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Thread: Northern Sports Car Club - the early years.

  1. #361
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Thanks Milan, for the information and the photos too !!
    " Rallysprint " would explain - No Navigator in the cars also

    Will alter the text to the photos !!

    Cheers
    Roger

  2. #362
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Dowding View Post
    Thanks Milan, for the information and the photos too !!
    " Rallysprint " would explain - No Navigator in the cars also

    Will alter the text to the photos !!

    Cheers
    Roger
    All my photos from the Rallysprint show co-drivers in all the cars as does Barry's shot of a car going downhill. Perhaps Barry's shots showing cars with just the driver going up the hill are from another Hillclimb event.

  3. #363
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Dowding View Post
    Photos from John Larry Lawton - a competitor in his own right.
    His collection of photos and a brief report on the event from Motorman Magazine courtesy of Graham Woods in the next post.
    Event held 8th May 1965 -[ 55th Anniversary next week ! ]

    Frank Radisich Humber 80 was the Humber Zephyr, later to become the Humber Jaguar

    Attachment 66279

    Attachment 66280

    Attachment 66281

    Attachment 66282
    A year ago I posted this [ well a year and a couple of weeks ] and another photo from the event has surfaced. Will add to a new post.

  4. #364
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    NSCC - Western Springs races 8th May 1965 - another photo

    Photo from Roger Herrick [ Des Herrick's relation he [ RogerH ] states " my father and Des were first cousins "
    - Des was an early competitor at NSCC events and also competed in a Midget style racer in the 1940's _ he was at the 1948 Hill Climb at Mount Eden, organised by the NZ Racing Drivers Club - now Auckland Car Club ].
    Western Springs meeting 8th May 1965
    - previous photos were in a post 12 months ago - photos from John Larry Lawton - including the clubs magazine " Club Torque " report on the event. [ posted again as previous post is back several pages ].

    Name:  NSCC 1965 #58 Western Springs May 65 Lumsden De Soto Holden others sml Roger Herrick (640x480) (.jpg
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    The report

    Name:  NSCC 1965 #64 1965 8 May Western Springs Races Club Torque Graham Woods  (570x640) (2).jpg
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    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 05-21-2021 at 11:54 PM. Reason: correction by Roger H ### 47 ..

  5. #365
    Roger - I'm not Des' son but my father and Des were first cousins - so related but a generation apart. I'm fortunate to have his #66 midget which evolved into the A40 Special.

  6. #366
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerH View Post
    Roger - I'm not Des' son but my father and Des were first cousins - so related but a generation apart. I'm fortunate to have his #66 midget which evolved into the A40 Special.
    Roger [ another one ] thanks for the clarification - will correct.
    Cheers

    Roger.

    PS any early NSCC stuff you may have would like to see it on here, If you would like to.

  7. #367
    R.I.P. Collin Waite, a venerable long standing member of the NSSC, he passed the chequered flag for the last time onSaturday 26/06/21, aged 92 yrs. He was at the forefront of club activity for many years and will be well remembered.

  8. #368
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    RIP Colin Waite ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    R.I.P. Collin Waite, a venerable long standing member of the NSSC, he passed the chequered flag for the last time onSaturday 26/06/21, aged 92 yrs. He was at the forefront of club activity for many years and will be well remembered.
    Thank you Trevor, I had found out through the NZ Rallying History Facebook Page.
    Was about to put a Post up.
    Cheers;

    Paul Francis Smith from NZ Rallying History advises as follows ;

    " just been notified
    On a sad note, Colin Waite has died ?
    Funeral 10am Friday at Purewa ".

    As Trevor notes - he was a very long standing member of the Club.
    I first met him, Laurie Evans, his good mate and others in early 1967 when I became a member - His other great Mates were my ex neighbour Allan Woolf [ and Colleen Woolf ] , and also Rob Williams, whom I met while still at High School.
    Last saw Colin, Allan and Rob [ with their wives at "The Gables Tavern, Herne Bay back around 2004

    Colin was running a Cortina GT back in 1967 well before being involved with the Skoda Team for the " Heatway Rally " and later in life with his Stanguellini Formula Junior.

    Colin in the Cortina GT at Cosseys Farm - the first meeting March 1967 - from " Club Torque " - he was quick too, coming 3rd overall.

    Name:  NSCC #105 B Colin Waite Cosseys Farm Hill Climb Mar 1967 cars 2.jpg
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  9. #369
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Ostrich Farm Road, NSCC Hill Climb 1959 *

    NSCC Hill Climb 1959 * - the photo had the caption 1959 approx. posted on a Facebook page by Evan James.
    NSCC did use the hill until 1962/63.

    The driver I don't know, in the 1959 Championship event there was an XK150 driven by R Gibbons.

    This is an XK120 - as described in the photo notes - and would have only been a 7 to 10 year old car - relatively new in NZ standards.

    Name:  NSCC 1959 #181 Jaguar XK120 1959 Ostrich Farm Road hillclimb .jpg
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    Car is on 1956 -61 plates as far as I can make out.

    Definitely Ostrich Farm as have another photo from the same spot, but a different year.

  10. #370
    Bob Gibbons came up from Wellington for the event. He was prominent in hilll-cimbs and chased the championship around the country.

    Ralph Watson chose him to drive the Lycoming in circuit racing events. He was a very steady, safe and "scientific" type of driver and I recall watching him timing competitors starting distances with a stopwatch, relative to wheel-spin and traction. Coincidently this was probably at the event depicted here, when I would have set up the timing and communications gear I had specially built for the club.

    Bob Gibbons later acquired a genuine 1,100cc twin Cooper 500 type car, specifically to extend his hillclimb endeavours with some success.
    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 07-12-2021 at 07:45 AM.

  11. #371

    Question NSCC Fun and games.

    In view of my distant past I have been asked to contribute comment and in order to comply I have compiled these notes:-

    The necessity of accurately timing speed events has proven a constant chore for the stalwart volunteers lending a hand. I became involved very shortly after joining the Northern sports car club due to my technical interests.

    At that point the club was using a set up kindly developed by the brother of Ron Roycroft, who although not directly interested, helped out due to his background in electronics. This was prior to the availability of solid state components and of necessity used valves rather than transistors and as a result it required several car batteries as a power source. A quite massive fixed length of multi cable combining several separate elements was wound on a large drum to be played out down the hill and this did not provide for marshal point telephones. The length of necessity, was hugely excessive for most of the courses being used and there were constant breakages. Overall the gear had become unduly cumbersome practically overnight, particularly with the advent of transistors, and although their application was at that stage limited, I set about providing something more up to date.

    I had just become self employed and held an agency for a UK cable manufacturer. I leaned on them and was successful in obtaining, free of charge, a run of four conductor relay cable. Thus on paying the freight, more than enough excellent material ideal for the job, became available.

    Solid state measuring devices were but a dream at the time and although excellent specialised mechanical devices existed, it was deemed best to utilise standard stop watches. Particular as the club was willing to invest in two one-hundredth second watches, which would then have multiple uses. I was club secretary at the time. These watches were operated using solenoids taken from old mechanical dipping headlights.

    The cable was wound on drums of portable length fitted with plug connectors and this provided for telephones at intermediate points. At the time there was no possibility of using CB radio or even ham frequencies. Wifi and Bluetooth were over the horizon.

    N. Z. Railways had just modernised their telephone network and their old magneto phones, importantly with modernised handsets, became available at Five shillings each, or two and six to amateur clubs. I modified a bunch to make them more portable. There was a lot of war assets stuff available and signal lamps on tripods were valuable for the brake-beam finishing set up. The only just then available light dependent transistors were a godsend and the paint could be removed from a normal glass enclosed transistor by way of economy. LOL

    I hockey stick style start switch was employed, rather than a light beam for good reason and both micro switch and pneumatic switches were tried. In this respect it is worth noting just how long it takes for a car to travel the first inch or two. I fitted a stop just ahead of the switch to be placed directly against the car tyre, as a means of insuring repetitive accuracy across all competitors. Obviously a place within a speed event can often be decided by less than a second

    On the funny side; I recall an incidents involving a championship hillclimb held on Ostrich Farm Road. The committee was hell bent on making sure of an early start and the club caravan and all equipment was on site the evening before, with me sleeping on the floor in the caravan.

    The gear was transported on a trailer behind my Ford V8 engined AC sports car, which was later to become part of the coming event. Another member of the work party joked that he had never before seen a car towing a trailer crossed up while negotiating a corner. “Just trying out the surface ready for tomorrow” was the reply. LOL

    The cable had been laid out down the course mostly on the farm fences and everything was tested and OK for an early start. On wakening and for good measure, or was it goo luck, I checked the cable and found it open circuit. Bugger! Inspection disclosed that sheep love to chew nice malleable NSCC cable and there were many munchings. However through good management, there was time to effect repairs.

    At this point I think that enough comment, is enough. However I could report the running over of the nice guy whop took over the timing gear !!!!?????

  12. #372
    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    Bob Gibbons came up from Wellington for the event. He was prominent in hilll-cimbs and chased the championship around the country.

    Ralph Watson chose him to drive the Lycoming in circuit racing events. He was a very steady, safe and "scientific" type of driver and I recall watching him timing competitors starting distances with a stopwatch, relative to wheel-spin and traction. Coincidently this was probably at the event depicted here, when I would have set up the timing and communications gear I had specially built for the club.

    Bob Gibbons later acquired a genuine 1,100cc twin Cooper 500 type car, specifically to extend his hillclimb endeavours with some success.
    Trevor, is this the same Bob Gibbons as part of the Hope gibbons company from wellington, If so he retired to Puketona between paihia & kerikeri, He had model A at that time, I only found out about his extensive motor racing life after he had passed on, he used to come over to our workshotp all the time for a chat, neet guy to spend time with, May was his wifes name, interested to know if this is the same person

  13. #373
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Hirst View Post
    Trevor, is this the same Bob Gibbons as part of the Hope gibbons company from wellington, If so he retired to Puketona between paihia & kerikeri, He had model A at that time, I only found out about his extensive motor racing life after he had passed on, he used to come over to our workshotp all the time for a chat, neet guy to spend time with, May was his wifes name, interested to know if this is the same person
    Very possible Kevin, but I lost track of him and can not confirm.

    However, you say: "he used to come over to our workshop all the time for a chat" and I would have expected the Bob I knew to have raised motor racing as a topic. Furthermore I would not have expected him to own a model A Ford unless it was special and a collectors item.

  14. #374
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Bob Gibbons - Ralph Watson - Trevor Sheffield's notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    Bob Gibbons came up from Wellington for the event. He was prominent in hilll-cimbs and chased the championship around the country.

    Ralph Watson chose him to drive the Lycoming in circuit racing events. He was a very steady, safe and "scientific" type of driver and I recall watching him timing competitors starting distances with a stopwatch, relative to wheel-spin and traction. Coincidently this was probably at the event depicted here, when I would have set up the timing and communications gear I had specially built for the club.

    Bob Gibbons later acquired a genuine 1,100cc twin Cooper 500 type car, specifically to extend his hillclimb endeavours with some success.
    From the Lycoming story that appeared in the Magazine " Sports Car Talk "
    - published by the " Sports Car Club of New Zealand Inc " back in the 1980's.
    I have three editions of the " Annual " Magazine and the article on Ralph Watson and the Lycoming appears in the 1986* Edition.

    Name:  Lycoming Story #1 B  Cover Sports Car Talk 1984 CCI12112016_0011 (564x800).jpg
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    It includes these two photos of Bob Gibbons in the Lycoming at the 1959 New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at Ardmore.
    Photographer credit on the photos. " Barry Makay ".

    Name:  Lycoming Story #6 D Bob Gibbons 1959 GP photos 1.07MB CCI12112016_0008 (578x640) (2).jpg
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    The events entered with the Lycoming up to and including 1959 and beyond Driven by Ralph Watson then Bob Gibbons- before it was sold to Malcolm Gill, later going to Forrest Carden and then Jim Boyd.

    Name:  Lycoming Story #9A, Competition Record 1 CCI12112016_0001 (675x800).jpg
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    Name:  Lycoming Story #10 Competition Record 2 CCI12112016_0002 (564x800).jpg
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    Photos Posted before - this brings them into the recent " conversation ".. and saves going through pages of the various threads.

    Numerous NSCC run events are listed
    Thanks Trevor Sheffield for your information some of the above appears in your own book from the Late Ralph Watson records which were very detailed.
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 07-18-2021 at 12:33 AM. Reason: correction 1986* Edition SCT ##47

  15. #375
    This advert was in the May 11, 1960 edition of The New Zealand Herald.

    Name:  img745 (2).jpg
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  16. #376
    Quote Originally Posted by Milan Fistonic View Post
    This advert was in the May 11, 1960 edition of The New Zealand Herald.

    Name:  img745 (2).jpg
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    Hi, Milan, I still deal with this company today, J.P.R. Johnsons piston rings, very good firm to deal with

  17. #377
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Hirst View Post
    Hi, Milan, I still deal with this company today, J.P.R. Johnsons piston rings, very good firm to deal with
    They were one of my customers for over thirty years when I was a contractor at NZ Couriers. Great bunch of people ran the company over that time.

  18. #378
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    " Indianapolis " sponsorship for NSCC - their big Trial

    Milan,
    Thanks for the poster - Was not aware of " Indianapolis " sponsorship for their big Trial - later on it was " Castrol " in the late 1960's into the 1970's. Was co-plotter with " Rosemary Allen " [ who had been Navigator for the late Bob Hayman ] at one time for the NSCC's Premier " Castrol " Trial. In around 1975/76 from memory.
    It was the " Castrol 1000 " was a 24 hour trial for a time but later mid 1970's shorter being an all day -daylight event.
    I know you have published details of the longer duration Trials must go back and look. [report on the 1965 Castrol from you and photos from John L Lawton have been posted, Thanks ]
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 09-08-2021 at 01:35 AM. Reason: 1965 Castrol added ..

  19. #379
    It is significant that the President of the NSCC, 1956-60, Dudley Badham, was a manager of B. Johnson and Sons who manufactured the Indianapolis brand of piston rings, subsequently to become self employed. Notably, he and his wife were granted life membership as a result of their lengthy personal and stalwart services to the club.

    Furthermore, workshop foreman was NSSC member Dawson Donaldson, who sadly lost his life at the young age of 34, while taking a part in an Ostrich Road Farm hillclimb in December 1958. Lacking real HP, he was driving on the limit and drifting every corner. He rolled his ex-Bruce McLaren Austin 7 Ulster off the road into some scrub and despite the car suffering little damage, he was seriously injured and died from his injuries in hospital on Wednesday, 17 December 1958.

    I vividly recall the sad event and will never forget that when we reached him, he was in very severe pain from internal injuries and bravely exclaimed, “excuse me guys I just can't help it if I cry.” He and Dudley were very close friends.
    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 09-08-2021 at 09:11 AM. Reason: Addition.

  20. #380
    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    It is significant that the President of the NSCC, 1956-60, Dudley Badham, was a manager of B. Johnson and Sons who manufactured the Indianapolis brand of piston rings, subsequently to become self employed. Notably, he and his wife were granted life membership as a result of their lengthy personal and stalwart services to the club.

    Furthermore, workshop foreman was NSSC member Dawson Donaldson, who sadly lost his life at the young age of 34, while taking a part in an Ostrich Road Farm hillclimb in December 1958. Lacking real HP, he was driving on the limit and drifting every corner. He rolled his ex-Bruce McLaren Austin 7 Ulster off the road into some scrub and despite the car suffering little damage, he was seriously injured and died from his injuries in hospital on Wednesday, 17 December 1958.

    I vividly recall the sad event and will never forget that when we reached him, he was in very severe pain from internal injuries and bravely exclaimed, “excuse me guys I just can't help it if I cry.” He and Dudley were very close friends.
    Dawson Donaldson's grandson worked at Johnsons Piston Rings for a time when I called there.

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