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Thread: Levin and Cabbage Tree Corner

  1. #41
    Following the problems with the track at the opening meeting run by the Levin Car Club, a new organising club, the Levin Motor Racing Club, was set up and they had the track remade including proper consolidation of the base course. A practice day was held early in October 1956 to test the surface. Tom Clark (HWM), George Palmer (Cooper-Bristol) and a number of 500 drivers took part and proved the improvements were successful.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Milan Fistonic View Post
    Following the problems with the track at the opening meeting run by the Levin Car Club, a new organising club, the Levin Motor Racing Club, was set up and they had the track remade including proper consolidation of the base course. A practice day was held early in October 1956 to test the surface. Tom Clark (HWM), George Palmer (Cooper-Bristol) and a number of 500 drivers took part and proved the improvements were successful.
    Colliers sealed it the first time and they had said that there was not enough time etc to do it properly and it fell apart, dont know who repaired it but they were not included in the second iteration of the circuit which added some distance and it was widened by two meters. The original collier had moved on or retired when the third iteration was done and colliers came back in, there was a bit of patching of relationships for this to go ahead and an acknowledgement that it wasn't entirely colliers problem the first time around., I recently talked to the collier who did the last extension/alteration and this came from him

  3. #43
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    On the newly sealed track, the sports car race is about to begin.
    The front row L-R Jim Boyd in the Buckler, Ross Jensen in his Austin Healey 100 S and R. Crowther in a beautiful Lotus 11.
    In behind the Lotus is an Austin Healey driven by a young man making one of his first starts, Bruce McLaren.

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    (Ken H)

  4. #44
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    In another race the crowd enjoyed the battle between a 1934 Alfa Romeo # 21 driven by John McMillan and a new Austin Healey 100S #18 driven by Ross Jensen.
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    (Harold Plimmer photos.)

    In 1957 John sold the Alfa Romeo P3 to Ernie Sprague for 500 pounds and Ernie sold it for about the same price a year later.
    It was P3 chassis # C50006 and it was just a 22 year old worn out race car !
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 11-04-2022 at 04:00 PM.

  5. #45
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    In 2017 that same P3 chassis # C50006 was sold at an auction in Paris.
    1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3
    VIN:50006
    Status; SOLD
    €3,920,000 ($4,180,680)
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    An interesting read.

    https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/p...po-b-p3/408013


    (Ken H)
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 11-04-2022 at 03:54 PM.

  6. #46
    In the late model spec with the Dubonnet front suspension...

    You don't get that for a Vauxhall or Master Chev.

  7. #47
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Great stuff ... Ken H,

    Had posted some Lewis Townsend photos from Levin on another thread.

    Would you like them shared here as the thread is a designated " Levin " story.

    The Programme Cover for the October 1956 event - David McKinney archives [ RIP David ].
    posted elsewhere but belongs here.

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    Cheers Guys,

    PS the AH 100S is AHS3908 imported by Austin New Zealand and sold to Seabrook Fowlds, - the car is still in New Zealand, fully and sympathetically restored as Ross Jensen raced it.
    It later went to Graham Pierce in the 1960's and others..

    Just back from a quiet 2 and 1/2 weeks on peaceful Waiheke Island .. largely fee of electronic media .. a mobile phone and an older TV ..
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 11-05-2022 at 05:24 AM. Reason: photo added ###47

  8. #48
    got a few Levin Programmes but none that early Levin Motor Racing Circuit

    1961 SAT JAN 14TH
    1961 SAT NOV 25TH
    1963 SAT JAN 12TH
    1963 SAT MARCH 23RD
    1963 SAT NOV 30TH
    1964 SAT JAN 4TH
    1964 SAT NOV 28TH
    1965 SAT JAN 16TH
    1965 SAT MAR 27TH
    1965 SAT NOV 27TH
    1966 SAT JAN 15TH
    1966 SAT MARCH 12TH
    1967 SAT JAN 14TH
    1967 SAT NOV 25TH
    1968 SAT JAN 13TH
    1968 SAT MARCH 23RD
    1968 SAT NOV 30TH
    1969 SAT MARCH 22ND
    1970 FR1 2ND SAT 3RD JAN
    1971 JAN 2ND
    1972 SAT MAR 4TH
    1973 SAT JAN 13TH
    1973 MAY 26TH HUTT VALLEY MCC
    1975 SAT JUNE 7TH HUTT VALLEY MOTORCYCLE CLUB
    1975 DEC 7TH
    1976 SUN MARCH 14TH HUTT VALLEY MCC

  9. #49
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    Ron Roycroft arrived at the 1956 Levin event with his 1925 Bugatti Type 35A now fitted with a 3.4 liter 6 cylinder Jaguar XK 120 engine and gearbox instead of the wornout original French straight 8 assembly.
    What roll cage and safety suit ? (A brave driver indeed.)
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    Ron lighting up the tyres as he exits the Hairpin.

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    Battling with Tom Clark.


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    With that engine installed it was given the rather inglorious name of "Bug-Jag"
    (Harold Plimmer photos)

    Unlike other classics that left NZ this vehicle has been kept by the Roycroft family and beautifully restored and maintained by Ron's son, Terry. (Seen driving the car in 2022.)

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    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/stratford...VGDUYID6FPZZM/


    (Ken H )
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 11-08-2022 at 09:07 PM.

  10. #50
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Ken H,

    I understand that Terry Roycroft has the Bugatti engine, but the car is still running the Jaguar one..
    I know BMC Boy had a few photos of the car at a Chelsea Walsh Hill Climb, before they, VCC, were stopped from running it after the 2017 event.

    More important to have a Cafe and Factory Tours [ a recent concept ] than to let the VCC Boys have one day a year for the Hill Climb!!
    The Hill Climb ran from the 1960's I understand - must check that detail.

  11. #51
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    Roger,
    The Jaguar and Bugatti engine info. is in that attached Herald site.
    Could you open that ok ?
    I see Ralph Watson was involved, was he the one who built the Lycoming Special ?
    Ken

  12. #52
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khyndart in CA View Post
    Roger,
    The Jaguar and Bugatti engine info. is in that attached Herald site.
    Could you open that ok ?
    I see Ralph Watson was involved, was he the one who built the Lycoming Special ?
    Ken
    Ralph Watson built the Lycoming Special in the mid 1950's and a BSA Special too, he was Ron Roycroft's mechanic / engineer for many years. looking after the Bugatti, The " Blue " Ferrari and the pre-war Alfa Romeo for Ron.

    Will have a look at the Herald link ..

    Had a quick look - they only give you a few minutes - then you have to subscribe !!

    Cheers and thanks Ken H,

    Roger
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 11-09-2022 at 01:11 AM.

  13. #53
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    I might be in trouble for this !
    " Further tweaks to the car involved the importing of a C-type cylinder head and D-type pistons, resulting in the car, with Ron driving, taking that sixth place in the 1956 Grand Prix. How fast could it go? Ron and Terry recall a timed speed of 250km/h on the Ryall Bush road circuit in Southland.

    A year after the Grand Prix success, a dropped valve during a race near Christchurch led to the Bugatti's retirement. The Jaguar engine was removed and the car sat, engine-less, in the Roycroft garage. A decade or so later, Ron, Terry and Ralph rebuilt its original Bugatti engine and gearbox, restoring it to original specs and getting it back on the road.

    After over four decades or being back on the road as both a touring and competition car the Bugatti went back to the workshop in 2012, when Terry removed the Bugatti engine and gearbox again, to replace them once more with the Jaguar parts.
    The original Bugatti parts are still in the garage, should Terry feel like taking it back to its factory specs again, but for now, the one of a kind Bug-Jag is back, and driving as beautifully as ever before."
    (NZ Herald clip )

  14. #54
    At least that's one car with NZ history that hasn't been "restored" to a form with very little history

    So often they are changed "because it's a Bugatti" or whatever and the car with the history is lost.

  15. #55

    Roycroft Bugatti

    When I was speaking with Terry he told me that he had put the Bugatti engine back, in quite recent times, and also tried the larger diameter original wheels. He said, his words "The Bugatti is so gutless I couldn't stand it, and the wheel patter under braking with the big wheels is horrendous" so back went the Jag engine, which had also sat in another special Ron had never completed. In my worthless opinion, as the car is never to be passed on to other than family, the history is best with the Jag engine.
    When I visited Ron in 1968 the engine was sitting in the Special, but only someone as small as Ron could ever have driven it. I sat in it while he took off in my own car. I think that Pete Benbrook may have that car now.

  16. #56
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    Some more Harold Plimmer photos of Ron Roycroft at Levin. Oct. 1956.
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    Leading the field through Cabbage Tree Corner.

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    Drifting the "Bug-Jag" through the Cabbage Tree.

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    Out front in his race.

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    Ron Roycroft taking the chequered flag.


    (Ken H)

  17. #57
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    Some of the saloon car racing at the Levin Meet.
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    # 47 W. Watt in his Javelin leading Tom Doherty's V-8 Ford coupe and George Lawton in his Mk1 Zephyr # 45 coming through the Hairpin.

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    George Lawton rounding the Cabbage Tree turn in his Zephyr # 45
    Sadly George was to lose his life while racing in Europe a few years later.
    He along with Denny Hulme was one of NZ's most promising young race drivers.

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    The Watt Javelin rounding Cabbage Tree corner.

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    Tom Doherty in his Ford V-8 coupe # 59 at the Cabbage Tree Corner.

    (Ken H)

  18. #58
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    George Lawton and his Austin Healey ( and Cooper Bobtail )

    " Sadly George was to lose his life while racing in Europe a few years later.
    He along with Denny Hulme was one of NZ's most promising young race drivers. "
    Sad indeed, Ken H, George and Denny were joint " Drivers to Europe " in 1960 as organised by the New Zealand International Grand Prix Association,Bruce McLaren, having been an earlier " Driver .. to Europe ".
    George raced an Austin Healey 100 Six and a Cooper Bobtail, before going to Europe.

    George's cars around 1959/60..

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    Enjoying these photos Ken H .. keep them coming

    Cheers from a very wet Bay of Plenty, so lots of time to look at photos and TRS, Facebook, write Letters to the Editor of NZ Classic Driver .. et al ..

  19. #59
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    Poor George was racing amongst a very talented field. His accident happened right in front of Stirling Moss on that fateful day in 1960.
    I Danmarks Grand Prix
    Date
    September 10, 1960
    Circuit
    Roskilde Ring
    Distance
    1.400 m x 40 Laps = 56.00 Kms
    Pole Position
    Stirling Moss , 43.7
    Fastest Lap
    Graham Hill , 43.2

    Race sponsored by

    Race Result Qualifying Entry List Reviews
    Race uploaded by AdminRY
    Pos # Driver Entrant Chassis Laps Time/Retire
    1 1 Jack Brabham Cooper Car Co Cooper T51 - Climax 40 53m53.6
    2 11 Graham Hill Team Lotus Lotus 18 - Climax 40 54m06.0
    3 2 Innes Ireland Team Lotus Lotus 18 - Climax 40 54m23.5
    4 7 Stirling Moss R.R.C. Walker Racing Team Porsche 718/2 40 54m50.3
    5 9 David Piper DRW Engineering Cooper T43 - Climax 40 56m15.2
    6 3 Mike McKee Jim Russell Racing Driver School Cooper T45 - Climax 40 56m19.0
    7 10 Denny Hulme New Zealand International Cooper T51 - Climax 40 56m41.3
    DNF 4 Geoff Duke Reg Parnell Racing Team Lotus 18 - Climax 0 -
    DNF 5 George Lawton New Zealand International Cooper T45 - Climax 0 Fatal Accident
    DNF 6 Carel Godin de Beaufort Ecurie Maarsbergen Cooper T51 - Climax 0 -
    DNF 8 Tim Parnell Reg Parnell Racing Team Cooper T45 - Climax 0 -

    (Ken H)

  20. #60
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    Bruce McLaren took the family 1954 Austin Healey 100-4 # 19 to the 1956 Levin Meet.
    He got in driving experience driving up Auckland's One Tree Hill as shown in this Bruce McLaren Trust photo.
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    On the second row of the dummy grid at Levin.
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    With the race underway, Bruce is coming around with the Len Gilbert Cooper Mk 7 # 12 tucked in behind, ahead of Gavin Quirk in his Cooper Bristol # 4 followed by Jim Boyd in his Buckler Ford # 23.
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    Later, McLaren moves over to let Gilbert and Boyd go by.
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    A young, 19-year-old Bruce McLaren at work, on the road to greatness.
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    (Harold Plimmer photos)



    (Ken H)
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 11-16-2022 at 05:47 AM.

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