Moto Magazine

Minis at Bathurst 1966

By Gardenamateur
Most of the cars I collect are 1:43 scale, and all the Photoshopped dioramas I have made so far have used 1:43 scale cars, but this time I'm using a tiddler to set up this posting. It's a 1:87 model of the second-placed Mini Cooper S at the 1966 Bathurst race (called the Gallaher 500 that year, after a forgotten and forgettable brand of cigarettes).

Minis at Bathurst 1966

Number 17 was the second-placed car driven by Australians Fred Gibson and Bill Stanley.
The winning car (number 13) was driven by Rauno Altonen and Bob Holden. For my
diorama of them racing across the mountain I have used the "17" from the front car
to create a mythical number 7 Mini, but there was no number 7 Mini in the race, if the truth
be told. This 1:87 model is made by a German company, Bubmobil. I have several
other 1:87 cars made by them, including the three Ford GT40s which came 1-2-3 in
the 1966 Le Mans 24-Hour race, so one of these days I guess I'll do another
1:87 scale Photoshop diorama of a race scene.

1966 was an amazing result for the Mini Cooper S, winning the first NINE places in the race. For my diorama I wanted to capture that memory of seeing Minis in line, just racing each other all day. Here's an old shot from the race itself which tells the same story, even better.

Minis at Bathurst 1966

This shot pinched from Google Images is only captioned with the name of Rauno Altonen, the
race winner and the guy in front. Several Mini Cooper S driving rally aces from Europe came
out for the Bathurst race, inlcuding Rauno Altonen, Timo Makinen and Paddy Hopkirk.


Speaking of Paddy Hopkirk and Timo Makinen, here's a quick little video of them doing some very fancy Mini driving on a skidpan somewhere in New Zealand. Great little cars, super skilful drivers.

FInally, if you have a serious amount of spare time on your hands, here's a link to a 56-minute documentary on the first seven years of the famous Bathurst race, including footage from Phillip Island in 60-63, where the great race originated, and about which I blogged quite recently in this posting on the Peugeot 403. The second half of the video has footage of the 1964-66 Bathurst races, and the roughness, narrowness and dangerousness of the track is just amazing to behold. Here's the linky to that doco.
As the doco says at one stage, the track was so rough and dodgy in places that the bigger, heavier cars tended to break. At Bathurst that was my memory of it, watching it on TV as a young schoolboy. It was often the case that the bigger American Studebakers would lead the race for the first hour, then the retirements would start (but this didn't stop me loving those Studebaker Larks, some of which were used as police pursuit cars here in the 60s). 
But by lunchtime it was all about the Minis circulating at speed, way out in front, almost connected to each other like a quick little freight train.

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