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Old 23-05-2014, 07:03 AM
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Grant Campbell
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mt Eliza Victoria Australia
Posts: 656
Default Lindsay Little

Hi Ernie,

After viewing the Youtube video of your presentation I am even sorrier that I was unable to attend this yearís meeting at Phillip Island, I had no idea that was in the wind.

As a 15 year old boy my interest in motor racing and cars in general, started at a very early age and Iím not quite sure of the exact reason, but Jack Brabham was certainly part of it.

Coincidences led me to meeting JB probably early 1952, his Mum and Dad owned a fruit and Veggie shop Hurstville, directly opposite the entrance-exit to the railway station. (Hurstville is a suburb adjoining Penshurst, the suburb where both Jack and I lived.)

Around the corner was a pharmacy, and I fancied one of the young girls working there (I was 15 at the time travelling to Sydney to High School every day and walking past). The newsagent was another shop in the group and each week I picked up the English Autosport magazine, it was probably when I was talking about the Gran Prix racing overseas on one of our brief days out that Gloria (not her name) told me that she was JBís cousin!

She arranged for me to go to JBís at Inverness Ave. Penshurst.

Forget about Lotto this is better than any of that, so Iíd ride my bike over to Jackís after school from time to time. Previously Iíd told him a group of like-minded young boys were going regularly to Mt.Druitt to the car races, and often when I went to his workshop, I would take one of the Autosports mags with me, to ask him questions, and one day he asked me if Iíd liked to go to Mt.Druitt with him and Betty, his first wife and mother to the boys?

Can you believe that? Any way thatís what happened, in fact one of the times I was with them, it was the first day Geoffrey went to the car races, Jack and Betty in the front and myself with Geoffrey in the bassinet in the back seat. From memory he used a 1949 Dodge or DeSoto as a tow car. (Geoffrey probably doesnít know that).

I remember one day on the way home the diff in the tow car shit itself and we were stranded at a service station at least an hours drive away from home, Jack rang one of his mates to bring another car up to rescue us. My mum wasnít impressed when I got home at 9.00pm. that night.

Off course when I went into employment full time and he made the move overseas I didnít have the opportunity to see him that often, but coincidences still happened. With my contacts in the motor trade and participation with motor racing, I often called into see one of Jackís old speedway mates, Ron Ward, who lived at and had a workshop at Blakehurst. (Another Sydney suburb) I was there one day talking to Ron and who should walk up the drive but Jack, by this time he had won two world championships and nobody knew he was in the country.

This was at a time when I had built the Nota, had the franchise for the English Alexander Speed equipment, run the A30 and the Mini at Bathurst which we had spoken of both previously, this was probably sometime in 1964.

Jack definitely had a funny side to him, I asked him how his cousin was going after all this time and he told me ďsomeone built a verandah over her toyshop and she got marriedĒ, there was nothing dour about Jack, contrary to what some say.

I had told Jack that we had often spoken of going to England and without thought he told me if I made the move to call him when I got there.

Life plays the cards on people in many ways, and I guess everyone plays the tricks differently; we booked tickets and paid deposits to sail to England (nobody had the money to fly then.) Towards the end of 1964, my wife fell pregnant after four years of marriage with the birth date calculated to be around May í65.

Both my mother and my wifeís mother were horrified at the thought of us going to England and having a child over there, so following a major family row, we cancelled the trip. My first daughter was born in April í65 and later that year I bought the Cooper S and ran it at Bathurst, with success, probably as a consolation prize.

Over the later years I have sometimes been at Historic Car race meetings when he has been there but I have not made myself known to him for reasons I donít quite understand. Perhaps visions of what might have been. You canít go through life like that can you.

Anyway it is an example of the man he was, giving that opportunity to a 15 year old boy whom he didnít know, and whose family at the time didnít own a car let alone drive one.

I consider myself privileged to have had this experience.

Regards, and hopefully I can attend an historic meeting and meet you personally.

Lindsay Little
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