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Thread: Dunedin Street Races - revival meeting January 1984

  1. #181
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    F. U. R. I. the Jim Bennett Cars - a bit more Furi 3 on..

    "
    FURI 3
    This car was given a FURI number as the rolling chassis design and construction was supervised by me. A friend had acquired a burnt out Mazda 929 (rear drive) and a Mistral body. I sketched up a proposal for a backbone tube chassis similar to that used by TVR. For ease of construction the owner was encouraged to use a Vauxhall Viva front suspension as this has a lightweight sub-frame with good geometry and the steering rack is already mounted. He constructed a mock up wooden spaceframe around the mechanicals and had me approve this before duplicating it in steel tube.

    A short test drive in this car showed it had a stiff chassis with no scuttle shake, reasonable ride and neutral handling.

    FURI 4
    A stillborn project. (rolling chassis)

    The intention was to produce two similar cars along the lines of a Fiat X19. One car was to be fitted with an Austin 1800 engine and gearbox, mounted in the rear, the other with a 1750 Alfa Romeo engine grafted onto an 1800 gearbox. One monocoque chassis was constructed to my design by my brother Ivan in 10mm plywood. This was fitted with Herald front suspension and Honda Civic front struts in the rear. This project proceeded no further because of proposed Land Transport regulations for home made cars which gave some concern.

    FURI 5 (registered1988)
    Built for our Son, Warren, who had misfortune to write off his Mk2 Cortina.

    After selling only the engine and gearbox enough "handy bits" had been accumulated so that it was decided that a simple "clubman" style sports car could be built using these.
    A space frame chassis of light gauge tube was fabricated. At the front a Triumph Herald suspension was adapted, fitted with the Cortina hubs and brakes. At the rear the Cortina diff with a 5 link setup was used. An OHC Vauxhall Victor 2000 engine, which had been lying under the bench, was adapted to a Mustang 2 gearbox, also surplus to requirements from another road car. This was clothed in an alloy body with a forward hinged one piece bonnet and mudguards of fibreglass.
    This car raced at several Classic Motor Racing Club events where it performed well and proved to have good handling. This was a satisfactory way of using up some of the parts around the place."

    Name:  Jim Bennett Furi Cars #45 Furi 5 similar to Furi 6 Jim Bennett .jpg
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    This is Furi 5 - when owned by Russ Cunningham - now yellow like Furi 6 but not as different Rego number.

    Name:  Jim Bennett Furi Cars #160 B  Furi 5 when Russ Cunningham owned R Cunningham  (640x479) (2).jpg
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    FURI 6. (registered1988)

    " With the reduction in local content of the car industry D.C.Ross's toolmaking work had reduced. While plans were being put into place to diversify, the company decided, with my prodding, to introduce a make-work scheme to investigate the viability of a kitset sports car.

    A prototype would be completed built along with a second - chassis kit. The prototype was intended as a demonstrator that would show how far this kit could be taken. The chassis, similar to a modern Lotus, were fabricated from folded sheet metal and mig welded in a jig. Simple form tools were made to press out suspension arms to allow various Ford running gear to be fitted.

    Ford parts being chosen for the availability. The prototype was fitted with Sierra front uprights and brakes, Sierra differential with a purpose made multi link rear end. The 2.8 V6 engine left over from my Sierra wagon was adapted to a five speed Toyota Celica gearbox and squeezed into the chassis. Because this motor is so compact it is mounted a long way back in the chassis giving even weight distribution which undoubtedly assists in the handling.

    Budget constraints led to the company using the moulds from FURI 5. This may not have been the best choice as I had always considered this body style to be something of a compromise.

    The car has performed on the race track better than anticipated, being very competitive in South Island classic racing.

    When Thelma left D.C.Ross in 1989 she was allowed to uplift the prototype as a redundancy settlement from which she has derived 10 years of pleasure giving a number of the guys a run for their money on the race track and improving her skills as a driver in the process..

    FURI 6 was sold in 2001 and the new owner replaced the supercharged Ford engine with a Rover V8. Performance is about the same."

    Some photos of Furi 6.
    from Bennett family archives Jim Bennett and Warren Bennett

    Name:  Jim Bennett Furi Cars #46  Furi 6 raced by Thelma, followed by Jim in Furi 2 Jim Bennett  (2).jpg
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    Here Furi 6 race #10 in a group with the single seater midget style racer of Jim Bennett - Furi 9 [ Impulse ] more about that car soon - and the model being made of it by " Chaindrive ".
    Furi 6 has been modified as detailed by Jim in the notes;
    This is a recent [ 2019 ] photo.

    Name:  Jim Bennett Furi Cars #51 Furi 9 Impulse #64 Furi 6 #10 2019 JB .jpg
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  2. #182
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    F. U. R. I. the Jim Bennett Cars - a bit more Furi 7 and 8 - before the Impulse.

    Next two cars Furi 7 and 8.
    Not a long story, but the next one on Furi 9 " Impulse " will be.

    Jim Bennett's own words ;

    " 1990 FURI - 7

    After leaving D.C.Ross in 1990 I completed the other chassis built by them but changed the body to a hopefully a more attractive style. This chassis was similar to the V6 but had more basic running gear. Escort front suspension components, steering and live rear axle were fitted along with a Fiat 1600 twin cam and 1600 Toyota Celica 5 speed gearbox. The body was made primarily of fibreglass in a more traditional sports car style with separate long flowing mudguards and running boards. Lessons learnt with the prototype have meant that the cockpit was a little wider to allow more elbow room.

    The car has been raced by myself and others while in my ownership participating in the Southern Festival of Speed and other Classic Club events from 1990 to 1994.It was often driven to meetings. The car was subsequently sold to a Wellington owner in 1994.


    1991 FURI 8

    This car was built complete for a client. It is similar but simpler than F7 using a Fiat 132 as a donor vehicle using as much as possible from this car including engine, transmission, suspension etc. Fitted with 1800 Lancia engine 1997.
    "

    No photo of Furi 8, but this one of Furi 7 - by Euan Cameron.

    Name:  Jim Bennett Furi Cars #79 Furi 7 Euan cameon photo JB archives .jpg
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    Another photo from Warren Bennett of Seven ..

    Name:  Specials #8  Furi 7 Jim Bennett Warren Bennett  .jpg
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    Furi 7 - This is how it is on Carjam ;

    " Year: 1990
    Make: CUSTOMBUILT
    Model: MK 7 FURI
    Colour: Green
    Body Style: Sports Car
    Plate: PM314
    Engine No: 533105
    Chassis: 906701P "
    Vehicle Type: Passenger Car/Van
    Seats: 5
    CC rating: 1,608cc
    Fuel Type: Petrol
    Assembly Type: Unknown
    Country of Origin: New Zealand '

    Those Rego Plate numbers ;

    Only this one shows up

    " Plates History

    Plate Effective Date
    PM314 29-Oct-1990 "

    Am now confused as Rego JH5215 shows this on Carjam. ***

    Thought it the same car but with the larger motor is it Furi 8 ?? Rego Plate dates from 1979. Furi 7 is 1990 ?? " PM314 "

    *** Mystery solved as looking at other photos JH5215 was the number plate for Furi 2 the Supercharged Jaguar Sports car that I photographed back in 1984 at Dunedin - must have done a " Frank Karl " and swapped plates around. Jim says he did - can only drive one car at a time,my Uncle had the same view - Revenue gathering by " The Gumment " as Jim Knox President of the FOL called our Government

    Name:  Specials #2  Furi 2 Jim Bennett Dunedin Jan 1984 Roger Dowding .jpg
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    " Year: 1979
    Make: CUSTOMBUILT
    Model: FURI
    Colour: Blue
    Body Style: Sports Car
    Plate: JH5215
    Engine No: D46507
    Chassis: 002
    Vehicle Type: Passenger Car/Van
    Seats: 5
    CC rating: 3,740cc
    Fuel Type: Petrol
    Assembly Type: Unknown "
    Plates History

    Plate Effective Date
    JH5215 04-Oct-1979
    Registration

    Registration Status: Get Full CarJam Report
    Plate: JH5215
    Plate Type: Standard
    Origin: Import from
    Used as: Private Passenger vehicle
    Cause of Latest Registration: New
    NZ First Registration: 04-Oct-1979 "

    Furi 9 story to follow - and a bit more on the " Chaindrive " tribute to the Car - thanks Tony
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 07-16-2019 at 03:12 AM. Reason: more info Furi 2 = 7..#### 47

  3. #183
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Moving North - Ardmore 1989

    Some posted on other threads thought I would group them here.

    The Lowline Cooper - comment from Allan Dick Classic Autonews " That is the Angus Hyslop, Jim Palmer, Red Dawson, Pat McLaughlin car owned here by Charlie Conway - who may still own it. "

    [ Sir ] Stirling Moss about to take it for a run - Sheepskin Seat Cover for extra comfort - or to pack the seat out

    Name:  Ardmore 1989 #19 Stirling Moss - Lowline Cooper CCI16072015 (800x540).jpg
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    Other cars
    Austin Healey's of course.
    Mark Donaldson 1956 BN2 and Steve Hill AN5, Tony Van de Water AN5 behind

    Name:  Ardmore 1989 #14 Healeys on the grid CCI10122015 (800x540) (2).jpg
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    Maserati 250F the one owned by Owen organisation at one stage [ BRM ]

    Name:  Ardmore 1989 #15 Maserati 250F  side view CCI10122015_0002 (800x538) (2).jpg
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    Name:  Ardmore Reunion 1989 #16 Maserati 250F  front view CCI10122015_0001 (800x539) (2).jpg
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    The Ron Roycroft Ferrari
    Name:  Ardmore 1989 #17 Ferrari  [ Roycroft ] CCI10122015_0003 (800x532) (2).jpg
Views: 129
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  4. #184
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Briggs Mercury Special V8 / Tahuna Beach Races

    Received some information from Steve Day who now owns the Briggs Mercury V8 Special as owned and raced by Peter Leversedge in the 1960's

    Steve is looking for ' period ' photos of the car raced under #33 by Peter Leversedge.
    If people have any photos - please let me know by PM or post on here and I will pass on to Steve, by Email.

    On this montage Peter and Wally Darrell ACE 3 are shown together. Nelson Photo News article from the 1965 Tahuna Beach Races

    Name:  Motor Racing South Island #61 B Tahuna Beach Races 1965 06021965 issue p2 Nelson Photo news  (2).jpg
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    Here are some more of the Tahuna Beach Races - 1961 - Have now downloaded years 1961 - 1967.
    Nelson Photo News archives which are now Digitized

    1961
    Name:  Motor Racing South Island #57 Tahuna Beach Races 04021961 issue p2   Nelson Photo news  (2) (493.jpg
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    Name:  Motor Racing South Island #58 Tahuna Beach Races 04021961 issue p3   Nelson Photo news  (2) (492.jpg
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    Name:  Motor Racing South Island #59 Tahuna Beach Races 04021961 issue p4 Nelson Photo news  (2) (498x6.jpg
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  5. #185
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Briggs Mercury Special V8

    Steve Day - current owner and restorer of the car in 2014/15 sent me this picture of the car as it is now.
    He commented that some people don't like the colour scheme but " Mr Briggs " the creator does, so Steve is pleased.

    The car in Colour

    Name:  Cars #185 B Briggs Mercury rebuld 2014-15 Steve Day ,jpg (640x480).jpg
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    More of the period look in Monchrome [ my edit of the photo ];

    Name:  Cars #185 C Briggs Mercury rebuld 2014-15 B W Steve Day ,jpg (640x480) (2).jpg
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    Any photos of the car would be appreciated.
    As mentioned on the thread about Steve Holmes new Book " Historic New Zealand Racing Cars " - which I now have
    [ an early birthday present to myself ] not to be confused with the book mentioned below
    It gets only a brief mention in Graham Vercoe's 1991 book " Historic Racing Cars of New Zealand ".
    Would like to know more about the Car.

  6. #186
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Maserati 250F the one owned by Owen organisation at one stage [ BRM ]

    Maserati 250F the one owned by Owen organisation at one stage [ BRM ].

    Reposting a photo and some of the story - from Jim Bennett [ Mr F.U.R.I. ]

    Name:  Ardmore 1989 #15 Maserati 250F  side view CCI10122015_0002 (800x538) (2).jpg
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    Jim Bennett wrote ;
    " Images of 250F Maserati ex Amon etc. Owen Organisation. You may be aware , but, in the book by Tony Rudd who was employed by BRM at this time they had purchased an early model 250F to use to assist with development the 4 cylinder 2.5 F1 car.
    From memory it had been entered in a UK event but had not been delivered in time. Prince Bira - who had an earlier (the first 250F ?) was not entered for the event and was prevailed upon to loan his car to BRM.
    In the event it was driven by Ken Wharton who managed to crash it heavily so that BRM took over Bira's car and gave him the newer 250F. This would have been the car he raced in NZ. Rudd set out the modifications that BRM made to the Bira car, Dunlop disc brakes and wheels and significant stiffening of the chassis.
    So that the car that Amon raced was probably one of the better developed 250F Maseratis. "

  7. #187
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Briggs Mercury Special V8 and Tahuna Beach Races

    Been finding more on this car and also the Tahuna Beach Races - this time from - where sadly Giff Tait was killed in his Valiant.
    Giff had driven various cars over the years including a late 1930's Chev Coupe - I love Chev Coupe;s as does John Mck.
    Where have they all gone ?? only a couple / few racing these days.

    The January 1968 Tahuna Beach Races - " Nelson Photo News " archives Issue #87 10021968;
    One of those Ford 10 Specials again going past the rolling Valiant.

    Name:  Motor Racing South Island #76 B Tahuna Beach Races 1968 10021968 issue p1 Nelson Photo News  (2).jpg
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    Name:  Motor Racing South Island #77 B Tahuna Beach Races 1968 10021968 issue p2 Nelson Photo News  (2).jpg
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    Close up of one photo the top one second page above - Is it the Briggs on the left ?
    Name:  Cars #187 Briggs Mercury q Tahuna early 1968 NPN archives .jpg
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    Any details on the others cars and Entry Lists would be appreciated !

    Photo of the Briggs in 2011 from Gary Talbot

    Name:  Cars #186 B Briggs Mercury 2011 TRS Gary Talbot  (800x533).jpg
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  8. #188
    Nelson line up. Last Stuart Special at left grid

  9. #189
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaindrive View Post
    Nelson line up. Last Stuart Special at left grid
    Tony thanks -so not the Briggs oh well have to keep looking.
    Connection of course with Peter Leversedge involved with the Briggs and a Stuart car too !!

  10. #190
    Weekend Warrior
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    Geoff townsend , MG V8

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B View Post
    I think this might be it? but on the race entry sheet it said the engine capacity was 3.8L - found this on the net
    1960 MGV Crowe Special
    Driven by Geoff Townshend - 2015
    Attachment 45911
    This pic is from the Hawkeswood Hillclimb , North canty maybe around 2013

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