Tag Archives: Norton

Jack’s 500 – Waye JAP

Based in Adelaide, Australia Jack Waye built today’s featured Waye 500 in 1953 and painted it red.

Waye 500, Doug Yates, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Featuring a pair of conventional if no longer on trend transverse leaf springs front and rear the Waye was orignally powered by a JAP speedway engine fitted with a Norton gearbox.

Waye 500, Doug Yates, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Jack sold the Waye 500 to Kevin Fuss in 1955 and in the ’56 / ’57 off season Kevin swapped the JAP motor for a Manx Norton, and made sprockets with different ratio’s for hillclimbing and circuit racing.

Waye 500, Doug Yates, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

While Kevin mostly drove the car while it was in his ownership, until 1966, on one occasion Bernie O’Hare was credited with recording a top speed of 98mph at the wheel of the Waye 500 at Collingwood.

Waye 500, Doug Yates, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

John Vinall became the third owner of the Waye 500 but only raced it until the end of 1967 when he discovered cracks in the flywheel.

Waye 500, Doug Yates, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

John and his fiancee were killed in a road accident four years later and it was not until 1993 Waye 500 ran again after his brother David had the engine overhauled.

Waye 500, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The overhauled engine did not run well after it’s second practice run and the car was put back into storage until it was bought by David and Andrew Halliday in Sydney, Australia.

When they removed the Manx Norton to fit it into a Cooper they discovered that the timing had slipped which is what had caused the engine to malfunction in 1993.

In 2011 Andrew Halliday advertised the Waye now fitted with a JAP engine again and it was bought by Doug Yates, who is seen at the wheel in these photographs at Castle Combe.

My thanks to members of The Nostalgia Forum who contributed to the Motorbike powered race cars 1950 to 1980 thread, particularly Greg Mackie and John Medley and to one lung who contributed to the Personal photos of Australian motor racing ’50s to ’70s thread all of which helped lead to discovering that J Waye was the most likely candidate to have built the Waye 500.

I’d also like to thank John Bolly Blog Low for helping me establish that J stood for Jack and finally previous owner Andrew Halliday for :-

a) advertising the Waye for sale on Loose Fillings PDF in 2011


b) sharing details about the Waye 500 with editor Graham Howard, producer Terry Wright and publisher Garry Simkin who ran a small article, on which most of today’s blog is based on, in the 2nd edition of Loose Fillings published in Winter 1999.

Thanks for joining me on this “Jack’s 500” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Leyland Concept car with a square wheel. Don’t forget to come back now !


Aeronautical Heritage – Mackson 500 F3

The Mackson 500 F3 came about through a short lived collaboration that started in 1951 between constructor “Mac” McGee and aeronautical engineer Gordon Bedson who’s curriculum vitae included working for Vickers Armstrong on the ultra modern Valiant jet bomber.

The Mackson was built in Guildford Surrey with a tubular frame, independent front wishbone suspension and swing axle rear and fitted with the latest Dunlop alloy wheels.

Mackson 500 F3, Gordon Russell, Castle Combe,

A Norton double knocker engine was specified, although an example has also been fitted with a JAP engine in the United States, the Norton gearbox transmitted power to the rear wheels through chain drive and the solid rear axle.

The 18 gauge aluminium body is noticeably lower than it’s contemporaries like the Kieft CK52 and Cooper Mk VI.

Mackson 500 F3, Gordon Russell, Castle Combe,

Designer Gordon tested the original Mackson, but Arthur Gill ran two cars for himself and Alan Scoble while a third car was bought and raced by Peter Braid, with no wins during the 1952 season Gordon Bedson left the team to become a director at Kieft.

No more Mackson’s were built, but they continued to be raced, one being converted into first the Saxon Formula 3 car which was upgraded to Formula Junior spec, Gordon Russell is seen at the wheel of today’s example at Castle Combe.

Thanks for joining me on this “Aeronautical Experience” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at another Mini variation that never made it into production. Don’t forget to come back now !


Speedway To 500 F3 – JBS Norton Mk 1 #RAC/002/51/AC

In 1950 Alf Bottoms switched from being a two wheel Speedway star at Wembley to a racing driver with James Bottoms & Sons being responsible for modifying the 1947 Cowlan 500 Formula Three car, originally built by R.L. Coward and Geoff Lang, with help from Chris and Noel Shorrock into the first JBS.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Silverstone,

Alf and brother shared the driving duties with Alf being the more successful scoring several out right wins as did Miss Elisabeth Store who drove the JBS to victory in the ladies race in October.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Oulton Park,

For 1951 JBS not only updated it’s design to incorporate double wishbone front suspension and adonised aluminium body, but also put the design into production building somewhere between 13 and 20 cars.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

During the season JBS drivers included Alf, Ron “Curly” Dryden, Les Leston, Don Parker, Winco Frank Aikens, Dick Richards, Ron Frost, Jack Westcott, Ken McAlpine, Peter Collins, John Habin, Allan Moore, John Coombs and André Loens.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

Despite the deaths of Alf, in an accident at the Luxembourg Grand Prix, and Ron “Curly” Dryden in an accident at Castle Combe JBS scored 120 podiums during the year with Peter Collins and Don Parker finishing 3rd and 4th in the 1951 British F3 Championship behind Cooper drivers Eric Brandon and Alan Brown.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

Chassis #RAC/002/51/AC is seen in these photographs with Richard Utley at the wheel, Silverstone top, Oulton Park second and Castle Combe the remainder, Richard who raced a Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica, Tojeiro 1100 and Lotus XI between 1955 and 1962 also worked with John Tojeiro on the 1100 and later Bob Hicks on the MK1 Caravelle Formula Junior car.

Since returning to historic racing in 1987 Richard has also co founded C&R Engines with Charlie Banyard Smith to re-manufacture long stroke Manx engines of the type that powers his JBS.

Thanks for joining me on this “Speedway To 500 F3” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Wetherby Record In Perpetuity – GN Wasp

Jack Moor’s original Wasp was a motorcycle combination with a yellow and black stripped petrol tank and cigar shaped sidecar.

In 1923 he bought a 2 seat GN Vitesse which fellow comeptitor Basil Davenport advised be converted to a single seater, while carrying out the conversion Jack shortened the chassis by a foot.

GN Wasp, Winston Teague, Chateau Impney,

Later, to avoid perpetually finishing second to Basil in the 1.5 litre / 91 cui class, Jack enlarged his engine to 1510 cc / 92 cui so that he could compete in the up 122 cui class, which was not so keenly contested.

In 1931 the Vitesse based Wasp was wrecked against a telegraph pole after coming adrift of the towbar on the to Shelsley Walsh and Jack built a new vehicle based on a GN Akela.

GN Wasp, Winston Teague, Loton Park

After winning the 1.1 litre / 67 cui class at Shelsley Jack replaced the 4 valve cylinder heads with a pair of Norton motorcycle cylinder heads which involved building a new crankcase using pattern borrowed from Basil.

With the Norton heads fitted Jack set a new record at the Wetherby Speed Trials which will remain in perpetuity since the venue is now defunct.

GN Wasp, Winston Teague, Loton Park

After the 1939 – 45 hostilities Jack reassembled Wasp in just 33 days so that he could compete at Shelsley in 1946, but Jacks event ended with an impressive fire.

He rebuilt Wasp yet again with a box section chassis Morgan independent front suspension and Rudge motorcycle wheels.

GN Wasp, Winston Teague, Chateau Impney,

In August 1948 the engine blew up after a drive chain broke but once again the car, seen as the fore runner of G.N.A.T. which I looked at last week and Spider which I shall be looking at next week, was repaired.

Winston Teague is the current custodian of Wasp, seen in these photographs with him at the wheel at Chateau Impney and Loton Park, and he drives it no less enthusiastically than did Jack Moor, setting a record that still stands at Prescott in 2011.

My thanks to Tim Murray for lending me his copy of the 1971 edition of Special by John Bolster.

Thanks for joining me on this “Wetherby Record In Perpetuity” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow, when I’ll be looking at another ERA. Don’t forget to come back now !


Brynfan Tyddyn Winner – Kieft CK52

After a brief and unsuccessful attempt at hillclimbing in a Marwyn 500 Swansea born Cyril Kieft ended up buying the Marwyn company when it folded.

8 or 9 Kieft Mk 1’s incorporating Marwyn parts and ideas were manufactured for the 1950 season with the works teams greatest achievement being the capture of 13 records in the 350cc and 500 cc class at Monterey using Norton Engines and with Stirling Moss, Ken Gregory (Moss’ manager) and Jack Neill doing the driving.

Stirling and Ken had plans to build their own 500 Formula 3 car to beat the predominant Coopers for 1951, but were short of finance.

Kieft CK52, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

When they approached Cyril with the idea of employing Ray Martin to design and build a car to Stirling’s specifications Cyril agreed and with Stirling aged just 21 and Ken as co directors Kieft Car Construction Ltd, a new entity, was founded in Wolverhampton.

The CK51 with a Norton engine was an immediate success with Moss scoring a debut win, 27 seconds ahead of Alan Brown’s Cooper Mk V at Goodwood in May 1951, unfortunately Stirling’s growing list of commitments elsewhere meant the main beneficiary of the new Kieft would be Don Parker.

After testing Stirling’s prototype Kieft Don bought a Kieft CK51 and incorporated many of his own idea’s into it. With his personalised Kieft Don won the 1952 Autosport Formula 3 Championship, Light Car Challenge and Veterans Trophy and the national title again in 1953 missing out on a hatrick by just one point to Les Leston in 1954.

Kieft CK52, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Ironically while Don Parker was clocking up 30 wins during the 1953 season Stirling concluded that the Cooper Mark IV was a better bet than the Kieft CK52, like the one seen in these photographs, and he resigned as director of Kieft as a result.

This particular car was sold to Dick Irish of Cleveland Ohio who raced it to numerous victories the most notable of which was the Brynfan Tyddyn Challenge Cup run over a road course north of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Kieft moved on to building Formula 2 cars in 1953 and aborted Formula One project intended for the 1954 season.

Kieft CK52, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Don Parker kept faith with Kieft until 1956 when he too inevitably bought a Cooper.

Today’s featured car returned to the UK in 2005 and after it was restored was raced by Nigel Ashman who drove it to the 500cc Owners Association Club Championship title in 2010.

Thanks for joining me on this “Brynfan Tyddyn Winner” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Not A de Havilland – Comet JAP

In 1950 Brian Heyward bought the Rudge powered Aikens 500 Formula 3 car from Wing Commander Frank Aikens, Brian only had the opportunity to drive it twice before he was called up to serve His Majesty King George V in the Royal Air Force for two years in Germany.

During his national service Brian’s father Charles bought a Cooper Mark IV which he already found was far too overweight to be competitive.

Comet, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Upon completion of his National Service Brian and Charles used parts of the Cooper Mk 4 and some, lighter, cast magnesium components off a Cooper Mk VI to build the Cooper Heyward Special more commonly known as the C.H.S..

Brian raced the C.H.S. from 1953 to 1957 and is known to have finished 5th at the wheel of the car in a final at Brands Hatch in December 1954.

Comet, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Brian found employment at de Havilland alongside future Lotus designer Maurice Philipe, future Lotus driver Alan Stacey, the Costin brothers Frank and future Cosworth partner Mike, and Brian Hart who would also make an enviable name for himself in the field of race engine production.

Soon after in 1953 Brian and Charles began construction of their second car, today’s featured Comet, named after the the jet powered de Havilland airliner.

Comet, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

With machining help from fellow 500 F3 racer Don Parker in it’s original form the Comet featured Kieft castings and wishbone suspension at the front, with swing axles and bungee cord springs on the rear.

The Comet was developed up until 1958; receiving a Norton engine in 1955, glass fiber body in 1956 and at some point a rear transverse spring, as had been employed by Cooper since 1946, replaced the bungee cords at the back.

Comet, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Construction of a Comet II was started, but never completed, both Comet’s were sold on in 1964 to Brixham Lifeboat Coxwain Arthur Curnow who entered the Comet for Ivor Churchill to race.

Since then the Comet, seen in these photographs at Race Retro, has been restored twice; by Sandy Skinner who fitted the JAP engine along with a new aluminium body in the early 1980’s and by Neil Hodges for Peter Becker in 2003, today the Comet belongs to and is run by James Gray.

Thanks for joining me on this “Not A de Havilland” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the first of this month’s series of cars that ran in the Indianapolis 500. Don’t forget to come back now !


Wider & Longer Cockpit – Flash Special

In 1957 while Jack Brabham was building the Cooper T43 for an almost complete season of Formula One the Cooper Car Company was still predominantly dependent on selling open wheelers for the “500” Formula 3 class, their 1957 500 F3 model was known as the Mk XI even though it was little changed from the 1956 Mk X and 1955 Mk IX models that preceded it.

West London launderette and dry cleaning operator Albert Zains had been racing Cooper 500 Formula 3 cars since 1954, for some long forgotten reason he ordered his 1957 Cooper XI to be built with a cockpit 2 inches wider and 2 inches longer than standard.

Flash Special, Roy Wright, Oulton Park

Albert’s own size is not thought to have played any part in the decision, he christened his Norton powered car the Flash Special.

Of the cars known results up to 1960 when Albert appears to have retired from racing were 5 third place finishes all recorded in 1958, two of which were scored by Albert, two with Ian Raby at the wheel and one with Syd Jensen.

Flash Special, Roy Wright, Oulton Park

Albert appears to have been part owner and one time racer of a Lotus Eleven chassis #168 which post Albert’s involvement in 1958 became known as the “Singapore Eleven” with fellow 500 F3 exponent Gordon Jones.

The Flash Special was fitted with a Triumph motor in 1970 and is seen in these photo’s with current owner Roy Wright at the wheel at last years Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting.

Flash Special, Roy Wright, Oulton Park

Thanks for joining me on this “Wider & Longer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another ERA. Don’t forget to come back now !