The Charge Bros.
Neal and Stuart Charge commenced motor racing at Ballarat airstrip Saturday November 10 1951 in an MG Special. This car was built by themselves after purchasing a new MGTC in unassembled parts. The chassis was shortened by 6 inches and a complete aluminium body was fabricated, shaped, and welded by Neal. This car had quick change alloy cycle mudguards so both brothers could compete in both sports car and racing car categories at the same meeting.
They raced in an era when most competitors were self-funded amateurs like themselves. They were well known and competitive at Fisherman’s Bend, Altona (which they both part owned and constructed) Templestowe, Rob Roy, Mt Tarrengower and Albert Park where they both competed and finished in the inaugural 1953 A.G.P. For this event they purchased one of the 3 Austin Healey Le Mans replica cars imported by Austin Distributors Australia. They competed in all 5 Albert Park meetings, Neal winning the 1956 Argus Cup event in the TC special, (this was the 1st motor race televised in Australia, being the 1st race on the two weekend Olympic program). Later, in about 1957 they built a new car, based on the MG chassis, but with a new Supercharged Hillman engine and new fibreglass Ausca body. Their last race meeting was on the 12th of March 1962 which was the inaugural Sandown Park event. After this they retired from motor racing to go flying. Sadly, Stuart Charge died in 1995 aged only 74. In 2003 at age 85, Neal again entered Motorsport, competing in the Targa Tasmania. He entered his 1974 Alfa Romeo Montreal which he has owned since new and navigated for son Chris. This led to a renewed career, and when he finished in 2009 at age 91, he had competed in 7 Targa Tasmania’s (earning Gold and Platinum awards), 3 Classic Adelaide events, and several others. In 2013, at age 95, Neal has been invited by the Grand Prix Corporation to participate in the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the A.G.P at Albert Park where he first competed in the MG in 1953.
Photos, captions and story courtesy of Chris Charge.
THE “CHARGE BROS”. NEAL STANDING AND STUART IN THE MG SPECIAL CIRCA 1951.
STUART CHARGE DRIVING #59 AUSTIN HEALEY LE MANS IN THE 1957 ALBERT PARK TT, ABOUT TO BE PASSED BY THE EVENTUAL WINNER, DOUG WHITEFORD IN TRIUMPH #50.
NEAL (OR STUART) IN MG AT FISHERMANS BEND AIRSTRIP CIRCA 1953
(NOTE REAR 16” WHEELS FRONT 19”).
STUART CHARGE AT THE TOP OF “THE WALL”, TEMPLESTOWE HILLCLIMB CIRCA 1953. (NOTE THE SPECTATORS 4-5 DEEP, CLOSE BY, SEPARATED BY A 2 STRAND WIRE FENCE.
NEAL CHARGE ON THE GRID, FISHERMANS BEND CIRCA 1952. STUART CHARGE IN WHITE OVERALLS AT REAR OF MG AND THEIR FATHER HAROLD (KEN) CHARGE AT FRONT.
(CAR #4 BEHIND IS EDDIE PERKINS, FATHER OF LARRY).
A PROUD NEAL CHARGE AT THE WHEEL OF THE TC SPECIAL IN THE PITS AT TEMPLESTOWE. (NOTE THE ELBOW PROTECTOR IN FRONT OF REAR WHEEL).
POWER SLIDING THE TC DOWN THE GRAVEL “RETURN ROAD” TEMPLESTOWE HILLCLIMB.
NEAL CHARGE MGTC TEMPLESTOWE HILLCLIMB NOVEMBER 1955.
NEAL CHARGE ON HIS WAY TO WINNING THE “ARGUS CUP” RACE ALBERT PARK 1956.
NEAL CHARGE ON THE START LINE ROB ROY HILL CLIMB 1957
STUART CHARGE MG AUSCA LEAVING THE START LINE ROB ROY 1957.
CHARGE BROS MG AUSCA TEMPLESTOWE HILLCLIMB.
CHARGE BROS ROB ROY HILLCLIMB.
THE CHARGE BROS MG AUSCA CIRCA 1957.
NEAL CHARGE TARGA TASMANIA 2003.
NEAL AND CHRIS CHARGE ALFA MONTREAL CLASSIC ADELAIDE 2004.
LONGFORD TARGA TASMANIA 2004.
NEAL AND CHRIS - TARGA TASMANIA 2005.
NEAL AND CHRIS CHARGE WITH PLATINUM TROPHIES TARGA TASMANIA 2009.
Thank you Chris for sharing the Charge Family history with us...Brian
View a You Tube interview with Neal Charge on the eve of the
2013 Albert Park Grand Prix - 60 years.