RAY REVELL - OFFENHAUSER AUST. # 1
MIDGETS - EVOLUTION
THE REVELL OFFY IN NEW ZEALAND
It's third life
In 1963 Ray Revell sold the Offy to Merv Neil in New Zealand and Merv fitted a Lotus Cortina engine. After Merv's ownership it went into the hands of Barry Butterworth who fitted a Ford V860 engine then on to Gordon Johns ( with V860 and Offy) who has one of New Zealand's top midget drivers - John Stanley drive for him.
John later acquires the car and fits a grey Holden engine.
John has kindly shared some historic photos of the car in NZ - running a Lotus Cortina engine with Merv Neil, a Ford V860 with Barry Butterworth, the Offy engine, and a grey Holden engine.
After Ray eventually sold the historic Offy in 1963 most fans thought that it was the end for the old car ......but it was only the start of a new and successful racing career for this marvellous old car in New Zealand.
Bob Barkhimer in the car at the L.A. Coliseum.
Swede Lindskog in the car at the Balch Garage L.A.
Johnny Balch and the Balch Garage racing team cars line up.
#2 (far left) is the future Revell Offy.
American midget ace - Perry Grimm drives the car for Balch as # 2.
(car know as
'The Deuce' )
Perry Grimm and the # 2 Offenhauser.
Grimm in # 2 climbs over Cal Niday in # 9 and flips the Offy # 2. Mel Hansen in # 1.
Ray and the Offy after arriving in Australia and contracted to drive for Empire Speedways. The Car in all white with the # 1 on the tail.
Circa 1949-50 season. Great rivals on the track, good mates off the track, Ray in # 1 and Frank'Satan' Brewer in the recently arrived Kurtis V860
( then # 10).
Ray and the Offy, still in all white, in the Sydney Showground pits.
How most older fans remember the car and Ray, as #1 with the silver blue paint on the nose. Sydney Sports Ground Speedway.
Circa 1950 Ray loses the #1 to a Eddie Dark owned car and runs # 7 on the tail.
Brothers in - law,
Ray in #7 and Andy McGavin in the 2nd string Brewer Ford V860 # 48. SSG.
Ray in # 1 and Frank in # 99 in one of their many spectacular match races at the SSG. After the race when questioned about the 'wheel serving' Frank said -"I never touched him ! ".
Ray in # 1 and the first of the later American Offy drivers to tour Australia - Dick 'Jet' Brown at the Sydney Royale in 1958.
A later shot of Ray and #1 - light blue nose with wide red pinstripe and small Australian flag on tail
Ray at The Royale - circa 1961-62 -with 'Big' Jack O'dea in the ex Saylors Offy and up high Leroy Warriner.
Click here to read about Ray - the man..
Top NZ Solo rider Merv Neil buys the Revell Offy in 1963 and fits a Lotus Cortina engine and runs the car as # 77.
1964 - NZ midget ace Barry Butterworth buys the car - fits a Ford V860 engine and runs it as #91 (which was the original # of the Johnny Peers Chev II car Barry drove in Sydney).
John Stanley relates :
"This is the Barry Butterworth # 91.
Red and white V860 powered 1964-65 Notice how the nose has a big hole cut out for new grille. During this season it blew a top radiator hose and Barry's legs and feet got badly burnt, put him out for the rest of the season."
1965 - 1966 Gordon Johns buys the car, paints it white and runs the # 30 with the V860 engine with John Stanley to drive. John says car was running longitudinal torsion bar rear suspension as Ray had fitted near the end of it's Aust. racing life.
1966 - 67 - car painted white and blue - Gordon Johns , with John Stanley driving, runs the Offy engine for the 1966 -67 season only.
Car has rear spring suspension refitted and large nose aperture Barry Butterworth modified for V860 engine cooling.
Ray with the Johnny Reed built Supercharged DOHC engine - fitted to # 1. Similar to an Offy but with a separate cylinder head. It was never run in the midget. Word was Ray also tried it in his road racing car.
Merv Neil - NZ Solo rider convinces Ray to sell the car to him and the car goes to New Zealand minus engine.
( circa 1963).
The car passes to John Stanley and John fits a grey Holden engine, paints it black and numbers it 75. ( not as Freeman tribute - he likes the colour black for midgets and just admired the Mackay cars ). John says the car was most successful in NZ with the Holden engine fitted.
John in the Holden with Trevor Morris
1969 - 70.
Being pushed out for the World 30 lap
Andy McGavin drives the Revell Offy at Westmead Speedway 1963- the Offy engine expires.
Johnny Stewart in the
# 2 BERCO Holden with Andy in the Offy.
1950 and 1951 Ray drives the Offy at Mt Panorama Bathurst as # 3 & # 11 - has transmission and brake problems.
Thank you to John Stanley (NZ) - Gordon Mc Isaac (NZ) - Eric Inmon, Howard Revell David Johnsen - Roy Morris (US) Mel Anthony (US) - John Stanley (Aust) - Kerry Ingham - Phil & Chris McGee - Bill Bowling for help with this page.
Ray with the Offy in America - circa
Ray's Sydney workshop and business.
The Offy arrives in Australia.
Frank Brewer in 99 - Ray in #1.
Johnny Peers in #12- Ray in # 1.
Ray in # 7
Sel Payne in
Frank Brewer in #99 - Ray in # 1.
Ray - Bill Reynolds Jack O'Dea
Ted Green in # 4 Ray in # 1.
Bob Playfair in # 17 Ray in # 7.
Norm Rogers in # 7
Ray in # 1.
Tattersall - Ray - O'Dea- Freeman.
Ray and the Offy pictorial.
John Stanley runs the car in New Zealand with the Offy engine.
Ray starts son Howard on his midget racing career. Howard's first midget drive at Westmead Speedway - NSW
A classic 1940s photos from the L.A. Coliseum in the states - Mel Hanson (Hansen) about to get a headache as Bob Pankratz in the Balch # 32 midget looks on. Pankratz was the man responsible for the later body on the Revell Offy.
...from Chris Mcgee in the U.S.on Johnny Balch and his cars:
"I came across this information on Johnny Balch in Ed Watson’s 70 years of midget racing".
“A major owner in midget racing in the post WWII era, Balch fielded cars for a number of great midget drivers including Eddie Haddad, Perry Grimm, Danny Oaks and Johnny McDowell, all of whom are in the Hall of Fame”
Considering fields of over 100 cars a night with the nation’s top drivers, the Balch cars taking the 1st. four places in the 1946 Gilmore points battle is incredible”
The car was brought back to Australia and restored by
Eric Inmon of Port Macquarie NSW to be shown and run in Vintage/ Classic Speedway meetings.
Click on Thumbnail photos to enlarge .
Glenn Revell and the restored Revell Offy at the Final meeting of the famous Sydney Showground Speedway on 27th. April 1996.