All British Race Meeting - 2009

Written by Adrian Diehm


The 17th annual "All-triumph" race was held at Wakefield Park, Goldburn on Sunday 2nd August. The prime organiser was long-term competitor, Rod Chivas of TSOA NSW, with competitors coming from Qld, Vic, NSW & SA

The event was part of a 2-day All British Race Meeting, so many triumph drivers practiced on the Saturday by entering in the Sprints, mixing in with a wide selection of old and modern cars. Racing on Sunday comprised a qualifying session (to set grid positions), the all-triumph race (17 entrants), and 3 mixed races for sports cars, saloon cars and all-british. The Triumphs racing comprised: GT6, TR6, TR7, TR8, Mk1 sedan, Mk2 sedan, Dolomite Sprint. As usual, there were races within races, as cars with similar performance jockeyed for position. For several events, one of the ultra-fast GT6's led the field, usually with a TR8 in hot pursuit.

Thankfully, the winter weather stayed dry, but even the locals were found huddling under blankets and big jackets once the sun dipped around 3pm on both days. The café did a roaring trade in hot food, whilst many spectators parked on the banks in their cars to avoid the biting wind.

Triumphs distinguished themselves quite well in mixed events, with a Turbocharged Sprint mixing it with ultra-fast modern Nissans and Mitsubishis, whilst the TR8 and GT6's were well ahead of many modern sports cars. The stand-out car of the meeting was probably a Mk2 MG Midget, which repeatedly swept aside a brace of modern and more powerful cars. The all Mini-race produced the only nasty bingle of the week-end, with several cars being extensively damaged in an event just past the starting grid.


There are suggestions the 2010 event may be able to be combined with the TSOA National Meeting.


Brian Falloon was the only competitor from Queensland. Brian's TR5 fared well against the locals on Saturday but unfortunately he broke a rear axle during qualifying on Sunday and was unable to compete in the "Triumph Only" and "All British" races.


Visit to John Shepherd


On the way home from Goulburn a group of us called in on Dr John Shepherd at Bunandoon. John researched and wrote the definitive book on pre-war Triumph cars in Australia, a copy of which is in the TSOA library. Another similar book is in progress.


John bought his first triumph, a 1920's Super 8 from the O'Beirnes in the mid 80's and since then has been in the thick of them, with a Dolly 1850 being his current daily driver and a Vanguard 6 under restoration. For many years, John was the editor & historian for the Pre54 triumph register.


The pride of John's small collection is a 1934 Gloria totally rebuild by himself from several collections of parts. Body parts came from the remnants 5 different cars found in Australia, with large segments totally remade by John. Lots of small parts and that unique spun metal spare wheel cover, were bought back from the UK by the O'Beirnes in their various trips.


This lovely car is the oldest of its type still running. Originally sent to Australia as a rolling chassis, it was bodied by Ruskins of Melbourne in a contemporary style. It is very unusual in that it sports a factory twin carby engine (overhead inlet, side exhaust). Although only rated at 40hp, the car gets along just fine, and even when fully loaded with passengers, it still gets along at near legal speed limit. Hydraulic brakes to all wheels give confidence in stopping in modern traffic.


Johns enthusiasm forn the marque has rubbed off, with his neighbor restoring a 1920's Super 9, and driving a Renown.