LapreCorn almost completed

By Robert Muir

Terry Cornelius of Wagunyah is finishing the building of a LapreCorn race car first commenced in the 1960s.

It’s looking magnificent and will be completed in the near future. This red beauty will, however, be on display for spectators and racers alike at the 43rd annual Historic Winton near Benalla on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19 of the three-day event.

Once completed, 75-year-old Terry will mainly use it in regularity events which are designed to test the driver’s consistency in driving with events timed usually 15 to 20 minutes. Depending on the track, Terry expects a speed of 160kmph.  

A long-time historic and speedway racer, Terry said this ‘grey’ Holden engined special was laid down by prominent special builder Don Lapham of Orange.

“Don had big plans for his creation, but the project stalled indefinitely prior to 1960. By that stage, it was a well formed tubular chassis with its suspension and steering principles and drive-line in place,” Terry told The Free Press.

Sydney’s Tony Skinner became its next owner, but no further progress was made until Terry acquired the rolling chassis in 1990, and in spite of its progress remaining stalled for a further extended period, good strides have been made in recent times.

Early during Terry’s ownership, a letter was sent to the Confederation of Motor Sport (CAMS), which included a supporting one from Don Lapham (since deceased) outlining the unique circumstances of the vehicle’s progress (or lack of) prior to 1960.

“CAMS came back with a ruling that providing the project progressed in the spirit in which it was begun, then a pre-1960 log book would be granted,” Terry said. “The almost-finished car bears a striking resemblance to a 250F Maserati.”

As a salute to the two builders, the new/old car is to be called the ‘LapreCorn’ and can be seen at the Historic Winton.

Historic Winton, Winton Motor Raceway, is Australia’s longest running, all-historic motor race meeting, with two big days of non-stop action from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Over 400 historic racing cars, motorbikes and sidecars from the 1920s to 1980s will battle it out for line honours. 

And the locally built LapreCorn from Cornelius Classic Panels in Corowa by the talented Wahgunyah owner will be admired by thousands of racing fans.