Monday, October 13, 2008


Haven't done a post for a few days, mainly because we were away for the weekend taking in lots of stuff, including the Lobethal GP re-enactment. For me, Lobethal was great, catching up with many old friends, and there were some fabulous cars (and bikes) there. Numbers were less than expected and it's a pity that it was on the same weekend as Australia's greatest car race. Nevertheless, the quality of the vehicles (and the historical significance of a lot of them) was something to be seen. To increase the numbers, a few concessions (like vehicle age for example) had to be made, and if they have it next year, there might be space for the odd Bolwell, especially ones with a bit of racing background and this would be very worthwhile as the track itself gives the opportunity for some decent leg-stretching. I'll show you a couple of random pictures.
This one, above, is a monstrous Australian Special which is now called "Big Red" mainly due to its Barossa connections. It was built in the 50s on a Mk.4 Jaguar chassis with a Customline motor and it goes like the clappers. Carl Lindner owns it and Doug Lehmann gets to drive it.

In this picture is the DBR2 inspired special of club member Ken Messenger (Ken is a former owner of the Bolwell SR6). Alongside it is the Ricardian which every ageing SA racegoer will be familiar with and will have to be a subject of discussion in a future post one day.

Here are two identical Healeys (well, almost). They are both genuine 100S models and both painted in that familiar white and dark blue livery. One of them, and I'm not saying which one, donkeys years ago had a crash which required a reconstruction of the front panel. The job was done to perfection and the untrained eye would not notice that the grille on one is in a lower position than the other.

Tony Cullen (of Ikara fame) has built this Alfa as a tribute to the one he used to have as a boy. He's not afraid to give it a bit of stick either and the lighting up of the tyres on the few corners of the Lobethal circuit were something to be seen. I reckon this would have had to have been the most photographed car of the weekend.

I don't seem to be able to present a collection of nice old cars without including a Vauxhall 30/98, or "Thirsty" as we used to call them. There were 2 there this weekend, the other one was a yellow Velox bodied one. In the twenties, when they were built, there were as many sent to Australia as there were remaining in England. Many of them are finding their way back to the UK these days. Must be more money over there. Patrick Ryan's 30/98 sticks in my mind more than his early Bolwell special, I'm slightly embarrassed to say. I've never owned one, but did have an example of its little brother, the 14/40.


Anonymous said...

John, When you get around to writing about the Richardian (Buchanan?) could you include a few words about Ken Messenger's beautiful DBR2?

John L said...

You are right, the Ricardian did have a Buchanan body.
I expect to be catching up with Ken on another matter in the next couple of days. I'll ask him a bit about the history of his car. The body was built and the car constructed in Queensland many years ago.