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#1 rdmotorsport

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 12:39

Although it will never happen again but who in your opinion was the true "gentleman racer" in the ficticious mould of Lord Brett Sinclair?

Both wealth and with some talent as given us various drivers over the decades but I am not sure what we would regard as the genuine gentleman racer?

Alain De Cad springs to mind but ACDC always seem to arrive with plenty of decals on his mount therefore suggesting someone else was footing the bill hence more professional than gentleman (no desrespect Alain I still think you are a gentleman)!

Brett Lunger probably could have used his wealth to buy the complete pit lane but again always carried corporate logos on his various bodywork(the car not his)!

Thinking back to the heady days of sportscars and in particular the Chevron drivers and think Richard Simms just paid for his fun but feel Martin Raymond had backing from Fisons,alas both chaps no longer with us.

I worked with a French chap in the very early eighties called Francois Duret and again he appeared just to have money and enjoyed every outing in again a Chevron.

Dorset racing Organisation appeared to be a happy bunch of swift amateurs around the same period.

Bobby Howlings

Ray Calcutt

Val Mussetti

are other names who appeared to spend their pocket money on racing. in fact Val told me he would be embarrased to have to search for a budget to race so he spent his own dosh however appeared for a short time with the logo of some ice cream company on his march when I questioned this it was his uncles company and he wanted a photo of Val and car in his ice cream factory (or shop) so paid Val for the entry fee although Val told me he never received the money but never mind he liked ice cream!

Over to you lot for your opinions and offerings.

Rodney Dodson

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#2 Stephen W

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 12:54

Originally posted by rdmotorsport
Both wealth and with some talent as given us various drivers over the decades but I am not sure what we would regard as the genuine gentleman racer?

Over to you lot for your opinions and offerings.

Rodney Dodson


Pop along to any British Hillclimb or British Sprint championship round to see genuine gentleman (and lady) racers. It does cost a lot of money to be competitive at this level when a set of tyres cost in excess of £1200.00 and at the sharp end of the hillclimb championship you need two sets per event!

It has always been the case that the competitors foot the bill at the grassroots yet the drivers in these two championships are extremely talented. Don't forget that not that long ago Andy Priaulx was winning the British Hillclimb Championship.

:wave:

#3 simon drabble

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 13:06

Dorset Racing was basically the only of the car and Tony then rented it out to drivers. The drivers were normally GD who brought some sponsorship to pay their way. Eddie Arundel must rank as a GD although his son Henry is proving to be a competitive professional

#4 Odseybod

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 13:09

Does a gentleman racer have to be successful or just there for the fun of it, I wonder? If the former, then Gentleman Jack Sears probably fits the bill. Count Taffy von Trips was also quite quick, as was Johnny Dumfries (Marquis of Bute) in more recent times. But I keep thinking back to Count Godin de Beaufort in the mid-60s, trailing round at the back of the F1 field in his outdated orange Porsche and thoroughly enjoying just taking part. To me, that's the mark of a true gentleman - but maybe I've read too much Dornford Yates?

#5 johnwilliamdavies

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 13:30

Originally posted by Odseybod
But I keep thinking back to Count Godin de Beaufort in the mid-60s, trailing round at the back of the F1 field in his outdated orange Porsche and thoroughly enjoying just taking part. To me, that's the mark of a true gentleman - but maybe I've read too much Dornford Yates?


See also Giovanni Lavaggi for Minardi and Pacific in the '90s.



-------------------------

Welsh Motor Sport History

#6 Sharman

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 15:33

I think you really need to look at the Vintage racers for personal money spent. People like Martin Morris (Rice Pudding) Patrick Lindsay (Auction House) both alas now departed but there are many more. Then you have the current crop of Historic Racers who probably spend enough to run a Formula Three team for a season.

#7 RStock

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 17:09

Originally posted by rdmotorsport
Although it will never happen again but who in your opinion was the true "gentleman racer" in the ficticious mould of Lord Brett Sinclair?

Both wealth and with some talent as given us various drivers over the decades but I am not sure what we would regard as the genuine gentleman racer?

Over to you lot for your opinions and offerings.

Rodney Dodson


I'm not sure what to make of this . It's a bit nebulous to me what exactly a "gentleman racer" is , as some of the same ilk take it more seriously than others .

If it merely requires coming from a wealthy background , lots of drivers could qualify . Count Trossi , Giuseppe Farina , Piers Courage just to name a few . I think even ol' Gerhardt Berger's family had ample funds .

But looking at it as a fellow who has the cash but just likes to dabble around a bit Carel de Beaufort is a good example , as someone has mentioned already . I think Silvio Moser is another , and what's the name of the ABBA drummer ?

#8 Tim Murray

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 17:18

Originally posted by Odseybod
... but maybe I've read too much Dornford Yates?

I always reckoned Jonah Mansel would probably have done a bit of racing in his time. (Sorry - very OT).

#9 rdmotorsport

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 18:07

I never regarded J.Dumfries in this catergory JD always worked hard raising funds for his drives the big bucks I believe came later in his life, still a good chap and we occasionally speak via the net, oh and Abba s drummer was Slim Borgud(Tommy) sorry if spelling is incorrect and again worked hard to raise funds for his drives.

#10 Odseybod

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 20:13

quote:Originally posted by Odseybod ... but maybe I've read too much Dornford Yates? I always reckoned Jonah Mansel would probably have done a bit of racing in his time. (Sorry - very OT).



Presumably in the Lowland rather than a Rolls. Captain Hugh Drummond was of course a Bentley man (sorry, now getting waaaaay OT).

#11 Odseybod

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 20:34

Meanwhile, I've been mulling over gently what makes a gentleman racer and decided (in my 'wisdom') that it probably harks back to cricket and the 'Gentlemen vs Players' matches. The implication being that the Gentlemen takes part solely for the sport, while the Players are at least semi-pro. It may also be reflected in the very British approach (upheld by our current Test cricketers) that it's actually rather Bad Form to try too hard to be good. let alone make an all-out effort to win. So, for example, a Gentleman will amble into the cricket ground for a spot of lunch, discover the home team are one man short against the Tourists, diffidently offer his services if he can borrow someone's bat, then score the winning century - and of course be terribly embarrassed about it afterwards.

Translate that into motor racing and yes, there's probably a distinction between aristocratic racers (who - shock horror- can turn out not to be afraid of hard work to raise the funds to support their talent, as mentioned) and those who, despite the lack of a hereditary title, display a properly gentlemanly approach while casually making the rest of the grid eat their dust - then smile rather apologetically on the podium. Sadly, I suspect the breed's extinct.

#12 rdmotorsport

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 20:39

Oh,God what have I started!

#13 rdmotorsport

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 09:34

and perhaps Nick Mason?

#14 simon drabble

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:02

Nick Mason is a good call I agree that Johnny Bute was a professional driver rather than amateur.
IF we are going down the privateer route - Don Shead and his son James were successful privateers in their Spice in successive years at Le Mans also Anthony Bamford, Tom Dodd-Noble, Colin Pool etc..

#15 ensign14

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:17

Porfirio Rubirosa, SURELY?

#16 Vitesse2

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 12:03

Willie Eckerslyke ....

#17 rdmotorsport

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 12:30

Rikki Von Opel?

#18 RenÚ de Boer

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 13:08

Albert F├╝rst von Thurn und Taxis

#19 fines

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 14:30

Doc Shattuc for me is the epitome of a gentleman racer, and he was quite good, too!

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#20 rdmotorsport

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 15:29

sorry,this ais a new name to me,can you explain about him more?

#21 fines

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 16:34

William E. "Doc" Shattuc was an MD from Kentucky, who bought a Miller 122 (probably 2nd hand) and simply went racing - in the board track era! I am not really sure, but I believe his first race of any kind was the 1924 Thanksgiving Classic at the Los Angeles Speedway in Culver City (CA), where he finished 5th with an average speed of more than 120 mph :eek:, beating, amongst others, the reigning AAA National Champion Eddie Hearne and Grand Prix great Pietro Bordino!! Half a year later, he easily qualified for his first Indy 500, and waged a terrific battle with super star Ralph de Palma in the closing stages, finally finishing 9th after a disastrous last pit stop, again beating Bordino, and three other Indy veterans.

Shattuc competed in 27 National Championship races between 1924 and '28, with a career best finish of 3rd, beating Harry Hartz and Pete de Paolo on the occasion! He also tried dirt track racing, finishing 4th at Denver (CO) in 1925. As I said, he was quite good... But the nicest thing about him, he really looked like a proper doc should look! :)

#22 rdmotorsport

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 18:10

Thanks for that

#23 rdmotorsport

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 19:42

The extra quick Harry Stiller Esq.?

#24 Derek Pitt

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 07:48

I do hope a bit of colonial input will not be off-topic in this thread.

My definition of a gentleman racer is one of a wealthy amateur who, without outside financial support, is able to compete at high levels and who, unlike the England cricket team, is able to do so and enjoy a reasonable degree of success.

One such gentleman racer was the 4 times Australian Grand Prix winner A. N. (Lex) Davison.

In the period 1954 to 1965, against a background scenario in which factory built grand prix began to come Australia in ever-increasing numbers, Davison consistently maintained his presence at the top level of Australian motor racing. First with ex-Ascari Ferrari 500 GP car fitted with a 3.4 litre Monza engine then, in defiance of the dreaded mechanical mice or anti-climaxes as he disdainfully referred to the increasingly dominant Coopers, he campaigned two DBR250 GP cars fitted with 3 litre DBR1 engines, one of which just missed out on winning the 1960 AGO by 1/20th of a second. The classic Astons were followed bya series of 2.7/2.5 Coopers and finally, a 2.5 Brabham.

Unlike virtually all the other top australian drivers of the era, who were also wealthy amateurs, usually motor car traders from within the industry, Davison's personal wealth, derived from the family-owned high fashion women's shoe business, financed his racing activities - and despite his catholicism, his wealth, reputation and charm, ensured he was a respected member of the conservative Melbourne establishment of the era.

In a period when advertising on cars was forbidden and sponorship, save for some petrol and tyre company support was non-existent, Davison's immaculately turned out cars, complete with the ever-present BRDC badge and the driver's white Herbie Johnson helmet, were a constant force to be reckoned with, right up to the time of his unfortunate death at Sandown Park in 1965

During the time mentioned, Davison won the 1957 Gold Star (Australian Driver's Championship), four Australian GP's and numerous races around the country. He was a household name in this country when motor racing was still considered not "quite right."

In my book - truely a gentleman racer

Derek

#25 rdmotorsport

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 15:05

interesting,thank you

#26 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 21:35

Jim Kimberly...who was actually known as "Gentleman Jim."

Harry Schell

Briggs Cunningham

Lance Reventlow


Jack (just my signature....not a racer and some would argue not a gentleman).

Forgot to mention Masten Gregory

#27 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 08:18

Chris Craft or I got this one wrong?

#28 fuzzi

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:07

Charles Lucas

Neil Corner

Colin Crabbe

#29 fines

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:10

Earl Howe!

#30 rdmotorsport

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:33

Mike Salmon

#31 ensign14

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:44

Rob Walker.

#32 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:56

Originally posted by ensign14
Rob Walker.

Ah! The ultimate gentleman, who even changed into a dinner jacket when driving an evening stint at Le Mans!

#33 roger_valentine

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:03

I wouldn't argue with the nomination of Rob Walker.

But, if this isn't a slightly disrespectful question, has anyone actually seen the passport where is occupation is, reputedly, given as 'gentleman'.

(So many myths have been bebunked by TNF over the years - I do hope that this one is shown to be true.)

#34 rdmotorsport

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:12

I am not aware of what was supposed to say on Mr.Walkers passport although Tony Dean once told me that on Guy Edwards passport his occupation actually states "general factotum" which apparently managed a salute from a military immigration official in South America

#35 RS2000

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 14:16

Originally posted by Stephen W
It has always been the case that the competitors foot the bill at the grassroots yet the drivers in these two championships are extremely talented. Don't forget that not that long ago Andy Priaulx was winning the British Hillclimb Championship.


Arguably, Andy Priaulx's "maximum score" championship, in what was not the best car, rather put the abilities of the rest of the then British Hillclimb Championship regulars into perspective.
Its long been a source of anger that real grass roots competitors (in saloons etc.) in speed events at non-permanent venues equally foot the bill for safety infrastructure they dont need or which actually puts them at risk of greater damage in the event of an off...and these "gentlemen racers" gain.

#36 ensign14

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 14:49

I don't think passports have occupations any more. I assume they did at some point.

There was an urban myth that Claude Loraine Barrow's life insurance company refused to pay up following his fatal accident in 1903, as his occupation was given as "gentleman", but that his estate successfully sued when it was argued that "racing motorist" was a proper pastime for a gentleman. I think that master of elegance William Court lanced that one. (The case, not that Mr Barrow was a gentleman.)

#37 rdmotorsport

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 17:57

talking of Andy Priaulx starting out in hillclimbs do not forget Russell Spence also started this way and within a few years into F3000 minst you Russell is one of lifes great charmers and full of fun in fact great to be around ,ehoweverI stutter to refer him as a gentleman !