Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The "Guess Who" quiz No.1

Can you name this hunk?
Hint : A Nagari owner from way back.

Not THE ultimate dream

But getting close. A RHD Cord.
Norm Beechey used to have a Cord. Don't know if he still has it. That was a sedan. His brother was a wise man, he had Buick 6s.

We have the Overlander.......

...........South Africa has the Cortina.

It's not all that far off really.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Smith Ford V8 special - in Shannons auction tomorrow.

This is it in its heyday, photo courtesy of the Adelaide Advertiser.
HOBART car enthusiast Rodney Williams’ pride and joy is not just rare, it’s the only one in the world.
Hand-built for the 1951 Australian Grand Prix, the one-off machine was raced by its creator, Perth coach builder Harry Smith, in the 1950s.
After the Aussie GP and a handful of local races, it then went off the radar until 1970 when it was found rusting in a swamp in Western Australia.
Now restored to its former glory, Williams, 67, could not be more proud of his 1951 Smith Ford V8 Special, which was one of the jewels in the crown of the Historic Baskerville race meeting for classic cars at Baskerville Raceway — Australia’s second-oldest race track behind Bathurst — over the weekend.
Rodney Williams, of Moonah, with the rebuilt Ford Smith Special, the only one of its kind in the world.
“It’s completely hand-built, a one-off, very rare car,” Williams said.
“It’s the only one of its type in the world.”
Its components are all Ford bits, including the side-valve 3.5-litre Ford Mercury V8 engine.
“It’s very unique for its time because it has full independent suspension with coil springs,” Williams said.
“It was very revolutionary at the time.
“I would hate to put a dollar figure on how much it’s worth.”
The Ford Special is a handful on the track.
“It’s a very difficult car to drive,” Williams said.
Historic Baskerville brought the circuit alive to the sound of classic machines built pre-1976. More than 200 competed in nine categories on both days.
Event director Peter Killick said the 2000-strong turnout was one of the best since the 1970s, and so was the size of the entry list.
“It’s been a great weekend, so we are absolutely rapt,” Killick said.
“It’s the third-biggest crowd at Baskerville since the 1970s, behind the last of the Tasmanian 10,000 race and the truck racing.
“Historic racing is growing strongly all over the world.”
Shannons have given a very good account of the car's history.


The early history of Australian motor sport is filled with one-offs and specials, some famous and successful, others long-forgotten.  Using whatever running gear and parts were at hand, often sourced from wrecker’s yards, these talented individuals built their home-made specials on limited budgets, competing against the more exotic (and expensive) machinery from England, Europe or the United States.  Many famous names in our motor racing heritage started out building and racing their own specials, including legends like Jack Brabham with his famous RedeX Special.  Hand-built by Perth coachbuilder Harry Smith for the 1951 Australian Grand Prix, this one-off creation uses period Ford running gear including a flathead Mercury V8, a ’46 Ford gearbox and a diff from an early Ford ute.  A Ford beam front axle was split to create fully independent front suspension using coil springs, features rarely seen on race cars of the period.  The 1951 Grand Prix was held on a temporary street circuit in the wheatbelt town of Narrogin over 24 laps (a distance of 170 kilometres) and the handicap event saw Warwick Pratley victorious in his George Reed Special, followed by Dick Bland’s Delahaye 135 and Steve Tillett’s modified MG TC, while Smith retired on lap 14 due to overheating.  Costing around 2,000 pounds to build, the car placed its builder under considerable financial strain and Smith tragically committed suicide six months after the race, the car ultimately sold by his brother and widow to help pay off some of his debts before dropping out of sight.


  • Important piece of Australian motor racing history
  • Restored and actively raced in historic events
  • Well-documented history
Discovered in a swamp in Western Australia in 1970 (photos on file show the remarkably intact car following its recovery), the Harry Smith Special was initially restored by Warren Scully as a road car in British Racing Green, who ultimately relocated to the Maldives with his boat building business and sold the Smith Special at auction.  After dropping out of sight in the 1970s, the car reappeared with well-known dealer Terry Healy in Queensland by 1979, who sold it to Adrian Joseph of Ballina in northern NSW the following year.  The car subsequently moved to Victoria when John Stration of Mount Waverley took over, before long-term owner Clarrie Pearce bought the car, ultimately moving to Tasmania where it has resided ever since.  By the time Pearce bought the car it had been repainted white and the wire-wheels replaced with discs, the owner using the car in at least two Dutton Rallies in the 1990s on full Victorian registration.  More recently, the car has been actively raced in historic events by its current owner, a Hobart enthusiast, who bought the car from Pearce’s estate in 2008.  After competing in a couple of Longford Revivals, the owner made the decision to rebuild the Smith Special, bringing it up to the present mechanical standard over a number of years.  After being ultrasonically cleaned, the engine was rebuilt by Don Stafford with a new crankshaft, pistons, con-rods and valves, the gearbox overhauled with new gears and synchros and a new clutch and pressure plate installed.  The original heads were also replaced with alloy items but the originals are included in the sale.  The brakes were overhauled with new master and brake cylinders, the drums machined and new lines hand made, along with new fuel lines and a new fuel tank was fabricated.  Other notable work saw the diff overhauled and the driveshafts balanced and machined.  Featured in numerous publications over the years including Unique Cars and Restored Cars, Harry Smith’s Special is currently on full registration in Tasmania the Ford will be offered for sale unregistered and comes with three folders of information and a storyboard and several period photos.  

What's in a name?

The Kimberley. Out of the same factory, they were Austins in Australia and Morrises in Kiwiland. Maybe the Morris name had a greater following in New Zealand.
Same amount of letters in both. Therefore same amount of holes punched in the bonnet. Even the "I" lines up in the same place.

Back in the day when there wasn't much of a choice of big transverse engines (except for the Muira) I even gave a small amount of thought to checking out the Kimberley/Tasman engine for the Ikara.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

This is going to be some Europa!


TR2s & 3s.
How many remember the Avon aftershave bottles in the shape of a TR?

Fetching a few bob on ebay these days.
Talking about ebay, this model of Moffat's first race car was up around the $1300 mark last time I looked.
I had a TR2 about that time but my dad didn't buy it for me.
Anyway, here's Alan's car in its early days.
And a bit later.
The great Doug Whiteford........
........raced a TR2 in his early days.

(Moomba TT, 1955).
So did Eldred Norman.
He chucked a trailer on the back of this car, loaded with drums of fuel, drove to Queensland, where he won a sports car race which made him eligible to enter the Australian Grand Prix where he and the TR came 5th.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Perfection comes at a cost.

Phil L was lamenting the hours put in on a single door to get it right. I am the first to realise what a PITA Bolwell doors can be but to finally get the gaps right etc. is really rewarding especially the tops of the Nagari coupe doors.
I reckon you've nailed it Phil.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


I've heard of Eureka drivers being trapped in their cars.
This one, incidentally, is WRX Turbo powered. Should move along fairly well.

Favourite 3-wheelers No.28

This is the Lomax 223. Citroen 2CV based.

Kit cars and stuff from around the world No.1

This is an old Franklin kit from US, but finding much information about it is very difficult. Well, for me anyway.

Odd little cars No.17.

No, it's not a Purvis/Nova/Sterling gone wrong. It's a one-off created especially for the film "Total Recall".

Speaking of Overlanders.

Here's one that started life as a station wagon and ended up being a Crewman.
Nice job.

Bolwell racing in South Africa.

This of course is the Nagari that Justin Murphy now owns. In 1991/1992 it was raced in historic events in ZA by Peter Du Toit. Peter later went on to race Chevrons and Lola T70s and in 1995 he sold the car to Brian Tyler who owned Rolo Motors. 1 or 2 years later it was advertised for sale in the UK. Peter had bought the car from Phil Howie who planned to build it up as a project with his son. That didn't eventuate. This Nagari had come to South Africa with another one that was believed to have been in a road accident and was never rebuilt. Phil was an historic racing enthusiast and a major player in that movement over 40 years involving himself in everything from speed record attempts to endurance racing. He was a life member of the Southern Equatorial Ferrari Owners Club. He passed away in 2001. His son, Rob Howie, together with Lee Roy Poulter compete every year in the truck section of the Dakar Rally. The Howies bought the car from Harry Roscoe who still races sports cars to this day in RSA.
So ownership goes something like this   ..................................?
                                                                 Harry Roscoe
                                                                Phil Howie
                                                                Peter Du Toit
                                                                Brian Tyler
                                                               Chris Camp
                                                               Leo Kusters
                                                                Justin Murphy.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

From Jason re Easter 2018.

Hi John

Here is the offical form for Easter 2018.
This will be the first time Easter will be held in QLD and a great chance to have a look at some cars that you have never seen down south, and to catch up with some cars that dissappeared into the Sunshine state. 


Friday, November 17, 2017

Arse rash.

In a couple of different forms.

1. Drag racing.
I'm not sure what's the scariest, driving this thing at speed or that cop reaching for his gun.

2. Hillclimbing.
Rohrlach taking his special up Collingrove. God, he was quick in that thing.

And here's the first slingshot, 1903.