1914 Grand Prix Delage update

AHA member and ABC presenter Jon Faine recently did a segment on the 7:30 Report of great interest to automotive enthusiasts and historians - about the cloning of the engine block of the 1914 Grand Prix Delage here in Victoria. You can view Jon’s segment here

1914 Grand Prix Delarge

1914 Grand Prix Delarge

This marvel of 3D printing was overseen by another AHA member, Phil Guilfoyle, who presented a paper about the project at last year’s AHA conference. It’s terrific viewing and a great companion piece to Phil’s paper, which is also available now at this link.

Ron Tauranac AO Honoured

The patron of Automotive Historians Australia, Ron Tauranac AO, has been inaugurated into the Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame.

In the Hall of Fame's second year, Ron joins last year’s inductee and fellow engineer Phil Irving in the special category reserved for “off track” contributions. While noting that Ron was a very proficient driver in his younger days, it is significant that CAMS has seen fit to include people who designed and engineered such successful racing machinery in the honour roll.

After the weekend event, I spoke with Ron who was typically humble about it all, and conveyed our delight in this very important recognition of his contribution to motorsport. It is certainly fitting that both B and T, Brabham and Tauranac, are recognised by Hall of Fame membership, with Ron regarded as the most successful designer of production racing cars in the history of motorsport.

TL

Australian Ford Archives - An Update

Some 12 months ago it was discovered Ford Australia planned to ship their archives to Detroit. The Ford archives had originally been put together by the late Adrian Ryan, Motoring Journalist, commentator and enthusiast, then working as Ford’s head of Public Affairs.

The archive material expanded once Ford announced closure of manufacturing with all suitable old material located to Broadmeadows. Archivist, Michelle Cook was then told to box the material up for shipment overseas.

Word spread quickly resulting in ex Ford employee, Peter Fry, leading a movement to preserve the Ford Archives in Australia. Wheels magazine ran a story in their September 2016 issue, urging readers to write to the Minister and Ford expressing concern.

See https://www.wheelsmag.com.au/news/1609/ford-faithfuls-fight-to-keep-australian-archive

The AHA also took up the matter with local politicians, receiving support from the Hon Martin Foley MP, who wrote supporting our concern to the Minister responsible, Hon. Mitch Fifield who has now advised that Ford require an export permit as the archive was reregulated under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act.

Fifield’s Dept advised Ford they needed a licence and to date have not applied for one.

The good news is Ford’s archivist has been employed for a further 12 months suggesting perhaps the archive will be rehoused in Australian Institutes, and be available for local research.Some 12 months ago it was discovered Ford Australia planned to ship their archives to Detroit. The Ford archives had originally been put together by the late Adrian Ryan, Motoring Journalist, commentator and enthusiast, then working as Ford’s head of Public Affairs.

 

The archive material expanded once Ford announced closure of manufacturing with all suitable old material located to Broadmeadows. Archivist, Michelle Cook was then told to box the material up for shipment overseas.

Word spread quickly resulting in ex Ford employee, Peter Fry, leading a movement to preserve the Ford Archives in Australia. Wheels magazine ran a story in their September 2016 issue, urging readers to write to the Minister and Ford expressing concern.  See 

The AHA also took up the matter with local politicians, receiving support from the Hon Martin Foley MP, who wrote supporting our concern to the Minister responsible, Hon. Mitch Fifield who has now advised that Ford require an export permit as the archive was reregulated under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act.

Fifield’s Dept advised Ford they needed a licence and to date have not applied for one.

The good news is Ford’s archivist has been employed for a further 12 months suggesting perhaps the archive will be rehoused in Australian Institutes, and be available for local research.

NAD

Historic 1920s motor garage becomes facade for new Arts Hub in Hobart

 University of Tasmania has announced the name for their new performing arts hub – The Hedberg – an acknowledgement that part of the new building’s site was once the Hedberg Brothers 1925 purpose built two storey motor showroom and workshop. Only the façade of the Hedberg Garage will remain at the completion of the arts hub construction

 The Hedbergs were motor engineers in Hobart in the inter-war years. Of their new 1926 premises the Hobart Mercury noted – “HEDBERG'S GARAGE. Messrs. Hedberg Bros. have removed from Brisbane Street….spacious new premises in Lower Collins Street, where general repairs are being effected and sale of the Moon cars made. There is large garage space on the ground floor, at the rear of which is situated the workshop with a showroom in front. The offices are located on the first floor”.

[Motor Notes (1926, January 23). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved January 20, 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29127649

“The former Hedberg Bros. Garage is a relatively rare surviving example of an early commercial garage that retains its ability to demonstrate its use and features. (Pg.4)
…….. The loss of physical fabric with the partial demolition of the former Hedberg Garage does impact upon the significance of the place.
The proposed Academy will however bring with it an opportunity for considerable enhancement of heritage within the precinct.”(Pg. 6)

[Hobart City Council. Supporting Assessment Information. Development and Environmental Services Committee Meeting Monday 20 October 2014.

An interesting discussion of the pros and cons of partial demolition of a heritage building can be found here https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwiO_fv8ms_RAhXEjJQKHa9uDwAQFggZMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hobartcity.com.au%2Ffiles%2F0abbf6b8-ab2a-4b0e-896b-a3c6010fdcd1%2F201014_Supporting_Information_-_Item_632.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEuD-xMfIgSfcPFazmK56tHZ4PFJg&sig2=rT05c7Gn_jtBUM9y0a3ThA&bvm=bv.144224172,d.dGo&cad=rja

Closure of Ford Manufacturing

Tomorrow, Friday 7 Oct 2016, spells the end of Ford car manufacturing in Australia. There have been several news print items with Nick Toscano’s Age Businessday (1 Oct) cover story linked here.

Two books have been released on the subject, both adding to the back story and consequences of closing Australia’s Auto manufacturing industry down.

Ian Porter, What happened to the car industry, Scribe, released in May 2016 takes a global view and Royce Kurmelovs, The Death of Holden, Hachette, released August 2016 investigates Holden’s Elizabeth Plant and the impact on workers as well as Ford in Geelong and Broadmeadows. Both books add to the understanding of the decisions leading to the closures and provide an insight, based on past manufacturing closures, as what to expect the impact on the community will be.

A postcript: Wheels mag. Nov issue carries a comprehensive look at Ford models in Australia 1960-2016 but perhapes more importantly for Automotive historians alerts to the removal of the Ford Archive to Ford US Archive. This has been know for some time however now there is agitation by some high-profile Ford past and present employees to stop the shipment, due to go at the end of the year. Peter Robinson, former Wheels editor, suggests concerned historians and others write to the Minister, Mitch Fifield at minister@communications.gov.ay to voice concern that our automotive heritage is being shipped offshore.