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Thread: Old Race Tracks

  1. #401
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    Have you come across the site www.circuitsofthepast.com site. Some interesting stuff.
    i'm not far from publishing a book on motorcycle road racing circtuis in new zealand, 88 circuits in the north island and still to do a final tally but looking at around 63 in the south island 151 ish all up

  2. #402
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jellywrestler View Post
    i'm not far from publishing a book on motorcycle road racing circtuis in new zealand, 88 circuits in the north island and still to do a final tally but looking at around 63 in the south island 151 ish all up
    Go for it - looking forward to seeing the result. A car man but, bikes are a huge part of the NZ Motor Racing scene.. ehh !! Spyda.

  3. #403
    many of the circuits ran cars as well of course.

  4. #404
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Seagrove - information. A story on its own ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    Nobody mentioned Seagrove yet.
    Southern shore of the Manukau harbour. I went looking in the early to mid 1980s, there were still some of the hexagon concrete slabs evident even then.
    Just had a look on the Auckland GIS viewer, I was surpised to see that the airstrips are still very evident. They are not clear at all from ground level!
    A lot of stuff is scattered through this thread on Seagrove and recently quite a few photos from the Arthur Siddall albums now in Duncan Fox hands [ found at Whitford Tip by Duncan ].

    Could be worth putting into a separate story - a bit like the Matamata thread that " Oldfart "started a few years ago.

    I have also recently acquired a couple of Maps of the Seagrove Track - one from the 1940's and the other a more recent Google image.
    There was a book written about Seagrove some years ago - must check out the details.

    " jellywrestler " is writing a book on New Zealand Motorcycle Racing and has quite a bit of information on the track from a Two Wheeled perspective.
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 04-28-2021 at 02:32 AM.

  5. #405
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Dowding View Post
    A lot of stuff is scattered through this thread on Seagrove and recently quite a few photos from the Arthur Siddall albums now in Duncan Fox hands [ found at Whitford Tip by Duncan ].

    Could be worth putting into a separate story - a bit like the Matamata thread that " Oldfart "started a few years ago.

    I have also recently acquired a couple of Maps of the Seagrove Track - one from the 1940's and the other a more recent Google image.
    There was a book written about Seagrove some years ago - must check out the details.

    " jelliewrestler " is writing a book on New Zealand Motorcycle Racing and has quite a bit of information on the track from a Two Wheeled perspective.
    Seagrove.... Where's that? by Max Poole I got a copy from Max, was about $90 he gets them done in very small runs, from memory he only really got what was pre ordered rather than kept a couple in stock. covers a bit on the car racing, more on the bikes. My book covers 156 differnt circuits in new zealand. this includes closed circuits, airfield circuits, street circuits and road racing circuits, (coutryside venues) it's getting close to being published, and i'll pop in here and advertise it no doubt. I will be selling it myself, at this stage apart from selected motorcycle shops that's my plan. A number of the circuits of course included cars, or probably more correct, the cars ran a meeting and invited the bikes.

  6. #406
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    If one lands at Los Angeles Airport and heads north toward Santa Barbara on Interstate Highway 405, a few miles up the road you can go west on Interstate Highway 10 toward the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica. (Remember I have mentioned previously hat the north to south highways have odd numbers and the east to west highways are even numbered. Just remember that when you come to visit !)
    In 1909 Santa Monica had established a road course for the "ill handling, temperamental machines "of that era. They were heavy, high torque beasts which required long stretches of straight road to get up to full speeds. Therefore some of the Vanderbilt Cup circuits were long, such as the Savannah, Georgia circuit which was over 17 miles around ! This meant that spectators wandered around without restrictions and race drivers had to also contend with the occasional dog or horse on the course.
    The Santa Monica course was 8.4 miles and had races there from 1909 to 1919.

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    The same roads can be driven on today.

    (Ken H )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 06-24-2021 at 05:40 AM.

  7. #407
    You could always see if it's on here:

    https://oscarplada.blogspot.com/

    Oscar does brilliant maps.

  8. #408
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    Thanks Ray,
    That first map was pretty cruddy.
    After the start going in an anti-clockwise direction the first corner was a left hander onto the almost 4 mile straight along Wilshire Blvd.
    That corner was named Dead Man's Curve or Death Corner and although it was the scene of some hair raising accidents there were no fatalities at this spot over the 10 years of racing at Santa Monica.
    The accidents were often caused by the failure of the wooden wheels and tire blow outs as tires were still in the early stages of handling the strains of racing.
    A popular tire at the time was the Diamond brand.

    This is a scene which is remarkable that it was captured by the early cameras at exactly the same moment from the front and the rear.
    1914 as the race leader John Marquis in his Sunbeam, rolled after a tire blew rounding Dead Man's Curve amazingly the occupants were not killed and Marquis was pulled from the wreckage and lived to drive another day.
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    Another popular driver, Eddie Pullen crashed at the same corner during the 1914 Vanderbilt Cup Race. He also was leading in his Mercer when a tire blew. Neither he nor his mechanician were seriously injured and were back racing the same car two days later !
    These guys were tough and very brave !

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    ( Eddie Pullen has an appointment with the barriers, as a wheel breaks loose. Note spectators (left) running for their lives, the brave camera-man, and onlookers up a telegraph pole. )





    Ken H..

  9. #409
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    The same corner today at Wilshire Blvd and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica is not quite as exciting as it was in 1914.
    Name:  Wilshire and Ocean corner 2021.JPG
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    (Google maps.)

    (Ken H)

  10. #410
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    In 1909 before it became a popular track and European cars arrived, Santa Monica hosted some early US manufacturers as seen in this listing of the race results.
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    The winning race car was a "Apperson Jackrabbit"
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    Second place was a Chadwick racer # 16 driven by Bruno Seibel.
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    Also in the field was popular local driver Ted Tetzlaff driving a Lozier

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    ( ( Ken H )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 06-26-2021 at 03:54 PM.

  11. #411
    It must have been fun racing that 1912 model in 1909!

  12. #412
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    It must have been fun racing that 1912 model in 1909!
    Ray, Ken H said a Lozier not that Lozier .. Cheeky beggar ..

  13. #413
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    Roger,
    Ray Bell was correct as at the time he posted I had carelessly put in a fine rendition of a 1912 Chadwick in action.

    I changed my post as I knew I would be corrected from afar !


    Ken H

  14. #414
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    " changed my post " Yep done that a few times too !! As you know ..

    Cheers Ken H,

    Roger

  15. #415
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    I am amazed at how many automobile manufacturers were in the USA at the early part of the 20th century and were mostly gone within 25 years.
    .
    The Lozier automobile was a prime example.

    " Loziers were top line luxury cars and for a time were the most expensive cars produced in the United States. The 1910 model line featured cars priced between US$4,600 and US$7,750. The same year, a Cadillac could be had for about US$1,600 and a Packard US$3,200. A pre-assembly line Ford Model T of the same year retailed at approximately US$850 (after installing assembly line production a few years later, new Model Ts sold for as little as US$240). The average annual salary in America that year was approximately US$750.

    Lozier tried to expand into the mid priced car market and in 1914 offered a four-cylinder car priced at US$2,000. It faced competition from the US$2000 Enger 40,[6] the cheaper FAL at US$1750,[6] the US$1600 Oakland 40,[7] The Chalmers Super Six at US$3200, Cole Four at US$1925,[8] and Western's US$500 Gale Model A roadster,[9] to name just a few. The new four was not a sales success and company finances continued to falter. After a failed attempt to merge with Ford Motor Company, the company declared bankruptcy in 1915. (Wikipedia)

    Due to WW1 and the Depression years things did not go as planned for many.

    This site covers those defunct automobile manufacturers of the United States.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...nited_States#L





    (Ken H..)

  16. #416
    Many car makers benefited from the war years...

    Their manufacturing facilities were going full-time making munitions, aircraft parts and the like. Packard built lots of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, something which is very well known of course. I was reading recently that the difference in plan-reading between the US and the UK meant they had to re-draw the plans before building the engines. And that they were more consistent in their manufacturing standards.

    Willys, of course, built the Jeeps. Ford built plenty of them too. Willys was the original designer and builder, they didn't see out the fifties. Nor did Studebaker, who supplied trucks for armies in large numbers.

    Back in WW1 people like Hispano-Suiza were famous for their aircraft engines, as were Rolls-Royce. It's hard to see a car maker who got defence-oriented contracts in those years going under. Unless, of course, they changed course after the war because of what they'd learned, or the under-quoted.

    An interesting subject to ponder...

  17. #417
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Packard - Rolls Royce a story, within a story.

    Ray Bell,

    : " Packard built lots of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, something which is very well known of course. I was reading recently that the difference in plan-reading between the US and the UK meant they had to re-draw the plans before building the engines. And that they were more consistent in their manufacturing standards. "

    You must have been reading what I have just read or something similar
    - the latest issue of " New Zealand Classic Driver " has an article by Allan Dick about the" Packard Museum "
    - actually a collection of Packards, a lot of English Cars and Farming Machines.
    I thought the collection had gone as the owner whom I knew back in the 1980's had passed away.
    Turns out that indeed Graham Craw passed away in 2007,however his son Fenton Craw who I also knew is the current Owner /Custodian..

    I digress, sorry - old timers issue ....

    The story is, as you say, Packard built a better - as in more reliable - version of the Rolls Royce Merlin.

    To you and Ken H - keep this stuff coming.

  18. #418
    "The story is, as you say, Packard built a better - as in more reliable - version of the Rolls Royce Merlin."

    Possibly, but notably without bombs falling around them and not needing housewives and daughters on the assembly line. The fact is that they could not come up with a near equivalent design. Refer Mustang.

  19. #419
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    "The story is, as you say, Packard built a better - as in more reliable - version of the Rolls Royce Merlin."

    Possibly, but notably without bombs falling around them and not needing housewives and daughters on the assembly line. The fact is that they could not come up with a near equivalent design. Refer Mustang.
    Well said Trevor,
    Recently read a couple of book about - " Home " - England / Britain, during WW2 and yes, a very tough life with severe rationing while the Americans had a war that apart from Pearl Harbour, their lifestyle just kept going.

    Good to read a comment from you.

    Cheers
    Roger

  20. #420
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    Many car makers benefited from the war years...

    Their manufacturing facilities were going full-time making munitions, aircraft parts and the like. Packard built lots of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, something which is very well known of course. I was reading recently that the difference in plan-reading between the US and the UK meant they had to re-draw the plans before building the engines. And that they were more consistent in their manufacturing standards.

    Willys, of course, built the Jeeps. Ford built plenty of them too. Willys was the original designer and builder, they didn't see out the fifties. Nor did Studebaker, who supplied trucks for armies in large numbers.

    Back in WW1 people like Hispano-Suiza were famous for their aircraft engines, as were Rolls-Royce. It's hard to see a car maker who got defence-oriented contracts in those years going under. Unless, of course, they changed course after the war because of what they'd learned, or the under-quoted.

    An interesting subject to ponder...
    I was always of the understanding that Bantam was the original builder / designer of the jeep but could not build enough of them to supply the military

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