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Thread: RA Vanguard

  1. #1

    RA Vanguard

    Great to see an article in the May issue of Classic & Sports Car magazine on the incredible New Zealand Special, the RA Vanguard. For those who weren't aware, the RA is now owned by ex-pat New Zealander Rob Whitehouse, and Paul Radisich, and resides in England.

    There are plans underway to have the RA accepted to compete at Goodwood, and writer Mick Walsh had tried to get the event organizers interested in having it run in the Goodwood Trophy. However, they didn't know anything about the car, and the entry was rejected. Hopefully, this excellent article will bring the car the recognition it deserves.

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  2. #2
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    RA Vanguard on the left .. NZCRR Dunedinprobably 1958

    Dunedin 1958 - Digby Paape photo,his father Godfrey Paape was the Race Organiser in 1954 and for many years.
    Godfrey was stalwart of the Otago Sports Car Club, ran an Austin A90 Atlantic at many events

    Thanks to Kwaussie for correction of the date .. - I asked Digby about other archives that he had from Godfrey but most got lost in a House Fire in the 1980's sadly.

    Name:  Dunedin NZCRR 1954 programme #19 The Race early lap Digby Paape .jpg
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    Ron Roycroft - on the right.

    The 1954 programme cover [front and back - thanks to SPgeti Bruce Dyer

    Name:  Dunedin NZCRR 1954 programme  #19 covers- c Bruce Dyer CCI16012016_0008 (800x564).jpg
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    This is the entry list.
    Easter Sunday 19th April 1954.

    Name:  Dunedin NZCRR 1954 programme #10 NZ CRR entries & lap chart CCI16012016_0004 (800x564).jpg
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    another Dunedin programme - this time 1961 - also from Bruce Dyer.

    Name:  Programme Dunedin Festival 1961 #18, front & back covers CCI15092016 (750x569).jpg
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    Entries for the main race ..

    Name:  Programme Dunedin Festival 1961 #9 p16, 17 Championship Road Race CCI15092016_0008 (750x567).jpg
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    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 04-19-2019 at 05:33 AM.

  3. #3
    With due respect this is not the 1954 Dunedin race - more like 1958.

  4. #4
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwaussie View Post
    With due respect this is not the 1954 Dunedin race - more like 1958.
    Kwaussie - you would be correct as Ron ran the Bugatti in 1954 - will make a correction. Cheers
    Just shows need to read my stuff before posting.

  5. #5
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Looking at that list, at the bottom is the Tec Mec - green. Is that the same Tec Mec once displayed at Donington (painted red) and since, racing at Monaco and Goodwood, or just a name coincidence?

  6. #6
    It's a real shame that the article as published does get it totally wrong in who rebuilt the car to what it is now. That was undertaken by Richard Anderson, not Mike Courtney. Mike rescued remains and assembled something that vaguely resembled the car.
    Richard started almost from scratch, and did it how it was. He raced it a number of time with VCC in recent years.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Dowding View Post
    Dunedin 1958 - Digby Paape photo,his father Godfrey Paape was the Race Organiser in 1954 and for many years.
    Godfrey was stalwart of the Otago Sports Car Club, ran an Austin A90 Atlantic at many events

    Thanks to Kwaussie for correction of the date .. - I asked Digby about other archives that he had from Godfrey but most got lost in a House Fire in the 1980's sadly.

    Name:  Dunedin NZCRR 1954 programme #19 The Race early lap Digby Paape .jpg
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    Ron Roycroft - on the right.

    The 1954 programme cover [front and back - thanks to SPgeti Bruce Dyer

    Name:  Dunedin NZCRR 1954 programme  #19 covers- c Bruce Dyer CCI16012016_0008 (800x564).jpg
Views: 240
Size:  154.4 KB

    This is the entry list.
    Easter Sunday 19th April 1954.

    Name:  Dunedin NZCRR 1954 programme #10 NZ CRR entries & lap chart CCI16012016_0004 (800x564).jpg
Views: 236
Size:  151.0 KB

    another Dunedin programme - this time 1961 - also from Bruce Dyer.

    Name:  Programme Dunedin Festival 1961 #18, front & back covers CCI15092016 (750x569).jpg
Views: 239
Size:  154.9 KB

    Entries for the main race ..

    Name:  Programme Dunedin Festival 1961 #9 p16, 17 Championship Road Race CCI15092016_0008 (750x567).jpg
Views: 241
Size:  180.2 KB
    I love that Dunedin photo. I really wish I'd had a copy of that one for my book.

  8. #8
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    RA Vanguard 1990 when reassembled by Mike Courtney

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    It's a real shame that the article as published does get it totally wrong in who rebuilt the car to what it is now. That was undertaken by Richard Anderson, not Mike Courtney. Mike rescued remains and assembled something that vaguely resembled the car.
    Richard started almost from scratch, and did it how it was. He raced it a number of time with VCC in recent years.
    Thanks Rhys I saw the car when with Mike - I only took photos of the engine [ silly boy ] .. It was around 1990 when Mike was living in Titirangi, and ran the Vegie Shop in Lynmall.

    Name:  Engines RA Vanguard #1 Mike Courtney 1990 CCI20072016 (700x474).jpg
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    Name:  Engines RA Vanguard #2 Mike Courtney 1990 CCI20072016_0001 (700x473).jpg
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    Name:  Engines RA Vanguard #3 Mike Courtney 1990 CCI20072016_0002 (700x470).jpg
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    " t's a real shame that the article as published does get it totally wrong in who rebuilt the car to what it is now. "
    Agree Rhys however now we do know !
    These Myths do continue and I know I thought Mike did a rebuild not just putting it back together, at that time. so may have contributed to the myth.

    Must have had my " Train-ing Wheels " on back then. as far as Archives and History goes. You learn something new every day.
    [ A Hornby loco made in 1929 that was my fathers - " clockwork ' O ' gauge "- ]
    Name:  Hornby Engine Mac Dowding 1929 NZR 1, 1030889 (3) (800x600).jpg
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    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 04-20-2019 at 11:31 PM. Reason: photo's 3 added ###47

  9. #9

    A few shots from Roycroft Trophy Meetings

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  10. #10

  11. #11

  12. #12
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    Beautiful photos Nigel.

  13. #13
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spgeti View Post
    Beautiful photos Nigel.
    Agree Bruce Wow .. amazing, thanks for the photos Nigel
    That car was / is a " Special " made form various parts and put together by a very talented engineer Hec Green.
    Have never seen it as it is now - only in the 1990's " reassembly ". as posted earlier.

  14. #14
    Those pics Nigel are from Richard's restoration. You can see, amongst other things, the correct Oleo struts for the rear suspension, he searched the world for those to get it accurate. Below is what Richard posted in the online version of the article
    Fabulous article on an amazing New Zealand race car, In the interests of historical accuracy I wish to advise that the remains saved by Grant Cowie were in fact sold to John Holdsworth who commissioned the rebuild, the car was then sold to Mike Courtenay with the Hamilton street event being its only real outing before being offered for sale. I purchased the car and ran it in Historic events for a number of years before undertaking a total rebuild. The car, as purchased, bore only a passing resemblance to the original Green/Brewer creation, it was too long, too wide, had incorrect front and rear suspension, incorrect wheels etc, but it did serve to keep all of the existing parts in one place. With discussions and input from Jack Brewer (and NZ world renowned engineer Ralph Watson) I embarked on the process of a full restoration to bring back to life the car as it was originally built, complete with correct rubber band suspension and even the original Kitty Hawk rear Oleo struts. I raced the finished item for a number of years before selling it to Rob Whitehouse and Paul Radisich. As Mick points out it is very high geared with a top gear ration of about 3:1.. It certainly needs the likes of Goodwood to stretch its legs.

  15. #15
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Oldfart Rhys - thanks for that adds to the history - just wish I had taken more photos [ the whole car ] when Mike C owned it all those years ago.

  16. #16
    It wasn't the only racing car to use the Oleo struts...

    Who can name the most famous one?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    It wasn't the only racing car to use the Oleo struts...

    Who can name the most famous one?
    BRM Type 15?

  18. #18
    That would be the one...

    It also had the trailing arm front end, didn't it?

  19. #19
    Time to get back to the RA - photo from 1958 has Archie Scott-Brown in the Lister Jaguar coming up very fast on the right trying to get ahead of Bruce McLaren and Ross Jenson in 250F, Geoff Mardon is going well in the RA but a wheel failed in the last few laps. Scott- Brown also failed to finish as the photo below shows.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Kwaussie; 04-24-2019 at 11:01 PM.

  20. #20
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    It may not have been an RA Vanguard but this was the Hyndman 1951 Standard Vanguard. Phase 1.
    With a 2 litre engine the same as a Ferguson tractor. 0 to 60 in a really quick 21.5 seconds !
    Name:  1951 Standard Vanguard. Phase 1 saloon. 2 litre.jpg
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    About 1952 /3 at Felix St in Te Papapa, Auckland.
    Just to the left in the background out of the photo is now the Mount Smart Stadium complex.
    As usual junior is front and centre !
    (Note there were a lot of gravel roads between Kiwitahi and Auckland back then hence the nice clean car ! )
    Name:  1951 Standard Vanguard. Phase 1 saloon... 2 litre.jpg
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    (Hyndman album..)
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 04-25-2019 at 12:32 PM.

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