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Thread: Photos: The Perry Drury Collection

  1. #1

    Photos: The Perry Drury Collection

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    Some of the stunning images from Perry Drury will likely be familiar to Roaring Season members, as Perry's good friend Ellis French has posted several of them here over the years throughout various threads. But I felt it time we brought them altogether in one place, so to speak, with a dedicated thread.

    These photos were all taken by Perry, from Launceston, during the late 1960s through mid 1970s. They cover events both in Tasmania, and elsewhere, including Calder. They're all pit shots, and all in colour, and the quality and detail is amazing. Indeed, they sometimes require a double take, just to be sure they're not of old cars at modern historic events, such is the clarity.

    Also, they're all of sedans, and Perry clearly loves the V8s. So if you're not big on V8 sedans, you might not enjoy this as much as those who are. But we know plenty of people here do love this subject.

    So, here it is. The Perry Drury Collection

  2. #2
    Kicking things off is a famous and hugely successful race car, if not so much in this particular guise, under this ownership. Pictured here is the former Bob Jane ZL1 Camaro, which won the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1971 and 1972.

    Its a genuine ZL1 alloy big block car, and this was how Jane raced it in '71, before CAMS introduced a 6 litre engine limit for 1972, at which point it was fitted with a cast iron small block 350. Jane backed up his 1971 title, by winning again with the small block in '72.

    When Improved Production was phased out at the end of 1972, this car was assigned to the Sports Sedan ranks, but not before it made one more appearance in the Calder round of the 1973 ATCC, after some changes were made to supposedly bring it in line with Group C rules. Jane qualified on pole, and won the race, only to be excluded later, when it was deemed the car was not actually legal after all.

    Jane entered the Sports Sedans ranks, not with this car, but with his new HQ Monaro, and the Camaro was sold to Jim Smith, who repainted in the brilliant Camel Filters colour scheme for the next several years. But very quickly, the Camaro became outdated as the new breed of mid-engined, lightweight Sports Sedans quickly took over, and these old Improved Production cars became also-rans.

    Of course, Bob Jane eventually tracked the car down many years later, and had Myles Johnson restore it back to its 1971 alloy big block ZL1 guise.

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  3. #3
    Norm Beechey's mighty Monaro, during the 1971 season, when Norm was attempting to defend his ATCC title.

    1971 wasn't to be a good year for Norm, as, while the Monaro had got faster, so the competition had got faster again, and the Monaro was invariably the third or fourth best at most rounds. In addition, in an attempt to keep pace, it became somewhat brittle, and only reached the finish in two of the seven rounds.

    The year was not a total loss, however, as Stormin' Norm showed the field the way home at Calder, round 2 of the series. However, he'd been bettered in qualifying by Allan Moffat, Bob Jane, and Jim McKeown's Porsche, and it was only after Jane blew the clutch on the opening lap, and Moffat retired with overheating, that Beechey took what would ultimately prove to be his last ever ATCC race win.

    Check out the brake scoops! Non-production front spoilers weren't allowed, so these served double-duty.

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  4. #4
    This is Malcolm Ramsay's incredible HQ Kingswood, that contested selected rounds of the 1972 ATCC, the final year of Improved Production.

    Ramsay, a Formula 5000 racer, fitted the HQ with a fuel-injected F5000 Chevy, and, with some intensive development, was one of the leading contenders. He finished 3rd at Symmons Plains, 2nd at Calder, 3rd at Adelaide, and 2nd at Warwick Farm, putting up some impressive performances. His open wheeler commitments came first, hence he didn't run the full campaign, but regardless, still finished 6th in the 1972 ATCC, and taking into account the Class points system which put the smaller and slower cars of Michael Stillwell and Bob Holden ahead on points, was really 4th.

    The Kingswood was forced into the Sports Sedan ranks from 1973, Ramsey sold the car, and it quickly went downhill, eventually being scrapped. A sad fate for what was an impressive, but largely forgotten front runner in the final era of Improved Production.

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  5. #5
    The HQ Kingswood was actually fitted with a Repco-Holden F5000, not a 350...

    In fact, I don't think it would have been eligible with a 350 as these were only in Statesmans and Monaro 2-doors up to that time. And maybe not yet Statesmans.

  6. #6
    Thanks Ray, I actually said it had an F5000 (5 litre) Chevy, not a 350. Thanks for the Repco-Holden correction though.

    And you're right, given it raced as a Kingswood, a 350 Chevy, or any Chevy for that matter, wouldn't have been allowed. However, if he'd raced it as a four door Monaro instead, a 350 would have been OK.

  7. #7
    Jumping ahead in time, this is Grant Walker, over from New Zealand, when he contested selected rounds in the Australian Sports Sedan Championship. Walker ran races in the 1976 ASSC, as well as the 1976 Marlboro $100,000 Sports Sedan Series.

    He took a single points placing in the ASSC, finishing 3rd at Surfers Paradise, while in the Malbroro series, he finished 8th in Round 2 (all the races were held at Calder Park) in a quality field. These are the only points placings I can find for him, but I assume he entered more races than just these two.

    This car is, of course, the former factory racing RS2600 Group 2 car built for the 1973 ETCC, which was purchased late that year by Paul Fahey, and which, when later fitted with a Cosworth GAA V6, won the 1975 NZ Saloon Car Championship. Its rare to find a photo of it in these colours.

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  8. #8
    This is Frank Gardner's incredible Chev Corvair Sports Sedan, as it appeared in its first season, 1976. The car was only painted these colours this first season, before it went black in 1977.

    Gardner missed the opening four rounds of the 1976 Australian Sports Sedan Championship, and the 1976 Marlboro $100,000 Series. However, the three races he contested in the ASSC he won, and the three races he contested in the Marlboro Series, he won. As a result, he placed 2nd in the ASSC, and 3rd in the Marlboro Series. Essentially, this car dominated Sports Sedan racing from the outset, and easily won the 1977 ASSC.

    In a way, the Corvairs domination had a negative impact on Sports Sedan racing in Australia, which, at the time, enjoyed a stronger following than touring car racing. It was just that much more superior, and it wasn't until Jim Richards' debuted his newly constructed Falcon XC Sports Sedan in 1978, that the Corvair (by now driven by Allan Grice) finally had some genuine competition.

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  9. #9
    Here is our 'cover car' for this photo collection. This is a rare colour photo of the 'other' Super Falcon. This car was intended for Allan Moffat.

    Like its sister car built for Pete Geoghegan, this Falcon started out as an XW, and made its one and only appearance in XW guise at the final round of the 1970 Australian Touring Car Championship, where Moffat drove it briefly in practice before the motor expired. It was, however, very fast in a straight line!

    For 1971, neither Super Falcon appeared at the opening round, as development continued, but Moffat's made an appearance at Calder Park, Round 2. Once again, this car suffered engine dramas in practice, and Moffat opted to qualify and race his Mustang. Both Super Falcons were at Sandown, for Round 3, where both drivers also brought along their Mustangs. In the end, they both chose to race their Mustangs, after putting in faster times in practice.

    Again, at Surfers Paradise, both drivers raced their Mustangs. Indeed, Geoghegan didn't even bother hauling the Falcon up to Queensland. Moffat was again faster in his Mustang. His Super Falcon, however, did race, in the hands of local John French, who fought race-long with Geoghegan's Mustang for 3rd, before eventually settling for 4th place. Moffat tested his Super Falcon at Mallala, but instead raced the Mustang, while again Geoghegan only brought his Mustang. At Lakeside, both Super Falcons appeared, but again, both drivers decided to race their Mustangs, which were faster. Once again, John French was drafted in, this time to race the Geoghegan Falcon, and finished 5th.

    Neither Super Falcon went to the final race at Oran Park, as both Moffat and Geoghegan were in the hunt to win the championship.

    While Geoghegan opted to continue with his Super Falcon for 1972, pouring a vast sum of money into its development, Moffat instead walked away from the project, and focused on his Mustang which was a proven winner. Of its various issues, getting power to the ground seemed to be a major problem, and for Moffat, his Mustang was a far better option. Moffat never drove his Super falcon again, and its thought to have been stripped of its valuable parts and scrapped.

    Its interesting to consider, that this car was intended as a replacement for Moffat's Kar-Kraft Mustang, which, when this project kicked off, had barely been racing for a year. And while Moffat's Super Falcon proved unsuccessful, he'd eventually race the Mustang for six seasons, finally retiring it in early 1975.

    Note the huge brake ducts beneath the front spoiler in this photo. You have to assume these also served to provide added front downforce.

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  10. #10
    Originally posted by Steve Holmes
    Thanks Ray, I actually said it had an F5000 (5 litre) Chevy, not a 350. Thanks for the Repco-Holden correction though.

    And you're right, given it raced as a Kingswood, a 350 Chevy, or any Chevy for that matter, wouldn't have been allowed. However, if he'd raced it as a four door Monaro instead, a 350 would have been OK.
    The 4-door Monaro didn't appear until either the HX or HZ model, the latter I feel sure, so there was no 4-door Chevy option there. Though a 307 Chev was used in the HK sedans.

    Boy oh boy there were some rumours around about those 'Super' Falcons at the time... I remember overhearing someone in the pits (like someone from the Geoghegan camp) saying about how Ford had outsmarted themselves with technology, "...chrome bores..." was a part of the conversation. This was, I think, in the wake of some smokescreens they threw at, again I think, Calder or Sandown.

    Whether it was true or not, I don't know, but the stories were certainly abroad. And didn't 'old man' French nurse them to the line well?

  11. #11
    Ray, you are probably on the money with regards to the Super Falcons. They were technological wonders. It would seem the goal was to make them as light as possible, and as powerful as possible. But they lacked rigidity, which was something Geoghegan had built into his car for 1972.

    You are right regarding the Monaro four door, although it was actually on the HQ that this model became available. I thought the four door Monaro was released just a few months after the two door (which was July 1971), but in fact, the four door Monaro was introduced in March 1973, so obviously too late to be an option as an Improved Production car.

  12. #12
    Dont forget there was also the HJ between the HQ,and the later HX , HZ.

  13. #13
    Here is Bob Jane's wild little Repco-Brabham V8 powered Torana Sports Sedan. This photo demonstrates the high level of presentation that was common on Bob's race cars.

    Sports Sedan racing was big business in the early to mid 1970s, and there was a barrage of new machinery being built, which really picked up pace when the new Toby Lee Sports Sedan series began. This car first appeared in 1971, and was consistently developed through until 1975, the last year under Jane's ownership.

    I'm fairly certain this photo was taken in 1974. That being the case, Jane used both the Torana and his HQ Monaro to win the first ever Marlboro $100,000 Sports Sedan Series, which he'd created, and which was held at his Calder Park race track.

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  14. #14
    You'll see beside the Torana is the Ron Harrop EH, another with a Repco F5000 motor...

    Jane's Torana originally (1973?) ran with a high wing and the 4.4-litre Repco OHC V8 from the Elfin 400 crashed at Bathurst. Later Frank Gardner got to it as a member of the Jane team (beginning of '75) and put a Chev into it. It ceased being a nice neat car at that time, I can't remember where it went later.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    You'll see beside the Torana is the Ron Harrop EH, another with a Repco F5000 motor...

    Jane's Torana originally (1973?) ran with a high wing and the 4.4-litre Repco OHC V8 from the Elfin 400 crashed at Bathurst. Later Frank Gardner got to it as a member of the Jane team (beginning of '75) and put a Chev into it. It ceased being a nice neat car at that time, I can't remember where it went later.
    Yes thats right Ray, it did have the big wing. It appeared in 1971, but was banned by CAMS.

  16. #16
    Here is Ron Harrop's charismatic old EH Holden, which he originally started racing in the early 1970s in the 6-cylinder touring car category at Calder Park. Calder owner Bob Jane was reportedly quite impressed by Harrop, and brought him in to his team, as a sort of satellite operation. As well as the car being repainted in Jane racing colours, Bob also loaned Harrop one of his fuel-injected Repco-Holden motors.

    The EH was fairly conventional, and built to a small budget, but was still very quick. Harrop raced it through to the end of 1976, the year this photo was taken, before he sold it to Wayne Mahnken. Mahnken then fitted it with a turbocharged 202ci Holden motor, which was understandably a massive challenge. There were multiple failures, but at its peak, the motor was said to produce over 600hp. Did Jim Richards race this car once or twice when his Falcon XC Sports Sedan failed?

    Mahnken eventually sold the EH to Stewie Douglas in the early 1980s. He raced it for several years, before retiring to concentrate on his son Taz's racing career. Taz would eventually get to V8 Supercars.

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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    You'll see beside the Torana is the Ron Harrop EH, another with a Repco F5000 motor...

    Jane's Torana originally (1973?) ran with a high wing and the 4.4-litre Repco OHC V8 from the Elfin 400 crashed at Bathurst. Later Frank Gardner got to it as a member of the Jane team (beginning of '75) and put a Chev into it. It ceased being a nice neat car at that time, I can't remember where it went later.
    The full story from go to whoa of the Torana was in Australian Muscle Car issue # 25.

    I particularly like the comment from Bob Jane to his mechanic Pat Purcell the first time he drove it after Gardner had bastardised it:

    "oh my god, what have you done to my beautiful little car?" '

  18. #18
    I can understand that...

    Jim Richards did drive the EH at least once, maybe when the Mustang was out of action or something. He set the lap record at Oran Park, from memory.

  19. #19
    Here is Bryan Thomson's big block Camaro Improved Production car in its early guise, before it was painted Alfa yellow.

    The car was already a race car when Thomson bought it, albeit, a 396ci big block drag car. Thomson, from Shepparton, Victoria, did most of his racing at Calder Park, a race track possessing just four corners, a long front straight that doubled as a drag strip, and two shorter straights. He figured that if his Camaro was good for 11 sec 1/4 mile times, it'd be well suited to the Calder layout. That was actually a pretty good guess.

    Big block cars never really achieved a lot in circuit racing during this era, and few teams were actually game enough to try. It wasn't until Bob Jane built his ZL1 Camaro for 1971, albeit, with a much lighter alloy block, that a big block car could regularly beat the best small blocks.

    Note that while the Camaro has been converted to right hand drive, the wipers are still set for lhd.

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  20. #20
    Here is the PDL Mustang at Calder Park in 1972, over from New Zealand as part of a small team of Kiwi sedans that went to contest a Trans-Tasman challenge against the Aussies. Thats Paul Fahey at the rear of the car.

    I don't have the race report to hand, but from memory the event was not good for the PDL team. The car suffered engine damage in private testing, and I don't know that it even raced. I think Bob Jane offered Fahey his Camaro to drive, but the Kiwi politely declined.

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