John Lewis, in the Griffith Cup runner-up, Vulture, set five records at the kilo trials on Lake Glenmaggie last Sunday.

With 90.36 mph Lewis shattered Alan Fordham's long - standing Victorian and Australian Unlimited Service Runabout record, set at 89 mph mark in Venus.

He is also claiming the Victorian and Australian Displacement and Service Runabout records in the new 400 cubic inch class.

Vulture's 90.36 mph also gives Lewis Alan Fordham's Victorian Unlimited Displacement record and Glyn Graham's Victorian Unlimited Racing Runabout record which stood at 79 mph.

John Lewis was runner-up to Bendigo champion, Lloyd Willain, in the 1970 Sporting Globe Medal. -- TED MADDEN

* Madden, T. 1970, 'Lewis Sets 5 Records,' Sporting Globe, Aug 22, p.17.


I have just spent an enjoyable hour browsing through your web site reliving racing in the 60's and early 70,s.
I had the pleasure of knowing and racing with and against John in those years and have witnessed many of the incidents described.

My name is Rex Baxter and actually rode as passenger with John at Glenmaggie in 1970 when he broke the five runabout records. Sounds like bull**** but true.

During that period I rode as "Jockey" with Glyn "Plugger" Graham in the runabout Debbie Too and crewed for him when he purchased the skiff. At that time we worked very closely with the Stephensons from Newborough, Gippsland, who started manufacturing Stephens Boats. The orininal Stephens mould was taken from the runabout Debbie Too.

Because of this friendship I rode as passenger in the Stephens demo boats Combine (in kilo trials) and Susan Dee (in circuit racing) when a passenger was required.

I first met John and Geoff at Albert Park in the late 60's. I was in my late teens and he was in the process of getting Vulture built and was interested in our runabout as it was one of the two quickest 300ci service runabouts in Australia at the time. After that day at every meeting where we both were he would come up for a chat, ask questions and tell us how Vulture was going. When she took to the water Plugger & I already knew her well.

I found your Dad a great bloke and a pleasure to be around. I am not sure of the exactly why but in 1970 John asked ours and Stephens mechanic Ben Prajbisz to give him a hand at the Glenmaggi Kilo trials. I was there helping and John asked if I would jockey for him that day. It remains as one of my greatest memories of racing.

Thinking later about that day at Glenmaggi I remember the work that went into breaking those records. It wasn't as straight forward asputting the boat in the water, one run, bingo! Vulture was initially trimmed and one run completed a few MPH short of Venus's record. The boat was retrimmed, rocker covers off, tappets and timing adjusted. Another run, same process. It was on the third or fourth run that John broke that record.

Vulture was trimmed to take plenty of air and because of that and her design was difficult to get onto the plane with a passenger in the rear.

I stood in the front cockpit with John until the motor was fired then lay over the front deck to get weight forward until the boat was on the plane. With one hand on John's head and then onto the air inlet tubes to the injectors it was over the top of the motor and settle sideways in the rear cockpit under the overhead exhausts.

The boat rode beautifully. I could feel it breaking well clear of the water but surging forward not skywards as the propellor and wide cavitation plate did their job.
Great memories.

I notice also many photos on your site from my mate at the time Graeme Morley.
All the best and thanks again for putting the effort into the site
Rex Baxter