National Automobile Museum of Tasmania

Hall of Fame inductees and intro

About

2017 Ivy McDonald

Ivy was born in New Zealand in 1933 and moved to Sydney in 1957 where shortly afterwards she met future husband Ron, marrying later that year and moving to Hobart.

2017 Wayne Mahnken

Wayne Mahnken was born in Launceston in October 1943 and left school at age 15 to go to work at Sims Garage, gaining valuable experience in all things mechanical.

2016 Brian Bowe

Brian Bowe was a motor mechanic by trade and his introduction to motorsport came through his job, which involved tuning a number of race cars, in particular MGs, for customers.

2016 Ross Allison

Ross Allison was born in 1951 and at the age of 17 ( in 1968) he started working on Honda motorcycles at Lloyd Campbell's as well as chainsaws and Johnson outboards.

2015 Gavin Youl

In March 1958, at the age of 21, Gavin Youl made headlines when he piloted his supercharged Chipmunk aircraft to a new Class C Australasian altitude record of 26,000 feet. Both Gavin and older brother John were keen flyers and not surprisingly, had a passion for fast motoring, with John having started racing in 1953 and Gavin some years later.

2015 Laurie O'Shea

Laurie O’Shea was born in 1936 and first started motorcycle racing at the famous Grand Prix circuit Longford on a BSA Bantam in 1953 at the tender age of 17.

2014 Robin Bessant

Robin Bessant's foray into motorsport started back in 1950 when he competed in a Light Car Club of Tasmania Gymkhana at Deloraine at the age of 16 and it was inevitable he would progress to further competition.

2014 Garth Wigston

Garth Wigston was recognised as a highly competent touring car (V8 Supercar) driver in the late 1970s and early 1980s and later as the chairman of the National Steward’s Panel for CAMS, an Australian Formula One steward and as a V8 Supercar steward.

2013 Geoff Smedley

Geoff Smedley was a well respected Tasmanian racing driver in the 1950s and 1960s, but it was his mechanical and engineering abilities which earned him an international reputation.

2013 Ian Tilley

When Ian Tilley was born in 1938 at Campbell Town it was almost inevitable he would take up motorcycle racing, as his father Bill was one of Tasmania's top riders.

1991 Paddy Baker

Raced a Morris Mini at Symmons Plains in the early 1960s, and in 1963 became the promoter of the circuit and secretary of CAMS in Tasmania two years later.

1991 John Bowe

Arguably one of Tasmania's most famous motor racing sons. Has won four Australian championships and has twice won Australia's Great Race - The Bathurst 1000.

1999 Robin Best

A rare breed in motorsport, having achieved success in three very different disciplines of the sport,namely speedway sprintcar racing, drag racing, and NASCAR racing.

2001 Geoff Stagg

Involvement in Tasmanian motorsport started as a 10 year-old trackside assistant in the Longford Grand Prix heyday in 1955.

2005 Lyn Archer

Raced against some of the best drivers in Australia and the world during the golden era of Tasmanian circuit racing in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

2010 Ross Ambrose

In the early 1960s was buying and selling cars, and in the process became associated with John McCormack, who had a BP service station in Devonport.

1990 Malcolm Campbell

Perhaps the best exponent of two-wheeled road racing to ever come out of Tasmania. Started racing as a 16-year old in 1972, venturing across Bass Strait in 1974 where he was placed against top competition in graded racing.

1996 Dick Crawford

Born in Devonport in 1916, he built his first race car as a young man of only 17 in 1933. It was built from spare parts he obtained from wreckers, but was capable of a top speed of 80 mph (about 140 km/hr).

1992 Wayne Cross

Retired in 1990 after amassing no less than four Australian open 2.7 litre power boat championships, two Australian outboard speed records, 10 Tasmanian unlimited titles, and 15 Tasmanian outboard championships, two Tasmanian speed records, and three Tasmanian course records.

2005 John Dixon

Was a first year apprentice mechanic at Davies Motors in Launceston when he became

1998 Tony Edmondson

First started racing in 1970 in Ford Cortina 1500, moving several years later into a BMW sedan powered by a Repco Brabham V8 engine.

2006 Don Elliott

Despite his tender age, Don turned out to be e very capable speedboat driver. But it was only a matter of time before he progressed to car racing, where he soon met with considerable success.

2006 Donald Gorringe

One of his long-standing records was set in his speedboat "Doodles Hoo". It made newspaper headlines when he blasted along the river from Hobart to New Norfolk and returned in 55 minutes and 46 seconds.

1997 Neville Harper

Hailing from the North-West Coast at Hellyer Beach, near Wynyard, Neville started competing in 1968 and at the time of induction was still racing after never missing a season in the ensuing 29 years.

2004 Paul Hawkins

In his relatively short career the impact that he made on the international motor racing scene at the highest level is awesome.

1996 Arthur Hayward

Arthur first became interested in off-road racing in 1970 when he built his first sand buggy, a Volkswagen Beetle he called a Sand-Hopper, soon afterwards building a radical V6-powered Ford Capri buggy in his first serious racing machine.

2003 Cees Hendricks

In a relatively short time in Australian speedway, Dutchborn Tasmanian driver Cees Hendriks made his mark on the national and Tasmanian speedway scene.

2008 Bruce Higgs

Bruce Higgs started his involvement in Tasmanian motorsport in 1947 when he began racing motorcycles.

1993 Geoff Jacobs

Geoff Jacobs is the "Mr Karting" of Tasmania, having been involved in the sport since its inception in this state in 1958.

1999 John Large

John Large has at various times been one of the most powerful and influential figures in world motorsport.

2000 Alan Ling

Following a full and fascinating lifetime in motor sports Alan finished as CAMS Tasmanian chairman for 18 years from 1980 to 1998, stepping aside to take on the deputy chairmanship under Steve Chopping in 1999.

1993 Ray Long

Induction to the Tasmanian Motorsport Hall of Fame will stand as a fitting tribute to the contribution made to his chosen sport in Tasmania over a period spanning more than three decades for the late Ray Long.

1992 John Mccormack

John McCormack, formerly of Burnie (who later retired to Binnalong Bay), established an international reputation as an accomplished racing driver during the late 1960s and early 1970s, later turning his knowledge and talent to designing championship winning sports sedans.

2009 Denzil Mead

Tasmanian speedway sedan and NASCAR driver Denzil Mead had a reputation for being a fierce competitor, but while he may have been a hard nut to crack on the track, Denzil was always a gentleman in the pits or when the racing had stopped.

2010 Austin Miller

Aussie Miller was one of the original larrikins of Australian motorsport and his two main loves were racing and aviation.

2010 Tim Moncrieff

Tim Moncrieff is considered the founder of speedway sprintcar racing in Tasmania.

1997 Francis Ransley

Albert Francis Ransley (better known as Francis Ransley) is one of Tasmania's pioneers and trailblazers in the competitive world of power boat racing.

1997 Les Redpath

The name of Les Redpath is synonymous with Tasmanian speedway. At the time of induction in 1989 Les was still actively competing at the top level of the sport in Tasmania after more than 25 years involvement and showing no signs of retirement.

2008 Pat Stride

Pat Stride was born in London in 1928 and from an early age had a passionate interest in planes and cars which led him to serve apprenticeships in airframe fitting and Rolls Royce aircraft engines.

1998 John Trowbridge

John Trowbridge built a total of 47 racecars from 1956 to 1984, but was always interested in constructing machines - a passion he acquired when he joined the Air Training Corps as a 14 year-old in 1949 and learned about engines, airframes, and firearms.

2000 Barry Valentine

Barrie Valentine was instrumental in the founding of one of Tasmania's oldest motor sports organisations, the 500 Car Club of Tasmania, in 1956, and was its first chairman.

2007 Bob Wright

Bob Wright is one of the quiet achievers and true pioneers of Tasmanian motorsport.

1990 John Youl

John Youl could be best described as the "Quiet Achiever" of Tasmanian motorsport. John first rose to prominence in the 1950s and competed in top local, interstate and international circuit racing events, firstly in sedans, and then in open-wheelers.

2009 Brian Higgins

As a youngster Brian Higgins was fascinated with cars even though no member of his family owned one. At an early age he attended race meetings at Quorn Hall, Valleyfield and Greens Beach. In his late teens Brian became a flag marshal at the Longford racing circuit, but after only three race meetings he was convinced he had to be closer to the action on the other side of the fence.

From the XO

The Tasmanian Motorsport Hall of Fame was established in 1989. The idea was originally conceived by former Carrick Speedway promoter Winston Badcock. Winston was also somewhat of an entrepreneur and some of his promotions at the speedway were legendary. In 1989 he had the idea of staging a motoring and motorsport expo at the Launceston Silverdome, which was called the Tasmanian Autosports Expo. While the event was primarily a commercial venture for Winston, he also wanted to acknowledge the achievements of Tasmanians in various forms of motorsport.

At the time, the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame had been going for some time and regularly inducted 10-15 Tasmanian sportsmen and women on an annual basis. But despite Tasmania's proud history of achievement in motorsport, not one single motorsport identity had been inducted. So, Winston struck on the idea of forming a hall of fame, specifically for motorsport. Winston also wanted it to appear totally independent and not favouring people with whom he had been associated with through his various motorsport interests. So, he invited officials from various forms of motorsports, journalists and commentators to form a totally independent board of directors, tasked with the duty of selecting inductees. Ironically, their first inductee was a driver whom with Winston had a great deal of contact with and respect for, but as one of the original directors, I can confirm the choice was above board and independent. That choice, of course was speedway sprintcar legend Les Redpath, an 11-times State champion (in various divisions) and a well-known and respected competitor on the national scene. Les has since been joined by many other legends of Tasmanian motorsport.

Winston had negotiated to have the display of inductees housed at the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania in Launceston, which seemed a logical venue. Later, a representative of the museum board was invited to join the Motorsport Hall of Fame board as a director, a practice which continues today, as the Hall of Fame is still housed at the museum, more than 20 years after its establishment. Winston continued as chairman for several more years and the inductions were made at the Expo, until he unexpectedly departed the State. The remaining directors met and decided the Hall of Fame concept was too good to let die with Winston's departure and elected Mr G B (Paddy) Baker as its new chairman. Paddy was at the time the State Manager for the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) and was one of the original directors invited to join in 1989. He remained chairman of the board until his passing. With Paddy's passing another original board member, commentator and multiple Targa Tasmania winner Barry Oliver, was elected chairman and has remained in the position ever since. With the demise of Autosports Expo, the inductions ceased to be public affairs for several years, simply announced through a media release and subsequent publicity. Then with the advent of the annual Tasmanian Motorsports Awards dinner, the Hall of Fame was invited to announce its inductees at the dinner, which has continued since, and now proves to be a highlight of the night. Over the years nominations were sought from various motorsports bodies, plus the input and knowledge of Hall of Fame directors. As the prestige of induction is reserved to one or two recipients each year, the board now has a comprehensive list of nominations held over from previous years.However, public nominations are still called for from time to time and forms are available at the museum to obtain criteria and guidelines for anyone wishing to make a nomination.

Finally, as an original board member and current executive officer of the Hall of Fame, I would like to commend to you the following pages. While it only scratches the surface of the magnificent achievements of some of Tasmania's great motorsport exponents, it also provides a snapshot of the wealth of talent which has graced the world of motorsport from our tiny island. In researching some of the profiles of inductees, I and other directors have been amazed to learn just what some of them had achieved and often at a time when Tasmania was much more isolated from the rest of Australia and the world than we claim it to be today. I trust you will be equally enthralled and impressed by the achievements of the people in these pages and I am sure you will agree they are all truly worthy of induction into the Tasmanian Motorsport Hall of Fame.

Martin Agatyn
Executive Officer - Tasmanian Motorsport Hall of Fame

About

Hall of Fame

Tasmania, despite its small size, has a very rich motor sports history. Many Tasmanian motoring enthusiasts have competed all around the world; and who hasn't heard of Targa Tasmania? You can still see some of our motor sports legends competing in this great event.

Make sure you view the display and all kinds of motoring memorabilia when you visit the museum.

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