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Thread: Mystery RHD 1965 car

  1. #1
    Senior Member HughH's Avatar
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    Mystery RHD 1965 car

    Given the rash of early cars popping out of the woodwork, and the wide coverage and deep knowledge on this board I thought i would cross-post something I just posted on the Australian TYP901 board.

    I am looking for help trying to track down information on a mystery (at least to me and a few others) very early Australian 911

    Last weekend at the TYP901 Christmas breakfast in Melbourne Greg Gaylor who came over from NZ showed me a picture and article out of the February 1966 Christophorus magazine. It in turn was quoting a front page article in our national newspaper "The Australian" from 30 September 1965.

    It showed a brand new 911 being delivered in Canberra to the then Australian Governor General, Lord Casey, by Norman Hamilton.

    The car was described as a "rich yellow" German sports car with a price tag of £4875 and capable of 140 MPH.
    This was about two months after the car Stewart Kay (1st on this board) now has was delivered to Ron Angus. (It is the first customer delivered RHD car). That car was finished in May 1965 and delivered on 1 August 1965 and had an original purchase price £4881.10 according to Stewart's records.

    I have no record of this yellow "Casey" car in the list of cars I have and neither did Stewart Kay when I asked him last week.

    I have seen claims (but not original documents) that there was an delivery of about 6 cars to Australia for 1965 although of these only 3 (maybe 4) were true Model Year 65's and the balance were model year 66 cars delivered in 1965. It is also not clear if tourist delivery cars were counted or, indeed if the number includes cars that were sold in New Zealand (as occurred in some later years).

    I understand that apart from the "Angas" car (301503) in Australia there was:
    • 300475, a "Fawn" car; (not quite sure what that is but maybe a special order 356 color or, as a long shot, 6405 champagne yellow and the "Casey" car)
    • 300882, a signal red car completed on 20 April 1965, but tourist delivered
    • 302146, an Aga blue car delivered on 14 September 1965
    • 302658, a light Ivory car apparently delivered to Australia on 28 October 1965 and delivered to first owner on31 December 1965

    I am not sure what date the Aga Blue car was completed but cars with similar numbers were completed in August 1965. Given it was delivered to the client in mid September, and 302658 did not arrive in Australia until the end of October, that puts a rough upper limit on the chassis number for this mystery "Casey" car.

    Other records show that cars with numbers in the 3022xx range were finished in September 1965 which would not have given enough time to get it delivered to Canberra. Also 302631, in New Zealand seems to also have a build date of October 1965.

    It is also not clear whether the "Casey" car would be early enough to be a Model year 65 car or a very early Model year 66 car given its delivery date.

    This car exists / or existed. I also asked in the UK in case it was a UK car diverted over here for the Governor General. They had no record of a yellow RHD car coming there before 1966. Indeed the response was the first 65 RHD UK yellow car was a Bahama yellow in October 66. However it is possible that a RHD car may have been intended for another market and diverted to Australia.

    attached are the articles Greg showed me
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Hugh Hodges
    73 911E
    Melbourne Australia

    Foundation Member #005
    Australian TYP901 Register Inc.

    Early S Registry #776

  2. #2
    Senior Member HughH's Avatar
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    its been a long 7 years but FINALLY I have an update

    Over the time since the last post on this I have had communications with various people with information, including the owner of the car after Lord Casey, “James” who provided some great information and photos while he was its custodian that I am posting below. However until now I have not had substantive progress on finding the cars identity.



    However, in the last couple of days there has been a breakthrough driven by collaboration with Robert Barrie in the UK and Dave Pateman in Canada.



    The “Lord Casey car” has now been identified as vin 301504 produced in the middle of June 1965 and a true 1965 MY car. Somewhat unusually though it has a MY66 colour and code: 6607 Sand Beige.



    It appears to be a part of a small run of RHD cars from the middle of June 1965 all of which came to Australia:
    · 301501 Hamilton Aus. Silver Metallic. The Sydney based “Alec Mildren” Demonstrator car and cover car for the Australian Sports Car World magazine in February 1966
    · 301503 Hamilton Aus. Stone Grey The Ron Angus car and the first 911 delivered to a customer
    · 301504 Hamilton, Aus. Beige. The “Lord Casey” car delivered on 29 September 1965 as documented on the front page of "The Australian" newspaper shown in the post above


    This means, according to Robert Barrie and Dave, FOUR out of the first 5 RHD cars came to Australia; the other two cars being:
    · 300474 the Bali Blue AFN demonstrator MMU 911C , being the first one produced which went to the UK, and
    · 300475 the Slate Grey car that Alan Hamilton picked up at the factory and later was a demonstrator for Hamilton’s in Melbourne before being eventually sold in 1966


    In addition, there is 300882, owned now in the UK by a member of this board but which has spent most of its life so far in Australia. It was delivered to an Australian serving in Germany, but within a month of it being completed was in the UK at AFN. It came to Australia in 1966 but the Kardex does not show that it was ordered from here. It has long been debated whether it was RHD or LHD originally, but the current owner believes he now has enough evidence to say it was always RHD. In any event it was not originally delivered to Australia but is obviously the third lowest Vin in this group.



    There is no evidence so far that the “Casey car” has survived and there are various stories suggesting that it has not, although in these sorts of things you can never say never. I have yet to see concrete evidence that it has been destroyed or scrapped and am continuing to chase that up.



    As a part of this journey however I was fortunate to make contact with the second owner of 301504 who has provided the following photos of it when he owned it. He sold it in the early 1970’s to upgrade to a newer car and, while I do know the identity of the next custodian, I have yet to be able to make contact to see where the trail goes from there. I believe the next owner is still alive though so I am hopeful of getting more information to continue this story.


    Firstly, however I have a couple of photos from when the car was new and Lord Casey, Australia's Governor General at the time, owned it
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    The next set of photos are from when "James" the second owner was its custodian
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    and finally, just because I happen to have the photo, the last one is of a sister car completed on the same day in mid June - the silver "Mildren" car 301501 which also was a cover car on the Australian magazine "Sports Car World" in February 1966

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    Last edited by HughH; 10-13-2020 at 11:23 PM.
    Hugh Hodges
    73 911E
    Melbourne Australia

    Foundation Member #005
    Australian TYP901 Register Inc.

    Early S Registry #776

  3. #3
    Good job! Fun reading,

    Richard
    searching for engine (case) 903742

  4. #4
    Senior Member StephenAcworth's Avatar
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    Patience and perseverance win out! What a great forum this is for international collaboration!!!
    1966 911 Coupe - Slate Grey - 304598 - still in restoration!

    Member #1616

  5. #5
    Awesome pictures Hugh, thanks for sharing. Live the way the antenna is mounted. Surprised the factory did not duplicate the practice they used on LHD cars

  6. #6
    Love reading this, Hugh!

    John
    1965 911 #301111, Red Book Vol 1 "Cover Car," owned 50 years.
    1967 911 #307347, bare-bones, some road wear, a little surface rust, and a few dents..., owned 10 years.
    1970 914/6GT, (Sold - ran the last three Rennsports)owned 30 years.


    Photography Site: JohnStraubImageWorks.com

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  7. #7
    Senior Member HughH's Avatar
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    Recently I spoke to the third owner, who had it until about 1975 or 76. However she did not recall exactly when she sold it, only that she traded it in on another car, but not even who with.

    For a while I thought the trail had gone very cold again, but one of the people who had provided me with information on the car provided me with a new, crucial, lead overnight. It was the contact details of a person in Adelaide who he said had used a part of the/a “Casey car” that had been written off in a rollover to repair his 67S.

    I made contact with him today and he has provided the end point to the search.
    He said that the car was owned by a person from Whyalla in South Australia in the mid 70’s so I presume he was the 4th owner.

    The person I spoke to said he was looking for parts to do a rust repair on his 67S (being ex UK it was quite rusty in the usual places in the front) in about 1979 and stumbled upon a write off in a car scrap yard. It was 301504, and he still has the vin plate and promised to send me a photo of it. He found out that the car had been extensively damaged with the roof and rear end caved in after a rollover while the owner was driving from Whyalla to Adelaide and it was scrapped. However, the front (where he wanted the parts) was almost untouched. So he got it and used the parts and the rest was literally scrap.

    That means that it must have been destroyed no later than late 1978 – probably within 3 or so years from when the third owner sold it.

    So, unfortunately, this particular car is no longer with us (AND there are not any remains to “resurrect” it even though by today’s standards it probably would have been repairable when rolled over, but the values at that time made it uneconomic)

    As an aside however I did get a message overnight from someone in Europe who had been asked if he would repair the “Lord Casey car” ex the UK a few years ago and he was shown pictures of a rather beaten up shell and the newspaper photo I posted in this thread . However it had the vin number of a slightly later UK delivered car. I hope having this on the public record will ensure that no one tries to pass off another car as this one in the future. And, for the record, the person approached, who is a board member here, did not accept the job .
    Hugh Hodges
    73 911E
    Melbourne Australia

    Foundation Member #005
    Australian TYP901 Register Inc.

    Early S Registry #776

  8. #8
    Senior Member patrick911's Avatar
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    Nice detective work Hugh!
    Member #3058
    1973 911 2.4T
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Thank you for your time and sharing such a fantastic story!

  10. #10
    Moderator Chuck Miller's Avatar
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    Another outstanding deep dive Hugh !!!

    Cheers
    Chuck Miller
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