as "Double trouble" "The OB's", "H & L", "The Boys" or simply Hugh & Lloyd Owen. Some may recall that when they returned to Blenheim from the UK and their time at Brabhams that along with Gerry Hones ex Brabham works manager they build up a series of Formula Fords called the GLH in which thay had many sucesses.

Now one of these cars developed a fuel leak in the bag tank and though I did not witness it the story goes as follows.
To get the tank out they would need to undo all the rivets along the side panel as the tank was between the outer skin and the tube frame and they could not get it past the tubework, then someone had the thought that i they could collapse the bag by extracting all the air from it then they could possibly be able to slip it out without the need to remove panels so the Goblin Ace vacuum cleaner from the office was brought into service to suck all the air from the bag.
Those familiar with the workings of a Goblin Ace Vacuum cleaner will recall that the air was sucked in through the front, the dirt collected in a bag and the air exited from the rear of the cleaner after having passed through the motor. All was going well until the last few drops of fuel passed through the motor of the cleaner and at this point ignition took place and the 1st jet engine developed by the boys took off through the workshop and across the road into the Blenheim Gasworks yard where it finally expired with just a small tell tail flame and black smoke to show for the effort.

To this day any mention or sight of a Goblin Ace vacuum cleaner sends the three of us of into gales of laughter

beowulf
08-20-2011, 07:43 PM
Great story Bob. Haven't laughed so much for years. How the hell did we all grow up to be responsible adults, pillars of society, all that sort of thing? But didn't we have a lot more fun than the modern teenager who seems more involved with their cellphone than anything else?
Speaking of blowing toilets up. There were some very funny stories around the Wigram portable toilets, mostly based on truth. Maybe someone who was there could enlighten us.

Shano
08-20-2011, 07:47 PM
Is there anything funnier than an exploding dunny? Great story.

Jac Mac
08-20-2011, 08:37 PM
Ii was Frank Gardners mechanic that did that ,if I can find it I will pass it on here,ohh then there was the case of the World Champion and the Kiwi Mustang driver at one of the meetings ,car vs sack dunny from memory

The 'Story' was in the book put out by Frank Gardner/Castrol, used to have a copy, but like a lot of things it has gone missing..... there is also a story about the portable toilet at a Dunsandel? grass track venue, I could tell that one, but it would be third or fourth hand.... better to come from someone closer to the original...:)

AMCO72
08-20-2011, 10:19 PM
Beowulf very kindly leant me a copy of the DVD.....'Frank Gardner'....address to the Historic Sports & racing car Association of NSW..1999. It has among other priceless anecdotes, the story of the exploding dunny at Wigram. He was one hard case, that fella!! How the hell have we got from Historic Race Cars to exploding 'johns'. I'm sure we are going to get pulled up by our administrator soon.

pallmall
08-20-2011, 11:03 PM
Not on this thread you wont! Keep the stories coming fellas, these are all must read posts on a daily basis.

AMCO72
08-21-2011, 04:12 AM
Right, bit of Sunday night nonsense. This is an ad on Ebay for a, wait for it, MINI. I kid you not.. You have to read it about 30 times to understand what is being said. Sounds like teenage texting language, or this fella needs to go back to school and concentrate, or indeed back to where he came from!!! For those of us on this forum, and thats all of us, who think we can speak and write the Queens English, you will find this a bit of a challenge. The ad reads...........this is a mk1 rolling shel the frunt has bin removed to strt restering so it can do with a noow fruntend neds to frunt flur pans and the resd can be pachd up i thinck sub frams ar good and everything is origanal its one ov thm heve shels i thinck its a non resesd windo 59er as the hols for the gerstick is far back and ther wos trim in it but i bind it siley me it has mowog on sub fram thes one chassis numba on wots lefd ov the frunt end wich is chopt up and inside the car but it dus ned frunt end thers a numba playt with it i would love to see this car go back on the road i jusd dont hav the rite plays to do it carnt find log book so you wood hav to send of for one ther is a engine not sher if its good its 850 kno hed on it thers kno dors its jusd a empty roling shell good luck on biding.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm telling you, THAT took a bit of typing....is full of red spell-check lines. And these kids want us to adopt this spelling.....on yer bike sonny.

beowulf
08-21-2011, 08:51 AM
I remember Steve Boreham of Goldstar Hillclimb fame saying once that to stay young you had to mix with young people. And if you mixed with old people you would get old, maybe not in years but certainly in outlook. Thats one of the things I love about motorsport, you are mixing with young people and people with a young outlook.

pallmall
08-23-2011, 06:11 AM
I can recall it now that you mention it, but no details.
I will see if I can jog a few other memories and report back.

pallmall
08-23-2011, 08:18 PM
Well, if nothing else, trying to shake old memories certainly bought out a few stories of various custom and hot rodded Morris Minors from the sixties, mentioned were the 'Vodka and Orange' custom in Christchurch, the Red Barron from Pukekohe with an ohv V8 that was run in all sorts of Hot Rod events from Drags to Hill Climbs, as well as cars that had various 4 cyl Ford engines fitted and even one with a 3.3 litre Cresta engine.
Around Auckland there was a recall of a customised car in green, but that ran a slightly hotted A series engine, this is that car.
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/References/wp005Quicke-mailview.jpg

The V860 powered car was remembered by the three people I phoned, but no names were remembered, and even the colour was forgotten. I think like me all three had V860 association through speedway midgets, so a V860 in something other than the odd Simca was interesting. The large radiator also wasn't recalled, perhaps that was in later days when the car was no longer turning up to any Hot Rod Club events. The photo below is of very poor quality, but I think it may be the car on show at Mt Maunganui circa 1967/68.
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/References/wp006Quicke-mailview.jpg

As well it wasn't 12 months ago, because none of us would have remembered, things from 40 odd years ago can usually be recalled to some degree.

bob homewood
08-23-2011, 08:59 PM
Well it certainly looks very similar,what I can remember that last I saw it ,I think the radiator had gained some more cores,and the front panel was spaced even further forward to sort of cover it,Thanks for the memory search

Frosty5
08-25-2011, 03:46 AM
Yes, Johnny Rileys yard was on the Gt Sth Rd by the Tamaki River opposite what was then Foodtown Supermarket. He then moved to the corner of Gt Sth and Portage Rds at the northern end of Otahuhu. Graeme Harvey was on the corner of Portage and Saleyards Rds and he used to test his Elfin up and down the short part of Portage Rd toward the railway marshalling yards. I lived just across the paddock at the Abattoir and as soon as I heard the Elfin I would sprint across the paddock to get an eye and ear full! Red Dawson had a yard further up Gt Sth Rd near Huia Rd.

AMCO72
08-28-2011, 01:43 AM
You remember when we were talking about Bar's Leaks in thread 136 of Yards and Yarns, well in 'Entry Lists', pall mall has just posted some pages from the programme for the 1960 NZ GP meeting at Ardmore, and there on the page for the Saloon Car H/cap is a little plug for Bar's Leaks........'.Every 5000 miles, give your engine efficient heat control with Bar's Leaks'. How about that!!! BUT, just look at the entry for the Grand Prix......wouldn't you give your right-arm to see that grid today. We didn't know how lucky we were.

pallmall
08-28-2011, 02:17 AM
We were spoilt back in those days, the following year, 1961, was almost a full F1 World Championship grid. With the final 2.5 litre F1 race having taken place at Riverside California next stop was Ardmore. We had works cars from Cooper, Lotus, BRM, plus cars from the main private F1 entrants, basically all but Ferrari.

Here is the Bars Leaks advert from the tatty back cover of the 1960 programme.

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/RANDOM/1960001583x750.jpg

beowulf
08-28-2011, 05:06 PM
In one of the earlier threads we talked about the modern youth not wanting to get involved in the club side of motorsport. I have just received an e.mail from my original car club saying that the AGM had ben called off because only 7 members attended which was less than the quorum needed. This is a club that has clubrooms, used to have 250 members, ran Gold Star Hillclimbs, trials and National rallies. We used to have a speed event every month during the summer, including a grass track racing meeting, and a trial every month during the winter. We produced a Gold Star Sports Car champion in Andy Buchanan, and our members competed with distinction in all forms of motorsport. Recently a member won the NZ rally championship for the third time. A couple of years ago the club celebrated it's 50th anniversary.
After event functions at the clubrooms were well supported and popular, and we had no complaints from neighbours. Club members who stepped out of line were disciplined. Events were well patronised by local members as well as visitors from neighbouring clubs, most of whom had at least an hours drive to get there. As committee members we all worked hard to promote events, to have fun and we made many good friends.
I find it rather depressing that a club that not so long ago was one of the best in NZ is now struggling. Modern technolegy might be terrific but the art of verbal communication is being lost in the modern PC world.
I don't know what this has to do with Yards and Yarns, but I have got it off my chest and feel better. Thanks.

AMCO72
08-28-2011, 07:32 PM
Beowulf....what a sad letter. But dont apologise, because your comments on the club scene, how it used to be, and how it is today, is what this Forum is all about. The plain fact of the matter is that MOST of the guys reading this, and I'm presuming that MOST if not all, are guys, are old-ish. Just take a wander around the pits at a classic meeting and what do you see.....old-ish guys squeezed into race suits that are too small for them, and old-ish spectators with the grandchildren in tow. The young fellas bought up on 500hp, twin-turboed, 4 wheel-drive Rice-Rockets, find our cars a bit Ho-Hum......'drifting is what it's all about man'!!!!!! The modern technology that you talk about is good in the sense that we can communicate instantly with one another, either on here or the cell phone, but you are right that the camerarderie of the club seems to be disappearing. I've got to sit down and have a real good think about this, but your letter demanded an instant, if not well thought out reply. Watch this space.

AMCO72
08-29-2011, 03:44 AM
Could Steve please tell me what the 5 gold stars on this and 'Images' thread signify? Have we won some sort of award for the most bullshit. I know there used to be a Gold Star championship in NZ, as beowulf mentioned that Andy Buchanan had won such an award, other than that I am baffled. A free trip to Hawaii would be nice!!!!!!

Steve Holmes
08-29-2011, 03:49 AM
Beowulf very kindly leant me a copy of the DVD.....'Frank Gardner'....address to the Historic Sports & racing car Association of NSW..1999. It has among other priceless anecdotes, the story of the exploding dunny at Wigram. He was one hard case, that fella!! How the hell have we got from Historic Race Cars to exploding 'johns'. I'm sure we are going to get pulled up by our administrator soon.

Well this administrator certainly won't be pulling you up! I love this stuff! This is what this website was created for. All those stories the magazines didn't publish. They're priceless! Keep 'em coming.....

Steve Holmes
08-29-2011, 03:53 AM
Could Steve please tell me what the 5 gold stars on this and 'Images' thread signify? Have we won some sort of award for the most bullshit. I know there used to be a Gold Star championship in NZ, as beowulf mentioned that Andy Buchanan had won such an award, other than that I am baffled. A free trip to Hawaii would be nice!!!!!!

The stars were put there by another member Gerald. They're basically a rating to let other members and visitors to the forum know what they think of certain threads. 5 stars is as good as it gets, so someone is obviously enjoying it. The stars just let others know this is a good thread to check out and spend some time in. Same goes for Nigels photo thread.

nigel watts
08-29-2011, 05:20 AM
Thanks for that explanation Steve. I wondered what they were for as I thought that maybe only I could see them!! Silly bugger!!

Oldfart
08-29-2011, 05:42 AM
This is going to sound really weird, but.. I believe that the instantness of communication has a lot to answer for. In the "good old days" if the phone was not answered we rang back, if it was engaged , we rang back, and I think a number of events, like the AGM were well attended because people rang each other and persuaded others to be there, if only for a catch up. Club magazines were done on the Gestetner at work, looked like rubbish in many cases, but eagerly anticipated, and saved for ever.
Now it's too easy, leave a message on the answerphone which most of us forget, emailed news if any at all is deleted, and we all forget to go to these things. Of course the anti drink driving laws make some of our "after match functions" a bit difficult. Some of our antics could never be allowed now.
An old Boy Racer!

AMCO72
08-29-2011, 06:38 AM
Well, that stirred a few folk up eh! I was going to say also that there will come a time, I think, when we wont even NEED a club like the one beowulf has fond memories of. As Bob says, everything is done on line. When I came 'out of retirement' to do a bit of motoracing again, the only reason I joined a MANZ affiliated club was to get my licence again. I told the Club Captain that he wouldn't see me at events, and I think he was a bit disappointed, not because I wouldn't be there, but because I was using the club for a means to an end. I have belonged to all sorts of motoring clubs for years and have done rallies, trials, gymkhanas, etc etc etc and at 72, I'm not about to do them all over again. So a club, FOR ME is not necessary. The little bit of racing I do now can be done quite satisfactorily by just entering the appropriate web site and paying a fee. I meet all my racing mates at the track and thats good, and is all I want. Thats not to say that a club is not beneficial to others. Maybe we have lost our sense of adventure and as 'oldfart' says the drinking laws today have put a bit of a damper on after match functions. I do know that if it wasn't for this forum, and this medium for communication, I would never have have written all the junk I have, if I had to rely on pen and paper and party-line telephones. Bugger, I was really looking forward to a trip to Hawaii, because Yards and Yarns had won 5 gold stars for journalism!!!!!

beowulf
08-29-2011, 08:43 AM
thanks guys for your explanations. You are right, we don't need a car club now to be active in motorsport. You buy your bits on Trade Me. Information from the Internet and so on. I belong to 4 car clubs and enjoy their newsletters thoroughly. Being an ex editor of car club mags I appreciate the work and efort that goes into them. MSNZ enjoys my capitation levy.
I attend the local Vintage Car Club clubnights, the average age might be 350 but the turnout of members is fabulous. They are planning to extend their clubrooms so everybody can fit in.
Maybe we could get all the highlights from The Roaring Season, put them into a book and all go to Hawaii!

beowulf
08-30-2011, 07:27 PM
Jeez Bob, you know how to keep us in suspense don"t you. Do you moonlight as a writer for the "Young and the Restless"? You are obviously still alive and kicking. It mightn't have much to do with Yards and Yarns but it is a great story.

AMCO72
08-30-2011, 09:56 PM
We have already decided that there are 'no holds barred' on Yards and Yarns. We may loose our 5 star rating, but I suspect we will still get plenty of tyre kickers. Frankly Bob, I thought you were still earning a crust, so I don't know how you have time to sit down and write all this stuff.......long smoko's perhaps. All right for us old pensioners with nothing else to do. Your right about the 'legends' bit though. Todays lot are so damn squeaky clean. The few characters that are out there may not be the ones winning championship titles, but they are the ones that will be remembered, and could well appear on this forum in 20 years time!!!

beowulf
09-01-2011, 08:51 AM
Bob you write well, keep the yarns coming, they certainly revive memories of a time that we probably see through rose coloured glasses.
I mentioned earlier that "my" car club was having problems. It reminded me of a time when we didn't have anything worthwhile in the bank. The solution was to run a gambling evening complete with Calcutta and bar. All highly illegal at the time. Being a mug I volounteered to organise it.
A country hall on the junction of several roads was booked. The theory being that if we were raided there were several escape routes.
One person sat just down the main road with a walkie talkie radio. His job was to radio in if the cops went past. What made us think that they would be in marked cars I don't know. Problem was he turned up with his new girlfriend. I don't know what he saw that night, but they had to get married several months later.
Some one on the committee knew a local bookmaker so I had a yarn with him. Basically I fronted it and he organised it. I had no idea what a Calcutta was, and still am not sure, apparently you buy a horse in a nominated race and if it wins you clean up all the other buyers prices. Less of course a cut to the organisers. We also had various card games, shove ha-penny, slater racing, snail racing, two up and various other dubious pursuits.
Selling alcohol was strictly forbidden at the time. It was still 6 o'clock closing. I bought the booze in small lots to avoid suspicion. Mostly beer but some whiskey. Apparently all the big gamblers drank whiskey and it loosened their wallets. NO wine I don't think it was available at all then.
Any way came the big night. We made a goodish profit, everybody enjoyed themselves, there were no fights, the booze ran out at the right time. And the club was solvent for a while. We never made any real money until we held a grass track race meeting. Thats another story.
I happened to bump into a member of the police force at a stock sale not long afterwards. his tip was next time we ran a gambling evening to tell the local police in case we got raided by some out of town cops. They would let us know in time to be gone by the time the raiding party arrived. Wouldn't happen now.

Rod Grimwood
09-10-2011, 10:44 PM
Bob your bit about tying things up, brings back a real funny thing I saw at Puke one day. As you mentioned about having a couple of hard case fellows following you, we new a couple as well. We were at Pukekohe for a national meeting and had parked our road cars and van (which had the food in it) up behind the main stand for the usual gathering and BBQ after. Well these blokes arrive and drive over to park up with our wagons and get a big rev from a certain official who will remain nameless. Well after a fairly heated lot of words the boy's drive way over to the top carpark and are not happy. Well during the day they sneak their car back over and park near ours. Now after the meeting we all gather for refreshments and one of them say's to his mate " That car there is that bloke who through us out" it is a little Toyota, Well unbeknown to us they get a big rope and tie it to the rear of a Rover V8 and hide all the rope under them. After a while along comes a bloke and jumps in his Rover and starts to go across the paddock when it comes up tight and starts wheelspinning, well the boys jump in and say "you are alright you are just stuck a bit give it heaps and we will push". This guy gives it the big one and with a bit of push is slowly off across grass with the other car skidding along behind, and the guy's all yelling at him "keep going, give it too it". Well as he gets to other side he must have looked in mirror or something and realises there is a car follwing him backwards, and stops gets out and undoes the rope, abuse's the boy's and takes off. Well we were over the other side of paddock watching this and had tears in our eyes and could hardly breath for laughter. So once all settles down, back to BBQ and chilly bin. About an hour later the official turns up for his car and stands there looking at it way over the other side of paddock at the end of a big line of skid marks and says to his son "did you skid it over there" and son just looks totally dumbfounded and say's "i haven't been near the car". At this stage I and a few others took off down around the side of grandsatand because i couldn't keep a straight face. The look on the officials face (well known to most of us at Puke in those days of long past) was unreal, he walked over to his car and could not work out how it got over the other side of paddock exept when he got there and he looked at the back of car it was covered/caked in grass and mud from the Rover. If the guy with the Rover reads this "your secret ID is safe" and the official involved "thank you very much for all you did for the racing at Puke and I never did get those rat bags name".

Shano
09-12-2011, 07:07 PM
Where's all that stuff gone? The great casualty of the 21st century is.... the sense of humour. Do that now and you'd have police helicopters and a swat team callout.

Rod Grimwood
09-12-2011, 08:10 PM
Talk of chair racing, years back when family were young and truck racing had just started, was away on family trip to snow and stopped into the Taupo track and clubrooms on the Friday evening on way back to Auckland to catch up with a few of the locals at the original clubrooms next to the old track. There was a good gathering and they made us feel real welcome when we poked our head in the door. The girls got together with the kids and the boy,s meet around the bar and traded stories. Well as the night progressed a person (top lad) who raced a truck put out a challenge to car boys for a chair race. Well there were 2 big arm chairs with wheels and the team had to be a child in the chair and a pusher (driver). They placed some cones at either end of club and then began. After first couple of curcuits my kids thought this was great and talked me into challenging the winner. Great idea with stomach full of amber. Well the truck boy played hard and gave us a good shunt going into the top turn and then it was on. After a lot of hitting and slipping over (not Pissed) we all went back to bar, when some person mentioned how about a team race around the track, and that was that. Can you imagine a load of fairly sideways (drunk) drivers with excited kids (passengers) and a crowd of very excited (wine) spectator ladies. After a meeting it was agreed to start at the beginning of the old esse's and finish at the start/finish line which was around onto main straight. 3 groups per team to push in relay. What a laugh, it was smooth bitumin but there were a few little holes, so after a load of tip ups and arse ups, the curcuit boys prevailed (just). Don't think those chairs did much more after this night. The good old days and there was not even a meeting this weekend just a normal gathering of club members and a couple of visiters who dropped into say hello and ended staying for a couple of nights.
I actually saw truck racing on TV the other weekend and the hard case is still doing it.

Rod Grimwood
09-15-2011, 10:38 PM
Love it, theres a few different things that went on alright. I note Bob that you were the good sumaritum (helpful bloke) in most of these incidents, they are so lucky you are the quite one and they would have been lost without you to look after them. I know how hard it is to look after those other rat bags, not easy at all, I was always keeping an eye on some of the ones I know (knew).

GD66
09-19-2011, 11:14 AM
we had the usual refreshment session in the Oxford


Jeez Bob, you may have just answered a long-standing query amongst a group of distant expats : is the Oxford the pub in Levin where you could sit in the beer garden and clearly hear the cars (F5000s in particular !) stand on it as they entered the front straight 'cos the exhausts were pointed due east, straight at the pub ?

Rod Grimwood
09-19-2011, 11:23 PM
After the nice big storm yesterday with over 2000 lightning strikes in an hour, and unbelievable rain and wind my home computor has gone to sleep, hopefully the nice man can revive it tomorrow, so this is from work. Goody oh Goody, he was a legend, I will wait until my computor is up and running and share a couple of little things that happened during/after Heatway along with other trips and functions.