Don Wright's Citroen
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  1. #1
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Don Wright's Citroen

    I am about to do a story about Don Wright's Citroen, which he raced during the fifties and which went on to race all over NSW (and even in Victoria) right into the seventies.

    Any information would be gratefully received. Even if it's a snippet about something that happened one day, about parts in the car, anything...

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  2. #2
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Ray,
    Keep us up to speed on this one, I've not heard of Don Wright but I'll ask around, I know there was talk of a guy that that used to race at the speedway Bris exhibition grounds in an ID or D in the sixties?

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  3. #3
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GreenBlood:
    <STRONG>Ray,
    I know there was talk of a guy that that used to race at the speedway Bris exhibition grounds in an ID or D in the sixties?

    Cheers
    Chris</STRONG>
    The guy you are referring to at the Exhibition speedway was Keith (Count) Blikarski who saw an opportunity one year when the State Titles were coming up and several cars were immobile, drivers injured etc. At the time Blika was "hot rod" champion in a strange looking thing with a T-bird motor and built like a speedcar with a lid on. This car I believe could have been the forerunner to todays sprint cars due to its then radical design.
    Blika went to see Tom (Ward?) at Pioneer Bus Service at North Ipswich, who was his mechanic as well as mechanic for Barrie Watt the 5 times State champ and with a few bits and pieces of Watts car lying around plus a few they had between them, made up a car using the mechanicals out of a Peugeot 203. I understand this even included sawing off the axles, used the diff, shortened the tailshaft, left the gearbox intact etc. and turned up at the Ekka with the car painted in primer and a rough number hand painted on the tail. The roar from the crowd when it appeared for the heats said it all; everyone thought it was a novelty act, but Blika made it to the finals which were a rough run affair and through a combination of reliability, driving skill and a lot of good luck, went on to win the title at its first and only appearance. To my knowledge the car was never seen or heard of again and from memory sat under a sheet of corrugated iron at the side of Pioneer Buses workshop in Downs Street North Ipswich. Who knows, it might still be there


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  4. #4
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Alan,
    I think your right, my memory is starting to deceive me, I know that at the time I heard about the Count I was driving 203's and IDs so I've made the association with Cits ahh well when Ray finishes with Don Wright he can start on Keith Blikarski

    you've got a quite bit of knowledge tucked away up there Alan

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  5. #5
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GreenBlood:

    you've got a quite bit of knowledge tucked away up there Alan

    Cheers
    Chris[/QB]
    If you looked at the records of CAMS back from those days you'd understand why



    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  6. #6
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Alan S:
    <STRONG>

    If you looked at the records of CAMS back from those days you'd understand why



    Alan S </STRONG>
    Tell me more....

    Don Wright's Citroen was a front wheel drive racing car, I thought this would have been well known... will post a pic when I can...

  7. #7
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Ray Bell:
    [QB]

    Tell me more....

    No real big deal Ray apart from the fact that I was involved in so many facets of motor sport; Go-Karts, Junior Midgets (now Formula 500) Rallying, scrambles and the occasional sojurn into tin tops.
    I suppose my greatest claim to fame was that I had the habit of knocking off big names in fancy machinery whilst being basically a privateer in very basic stuff. My life evolved around motor sport as I worked for the guy who ran I think it was third in the first Redex trial, and I knew a lot of the people involved in the various types of competitive fields
    Just for the record, I think Blika was a rep for Dulux paints so there was a big difference between the money being earned then in motor sports as opposed to today.
    I can always remember one of my "sponsors" in the rally one time giving me a Gerry can as his contribution for sponsorship.

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  8. #8
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I saw you racing then?

    And about Don Wright's car, did you know anything about it?

  9. #9
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Possibly

    As regards Don Wrights car, it rings a bell but unfortunately my old boss died several years ago as he had records of all sorts of stuff. He had a collection of motor car and aviation memorabilia that you would not believe, in fact some of his stuff including a home made aeroplane is at the Queensland Museum.
    When he died a lot of his cars and records were donated to the Queensland Veteran Car Club. I would reckon that they may be a good starting point as although they probably wouldn't have been old enough for their use, they may be able to point you in the direction of someone who could fill in the pieces for you.
    His name incidentally was Don Roberts.

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  10. #10
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Just so we all know what we're talking about... here's a picture at Bathurst:



    This is Don James driving in the mid sixties.

  11. #11
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Ray,

    Here's a link to a Vintage sports car club. They are from the right era, area and genre' to be of some help perhaps.

    <a href="http://members.ozemail.com.au/~dparsell/vscc.htm" target="_blank">http://members.ozemail.com.au/~dparsell/vscc.htm</a>

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  12. #12
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I'm checking out other sources, but I'm hoping that people here will remember something...

    Please?

    Those Thicktorians won't know anything, by the way...

  13. #13
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I found Don Wright, and incredibly he's still working in the automotive business he's had for many years (maybe fifty!) in West Pennant Hills. His major pursuit these days is making replacement blocks for Lancia Lambdas, which he carves out of billets of aluminium! No castings...

    The car raced, incredibly, from about 1952 (it ran at Parramatta Park) to 1970 in regular racing, went straight into Historic racing after that, is now tucked away in a shed at...

    wait for it....

    Mittagong!

    I'm sure many of you know the place... he's done nothing with it. Could someone please buy it and get it going again? It was an incredibly good racing car.

    By the way, the chassis was originally built for Bill Buckle by Charlie Buck, others who owned it were Ian Steele (a dentist from somewhere around Burwood), musician Geoff Thorne, Don James, Bob Winley and John Moxham.

    Don Wright would like to have it back, but has given up on it. Story will be in Motor Racing Australia's next issue (February/March 2002 - on sale about the end of December or first week January)... lots of good pics including a colour one from mid fifties Bathurst.

  14. #14
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Well done Ray,
    I'll put that issue on my post Xmas shopping list

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  15. #15
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    [quote]Originally posted by Ray Bell:
    <strong>
    The car raced, incredibly, from about 1952 (it ran at Parramatta Park) to 1970 in regular racing, went straight into Historic racing after that, is now tucked away in a shed at...

    wait for it....

    Mittagong!

    I'm sure many of you know the place... he's done nothing with it. Could someone please buy it and get it going again? It was an incredibly good racing car.
    </strong><hr></blockquote>


    Mittagong is only 40 minutes country drive away for me. Pity I don't have the space for another car.

    Dave
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  16. #16
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    What was that bare patch of front lawn I saw with no tyre marks on it, Dave?

    You can't, apparently, buy it from him anyway. He's not done anything with it in over 15 years and won't sell either...

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