Jack Brabham ( now Sir Jack ) kneeling in front of his silver blue Cooper HRD # 8 at Mt Druitt circuit, NSW, on Queen Elizabeth's Coronation Day, June 1953.
The Cooper sporting the BRDC logo next to # 8 is the BRG Dick Cobden car.
Jack autographed the photo for me in later years. Textas were not around in 1953 !
The REDeX Special Cooper Bristol # 1 of Jack Brabham at Mt Druitt.
Jack and the car created quite a controversy due to the Redex sign on the side, as advertising on race cars was forbidden in this era.
The other Bristol in the pic is that of Stan Coffey, which also had advertising, The Dowidat Special.
Coffey was the importer of the Dowidat brand hand hand tools
Jack and # 1 are pushed out onto the grid for the start of another heat at the Mt Druitt circuit.
Stan Coffey in the green Cooper Bristol running up Pit straight at Mt Druitt. Note the MGs and Healey in the pits and at the end the green Barrie Gurdon Austin A90 Westminster. When officials said that Sedans had to have a passenger seat , which Barrie had removed, he fitted a light weight cane chair off his front verandah from home ! ...It was technically correct as a seat.
Dick Shaw in his 48 series Holden. This was the start of Holdens in touring car racing in Australia. Dick raced hard against Jack Myers and Tom Geoghegan
( Leo's Dad ) in other 48 series Holdens. Leo raced his Dad's old car later on and became the top sedan car driver in Australia in the black 48 series, later fitted with body streamlining.
A collection of photos, starting from the time I was 11 years old with a Kodak Box Brownie to later years. Not of a professional quality but great memories all the same... Brian.
Schofields airstrip, a quarter mile drag strip, out of Sydney in the late 1950s. Holt Binnie in the TF - Holden, centre, a car on which I worked as a 15 year old apprentice motor mechanic.
Two photos of the MG - Holden of Holt Binnie's. The Grey 6 cylinder Holden shoehorned into the TF engine bay had plenty of overheating problems. I had this engine in and out so often, in the end I just whistled and it came out by itself !! We ran this car at Bathurst, Orange, Phillip Island, Hume Weir and all major Hill Climbs in the 1960s. Holt later purchased the ex Barry Taylor Gladiator, a Holden engine Buchanan bodied sports car. The Buchanan all fibre glass bodies were made from a mould taken off the Tommy Sulman DB3s Aston Martin.
Brian Darby as the 15 year old
' Mobilgas Kid '
1953, Holt Binnie seated in his alloy bodied MGTD Special # 26. Bert Duff far right. I learnt to drive on the Morris Oxford ute on the left.
Holt in what was questioned to be ' The World's Fastest TF ? ' . We drove down to the Hume Weir meeting ( Victoria ) in the car, raced it and drove back home at times doing 100 mph on the open road..
Bathurst in the wet, October 1959, after the first corner, L to R.Clive Adams in a Prad Sports, Holt in the TF - Holden, Allan Jack in a bobtail Cooper Sports .
The Gladiator, red in colour, a light weight Buchanan bodied MG powered Sports car built by Barry Taylor ( at the wheel in this pic ) Holt Binnie later purchased this car from Leaton Motors in 1960.
The car then had a Holden grey engine fitted.
The Leaton Motors race cars on the grid at Bathurst.
# 87 the Lotus 15 with Frank Matich, # 86 the D type Jaguar with Doug Chivas, # 26 the Gladiator with Holt Binnie in the background. I was employed by Leaton's in 1961 as a mechanic. I helped prepare three of the cars in this photo.
In 1962 I was apprenticed to Frank Matich. Garrie Cooper and his Dad brought 3 Elfins up from South Australia for Frank to drive and evaluate. This was the 1500 in the Lube Bay of the Total Service Station at Puncbowl where we had the cars..
The Elfin Formula Junior in the Total workshop.
The Elfin Clubman Sports.
The original Matich Lotus 19 Monte Carlo sits in the Total workshop at Punchbowl. This pale green ' big sports car ' was reputed to be an ex Stirling Moss car. The Lotus brand sequential gearbox ( or queer box as it was known ) can be seen on the floor, top left.
The 19 sits forlornly in the workshop after it's tangle with the Pit counter at Warwick Farm.
Bruce Richardson who was driving the 19, bedding in brake pads was lucky not to be severely injured.
In 1963 the Tasman Brabham Climax arrived in Melbourne. I went down, picked it up and brought it back to the Stanley St . Peakhurst workshop.
The rebuilt Lotus 19, the pale blue 19B at Oran Park.
The Renault R8 I prepared for Frank and George Murray to drive in the 1963 Armstrong 500 at Bathurst.
Carl Kennedy on the left, next is George Murray, I'm tucked in 4th head from left and Bruce Richardson far right. The R8 came 7th in it's class, well outdone by the Cortinas & Mini Coopers.
Frank in the R8 leads a couple of Cortinas through Murray's Corner at the bottom of Con Rod straight.
Kevin Bartlett on Pole in the Channel 9 Camaro for the Bathurst 1000, Dick Johnson in position 2.
The Bob Morris Team on the grid. at Bathurst. Engine builder, Peter Molloy in white shirt.
I worked with Peter at one time..
Peter Brock takes the VH Commodore # 05 over Skyline. Pic taken from the Castrol Tower - 1982.
Allan Moffat in the Peter Stuyvesant Mazda # 43
1980 F1 World Champion, Allan Jones takes his Mazda # 27 over Skyline at Bathurst ..1982.
Peter Brock in later years at the end of Con Rod straight - Bathurst.
The Crick/Schofield car # 36 leads ex Motor Cycle World Champion Wayne Gardner in car # 4 down into Murray's Corner at Bathurst.
The one and only John Surtees leads the field at Amaroo Park Raceway, NSW on his Manx Norton. Surtees is the only man to become World Champion on both Motor Cycles and Formula One cars....and what a nice bloke, he spoke to all the people who approached him in the pits .
A panoramic view of the now defunct Amaroo Park Raceway - Amaroo NSW looking down to the starting area.
On to Page 9....... Memorabilia.
The guru of Historic road racing in Australia, John Cummins , in his early Holden Hot Rod at Westmead Speedway in the early 1960s.
You can see the smile on Cummo's face as he slides the early Holden around the big Westmead 1/2 mile dirt track.
The grille on this car came from my road car, a 1953 Holden sedan. I had the grille replaced after some over exuberant youthful driving in the wet, when I ran up the back of a brand new Holden Waggon ( he wasn't too happy ! ) at North Sydney. The damaged grille was lying around the garage at Neutral Bay and was just right for the job
Three things I remember very vividly about this car and it's construction.
1. The hot Holden 6 cylinder engine came out of Cummo's Holden Bugatti race car.
Yes that's right , a type 35 Bugatti with a Holden engine !!!
2. To lower the rear end the boys lit the Oxy torch, got the main leaf in the rear spring cherry red and bingo ! down she went, lowered !
3. The clutch plate had been put in back to front on assembly and due to slipping badly cost John the win in the car's inaugural race.
Fred Otten in a Buick Straight 8 with a Fiat 500 cab on the chassis took the win.
15.9.2005 and I get to have a drive of a friend's MGB at Wakefield Park. Not F1 but I really enjoyed it.
A photo just come to light in 2008.
Shot by John Ellacott - it is of Frank Matich in the Tasman Brabham Climax BT7A at private practice - Warwick Farm - NSW prior to the 1963 Hordern Trophy race. That's a 21 year old Brian Darby in the blue overalls and Bruce Richardson with head just in shot on right.
When I emailed it to Frank he got back and said "Gee we all looked a lot younger then !!"
I had thought my future in motor sport lay in road racing in a Formula Junior, in particular a little car I loved and had worked on in the 60s, the ex Tom Corcoran Lola FJ, but it wasn't to be. I ended up in Speedway in a vintage midget.
There's nothing like being sideways on the dirt at
I bought Q5 as a box trailer full of junk in 1995 and restored it over two years. It was unique as it ran a Falcon 6 engine. After restoration,
Q5 and I ran hard in vintage meets over the next 9 years, rarely missing a vintage outing, local or National.
After 14 years of ownership, I sold the car back to a Queensland enthusiast in 2009.
Photo right :
Q5 and I at a club day on the big 1/2 mile dirt track at Bankstown City Paceway.t.