Australian Motorsport Pioneers

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Gerry Barnard-Brown

BARNARD-BROWN, Gerry



Mechanic for Bib Stillwell.

From 1964 Motor Sport Annual: Behind the double Gold Star success of Bib Stillwell lies the meticulous and immaculate preparation of his cars by Gerald Barnard-Brown - the "fill in" mechanic who made good. When he was 18, Gerry ran his own midget car in hillclimbs and speedway events. He asked for a job at Stillwell's and was taken on as a general mechanic. Six month's later Bib's race mechanic left and Gerry was asked to fill in. He's been "filling-in" ever since.

At the time he joined the Stillwell stable, Bib had a 250F Maserati and a 1750 c.c. Cooper. Since then a succession of racing cars has come under Gerry's care including two 2.2 litre Coopers, one the ex-Victa car, the small-valve Cooper 2.5 driven by Jack Brabham, and the three-litre Grand Prix Aston Martin. Following this string came a new lowline Cooper 2.5. This car - now1 owned by Bill Patterson - is considered to be the best lowline to come to Australia. Says Gerry: "When we first got it, the handling was shocking and the car needed a lot of sorting out."

The Cooper Monaco sports car, bought from Stirling Moss, joined the equipe, to be followed by the Repco-Brabham. "The Brabham has done more racing miles than any of the other cars Bib has had," Gerry points out. The stable's first Gold Star came in 1962 and was followed by another championship a year later - the first time that the award has been won by the same driver two years running.

Preparation of the race cars can take up to three weeks, but it is rare to have that much time available, explains Gerry. The idea is to learn from other people's troubles and see that they don't crop up :n the team cars. In other words, keeping a step or two ahead all the time. Gerry emphasises that success comes from a team effort, not just brilliant driving or fine preparation. It has to be a combined exercise, with everyone doing his best.

Modestly he says that he has been "very lucky" in preparing the cars and their reliability is a reflection of Stillwell's driving ability. Thirty-one years-old Gerry Brown has travelled thousands of miles with the Stillwell racing organisation. Now he is hoping for a third Gold Star to add to the team's impressive collection of awards. Would he like to go racing himself? His answer is brief: "I'm a married man."
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Norm Beechey

BEECHEY, Norman



One of Australia's top touring car drivers of the 1960s and 1970s. Was Captain-manager of the Neptune racing team. Team cars included Chevrolet Impala, FJ Holden and Ford Galaxie.
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BENNETT, Ann



Fearsome competitor from the 1960s, best known for racing in her Lotus Super Seven and MG-A.
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BITTNER, Helene



Active competitor from the 1960s in sports car events. South Australian based, Bittner is best remembered for her races in a Vitesse.
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BONYTHON, Kym



South Australian Speedway driver from the 1960s. Was the owner of the Rowley Park track.
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BROOKS, Arthur John (Jack)



Was the managing director or Sandown Park Motor Sports Pty. Ltd in the 1960s.
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BROWN, Andrew (Andy)



Was the leading South Australian FJ Holden and 1500 c.c. competitor during the 1960s. Drove an Elfin, and was a member of Auto-corse Elfin.
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BROWN, Mrs. Blanche (Grandma)



Most successful woman competitor in 1956 Ampol Trial, 1957 Ampol Trial and 1958 Ampol Trials, behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce.
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BURNS, Bill



Well known Jaguar saloon driver entered motor sport via Round-Australia trial in 1953. First circuit race at Orange 1958 when 45 years old. Bill won class D in 1964 Ampol Trial in Fiat 2300. Operated fleet of taxis and is president of A.S.C.C.
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CHRISTIE, Ray



Top VW trials driver. Winner 1964 BP Rally.
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Peter Coffey

COFFEY, Peter



Trials and racing driver usually with Ford's.
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COOPER, Garrie



Was the designer and builder of Elfin sports and racing cars during the 1960s, at the time also being an active competitor. The Elfin factory was then located at 1 Conmurra Avenue, Edwardstown, South Australia.
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Jim Crocker

CROCKER, Jim



Owner-racer of the 1960s Crocker-Knocker. Was considered one of motorsport's nice guys.
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Greg Cusack

CUSACK, Greg



Canberra based, Cusack drove Volkswagens in early Round-Australia events. In 1964 he switched to driving Repco-Brabham and Lotus 23 as Scuderia Veloce team member. Cusack's previous cars included Elfin, Mallala and Porsche.
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DAVISON, Alexander Nicholas (Lex)



Four-times winner of the Australian Grand Prix, winner Gold Star. Former hillclimb champion. In 1964 was leader of Ecurie Australie racing team.
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DUNLOP, Joe



Was a top VW navigator. Winner 1964 BP Rally.
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Harry Firth

FIRTH, Harry



No. 1 works driver for Ford Australia in track events, trials and rallies. Champion trials driver, winner of BP Rally. Co-winner of the 1961 Armstrong 500, 1962 Armstrong 500 and 1963 Armstrong 500. Winner 1964 Ampol Trial.
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FOLEY, Brian



Car salesman of the early 1960s, raced B.M.C. products with notable success. Best remembered for his time behind the wheel of a Cooper-Mini S, but he also notched up a string of victories in Austins (Lancer and Sprite).
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GLASS, Arnold



Motor business proprietor from the 1950s and 1960s, and a consistent entrant until 1963, after which time he raced spasmodically. His credits include racing a Maserati 4CL and 250F and Buick engined BRM. In 1964 he switched to a Lotus 27.
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Ian Geoghegan

GEOGHEGAN, Ian "Pete"



One of Australia's most versatile drivers - sedans, racing and sports cars. At his peak, he was considered among the top ten sports car drivers in the country. Geoghegan was holder of State titles and lap records, and in the 1960s was a member of the Total racing team. Winner 1964 Touring car championship.
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Leo Geoghegan

GEOGHEGAN, Leo



All-round driver, sports, racing, touring cars. Winner Australian Formula Junior championship 1963, winner Calder-Lex Davison FJ championship 1963. Was a holder of of many State titles and lap records.
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Ray Gibbs

GIBBS, Ray



Coventry Climax mechanic from the 1960s.

From 1964 Motor Sport Annual: Acknowledged expert on Climax engines is 28-year-old Ray Gibbs of Melbourne, one-time mechanic to Jack Brabham, and a former member of the research and development team at the Climax Factory in Coventry. Gibbs' introduction to motor sport came at the age of 15 when he was serving his apprenticeship as a mechanic. He worked for Victorian speedcar champion Alf Baker for a couple of seasons, and through this tie-up - and racing trips to Sydney - he got to know Brabham. The friendship was to pay off a few years later. With father Fred's help and encouragement he bought an Armstrong Siddeley chassis which was built up into a hill-climb car.

National Service called, and at the age of 17 Ray was in the Army. During this time he built his own midget speedcar and soon after he turned 18 he ran the car at Tracey's Speedway in Melbourne. This was sold to make way for an Austin Healey that became one of the most successful of the marque at that time in hill-climbs, sprints and circuit racing. In 1957 he went to Britain and worked with Brabham at the Cooper works. After a Continental season he returned Down Under with Jack. He prepared the two Coopers that Brabham brought back, and at the end of the Australian season Jack asked him to go to England again. Ray decided to stay home for a while. One of the Coopers was sold to Bib Stillwell, and Ray kept the other, a Cooper Bristol,

He dropped a Repco Holden engine in it, competed in hillclimbs and sprints, and even managed to pick up a few Gold Star points on the tracks. When the Cooper was sold a Holden sedan took its place - and won nine events in 11 starts. But Ray's keenness for Coopers led to another of the Surbiton cars coming into his ownership - this time the Cooper sports car of Tasmanian Lyn Archer. There have been more successful cars. Just after the first Armstrong 500 at Phillip Island - Ray co-drove a Customline with Murray Carter to win, unopposed, the big car class - he packed his bagsi and was off to England again. This time for two years.

By then Brabham was at the stage of setting up his own operation at Byfleet. While the premises were being prepared, Ray went to work at Climax for a couple of months. Jack got him the job. But Ray never did join the Byfleet organisation - for two reasons. First, the work in the Climax research and development department was too full of interest and challenge to leave. And second, it was impossible for his wife to accompany him on a season's racing on the Continent. Instead, the couple set up house in Coventry, and Ray even found time to race a Lotus Elite with moderate success.

At Climax he was in on the development of the Mark 2 four cylinder twin cam Climax 1.5, and he also helped to develop the 2.7 litre engine that Brabham used in his Indy Cooper. On the go at that time were drawings of the Formula One Climax V8 that was to give British cars supremacy in grand prix racing. The Gibbs family, complete with a new addition, returned to Australia on Boxing Day, 1962, and Ray and his father set up their present business, R. G. Automotive Engineering, in Dandenong Rd.* East Malvern.

Cars that have come under Ray's care since then include Stan Jones's ex-Moss Cooper 2.5, John Roxburgh's Lotus, the Murphy family's seven-car string, Tony Osborne's Lotus Elite and Cooper 2.5, and Ted Whiteford's 1500 c.c. open-wheeler. Ray also found time to rebuild the Maybach motor- for Jones. Ray, who is a member of the exclusive British Racing Mechanics' Club, stipulates these requirements to be a success as a top-flight mechanic: thoroughness, patience, commonsense. And experience.
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GREEN, Evan



Trial Director 1958 Ampol.
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HARRISON, Granton



Member of Autocorse Elfin, South Australia. Winner South Australian Tourist Trophy. Races Elfin 1500 and Elfin Clubman.
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HIBBARD, Kingsley



Drove a formula junior Renmax-Ford. Took to open-wheeled racers after period as one of the more forceful Holden exponents. Won class in Australian Hillclimb Championships, Silverdale, 1962.
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HILL, Lorraine



Hairdresser of Bowral, was a regular lady competitor in New South Wales circuit races. A consistent performer she usually outdistanced much of the male opposition with her Lotus.
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HOLDEN, Bob



Moved from Victoria to Killara during the early 1960s. Was a successful bicycle racer before turning to motor sport. Competed in 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1964 Round Australia marathons winning his class in 1958. Raced Holden and Peugeot in touring car events and then drove a Peugeot-powered Lynx racer.
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Graham Hoinville

HOINVILLE, Graham



Trials driver/navigator from the 1960s, who then became a motorsports commentator. Winner of the 1964 Ampol Trial.
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HULME, Denis Clive "Denny"

HULME, Denis Clive "Denny"



Not an Australian, but a New Zealand racing superstar. Was 1967 Formula One World Champion, driving for the Brabham team. Hulme later went on to race for McLaren in Formula One, before retiring from top-level single seater racing to become a hero in CanAm and subsequently Australian Touring Cars. Hulme's untimely death, caused by a heart attack whilst driving a BMW M3 during the Bathurst 1000, made him the first Formula One Champion to die of natural causes.
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Jack Hunnam

HUNNAM, Jack Percival



Winner Victorian FJ championship in 1963, third place Australian FJ championship 1963, in Elfin. Was the leading ANF 1500 driver in Victoria in 1964.
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Bob Jane

JANE, Robert Frederick



Australian touring car champion 1962 and 1963. Australian GT champion 1963. Co-winner Armstrong 500 in 1961-62-63.
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JONES, Stanley



Ex-AGP winner, Jones also won the Confederation of Motor Sport's Gold Star in the early 1960s. His cars included a 250F Maserati, Maybachs, and Coopers.
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Frank Kilfoyle

KILFOYLE, Frank



Active in the late 1950s and early 1960s, was the winner of three B.P. Rallies, and is also remembered as a trials organiser and navigator.
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LEECH, James Robert Wigmore



During the 1960s was the fortunate co-owner of classic and vintage car stable, after being an active motorsport competitor since 1931. Long term member of Light Car Club committee, and President for five years, from 1946 to 1950.
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LEECH, William Wigmore



Active competitor vintage and classic racing car events during the 1950s and 1960s. Was President of the Light Car Club of Australia in 1953 and 1954. Helped to reorganise post-war motor sport, including all the Albert Park meetings.
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LEIGHTON, Jonathan Stanley Ellis (Jon)



Director and member of racing committee of Sandown Park Motor Sports Pty. Ltd. during the 1960s. Was owner of Birchwood School of Motor Racing. Was an active competitor in touring cars. Raced Formula Juniors and sports in Europe 1956 to 1957 and 1961 to 1963.
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LEIGHTON, Stanley Ellis



Was Chairman of directors of Sandown Park Motor Sports Pty. Ltd. in the early 1960s.
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LOTT, Kevin



Leading exponent trials and touring car racing from the 1960s. Winner of BP Rally. Held the national speed and distance records 1500 c.c. sports car class, set at Sandown in GT Cortina.
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LUDGATE, Albert



Top speedway car builder from the 1950s and 1960s.
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McEWIN, Mel



Top South Australian racing driver from the 1960s. Remembered for owning a Tornado which held the Australian class C flying mile record at 23.85 sec. (151.1 m.p.h.).
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McKEOWN, James Walter



One of the touring car discoveries of the 1963-1964 season. Was a class lap record holder at Calder, Sandown, Warwick Farm, Lakeside, Mallala. Raced a Lotus-Cortina, and was a member of the Neptune racing team.
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McPHEE, Bruce



Consistent Holden driver from the 1960s, who was rarely out of the first five in Touring Car events. Co-driver of Volvo 122S in 1964 Ampol Trial. McPhee held lap records at Warwick Farm and Katoomba.
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Peter Manton

MANTON, Peter



Leading touring car driver from the 1960s. Member of the Neptune racing team. Was widely regarded as Australia's No. 1 Mini exponent. Naturally enough, that talent saw Manton become a BMC factory driver.
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MARCH, Bill



Lotus Super Seven driver from the 1960s. Winner of several Hillclimb Championships.
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Spencer Martin

MARTIN, Spencer



Quickly established himself as foremost Holden driver winning 1963 Neptune Trophy over four races on tricky triangular Catalina Circuit. His talent secured him a seat in Scuderia Veloce's 2.5 litre Brabham.
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MATICH, Frank



1960s Member of the Total racing team and was, at the time, Australia's only professional racing driver. Acknowledged as leading sports car driver (Lotus Monte Carlo), and among the top group of monoposto drivers. Lap records in Repco-Brabham included Warwick Farm and fastest Australian residential time at Sandown.
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MITCHELL, Walter (Wally)



President Australian Motor Sports Club during the 1960s, Mitchell was also an active competitor, racing MRD-Brabham and Lotus.
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MOORE, Ronald



Secretary of the Light Car Club of Australia during the 1960s.
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MUIR, Brian



Regular 1960s Holden entrant with many wins to his credit. Was one of the first drivers to step up to "S4" model in anticipation of then new CAMS rule on overboring.
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MURRAY, Jack (Gelignite)



Winner 1954 Redex trial.
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NANCARROW, Cyril



1960s Trials driver, best remembered for racing an Austin Westminster.
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NANCARROW, Malcolm



1960s Trials driver.
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NEWBOLD, Maxwell Charles



Secretary and racing manager Sandown Park Motor Sports Pty. Ltd in the 1960s.
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PASCOE, James



Chairman of directors of Calder Motor Raceway, Keilor, Melbourne, during the 1960s.
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PATTERSON, William Gerald (Bill)



Gold Star winner and a leading racing car exponent. During the 1960s Patterson was considered one of the fastest drivers in the country - at the time his best performances were behind the wheel of a Cooper Climax 2.5.
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O'NEIL, Laurie



Was the owner of Lotus Monte-Carlo driven by Frank Matich during the 1960s. O'Niel also had a prized collection of other fast and exotic machinery.
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REYNOLDS, George



At the time, Reynolds drove world's fastest VW, and in 1964 he switched to a Cortina GT.
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RILSTONE, Keith



One of South Australia's top drivers during the 1960s, best remembered when behind the wheel of his Elfin-Ford.
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ROBERTS, Jim



Winner 1958 Ampol trial.
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SACH, Ralph



A most enthusiastic competitor during the 1960s, likely to be seen in a Standard Ten saloon, vintage Maserati (1934 s/c 4C], racer of an Elfin, but most successful in hillclimbs driving his Notadin special. Won 1963 New South Wales hill-climb title after two years of near victory.
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John Sawyer

SAWYER, John



Bob Jane Racing Stable mechanic during the 1960s.

From 1964 Motor Sport Annual: The sombre, meticulous atmosphere of an Attorney-General's Department is a far cry from the hectic, noisy, bitter-sweet world of motor racing, but a man who has experienced both is John Sawyer, the power behind the spanners in the Bob Jane racing stable. Thirty-two-year-old Sawyer has a girl to thank - or blame - for the switch. His wife. John was working in the Attorney-General's Department in Canberra while his wife-to-be was in Melbourne. The arrangement wasn't to his liking.

So he chucked his job, and while waiting for something to turn up, he got work in the bargain basement of a department store. During his stint among the legal eagles he had been keenly interested in motor sport and had raced - and prepared - various cars. On the competition side, he took out class wins in a K3 Magnette at Rob Roy, Templestowe, and Fishermen's Bend. On the preparation side, one of his "babies" was Norman Hamilton's Porsche Spyder.

From the bargain basement he moved to Otto Stone's service station where, for a month or so, he served petrol and did odd jobs around the place. Then he was put on g$ a mechanic. Stone was looking after Stan Jones's Maybach, and John got the chance of driving the car at the Geelong sprints. Sfone moved over to the Jones establishment -- and Sawyer went too. They saw Stan win the Gold Star championship with a 250F Maserati in 1958, and take out the Australian Grand Prix the following year.

Bob Jane came into the picture at Lowood in 1961. He was having trouble with his ex-Moss 300S Maserati and John, who was in Queensland with the Jones equipe, helped him out. They drove back to Melbourne together in Jane's Jaguar. When Jones retired from motor racing, John shifted camps. To Bob Jane's naturally. At that stage of the game he was spending up to 80 hours a week on the Jaguar and Maserati, doing most of the work in the Jane's home garage in Kew. The Jaguar's success is a pointer to the care that Sawyer insists upon. He works to a set plan, and every 500 miles the car is pulled apart, thoroughly inspected, worn or suspect parts replaced, and carefully rebuilt.

Until recently, Sawyer did all this work himself. Even now he insists on doing the major part of the preparation. Since his tie-up with Jane, he has travelled thousands of miles, averaging at least one race meeting every three weeks. His most recent trip was to the United States and Europe on a business-racing-holiday tour with Jane. Says Jane of Sawyer: "John is without a doubt a tremendous assett. There's no one I'd rather have preparing my cars. A big part of my success is having someone like John working with me." Says Sawyer modestly: "Otto Stone is a wonderful teacher. He taught me all I know."
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John Sheppard

SHEPPARD, John



Total racing team mechanic during the 1960s.

From 1964 Motor Sport Annual: John Sheppard is full-time chief motor racing mechanic for the Geoghegan unit of the TOTAL Racing Team. To hold such a position with a top flight racing team, and to ensure the steady notching up of such a consistent record of successes as they hold, obviously requires not only first class mechanical skill - but that little bit extra as well. John is 28-years-old, married and has three children. He lives at Liverpool, N.S.W., citadel of the racing Geoghegans. The son of a very competent pilot, John's interest in cars first started when he was about 13 and living in Melbourne. He liked nothing better than to go to a friend's place to watch him working on his car.

Finishing Dux of his Junior Technical School in 1950, John joined the firm of Kellow Falkiner in Melbourne, which sells and services Rolls-Royces Bentleys, etc. While with them John did his apprenticeship at the Melbourne Technical College, and in his Second Year Motor Mechanics Course he won the Beasley Prize for the Best Overall Apprentice for All Trades. He finished his apprenticeship and then worked for a while with his brother servicing taxis, and then in 1956 joined Monte Carlo Motors, working under the famous racing mechanic Reg Nutt. In 1957 he went for a while to Stan Jones Motors, and then to Peter Manton at Monaro Motors, where from Workshop Foreman he became General Manager. This was also the time John first started participating in motor sport.

He worked on Manton's very successful Morris Majors, and started going to meetings regularly. With Manton he developed the first BMC long stroke 1000 c.c. Mini, a very successful car indeed, mostly in hillclimbs. John started racing this car himself, and on 20.8.61 beat Manton's time to hold the 1000 c.c. Touring Car record at Rob Roy. After helping a friend, Jim Shepherd, to prepare his supercharged Morris Minor 1000, John took it to the Southern Hot Rod Club in December 1961, where he won the G.T. and Sports Car Sections outright. He then prepared Dick Thurston's Morris 850 along similar lines to Manton's and drove it to wiri the 1 OOOc.c. sprint at Calder. Looking back at his racing career now John says that if things had been different he would still like to be driving, but unfortunately the extra pressure of highly specialised professional racing work with the Geoghegans now leaves no time.

After working independently on various cars, including John Youl's 2.2 litre Cooper when he came to the mainland from Tasmania, and acting as Chief Mechanic for BMC's Armstrong 500 Team (6 cars started, 5 finished and one overturned), events brought John to New South Wales and Katoomba in October, 1962, with Gavin Youl and his Brabham FJ for the 1962 Formula Junior Championship. In January 1963 John moved to Sydney and joined the famous Geoghegan racing family, as their full-time racing mechanic. John says he made this move as his ambition had always been to work for a really top-class racing team which spared nothing in the search for professional perfection and performance. Caring for the sleek black stable of Lotus cars, as well as other such successful racers as the Ford Cortina GT, all combines to make a full life for John that is always interesting and satisfying.

He prefers to work according to the proven theories and standards, and to build surely and carefully on a solid foundation, without any dogmatic ideas. He likes to get a new car and to have the satisfaction of preparing it and then putting it on a circuit and seeing it go - and go really well. For a first class team, racing throughout the year averages out at something like two out of three weekends, and during the heavy season John works something like 70 to 80 hours a week. A racing team like the TOTAL Team does not win its reputation for nothing. The painstaking care and high degree of knowledge and skill that is applied to each car to ready it, so its driver can confidently head for the chequered flag, is the foundation of success.

Teamwork is the thing, and the Australian and State titles that Leo and Ian Geoghegan have taken out, and the fact that they have set lap records on every major circuit in Australia bears out the Team's reputation for a consistently high mechanical standard. And high mechanical standards are of course only attained through men like John Shepherd, who have worked to prove themselves the best mechanics.
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SMITH, C. G. (Charlie)



Soared to prominence beating the "giants" in a Morris Major. First to race an Austin Freeway. Successful transition to open wheelers highlighted by 3rd outright (1st in class) in 1963 Bathurst 100 and New South Wales FJ title driving an Elfin.
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SMITH, Clem



Top touring car driver in South Australia during the 1960s. Was holder of State touring title in 1964. Before that, he was a trials and speedway driver, before switching to a modified Chrysler Valiant.
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STEWART, Doug



Winner 1957 Ampol trial.
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Bib Stilwell

STILLWELL, Bertram Sellers (Bib)



Winner of Gold Star 1962 and 1963. Raced Repco-Brabham and Cooper Monaco sports cars. Stilwell started racing in Australia soon after the Second World War in an MG TC. He moved upwards using a variety of machinery, Austin-Healey, D-Type Jaguar, 250F Maserati, 1.7 litre Cooper Climax, 2.2 litre Cooper Climax, Aston Martin DBR100, 2.7 litre Cooper-Climax and a 2.5 litre Repco-Brabham-Climax.
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THOMSON, Bryan



Famous 1960s sports car driver, best remembered behind the wheel of an Elfin Mallala Climax. Lap record holder of Victorian country circuits in 1964.
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THOMSON, Donald K



Secretary General Confederation of Australian Motor Sport during the early 1960s.
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THOMSON, Mrs. N



Assistant secretary general Confederation of Australian Motor Sport during the early 1960s.
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TRESISE, Rodney Wakefield (Rocky)



Member of Ecurie Australie racing team during the early 1960s. Third place Victorian FJ championship 1963. Raced Lotus FJ and Cooper Intercontinental.
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TUBMAN, Ken



Winner 1953 Redex trial.
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VIRGIN, Ken



Leading 1960s South Australian Touring car driver with VW.
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WALKER, Ken



President South Australian Sporting Car Club during the early 1960s. Was also State Council C.A.M.S. Clerk of Course for all speed events at Mailala, Collingrove.
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WALTON, Bruce



Six times Australian Hillclimb champion of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
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WATTY, Francis J. (Frank)



Secretary Calder Motor Raceway, Keilor, Melbourne during the early 1960s.
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Graham White

WHITE, Graham



Drove a Lotus Eleven and FJ Holden during the early 1960s, but was better known for exploits in Bill Townsend's 2-litre Porsche.
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WHITEFORD, Douglas



Winner of four Australian Grand Prix. Top sports car driver before retiring. Holder of lap records in ex-Behra 300S Maserati. until the late 1960s.
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WOOD, Ron



Speed car driver and President Racing Drivers' Association during the early 1960s.
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YOUL, John



Tasmania's leading racing driver and among top ten in Australia during the early 1960s. Became a regular competitor in major league motor racing. Best remembered for driving a lowline Cooper Climax 2.5.
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Also see: Early Australian Drag Racing | Legends of Track and Rally
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