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The Mighty Midgets Often referred to as the purest form of racing these "mighty midgets" are a racing history teasure.



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Old 12-19-2012, 08:17 AM   #41
Chris McGee
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Default Re: Tatterall's Midgets

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmciau View Post
Bob Tattersall was engaged by the late Mr Hugh Reskymer (Kym) Bonython AC, promoter of Rowley Park Speedway, Coglin Street, Brompton, South Australia for the 1958/1959 Season.

Tattersall drove the Ex Goldfinch Ross Goonan V8/60 from New Zealand. (the car had been purchased by Kym Bonython at the completion of the 1957-1958 season from Goldfinch) Tattersall buried the car into the Ambulance Gate Corner (Turn 3). Tattersall was unhurt because he was the first driver in that accident-prone era to use the single point shoulder harness and rollbar. After that accident, Tattersall advocated the steering arm on all midgets should be on the LHS of the vehicle so the steering arm would not foul the RHF tyre under full lock.

Tattersall complained that the car lacked power and was easy to 'boil'. Examination by the mechanic Mr Alexander Herbert Rowe OAM (1913-2010) revealed the car's carburettors only had 'standard power valves' . Rowe installed methanol specific power valves and from then on the car and driver was VERY competitive.

Tattersall was engaged for the whole season for Rowley Park only.

In 1974 I toured the US for the Indy 500 - one of some 200+ Aussies. On our way back from Indianapolis, we were joined by Dee Tattersall (Bob's widow) at Chicago for the trip to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.


Mike McInerney

Here is a picture of Bob from that 1st tour.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:26 PM   #42
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Default Re: Tatterall's Midgets

I'll include 3 images of Tattersall's connection to South Australia on his first and subsequent visits.

Kym Bonython AC 1920 2011 - Promoter of Rowley Park Speedway.
Alexander Herbert Rowe OAM 1913 2010 - Mechanic to Tattersall's V8/60 on first visit.
Bill Wigzell OAM 1930 2012 - Tattersall's competitor from 1958 to end of Tattersall's visits. Wigzell became famous in 1966 and onwards where the Rowe supercharges Peugeot was near unbeatable.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/2169453...in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2169453...in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2169453...in/photostream
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:47 AM   #43
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Default Re: Tatterall's Midgets

Has there been any progress on restoring the Mattoon Motors Offy. Haven't seen anything on it for a while,

GB
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:35 AM   #44
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Default Re: Tatterall's Midgets

Geoff,
It's finished. I did post these somewhere.






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Old 01-12-2013, 07:39 PM   #45
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Default Re: Tatterall's Midgets

The pictures dont do it justice. The black paint is the nicest I've ever seen and the gold leaf really pops.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:57 PM   #46
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Bob: thanks for posting the photos. The car looks fantastic.

regards

GB
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:57 PM   #47
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Default Re: Tatterall's Midgets

Hey, I have bee to Mattoon.



Thanks, Dave Russell
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:47 PM   #48
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Default Re: Tatterall's Midgets

Bob Tattersall

The Austin A40 Engine myth (taken advisedly)

This may be Urban Myth or Urban Legend so it is all ‘alleged’!!!
But gee, it’s a great yarn (story)


As we all know, Bob Tattersall was a frequent visiting USA Speedcar Driver to Australia and New Zealand.

On one of his very early 1960s visits to Australia, he brought with him one of the many Offenhauser powered Speedcars and associated Spares including an Offenhauser engine complete with Magneto and Fuel Injection.

When a car and associated equipment is imported from overseas for use by that person while here in Australia, Australian Customs in that era treated that car and equipment as under “Bond”.

In other words, what came into Australia at the commencement of the working visit MUST go out of Australia at the completion of the working visit OR a very heavy Import Duty was imposed.

It is ‘alleged’ that Australian drivers persuaded Bob Tattersall to sell the spare Offenhauser engine to an Australian car owner. The exchange took place.

At the time of Bob’s impending departure, Australian Customs in Sydney got wind that a significant piece of equipment had escaped ‘Bond” and Customs set off to find the missing piece namely an Offenhauser engine..

It is understood that many a speedcar owners’ places was visited by Customs officers looking for the missing engine.

The word soon got out amongst the owners and one bright individual found a wrecked Austin A40 long motor with carburettor and distributor, hastily cleaned it up and painted the complete wrecked engine with shiny aluminium paint. Appropriate engine numbers were added.

It was conveniently ‘found’ by the Customs Officers and appropriately accounted for in Bond Records.

Customs officers wouldn’t have a clue what a DOHC, Joe Hunt Magneto and Hilborn Injection with Air Intake Tubes looked like!!!!


Mike
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:10 PM   #49
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Default Re: Tatterall's Midgets

Urban Myth – the facts

Entertaining story! Like most stories that get repeated over and over for 50 years the details get changed.

It was not Bob! Bob had a lot of integrity and would not jeopardize his relationship with John Sherwood or Kym Bonython who would typically guarantee the Bond. Bob would not of been invited back so many consecutive years had he been a party to this. The Manifest usually included the car, spare engine (or parts), and so many wheels and tires, which would we accounted for in detail. Even the worn out tires and broken engine parts had to be sent back.

A couple of the other US tourists did some desperate things with Customs.

Customs visited most of the Offy owners in the late 60’s and were satisfied with the answers.

That’s all I’ve got. What happened in King’s Cross stays in King’s Cross!
Chris McGee
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:51 PM   #50
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Default Re: Tatterall's Midgets

Fair enough. Your comments reinforce my views of Tattersall's integrity.

I can certainly vouch for Bob Tattersall (in 1959/1960) bringing into Australia an Iskenderian Flat Tappet Camshaft for Bill Wigzell's V8/60. It made a huge difference to the performance of that engine. (Bill had scaped together all the spare money he had so Tatts could get the cam for him.)

I was present in Bill's Garage when the individual flat tappet relief was cut into the block and the camshaft was fitted.

The V8/60 was in the 'old' Brabham-built Kym Bonython Twin which originally had the "For whom the Bull Toils" decal on the bonnet.

Mike
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