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Unlikely cars for motor racing debuts


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#1 Giraffe

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 12:04

Whilst chatting to to ex-Formula Ford, Formula Ford 2000, Mini-Cooper and tintop racer Stuart Baird at the Gold Cup meeting at Oulton, he recounted tales of his exploits in the Ford Falcon Sprint, one of the original ex-Monte Carlo Rally cars (Frank Gardener campaigned one of the others) from the Alan Mann stable (and not one of the recreations currently about, Stuart stressed to me). After flipping it in an enormous accident at Island Bend, he rebuilt it and raced on, eventually selling it to a chap by the name of R.Staveacre who made his competition debut in it!
That must have been some baptism of fire, a Ford Falcon Sprint for your first ever motor race! Are there any more startling debut race cars out there to recall?

Edited by Giraffe, 03 September 2009 - 13:41.


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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 15:37

The Duke of Grafton's first (and last) race was the 1936 Limerick GP. He had originally entered with a 1.5 litre Squire, but then got extremely over-ambitious and bought a Bugatti T59. Bira and others were concerned that the car was ill-prepared, the tyres under-inflated and the driver too inexperienced, but he was nevertheless allowed to start. He crashed fatally on the first lap ....

#3 NanningF1fan

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:26

Someone told me that David Hobbs made his racing debut in his mother's Morris Minor Traveller! It was a long time ago but has always stuck in my memory. Can anyone confirm if it is true?

Everyone remembers John Foulston. But I also recall his wife Mary making her competition debut in a historic Formula 1 car! I can't remember which of John's stable of cars it was but it was at Donington Park and she never got it out of second gear.

In more recent times an anomaly in the licence regulations meant that it was common for complete novices to appear in the TVR Tuscan championship up against the likes of Ian Flux, Gerry Marshall, John Kent, Colin Blower and others of that calibre. Some hairy moments resulted in qualifying.

#4 jph

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:40

Someone told me that David Hobbs made his racing debut in his mother's Morris Minor Traveller! It was a long time ago but has always stuck in my memory. Can anyone confirm if it is true?


David Hobbs's race debut was actually in his mother's Morris Oxford, so just about as unlikely. Brian Redman's first racer, however, was, I believe, a Morris Minor Traveller.

#5 LB

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 08:55

David Hobbs's race debut was actually in his mother's Morris Oxford, so just about as unlikely. Brian Redman's first racer, however, was, I believe, a Morris Minor Traveller.


Didn't Peter Brock (Australian version ;)) not make his debut in his mums car? Or maybe he practised in it for Bathurst. I vaguely remember sonething like this from a video.



#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 12:57

Peter Brock's race debut was in his A30-Holden...

He took me for a ride in his mum's car, a Vauxhall Viva, early in 1966. But I don't think that counts. He did a lot of illicit laps at places like Tarrawingee in his hot early Holden too, but nothing official.

#7 NanningF1fan

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 02:55

[quote name='NanningF1fan' date='Sep 4 2009, 08:26' post='3836679']
Someone told me that David Hobbs made his racing debut in his mother's Morris Minor Traveller! It was a long time ago but has always stuck in my memory. Can anyone confirm if it is true?

Thanks for clearing that up. My memory is playing tricks in my old age

#8 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 04:48

My first 'racecar' was a 52 Vanguard ute.Followed by a Mk1 Zephyr and then an FJ Holden. Very low level motorsport though.
I started 'official' motorsport in a HR Holden at Tailem Bend Rallycross.