In 1931 I did the usual thing by buying my first motor-cycle, a Norton, which did 99.5 m.p.h. on a wet road. I rode the Norton for 15 months without a licence, as the age in Victoria is 18 ; I got my licence on my 18th birthday. As time went on the bike got faster and faster ; when the compression ratio got up to 11 to 1 something happened to the works, and while towing it home what was left of the engine fell out of the frame. I had to buya new engine to get it together again— it taught me a lesson in many ways.
In 1033 I bought a G.P. Smiboson that had just been imported from England. In the two years I had the car I never had a moment’s trouble in 30,000 miles, and the car was one of the fastest in its class in Victoria.
Then I bought. a 3-carburetter Weiseley Sja,cial, a 1934 model, and it really was ” Speeial.” As far aS I know it still holds the -mile record fOr its class at 104 m.p.h. and the standing in 18.2 sees. The first race I entered it for was the Centenary Road Race at. Victor Harbour in South Australia. I finished fourth after leading by -1 mile in the last lap till the distributor gave trouble. It was a handicap race, like all Australian races, and I had a very good start, but, the car had a bad reputation for handlimar, Which I found Was quite true ; at least it taught me something about driving.
At the end of two years the car had been hi nine noes and plenty of hill climbs and trials, so was getting a little worn out when I saw the 5-litre Ballot, sister-car to Anth nivI teal’s, so I bought it ; it did Lot take me long to find out that it was not buying the car that was the expense ; it was makingit go properly. Before I -finished r found I could not look at the car unless it. cost inc £5 or so. It took two months’ hard work before it was in its original condition. During this time I had a 192e; Morris with which I won a 12hour trial–a good motor car. I then traded in the Wolseley on a Black hawk Stutz Roadster ; this, unlike the usual Black Ilawla had a side-valve 8–cylinder engine ; it lead a beautiful aluminium body with eut-dawn. doors. I was still finding out what. some of the gadgets were when I sold it. I bought the Stutz to tow the Ballot with and it did a marvellous job. The first time I really tried the Ballot out it. did lit, by the rev. counter. It really was going. ‘While racing at Lobethal the engine fell it in a big way, but I will never forget lapping the circuit at 88 m.p.h. with a top speed of 1`26. I towed the Ballot over to Adelaide and back in a day each way
(500 ; the Stutz was never the -,:tmee car after that. After looking at the remains of the Ballot I decided the cheapest thing to do is what everyone does out here, instal a Yankee motor. I was offered a supertuned V8 Ford engine and bought it
thinking the worst was over, but after altering the body and chassis, brakes, fitting two radiators and new wheels, I think the motor was the cheapest part ; the finished car weighed 18 cwt. and has won a trophy in every event. it has ever started in. In the last article I wrote the Editor remarked that 108 m.p.h. was fast for a V8 engine ; the car has since done 114 m.p.h.
While I was building the ” Special,” which I still call the Ballot, I had quite a number of small English ears, but gave them up in favour of an Oldsmobile Roadster, but I will buy the first good Bentley that, comes along. I am, Yours etc.,
JAMES GUT LAN. Victoria,
Mike Keegan This one-time owner of Hawke Racing Cars has died, aged 78. A successful businessman, primarily in the aviation industry, he was also a motor racing enthusiast who backed…
Aston Martin pledges to continue with its continuations Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer has confirmed the company intends to create a new ‘heritage’ model every year in future. Following…
Road test: Mercedes-Benz E220 D AMG Line
Stuttgart's big estate has long been the best car of its kind. Rest assured that it remains so I’ve always been a huge fan of Mercedes-Benz’s most practical load lugger.…