Bill Dunlop raced American Miller-Chevrolet midgets on
dirt tracks when the formula flourished in South Africa in the late 1940s
and 1950s. When this form of racing began to fade he decided to turn his
hand to circuit racing and inspired by the Cooper F3 cars he built a 500 cc
special using two Fiat Topolino chassis placed back to back. It was
initially powered by a 500 JAP speedway engine but by the time it appeared
on the track a 500 ohc Norton had been fitted.
In May 1957 Bill was running in a strong 4th position
during the Union Day Handicap at Grand Central Circuit, near Johannesburg
when a rocker arm snapped on the last lap.
In 1958 he sold the Moke to Charlie Randall, a top
motorcycle rider, who was looking for a little car for his daughter Desiree
to drive in micro-midget events. Desiree Wilson was later to become one of
the best female racing drivers ever. Bill then acquired (from Mitch
Mitchell) the ex-Tony Fergusson
Cooper Mk. IX and eventually upgraded it
to 1100 JAP power.