Pre-1960 racers head for the 41st running of Oz’s biggest historic meet
The 41st running of Australia’s biggest historic race meeting placed emphasis on pre-1960 racers, prompting restorers of some very eclectic machinery into action, delivering a combination of European origins and home-grown engineering.
Chandler Lancia Ford V8 Special
‘I got the car just this year; we rushed to get it ready in time for Historic Winton – and just made it,’ said Warwick Beanland of his unusual Lancia Lambda-based racer. ‘it had been sitting in a barn in Mildura for many years. ‘The owner before me had the car for more than 40 years. The car – as a 1927 Lancia – belonged to my father’s boss. It was converted into a hill climb special in 1946 with the Ford V8, something he helped to do as a 16-year-old.
‘It competed quite a bit in the period and even held a record at Rob Roy hill climb for about six months in 1951. It’s got a good power-to-weight ratio – it’s only 900kg.’
‘This is this car’s first outing in 22 years,’ said Graeme Louk of his 1948 Cooper-mg special. ‘I’m lucky, I’ve only had to do a bit of sorting – a new camshaft, a better cylinder head gasket, new wiring and plumbing.
‘It was one of the first in Australia. Originally powered by an 880cc JAP engine in the back. Arthur Wylie used it to smash the record at Rob Roy. Keith Martin also won the 1950 Australian hillclimb championship with it.
‘After that it was sold to George Pearse. The engine blew in at the 1953 Australian Grand Prix, and it would’ve cost him too much to replace, so he put a supercharged MG TC engine in the front with the driver sitting in the back where the JAP engine used to be. His greatest personal victory was to beat Jack Brabham at New Bluff in 1955. In 1956 George rolled the car badly at Southport.
‘The wreck was bought and rebuilt by Ray Revell who had quite some success at local speedways with it. Then it was owned by Lionel Ayres who installed an XPAG engine and bigger supercharger, which made it fast but fragile – it would finish on the podium or on a tow rope. The car was resurrected by Greg Smith, who sold it to me, and I think we have it pretty much sorted now.’
‘When I got the car it was a pile of parts in a trailer, only 20 per cent of it was left,’ said Geoff Fry of his recentlycompleted Jolus. ‘Over the next 20 years I collected the rest of the parts to restore it.
‘It was one of the first rear-engined Formula Juniors, but it only raced for two years, 1961-2. Its constructor’s surname was Joas and it copied the Lotus 18, hence the name Jolus. It’s number two of three cars built.
‘In 1962 it won a trophy for the best performing local FJ at Wakefield Park, and later that year it placed fourth behind three Lotuses. But after that it was broken down by its owner who planned to turn it into a sports car, this never happened, hence the state I found it in.
One of three Joluses was found as a pile of bits
Italy meets US via Australia with Chandler
Cooper-mg last saw action in 1995