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Australia's hot rodding pioneers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by unclechop, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,094

    autobilly
    Member

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  2. unclechop
    Joined: Apr 24, 2007
    Posts: 280

    unclechop
    Member

    That Pontiac is beautiful- is it still around today?
    Any one got any more pics? or any other Dale Fisher pics?
     
  3. Smooth Customs
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 241

    Smooth Customs
    Member

    Dale told me that he had heard it had been parked outside somewhere for a long time, in a very sad state. Many years ago.

    I have scans of photos of his work, but on another computer.
     
  4. ill try and get some pics scanned up soon, and ill scan the article of my dads 34 ford pickup from australian street rodding. just gotta get off work before the old man closes the shop so i can use the scanner.
     
  5. Dirtynails
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 843

    Dirtynails
    Member
    from garage

    Len Lukey was a bit like Bob Jane in that he owned a string of quite interesting cars. Unlike todays overblown touring car crap,motor racing in OZ back in the day was thrilling to watch. Heres Lens Galaxy in 1964 with Norm Beechy driving.
    [​IMG]
    The Geoghan Holden.
    [​IMG]
    ..with Repco head.
    [​IMG]
    Racing Holdens at Bathurst in 1958.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. patzfab
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 157

    patzfab
    Member
    from Canada

    Repco crossflow head......man do they bring back memories......used to fit them with Jag exhaust manifolds for street use(or build your own extractors) extractors = headers in USA.
    Repco was a big Aussie parts manufacturer, in cahoots with Jack Brabham they won the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP in F1 at the time.
    My father worked for them for 30 years as a Manager in Nth Qld.
     
  7. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,094

    autobilly
    Member

    Repco (from those days) rules!
    PS. Interesting radiator shroud too.
     
  8. C:cool::cool:L thread ... but you Aussie's talk funny! :rolleyes: :)
     
  9. Dirtynails
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 843

    Dirtynails
    Member
    from garage

    Jack Brabham actually owned Repco for while. The Repco heads for the grey and red motor were designed by Phil Irving,the genius behind the vincent motorbikes. Repco are now a former shadow of their former self and I couldn't imagine half the counter jumpers they have there would ever have heard of Black Jack,repco heads,repco Brabham V8's or the fact that the company helped develop a lot of OEM engines for various manufacturers.
     
  10. FCCOOL
    Joined: Jun 13, 2005
    Posts: 276

    FCCOOL
    Member

    aussie language is easy its like enlish except we can pronounce it all correctly
    here are some words you can learn
    buddy- mate
    pal- mate
    shrimp- prawn
    fender- mudgaurd
    hood- bonnet
    trunk- boot
    bondo- bog
    howdy- G'day

    and all blokes just get around in thongs here in the summer if you are visiting and wondering what to wear.
     
  11. thongs for your feet, not your arse.
    my dad's cousins raced motocross from the early 70's to today, they used to go down to the repco branch in sydney rd coburg to get pistons made for their race bikes. try that these days.
     
  12. GlenC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 757

    GlenC
    Member

    The Repco crossflow head for the Holden 6 was an engineering masterpice, Darrell McCarthy's 12 port Vauxhall-headed Holden 6 was a brilliant piece of pure hotrodding ingenuity...

    The Holden 'grey' motor (1948-1963) was 138 cubic inches of bland motoring, designed to be cheap and simple to fix, reliable and economical. A powerhouse it wasn't, but in the hands of racers and rodders it became a real beast.

    Problem 1.. Siamesed ports, inlet and exhaust from memory. Darrell set out to find a 12 port head to fit the block. He found an English Vauxhall head had the right number of ports, but wasn't the right length. Stories vary, but I heard it was about 1/2 a cylinder too long.
    Solution 1.. Slice the head up into 6 pieces, trim to fit and weld back together.

    Problem 2.. The combustion chambers are now over the bores, and a bit of driling and tapping will allow the head to be bolted down to the block, but the exhaust ports are over the intake cam lobes and vice-versa.
    Solution 2.. Get the McGee boys to grind a 'reverse' cam for the motor, and make it a red hot one while they're at it.

    Problem 3.. There isn't exactly a multi-carb manifold on the shelf for a shortened Vauxaull cylinder head. Exhaust is easy, 6 equal length 1" pipes exit just behind the left front wheel.
    Solution 3.. build a log manifold and install 6 1" SU carbs on it. Which promptly created...

    Problem 4... The carb bodies are jammed in tight against one another, there's no way the float bowls are going to fit.
    Solution 4.. Bolt the float bowls in a row along the side of the engine bay and remote feed the carbs with a row of plastic fuel lines.

    Problem 5... The water jackets don't line up of course.
    Solution 5.. A copper pipe running above the length of the cylinder head with a series of holes drilled into the head providing water directly from the radiator top tank.

    Final problem.. Getting the bloody thing to run. It used to go like the proverbial raped ape, when it would run at all. Darrell ran it on all sorts of exotic fuels, tried all sorts of tricks with it, but it had a mind of its own and would conk out, or run on 3 or 4 cylinders, or ise up the inlet manifold, or any number of other hiccups. I remember pushing it at Castlereagh to get it running, them helping push it back to the pits cause it had died suddenly. It must have been the most frustrating car to own. I believe it came off a trailer and was totalled many years ago.

    Cheers, Glen.
     
  13. unclechop
    Joined: Apr 24, 2007
    Posts: 280

    unclechop
    Member

    I was at Adam Chivers work shop yesterday admiring a Vauxhall head 105mm bore space(could only go off the comb chamber).
    Is there an earlier version of a vauxhall head that would be closer?
    Do you have any pics glen?
    Didnt they use vauxhall cranks in greys-if so were they different bore space?
     
  14. FCCOOL
    Joined: Jun 13, 2005
    Posts: 276

    FCCOOL
    Member

    the repco cross flow hi power head is often considered the holly grail of aussie speed stuff here but what about the grey motor dohc head and the rotory valve head.
     
  15. unclechop
    Joined: Apr 24, 2007
    Posts: 280

    unclechop
    Member

    Ahh the Dunstall head- do any still exist?
    Id imagine that the technology(ceramics) these days would make sealing a rotary valve head a little easier.
    Ive got an artical at work if no one else has it Ill post it tomorrow.
    Isnt there a repro repco head being built?
     
  16. GlenC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 757

    GlenC
    Member

    I honestly have no idea about the head details. Like I said, the stories vary, but at the time I'd heard it was a couple of inches too long for the block. Someone else said it was an easier fit than that, and didn't require too much work, even some of the head bolts lined up, others were drilled right through the block and had a nut inside the sump.

    My ex wife has all my pics, including Castlereagh, 1967 Roselands show etc. I've been trying for almost 35 years to get them back!

    Cheers, Glen.
     
  17. bobhoneybrook
    Joined: Jan 6, 2008
    Posts: 148

    bobhoneybrook
    Member

    Glen I think you will find that the McGee Camshaft Co. made the head for use on a speedcar and Darrell purchase it and fitted it to his FJ, I dont remember it being cut at all but I could be wrong. Someone on here may know the cylinder spacing on a Holden And a Vauxhall and that will tell us if there is any difference. A special cam had to be made to change one of the pair of lobes around as the valves were different on one cylinder, this is from memory and it may have been more than one pair of valves that were different. I think there were three head studs that went through to the oil pan. The Car was written of on the Great Western Hwy. at Pendle Hill on the way home from Castlereagh Dragway, it was being towed on a trailer by another FJ holden and the tow bar on the tow car broke off, resulting in the race car and trailer hitting the local Milk truck writing it off then taking out a couple of fences and a water meter.I got a phone call about 2am to tell me that they had written off the car and my trailer which Darrell had borrowed, I dont think I ever saw my trailer again after that. Darrell moved up to the North Coast of New South Wales, his dad was a Police Inspector based in Grafton.This all took place around 1967 - 68, I dont know what happened to the engine but it was a mean looking piece for an old Holden sideplater.
     
  18. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,229

    flatoz
    Member

    some old pics I have on photo bucket.

    [​IMG]

    colour

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  19. GlenC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 757

    GlenC
    Member

    Thanks Bob! I was about 17 at the time and I'm relying on memories I pretty much haven't had to use since back then! I remember pushing the car at Castlereagh, I remember seeing the damn thing go like a cut snake at practice, then ice up the intake and stall on the line in competition. But it was a brilliant bit of good ol' Aussie run-what-u-brung wasn't it.

    And do you remember who the bloke was with the custom 56 Cusso in Campsie at this time? Thing was so low the exhausts exited through square holes in the sills just in front of the back wheels, and so loud I could hear it start up at my home in Croydon Park.

    Cheers, Glen.
     
  20. striper
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 4,498

    striper
    Member

    Shit Corey, that car looks just like your old man's :)

    Is that nailhead powered T Ray MacDonalds?


    My memories of Grey motors: I was just a kid when my dad spent about $3000 building grey motor for the family stock car. It must have been around '74 because I remember when we went to pick up the old EJ mule "run in" car from the engine builder we went in my dad's new HQ Monaro. He let mum drive the Monaro home which was a big move for my dad. Mum was and is still (at 68) a lead foot. So I'm with dad in the EJ and who would have thought that a race might ensue. The EJ kicked the Monaros ass.

    Dad didn't find a Vauxhall crank until too far into the build so the Holden crank remained in place. First race day that $3000 grey motor broke the crank and threw a leg out. To put it into perspective, the Monaro cost $4200.

    Pete
     
  21. Dirtynails
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 843

    Dirtynails
    Member
    from garage

    Not exactly a hot rod but an example of OZ ingenuity which has faded thanks to the laws etc here. Thats racing identity John Cummins on the left With the late Ralph Sach. The car was called the Nota Mini din.. But the engine is a grey motor ( painted red...:D ) with mag and SU's and gawd knows what else in a space frame. Picture taken in the early 50's.
    [​IMG]
    It wasn't only Holdens which got the treatment back then,these two guys are leaning over a racer called thew Tornado. the guy on the Right Doug Whiteford on starting grid leaning and talking to Lou Abrahams, who built it plus the Flattie powering it.
    But what a Flattie!. Lou built the engine to power a boat but it tore the boat up because ...he had made a twin overhead cam conversion with fuel injection for it! It was scrapped when OHV Chev v8's became easier to buy. That grass lined road in the background is Bathurst!
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Dirtynails
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 843

    Dirtynails
    Member
    from garage

    I don't have any pics of the Dunstan head. I did see on a holden site a few years back where some guy has two of them,probably the only two ever run.
    But here is a car ,The BBM special owned by Dud Dansie,, with supercharged grey motor and Dunstan Rotary valve head. This allowed the engine to rev to 9000 RPM...a grey motor at that speed would be.....exciting.:eek:
    [​IMG]
     
  23. Dirtynails
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 843

    Dirtynails
    Member
    from garage

    Lou Molina's Repco headed engine in his Monza Holden Sports.November 1958.
    [​IMG]
    The Chrysler Roadster in front was V8 powered in 1958(313 Poly?) owned by Col Riches. Rods weren't just for cruising past the milkbar back in the day or drag racing.
    [​IMG]
    based on the background, the variety of cars and their respective numbers this photo was taken at Dunlop Corner during Event 13, - 6 lap, Invitation Handicap at Port Wakefield on Monday 12th October '59.......

    The cars and drivers from l to r are #47 Clem Smith - Holden, #35 Gordon Bedson -750 Special, #31 Graham Lewis - Simca Aronde and #19 Col Riches - Dodge V8 (Sorry can't tell you what lap they're on..........):)
     
  24. Smooth Customs
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 241

    Smooth Customs
    Member

  25. maybe a little OT but here we go. some sydney blokes racing a 308 hudson powered boat, getting their own intakes and heads cast. the teaser photo- read the story for more- http://www.hudson-amc.org.au/Hornet Speedboat.html
    i have the mallory dual point off the boat waiting to go into my 308 hudson. the moulds still exist in sydney, but the owner won't let them up, for fear of someone making a profit off the duo's hard work. narrow minded thinking- the volume just isn't there. a shame that what could be such a great legacy is going to go to waste. my local hudson dealer has been trying for 20 years for no result.
    also a collector in sydney somewhere has 2 of these engines, i am not sure whether they are in boats or not.
     

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  26. Dirtynails
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 843

    Dirtynails
    Member
    from garage

    O/T? i don't think so,the Hudson was a choice engine and won more than it's share of races at nascar. Theres more than one cat skinner in the US building hot hudsons, even today.
    [​IMG]
    http://www.uncommonengineering.com/index.html
     
  27. i just wish it was in a car, charger and all... haha. for what i have sunk into my hudson to NOT get it on the road, i could of bought clive gibson's 54 wasp sedan, complete with one of his heads and road ready. but then i wouldn't be able to call it my own. eh now im waffling on. uncommon have caught my eye before, but damn those prices... and they aren't aussies!
     
  28. kevron
    Joined: Dec 26, 2008
    Posts: 93

    kevron
    Member

    hey glen tell her you still love her buy her flowers & chocolates all the bullshitt you can think of there all sisters they just live in differant houses if that fails just break in and steal them thats our history man kev i still love the smell of burning ruber so much i will be buying condoms when i am 90
     
  29. Smooth Customs
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 241

    Smooth Customs
    Member

  30. GRIFF
    Joined: Feb 17, 2005
    Posts: 19

    GRIFF
    Member

    DirtyNails, you certainly know your early Aussie roundy-roundy cars. Question for you then, I've got a shot somewhere of a sports car...I think late 50s...with a Repco Hi-Power head and a crank driven blower. I'd love to know what the car was and who owned it.
     

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