Sunday, May 31, 2009

More 6-hour pics

Here's our intrepid runner putting Norm's wristband on. Years ago we had red sashes. The driver raised one arm and the runner just dropped it on. Now they have wristbands. Maybe the sashes used to blow off. The red sashes on a black suit looked a bit like a Kapunda Bombers footy guernsey. The pit wall team from left to right:- Greg Newbold, John Low, Dean Malone, Chris Gascoigne, Rick Wallace.
As above but with Robert Jacobs wearing number 3.
Buddha, an official, and Ken Stratton.
Ken and the all important tyre pressures.
Pete Schmidt must hide when the camera comes around.

The Gourlay connection

These topics just seem to flow from one thread to another and can go on forever I reckon. From the recent posts involving the Ross Bond Nagari have come at least half a dozen emails enquiring about John Gourlay racing history, no doubt triggered by sightings of his car in race photos and by Gary Allen's query in one of the comments sections. The answer to this question is twofold because there were 2 Gourlay Bolwells and I will deal with them separately. Well, threefold really, because John's first car was Ranald McLurkin's first racing Bolwell. John had two Bolwell racers, Ranald had two, Steve Webb had two. This could all lead into stories about Barry Main's racecar which was the ex-Peter Warren racer and Alan Edwards' open car which was another Ranald McLurkin car. Lots of these racing cars ended up as road cars, like the ex-Trevor Jones coupe, the ex-Alex Tsakmakis coupe, the ex-Allan Hanns coupe, the ex-Bruce Tonkin sports etc etc. Anyway, here's a brief rundown on B8/38 which was John's first sojourn into Bolwells, coming from an Austin-Healey background as so many have done. As Peter Garvin has said, this would be the very first Nagari racecar and I have photos of it at Winton as early as 1972 when Ranald had it and I'm sure some Victorians would have even earlier pictures. In those days I remember it being red and white, blue and magenta and blue with yellow stripes. Anyway, here it is, now in the hands of John looking relatively standard at AIR in 1977. This particular meeting was one where some of the Victorian ProdSports competitors came over to help boost our numbers when we South Aussies were getting ProdSports off the ground. There were 6 Bolwells racing that weekend, 3 from Victoria and 3 from SA. This second photo shows John gridding up alongside Ranald who by this time had moved on to a very potent TVR Griffith V8.
Some years later, John built another Nagari coupe dubbed the SuperBolwell and B8/38 was sold off and relegated to a road car. I recall one concession to its racing heritage being the light alloy front end. The purchaser was Peter Thiry from Wentworth in the South-Western corner of NSW. Peter was no stranger to Bolwells having built a Mark 7 "way back when" and also being the first private owner of coupe number B8/93. B8/93 was the factory demonstration car and was sold directly by Campbell to Peter, Bolwell being a friend of the Thiry family. Among others, subsequent owners were Kym Hentschke and Sue Lewis. Anyway, back to B8/38. On 13th May, 1984 Peter sold it for $5000, presumably to Dr. Steve Bernard (excuse me Steve if I haven't spelt your name correctly, someone might like to pick me up on that one). The following year (1985) Steve brought it along to that year's Easter gathering, see the 2 photos below.
I don't remember when, but it was later bought by Richard Gac from South Australia and here is Richard in the motorkhana at the 1991 Easter event.
Sometime later Richard had a lose at Mallala when something broke and it was stacked fairly badly. For years it languished at his workshop while Richard was busy racing Superkarts. I'm not sure how the repair is going. I haven't seen Richard lately.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gaisberg Hillclimb, Austria.

Bruno Von Rotz took his Milano GT over to Austria for the recent Gaisberg Hillclimb. He sent this photo. The Milano appears to be in very good company. This is a gathering of competing cars at the top of the hill. It must be a bit like Mt. Alma with no return road other than the way you came up. In the background you can see a 904 GTS crossing the finish line (one of 5 such cars competing on the day I might add).Gaisberg might have a bit more history attached to it than Mt. Alma since it was a prominent European hillclimb from the thirties until 1969. For the last 8 years or so it has been an historic event. It is a supplement to the serious racing on the Salzburg city circuit and the Salzburgring. Bruno tells me that it was supposed to a regularity event but you wouldn't know it as they were getting stuck into it a bit. It looks like historic petrolheads are the same around the world. I'm thinking of some "demonstration laps" at Grand Prix events and a few runs to the Eagle and even the reference to "spirited drives" at Lobethal.

Bit by bit I think we're making progress with Bruno's attempt to gain an FIA European historic logbook, hurdling each roadblock as it appears, but some help is required in the form of proof of racing history in Australia from 1962 to 1968 for this car or any other Milano GT of the time. If there's anybody out there who has some photographs, race results, old programs, copies of Racing Car News, Autosportsman, etc. etc. etc., that might have some reference to Milanos in that era, could they let this blogsite know?


Just in case nobody has noticed I thought I'd let you know there's a few more Easter photos on the Flickr photostream link. I'll keep adding from time to time. You get a new quota each month. So check it every now and then.
And now that I have your attention, are there any South Australians out there that have a few spare red clay bricks they don't want? We only need about 20. We've picked up the the old woodstove after its rebuild in Lobethal and before it can go back into the kitchen we'll need to build another base for it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lotus Evora

I've just been reading a road test on the new Evora in "Winding Road" magazine. I was attracted by the photographs and I think it is the best looking Lotus to have been produced for ages. Much better than the Elise for example.
It too is powered by the Toyota 3.5litre transverse mounted V6 with the 6-speed manual gearbox. It has 39/61 fore/aft weight distribution and is apparently fantastic to drive, handling better than a Porsche Cayman for example. Torsional rigidity is also better than the Porsche as well. What does everybody else think of this little beauty?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ultimate road car.

With previous mentions of Bernie's Nagari this month, Peter managed to drag out some photos of it. They were taken during a GP Rally travelling from Adelaide to Melbourne and this was a stopover in Bendigo. Pete can't remember the year. I'm not sure and knowing Bernie he probably isn't sure either. I do know it's 1996 or later because prior to that they went the other way. Unless Bernie was going the wrong way.
Yes, it is for sale. Bernie reckons it just sits in the shed and really the only time it goes out is once a year when it has its annual refurbishment at K & A.

In safe hands

I'm just doing some other stuff on the computer this morning so while I'm messing around with that I thought I'd leave you with this "Great Statesman" that was sent to me a few minutes ago.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Peter G has sent over this photo of the Matt Pintar Mark 7 which he described as the Mk7 bodied SR6. I think the bodywork looks fantastic. I wonder if it's sold.

Monday, May 25, 2009

No SR6 here.

I really enjoyed reading Tony Shaw's "The Missing Link - SR6". From it, I gained more knowledge of Alan Newton's path through the Group A sports racing world, among other things. However, I did notice what may well be a bit of a discrepancy in the text and I'll apologise now for sticking my nose in where it may not be wanted. The part I am referring to is as follows:-
"A report in 'Racing Car News' magazine in July 1978 describes the SR6 coming 9th in the third round of the Australian Sports Car Championship at Amaroo Park in NSW. The SR6 was driven by Matt Pintar and was competing against the Bolwell Nagaris of Ross Bond (race winner and series leader), John Gourlay and Alan Edwards." I would like to suggest that the RCN reporter must have heard of a Bolwell SR6 but didn't know the difference between it and a Mark 7. At that time I think the SR6 was languishing in a shed up Brisbane way and I don't recall it venturing south to Sydney around then. The report on the race in Chequered Flag at the time may be more accurate. Matt Pintar raced a Mark 7 and had the car for ages, only advertising it for sale quite recently in Slipstream. I remember that race in particular and not only was there no SR6 there, it would not have been eligible anyway as it was not a Group D Production Sports Car but a Group A Sports Racing Car. My main interest in the race at the time was based around South Australian Bolwell Club member, Allan Hanns competing there for the first time in the second of his Datsun 2000s, the ex-Whiteford one. Here is a photo of the start. The Bond and Gourlay Nagaris are prominent and Alan Edwards is behind the black Elan. There were 3 Datsun 2000s in the event and Allan Hanns' is the darker one with 'DATSUN' boldly written across the front. You can see the Matt Pintar Mark 7 with a bit of clear air space behind Warwick Henderson's monster Corvette. I'm ready to stand corrected and someone may like to ask Matt if he has driven the SR6.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kapunda swap meet

The Kapunda swap meet was on today. Lots of stuff for sale out on the trotting track and inside, but all we went home with was a box of quinces, half of which are in preserving jars and on the stove as we speak. Here's Beven making his fortune. He got a box of quinces too.Across from him can be seen the Truro Dirt Circuit mob, making donuts as usual, raising money to finish the track which, I heard recently, may well be ready for next summer. Next to them, and just out of view, is Duncan Hudson's stand. He does books too and has been a regular at Kapunda for donkeys years. I wonder if he was cold last night. I saw him rolling his mattress out. He was going to sleep the night with his books. In my Graham Paige post, I mentioned the old VSCC blokes. He was one of them. He's a Hupp man and compiler of the Hupmobile register.
Below is a shot of the outdoor area. It rained overnight yet held off all morning which was pretty lucky. Ned from the Copper Pot sold a bit of Holden stuff but then I noticed a 5-speed box going into the trailer. Dale and Dianne Palamountain seemed happy with what they'd sold and the usual Kapunda desperates and Valley Rodders were doing a bit of trade as well.
What about this El Camino ute? I've never seen so much metal for such a little tray. And how about the tiny fibreglass canopy. This guy is one of Trevor's mates. He planned to roll his swag out alongside the ute too. I bet he ended up crawling into the back. His plan was to keep warm with a flagon of port. He was down at the Clare Castle filling it up when I took this pic. He didn't stay for the inaugural darts tournament against some mob in England (all done by webcam). I noticed this morning he'd only managed to get halfway through the flagon.

one for good measure plus the Mark 5 Holy Grail

Peter also sent scans of the Mark 5 brochure - firstly pages 1 and 4 then pages 2 and 3. I used to have a copy myself but had a bad habit of lending things. It's less of a problem these days with computers and scanners etc.

Yet another 5

Here's 5 more pictures from Peter of his Mark 5. Some of these photos I have noticed in the Bolwell Corp. archives. Peter probably proudly sent them over when he had completed the build.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Another 5 of the 5

Something to look at while I get some work done. Beven will be turning up this afternoon and when he does, we'll go down to the trotting track and set up his stand for tomorrow's swap meet.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Another Mark 5 from the old days.

On the day or the day after I posted the email from Keith about Peter in Queensland wondering about his old Mk.5, Beven had a visit from a customer who happened to mention that he once built and drove a Mark 5 as well. His name is Peter Bartolo. This was a bronze coloured car and I was aware of its purchase as a kit in 1966. I was around for its first registration on the 6th of June 1967 and I recall that it had an FB Holden engine bored out to 3&1/4" and from the weighbridge note I can tell you that it weighed 15.5cwt. The following year Peter sold the car and never saw it again and fully expects that it no longer exists. That may not necessarily be the case. On 15/3/1968 the rego was transferred to Dennis Trembath and then to Martin Ward on 24/10/1969. Many years later, Daryl Siggs bought it and put it away for future restoration. Daryl's son showed no interest in it and eventually somebody in Broken Hill bought it. Now we're all wondering what happened to it after that. Anyway, this all prompted Peter to drag out some of his old photos and here's the first 5. I'll post some more later on.
Like my Mark 5 when it first started it had FJ front and rear ends I see, which is as it was intended by the designer I recently read.
Old habits die hard and I believe Peter now has a Kestrel clubman.
By coincidence there was a Peter Bartolo in Victoria who bought the 186 Holden powered Nagari B8/35 and converted it to Ford 302 V8. Not the same PB.
Oh, and talking about Beven, I hear he dusted off his Mk.7 the other day and you couldn't see a thing in the shed for several hours.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nasty Nagari, an interesting stat.

This is a page from the Nasty Nagari article by Rob Luck which was in the Nov.1978- Jan.1979 edition of Sports Car World Quarterly. It is the second of 5 informative pages. Rob didn't have a copy and Chris G scanned his copy and I sent them off last night. From Rob has come:-

Hi John,

Many thanks for forwarding these high-res scans of the story.
Please pass my thanks to Chris also.
I ran a colour copy onto good paper and the result is excellent.

It looks like there is a significant error on p55 regarding power-to-weight.
As described, the car weighed 100kg less than standard at about 763kg for a power output of 410kW or 550bhp.
That should translate to 720bhp per metric tonne
or 734bhp per imperial ton
or 1.86kg/kW

By comparison some 'landmark' figures that put this performance into perspective..

F1: 1.20kg/kW
Porsche LeMans 2008: 2.09kg/kW
Bugatti Veyron: 2.56kg/kW
Pagani Zonda: 3.0kg/kW
Lamborghini SuperLeggera (the race version): 3.40kg/kW
Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano: 3.70kg/kW
Porsche Turbo 2008: 4.40kg/kW
MB SL65 AMG: 5.00kg/kW

So even today, the car would still totally demolish every contender in the production sports category, Porsche Cup etc. as well as every 'hero' roadcar including the Veyron which costs $EU4.1 million (Bugatti sells it for EU1.1 but loses EU 3.0 mill on each car).

I recall some copy editor or other scrambled with my figures and it was supposed to be corrected in a later issue. Not sure if this happened.

There are more sub-editor errors through the text such as 'grafted-in' a close-ratio gearbox (p56) and the minor guages are 'definitely only for reading down the chute' (p56) etc. etc.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Graham Paiges

This weekend just gone has been a big weekend for the Graham Paige. The Kernewek Lowender happened up at the Copper Coast. It's a Cornish Festival that happens every 2 years. Part of the festival is a very large historic car rally that is getting bigger all the time. It's a great event. We chose not to go this time because the 6-hour was on. You can't be in two places at once. Last time I went we took a Sunbeam Talbot and we lined up at the gate to the starting paddock with the Bolwells and Norm and Sarah went through ahead of us only to see the gate shut in front of us, 5 minutes before the designated cut off time. It was a long way to come to not take part. Fortunately Mary Jervies was still the organiser and she insisted that we register and I want to assure everyone that I didn't act smug when we went back to the official to let us in. Anyway it was a great day and I look forward to future ones.
Be that as it may, I'm really telling you about this year and an international participant. There is a young couple from Argentina by the names of Candelaria (Cande for short) and Herman Zapp who had a dream to drive the Americas from the bottom to the top and they bought a 1929 Graham Paige sedan to do it in. Living in the car, they took 2 or 3 years to actually reach the Arctic Ocean with all sorts of adventures on the way, including rafting the car down the Amazon to get out of some remote place. They have written a book about it all, called "Spark Your Dream". It's a great read. Beven should have it in his cattledog. Anyway, after going back to Argentina, they were still bitten by the wanderlust and took the Graham Paige back to North America to crisscross the US and Canada, visiting the places they missed the first time. They have been on the road about 6 or 8 years now, and a couple of months ago they arrived in Australia with the Graham Paige still going strong. Over a long period of time they will do over Australia, then New Zealand, then Asia. What I didn't tell you is that while all this has been going on the family has been increasing from no kids to four, with the arrival of a little Aussie a month or two back called Marco Wallaby Zapp. With a family of 6 now living in this Graham Paige it needed to be enlarged which they have done by taking out the back seat and extending the wheelbase by 18 inches. It's a beautifully executed job and looks like it has always been that way. Anyway, they were here for the Kernewek Lowender and, as you can see from the photo, the other modification is the raised roof. They are staying with an old friend of mine from way back, Fred Chapman, at Reeves Plains. He has an even bigger Graham Paige, a Model 621, which was also at the event. Here it is on the oval with a yet bigger straight 8 Graham Paige from Mypolonga.
There was in fact a fourth Graham Paige there, a Model 610 that came over from Mt. Macedon in Victoria. At our car club meeting at Gawler last night, all of the Grahams bar the 8 cylinder one arrived. Everyone is staying at Fred's.
Fred has had his Graham Paige since he was about 16 so that's way over 40 years. In my last year at high school I got myself a 1926 Buick. Another kid at school, Wayne Jones had a Graham Paige. Anyway, I joined the VSCC around about then, roughly the same time as Fred and his brother John and here's the Graham Paige and the Buick on the foreshore at Victor Harbor (not Harbour remember) during one of those notorious Victor Harbor rallies in the 60s.
John went on to Amilcars and the like and Fred has continued to this day with the Graham Paige. Even though I had a vintage Vauxhall and an Alvis and a FWD BSA, which were all considered more acceptable in the Vintage Sports Car Club in those days, I still loved my Buick and the power that it had. Fred and I used to race each other with our "Yank Crap" and loved it. Much later, I remember a similar preciousness with the MGB owners at Mallala when the Datsun 2000 came out. The Datto was "Jap Crap" of course, until it came out and blew the Bs into the weeds.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More on the 6 Hour

There were 19 teams in total. The 2 clubbie teams lapped consistently all day with no real reliability problems and no damage to the cars either, although there was a moment when a sedan in another team had a "big engine problem" which left enough oil on Clubhouse to cause all the following cars to slide all over the place. Fortunately nobody hit the wall but there were many close calls. Our two drivers at the time were Ross Kingham and Norm Clements and our "supervisor", Sean, reports that both their heart rates reached +200 for a while, whatever that means.
The results for the 2 clubbie teams is as follows:-
I'm in it for the beer Team A
Paul Doube
Ruth Doube (loved the pink race suit)
Ross Kingham
Barry Edson
Paul Rix
7th overall.
I'm in it for the beer Team B
Dick Wright
Richard Wright
Norm Clements
Kym Ninnes
11th overall and Best Presented Team award.
During the day, Norm managed to get under the 1 minute 30 seconds time for the first time ever. He just keeps getting better and better.
We've got a whole year to get together a Bolwell team and there seems to be a bit of interest in that. We used to do it regularly in the distant past.
As for "I'm in it for the beer", I didn't see much of that until we got down to the Mallala pub after dark. The BBQ was good though.
Roger Trethewey was also there, competing in an MX5 team, getting to drive his old supercharged MX5 racer.

Monday, May 18, 2009

2009 Six Hour Relay Race, Mallala

Yesterday was the MSCA 6-hour at Mallala. There were teams of TRs, MGs, MX5s, heaps of Alfa teams, teams of XB and XC V8 Falcons, Commodores etc. Austin 7 club had a team, so did some SAMROA people who could be spared from flag duties. Deniliquin Sporting Car Club was represented along with other interstate teams. But most importantly, Clubbies SA had two teams of Clubman cars that included Kestrel, Westfield, Elfin and Clemente examples. Beven took this photo of us timing people crammed into our bunkers on pit lane with his Nokia. From left to right we have Ken Stratton on the twoway, Robert Jacobs, Dean Malone, Rick Wallace, John Low and one of the drivers, Richard Wright.I don't know the results. When we left last night they were still doing their sums. I reckon both Clubbie teams would have done reasonably well based on their consistency alone.

More Nasty Nagari

After my first post today Peter sent me a copy of that "Age" photo but I'd beaten him to the punch, it was already on the blog. He also sent me these two from Auto Action in 1977 though.
I remember when this happened very well. There was also a photo showing Hamilton kicking the car.