Sunday, August 23, 2009

GT2s in WA

I received a new comment on my GT2 post on Friday. As the original post was some time ago I'll reproduce it here as it provides an important link in the GT2 chain. It's from "Speedwest" who operates an interesting and informative website and forum documenting the history and nostalgia of motorsport in the West called
The Milano GT2s were owned in WA by Russell Lamborn. The first car was destroyed against the entry to the old pits at the top of the hill at Wanneroo in June 1973. I don't remember what caused the accident but I do remember it was something which had been put together back to front in the rear suspension or brakes. I was there on the day and it was a very, very big accident, with Lamborn requiring several stitches to his forehead after slamming into the steering wheel. the car was always campaigned in its original black and gold livery in WA.
Lamborn re-appeared in mid 1974 in the bigger engined Milano, which had been painted in a lovely red orange colour always listed in the programme as 'red pepper'. The second car had a rear wing which the first didn't have, and was campaigned by Lamborn until 1976 when Perth jeweller John Blennerhassett purchased the car. John ran the car until 1981. After that the thread goes cold in WA.
I do remember loving both the cars. They were really gorgeous. I would love to have plenty of money to make a handsome offer for one of the two existing cars.
There are images of both cars during their stay in WA at my website, I hope this helps your history of the cars."

I can understand Speedwest's love of those cars, I feel the same way really, as does Andrew Kluver and Scott Whittaker of course. I have been told that the wreck of the original one still exists somewhere in WA. The second one must have gone back to Sydney soon after John stopped racing it because it had been deteriorating in a leaky shed for years and years before Andrew was able to get his hands on it. These 2 photos below are on the Speedwest website, as are a couple of others but I had found them on the F1 Bulletin Board, "the greatest forum the world has ever known". The photographer was Terry Walker.
What was up with the entry to the old pits? Brian Rhodes also destroyed the ex-Murphy Bolwell Mark 7 against the pit entry armco around that time. This is the car that is being rebuilt by Dave Hamlin.


vic jwf said...

g'day john thanks for the pics it's great to know 2 of the gt2's are out and about .can you google vic jwf and tell me what you think thanks reid

John L said...

The front is very much JWF Italia.
It looks to me like an Italia coupe with the roof cut off. A friend in Eudunda, not far from here, has an Italia with a 180B in it. I remember it over 40 years ago and it was Italia at the front with a Milano GT2 style back. Now it has the roof removed leaving a gaping hole behind the seats. We're thinking of a bootlid of some kind.

vic jwf said...

g'day john i googled healey specials they have two jwf's the white one with a roof added mine is a open car i have the grey vinly roof boot windscreen and bonet so maybe it's one of three thanks reid said...

Hi Again

Yes, I was there the day Brian Rhodes 'killed' the Mk7 at the entry to the old pits too. I remember the drivers door flying down pit lane when he pulled the release handle as the hinges had been broken in the accident.

The old pit lane at Wanneroo was on the inside of a really fast right hand sweeper affectionately known as 'Nameless'. It's off camber on the exit and it was common prior to the saw tooth curbing being placed there to drop a wheel on the exit and get 'out of shape'.

Even today lots and lots of cars lose it there and head to where the old pit entry was. Just two meetings ago two cars lost it there within a few moments of each other and collided with fairly significant damaged caused to the cars.

It is pretty safe overall now the pits have been moved however, but for many years it was a pretty dangerous part of the track, which damaged or destroyed many cars.

PS - I am glad you enjoyed the images of the Milanos. I remember watching the 1975 AGP (as a 10 year old) at Russell Lamborn's house and seeing the second car close up in his garage in the back yard. What a lovely car! :)