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MGs in Competition: Page 1 Page 2. Page 3 Historic period photos: Page 4 Page 5 Page 6
Here is the Lanes Motors MG team
before they set off for Phillip Island to compete in the 1934 New
Years Day 100 Mile race. Standing behind is Robert Lane whose MG
agency covered Victoria, Tasmania and the Riverina. These cars were
imported without bodies and then had rugged steel framed bodies
fitted by Charlie Aspinall of Armadale. From left to right we have:
a. Norm Putt in F1317 reg 1.187. Finished 6th.
b. Les Murphy in J4112 reg 65.434. Finished 7th.
c. Ces Warren in (J3) J3766 reg 11.527. Finished outside the time limit but not before posting a 750cc lap record.
d. Les Jennings in L0546 reg 8.551. Finished 5th.
Photo and research from Tim Jackson.
You are now standing on the outside
of "Young and Jackson's" corner on the old Phillip Island circuit
and bracing yourself for any flying stones. It is New Years Day 1934
and three members of the Lanes Motors MG team are screaming past in
this 100 mile race. Note how the riding mechanics are throwing their
weight behind the drivers as the cars bounce across the rutted
track. These Aspinall bodies were fitted with a handle behind the
driver for this purpose. Les Jennings in L0546 leads Ces Warren in
J3766 and Les Murphy in J4112.
Alan Bail collection.
Here is George Notley at the wheel
of J2 (J4212). It is hard to believe this is the Colin Keefer car in
the Phillip Island line up. Underneath all that bling lies the
Aspinall body, to which doors and mudguards have been added, not to
mention trumpet horns, spotlights and special badging. The huge
brake drums are actually fake wheel discs; a 'claytons'
Magnette? George struggled up Rob Roy in 1947 for a time of 53
seconds. Soon after, the original engine was replaced by a Ford
unit. Later restored by Walter and Matthew Magilton and now owned by
Ron Killcullen in W.A.
Resting between runs at Rob Roy in
1948 is the Feltham Magna Special. Wally Feltham was a used car and
truck dealer on Nepean Hwy Victoria with a passion for motorsport.
Two years earlier he unfortunately inverted his P type (1424) at
Bathurst and in 1948 purchased L0403 from Bib Stilwell, which I
believe may be this car (or parts thereof). The Feltham Special was
towed behind the SA saloon that we can see in the background, but
unfortunately fell off its trailer on the way to Bathurst in 1950
and was sold to W.J.Harrison in 1954. The SA may be that now owned
by Brian Smyth if the rare rear bumper is a clue.
Alan Bail collection
|This unique saloon body was built for Mrs J. Manton who purchased the rolling chassis from Lanes Motors in February 1935. NA 0444 had engine number 725 and was registered 83.391 until the mid 1940's when re-registered FJ.937. Later owners included Frank Walker c1940, Les Everitt c1941 and Steve Woolnough who ran a tyre business in the 1950s. Malcolm Robertson acquired the car as a basket case from Ed Ison before selling to John Hunting who built a very smart dark red NE replica on the chassis.|
for Australia is this factory bodied L type which was photographed
in 1950 when owned by Graeme Barr of Camberwell. On the bonnet is
painted "Isle of Wright MG Magna", the meaning of which is unknown
to me (does anybody know?). This car, chassis L 2069 came to
Victoria from NSW in 1944 when it was registered GL.377. In 1945 it
was re-registered HH.759 and GXZ.659 in 1958. Graham competed at Rob
Roy in 1949 climbing the hill in 60.66 seconds but this car will be
needing a restoration before she competes again.
Alan Bail collection
Ripping around Tin Shed corner at Rob Roy in 1947 is Bill Prowse in
his J3 3763. This car was modified by the factory to almost J4
specifications and often mistaken for a J4. Previous owners include
George Martin and Derry George and later owned by Rod Jackson when
the engine disintergrated at Fisherman's Bend in 1949. Victorian
registration numbers include: 87.338 '34, AG.589 '39, EM.865 '45,
UU.770 '51 and GXY.240 in 1959. This is one of the photos used by
Leon Sims in his excellent book on the history of Rob Roy.
Bill Prowse is still competing at Rob Roy over 60 years later.
Race ready and sitting on the sand at Phillip Island prior to the
Centenary 300 being run by the ARDC is PA 0595. This car was
imported by Lanes Motors with a rare ENV gearbox and fitted with an
Aspinall body. Campbell Graham of Warrnambool took delivery from
Lanes in September 1934 and competed in the Victorian Cenenary G.P.
in October, but prior to this PA 0595 was driven by Bill Thompson
(head of Lanes MG Dept) in the Phillip Island Winter 100 coming home
7th as part of the Lanes team. At the Centenary 300 Campbell was
part of the Lanes team entry with Roy McKay and the ultimate winner
Les Murphy, all in white P types. Tragically Campbell and his riding
mechanic Alfred Peters were killed when their car rolled at The
Needles Eye, a narrow part of the straight approaching Hell corner
on New Years Day 1935. After many years of storage P 0595 was bought
dismantled from Peter Swan by Ian George who commenced a detailed
restoration which was completed when ownership passed to Graeme
David Smallacombe collection.
April 1934 the VJCC held a day of grass track racing at Nar Nar
Goon. The "racing" was quite informal and no places were awarded
because proper racing was banned on the Australian mainland untill
1936 when the first race was held at Benalla. Phillip Island was not
considered part of the mainland. Here Jim Skinner is screaming
around in J2 4211 which was imported by Lanes Motors and sold to
Britannia Motors with seven other J2's, all having Aspinall bodies.
The 'riding mechanic' is Colin Keefer (who owned J2 4212).
Australian owners include: Wally Johnston '51, John Cochran '60's,
Brian McLellan early '70's, Ron Wilson late '70's and now in New
Zealand owned by Geoff Broadhead. This is the same car as GX.571 in
the other photo.
the shade at the pits on the Lobethal circuit Les Murphy listens
carefully to his engine before the Second South Australian Grand
Prix held on the 3rd of January 1938. Les is in his pointed tail
car, bodied by Charlie Aspinall PA 1427 and next to him is Dick
Souters PA with an open-back Aspinall body which was driven by
Arthur Beasley. Murphy achieved 7th place in this 100 mile event
followed by 3rd place in the next race, a 50 mile handicap.