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Did Jim Clark ever meet The Beatles?


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#1 chrisj

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Posted 17 March 2001 - 03:28

I've been trying to read more about Jim Clark and nothing really gives me a good sense of what kind of person he was, beyond the "shy, unassuming, etc." unsatisfactory, vague descriptions. In a cultural context, he must have been one of the most recognized figures in Britain in the '60's, as a 2-time champion and Indy 500 winner, yet there seems to be much more written about Graham Hill and what a beloved public hero he was. Which leads me to my question-- I've seen pictures of Jackie Stewart with Ringo and George at various GP's, but did Jim Clark ever meet the Beatles? Or I should ask, did the Beatles ever meet Jim Clark?

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#2 FLB

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Posted 17 March 2001 - 04:20

At Indy in 1964, Team Lotus members kept being asked if they knew any of The Beatles. They didn't.

You would like to read Andrew Ferguson's Team Lotus: The Indy Years . It destroyed the view I had of Clark, which was basically the same as yours.

#3 moody

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Posted 17 March 2001 - 06:49

Perhaps you could post some text from the book for us on the subject of what he was really like...

#4 Bernd

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Posted 17 March 2001 - 07:23

The only book to read is Jim's own work along with Graham Gauld.

Jim Clark at the Wheel - Jim Clark

"That boy is the greatest racing driver in the world"
Juan Manuel Fangio, Monza 1967

#5 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 March 2001 - 12:46

Who are the Beatles?

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 March 2001 - 13:26

I think they're the ones that inspired Jackie Stewart to go to Jay Sebring, Roger.

#7 Dennis David

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Posted 17 March 2001 - 16:15

I like the Gauld book but I thought that "Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion" by Eric Dymock gave you a better idea of what the driver was really like.


#8 David McKinney

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Posted 17 March 2001 - 17:42

I'm with Dennis on this

#9 Buford

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Posted 17 March 2001 - 22:07

I knew him slightly at Indy in 1963 and the years after. My dad knew Dan Gurney as well as Tony Hulman and Dan came to him and asked him to use whatever influence he had with Tony H. to get USAC to stop hassling them in tech etc. To make a long story short, Tony told them to cut it out. That this was Ford Motor Company and he wanted them there, and the foreign influence was bringing in much new interest. USAC did what Tony wanted so they reduced the harassment, until race day anyway.

In those days, the teams did not have tons of people and had no photographer. My father took and gave the team great photos and hung around their garage. He was about the only "oval racer" type they knew there who was nice to them. I was a young teenager. We ate lunch in the Speedway restaurant with Clark and Gurney and Chapman and the chief mechanic Dave Lazenby several times and dinner at the motel a couple times. I talked to Jim one-on-one several times over the next 3 or 4 years. My experience was he was indeed quiet, shy, totally unaffected by his skill, fame, and status, maybe a little effeminate (horrors) at least by the standards of the rough and tumble American racers I knew with their limps and burn scars. He had small soft looking hands and was very nervous. Had bitten his finger nails to the quick. But he was pure racer.

After the race in 1963 when they were cheated in the oil dropping scandal we went immediately to the garage area. I could get in after the race though was too young during the month. My dad knew all the guards so they let me and my younger brother in. All hell was breaking loose in the garage with talk of the black flag and protests to be filed etc. The only one not excited and furious was Clark. He was standing there near the bench and I always knew my place (as opposed to current race fans) and never bothered a racer when they were busy. But Jim seemed to be the only one not busy so I walked up to him with the qualifying photos we had gotten back since the last time we saw them. I had several 8 X 10’s for the team and some to get autographed for ourselves. Jim loved the photos, signed all the ones I wanted signed, and then turned to Dave Lazenby and told him to pull the spark plugs from the 2nd place Lotus which was sitting there still crackling, and give them to me. I still have the one I kept (the other 7 went to my brother and other people).

One other thing. Jim was definitely heterosexual despite some rumors. He hustled the notorious “girl who hangs around the pit gate” (or better put – let her hustle him), a gorgeous brunette who was well known in the racing community and they went off in a car to the motel. A full 7 years later, I also saw her in 1970 at the USGP at Watkins Glen with Colin Chapman. It was finally my turn in 1973 at IRP when as a young Mini Cooper driver she decided to let me in on the action. I had drooled after her for a decade so if nothing else, I got to nail the same girl Jim Clark did. Of course, so did everybody else!


#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 March 2001 - 23:18

So did you meet the Beatles?

A fabulous story, Buford, and reminiscent of some of the times I had those days, but more with the likes of McLaren than Clark.

Don't recall ever aspiring to play follow-the-leader, though!

#11 Buford

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 00:16

Ha - no I never met the Beatles. Does Professor Irwin Corey count?

Incidentially, I also saw "the girl who hangs around the pit gate" go off with Chris Amon when he was at Indy plus countless American racers. I used to sit on the top row of the Tower Terrace on practice days where I could see the track, pits, and over the back, the entrance to the garage area where she spent every day for 9 hours waiting and talking to all the drivers who came by. She never collected autographs or took pictures. She was making another kind of collection. I was totally in love with her from afar. In 1968, I saw her at a protest rally in Chicago for the Conspiracy 8 and I finally worked up the courage to go up and say something. I said "Excuse me, are you the girl who hangs around the pit gate at Indy?" (Of course I knew she was). She seemed very embarrassed and said yes and then hurried away.

Thinking back, it was 1972 at IRP when I finally got my chance, not 1973. She had worked her way down from Formula One and Indy cars to SCCA Regionals! Maybe it was just an off weekend and we were the only drivers in town. I didn't tell her I had lusted after her for years or was the guy who embarrassed her in Chicago years earlier. After all, at that point I was a driver and she was just another pit poosie to me... ahem! Well, that's what I acted like anyway. I had studied at the knees of the masters, after all!

#12 Dennis David

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 00:42

Hey that story was even better the second time around.

#13 Buford

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 00:53

Hmmm. I am a newbee here. It seems if I hit the back button to go back to the main page it posts again. I'll remember that. Sorry!

#14 Buford

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 00:56

Ah - I figured out how to delete the duplicate. I'm learning.

#15 Dennis David

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 01:34

Don't let me stop you from posting more great stories!;)

#16 Buford

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 02:50

I like to talk about racing. I used to post on Speednet. Mainly wanted to talk about past racing. but got caught up in all the IRL/CART fiasco, lots of personal annimosity. People trying to out me, discredit me, etc. They spent tons of money to try to find out who I was and eventually identified my business partner as me. The IRL zealots couldn't believe someone could have actually been there and known the people they were talking about and been on the scene when so many incidents they were trying to misrepresent took place.

I grew up in a racing family, raced all the cars starting in quarter midgets at age 7, USAC Midgets, WOO Sprint Cars, sports cars of all kinds, IMSA, SCCA. Ran some Nascar. Even tested an Indy Car (1983 Theodore) and a Formula One car (1981 Arrows). People on that forum did not want somebody who had actually been there telling them they did not know what they were talking about. Maybe this forum will be kinder and gentler - ha.

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 03:05

Anyone who followed in Jim Clark's and Chris Amon's.. ahem* footsteps? ahem*... is welcome here... real welcome, Buford!

And you're not alone...

Probably among old friends...

#18 FLB

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 03:15

OMG! Welcome to TNF, Hoot! :D

This is where you belong.

#19 Buford

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 03:22

Yeah and in that context, Bobby Unser, Mario Andretti, Colin Chapman, Billy Foster, probably A.J. Foyt (not postitive), and many many more. This girl was notorious and a total knockout. Everybody always referred to her as "the girl who hangs around the pit gate." Not that she was the only one. Just the most persistent and sucessful.

Getting back to Jim Clark, I think one of my main memories is how after his death it affected the drivers. I only knew the Americans very well, but they were in total shock. People got killed all the time then. I was just a kid but had grown up having all by heroes get wiped out so we were pretty numbed to it. But when Jim Clark died it scared people. The other drivers held him in awe like no one before or since that I've known of. If it could happen to him... it bore deeply into the hard shell we had all built. It could happen to anybody. Not that we didn't know that. But Clark's death changed things. It was never the same after that.

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#20 Dennis David

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 03:28

Their loss is our gain! I think that you will get a better reception here. Now get over to the "Introductions" thread if you have not already done so.

#21 FLB

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 04:33

Buford, on that other site you had once made a very interesting post about an idea you had when it came to describe racing people. Considering the on-hand experience of some who come here (Ray Bell, Barry Boor, Karl Ludvigsen, etc.), could you post it so they could comment? I would very much appreciate their perspective.

I'm refering to the Big D*** / Pompous A** / S***box Hero post.

#22 Buford

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 04:37

Are you referring to "Theory Of The Pompus Ass"?

Oh - I see your last line. The Pompus Ass article and "Racing Is Just A Dick Measuring Game Using Neat Toys." was the other one.

I didn't save them originally but people kept requesting their reposts and somebody eventually sent them to me.

Yeah I can post them. They are on my hard disk here somewhere. I have no problem with a critique from racers and race people themselves because I have yet to have one tell me I hadn't nailed it perfectly, as only a real racer would be able to. It was only the non-racers that questioned the "theories", which of course were intended as generalizations presented in jest, but with real truth way down deep in there too.

I'll look them up but I better not post them the first day I show up here. I have no intention of creating a big fuss (right away anyway) ;-)


#23 FLB

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 04:38

Yes I am.

#24 RiverRunner

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 07:46

Glad you found this haven,Hoot.
Yah,it's me ;)

#25 Buford

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 08:01

Hey dude! One of my old defenders and co-conspirators! One of the few who actually knows who I am and I have broken bread with. I just got back from Mardi Gras and Spring break. We have to make a plan for going bimbo hunting at the river this Spring. Get in touch.

#26 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 19:45

Getting back briefly to the original question, although it seems unlikely that the Fab Four met Jim Clark, George Harrison did become closely associated with the Motor Racing world during the 1970s. He wrote and recorded a song called "Faster" dedicated to Jody Scheckter and was often seen at Grands Prix. For any years he owned a collection of fine cars, including the 1961 Monaco winning Lotus.

#27 jarama

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 21:04

Roger,

IIRC, this song was dedicated to Ronnie Peterson, died a few months before.

#28 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 March 2001 - 23:29

"Faster" is inspired by Jackie Stewart & Niki Lauda.
Dedicated to the Entire Formula One Circus.
Special thanks to Jody Scheckter. In memory of Ronnie Peterson.

From Harrison's web-site


#29 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 19 March 2001 - 03:09

I can not entirely agree with Dennis D. and David M. about the Eric Dymock book. I think it is very interesting and certainly a "must read" for anyone interested in learning about Jim Clark. It has many otherwise unavailable anecdotes and background.

However it portrays Jim in a way that is (as of course is any biography) the point of view of the author and as such is just one man's opinion. Although Eric Dymock knew him better than I did, I knew Jimmy well enough to question some of the things Dymock says. And, perhaps more to the point, I have discussed the book with people who new Jimmy far better than either Dymock or I ever did, who are very troubled by some of what he has to say.

My point here is that this is far from the definitive biography of Jim Clark. It's worth reading but don't necessarily take as "gospel" all of the conclusions the author reaches.



#30 Bernd

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Posted 19 March 2001 - 03:19

I agree with Mike on this point he put into words what I was thinking, thanks Mike :) For the record I found the Dymock book slightly romanticised.

I recommend two books highly

1. Jim Clark at the Wheel - As this is Jim himself writing you can gain huge insights into his character. The fact that he focusses on others achievements more than his own is quite telling. The sheer joy he got from driving is also prevailant throughout the book.

2. Jim Clark Tribute to a great driver - Edited by Graham Gauld in 1968 after Jimmy's passing. This book is a collaboration of tributes from all the other top drivers of the time giving their frank views of Clark. This is probably the best book on Clark I have read who better to pass judgment than his peers?

#31 Joe Fan

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Posted 19 March 2001 - 07:31

Hello Buford! Another Masten Gregory fan here is always a great thing. Glad you could join us here.

Mike, I have read parts of the Dymock book but not all of it. Out of curiosity, I wonder what parts of the book bothered you.

As far as Graham Gauld's book, I haven't seen a copy of it yet but it should be one that I will get pick up along the way here shortly. Graham told me that he felt the book's success was his ability to show both the good and bad aspects of Jimmy's personality. After my submission of my Masten article to HMR, we warned me not to make my biography on Masten a "hagiography."

#32 Buford

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Posted 14 April 2001 - 10:42

Wow. I went back and dug up this thread. I haven't had time to read the great Clark-Gurney series on this board until now. So here I am at 3:30 in the morning finally getting around to it and enjoying it immensely. And I was blown away by this paragraph.

"Clark's philosophic and perhaps fatalistic view of motor racing would come in handy later on. After the race was restarted, Clark was back in the lead when, on lap 47, while in Indy Turn 4 at speed, his left rear Dunlop tire shredded which caused the suspension of the Lotus to collapse just as the car passed the Yard of Bricks. Clark brought the car to a halt in Indy Turn 1 and parked it. Again, Clark was outwardly unflappable, first asking to borrow Ferguson's Lotus Elan so he could leave the racetrack and then chatting up a girl Clark had spotted in the crowd and had befriended. As Ferguson watched, Clark and his Lotus Elan disappeared into Speedway, Indiana, Clark "[s]till in his overalls, and having put his crash helmet in the boot of the Elan, he drove off, accompanied by his friend."

There it is!!! "The girl who hangs aroung the pit gate" story surfaces again! The only thing I can add is he had met her the year before or maybe it was earlier in 1964 because I saw him take her off on a practice day, not on race day. So he didn't just meet her on race day. But we were talking about this long ago incident on this thread last month or whenever and there is the story again told by someone else. (Play Twilight Zone theme here -
"Do-do-do-do")

Note to Joe fan. Email me, I lost your address in a virus incident. River Runner too.



#33 pancho

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Posted 14 April 2001 - 12:43

Only girl I know of that Jimmy got serious about was Sally Stokes. Besides, I don't care much who he hooked up with... he was (and remains) the best race driver ever in my view.

#34 Buford

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Posted 14 April 2001 - 20:36


In my view too!

#35 karlcars

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 13:32

Am I the only one around here who recalls the stories about Jim Clark and Linda Vaughn? They were quite tight at one time I believe. Heterosexual for sure!

I'm glad you folks feel there's still something to be said about Clark......

#36 Barry Lake

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Posted 27 April 2001 - 05:42

Jim Clark and Linda Vaughan, hmmm.

I remember Sally Stokes well, from the Warwick Farm Tasman days. I have some photos I took of her (purely for historical purposes, of course). She and Linda had something in common - although Linda would have been a clear winner if it was a competition.

Two deductions to be made from this: Jim Clark definitely was heterosexual (I had never thought otherwise, was surprised to see such a suggestion in this thread), and he doesn't appear to have been predominantly a "leg" man. It seems his attention was elsewhere.
:lol:

#37 Bernd

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Posted 27 April 2001 - 06:49

I don't recall seeing a picture of Sally Stokes that indicated to me she had a large rack if that is what you are getting at Barry :) she was very petite.

Does anyone else think that Jim Clark looked more like a jockey than a racing driver? The build, demeanor and bearing screams jockey to me... Except for the voice of course :lol:

Also wasn't their a rumour that he was seeing Jean "The Shrimp" Shrimpton uber sixties model, at one stage?

And yes he was the greatest ever without a doubt in my mind!

#38 FLB

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Posted 27 April 2001 - 15:42

In Ferguson's Indy book, there's another anecdote in which nobody can underestimate Clark's tastes. One night, at Indy, he brought in a girl (or 'some bird' as Chapman called her). He proceeded to take a shower with her and.. well lets leave it to the imagination.

The kicker is that it happended while Chapman was in the same room!;)

Clark thought he was sleeping but he wasn't. The following morning, Chunky complained to Ferguson (thus the story). Being rather thrift, he used to share rooms with his driver, probably fueling the rumors. After the 'bird' episode, he asked Fergie to find him another room.

Here's the account of what Chapman told Ferguson he heard:

(After noisy shower)

Girl: But what about him (meaning Chapman)?
Jimmy: Bah, don't worry, the silly bugger never wakes up! :p

#39 Buford

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 02:17


I believe Linda Vaughn has confirmed a "close friendship" with Jim Clark and it was the consensus at the time they had a thing going a few times. I saw them talking on occasion but Linda talked to and hugged all the drivers, so I have no personal knowledge if it went farther away from the track.

As for homosexuality rumors, they did exist but obviously from people who neither knew the man, or watched him in action. For the most part he was all racing, but women were a part of the non-racing moments for sure. The same kind of rumors have been in circulation about Senna, and I doubt those are true either.

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#40 Barry Lake

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 02:31

Originally posted by Bernd
I don't recall seeing a picture of Sally Stokes that indicated to me she had a large rack if that is what you are getting at Barry :) she was very petite.


Perhaps it is because she was petite that she looked... well, I remember commenting at the time that she wouldn't be able to slide under my Holden and check the gearbox oil level.

Of course I was no expert on female anatomy. I had self-prepared racing cars and two or three jobs at a time to support them for eight years (and a similar deal with cycling for six years or more prior to that). I never went out into the world except when going to a race meeting.

She might have been the first female I'd seen in months.

It's on my list of things to learn about, howvere, when I grow up.


#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 02:40

Buford should be able to help, Barry...

I suspect he might be a bit more worldly wise than you...

#42 Buford

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 09:31

Well I do make my living from female anatomy. Doesn't everybody? If not perhaps they should! Maybe that makes me an expert. If I have one regret, I wasted too many years on racing cars. But I am not sure the young people of today have what it takes... are willing to pay the price - make the sacrifices, to strip women for a living. How many of the youngsters today would be willing to have to get up every day at the crack of noon, wear a tie about once a decade, travel around the world to all the great parties, festivals, and beaches, have endless meaningless sexual encounters with complete strangers named Bambi or something, have to hassle with British TV crews, Howard Stern, duck beer bottles, avoid boyfriends, carry around heavy bags full of beads, stay out of jail, all for the meager rewards of getting filthy rich?

Just got back from a big rock festival in Florida last weekend, Livestock 2001. Next weekend is the Kentucky Derby. Then the Bare to Breakers Run in San Francisco, Bean Blossom Boogie in Indiana, Colorado River for Memorial Day, then Over The Line Topless Softball Tournament in San Diego, Sturgis Bike Rally, Biloxi Biker event, Burning Man, Oregon Country Fair, Chillocothe Biker Rodeo, Testicle Festival in Montana or some damn place, Toronto Dyke March, the French Riviera and Ibiza, Key West Fantasy Fest.... on and on, and on. And I'm not even recovered from Mardi Gras in both New Orleans and Galveston, Spring Break or the Naked Mile Run yet!

It's a tough life on the front lines of the International Hooter Conspiracy. But... somebody has to do it and we can't trust anybody else to get it right. So I guess I'll just have to suffer, for the good of humanity, and unborn generations. It isn't easy though so your sympathy is appreciated. :cry:

#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 11:04

Have you put your application in to go to the Paddock Club yet, Buford...

Pit Babe awaits your PM if you haven't, you'll certainly fit in there with some of the renegades of human society's sump... your humour will be appreciated fully, and there's little doubt you'll enhance the education standard of the place...

#44 Pete Stanley

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 13:27

Hey, Hoot, it's been a loooong time. :D You probably don't remember this minor personality from SpeedNet (Puppy). I want to say it's good to see you posting somewhere. It was a sad, sad day for me when Figgy ran you off the forum. I learned alot from you - esp. the pompous ass post.

If you care, the "bright side" has just been re-opened, after a year-long hiatus. But I understand if you don't want to go back.

#45 RiverRunner

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 15:48

Note to Hoothist....the el rio hideout will be open for Memorial Day if you need a spot to park.

#46 Buford

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 19:29


Ray - I'll do that when I get awake. It is only 12:30 PM and I do not function well this early. Puppy - hi dude. Sure I remember. Nice to hear from you. River - I found the Pompous Ass post. Can't find the others right now. Have them on a zip disk somewhere I think. Mike Kellner has them. He is the one who saved them and sent them to me when everybody was asking for reposts. Sure I want in on the river deal!

#47 condor

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Posted 09 May 2001 - 03:05

Hi Buford - For someone that makes out they're a ladies man and dabbles in porn (aka Porn King, or clown prince) why do do you keep refering to your partner as a he??
I been told business partner - Hmmm - I say - can you clear the matter up??? - not that I'm interested - just curious:cool:
:smoking:

#48 Bernd

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Posted 09 May 2001 - 03:54

I think Buford may mean business partner there Condor

BTW Andean or Californian? :)

#49 condor

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Posted 09 May 2001 - 10:07

Thanks Bernd for clearing that up - bird that flies over the Andes.
:smoking:

#50 Buford

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Posted 09 May 2001 - 11:52

I am not a ladies man at this point. I work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. Of course it's monkey business but it still is business. Playboy lost 7.8 million dollars last year on their internet operation. I didn't. When I was younger I did OK with women, but never seemed to be in a league with lots of other guys I knew at any given point. I can't even remember the last time I had a real date.

I had a good thing going for a decade when I lived near Chicago and I could go to Indianapolis anytime I wanted. I was something of a local legend due to some things I did in the late 80's and early 90's related to my current business, but then we were doing it for fun. I got in with the major local party people and Indy girls are the wildest girls in the whole world. So I did OK then with a small harem of really hot girls half my age who thought I was cool and I could visit any time I wanted.

But then came the internet and I found out two racing photographers I'd known for years had both been taking photos of girls stripping in public for 30 years! It was their hobby. They had never sold any of it. Looked at it once and threw the pics in a box. For them it was the thrill of the hunt. I saw their material and said, "You are sitting on a gold mine here! I can sell this stuff on the Internet." They said, "What's the internet?" That was about 6 years ago, and the rest is Hooter History. I seem to recall in my MBA training them saying something about figure out what the market wants and provide it. That is what I am doing, having the time of my life doing it, and I never again will have to worry about where my next meal will come from.

One other point Condor. I could care less what you or anybody else thinks. I have been a square peg in a world full of round holes all my life. If I didn't give a damn what anybody thought at times I was destitute and living on the streets, I sure as hell don't care now. But just for the record, making documentary videos and shooting photos of events that take place in public is under no way, shape, or form porno in anybody's definition except a right wing anal retard. It is not porno under any legal definition in any state and it is not porno under the dictionary definition. And the US Supreme Court has ruled that on numerous occasions.

We shoot what happens in public, would be happening whether we were there or not, and we sell it to people who could not be there to see what is going on for themselves. We do not peek in windows, we do not do children, we do not pay anybody anything (unless you count beads) and we merely document public events anybody can go to. You can babble porno to your heart's content, porno this, or porno that. But the US Supreme Court says otherwise.