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Thread: Northern Sports Car Club - the early years.

  1. #1
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Northern Sports Car Club - the early years.

    NSCC, was formed during the second world war - believe or not and from what I have gleaned from my Uncle Albert Edward " Eddie " Dowding, initial discussions took place on the Ferries between, Auckland City and the North Shore jetty's, Devonport, Northcote and Birkenhead.
    Eddie lived at the time in Herne Bay and caught the Ferry to Northcote to visit his girlfrend who became his wife in June 1942.

    Amongst the group initially involved were, Ces Hodge, Jack Boot [ Ed's brother - in - law ] Phil Seabrook, Alan Pybus, Vern Clarke Jock Aitken and others
    Lawrie Powell [ the well known Ford V8 driver and later the " famous " Starter at Pukekohe ] and others, including Ron Roycroft, and Ralph Watson were members in the late 1940's too !!.

    I knew Jock Aitken - he was the mechanic on my first car in 1967, and Alan Pybus - was a great mate of Ed's whom he stayed in touch with until recently when they both passed away.
    I have met both Ron Roycroft [ at Glen Murray and at the Pukekohe swap meeting ] and Ralph Watson, a visitor to my house in Herne Bay [ when Lyle Chambers was my flatmate and had a BSA Special ] on several occasions to look at Lyle's BSA, arriving in his own BSA Special.

    In some later photo's at Mackies Rest on a trial in 1946, is Ralph in his 1933 Singer Roadster with my Uncle Ed and his wife Una in their Morris 8 Tourer

    Eddie Dowding and his brother-in-law Jack Boot both belonged, Eddie was Club Captain in the early days 1944-45 and Second President in 1945-46 years. Verne Clark was president 1943-45
    The Club was formally incorporated in October 1943, but meetings [ informal club gatherings ] took place from 1942 on.

    Eddie is still alive and well at 95, [ Eddie passed away aged 98 in May 2018 ] and many years ago gave me a few photos on NSCC and some events.

    Here are a few to start

    Name:  0NSCC Concours TRS NSCC Concour TRS #2.7-05-2015 01;51;51PM (640x337).jpg
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    NSCC Concours 1947 -

    Name:  Ed and Una's Riley with others Helensville Mud Trial 1949 . 17-05-2015 02;03;24PM.jpg
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    NSCC Helensville Mud Trial 1949
    Photo from the same event - Outside the Helensville Hall at the end of the trial with Ron Roycroft in his car

    Name:  Jack Boot - Riley Special  cinder track Huntly mid 1940's #2 17-05-2015 02;16;37PM (640x475).jpg
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    Jack Boot Riley Special - raced at a Cinder Track in Huntly - year not known but late 1940's.**
    Now believed to be 1944 so mid 1940's

    As I find more will post them.

    Please add to the thread.
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 08-20-2019 at 04:35 AM. Reason: updated info ####47

  2. #2
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    Roger...amazing photos. Thanks and keep them coming. Cheers, Bruce D

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    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spgeti View Post
    Roger...amazing photos. Thanks and keep them coming. Cheers, Bruce D
    Name:  G N Special, Gordon Brown, 1947 Ford 10 special 4255408.jpg
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    This will be really small, but there is a note on NSCC website that the car has been found and the current owner [ unkown ] wants some information, described as the G B Special, built by a Gordon Brown, Ford 10 Motor, Hillman gearbox and the photo was at a beach race NSCC meeting, at Muriwai. in 1948.

  4. #4
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    a bit more NSCC information ;
    their list of Past Presidents: some errors perhaps, Eddie always talked about being Club Captain, and in a Boat Club, that is the Top Guy.
    Interestingly Jock Aitken, was a mechanic and he used to look after my first car in 1967, a 1960 Austin Seven - Mini, at his tiny workshop, two single garages down below Auckland University in Grafton Gulley.
    When I first joined NSCC, 1967, buy a Car , join a Car Club, they held meetings at Edendale School Hall, and for the first one my Dad Mac took me, met Jim Sager, Ken Sager's father and a few others, they showed movie clips 8mm from the 50's .. where are they now ?, of Hillclimbs and Sprints,
    The later Presidents, will be right as I remember Owen Thomas, Morrie Chandler, then Bob Kidd and others, including Rod Peat,

    1943-45 Verne Clarke
    1945-46 Eddie Downing .. Eddie Dowding
    1946-47 Ces Hodge
    1947-48 John Wilson
    1948-49 Colin McGregor
    1950-51 Jock Aitken
    1951-52 Phil Ornstein
    1952-55 Laurie Powell
    1955-56 Roger Brown
    1955-56 Peter Ayson
    1956-60 Dudley Badham
    1960-62 Lloyd Gerrard
    1962-64 Jim Lockley
    1964-66 Ian Runnerstrum
    1966-70 Owen Thomas
    1970-74 Morrie Chandler

    ** New information;
    Eddie's name has been corrected on the NSCC Facebook Page and their Website page.
    Have established that the intial gatherings were in the summer of 1942/43 and the Club was formally established in October 1943 - date of Incorporation..

    Their Logo - from the Fbook page.

    Name:  Cars #243 NSCC Auckland Logo.jpg
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    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 06-25-2019 at 04:18 AM. Reason: more info #### 47

  5. #5
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Some more early photo's

    Name:  NSCC event Swanson area late 1940's  larger 19-05-2015 12;18;04PM.jpg
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    Swanson Area late 1940's

    Name:  NSCC meeting Graham Wells Bentley 1948. 19-05-2015 12;07;09PM.jpg
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    Graham Wells Bentley and most of the club 1948

    Name:  NSCC meeting Titirangi 1942 #  larger 1.19-05-2015 12;11;39PM.jpg
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    Titirangi 1942, 3rd or 4th meeting
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 05-19-2015 at 01:32 AM. Reason: details of photos - locations

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    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    And some more ;
    Mud Climb, Macky's Rest, off the Scenic Drive, Titirangi - Swanson area about 1946.
    [ details from the backs of the photo's.]

    Believed to be Ken Hemus in the Singer
    Name:  NSCC Mud Climb 1946 # 1.19-05-2015 12;02;34PM.jpg
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    My Uncle Ed [ Eddie ] Dowding [ 1919 -2018 ] steering and his wife Una [ 1920 - visited her recently in Auckland ] pushing the car described in the Ron Roycroft Book as a Morris 8, It is in fact a Morris Minor - manufactured from 1928 - 1933, with either Wolseley OHC 4, 1928 -30 or Morris Sidevalve 1930 on.. I mentioned the Car to Ed several years ago as I was surprised him owning one when he had usually owned Austin Sevens or various Rileys ..[ additional notes 4 March 2019 ]

    Name:  NSCC Mud climb 1946 # 2. 19-05-2015 12;04;04PM.jpg
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    Name:  NSCC Mud climb 1946 # 3. 19-05-2015 12;05;38PM.jpg
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    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 03-04-2019 at 04:35 AM. Reason: more info #### 47

  7. #7
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Back in the 1950's when Eddie Dowding and friends from the NSCC went to Ardmore they often went with Jack Fowler in a truck,Jack owned Swanson Transport and one of the guys going was a " Win Bristow " who was an artist of some note. at Ardmore in the early 50's - probably 1953, he did a series of sketches of cars.
    Win passed away many years ago but had given Eddie Dowding the sketches of which I have copies.
    Here are a couple - more to follow once I resize them.

    Name:  Win Bristow Ardmore ; BRM Ken Wharton #2,  19-05-2015 03;59;44PM (640x421).jpg
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    Name:  Win Bristow Ardmore Ferrari Peter Whitehead 19-05-2015 04;02;50PM.jpg
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    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    A couple more ; Moss Maserati and Austin Healey - driver not stated

    Name:  Win Bristow Ardmore Maserati Stirling Moss 19-05-2015 04;01;17PM.jpg
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    Name:  Win Bristow Ardmore Pits Austin Healey 19-05-2015 04;14;20PM.jpg
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    Note says Moss won in this car so that may help determine the year.
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 05-26-2015 at 02:33 AM. Reason: more information

  9. #9
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    moss won in the 250F in 1956

  10. #10
    If that's the case, the driver of Austin Healey #16 was John Seabrook...unsurprisingly, the entrant was Seabrook Fowlds.
    In the sports car race he finished 10th : Moss won in a Porsche 550.
    Last edited by GD66; 05-26-2015 at 06:02 AM.

  11. #11
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seaqnmac27 View Post
    moss won in the 250F in 1956
    Sean, thanks, means the sketches are later than I first thought, was going of the notes on Roycroft Alfa sketch. which I have yet to show.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Dowding View Post
    Name:  G N Special, Gordon Brown, 1947 Ford 10 special 4255408.jpg
Views: 2475
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    This will be really small, but there is a note on NSCC website that the car has been found and the current owner [ unkown ] wants some information, described as the G B Special, built by a Gordon Brown, Ford 10 Motor, Hillman gearbox and the photo was at a beach race NSCC meeting, at Muriwai. in 1948.
    Here it is a little larger Roger.

    Name:  Special.jpg
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  13. #13
    Is this not his Ford 10 special that he used for all sorts of things? I believe it had a "Ruxtall" (sp?) diff that gave 6 gear ratios.
    He also drove early Bucklers as a guest driver.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    Is this not his Ford 10 special that he used for all sorts of things? I believe it had a "Ruxtall" (sp?) diff that gave 6 gear ratios.
    He also drove early Bucklers as a guest driver.
    The car illustrated is certainly the one and only versatile Ford Ten special built by Gordon Brown. His efforts encouraged Jock Aitken and others to follow on with the theme he introduced. He was certainly way ahead of Collin Chapman. LOL

    A magazine article covering the car inspired me to build a special in order to take up motor sport, and I too used a modified Ruckstell rear axle from a Beauty Model T Ford, in order to overcome the disadvantage of a wide ratio three speed gear box. The article mentioned Gordon fitting a makeshift grader blade to the front of the car in order to level his newly acquired house section.

    In those days we were all short of money and few could afford more than one car. When first built the car was used for general purposes as well as motor sport. It had weather protection and as you can see proper doors. At the time import controls meant that there were just a couple of new MG TD in the club and the Ford Ten light weight specials showed them the way at less than half the cost. LOL

    Early on the NSSC was a true sports car club with restrictions as to membership. Due to import restrictions it became necessary to admit saloon car owners, but only to the extent that there remained a 50/50 distribution of open and saloon cars.

    Long time ago. Trevor.
    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 05-27-2015 at 06:50 AM.

  15. #15
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    The car illustrated is certainly the one and only versatile Ford Ten special built by Gordon Brown. His efforts encouraged Jock Aitken and others to follow on with the theme he introduced. He was certainly way ahead of Collin Chapman. LOL

    A magazine article covering the car inspired me to build a special in order to take up motor sport, and I too used a modified Ruckstell rear axle from a Beauty Model T Ford, in order to overcome the disadvantage of a wide ratio three speed gear box. The article mentioned Gordon fitting a makeshift grader blade to the front of the car in order to level his newly acquired house section.

    In those days we were all short of money and few could afford more than one car. When first built the car was used for general purposes as well as motor sport. It had weather protection and as you can see proper doors. At the time import controls meant that there were just a couple of new MG TD in the club and the Ford Ten light weight specials showed them the way at less than half the cost. LOL

    Early on the NSSC was a true sports car club with restrictions as to membership. Due to import restrictions it became necessary to admit saloon car owners, but only to the extent that there remained a 50/50 distribution of open and saloon cars.

    Long time ago. Trevor.
    Trevor,thanks for your info, by the time I joined Feb 1967, Sports Cars were a minority, in fact my first 3 cars while a member were a Mini, an A40 Farina, then another Mini,before the Sprite[s] 4 of, 2 Triumphs GT6 and TR4A, and an Austin Healey 100/4.

  16. #16
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Here it is a little larger Roger.

    Name:  Special.jpg
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    John B,thanks, I was with Eddie Dowding today and he remembers Gordon and the car, but could not tell me anymore about it.

    Trevor Sheffield's s comment about the membership, Eddie recollects that you had to have a Tourer, not specifically a sports car, and then the 50/50 rule with sports-open / saloons.

  17. #17
    As I correctly reported --- "Early on the NSSC was a true sports car club with restrictions as to membership. Due to import restrictions it became necessary to admit saloon car owners, but only to the extent that there remained a 50/50 distribution of open and saloon cars".

    A full article covering Gordon Brown's car appeared in one of the first editions of the very first NZ magazine dedicated towards sports cars. I once had a copy but now am unable to recollect the exact title of the publication. Is there a copy out there somewhere?

    The car was/is important as it was is incidental in popularizing the Ford Ten Special within NZ. When I have time to put my thinking cap on I will start a thread covering these cars as they are historically significant.

  18. #18
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    As I correctly reported --- "Early on the NSSC was a true sports car club with restrictions as to membership. Due to import restrictions it became necessary to admit saloon car owners, but only to the extent that there remained a 50/50 distribution of open and saloon cars".

    A full article covering Gordon Brown's car appeared in one of the first editions of the very first NZ magazine dedicated towards sports cars. I once had a copy but now am unable to recollect the exact title of the publication. Is there a copy out there somewhere?

    The car was/is important as it was is incidental in popularizing the Ford Ten Special within NZ. When I have time to put my thinking cap on I will start a thread covering these cars as they are historically significant.
    Trevor, again thanks for your input [ Eddie is 95 and memory is not as good as it could be] . cheers

    Roger

  19. #19
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    As I correctly reported --- "Early on the NSSC was a true sports car club with restrictions as to membership. Due to import restrictions it became necessary to admit saloon car owners, but only to the extent that there remained a 50/50 distribution of open and saloon cars".

    A full article covering Gordon Brown's car appeared in one of the first editions of the very first NZ magazine dedicated towards sports cars. I once had a copy but now am unable to recollect the exact title of the publication. Is there a copy out there somewhere?

    The car was/is important as it was is incidental in popularizing the Ford Ten Special within NZ. When I have time to put my thinking cap on I will start a thread covering these cars as they are historically significant.
    The Ford Ten Specials and others, that would be great to see details,
    I know Ed and his brother Mac, while not building a special did modify an Austin 7 tourer, [ around a 1930 model ], with cut down doors, raked windscreen, to make it look MG sports car like. think I have a photo somewhere.

  20. #20
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Name:  Win Bristow Alfa ; Ron Roycroft #2 19-05-2015 04;06;01PM (500x315).jpg
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    The Ron Roycroft Alfa Romeo, with some details of his races. sketch by Winton Bristow.

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