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Thread: The Morrari recreation

  1. #1
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    The Morrari recreation

    Hi there,
    I am posting this on behalf of my father Mark Stokes who is starting to build a recreation of the Morrari. The Garth Souness Morris Minor lo-lite on a Ferrari chassis with a 327 Corvette engine.
    This is something my father has wanted to do for a long time and we are in the process of researching as many pics or pieces of information that we can. Garth Souness and the builder of the car have passed away but I was fortunate enough to contact Garth's nephew who provided the sepia tone pic of the car at speed with the steel wheels.
    We have located some drawings of the Ferrari chassis and we plan to recreate the chassis and build the car as the second guise with steel wheels and exhaust through the hood.
    We believe that the engine ran three Stromberg 97 carbs on an Offenhauser intake but we would love to know what the rest of the drivetrain was and what the engine bay and cockpit looked like.
    Any pics or information is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Greg & Mark Stokes
    Auckland




  2. #2
    Semi-Pro Racer kiwi285's Avatar
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    That sounds like a long term labour of love. We wish you and your father all the best. It will certainly be a car to stir up interest when it hits the track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi285 View Post
    That sounds like a long term labour of love. We wish you and your father all the best. It will certainly be a car to stir up interest when it hits the track.
    Thanks for your kind words. Its one of those memories of yesteryear for my Dad (he used to attend alot of motor racing events with his cousin Mike Stock - journo who ended up at Auto Trader) and its one of the things to tick off his bucket list.

  4. #4
    Thats a really exciting project Greg, I hope you guys will keep us posted with lots of progress pics as it comes together. I'm sure there will be people on here who can help.

    To the best of my knowledge the Morrari raced for two seasons, 1964/65, and 1965/66. The first season it had the Boranni wires, and the second it had the steel wheels and radiused wheel arches and hood exiting pipes. It didn't seem to travel much, mainly just raced at Pukekohe from what I can tell, and ventured to Matamata in its first season. Did it travel any further south than that?

    Have you guys spoken to Graeme Taylor? I think he took that Matamata shot of the car.

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    thanks Steve I will definitely post updates and pics - we plan to debut the car in the near future all going well.

    The first shot was from the Souness family, the third was among a feature in the Sept 1970 NZ Hot Rod Magazine when there was a profile on Garth Souness

    The third pic we found on the internet. We havent spoken to Graeme Taylor. We have heard that Gavin Bain ended up with the car? And sent the Ferrari chassis back to the UK where its now restored?

    Its going to be fun.

  6. #6
    Greg have you spoken to Gavin Bain to see if he shot any pics of it from when he first purchased it?

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    Steve, just spoke to Gavin Bain who informs me that the car was built twice - first as the Morrie with steel wheels and then secondly as the Morrari on the Ferrari chassis. He was adamant of this and tells me that everyone else has it quite wrong. So I dont know what to make of this all now as he assured me that when he bought the car from Garth Souness it had the wire wheels on it and all.
    Perhaps the wire wheels were fitted back onto the car and the wide steel wheels were taken off it.

  8. #8
    Hmmm, thats interesting. I don't want to say I disagree with that as Gavin owned the car, but these two photos show the car during its two seasons as an Allcomer. The b/w photo is from the 1964/65 season. Note the Coppins Zephyr is white (with blue stripes as per its Team Molyslip colours). The Morrari clearly has the wire wheels in this photo.

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    Now these shots are from the 1965/66 season, with the Coppins Zephyr now painted red. Although the Morrari is quite small in these shots, you can see it does have the wider steel wheels.

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    Hi Steve, again great shots and good to see shots that we havent already seen before. I guess you will appreciate this when I say its hard for us younger guys to understand what happened yonks ago. We have to rely on info that we get and cross reference it with pics like as per above.
    I must add that Gavin was helpful and did offer copies of the photos that he has so we really appreciate that.

  10. #10
    I believe the steel Wheels came about when Firestone arrived on the scene in 1965 ,this is when wider racing tyres become more generally avaliable ,you will notice a lot of the saloon and sports cars around this era started sporting the widened steel wheels and the Firestone tyres ,knowing what I know now it made most of the cars way over tyred but for some reason we figured biger was best and thats the direction things went in .I actually shudder to think now of some of the wheels we widened ourselves and raced on ,having said that we never had one fail.I believe the engine that was in the Morrari ended up going with Glen Jones and was used by him until it was sold later on ,I believe the 3 strombergs was corect in the Morrari time .Greg if you or Mark contact me I might be able to point you in the direction of who owned that engine later on and perhaps where it went

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by bob homewood View Post
    I believe the steel Wheels came about when Firestone arrived on the scene in 1965 ,this is when wider racing tyres become more generally avaliable ,you will notice a lot of the saloon and sports cars around this era started sporting the widened steel wheels and the Firestone tyres ,knowing what I know now it made most of the cars way over tyred but for some reason we figured biger was best and thats the direction things went in .I actually shudder to think now of some of the wheels we widened ourselves and raced on ,having said that we never had one fail.I believe the engine that was in the Morrari ended up going with Glen Jones and was used by him until it was sold later on ,I believe the 3 strombergs was corect in the Morrari time .Greg if you or Mark contact me I might be able to point you in the direction of who owned that engine later on and perhaps where it went
    You're awesome Bob!

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    Thanks Bob - me and Dad were just saying how we should call by and talk to you about the car. Thanks - thats awesome info!

  13. #13
    Hi Greg, while writing a story recently on West Auckland racing driver legend Garry Pedersen, I recall him saying that while working at G.E.M.C.O (Glen Eden Motor Company) he worked on the Morarri on several occasions. He did several wheel alignments on the car and also test drove it, commenting on how it was possible to spin the wheels in any gear and how dodgy it was to control on cross plys... This might indicate it was the first season it ran in 1964-65, but he may have worked on it during the steel wheels phase. He also knew Glen Jones well, who he told me built the car in his father's basement. They both raced pre-war American Coupes in the early 60's. Garry is still operating out of an automotive workshop, in Kelston/Glen Eden (still involved in racing, building the Falcon V8, that Craig Baird runs in the N.Z V8 series) and could be contacted there at Ph 818-7854, if you wanted to see what he remembers.

  14. #14
    Here are a couple of Morarri photos ;





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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Stokes View Post
    Steve, just spoke to Gavin Bain who informs me that the car was built twice - first as the Morrie with steel wheels and then secondly as the Morrari on the Ferrari chassis. He was adamant of this and tells me that everyone else has it quite wrong. So I dont know what to make of this all now as he assured me that when he bought the car from Garth Souness it had the wire wheels on it and all.
    Perhaps the wire wheels were fitted back onto the car and the wide steel wheels were taken off it.
    I have no recollection of any Souness Morris Minor before the Ferrari-chassis one
    Quite likely the Borranis were put back on for sale to Bain, as it would have been known he was going to convert it back to a GP Ferrari
    Have to confess though I never noticed it switched to steel wheels, and I saw it often enough

  16. #16
    This forum is only a few weeks old, but the level of knowledge already on here just astounds me!

    Greg, have you got the donor car yet for the recreation? Any photos?

  17. #17
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    Gerard thanks for the ph number and Roger thanks for the photos, and David great comments - in fact I am humbled by the response on here its been great. The knowledge and memories are do good.
    Here is a pic of the donor car taken on the weekend.

    Today Dad met with Graham Addis who remembers alot about the car and remembers making the 15x8 and 15x10 steel wheels and has offered to make the wheels for Dad. Its all going so well.

  18. #18
    The donor car looks great! I think its cool you're having Graeme Addis make the wheels again, very nice touch. I guess that would give you a genuine set of 'Wild Wheels', which must be rare these days.

  19. #19
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    Yeah it is cool that Graeme is keen

    Here is a curly question - Been doing a bit of research in old Classic Car and Classic Driver Magazines and I am becoming a bit confused.

    Legend has it that Gavin Bain bought the Morrari minus 327 engine and restored the Ferrari GP chassis and sent it back to the UK. I beleive that the GP car was raced here by Peter Whitehead before Souness got ahold of it and built the Morrari. Apparently the V12 engine went into a speedboat?

    In the Feb/Mar issue of the Classic Driver magazine Eoin Young has written a story on a blue Ferrari GP car that was owned by Roycroft and then a chap named Ferris de Joux owned the car and it says I quote that Gavin Bain persuaded de Joux to sell him the famous Ferrari chassis in 1968 and it was a further 12 years before he could buy the original engine from Australia (that had been in Ernie Nunn's speedboat).

    Did Gavin Bain only send one Ferrari GP car back to the UK or did he send the Roycroft one and the Morrari chassis' back to the UK? It is hard to beleive that he would have sent to Ferrari GP cars/chassis back to the UK.

    I have been down this road before where legend is conflicted by facts/forgetfulness etc

  20. #20
    Hi there Greg, yes that is correct, Gavin Bain bought and restored both Ferraris. The car that Souness used to build the Morrari was a four cylinder Ferrari. He removed the engine when converting it to an Allcomer saloon, and apparently the Ferrari engine was bought by Len Southward.

    The other Ferrari Bain owned and restored was the famous 375 that Froilan Gonzales drove to victory at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1951, and which was the first F1 GP victory for a Ferrari. This car was fitted with a monster 4.5 litre V12. By the time it was bought by Ron Roycroft, it had a sportscar body fitted. Roycroft raced it briefly in this guise before having an open wheeler body built for it, and it was painted in the same powder blue as his Bugatti.

    When Roycroft stopped racing the car it sat in his Glen Murray garage for some time before the engine was sold to a speed boat racer in Aus. When Bain bought the car (minus engine) off de Joux it had been fitted with a sports car body and Jaguar motor. Bain restored the car not as it was raced in Europe, but as it was raced in NZ by Roycroft. Since returning to Europe, it has been restored again with the correct body as it won the British GP, and is painted the correct red.

    I think thats the correct story, there are people on here who will be able to give you much more info though.

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