Jump to content


Photo

Little things


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Bauble

Bauble
  • Member

  • 1,040 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 31 August 2012 - 14:48

Little Things!

No don't worry Pete, this is not about you, your secret is safe with me.

They say there is nothing new under the sun, and I suspect that applies to TNF as well. In my brief tenure on site, I have learned that whatever you raise as a topic some old codger will tell you " bin there dun that!"

Napoleon's retreat from Moscow? Covered it in 1897. Felice Nazzaro's greatest race? Done to death in 1923!

No matter I will ask the question anyway.

The forum is riddled with 'greatest', 'fastest', 'best ever', 'favourite ....', golden even, etc, but what about the Little Things?

By this I mean things that will probably be quite trivial in nature ( no offence Pete) and undoubtedly very personal to you, perhaps a smile from a driver in the paddock, an autograph gladly given with a friendly word or two, those things that stick in your memory that make the sport what it is for you.

Over some 60 odd years of spectating I have many such cameos that woud seem almost silly to relate, but that mean a lot to me.

For instance, one of my earliest favourite drivers was Graham Whithead, and on an occasion when he was driving his ERA at Crystal Palace, I leant out from the spectator enclosure as far as possible and waved furiously at him on the slowing down lap. He must have been suprised to find he had such an enthusiastic fan because he looked back as he passed and almost lost control of the car. That would have been a disaster for his greatest admirer.

Similarly when giving Jim Russell a big wave at Brands Hatch as he finished a 500cc race, he looked across and gestured to his elbow. We learned later that he had spilled acid on it from a leaky battery, and knew he was explaining why he had not won the race to a couple of his fans.

Are you willing to share your 'little things' with us? If so better get in early before the dreaded 'topic drift' takes us into uncharted, and almost certainly dangerous, waters. For there be monsters.

Please do not feel obliged to tell us your secrets, this is just a pursuit of trivia.

I look forward to hearing from you.

bauble.

Edited by Bauble, 31 August 2012 - 14:50.


Advertisement

#2 Paul Parker

Paul Parker
  • Member

  • 1,737 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 31 August 2012 - 15:23

Little Things!

No don't worry Pete, this is not about you, your secret is safe with me.

They say there is nothing new under the sun, and I suspect that applies to TNF as well. In my brief tenure on site, I have learned that whatever you raise as a topic some old codger will tell you " bin there dun that!"

Napoleon's retreat from Moscow? Covered it in 1897. Felice Nazzaro's greatest race? Done to death in 1923!

No matter I will ask the question anyway.

The forum is riddled with 'greatest', 'fastest', 'best ever', 'favourite ....', golden even, etc, but what about the Little Things?

By this I mean things that will probably be quite trivial in nature ( no offence Pete) and undoubtedly very personal to you, perhaps a smile from a driver in the paddock, an autograph gladly given with a friendly word or two, those things that stick in your memory that make the sport what it is for you.

Over some 60 odd years of spectating I have many such cameos that woud seem almost silly to relate, but that mean a lot to me.

For instance, one of my earliest favourite drivers was Graham Whithead, and on an occasion when he was driving his ERA at Crystal Palace, I leant out from the spectator enclosure as far as possible and waved furiously at him on the slowing down lap. He must have been suprised to find he had such an enthusiastic fan because he looked back as he passed and almost lost control of the car. That would have been a disaster for his greatest admirer.

Similarly when giving Jim Russell a big wave at Brands Hatch as he finished a 500cc race, he looked across and gestured to his elbow. We learned later that he had spilled acid on it from a leaky battery, and knew he was explaining why he had not won the race to a couple of his fans.

Are you willing to share your 'little things' with us? If so better get in early before the dreaded 'topic drift' takes us into uncharted, and almost certainly dangerous, waters. For there be monsters.

Please do not feel obliged to tell us your secrets, this is just a pursuit of trivia.

I look forward to hearing from you.

bauble.


Not sure this qualifies and I did post this a long time ago on here but for what it is worth...

I attended the 1967 BOAC 500 and had a press pass which in those days meant access all areas, literally.

Graham Hill was sharing a works Porsche with Jochen Rindt and during the race he was on the pitwall watching his co-driver in company with then Ferrari team manager Franco Lini who had replaced Dragoni. I edged closer and heard Lini trying quite earnestly to persuade Hill to drive for Ferrari.

As my presence was quite obvious I then departed the scene but this perhaps was one of those 'what if' moments, although with hindsight there was no reason why Graham would have abandoned the fastest F1 drive for the quixotic charms of the Scuderia as it was.


#3 RStock

RStock
  • Member

  • 1,343 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 31 August 2012 - 15:23

" bin there dun that!"

#4 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,330 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 31 August 2012 - 16:03

Like the moment in the pitlane of Hockenheim, during Saturday practice for the 1982 German Grand Prix, when Frank Williams looked me straight into the eye for a second or two - probably thinking, what on earth is this lanky teenager's business here??? Never mind, this look stayed with me for ever since, and gave me a whole lot of a different perspective of the man. That same day, Nigel Mansell almost rolled over my foot with his Lotus, but that was just an :eek: experience...

#5 RStock

RStock
  • Member

  • 1,343 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 31 August 2012 - 17:04

OK, I'll make an attempt at a serious answer.

I suppose a "little thing" for me would be not only one of my earliest memories of racing but of life itself. I recall as a wee lad going to a sprint car race with my dad. Those engines made a terrifying noise (Offy's most of them I think) and scared the bejeezes out of me. I stayed behind my dad most all the night peeking over his shoulder to see what was going on.

I think that fright stayed with me and is one of the things I love about racing, just knowing that something dangerous and loud is happening. Also as I would lose my dad just a few years later, it's a memory of his love of racing that was passed on to me. It's one of those "little things" that is a "big thing" to me.

Edited by RStock, 31 August 2012 - 17:04.


#6 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,425 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 31 August 2012 - 18:21

Could this qualify?

Alec Mildren was having a film made of the Tasman Cup events of 1966. At Longford the cinematographer hadn't yet turned up on the Friday and Alec was wielding the camera himself to capture the moments of that day on film.

#7 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,203 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 31 August 2012 - 22:16

As a 13 year old, walking through the Thruxton paddock after the 1975 Easter Monday F2 race and coming across the victorious Monza Gorilla who signed my programme. At the same time someone across the way shouted out " Hey Vittorio you spaghetti muncher " at which point Mr Brambilla grinned and slowly raised his middle finger in the direction of the person concerned. That was when I realised racing drivers were normal people :)

#8 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,744 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 31 August 2012 - 22:45

Talking of Vittorio - we were wandering through the Silverstone paddock at the 1975 GP when we spotted him coming the other way. Suddenly there was this dreadful banshee screeching noise behind us. Startled, we spun round to find Lella Lombardi just behind us, shouting (in Italian) what I took to be good-natured insults at Brambilla.

#9 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,203 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 31 August 2012 - 23:33

Talking of Vittorio - we were wandering through the Silverstone paddock at the 1975 GP when we spotted him coming the other way. Suddenly there was this dreadful banshee screeching noise behind us. Startled, we spun round to find Lella Lombardi just behind us, shouting (in Italian) what I took to be good-natured insults at Brambilla.


Must check my programme to see if Lella was at Thruxton that Easter Monday though not sure if her colloquial english was up to "spaghetti muncher" :lol:

What I did notice was that Vittorio was a universally popular winner amongst all of the teams present


#10 Rob G

Rob G
  • Member

  • 10,931 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 01 September 2012 - 00:09

After years of trying to drag my brother or my sister to a car race at VIR, I finally was able to get my sister to a historics event. Within ten minutes, she was sitting in the cockpit of John Surtees's 1969 F5000 car with an enormous grin on her face, thanks to the friendly owner. She was so enthusiastic about it that she later inquired about the possibility of being a flagger.

#11 E1pix

E1pix
  • Member

  • 9,692 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 01 September 2012 - 00:25

Thatta Bro!

Good Job. :up:

#12 Sharman

Sharman
  • Member

  • 2,746 posts
  • Joined: September 05

Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:56

Druid's at Oulton had in its early existence a sheer bank on the outside fairly close, perhaps 6 feet from the edge of the track. One rainy day I was marshalling there when Duncan Hamilton was running his HWM, he came into the first apex at what seemed to be an enormous speed and slid across theto the outside. I thought "Ooh going to be a nasty one". He hit the bank with his near side rear, bounced off and disappeared towards Lodge. A mistake I conjectured, when he did the same thing on the next lap and the next I realised that it was all played for. Neat and tidy no, effective yes.

#13 RCH

RCH
  • Member

  • 797 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:16

Two apologies spring to mind.

On a business visit to Williams then in Didcot I was talking to their buyer when up came Frank Williams himself, with a charming smile and abject apologies he asked if I minded him borrowing his employee for a couple of minutes.

Then in a crowded paddock at the Goodwood festival I almost tripped up Stirling Moss, to my amazement he apologised to me and rushed off and it was definitely my fault!

#14 Eric Dunsdon

Eric Dunsdon
  • Member

  • 645 posts
  • Joined: February 08

Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:32

Druid's at Oulton had in its early existence a sheer bank on the outside fairly close, perhaps 6 feet from the edge of the track. One rainy day I was marshalling there when Duncan Hamilton was running his HWM, he came into the first apex at what seemed to be an enormous speed and slid across theto the outside. I thought "Ooh going to be a nasty one". He hit the bank with his near side rear, bounced off and disappeared towards Lodge. A mistake I conjectured, when he did the same thing on the next lap and the next I realised that it was all played for. Neat and tidy no, effective yes.

Thats a wonderful memory, and one that I can relate to. I recall that Duncan used the grass banks lining the Dundrod circuit in pretty much the same way!. Larger than life and always great fun to watch. :cool:

#15 Stephen W

Stephen W
  • Member

  • 11,843 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:02

1985 Detroit GP and thanks to a tenuous link with Brabham I managed to get a Press pass. During Saturday practice I was at Cobo Hall 2 (the second left hander) and was using the widest angle lens I had to capture the cars as they skimmed the Armco on the inside of the corner. Alan Jones came round in the Lola-Beatrice and on his out lap I took a photo, as he came round on his first flying lap he gestured to me indicating he was in second gear! On his next lap I suggested in a similar gesture that first may be more appropriate!

Later that day in the car park paddock under Cobo Hall I wandered up to Jones as he stood chatting to the team. He saw me coming and started laughing, "I thought I recognised you, how have you been?" was his opening remake. Apparently he remembered me from his days in Formula Atlantic with Harry Stiller when the team stayed at the same hotel as I did for the British GP and we spent a couple of evenings in the bar!



#16 RJE

RJE
  • Member

  • 111 posts
  • Joined: August 06

Posted 02 September 2012 - 11:23

The story of Duncan Hamilton brings to mind an incident that happened to me in I think 1960. A friend and I were acting as marshals during practice for a meeting at Aintree. For some reason that still defeats me we were sent to stand on a sort of concrete patio in front of a small outbuilding and guarded by a row of straw bales, this on the outside to the exit of the Melling Crossing.

This proved to be a fantastic vantage point and seeing as we seemed to have no other duties we just settled down to watch. This was fine until practice for the following day's saloon car race. After a couple of laps Mike Parkes with the sliding tail of his Sopwith 3.8 Jaguar, hit the first of the row of straw bales pushing it back by a foot or so. On the next lap he hit the second in line then the next and so on. All this at very high speed. After about four laps and and as many straw bales we decided that this was quite deliberate and it was getting a bit too close. Having nowhere else to go we took the only route of escape we could and took to sitting on the outhouse roof.