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Peter Giddings Racing


Dear Editor:

I have just finished a cover-to-cover read of your always excellent Vintage Racecar/Vintage Roadcar, and was particularly interested in "A Conversation with Reg Hunt" (January 2018).

I met Reg decades ago when I first ventured to Australia with, I believe, my French Grand Prix-winning Louis Chiron Talbot Lago Type 26C, ex-Australian legendary driver, Doug Whiteford.

Despite the fact that I was a southerner from Brighton (you will have noted that in the 1940s, Reg moved to Brighton in order to alleviate his asthma, only to discover the northerner vs. southerner conflict), he still kindly took me under his wing.

It quickly became apparent to me that Reg was a self-made man who did not suffer fools gladly, and definitely called a spade a spade!

It turned out that Reg owned the second, later-specification Doug Whiteford Talbot (or as they called them in Australia, Lago Talbots, causing an unknowledgeable newspaper reporter to describe these cars as "Large Tablets") and was experimenting with different brews in order to maximize performance.

Reg's mechanic had the rear of the running Talbot up on its quick-lift jack, while Reg dipped a long rubber tube connected to the fuel system into various methanol, and perhaps even nitromethane concoctions. It was all quite impressive, flames and all ....needless to say, I stood well back!

Of course, I also heard all about the "Flying Bedstead," which Reg and his mechanic were about to put back together.

The interview article had me in stitches with the mention of Maserati's chief race mechanic, "Potocki." In fact, surely Guerino Bertocchi?!

I was also amused to be reminded of the famous on- and off-course battles between Stan Jones and Reg. Stan in fact had one of the early 250Fs, which was certainly a later model than the A6GCM, which of course, had a smaller capacity engine, inline gearbox and solid rear axle, but it was really no different to Reg's 250F, except to say that Stan had craftily acquired a 300S 3-liter engine, as well as having a proper 2.5 liter version. So it was, perhaps without realizing it at the time, that Reg was battling against a 250F, which had an extra half a liter!

Anyway, I am so delighted that Reg is still firing on all cylinders ... to this day, a highly respected Australian racer.

Peter Giddings (in Vintage Racecar)