1949 Hunt Special "The Flying Bedstead" Vincent HRD Twin Engine F10AB/1/1178


Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
Just found on auction site Oz - very interesting!
Manchester born Reg Hunt arrived in Australia on the 9th May 1949 bringing with him various motor parts acquired during his time racing from his youth which he used to build his hill climb /road racer affectionately known as the Flying Bedstead. The specifications originally included a 500cc JAP (J.A. Prestwich) engine and Morgan sliding front suspension, famously used in their 3-wheeler cars since 1909. During its first year in the 500cc form it won the 1950 Under 1500cc Aggregate Year Lanes Trophy.
The Hunt Special Flying Bedstead 500cc JAP engine's first outing was in fact at Fisherman's Bend in October 1949, where it was noticeably quicker and outclassed the numerous M.G. specials it competed against. Some weeks later at Rob Roy hill-climb it lowered the class record by a substantial margin in the order of nearly 6 seconds, at 31.4 seconds. Other successes followed and a supercharged 998cc Vincent Black Lightening engine was fitted with the expertise of Vincent designer Phil Irving from a racing motor cycle and the body work was improved. First used in this guise at Bacchus Marsh in July 1951, and in 1951 at Bathurst, it outpaced a Cooper Vincent in the first race and was pipped on the last lap in the second race. The speed over the flying 1/4 mile was reported at 134 mph. Reg Hunt holds many Australian Hill Climb titles with the Flying Bedstead.
The racing car features prominently in the book 'Historic Racing Cars in Australia' by John Blanden, published in 1979 and other literature documenting its important role in Australian motor racing history. When Reg Hunt visited Europe in 1954 he purchased an ex-works Formula One Maserati, which arrived in Australia in late 1955. The Flying Bedstead was retired and went into other hands but in 1978 it was re-acquired by Reg with the intention of restoring it. This outstanding and meticulous ground up restoration has been painstakingly undertaken by Reg himself together with his son Graham and grandson Nigel Hunt and is testament to the dedication and racing pedigree of this illustrious Australian motor racing family.
The methanol fuelled 1000cc Vincent engine has been built by the Vincent specialists the Horner Brothers, who now build the Irving Vincent motorcycles to Black Lightning specifications and boasts a 13:1 compression ratio and the chassis built by veteran V8 Supercar engineer and welder Grant O'Neill. The body, running gear and wheels have all been re-commissioned to ensure a proper race ready going concern prepared with the view to win in the true Hunt tradition. The restoration has satisfied what the family has set out to achieve: to bring the Flying Bedstead back to life.
It offers a vintage and historic racer an opportunity to acquire a significant part of Australian motor racing history with the view to being highly competitive.
Purchased by its current owner at the Sotheby's auction of collectors' motor cars in Melbourne on the April 18th 2010 it has subsequently been on display at the Australian National Motor Museum in South Australia.

Last edited:


Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
It was purchased by Paul Zarha for approximately $53,000. For some strange reason the Centric supercharger that Phil Irving helped to install was a separate lot and went to another buyer. On the plus side, the car came with the original chassis that was used prior to the Vincent engine. Mr. Zarha owns another Vincent car: the Walkem Special with a twin engine. It was built by Jock Walkem in Tasmania.

Mr. Zarha is involved with vintage racing, but it sounds as if it will stay in the museum.

Last edited:


Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
why not just have a room with a lot of photo,s
they don,t move either.