Monday, May 24, 2010

Forerunner to the sequential?

This is the "Lotus Queerbox" as it was called. It was made by ZF especially for Lotus. From Ray Bell I learn that "it had a hollow mainshaft with some kind of engaging mechanism that moved from one gear to the next on demand." Sort of sequential. This photo is of Derek Jolly's Lotus XV.This is a good opportunity to post a few more "Jolly" pics. Below is the inflatable tonneau cover.and here is Derek changing his socks at a very wet Warwick Farm.Moving on to the Decca sports cars now. This shot is at Albert Park and is very typical of Jolly with the "babe" in the passenger seat. For me, the bull-nosed Bedford is more significant. All of us kids whose dads were into Bedfords got pretty excited when the "bull nose" came out, right down to collecting brochures.This is the Jolly tow rig. Even though this is at Collingrove, this outfit was likely to be found all over the country as he competed everywhere.It would be fair to say that Derek was indulged by a very rich mum which allowed him to pursue his racing career to the extent that he wanted. My dad had taken me to Port Wakefield so I was aware of his exploits when I was a kid. Later, Derek owned a lot of property along Melbourne Street in North Adelaide including a restaurant that he ran called Decca's Place. Across the street was a vacant block of land where he had constructed this great big fibreglass flying saucer, full of port holes, which was his office. Some of us used to go there to mess around on this complicated music synthesiser (one of the first in the world). Some time later, through badly managed business deals and then a split with his first wife, among other things, he ended up as well off as me! That didn't slow his exuberance and he was always planning big things. At one stage he had an exhibition of his wonderful photographs from LeMans and other European circuits from the 50s in the gallery in front of our studio in Norwood. That involved getting Dave Simpson to produce the hundreds of enlargements and Pete Schmidt to frame them, getting paid from the proceeds of the sale of the reproductions. His last days were lived at a B&B at Marananga, operated by his last wife, from where he ran his chauffeur driven outback tour business.

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