Historic Racing Register

F1 WORLD CHAMPION 1959, 1960, 1966

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RUMBLINGS IN THE DIFF....According to 1/-

Orr, jeez those mid week lunch jokers have gone and done it again….. (Pics - Click here)

This time they got a bunch of old dudes together and went to Ron Townley’s little beach house in Safety Beach (with views to knock your eyes out) and went underground into the inner sanctum with the black and white check Italian ceramic tiles on the floor to have a look at what Ron has done this time.

We managed to safely negotiate our unsteady way down Ron’s 33 degree declining driveway into his garage that is big as the shopping Plaza at the Pines in Frankston, from where he obviously got the idea.  Once we got down below ground level we saw all these IOBs (Interesting Old Blokes) must have been a dozen of them in the company of only one lady and most of them were milling around the coffee pot and the cake table, but some were peering very closely at Ron’s eclectic collection of automotive nonsense.

We had a glance around and saw a couple or three blue cars, a green one and a cute little truck, photo boards hiding the air conditioning system and a nice little room with his tools and several machines in.  The whole shebang being very well lit, clean and very tidy.

Well there is this old blue French racing car from the late 40s or early 50s, depends on who is telling the story and it is a Talbot Lago or a Lago Talbot, depends on who is telling the story, which used to belong to Reg Hunt and Ron has been haunting him for decades trying to do a deal.  Ron has obviously sold off several of his suburban Shopping Centers and a couple of his racing cars and done the deed.

The Lago Talbot has a very interesting history and started off its life as a racing car in 1948 as a lago Talbot Type 26C number 11002, the second car built.

In 1948 it was driven by M. Raph and initially competed at the grands prix at San Remo, Europe, De IÁCF, de Commings and de Albi varying success.  It then changed hands and was driven by  M. Chaboud, Mairresse and Raph who ran it in seven various GPs and other meeeting with mixed success.

In 1949 it competed in thirteen events including GPs and other international events and was driven by M. Mairesse who managed to finish out of the podium on all occasions.

In 1950 M. Mairesse drove in 2 events and M. Giraud – Cabaniuos drove in 4 other events all without a podium finish.

In 1951 M. Mairesse drove in a further 6 international and G.P events and managed a 2nd at CC de Doullens.

In 1952 11002 competed in only 2 events driven by M. Blanc and Levegh and managed only 1 finish.

In 1953 was not much better and only competed once with M. Etancelin at the wheel and managed a 3rd at GP de Rouen.

In 1954 things looked very quiet for 1102, when it didn’t managed to do anything at all.

In 1955 it changed hands to Doug Whiteford and was transported to Australia for its sins.

In 1955 and 56 11002 competed in 9 local events in the hands of Whiteford and all in all did very well with 5 podium finishes out of the nine and finished in all events including the AGP in 1956 when he finished 8th.

In 1957 Ralph Snodgrass bought the car from Doug Whiteford and competed in 4 events including 2 at Bathurst when he finished 3rd in both events.  Snodgrass then apparently decided to do a rebuild and the car was stripped and stored under his house in bits from 1960 until 1980.

In 1980 11002 was bought by Reg Hunt and restored at enormous cost, which included importing two race mechanics from Masserati for a lengthy period of time, and they completed the restoration on behalf of Reg Hunt.

The car remained in Reg Hunt’s hands, apparently did not compete in any motor racing events and was regularly started and run around in one of his several factories until it finally fell into Ron Townley’s hands in August 2006.

The car was viewed at Ron’s nice little garage on Monday last by a bunch of I.O.B.s from the Wednesday lunch group and other unmentionable areas and we were all very impressed by the condition of the car which looked as if it had just rolled off the production line in 1948.

Ron was so impressed by the turnout that he opened up his cellar and produced a number of cheeky little reds and a couple of beers for the assembled elderly throng.  He then overwhelmed us all with a number boxes of offerings from his local Pizza Shop.  It is quite obvious that he is a regular customer of this particular eatery and it probably shows.

All in all a very interesting time was had by all.

After lunch the I.O.Bs moved a short distance away to Richard Bendall’s factory/ toyshop where Richard is producing Cobra Daytona coupes by request.  Richard, who also partook of the pizzas at Ron’s, squired the whole lot of us around his very impressive factory that was formerly the Roaring 40s production line and sales center.  The factory is a very impressive edifice with the strongest set of front gates that have ever been seen in this neck of the woods. 

It would seem be very difficult to get in or out with the gates shut.  An obvious security function needed in that part of the world.

Richard showed us the number of Cobra Daytona coupes in various stages of production and informed us that if we wanted one of these treasures that we would have to part with something in the vicinity of $90k to $130K, depending on what sort of goodies we wanted and we would have to wait about 15 months for the pleasure of having one of these amazing little beasties in our garage.

Richard also showed us around his current projects underway which number in the dozens.  They ranged from a couple or three early Yankee Indianapolis cars to a number of Japanese offerings such as a Godzilla, hot RX7 Targa Tassie car, an MGB missile and an MGB engined TC special and other projects too numerous to mention.

Richard is planning to live to the ripe old age of 145 to complete all of the projects.

We also noticed a box containing a NEW twin cam Coventry Climax 1500 which may be destined for the Lotus Sabakat that just happened to be sitting on the floor in his projects area.

We managed to take a couple of snaps whilst we were there and I will send some of them along, just for interest’s sake.

It was a very interesting day and thanks go out to Ron Townley and Richard Bendall for their hospitality and patience.

It really does extol the virtues of being

·         (a)   Aged

·         (b)   Infirm

·         (c)   Unemployed

·         (d)   Petrol headed

·         (e)   Over endowed with interest and free time.

·         (f)    All of the above.


(This is not a contest)

We look forward when we can next foray out into the big world and look at some one else’s treasures…

Regards,  1/-