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Thread: 1953 Edwards Special

  1. #1

    1953 Edwards Special

    Hello, can anyone help me with finding information on a rare NZ special that was campaigned by Jack Edwards in the early to mid 1950's?

    The Edwards special was powered by a 1172cc Ford engine, and competed at the 1953 to 56 Ohakea Trophy meetings (ref. www.sergent.com.au). Edwards seems to have resided in the Manawatu area, as he also competed in the Saddle Road hillclimb out the back of Palmerston North.

    Their is a small but good source of information in the Vercoe book, but I am really keen to source any photos or race programme references to help verify the cars racing pedigree. I have been in touch with the Manawatu Car Club for information, but details continue to remain scarce.

    I suspect that the Ohakea programmes may be the best bet for finding out if more information or photos exists, and I am happy to pay for any information that comes to light - that is the fair thing to do!


    Regards

    Kirk Martin

  2. #2
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    Did you try Terry Rush from The Rush Collection in Feilding.
    Terry has a huge collection of programs covering most of that era.
    Also Roger Dowling on here has some of my old programmes from Ohakea.

    Cheers
    Bruce Dyer

  3. #3
    Hi Bruce, yes I have been in contact with Terry via the Mwtu Car Club, but no joy. Thanks for the thought though.

    Kirk

  4. #4
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Yes Bruce I do

    Kirk, I have several of Bruce's programmes - will have a read and put any details on here.
    Also have some other stuff on Ohakea events from the 1950's

    Just back home so can get to the Archives Boxes in the next day or two.

    Cheers

  5. #5
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spgeti View Post
    Did you try Terry Rush from The Rush Collection in Feilding.
    Terry has a huge collection of programs covering most of that era.
    Also Roger Dowling on here has some of my old programmes from Ohakea.

    Cheers
    Bruce Dyer
    Yes Bruce I do

    Kirk, I have several of Bruce's programmes - will have a read and put any details on here.
    Also have some other stuff on Ohakea events from the 1950's

    Just back home so the Archive Boxes are close by.

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Hello Roger, many thanks for your offer to search through the meeting programmes. It would be lovely to uncover some more information on this rather rare beast.

    Regards

    Kirk

  7. #7
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Edwards Special - Ohakea 1954

    Quote Originally Posted by KWMartin View Post
    Hello Roger, many thanks for your offer to search through the meeting programmes. It would be lovely to uncover some more information on this rather rare beast.

    Regards

    Kirk
    Kirk, hi,

    quick search and found this from one of the programmes Bruce sent to me


    " OHAKEA TROPHY RACES "
    Saturday, 6th MARCH, 1954

    " Event 2
    Sports Car & Racing Car Hcp.
    16 Miles - Fuel Optional - 8 Laps
    held in conjucntion with the 500 cc Scratch Race

    Entry list
    Car #9 J Edwards Edwards Special 1172 cc."

    Checking my scans only have saved the cover page already. see below

    " Event 10
    Ohakea Trophy Race
    50 Miles - Fuel Optional - 25 laps
    Car #9 J Edwards Edwards Special 1172 cc 11 mins 25 sec Handicap ".

    The cover of the programme

    Name:  TRS Programme Ohakea  1954 #4 Trophy Races front cover 1954 Bruce Dyer CCI16092015_0002 (517x800.jpg
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Size:  144.0 KB

    Kirk - please Personal Message on the forum your Email address as will send the full scan of the programme - not already done so will scan and send later.

    Hope this is a help - well a start, anyway - more to come



    Cheers

    Roger

  8. #8
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    Thanks Roger,
    I was sent 1951 and there was no entry for the Edwards Special.

    Cheers
    Bruce

  9. #9
    No entry for the Edwards special in the 1952, 1955 and 1956 Ohakea programmes though I do have a report that Jack Edwards did start in the 1954 race driving his rear-engined Ford 10 special sportscar. He retired from the Trophy Race after 17 laps.

    He was a late entry for the Preliminary scratch race in 1955 and could have been a starter in the Trophy race.

    Edwards also started the 1953 Trophy race and finished 14th on handicap.
    Last edited by Milan Fistonic; 07-23-2020 at 12:03 PM.

  10. #10
    Thank you Bruce, Milan and Roger for checking your archives. Special thanks to Roger for his offer to scan the 54 programme (PM sent, Roger).

    So wrapping all the information that we have to hand it confirms that the Edwards Spl definitely competed at Ohakea in 1954 and 1955 between the period covering the 1951 to 1956 races (6 events). Of these events, 1953 is the only gap to be filled (no programme to reference).

    The Vercoe book notes that the car was sold by Edwards and purchased by Harry Hingston in Hawera who fitted a supercharger to the engine, but then the trace goes cold. What a fascinating contraption that would have been if it was able to be developed properly.

    Regards and thanks.

    Kirk

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by KWMartin View Post
    Thank you Bruce, Milan and Roger for checking your archives. Special thanks to Roger for his offer to scan the 54 programme (PM sent, Roger).

    So wrapping all the information that we have to hand it confirms that the Edwards Spl definitely competed at Ohakea in 1954 and 1955 between the period covering the 1951 to 1956 races (6 events). Of these events, 1953 is the only gap to be filled (no programme to reference).

    The Vercoe book notes that the car was sold by Edwards and purchased by Harry Hingston in Hawera who fitted a supercharger to the engine, but then the trace goes cold. What a fascinating contraption that would have been if it was able to be developed properly.

    Regards and thanks.

    Kirk
    As I stated in my post Edwards did start in 1953.

  12. #12
    Kirk, it was not unusual for Ford 1172 motors to be supercharged when the blower was readily available from places like Valentines in Hamilton. They and others were sellers of war surplus items into at least the mid 60s and stuff was cheap.
    Just because it's a supercharged 1172 doesn't mean it had potential. There were some well built specials, some not so. I am NOT saying where this one fits, as I do not know.
    As usual don't take too much credence of the book you are quoting. It's a resource but pretty much everything needs checking elsewhere.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    Kirk, it was not unusual for Ford 1172 motors to be supercharged when the blower was readily available from places like Valentines in Hamilton. They and others were sellers of war surplus items into at least the mid 60s and stuff was cheap.
    Just because it's a supercharged 1172 doesn't mean it had potential. There were some well built specials, some not so. I am NOT saying where this one fits, as I do not know.
    As usual don't take too much credence of the book you are quoting. It's a resource but pretty much everything needs checking elsewhere.
    Fair call re the s/c engine options. I know the Vercoe book gets a bit of criticism about the amount of errors in the book, but where would we be without it? Totally agree on the danger of relying on one source though.

    K

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by KWMartin View Post
    Fair call re the s/c engine options. I know the Vercoe book gets a bit of criticism about the amount of errors in the book, but where would we be without it? Totally agree on the danger of relying on one source though.

    K
    It is the only resource, and for that I admire Vercoe. What I don't like are the massive errors (my own car included) and when so many of us submitted corrections and a second edition kept the errors it became a thorn.

  15. #15
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    It is the only resource, and for that I admire Vercoe. What I don't like are the massive errors (my own car included) and when so many of us submitted corrections and a second edition kept the errors it became a thorn.
    Rhys,
    agree with you, It was the first real attempt at identifying NZ Specials, and well known Racing cars in NZ. My Uncle Ed was shown my copy back in the 1990's and made notes on scraps of paper which I still keep in my copy. There is a comment about his brother in Law " Jack Boot " owning a car and racing it in 1928 - which a real stretch as Jack would have only been around 10 or 12 at the time and not married as note by Vercoe.
    I think Kirks comment " where would we be without it " is a good one as it does give us a starting point.
    I have the 1991 Edition of " Historic Racing Cars of New Zealand "- presume it is the first edition - it was expensive at the time at $79.95.

    Keeping my eyes open for more information on the Edwards Special. will post some on here.

    Cheers
    Roger

  16. #16
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Edwards Special - Ohakea 1954 Car #9 Sports and Racing car Race Event 2.

    A page from the 1954 Ohakea Trophy Races -
    Having trouble with resizing [ reducing size of some of the images - this one worked.

    Name:  Ohakea 1954 #26 1954 Trophy Race Programme Event 2 P10 cover B Dyer 2020_07_27_1746 (512x800).jpg
Views: 62
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    Still seeking a photo[s] of the car

  17. #17
    I competed in this event driving the Ralph Watson Le Mans Singer which I owned at the time and I recall some of the cars listed, but unfortunately not the Edwards Special.

    It is interesting to note the absence of factory built machinery with the absence of pounds shillings and pence in pockets. A single MGTD driven by a lucky young guy I knew and a three hundred pound well worn 1634 Singer. A Cooper five hundred was in a different league, calling for a trailer and numerous luxuries. The Harris Buckler was up there, but was part of a cost effective enthusiast's enterprise.

  18. #18
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Edwards Special - Ohakea 1954 and a certain Singer with Trevor Sheffield driving.

    " I competed in this event driving the Ralph Watson Le Mans Singer which I owned at the time and I recall some of the cars listed, but unfortunately not the Edwards Special. "

    The Edwards Special competed in the "Sports Car and Racing Car Race " [ Event 2 ] and the " Ohakea Trophy Race " [ Event 10 ].

    Trevor Sheffield in Ralph Watson's Singer competed in both those races and also in the " Sports Car Handicap Race " for standard [ fully equipped ] Sports Cars [ Event 4 ]

    The front and back cover of the programme

    Name:  Ohakea 1954 #148 1954 Trophy Races Programme both covers B Dyer  CCI29072020_0019 (800x596).jpg
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    Full copy of the Entry List - Event 2

    Name:  Ohakea 1954 #160 1954 Trophy Races Programme Event 2 Sports Racing Hcp P10-11 B Dyer CCI29072020.jpg
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    Event 4 - the Sports Car Handicap race - Trevor Sheffield in the Singer.

    Name:  Ohakea 1954 #166 1954 Trophy Races Track Map Event 4 Sports Car Hcp P16-17 B Dyer CCI29072020_00.jpg
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Size:  183.4 KB

    The Ohakea Trophy Race - the main Event [ Event 10 ]

    Name:  Ohakea 1954 #188 1954 Trophy Races Event 10 Trophy Entry - Lap Chart P38 - 39 B Dyer CCI29072020.jpg
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    The Prize List and a photo of the Molesworth Trophy

    Name:  Ohakea 1954 #180 1954 Trophy Races Prize list and Trophy P30 - 31 B Dyer CCI29072020_0034 (650x4.jpg
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    Trophy previously won by George Smith and Ron Roycroft.

    The Vercoe article on the Edwards Ford - the whole page.

    Name:  Ohakea 1954 #095 1954 Trophy Race Edwards Special Vercoe Book 2020_07_27_1771 (533x800) (2).jpg
Views: 31
Size:  154.9 KB
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 07-31-2020 at 04:02 AM. Reason: more info and pics ####47

  19. #19
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Edwards Special - Ohakea 1954

    The 1954 Trophy Race ;

    The entrants
    5th Ohakea Trophy
    Date: 6th March 1954
    Venue: Ohakea Airfield
    25 laps of 3.405kms (85.13kms)

    Starting Order: (Handicap Race) Bern, Edwards and Aitken started and the rest followed at indicated times behind him.

    Driver Handicap
    “Wally Bern 0m
    Jack Edwards 0m
    Jock Aitken 0m *
    Peter McInally 0m
    Bruce Lawrence 0m 50s
    C Taylor 0m 50s
    Dave Long 0m 50s
    Don Tilsley 1m 15s
    Boxer Fanselow 1m 15s *
    Noel Ching 1m 40s
    Allan Freeman 1m 40s
    Tom Clark 2m 05s
    D Hutton 2m 30s *
    Herb Gilroy 2m 30s
    Keith Roper 2m 55s
    Rob Bagnall 2m 55s
    Fordy Farland 3m 45s *
    Halsey Logan 5m 25s
    Johnny Mansel 5m 50s
    Bessie Christie 6m 15s
    Harry Chatteris 6m 15s *
    Peter Harrison 7m 05s *
    Ron Frost 7m 05s
    Hec McLean 7m 05s
    Peter Ward 7m 05s
    Bill Lee 7m 05s
    Arnold Stafford 7m 05s
    Vic Shuter 8m 20s
    George Palmer 8m 20s
    Alistair McBeath 8m 20s *
    Des McDonagh 8m 45s *
    Frank Shuter 9m 10s
    Les Moore 9m 35s *
    George Smith 10m 00s
    Bob Gibbons 10m 50s
    Ron Roycroft 11m 40s

    * Did not start

    The handicap Times differ from the programme- presume based on earlier race results and /or practice laps.
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 07-31-2020 at 05:04 AM. Reason: more info #### 47

  20. #20
    Thank you Roger for adding these Ohakea programme pages and information.

    Roger and I have been emailing each other over the last week looking at alternative options for information on the Edwards car (and of course any information on other NZ specials that may come to hand).

    One possible source to trawl through is the 'Wanganui Photo News' papers from that period. None of these papers are on the web at the moment, so this leaves library searches as the best option to browse any of these papers that exist. This will take time, but that is half the fun!

    There was no Manawatu edition of the photo news paper series, so the Wanganui edition is our only hope in this direction.

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