NZ built Sports racing cars. SCANZ etc.

Russ Noble

Silver Supporter
#1
A discussion was starting to open up in my build thread so I thought I'd give it a life of its own here. May only be of interest to some Kiwis and may die a natural death but this will start the ball rolling.

Hey!! those were the days. That was a time when you could really get great sports car racing with the old SCANZ class. I remember a car called a "Rubarb" now my memory is pretty dodgy but I think it was the Odlins Timber sponsered car and was running a turbo Lotus Twin Cam 1500 and also there was a car that I think was run at one point by Dennis Marwood that was powered by a 2litre slant Vauxhall SOHC, it had a very nice body on it that rose over the roll bar and ran out into the rear spoiler unfortunaly I don't have any pictures only the mental ones that never fade.
If you have more of that old sports car stuff feel free to post it or just send it to me so I can get some more Ideas.
Keep it coming mate. Leonmac
Yeah, Colin Smith built a series of Rhubarbs, about four or five I think. My fading memory recollects that they were alloy monos. The first one had a one piece body that lifted on and off. This had the Bedford/Vauxhall power plant. Maybe the one Dennis Marwood had. Not sure about the others.

Unfortunately I don't have many pictures. In those days my main focus was on getting results rather than recording everything for posterity. That is why the majority of photos of my old Noble Ford 1600 that I posted here, http://www.gt40s.com/forum/gt40-build-logs/16138-kiwi-scratchbuilt-12.html#post272937 , were from newspaper cuttings etc that people had kept over the years and a few photos that friends/rellies had taken at the track.

Odlins sponsorship was carried by Tom Donovan, a larger than life party animal. A really great guy, most remembered for his turbo Ford 1430 Twin Cam powered Austin Healey Sprite. Not much Sprite left in it though! He may have run one of the Rhubarbs after that with this engine, I'm not sure. The SCANZ championship was a 2 litre class. The turbo multiplier was 1.4 in those days hence the slightly under 1430 engine.

SCANZ was essentially a class for Kiwis who wanted to build their own. It was introduced when MANZ killed off the big banger sports cars in favour of F5000. The rationale at the time being the country was too small to do justice to two non-saloon V8 racing classes.

Rules were simple and easily policed. 2 litres, 2 valves, 2 seats, minimum cockpit dimensions, and had to comply with the scrutineering safety schedule. That's it, no other restrictions!

The first season was pretty competitive and the majority of top runners sold their cars for good money at the end of the season. For one reason or another the cars/drivers the following year did not seem to have the pace, in fact many of the lap records that I set stood for another two or three years. I think most of these eventually fell to the new Rhubarb cars.

Bruce Turnbull who now produces world class Saker cars was also a competitor in this class which probably proves it's worth.

Hopefully someone has some pics and more info for Leonmac, as I was right away from the scene for the next half dozen years, setting up a business, getting married, having kids.... before getting back into it in a Formula Ford in the early eighties. But I digress.....
 

John

New Member
#2
Hi Russ and Leon, as Russ is aware i still run in the sports car series that was SCANZ. the Rhubarb did indeed have a few different models , this one is still owned by Robby Hulme one of the old Scanz stalwarts who also still runs but now races a Nemisis, from memory this one is No 4 i will double check when i next talk to him. unfortunatly although he still has it , its in bits stored in the attic of his workshop

the link to current Scanz website www.sportscarracing.co.nz

cheers Kaspa
 

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#3
Hi Russ/John..... I started my dream of building a M20 throught the want of racing a car in the old SCANZ now Known as NZSC (NZ Sportscar Championship) it started with finding they had a class (Super Sport) that seemed to embrace the old Can-Am type thinking, NO restrictions on Just about anything, The other thing that happened was I also wanted to build somthing that had some value and History.

I contacted the organizers and got a pretty positive feel that these guys were keen on keeping the sportscar history this country has going, although they made it clear that the 2ltr class was the Premiere class to run in.

I don't have any Photos from the racing I followed in those early years, My dad Lived in MT Maunganui and my first taste of racing was the NewYears meeting at Bay Park in 1968 I was 10 and that was it for me, I was hooked. I went to every Bay Park and Pukekohe Meeting when the F5000s were runing and I saw Chris Amon Driving the Ferrari at Bay Park I think that might have been 68/69.

I only have Photos of my Rally days in the mid 80s early 90s when I was running a 2.3ltr Chevette. But if you guys would like to make this thread a bit of a history of NZ Motor sport I think it will live a bit longer and Leon and Jac Mac may have some interesting old stuff that they could post.

I don't want to Hi Jack your thread Russ so its your call. John, I'd like to see some pics of the car you are running and anything you may have from NZSC meetings.

Cheers Leonmac
 
#4
Guys One of the interesting things is that some of the people who started all this HOME BUILT stuff Bruce Mclaren, Hec Green Graeme Mcrae and the Stanton bros would probaly turn in their grave when we get the fuss today from the historical brigade. There are plenty of people of mature years who would like to build replica`s or copies of a wide range of cars in particular this resurgence of Formula Junior who just can not be bothered because you are not allowed to run with the real stuff. Personal from hard experiance its disapointing to not be able to participate and the sport is all the worse off. It all very well being told to run your own class/race or go out with the full blown jap road racers, but some of us just want to participate.
Man of those formula junior cars are not expensive items to build so there is a lot of oppourtunity lost for the public. Crikey they will not even let me run in the Classic reliability trial...are they afraid I may break down! One of my targets when I build the Mclaren replica was the Mclaren revival....my car is not allowed any where near.
Still I must not grizzle.
Cheers
 

Jac Mac

Active Member
#5
Russell, bring your car to the SFOS, not so much of that B.S. going on. My thoughts as with I think most of you guys is these cars WILL eventually have to be accepted as the street value of the genuine items gets raised to such levels that nobody is willing to risk loseing them. Recently had a visit from one of your fellow AKL people who had been a past owner of the Begg Daimler. He was horrified at my suggestion that he replicate the damn thing. When I pointed out that I would do so in its initial Chev powered form rather than the Daimler version he couldnt see the point, but to me living down here where the car was built that first version stuck in my mind with its eight stack exhaust more than the Daimler ever did. The same formatt applies to many cars, both here in NZ & overseas, to build & race replicas of all the variations rather than declaring because the original is currently racing that you cannot have a clone in the form of one of the other versions as well.
 

Russ Noble

Silver Supporter
#6
Leon,

I'm not really worried whether this thread lives or dies but I know there are a lot of guys on this forum from all round the world that have a lot of previous race/rally anecdotes and adventures that are not GT40 related. It would be nice to have a thread dedicated to that, where guys could post their exploits and anecdotes. Once someone made a start, I think it would snowball fairly rapidly. I guess guys are reluctant to post at present because it might be seen as selfserving (or provide a basis for prosecution eh Jac Mac LOL) The Paddock could be a good place to start maybe...? However the "etc" in the thread title was deliberately put there not to stifle the discussion to only 2 litre sports racers

Russell,

Yeah, that's the Kiwi way. We have always built it ourselves because what we want is unaffordable/unavailable or we think we can do it better. Or a combination of all of those, and all the guys you mentioned DID do it BETTER than anyone else in the world at the time! But they were innovative and at the cutting edge of the technology of the day.

That do it yourself Kiwi spirit still lives on as people enjoy the nostalgia of creating their homegrown versions of cars that they regarded as iconic in their day, much to the chagrin of some of the purists. But particularly in NZ that is the way we have always done it.

Jac Mac,

I see the Begg Daimler was for sale a few months ago for $120k. Was it sold? Was the guy you were talking to the one who had it advertised? Its performance struck me as singularly unimpressive when he was running it down here at SFOS. Not something I would want to pay that sort of money for......and I am probably more of a Begg fan than many, but $120k...???!!!!

Anyway, back to the subject of this thread. I dropped into a mates place today who pitcrewed for me in that 1973/74 season and we got talking as you do and he lent me a couple of photos he had of the grid at Levels (Timaru) three years later. The fields were already getting pretty thin despite the influx of the new Rhubarbs and a T212. Many of the fast cars that competed that first 73/4 season were no longer entered and most of the midfield runners seem to have stayed home as well. However this was just after the first 'oil shock' and economic times were changing.

On pole, Car #1 Rhubarb 1430 Ford Twin Cam turbo, Tom Donovan
Grid #2, Car #16 Rhubarb 2000 SOHC Vauxhall, Charlie Bensemann
Grid#3, Car #13 Lola T212 Ford Twin Cam, John McLellan
Grid#4, Car #5 Noble Ford 2000 SOHC, John Mac Donald

You will notice that John MacDonald has repowered my old car. One of the reasons I decided to sell my car after that first season was that things were so competitive I figured we would need a lot more horsepower for 74/75. The 1600 Twin Cam was likely to be upstaged by the 2 litre SOHC Ford and Vauxhall offerings that were coming on stream and the Twin Cam Ford head was likely to be too restrictive to simply enlarge the motor.

If I made the wrong decision about the motor then we could have been instantly uncompetitive, so I felt it was better to bow out and acccept the rather handsome price that had been offered for the car. As mentioned in the first post, all the top cars changed hands and lap times suffered, and the expected new cars generally didn't appear or didn't perform. So, ironically, if I'd kept the car and campaigned it as it was the following season we would have cleaned up easily.... What ifs...!!
 

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#7
Russ, that #16 is the car I rememberd with the Vauxhall in it, I remeber thinking at the time how nice the body was the way it ran over the roll bar and the Odlins car as well. Great days !!! What has happened to all those cars ?? I'm guessing most of them just end up in other cars or the scrap heap, No one really thought that old racing cars no matter how good or bad they were would be worth so much 30yrs on.
 

Jac Mac

Active Member
#8
Russ, With regard to the Begg.Daimler, no he was one of the earlier owners who had sold it for much less.... would like to have it back / slightly miffed at its possible value now ( no doubt based on what he sold it for:) ) but no doubt would be only too happy to increase its value further.
 

John

New Member
#9
Leon, i ran a Fraser clubman which i recently sold but will still run in the series albeit in a much uprated guise, now has just on 300hp and should fly, if you look closly at the race front i made for her you might see it has a distinct resemblance to Rhubarbs nose as thats what i built it off,

link to full build site Pictures by Monty155 - Photobucket

there are some interesting cars running this season so should be interesting, but as usual there is still anomosity amongst the ranks as to some of the super sport cars that want to run,
the series website has all the latest info www.sportscarracing.co.nz
cheers John
 

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John

New Member
#10
Rus mate a question for you, just had a look at the pics of the old Noble ford and i see Franks car , now question , was that the one with the ford v6 in it, a i aquired a car off him early71 and i can remember something like that in the shed powerd with a V6, also maybe you can help identify the rocket i got from Frank, space frame tube chassis crossed ford 10 beam axle front suspensin ford diff, i put a Mk1 Consul motor in it, wasnt a bad ole bus, sold to a hot rodder out puke way1n 72 and never saw or heard of it again.
cheers John
 

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#11
Hi John, that is a sweet little frazer you had, are you still competeing or do you not have a car at the moment. If you still have the front it could be a good start to another mid engine project (a replica Rubarb maybe) at least you wouldn't get threatened with law suits.

Makes you wonder what happened to the body of your old car?? it looks to have had quite nice lines and could be made into a nice little restoration project but I imagine it has met with a far worse fate, as I said before, no one thought of the value of even a little car like that. I see an Old Mallock for sale on the club web site for 32k and I bet it will sell and just keep appreciating in yrs to come. Keep the pics coming its great. Leonmac
 

John

New Member
#12
Leon,thanks , yeh shes pretty sweet now, i spent the last 2 years upgrading it for current owner, and some of the figures are mind blowing. 2.8 sec 0-60 and would you beleive 2.1gs on slicks through turn 9 at taupo, i nearly crapped when i read the download, i'm way to old for that nonsense,
no i dont think ill get out there this season, i was building the Porsche replica LMP car but had to sell that on as things got tight, and wound up in partnership with Robby with an old Sylva Stryka chassis that i started to upgrade and then got made redundant in feb and have been semi retired ever since. so its probaly fair to say my racing days are over unless i win lotto, but thats the way it goes.
cheers John
 
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#13
Talking of old cars, one of our club members has had restored a Vauxhall 2.3 ltr special built 30 odd years ago, in fact the origional builder was at Puke on Sunday with the mk2 version for his son. I dont seem to have any body work pics but the restoration has been well done. This was in a very bad way when found and now has a new life.
Cheers
 

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Russ Noble

Silver Supporter
#14
Rus mate a question for you, just had a look at the pics of the old Noble ford and i see Franks car , now question , was that the one with the ford v6 in it, a i aquired a car off him early71 and i can remember something like that in the shed powerd with a V6, also maybe you can help identify the rocket i got from Frank, space frame tube chassis crossed ford 10 beam axle front suspensin ford diff, i put a Mk1 Consul motor in it, wasnt a bad ole bus, sold to a hot rodder out puke way1n 72 and never saw or heard of it again.
cheers John
Franks car was a Twin Cam. At the time Spear Racing was building big Twin Cams. Bored and stroked I think. Franks car may have been approaching 2 litres which was pretty big for a Twin Cam in those days. Definitely not a V6. However in 1971 he may have built the car with a V6, only to have to change plans and engine when the 2 litre limit was announced for 1973/74, possibly.

No idea about the other car you have pictured.
 
#15
Russell, Is that guy going to run that car in the super sport class or has he just built it for track days and club sprints etc. I have a real soft spot for those Vauxhall engines, they can produce good HP and you don't have to spend a fortune to get a "Run all Day Long" 200hp/8000rpm motor, I know its nothing to what the Jap pocket rockets can do but you have to remember that Motor first came out in the 67 HB Viva GT as a 2ltr and was stroked/bored to 2.3 for the Bedford Van a while later. The other thing is the 907 Lotus head bolts straight to it and was what the first HS Chevettes had and Later For the HSR they built their own heads. Those engines produced 295hp in rally spec and actually had more power than the BDA at the time. In case you haven't guessed, I'm a bit of a Chevette nut as well although I tend to keep that Quiet. Keep it coming guys, this is a great thread.

Russ , Pre 73/74 was the Scanz class open engine size and they limited it so it wasn't competeing with the saloon and formula 5000s for popularity??
 
#16
Russ/John, Sorry, but I have a question, and John you may be better placed as you have run in the NZSC lately. I was under the belief that under the rules the cars had to be 2 seaters and have a minimum cockpit size, but if you look at that car above the fuel cell clearly ocupies that space and there is a car I have sean on the club web site that is a giant wing thing and the engine is on one side and the driver on the other, there is NO WAY that cockpit can cater for a second person, so is this rule not really enforced in the new class. Cheers leonmac
 

John

New Member
#17
Leon, mate that one of the big issues, some people have built cars like the TerraFX you described that dont comply and want to have the rules changed to suit them. the main ruling is driver must be seated on one side or the other and basicly must be space for another seat, but unless you find a passenger thats a 2ft tall contortionist he'll never get into 90% of the cars, the two seat rule is to eliminate converted single seaters etc, if you read the rules, supersport class is basicly by invation only with entry at discetion of series commitee.
but as always with classes like this you can please some of the people some of the time but cant please everyone all of the time.
cheers John
 

Ross Nicol

Gold Supporter
#18
I have an engine going back together for the RF40 to do a speed comparison
at the Sandown Historic meeting 7th of November. Roaring Forties are helping me to achieve this and it is good I can repay them for helping me with Team 40 to NZ. Yesterday I thought bugger it why don't I put in an entry to run the RF40 at this meeting and see what the organisers (VHRR) do with it. I'll let you all know the result when it happens.
Even if they reject my entry it'll be a good shit stir, I know Russ will enjoy that.

Ross:thumbsup:
 

Russ Noble

Silver Supporter
#20
Russ , Pre 73/74 was the Scanz class open engine size and they limited it so it wasn't competeing with the saloon and formula 5000s for popularity??
Yes, mainly they were trying to get the guys with the big sportscars into F5000. But they killed off some spectacular racing for little benefit. As far as I can recall Gary Pedersen was the only big banger sportscar guy to 'upgrade' to F5000, running the Begg FM4 in '73 and a McLaren M18 in '74.

Prior to this Gary in his self built McLaren inspired Gemco Traco Olds V8 and Graeme Harvey in the Ozzie built Elfin V8 put on some fantastic racing as they fought out the championship. Other cars that appeared in this class up until then included a T70, the McBegg, Tyrrell Turtill's Continental Special, the Begg Olds, the Stanton Corvette, Jamie Aislabie's SID Mk1. Andy Buchanan ran a Ferrari (275LM I think), there was the Rorstan, in earlier days the Lycoming Special, a Tojiero Jag They are the main ones of note that I can think of, off the top of my head, I'm sure there were others...There was also the car Brent Hawes was killed in at Ruapuna, I don't remember what that was now. My memory has gone distinctly hazy. Too long ago.....There was always a gaggle of mainly homebuilt Lotus7 and U2 type cars, plus a few rear engined ones, Lotus 23B, one of the last of the front engined Lolas, some were very quick, plus the odd other 'different' offering to keep things interesting.......
 
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