The Lupino appeared in the Ex-General Guderian Hudson,(of which more will be written later). Unfortunately for the Lupino, as soon as he stopped and turned his back, every beer-thief within cooee descended upon his poor undefended esky and had their evil way with it. I think a stategically placed chilled rat-trap, may be the answer. You have been warned.
The Official Organ of the club that is often mistaken for the Victorian Senior Citizens Club had a report of the Eddington event, by their correspondent Grimey S. Using the ideosyncratic writing style favoured by ex-sollies, (a cross between a shopping list, and Proust on a bad-hair day), the said Grimey named every member who was rumoured to be there. Members who lived in the district, but were not there, were named Even some who were presumed dead and in advanced stages of rigor mortis, and whose sole purpose was to be propped at the fence, glass of red in hand, with glazed eyes and rictus smile, to act as track markers, were named. Only four were not named, four ferals who were also members. Could it have been something we said, Grimes old chap? Surely not. Must be feral blindness brought on by advanced age, there's a bit of it going around.
However, because of this malady, (or could it be eurocentric myopia), the club that..etc, etc, failed to notice a couple of remarkable cars. Others did.
The Red Rockets
Stumpy Russel, the doyen of historic racing, was strolling through the car park, surrounded by some hangers on, and geriatric toadies, when he came upon the two red rockets of Bluey and Arthur Long, parked side by side.
"Bloody Hell! If I'd known that these were to be here, I'd have brought mine along, and we would have made a bloody set!" He then proceeded to give some insight into how his car "Black Bess" is related to Doug Whiteford's Australian Grand Prix winning "Black Bess",and how they are related to the two red rockets.
"Black Bess", the original, was built by Doug Whiteford, from a second-hand 1934 Ford V8 ute that had belonged to the Victorian Forestry Commission. (This alone gives it Feral Cred) It wasn't all that flash at first, but after 1940, he fitted a mercury engine to it, and various other bits and pieces, and, after the war, it ended up winning 39 of its 44 starts, including the 1950 Grand Prix, at Nuriootpa in South Australia, beating Rupert Steele's Alfa Romeo Monza.
(Makes you almost weep dunnit?) After the 1954 GP at Southport, it was retired and sold to a Granton Harrison, who raced it for a bit, then sold it on. It ended as a rabbit shooter's ute, (ah, how the circle turns!) before Granton Harrison found it again, and restored it in the 1970's.
Jeff Gransden was a local SA motor racing identity, and specials builder. He must have been close to Granton Harrison, (or even assisted in the restoration) because at the same time, in the mid 1970's he built a replica of Black Bess. This is the car that Stumpy owns.
From the experience of that, he set forth to build a 1937 Ford V8 Indy Special Replica, for himself, which is the car Bluey owns, and to amortise the costs, he also built another "stretched" version for a long legged cove, on commission, which is the car that Arthur Long owns.
Both cars are on a 1937 Ford chassis, modified to suit the narrow bodies, as are the 3 speed close-ratio boxes and diffs. Front ends are 1940 Ford with semi-elliptics and hydraulic shocks.
The engines of both cars are stock-block 5 litre Ford Mercuries, ported and polished,with shaved heads. With mild cams and twin Ford Carbies, they produced 125bhp and had a top speed of around 180kph.
The bodies were built at the Elfin Factory in SA, in aluminium, from body designs from the USA provided by John Blanden.
Lights are from 1938 Ford Anglia, and the grills are from war-time 10/10 Ford Vans.
This writer can personally attest to the blinding performance of at least one of the cars, Arthur's. Driving along at a comfortable 110 klicks, we came upon a modern doing 100. I planted the foot, and it was as if the car kicked back, both aurally and physically. We were pushed back into the seats, and the overtaken car disappeared rapidly in the rear view mirror, as if it had been standing still. Awaresome shit!
Postscript to Eddington
A few weeks after Eddington, sources close to Arthur, came upon another 1930's Ford Rocket. This one is a log booked, 1934 Indi Replica, and according to Arthur makes the other rockets look like semi-stationary Lagondas, in performance.
I look forward to driving this monster, but will take care to bring along some bike-clips, and maybe a gusset protector.