NOWA NOWA (VIC)
1966 - NOWA NOWA SPEEDWAY
Nowa Nowa was instigated by Peter Mcdonald and Lloyd Jennings around 1966, McDonald owned the Shell Service Station in Nowa Nowa, while Jennings had it after McDonald sold it off.
Initially there was no club as such, everyone just turned up to race until about 1970 when the Nowa Nowa and Districts Speedway Club was formed, Terry Leadbeater later went on to become President for many years, today Terry can be found at Bairnsdale Speedway as a roving track announcer.
The track started out as kidney shaped, they ran in a clockwise direction from a start/finish line at the top end near the highway, turn one led into a dogleg a defined right hand turn where the front straight would have been, Coming out of the dogleg into a tradionally placed turn two near the creek, the safety fence in that area was originally railway sleepers and then later replaced by massive logs with earth pushed up behind, behind the fence and between Boggy Creek was the pit area, Turn three slightly banked, then the back straight and on to the finish.
The track was later upgraded and the dogleg removed to make the track the traditional oval, the canteen was built from railway sleepers.
Some of the early cars at Nowa Nowa were known as bedsteads, chassis rails with a roll cage and a V8 engine up front, in those days there where no pipe benders in Nowa Nowa and an excess of steam pipe, it was all hot crinkle bends but the cars were solid.
Sedan driver Nicky Sztynda who was a stalwart for the club still lives in Nowa Nowa, Nicky also had a brother Bill who pit crewed for Nicky but never raced, Nicky had two racecars, an FC Holden that he called "Shutters and Bars", his other car was a Mini, Former President Terry Leadbeater, describes Nicky as a gutsy driver who didn't know fear, A very hard man to pass if he was in front.
Bairnsdale driver, Gary Severs learned his racecraft as a kid at Nowa Nowa, Severs ran an early model Holden, back then not many cars had numbers, instead cars were givern names, such as dragsters have today, The Severs car was named "Mighty Mouse", John Duffy called his EJ Holden the "Flying Nun", Duffy later went on to drive in Sportsman class, The Sportsman class evolved around 1973/1974, Others in the class were Laurie Richards and Terry Kingston.
Another local driver who came downfrom Orbost every meeting was Arthur "Floppy" Bailey who had an Austin with a sidevalve V8 stuck up front, Dave Brown also from Orbost usually came down in tandem with Bailey.
John O'Shanessey recalls: It was a very small track and even though they had removed trees from the infield some were left behind in the centre of the track, John recalls a moment when the trees were being removed, one tree in particular was rather large, A club member, Nick Camilleri who had the idea that they could blow the trees out of the ground. Fronting up with Gelignite, the charge was laid, the charge went "Bang" and the tree was still standing, Camilleri who laid the charge said its ok I know what to do, a second charge was laid, much bigger of course, it went bang and half the tree ended up across the highway in front of the general store, Job Done!!!, This was done while local officialdom was on holidays as the tree was not supposed to be removed.
Track preparation consisted of a grader blade attached to a railway sleeper and dragged around the track to prepare the surface and followed up with watering from a tank in the back of Nick Camilleri's truck, water that was pumped directly from Boggy Creek.
(Editorial Allan Baker)
1960's - 1970's NOWA NOWA SPEEDWAY
Nowa Nowa photo's: Terry Leadbeater former president Nowa Nowa Speedway
John O'Shannessey raced a few car during his life span of Nowa Nowa, in the early days it a case of "Run what you brung", Johns buggy at that time was an FJ Holden powered by a De Soto 6 cylinder engine, as cars reached there use by dates he upgraded, first to an XK Tin Lizzy Falcon, and then an XL Falcon with his final car being a Torana, Both John and his wife Mary raced at many tracks around Victoria, Women raced at Nowa Nowa each meeting.
Mary O'Shannessey recalls: racing against Faye Tillberg and Barbara Dicks in particular, Dicks drove a very fast FE Holden, another lady was Carol Duffy who drove the Leadbeater car, In the early days of Nowa Nowa they towed the racecar down from Orbost on an A-Frame and hopefully it was in a fit state to make the return trip home.
Terry Leadbeater had been driving around Melbourne at tracks like Tracey's Speedway in Marybynong in a 1936 coupe with a sidevalve V8, he moved to Nowa Nowa and purchased the Shell Garage from Lloyd Jennings, Local Allan Brewer sold Leadbeater a Mk 1 Zepher to race, After the Zepher Leadbeater purchased a Ford V8 hot rod, again off Brewer, othercars followed for Terry, an early Falcon from John O'Shannessey, a Mini, a Simca hot rod and finally a Holden Torana.
(Editorial Allan Baker)
Richards family photo feature
Team Nowa Nowa loaded and off to Rosedale Speedway Photo: Richards family archives
Unknown Supermod drivers. Photo: Richards family archives.
1975 - NOWA NOWA SPEEDWAY PRESS RELEASE
1975 - RODGER BURKE
Rodger Burke from Paynesville has his TQ pushed away for a start.
Rob Backholer photo feature
1977 - PHOTO COLLECTION
Nowa Nowa Speedway the speedway on the river bank.
1970's - NOWA NOWA SPEEDWAY
Maree Geddes photo feature
1970's - NOWA NOWA SPEEDWAY
Nowa Nowa affiliated with both the ASCF and the VSC this alignment saw cars starting to turn up from as far away as Melbourne, cars also came from Rosedale and Wattle Park, Weather didn't seem to be a problem at Nowa Nowa, the drivers were happy to race in the rain, many a time they were unrecognizable when they climbed from the cars.
A one only Sidecar meeting was held at the circuit, the riders and passengers on the day all agreed the track suited the outfits but gaining support from other pairs proved difficult and they weren't seen again.
Nowa Nowa began to outgrow itself, big powerful cars on such a small track, A breakaway committee decided a bigger, newer, safer race track was in order, The group from Lakes Entrance built a new track at Bairnsdale, Nowa Nowa Speedway closed in 1977.