Tag Archives: Low

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 !


Comic Discovery – Hudson Suburban Sedan

Back on Independence Day during the Rally organised by the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club I came across this delightful 1935 Hudson, unfortunately I did not get any details about the car from the owner at the time so I have had another carcaeology session to discover more.

Hudson Big Six, Model 53

This Hudson chassis #533370, with blue body work probably marketed as Surban Sedan model, was one of just four vehicles first registered in Dundee, where the strap line reads City of Discovery, on the 7th of May 1935.

Hudson Big Six, Model 35

The Hudson was registered to a Mr R D Low of Westleigh, Number 9 Nevill Street, Downfield, Dundee alongside a Morris Saloon, BSA Motorcycle and a 3 ton Commer Coal merchants truck.

Hudson Big Six, Model 35

Robert Duncan Low is known to have been a journalist to the Dundee City Archive, but as we know journalism can cover a multitude of sins and it would appear that Robert was no gum shoe rather he was employed by DC Thompson & Co in Dundee where he was responsible for launching a number of publications aimed at children including Adventure (1921) The Rover (1922) The Wizzard (1923) The Skipper (1930) and The Hotspur (1933).

Hudson Big Six, Model 35

In 1937 Robert became managing editor at DC Thompson and over saw the launch of The Dandy and the following year the Beano for which with artist Ken Reid he created Roger the Dodger in 1953, when he also oversaw the launch of The Topper. Earlier in his career Robert is also credited with co creating the Scottish vernacular comic strips Oor Wullie and The Broons with illustrator Dudley Dexter Watkins.

Hudson Big Six, Model 35

It is not at present known how long Robert Low kept this Hudson he died in 1980 aged 85. This car is reported to have been ‘knocking around the North West of England in the 1990’s’ before it was offered at auction in 2005 when the body was painted maroon and sold for £1,500. The history of the cars original ownership outlined above appears to have been unknown to the auctioneers at the time when the car was noted to have had 4 previous owners with 92,275 miles shown on the clock and the model name was given as Big Six Saloon, the chassis number indicated the car would have been known as a 53 model at the Hudson factory from whence it was probably sent as a knockdown kit for assembly in Brentford west of London.

Hudson Big Six, Model 35

According to the best source I have available 29,476 cars were shipped and it is thought that number included the knockdown kits.

My thanks to John MacDonald form ‘oldcarandtruckpictures.com‘, Jon B, Terraplane 33, Geoff C NZ, Alex ‘Hudsontech’ Burr, Old Fogey UK and Paul Butler over at Hudson Forum who helped me identify this car and finally to Richard Cullen at the Dundee City Archive who provided the final clue as to the original owners identity.

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