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Sir Stirling, the real truth at last...


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#1 kayemod

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 12:59

Not too sure if anyone else has mentioned this, I've been away for a couple of weeks so apologies if I've missed something, but as it was in the current issue of MotorSport, I posted more or less this same query in the MS thread, as it is reasonably relevant. Either I’ve got you all stumped, or more probably nobody noticed it, so I’m having another try. On page 53 of the Moss at 80 edition, The Great Man expresses opinions, among many other things, about that equally Great Man Colin Chapman. Having suffered fairly regularly at their hands, Sir Stirling makes the kind of comments you'd expect about Lotus fragility and their demanding nature, but then he makes the slightly surprising comment that it wasn't until the Lotus Type 23 that "He (Chapman) learned how to build a car that wouldn't fall to bits, until then he hadn't built a car that was fun to drive". Now, the 23 didn't appear until mid 62, after SCM's enforced retirement, so it's surely unlikely that he so much as sat in one, and I don't think anyone has ever credited the 23 as being particularly reliable or robust, nor were rather too many of the cars that followed over the next few years, so if it wasn't the 23, which Lotus was Mr Moss referring to, surely it wasn’t the Type 18/21, but possibly the 19 ?

As all MS readers will know, in the article SCM comments on all kinds of topics, cars, drivers, tracks and much more. Most of what he says will come as little surprise to most here, but there were one or two other opinions that did surprise me a little. This one will do to get us started though.

Again, apologies if a similar point has already been raised recently, but if it has I couldn’t find it.

Edited by kayemod, 21 September 2009 - 16:12.


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#2 David Force

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 15:11

Perhaps he meant the 25 ?

Stirling did say they were 'quick fire' questions, and thus presumable similar answers, an easy error if that's what it was.

I recall at an early Goodwood Festival of Speed standing with SM surveying the Lotus 25 of Cedric Selzer which had just been retreived from an 'off' at Molcombe when being driven by Chris Alford. Peering at the, now not so, lovely 25 lacking it's front corner SM remarked 'in my day the wheels fell off BEFORE the accident' and wandered off leaving us all amused and/or bemused...

#3 kayemod

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 16:10

Perhaps he meant the 25 ?


Yes of course, it could have been a slip of the tongue, we all do that at times, probably with some regularity if we're fortunate enough to make it to 80, but surely Stirling never drove or quite possibly even so much as sat in a 25, so the question remains, which Lotus was he referring to?


#4 cedricselzer

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 16:20

It was Rick Hall that drove my car at the Festival of Speed not Chris. Moss did have a Lotus 23 that he drove in historics in the 80s. I do not remember the exact year but I sold him some wheels and shared a garage with him at Silverstone 1 year.
Cedric Selzer

#5 D-Type

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 16:28

As written the sentence is a bit ambiguous - Effectively it says the Lotus 23 "wouldn't fall to bits" and "was fun to drive". The Lotus 23 reference could be to either. Could Stirling be saying that he found the 23 "fun to drive" rather than any more robust?

#6 David Force

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 16:49

It was Rick Hall that drove my car at the Festival of Speed not Chris. Moss did have a Lotus 23 that he drove in historics in the 80s. I do not remember the exact year but I sold him some wheels and shared a garage with him at Silverstone 1 year.
Cedric Selzer


Oops, sorry Cedric, and Chris...

:cool:



#7 Mal9444

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 18:02

Peering at the, now not so, lovely 25 lacking it's front corner SM remarked 'in my day the wheels fell off BEFORE the accident' and wandered off leaving us all amused and/or bemused...

:lol:

I once described to SM a Lotus that had gone through a hedge rather than round the nearby corner but confessed that, other than both rear wheels finding their way into the upper reaches of the rear bodywork, I could not recall what it was that had broken.

'If it was a Lotus it could have been anything, old boy - could have been anything...' was the reply.

I rather liked his description of Duncan Hamilton as a 'fast character' and then of Tony Rolt as 'an upper-class Duncan Hamilton - let's leave it at that.'

#8 kayemod

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 13:13

So we still don't know which Lotus, in The Great Man's opinion, was both fairly robust and enjoyable to drive?

#9 ex Rhodie racer 2

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 13:24

So we still don't know which Lotus, in The Great Man's opinion, was both fairly robust and enjoyable to drive?

Why the intrigue? He´s still alive. Ask him.


#10 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 14:21

19

DCN

#11 kayemod

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 14:32

19

DCN


Thanks Doug, so my original suspicions are confirmed!

#12 roger.daltrey

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 20:02

Great comment by SM about the 'wheels falling off before the accident'

Just shows that back in the day, the sport had 'gentlemen' competitors and it was mostly non-contact.

These days, with all the safety devices, people are quite willing to do a 'Piquet' to generate an outcome.

I know its not nostalgia, but watching the BTCC this weekend it seemed the only way to get the lead was to punt your opponent off - as there was no other way round.

To my mind, its a sad state of affairs - discuss ?

Cheers
Rog

#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 00:27

Just shows how the standard has gone down at Motor Sport...

You would never have had to ask that question in the past. Either it would have been explained or they would have made sure they got the number right!

#14 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 11:28

I know its not nostalgia, but watching the BTCC this weekend it seemed the only way to get the lead was to punt your opponent off - as there was no other way round.


Well why overtake when you can just plow through. Likewise when you try to overtake cleanly, the other guy nerfs you off the road. It's a self-feeding cycle of ineptitude that reflects more on the mindset of fendered racing than the modern state.


#15 Mal9444

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 18:26

Well why overtake when you can just plow through. Likewise when you try to overtake cleanly, the other guy nerfs you off the road. It's a self-feeding cycle of ineptitude that reflects more on the mindset of fendered racing than the modern state.


A point made by SCM himself elsewhere in the same issue of Motor Sport, referring to his own brief and - by his own admission ill-judged - so-called come back with Audi with the series in question:

'They all drove into each other. If my car wasn't bent at all four corners at the end of the race I wasn't going quick enough.I was astounded by the lack of ethics among the drivers. Some of them were quick, but none of them had any ethics.'


#16 kayemod

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 18:46

A point made by SCM himself elsewhere in the same issue of Motor Sport, referring to his own brief and - by his own admission ill-judged - so-called come back with Audi with the series in question:

'They all drove into each other. If my car wasn't bent at all four corners at the end of the race I wasn't going quick enough.I was astounded by the lack of ethics among the drivers. Some of them were quick, but none of them had any ethics.'


Never a truer word, but I suppose that's why we're all here mostly agreeing with each other on TNF rather than arguing violently on Racing comments.