Slotcars from the early days of Australian racing Pt1

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Slotcars from the early days of Australian racing Pt1

Postby wixwacing » Wed 20 Jul, 2016 10:17 pm

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Slotcars from the early days of Australian Racing – 1960 – 1972
Part 1 - The Series Production Years


by Twincam

In the following articles we will learn about the cars from the various eras of Australian Motor Racing that have competed or have a connection with Australia during that era. The eras are basically how motorsport actually evolved.
We will look at the slotcar, the actual car and if it still exists today.
The Bathurst Cars pre 1972.

The Bathurst 500 mile race began in 1963 and was known as the Armstrong 500 although from 1960 to 1962 the race took place at Phillip Island. Unfortunately the race was very punishing on the track surface and it broke up badly thus causing the organisers to find an alternative venue. The race cars were basically showroom models in this era and were known from 1965 to 1972 as Group E Series Production cars. “Run on Sunday – sell on Monday”. There was no actual recognised winner in the early races just class placings in the early races. The first car to complete the 500 mile distance or 130 laps of Mt Panorama was declared the “first across the line” and class winner.

In 1963 first place in Class A (for cars costing less than $1800.00) was car no 54 a VW 1200 Beetle entered by Sydney car dealer Lanock Motors and driven by Barry Ferguson & Bill Ford. After a race long dice with a Morris Mini 850 driven by Don Holland & Lyndsay Little the two cars ended their last lap (116) with the VW driver squeezed inside the Mini at Hell Corner forcing it wide and into the fence were it rolled – the Mini driver jumped out and after righting - the car headed across the line to finish second to the Beetle. In 2016 Scalextric have built a replica of the winning Beetle – C3745. Just were the car is today is a mystery as it was probably a run on Sunday car.

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The actual race car with the “brick” beside it and Scalextric version.

The 1964 Armstrong 500 was won by Bob Jane and George Reynolds in a 2 door Ford Cortina Mk I – it was a white car with a central yellow stripe flanked by red stripes – these “GT Stripes” or “Go Faster”as they were then known symbolised Janes sponsor Shell Oils as cars in this era weren’t allowed to carry any written form of sponsorship.
Scalextric have taken their Lotus Cortina model and painted it in the Bob Jane livery of 1964 and released it in 2008 as the race winning Cortina.

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In 2015 Scalextric released C3670 a metallic blue and white Cortina with the livery used by famous brothers Leo & Ian “Pete” Geoghagen that finished 5th outright in the 1964 race behind the Jane Cortina. Again they used a Lotus Cortina as the base with the split bumpers.

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This livery features the Blue/White/Red “GT Stripes” standing for the brothers sponsor French oil company Total.

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Here are the two together in the race.

Where are they today - again win on Sunday sell on Monday.
From here we jump to 1966 when Scalextric recreated the winning Rauno Aaltonen/Bob Holden works Morris Mini Cooper S sponsored – C3302 – and released it for sale in 2012.
It was a year at Bathurst were the Cooper S dominated with the cars taking the first nine places outright of the newly renamed 500 mile race – The Gallaher 500.
Where is the car today – it resides in complete restoration with a mini enthusiast who lives in the Brisbane southern suburb of Mt Gravatt.

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Top: The car in 1966 Middle: C3302
Bottom: The car as it is today.

In 1971 one of arguably the best touring cars was sold by Ford - the XY Falcon GTHO Ph 3 – Finally Scalextric are going to treat us with some of these cars that have become an icon in Series Production racing – C3696 is due for release shortly – this car depicts the 1972 Bathurst car driven by John Goss. It also won the Bathurst warm up the Sandown 250 that year. It is due for release in September 2016. The car was bought by a New Zealander Norris Miles early in 1973 who gave it a race at Amaroo Park in March only to roll the car during the meeting. It went to NZ and was repaired. Jim Richards also raced the car in NZ as well.

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These photos show the car in 1972.
Top Left: C3696
Top Right: In the pits – Gossy is about to run up the bank.
Bottom Left: The car sideways as usual in Honda Corner.
Bottom Right: Warwick Farm in Sydney – the black line on the bumper covers the join were two obviously straight halves were welded together.
Scalextric will also be bringing out a set that will include the Allan Moffatt Falcon XY GTHO Ph 3. The set known as C1365 will also feature the Brock LH L34 Torana – worth waiting for!

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The famous no 65 Bathurst winning Falcon that will be available in October from Scalextric is seen here with the famous Victoria Bitter carton stuck in the grill during the 1971 race.

Twincam
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Re: Slotcars from the early days of Australian racing Pt1

Postby wixwacing » Mon 29 Aug, 2016 9:35 pm

Slotcars from the early days of Australian Racing Pt2
1960 – 1972
Australian Touring Car Championship


by TWINCAM

From 1960 to 1964 the Australian Touring Car Championship was a one off race that rotated around the country. To be eligible for the race the car was to conform with the FIA Appendix J class. Which allowed for modifications to improve the cars performance to be added. It was an era were sponsorship wasn’t allowed but cars could be presented in a colour scheme that would leave the spectator with little doubt who was paying the bills – teams existed and toured the country creating a large spectator following.
The Neptune Racing Team was one of the most popular and consisted of 3 cars – Holden EH S4, Lotus Cortina Mk I and a Morris Cooper S Mk I and driven by “stormin” Norman Beechey, Jim McKewon and Peter “Skinny” Manton.

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The Team at Lakeside in 1964


The most popular diver in the team was Stormin Norman in the E Atch although Scalextric haven’t given us a model car MJK made a kit using one of their SS Chassis and a resin body. This one is painted to resemble PK-751 (rego no). It was raced for 1964 only then reappeared in 1981 and continued racing until it was put in the Phillip Island Museum in 1987 were it resides to this day.

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Top Left: 1964 Top Right: 1981

Bottom Left: Today Bottom Right: MJK Model


Skinny Manton was also a popular addition with his giant killing Cooper S – this was the subject of a Scalextric model no C3405 in 2013 – the little car was raced by Manton until mid-1965 when he spectacularly rolled the car along the fence whilst coming down Hume Straight at the now defunct Warwick Farm racetrack in Sydney.

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The Mini in typical pose C3405


Jim McKewon was the Ford man of the crew and punted around a very rapid little Lotus Cortina complete with all the good BRM parts available in the day. Scalextric built us a fine little model – C3210 in 2011. Were this car is today is also a mystery many have claimed to have a bit of it but most was probably sold to a young Allan Moffat who combined it with his own fleet of US based Lotus Cortina’s.

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In July 1967 a white Mustang GTA was imported from the US along with a black fastback that was intended to be a replacement for Ian Geoghagen 65 Stang. Castrol had come on board though and wanted a car in their colours which featured a white car with pair gold edge green stripes running over the car and down the side. So the fastback mechanicals were put in the GTA and the car just made the grid at Lakeside to win the 1967 Australian Touring Car Championship – so began the racing career of one of Australia’s most recognised cars. No one has built a replica of the real thing but Pioneer do a very good 1967 Notchback Mustang which I put to good use as a donor for my own tribute to the old girl” as Pete used to call it.

Pete would go on to win another 2 ATCC in the car in 1968 and 1969 when it became a series contested across Australia.
Where is it today – beautifully restored and still racing in the hands of ex V8 Supercar driver David Wall. Hopefully it will appear at Lakeside in 2017 for its 50th Birthday – well that’s the plan anyway!

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1967 2015


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Pioneer Before Pioneer After


Recently Scalextric released a set of Mini’s labelled as the 1964 ATCC Cars for Peter Manton and Brian Foley it was the second set of these two cars they have realised the first featuring to C0076 Minis in black with red/yellow stripes (no 2) and the second in dark green with red/white stripes (No 8) in 1967.

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The Original release C3586A Release in 2015


Sadly Scalextric got their dates a bit crossed up and it is actually the liveries that these two cars appeared in in 1967. The No 2 being Manton’s Shell Sponsored Cooper S and the No 8 being Foley Castrol sponsored machine.
Where are they today not sure again they have surfaced in many hands but no conclusive results as to who has the real cars now.

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Manton’s Mini


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Foley’s Mini


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Two cars together in 1967


In 1967 a young Canadian born, South African raised bloke by the name of Allan Moffatt was trying his hand in the US to get into Trans am scene. He initially had the ex works Alan Mann Lotus Cortina’s at his disposal before having a chance at driving one of Bud Moore’s Mercury Cougar’s – he drove in 4 races over there initially in an orange and silver car then eventually a very patriotic green/gold car.

Scalextric have produced both these cars the orange car being C3418 in 2013 followed by the green car C3614 in 2015 although strictly not an Australian race car they did have Allan Moffatt at the wheel.

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C3418


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C3614


In 1969 Allan was now living in Victoria Australia was given a car that would go on to be the most recognised touring car in Australia ever – Allan Moffat’s iconic 1969 Trans Am Mustang Fastback. Built by Kar Kraft in the states for the US Trans Am series it was a gift to the young man. Scalextric has released a limited edition (3500) of this iconic car – C2775 – in the red Coca Cola sponsorship colours it raced in the Improved production era – Group C class – for 4 seasons and has a very impressive record although it always seemed to end up runner up to Bob Jane in the ATCC. It would appear in many different specs during the 1971 & 1972 ATCC as Moff tried in vane to nail his arch enemy Bob Jane. Sometimes it had a fuel injected 302 Boss Motor others a 351 Cleveland you can tell by the bonnet what configuration was fitted it also ran 4 wheel disc brakes with the rear discs cooled by vents from a Mach 1 Mustang fitted to the hip in the rear quarter. The shot below at Amaroo shows the vents fitted.

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At Warwick Farm 1970 At Amaroo in August 1972


It appeared like this in practice but had the Coke Signage covered for racing next day

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The Mustang restored in the Bowden Collection Scalextric C2775


In 1973 a change of rules saw this famous car switch to the then very popular Sports Sedan class. Moff was always one to obtain sponsorship from a variety of unusual donors in 1974 he painted the Mustang in green and silver and changed the number to 33 so he could advertise his sponsor Fabergé new range of men’s toiletries “Brut 33” – Scalextric also recognised this colour scheme with C3002.
The car was eventually restored back to pristine condition by Allan in the 1980’s before selling the car to its current owner David Bowden to become part of his Collection that is based in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast. The car makes regular appearances at the Muscle Car Masters that are held annually at Sydney Motorsport Park the last weekend of October each year.

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C3002 The Mustang in Brut livery in 1974


Allan Moffatt’s biggest enemy in the days before Brock was tyre magnate Bob Jane. Bob had previously won the ATCC in 1963 in a Mk II Jaguar and would use a string of various model Mustangs before swapping to a GM product in 1971. Bobs weapon of choice was a 1969 Chev Camaro ZL1 (a COPO car) powered by an alloy 427 Chev big block and 4 wheel disc brakes. These items and a couple of other good bits weren’t actually fitted by GM at the factory hence the COPO - standing for Central Office Production Order – they were however assembled by an American dealer by the name of Yenko. In 1971 Jane won the ATCC after a hard fought year with Moff his main rival. Scalextric commemorated this achievement by producing C2413.

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In 1972 a rule change saw the Chev reappear with a 350 big block and drum rear brakes but again he still gave Moff a run for his money and took the title again although it took a disqualification for Moffat to achieve the goal.
Scalextric again produce a replica C2696 to mark the achievement. It should be noted that although the livery for C2413 is correct the wheels aren’t. In 1972 the car was prepared by John Shepherd who left his trade mark on all the cars he has prepared – the wheels – he always has a polished rim on a wheel with a black centre.

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The pictures show the Chev with the correct wheels fitted on my collection models.


The car went onto win the first race for the 1973 Group C cars at Calder only to be disqualified on a technicality. It would race on as a sports sedan for many years before Bob Jane bought the car back and had it restored to ZL1 Yenko specs.

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The Camaro in Jim Smith Sports Sedan livery The Camaro today at Muscle Car Masters.


In 1972 the rule change saw many cars being made to run in a more standard spec one of these was the car that would eventually finish the 1972 ATCC in 2nd outright – a Twincam Escort – driven by Michael Stillwell the son of Melbourne based Car Dealer and racer Bib Stillwell. The car was around in a couple of configuration gaining the most attention in 1972 guise. Although not a true scalely slot car I did build a replica for my collection using a C118 car as a basis. It is shown below in 1972 spec as well as my version and yes it still exists now owned by Michaels son and sometimes raced in the Touring Car Masters series by Glen Seton.

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1972 Today


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Another Escort that left its mark on me was one that started its racing life with the running gear out of one of Alan Moffatt’s US raced Lotus Cortina’s. It was used in 1971 in the ATCC then fitted with a Waggott FVA head on a 2000cc BDA block. It would eventually be bought by Garry Rogers and raced by him under the Greater Pacific Finance sponsorship that he had at the time. Again I built a replica from C118 Scalextric Escort.

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Bill Fanning 1971 Garry Rogers 1976


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Although not strictly an Australian based car but definitely one of Australia’s greatest drivers Frank Gardiner would use a very attractive little Twincam Escort prepared and built by the Alan Mann Racing in the UK. Frank would win the 1967 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) in a Falcon Rally Sprint for Alan Mann before taking an Mk II Lotus Cortina and later that year an Mk I Escort Twincam to another victory in 1968. Scalextric have built a two çar set that includes the 1968 winning Escort – C2981E – this little car would go on to be the same car used in the early 1970’s by Ford in Australian Sports Sedan Racing and driven by Allan Moffatt. Initial it ran in a blue/white colour scheme as depicted in the Scalextric replica – C3672 – before being painted in Coke livery for 1971/2 – the little car in Australia was powered by the very rare Cosworth FVA motor mainly used in open wheel racing cars. It would eventually return to the UK and be restored back to its Alan Mann livery and spec – the FVA is were all FVA’s went back to Ford and has been destroyed back in the day.

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1968 C2981E


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1970 C3672


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Today


In 1972 Frank Gardiner would place 4th outright in the BTCC and would win it outright in 1973 this time in a Chev Camaro Z28 – Scalextric thought it special enough to produce a replica C3316. What makes this car even more special to my collection is that the original alloy 427 motor and the other Yenko components that Bob Jane wasn’t allowed to use found their way onto the Chev, There are a lot of stories as to where the car eventually ended up but no one really has a concrete position for it in the present day. Some say it was in NZ for a while and moved here later.

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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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Re: Slotcars from the early days of Australian racing Pt1

Postby MrHDT » Sun 04 Sep, 2016 11:54 pm

Great stuff Phil,

I also like to keep the past alive through slot car modelling.
Australia has a very rich motorsport heritage so for me it was a very interesting read so thanks.

Regards

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