Star car for sprints

AN amateur-built vehicle, which raced in the 1949 Australian Grand Prix, will be the star car at this year's Leyburn Sprints 60th anniversary meet.

The So Cal Ford V8 Special was assembled in 1947 from spare parts and two years later raced at a disused wartime airstrip outside Clifton in the national grand prix.

This year the So Cal, which is now owned by Mittagong vintage machine enthusiast Eric Worner, will make a welcome return to the Leyburn Sprints as part of the anniversary celebrations.

Leyburn Sprints media spokesman Chris Nixon said the vehicle, which regularly raced in historic events, was part of an exciting line up for the August 15-16 meet.

“The So Cal is an exciting inclusion in the sprints and we're thrilled to have it back,” Nixon said.

“It has had 11 owners in its lifetime and continues to race regularly.”

Nixon said the vehicle was amateur-built and assembled from parts including a Ford Model A chassis and the engine of a Ford Mercury.

“It was common practise during post-war shortages for racing enthusiasts to build their own cars,” he said.

The vintage Ford will be among 190 entries, drawn from as far north as Rockhampton and south to Mittagong, in this year's sprint competition.

Nixon said interest in the anniversary sprints at Leyburn had been excellent with the committee forced to turn away entries due to space restrictions.

“We anticipate a successful meet with many other cars, in the same style as the So Cal, racing on the Saturday and Sunday,” he said.

On Track
  •  More than 15,000 competitors and spectators expected for two day event
  •  Ticket prices reduced as concession to tough economic times to $10 per day or $15 for a weekend

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