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Old 25-06-2011, 03:23 PM
Annie Annie is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 28
Default Vale Philip Brady

It is with great sadness that the HRR of SA informs you of the death of Philip Brady. Philip passed away in hospital on June 14 from complications of pneumonia. A large gathering of friends was held to celebrate Philip's life on Sunday, June 19
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Old 30-06-2011, 01:06 PM
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Grant Campbell
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mt Eliza Victoria Australia
Posts: 656

PHILIP BRADEY 1965 - 2011

A man who might easily have been born in another time, Philip Bradey, in white overalls and skull fitting leather flying helmet, epitomised pre-War GP motor racing, most especially at the spindly old steering wheel of his family's long held thoroughbred, the fabulous ex-Price Bira MG K3 Chassis #030.

Born on 18th October 1965 to Peter and Marg, Philip passed away on June 14th after complications with pneumonia - a tragic and very sudden loss for his immediate family, much loved sons, Tom and Chris, their mother Caroline and his sisters, Bec and Kate.

Besides the vague-steering K3 which Philip wrangled with great aplomb, he was a committed father and devoted much time to matters family and school. His quirkiness, rapid-fire humour and abundant intelligence gave Philip command of many subjects - from lizards to chess, from football to pre-selector gearboxes.

Phil was at one with plants and loved nothing more than tending grape vines, a small grenache patch of which he farmed at Onkaparinga Hills.

In recent times, despite struggling with life's day-to-day issues, Phil initiated a bush-fire pre-prevention strategy under the moniker, "Fire Away". Sadly it didn't get the necessary government backing to proceed, but was typical of Phil's lateral thinking and interest in humanity.

Schooled at Mitcham Primary and later Scotch College, Philip's car obsession, fuelled by the addiction for which his father, and grandfather, Tom were well known, began early and culminated in his life-long association with the very special supercharged MG K3 which Tom acquired in 1958.

A rare car, the blue K3 passed through many illustrious hands including those of Colin Dunne who starred at Lobethal in 1938, winning the 50-mile handicap.

This association with Lobethal, and the fact that Tom Bradey had won the 1939 AGP Stock Car race in a Singer, gave Phil great joy, and over the 2008/9 Lobethal Grand Carnivals, the Bradey K3 became the iconic embodiment of the event. Phil willingly made it available for media sessions, joyriding and displays, a major highlight being the chauffering at Lobethal and Mallala of 1939 AGP winner, the great Allan Tomlinson, who at 93 took the K3 tiller on the road to Mallala. In 2009, around Lobethal's long layout, Philip diced with the Alfa P3s of Jon Shirley and Peter Giddings and said to me afterwards, "This is the best fun a man can have with his pants on!"

To understand better Philip's love of Lobethal, we posted him lapping in the K3 on YouTube (see Philip Bradey MGK3 Tribute).

The car's history was a passion of Phil's. From its days as HRH Prince Bira's mount at Brooklands through Lord Waleran running it at the 1936 AGP at Victor Harbor and later, the Australian Hillclimb Championship in 1949 (owned by Lex Davison and driven by John Barraclough), Phil hunted down photographs and press clippings at every opportunity. In 1953, a young Andy Brown drove the car to 3rd outright at the Albert Park AGP after Ron Uffindel had campaigned it vigorously.

Later it was raced by Bob Burnett-Read, including entry into the 1955 Port Wakefield AGP.

Significantly, and at a young age, Philip with father Peter, took the K3 to Thailand in 1988 for a major commemoration in honour of Bira's promotion of Siam (as Thailand was once known) through his motor racing successes in the 1930s.

To mark the car's 60th birthday, Philip took the K3 to UK and Europe in 1994 where he campaigned it at Silverstone, Donnington, Prescott and Shelsley Walsh whilst working, usually on pre-selector gearboxes, for the likes of historic racing legend, Bill Morris, and using the K3 as his road car. That same year, Philip entered the Mille Miglia retrospective in the company of his friend, Adam Berryman who campaigned the ex-Birkin K3 #002 which had run in 1933.

Many lifelong family friendships with historic racing devotees such as the Shearer family and the Fagans were formed during the Bradey family's long association with the Sporting Car Club and the MG Car Club, of which Phil was a favoured son.

In remembering him, a couple of things which are typical of Phil's enthusiasm and overflowing generosity come to mind.

During the Lobethal activities, Phil befriended Lance Watkins who had been hit on the head by a flying part of the Stewand Special racing car which crashed at Mill Corner on the Lobethal circuit in 1948. Lance loved nothing more than "Bira" taking him around the 14km track, more than once, in the rorty old K3. What we didn't know until his passing, was that when he decided, after much agonizing to sell the K3 to Victorian, John Gillett, Phil made a special trip to Lobethal just to let Lance know his decision.

And after Lobethal in 2008, Adam Berryman's K3 was generously loaned to me with Phil's great mate, Rod O'Malley as my riding mechanic to accompany "Bira", in what he sometimes called the "Bira Bomb", on the national MG Rally to Mannum. With throttles seldom off, we blasted up the open roads to Mannum, missing not a single chance to perform synchronised two-car passes on any unsuspecting MG in sight. At the route's end, Phil performed main street joy rides and generally rattled the windows of Mannum's every shopfront; at night without headlights, of course!

On the return leg, the battery of Adam's car expired, so while Rod and I stood at the roadside, Phil set off solo for Murray Bridge to source a replacement battery.

Hearing that supercharged straight six of a mere 1340cc bellowing away, its exhaust note audible long after it had vanished, we recognised Phil at his pinnacle. Press on!

Life had to be lived at full throttle! Of course we didn't wait long. The boom of the K3 was heard way before he reappeared. With fresh battery aboard, we had one of the great two-car convoys as the winding Hills roads rolled out before us and the exhaust notes hung long in the air. Ah what a memory. As we unloaded, we said, "Thank you Sir Birkin!"

As Philip wrote: "Cars are to be used. I'm very lucky to have something very special that can be used in so many ways."

In his many texts and e-mails, pretty well all irreverently corrupting the language, Phil most often signed off as "Bira" and, as an oblique reference to the "white mouse racing" emblem of the HH Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh which the K3 proudly wore on its flanks, he nicknamed me "Ratty". Actually Phil, I won't miss that bit!!

RIP Philip. A firm friend and a funny man.

Tony Parkinson
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