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The way we were

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by hornet, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. I do hope Vic and Jason will grant me the indulgence to post more than three pics in a thread :).

    In the process of moving house recently I unearthed (almost literally :oops:) all my old photo albums.

    Most of you know that I started riding back in 1974, but some may not know that not long after I began to photograph motorcycle road-race meetings, of all sorts and in many places.

    What follows is some pickings from that era of my life, and the recently recovered albums. I hope they are enjoyable to at least some of you; if I'm boring you, please tell me so, eh :)???


    My first race meeting was the Castrol Six Hour Race at Amaroo Park, in August (I think) 1975. That makes it 32 years ago. John Warrian (pictured) raced solo on his Ducati 900SS. The sponsor's requirement was for all competitors to use Castrol GTX oil. Ducati's requirement was for the 900SS to use BP Corse 50 oil. John would have won the race going away, but, alas, the crankshaft of the Duke snapped with half an hour to spare, and the race was won by a fresh-faced young man from Queensland. His name was Gregg Hansford (pictured).


    Also featuring in the race, on a Suzuki 'Water-Bottle' GT-750 was the recently sadly-deceased Alan Hales (pictured.)

  2. Wow paul, great memories there. My ex brother in law had the same Duke . He rode it to Perth for fun then came home and sold it for a Honda CBX 1000. Yes insanity, but the CBX is a bit of a collectors item now. ( looks like a picket fence when you wheelstand it :)) I had the Pleasure of meeting Greg the week before the first Aust GP. He was soooo gorgeous and lovely. Dont see many waterbottles around now either. You can see how true Ducati has remained to history with the Paul Smart model. I havent got a scanner otherwise I would post up a sneaky shot I took many years ago in the pits of Kevin Magee putting his leathers on. hhmmmm half naked racer.mmmm :grin:
    My fav racer was AJ followed closer by Robbie Phillis.

  3. Tremendous pics, so what sort of camera were you using?
  4. Plenty more where these came from :)

    I had two camera bodies and two lenses; A Fujuca ST-605 (I think) was mainly used for colour, and a Practika LTL for mono. The main lens I used was a Fujinon 80-200mm zoom, a lovely piece of kit, cost more than the camera body, and I also had a straight 300mm telephoto. With an adaptor, both lenses fitted both bodies.

    The 'gun' photographer of those days was a lovely Kiwi guy called Greg McBean. He had a charming lady partner who used to accompany him and help carry his (very expensive) gear, and a lot of his stuff ended up in the magazines and such like. I only ever had one picture published, but it WAS on the cover of Two Wheels (but that's another story).

    I usually used Fuji colour, because it gave a 'warmer' green for outdoor work, and the ubitiquous Kodak Plus-X 125ASA mono, or TRI-X for low light in mono. It was a marvellous film; you could expose it at 400ASA and when you put it in for processing you could specify for it to be processed at 1600ASA; you could shoot in almost complete darkness right at the end of the day, and still get a reasonable result.

    Churro, I have a couple of good shots of AJ, and photo of the very first time Robbie rode on a race bike!!!!
  5. It must be very interesting for you Paul to have watch motorcycles develop over the past 32 years. As much the technology as the culture that has (d)evolved.

    Nice pics btw, I would love to see some more.

    EDIT: I just noticed the Kwaka rider is not wearing gloves (leather, but no gloves). Yowch!
  6. Great Pics Paul !
    They really must 'take you back' eh
    BTW I couldnt stop grinning at the old Ford XA/XB/XC? Panel Van with the hippie looking dude with white pants :shock: and hot chick in the back :LOL:

    Thanks for the post ! :wink:
  7. this was way back when men were men! :LOL:
  8. James, 'Harry' not wearing gloves? Neville Doyle woyld have kicked up some sort of stink. Actually, he's wearing flesh coloured gloves, they were all the rage in those days!

    Actually the 'culture' is an interesting study in itself. Back then was just the beginning of some sort of professionalism as far as the riders and crews were concerned, but the pit area was just like a family day out. Riders helped each other out with parts and expertise (well, at least until tyre technology hit, anyway, then it was every man for himself), and I remember one meeting at Oran Park when I left my telephoto lens on the tray of some bloke's ute, and when I went back looking for it at the end of the day, it was still there. The bloke and his girlfriend had long before packed up and were waiting to go home, but hung around until the forgetful photographer came back for his gear!!

    (The Castol Six Hour race was for dead-stock production bikes, but as far as racing was concerned, slicks were only just making an appearance; most 250s and 350 still ran on treaded racing tyres.)

    Vinnie, I've got hundreds of them, that's just some from the first of ten albums, and that's before I get to the thousands of negatives I never had printed, and then three boxes of colour slides!!

    :LOL: @ the hippie couple, esp the hot chick; wait till you see the pictures of Anne Atkins, Miss Bathurst 1977 :shock:.
  9. Paul, I reckon we should make a corner of NR just for this type of stuff. I'm sure a lot of us could contribute something.
    Thanks for sharing.

    The Duc wouldnt be a Duc without the tools still laying around :grin:
  10. Actually John's Ducati was one of the best-fettled and most reliable of the half-dozen that were racing at that time. As noted in the OP, he would have won the race easily had he been using the right oil in the engine.

    (That was the closest the Ducati ever came to winning, incidentally, despite the efforts of Eddie Lopez and his beloved La Peca, and some great riders, professional outfits like Lindsay Walker's Avon Team, and Pitmans from South Australia, spelt the end of the noble privateer in this blue riband race.)

    John Warrian is an interesting story too. A genuinely nice bloke, he realised the importance of sponsorship a fair while before most others, and through proper reporting of his activities at the end of every season, managed to keep BP as a major sponsor for the whole of his career. Many others who thought they were better riders had a new set of sponsors at the start of every season.......
  11. I would love to see any photos you have of the following racers;

    Kenny Blake, Graeme Crosby, Hansford, Jeff Sayle, Vaughan Coburn, Ray Quincey, Warren Willing.

    Lou Martin was another well liked photographer from that era and Revs was the magazine of the day. Had a pile of 150 of them from '74 onwards and stupidly tossed them out 15 years ago. The star spot at the back would make you laugh these days, is there anyway to purchase old issues of that great mag?
  12. I have heaps of pics of Blakey, both the Sayles (Murray was an alright bloke, can't blame him for getting the plumb ride next to Harry in TKA, surely?) some great shots of Croz on 'Trantor', AND on a 350 GP bike at Bathurst! Coburn, Quincey and my fave, Wazza, also in the mix.

    For better or worse, I'm going to post a few and some stuff about Ron Boulden too!
  13. No Murray was just not fast and always got flogged on a 350 before his Team Green ride. It was just too political with Neville as evidenced when Rick Perry was signed ahead of numerous more eligible candidates.

    Boulden was A-Grade too young and always had the quickest bike which Lenny Willing could tell you all about if he was still with us (may he rest in peace).

    Blakey was just the best of all time with Harry a very close second, just my opinion. They were the great days of Australian Motorcycle racing, and are the guys Doohan has to thank for ever getting a look in.
  14. I never figured out the deal was with Rick Perry. I'll post a pic of him crashing Ron's Ducati in the Six Hour, so Ron never got to ride it, he was not impressed.

    I can assure you that Moyna and Jacko were equally unimpressed when Ron troweled up Vaughan at Amaroo :LOL:.

    Ron had the quickest bikes because his family could afford to buy them for him, and having Jack Ahern in the corner wasn't a disadvantage, either :wink:.

    Anyway, more pics to come, Just waiting for an ok from the guys to post more than three in this thread......
  15. Moyna admitting Ron was in the wrong?.....never saw it.
  16. I don't remember what was said about blame for the accident (Ron was on the inside, so I guess it was hard to argue) but they WERE unamused by the fact that he'd crashed their bike :LOL:.
  17. What ever happened to Boulden?
  18. Ron was a very contrversal bloke,I seem to remember some goal time for a scam involving renta cars,I bought heaps of stuff from Moyra when they first started at Willaby,funny this thread is here now,ABC 2 on foxtel has a program called late night heros,in the past they have shown the Austalian FI GP from Warric Farm and last night it was the Castrol 6 hour from 1978,brought back heaps of memorys,the Yamaha 1100 shafty won after the Honda 6 crashed out and John Warren was 2nd on that lovely bevel.
  19. I don't want to delve too deeply into the Ron Boudlen saga, because there are still people around for whom association with him was a painful and expensive experience. Howver, I must declare that I met him at the very start of his career and followed him closely, and assisted in his rise through the ranks, and was proud to be known as a friend of the entire Boulden family, (and the McMillans as well.) I took lots of photos of Ron, and am truly sad that this great talent fell (willing) victim to greed and unprincipled behaviour.

    Seaching the internet for anything regarding him will result in nothing at all; it is as if he never existed. His young brother Steven had a career in the mid-90s in Formula Ford; documentation of these results is the only trace of the Boulden name available.


    This is the first photo I took of him, and may well be the first time he rode a big bike on a race-track; the bike is a Ducati 900SS, which he was to share with Rick Perry, in the 1975 Castrol Six Hour. (I have a newspaper clipping from July 1980 from a Ross Waddington, which states that Rod had actually already been racing a TA-125 Yamaha.)

    This picture was taken in practice. Thanks to some creative maths (some might say outright dishonesty on the part of his family {which only came to light later}), Ron had only just turned 16, but already had a racing license, because his DoB had been put back for that purpose on the application.

    If you believe in karma, it happened in the race, as 18 laps in, Rick Perry crashed the bike, and although the footpeg and gear lever was welded up and they rejoined the race, it broke again, and so Ron was denied his first actual race start. That was to come on the same bike, the same year, in the Unlimited Production race, at Bathurst at Easter.


  20. The next time I encountered this teenage phenomenon was at a 'C Grade' race day at the old Hume Weir circuit, in May 1976 (althugh he had raced the Ducati in the production race at the Bathurst Easter meeting, and also narrowly avoided getting snarled up in someone else's mess in the Junior C Grade race on the Easter Sunday..)


    While everyone else was treading the same 'Customer TZ Yamaha' path, Jack Ahern had obtained a TZ-350 engine and mated it to a specialist Maxton frame. These were built on the Isle of Man, and came no doubt from Jacko's contacts there through his own racing. As well, as bizarre as it may seem now, the Yamaha electrics were not really that good, and the Maxton had a European Femsa ignition system, ironically from Italy!


    The Hume Weir meeting pitted Ron for the whole day against riders of nominally the same skill-set, although there are always, of course, variations. Not the least of which was a local hot-shot named Robbie Phillis.

    Robbie and the lads from the Albury area were well familiar with the Hume Weir layout, because the local motorcyle club held the keys the gate, and many a night had already been spent racing various street bikes, with only their headlights to guide them, and even more scary, trail bikes, round the track into the late hours of the night! But Robbie was headed for better things, and in the week leading up to the meeting, took delivery of a brand-new customer Yamaha TZ-350. Rumour of the days was he crashed it several times in very unofficial practice, but on the day he was the only rider to challenge Boulden, beating him into second in the final race of the day.


    Also competing that this meeting was a young man named Kim Jones, who now, of course, is the manager of his brother Brad's V8 Supercar team.


    And, if you're wondering if the old Hume Weir circuit was as bad as the phots seem to show, you're wrong; it was worse!!! The two main straights were separated by a sleeper wall, held in place by vertical railway line posts, and there was grass growing out of the cracks on the back straight :shock:.