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Thread: Old Race Tracks

  1. #1

    Old Race Tracks

    Hi Guys.

    I was wondering if anyone can help me? I was looking at some old aerial shots of Auckland's North Shore (on google earth) and I noticed 2 race tracks, one in Glenfield and one in Albany. I don't know if these are car, motorbike or carting tracks, but I was hoping someone could shed some light into what they were used for. These shots are circa 1963.

    The Albany one was located right next to the Albany pub, on state highway one. The Glenfield one was next to Target Rd, but accessed via Wairau Rd. Possibly owned by a car club?

    Any info would be appreciated.

    Cheers
    Rik

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  2. #2
    Cool photos Rikko. Someone on here should know, if they're car tracks. They look like they could be speedways, though they could just as easily be horse tracks. If they're speedways, Pallmall will know. In fact, he'll not only know, he'll tell you when they opened, when they closed, who won the first meeting, what the lap record is........

  3. #3
    Cheers Steve.

    I was going on the assumption that horse tracks are normally oval? Also there doesn't appear to be any of the jumps and other horsey stuff you find in the inner track. I could be wrong though. I'm not a horse person. Not enough wheels

    I've been googling solidly and can't for the life of me find any info on either.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Almost certainly horse training tracks. We have dozens of them here in Cambridge, and they aren't necessarily oval or any regular shape for that matter. As training tracks for trotters and pacers they will not have any jumps or 'horsey stuff' on them.

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    Is a bit hard going over a jump towing a sulky!!!!!!!!!!

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    The 'going over' was not so bad, the 'landing' on other side usually hurt though!

  8. #8
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    There was Worrall's farm (I think that what it was called) up Albany way, that was used by Hot Rod Clubs back in the day and I think it may have been there that the Chassis Racers had a track around 1962. Have to go and check on exactly where.
    Certainly no 'official' speedways in that area, but prior to the late sixties there were car club, etc., stuff that took place on many grass track circuits on farms and private land. There still is today, a few private tracks, but they are well away from built up areas.

    I have always been intrigued by the number of ovals one sees when flying over NZ, I guess most are just farm tracks or horse training tracks.
    Last edited by pallmall; 03-07-2012 at 04:22 AM.

  9. #9
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    The Chassis Racers used a circuit on the Cullen Farm in Albany when they started in 1961, this was called "Albany Speedway" and ran Saturday afternoon meetings, but other than the Chassis Racers I don't know if any other speedway divisions raced there. I know a man who raced there, so shall ask the question.
    Worrall's Farm was near Kumeu, so a bit away from the areas photographed, will ask around about other venues in the Albany area. I doubt the circuit in Glenfield had anything to do with cars, could be motorbikes, but probably horses.

  10. #10
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    Chassis racers sounds intriguing. Is that what they did......race chassis, in the days when cars had chassis. Sounds like fun. Can't do that now.....OSH has taken away all the fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pallmall View Post
    The Chassis Racers used a circuit on the Cullen Farm in Albany when they started in 1961, this was called "Albany Speedway" and ran Saturday afternoon meetings, but other than the Chassis Racers I don't know if any other speedway divisions raced there. I know a man who raced there, so shall ask the question.
    Worrall's Farm was near Kumeu, so a bit away from the areas photographed, will ask around about other venues in the Albany area. I doubt the circuit in Glenfield had anything to do with cars, could be motorbikes, but probably horses.
    I think they were called the NZ Chassis Racing Club or similar, somewhere near the present N Shore Golf Club course, and maybe disappeared after a year or two. A look in the archives of the North Shore Times might bear fruit.

    As for the Albany pub aerial, that would undoubtedly be a horse training track, probably owned by the Stevensons whose carrying yard is on the left of picture. I'm sure they were into "horsey" activities.

    A cafe/takeaway at Hobsonville (?Bomb Bay Cafe?) used to have a very big aerial photo on their wall, of the surrounding Whenuapai and Hobsonville areas, and there were about 20 or so similar tracks in the area, all presumably racing or trotting training tracks. There are possibly quite a few in the Karaka and Takanini areas still, but none of them with a car racing connection.

    Stu

  12. #12
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    These are Chassis Racers, first two photos from Gloucester Park in Onehunga and the grass track one was taken at a circuit in Alfriston, South Auckland. The VCC boys would go mad if they saw these, but back then (1960-1963) nobody wanted these cars.






  13. #13
    There is an old race car track in Silverdale (Auckland) at the junction of the Northern Motorway and the Hibiscus Coast Highway next to Small Road. The remains can be seen on Google Maps. I recollect last seeing cars racing here in the 1970s.

  14. #14
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    There is a bigger crowd than at HD. Number 55 means business...he has a bull bar on the front of his machine to scatter the opposition, and strengthend rear wheels to take the strain of cornering. I dont know how effective the roll-over bars would be, but who cares.....no one there apparently. This could be one of the entertainments that Custaxie50 would like at our meetings. Bugger OSH, lets do it!!!!!!!

  15. #15
    These are the coolest ever!

  16. #16

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim short View Post
    Roly at Bay Park
    If you're talking about Post #4, I think it's the original Ruapuna Circuit.

    Stu

  18. #18
    Yes you are correct I had forgoten the early shape,though I raced on it in the 80s

  19. #19
    Thanks for all the responses guys. I love those old chassis racers. Awesome pics.

    Ok, so I guess these old tracks were horse related. Bummer.

    Roger, I live in Hibiscus Coast, so I might try and hunt down that old track.

  20. #20
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    Yes aren't they great. In the good old days [sigh] when we had a bit of fun. I mean for goodness sakes, those machines would have been fairly slow, although some of them are in 'four-wheel-drifts', and they would have been boiling their heads off in very short order, but what a hoot. I see some old Buicks and Dodges, mostly side valved engines but with an occasional OHV, and probably all American. And of course you dont need a 'proper' track to run them on, just a sympathetic cocky with a 4 acre paddock will do.......a bit like a souped-up gymkhana.

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