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Claremont Speedway your memories

Discussion in 'The History Channel' started by *FIGJAM*KRW, Jan 26, 2004.

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  1. *FIGJAM*KRW

    *FIGJAM*KRW Registered

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    well i thought i would start up a post on Claremont Speedway i remember going there as young kid paying something like $6 to get in i used to love the smell of the bikes and for some strange reason the events program when i was younger i did not really care about sprintcars it was for me sitting in fowlhouse corner(turn 1 and 2) watching the bikes and super sedans then i started to follow sprintcars i have a lot of great memories from there would like to hear from others only if you went once or all the time from interstate or overseas (hope stats has something to say about this given his history knowledge of claremont) but she was the Grand old lady of speedway gone but not forgotten
     
  2. dougal haston

    dougal haston Registered

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    Claremont Speedway. For variety, atmosphere, smell, noise, crowds and great racing it was quite simply the best speedway ever seen in this country. Where else did you see Solos, Sidecars, F500s, Sedans (30 car features), Speedcars (25 car features)and Sprintcars (super mods) with big fields week after week.

    The joint used to rock especially went you stood right up at the fence as you could back then. ( We must have been insane). There is nothing going around these days that comes close.

    In fact I think part of the Motorplex's problem is that people want the Claremont atmosphere but it just isn't there.
     
  3. *FIGJAM*KRW

    *FIGJAM*KRW Registered

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    i totally agree with you nothing will ever be compared to claremont it had everything a speedway should and the atmosphere is nothing compared to that at the plex and probably never will. even being right on the fence at the plex feels like the cars are far away at claremont they where right there i still remember look over to the pits seeing the big hambuger and coke can pity that place is gone has left a big hole in australian speedway. australia`s greatest speedway is gone
     
  4. gary.seaton

    gary.seaton Registered

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    I virtually grew up at claremont because the old man ran sidecars for the likes of tom mcquade i also remember the great test between the poms and aussies also ivan mauger ove fundin nigel boocock ken mckinley other local heroes like danny o'shea mick mckeon and the 4wheel division johnny fenton bill jost stan starcevich aj nylander rod watson laurie hardy.I went to motorplex once and never again if you want to see something that is getting very close to the grand old lady get down to bibra lake speedway where they have summer bike blitz and it is the best bike racing i have seen in many a long year also try their winter meets where the bikes also run
     
  5. speedway chick

    speedway chick Registered

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    Claremont hey guys, well I will never forget that joint, and your right she is the Grand Old Lady of Speedway, and the old saying Friday Night is Speedway Night, I still think it is! My fondest memory of anything to do with Speedway is the final night at Claremont, with the likes of Ron, Alf, Ray G. What a night that was. And who will ever forget Fowl House. Those were the days, I still go to the 'Plex each week and it just aint the same, hardly any bikes, no sidecars, a dwindelling Sprintcar count, whom most people dont want to race here, and all the legends of WA Speedway vanishing before our eyes.

    I have heard that the racing at Bibra Lake this last season has been awesome.
     
  6. *FIGJAM*KRW

    *FIGJAM*KRW Registered

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    thought i would add some pictures of claremont speedway there not the best but you can still get an idea of what the place was like when there was a speedway there i was at the same place sunday for the big day out and boy does it look different
     
  7. michael

    michael Registered

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    dont them photos bring a tear to your eyes
     
  8. *FIGJAM*KRW

    *FIGJAM*KRW Registered

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    yeah it does but if anyone has anymore photos post them up please racing photo`s photo`s of the track what ever you have i bet all photo`s bring back different memories
     
  9. michael

    michael Registered

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    remember these from the last night there were people collecting dirt from the track even the next day wow good memories from that place i moved from kalgoorlie to perth in 98 so i still got to spend every friday siting in front of the canteen coming out of turn4 for a couple of years i have seen a lot of good racing there before this time aswell
     
  10. *FIGJAM*KRW

    *FIGJAM*KRW Registered

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    as micheal said about people collecting dirt i got some as well i plan on getting all this stuffed framed together somehow one day the peice of the fence i got back on the 1st of january 1996 when kenny jacobs slammed the main straight wall after a bike show preparing for speedweek the next week and the poster i picked up for $20 and my final nites program can`t wait to have it all up on the wall
     
  11. gary.seaton

    gary.seaton Registered

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    Hey guys back again hope the photo works this time that being the mighty jap 880 which was the godzilla of the dirt during the 50's and 60's. this bike had so much grunt off the line that if the passenger did not wrap his arms around the bar work properly he would find himself sitting on his bum on the start line. note how upright and tall and open the old bikes were and a lot harder to ride than the modern bike. by the way the late great tom mcquade was the father of the low slung machines we see today and they no less exciting to watch.
     
  12. mIcK50

    mIcK50 Registered

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    Wow, thats bringing back some memories of great races and great riders. Len Bowes and his brutal super-charged Vincent which was completely wrecked in an horrific pile up at Claremont. Not at all deterred, Lennie went home to South Aussie and was back next season with something even better, his awesome 750cc, 3-cylinder Suzuki, on which he won just about everything there was in Oz to win!

    Chum Taylor and the diminutive little Swede, Soren Sjosten, chopping each other up in a shameless fashion as they engaged in a furious battle during a Test match. Trevor Harding's terrible crash during the running of the 1971 Australian Championship. Kevin Russell's riderless ESO going on a rampage across the infield from Fowlhouse Corner, before demolishing its self on the fence on the main straight. A wildly excited Abe Schnieder after he pulled one out of the hat and beat Ivan Mauger! The peerless Ove Fundin, toiling hard on a below par bike, before he came out the next week and showed us just how classy you have to be to win 5 World Championships, as he streeted the opposition!

    Gerry Bridson looking down in bewilderment at his his slowing engine in the back straight, totally unaware that a clash with Ian Clifton in Fowlhouse had left Ian with his leg entangled in Gerry's back wheel and he was dragging the extra burden of Ian and his bike! Gerry again, walking back to the pits and stopping in the middle of the track to bow to the mob in the pits as they gave him a standing ovation for his text book "lay down" to miss a fallen rider.

    And then there was the crowds. One season they averaged about 18000 and when the great man, Ivan Mauger first came to town, 36000 turned out to see him! Suck on that, Motorplex! The terrific noise made when Australia won the very first Test match to be held here, was almost deafening! I did my bit and lost my voice for 2 days after!

    The people running things back then ; Tommy, the machine examiner, the unforgettable Pit Marshall, Mick "Roll 'em" Hutton, who kept the program running so smoothly that Eric Boocock told him he had never been at a track with the races run in such a fast fashion. Mile Tomlinson, the Stewart, who bodily lifted an irate Les Leisk off the track after Les became the very first rider to be excluded for breaking the tapes of the new starting gate! My old boss at Mortlock Brothers, Wally Clinton, who was the Judge/Timekeeper. Wally told that he had been the Pit Marshall years before and on one forgettable night, as he was trying to clear the pits of spectators, he tried to eject a bespectacled, pipe smoking gentleman who was booked to race his bike that night. Wally had tried to kick out the legendary Englishman, Jack Parker!

    On the big nights, we had the strange sight of promoter and former solo great, Aub Lawson, on the track grader. In his best suit!

    And, as always, the backbone of any speedway, the boys in the local brigade, the unsung heros who make our sport what it is. Frame builder, engine tuner extraodinaire and all-round, bloody good bloke, Des Noble. The O'Leary brothers, Bob and Terry, who realized their dreams and became representives of their country. Former state champ and solid as a rock rider, Jim Phillips. Transplanted Victorian, the weather-beaten and immensely popular, Dud McKean. Les Sharpe, the man most capable of emulating and even exceeding the spectacular exploits of our greatest rider, Ron Johnson, but fell short of the mark through no other reason than wretched and abysmally bad luck! Another former state champ, the tragic, but sometimes, very funny, Rusty Wainwright, who would put in an occasional appearance in the pits, usually a bit under the weather. I once asked Rusty if he believed in the old Aussie speedway riders' superstition of never wearing green and he denied ever believing in such nonsense. So I put it to him that he might have actually worn something green during his career, but he said he didn't ever wear green, not because he was superstitious, but because he didn't want to push his luck!

    So many memories, so many people, so many good, funny, terrifying, thrilling, spectacular things that all made up a night at one of the greatest tracks in the world....Claremont.
     
  13. *FIGJAM*KRW

    *FIGJAM*KRW Registered

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    a few of those names i have heard before never seen them race back then as iam only 25 i have always said if could go back in time for a night it would to to claremont back in thoses days
     
  14. *FIGJAM*KRW

    *FIGJAM*KRW Registered

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    This was sent to me yesterday 31st of march as it is 4 years since the last meeting at perth`s claremont speedway it`s true she is gone but not forgotton
     
  15. ron mellowship

    ron mellowship Registered

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    Hi Speedway Sniffers, just come across your forum whilst looking for pictures to show my son - another petrol head - and had to join in the memories . I first went to Claremont in '62 and Friday night was "Speedway night" come what may .Always went to Fowl House however I did defect to the back straight one night but soon realized the error of my ways , there was a rivalry in those days as to which part of the track you supported much like the Aussie/English cricket . As a youngster sitting on the fence getting blasted with great dollops of mud I would look over my shoulder at the noise from the fenced Bright Spot Bar patrons eventually gaining my drinking rights to be allowed entry - ahh memories of those all those years at The Speedway supporting the likes of Chum Taylor ( in my eyes the greatest speed rider ever , he turned the oval track into a series of straight lines and blew everything away ) "the flying 4 x 2 " Abe Schneider , the TQs , 1000 cc Vincent sidecars , John Days orange utes , screaming Holden grey engines alongside the Chevy 4s and Offys , what about the VW of Geoff Pilgrim and then came along the v8 sprint cars -Alf Barbagello and crew - to replace the old flathead stock cars . Trouble was being in the Bright Spot enclosure sucking all that Swan and being blasted with noise and Castrol R fumes I then had to ride my Honda 750 /4 home,it was leaning on the fence at the back of the Bright Spot , rather tricky thing if I remember rightly but that was before coppers became pigs (apologies to any traffic officers on this site ) enjoyable though any did not cause any harm to myself or others , it was just something we did in those early years .
    Unfortunately I moved from Perth before Claremont closed and have not been to the new track but I do have my memories of the finest speedway track in the world .
    If there are any movies /you tube or otherwise it would be great if I could share these with my son (23) I was also a fan of the roundy roundies at Caversham - the Shell Racing Team with Norm Beechey our own Terry Le May , Stan Starcevich .
    Must go now starting to have brain fade with all the old stuff coming to the fore , look forward to sharing other peoples memories and you never know there just might be another reprobate from the Fowl House Bright Spot Bar that Knows me or my bike .
     

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