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Boxing Day Brands


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#1 Dipster

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:40

Do others remember Brands Hatch race meetings on Boxing Day? Sometimes being invited to drive around the circuit to clear the snow? Cold but fun all the same. Not sure I'd do it now though........

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#2 timf5000

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:54

Do others remember Brands Hatch race meetings on Boxing Day? Sometimes being invited to drive around the circuit to clear the snow? Cold but fun all the same. Not sure I'd do it now though........


Yes, they were great fun. Lots of races with new cars and drivers and always an eclectic mix of cars! And I won the last race of the seventies at Boxing Day Brands 1979 in Formule Libre!!! And nowadays there is always the current Mallory Plum Pudding race today!

#3 john winfield

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:57

Do others remember Brands Hatch race meetings on Boxing Day? Sometimes being invited to drive around the circuit to clear the snow? Cold but fun all the same. Not sure I'd do it now though........

Certainly do Dipster! We went along a few times in the 1970s: the Gerry Marshall / Norman Abbot battle comes to mind, and a dramatic 'last man standing' Formula Ford race a few years later.
A white Christmas was the last thing we wanted and there was nothing worse than to find out racing was off...and to see a snow-covered Brands on the cover of the next Motoring News.

Mallory, I think, still has a meeting. Very enjoyable in 2008, and in 1965!

Edit. Tim, sorry, typing too slowly here...!

Edited by john winfield, 26 December 2012 - 08:58.


#4 arttidesco

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:27

My Dad recalls cycling to Brands from his apprentice digs in Chiselhurst one Boxing Day but has no recollection of either the year or what he saw, would have been mid fifties I was wondering if he might have seen a cycle race ?

#5 D-Type

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:32

Does anyone remember when the last one was held?

#6 alansart

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:38

.... and a dramatic 'last man standing' Formula Ford race a few years later.


Was this the race where on each lap the last place car was pulled into the pits until there were only two racers left on track....who then promptly crashed into one another.

Edited by alansart, 26 December 2012 - 09:39.


#7 nicanary

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:40

I had considered starting a thread on the same subject, so I'm pleased to see others who think in the same vein. As a kid the Christmas holiday was all the better for it - presents on the 25th and Raymond Baxter on the "box" on Boxing day. I seem to recall that there was a race about every 20/25 mins or so, usually a sports-car event, a saloon race and the libre to end it all.

Ken Gregory always claimed it was his idea, but he wasn't exactly a "shrinking violet", and I've always wondered if others were involved in the formulation. Anyway, all credit to Brands Hatch for going along with the thought and giving it a bash.

I miss it, and with the mild winter climate we now invariably experience, I wouldn't mind seeing its' return - not as a modern bore-fest of one-make series, but maybe as a sort of mini-Revival meeting. How about it chaps?

(PS - for some reason best known only to my memory, I distinctly recall an entry in the saloon race one year of a pre-war Vauxhall fitted with a TR3 engine (!). As a lad I thought this was a real hoot, although somewhat optimistic on the part of the builder/driver. Anyone else remember it?)

#8 Rob29

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:45

First one was 1954.First one I went to was '55.One I remember being cancelled due to fog.'64 I think was postponed to the end of january due to snow and lead to a winter season thrrough february :wave:

#9 john winfield

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:47

Was this the race where on each lap the last place car was pulled into the pits until there were only two racers left on track....who then promptly crashed into one another.


Yes, that's the one Alan. I think the last two left may have been Frank Hopper and Syd Fox who, as you say, collided on the final lap. One of them had enough wheels still attached, pointing vaguely in the right direction, to crawl over the finishing line!

Edited by john winfield, 26 December 2012 - 09:48.


#10 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:11

I went to the very first one on December 26th 1954, a fresh, bright day as I remember with plenty of very competetive racing.
A good dice in the sports car race between Tony Crooks Cooper Bristol and John Coombes Lotus which Crook won, and a win in the Silver City Airways Formula Libre race for Don Beauman's Connaught. Ivor Bueb won the 500cc Christmas Trophy from Les Leston, both in Cooper-Nortons of course. Stirling Moss appeared as Santa Claus and did a couple of laps in his Mercedes 300SL having just signed to drive for them in 1955 which prompted some of the crowd at Bottom Bend to sing a verse of 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful' as the silver car passed by!. It was a good fun meeting and a welcome break from winter boredom.

#11 pete53

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:47

I would imagine that back in the mid-50s a lot of folk would have shaken their heads at the idea of running a mid-winter Boxing Day meeting. Would there be enough competitors and spectators willing to be drawn away from home and family? And what about the weather risk?
As it turned out there were plenty of drivers happy to turn out for a festive meeting and a surprisingly large number of spectators. Indeed, much like football, the boxing day fixture was one of the best attended of the year. Of course in those early days the racing season finished in October and didn't get going again until well into March, so those competitors and race fans feeling deprived of their favoured sport it provided a great opportunity to have a taster of what they were missing.

And the weather? If my memory serves me right it wasn't until 1964 that a Boxing Day meet was cancelled due to the elements ( snow and ice I recall). In 1969 I believe thick fog caused the the non-running of the meeting and 1970 it was heavy snow. Overall though, it was an inspired idea.



#12 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:57

I worked as press officer for a few Boxing Day Brands meetings in the '60s. The one I recall most clearly, unfortunately, is the 1965 edition. The F3 race had barely begun when a flurry of yellow flags appeared at Paddock Hill. An unfortunate chap named George Crossman - who I believe was a farmer from Wiltshire or Dorset? - had crashed his new Cooper into the outside barrier. He never regained consciousness, as far as I recall, and died in hospital a few days later. Club racing was meant to be fun...but this was such a common occurrence at that time I guess even we youngsters were pre-hardened to such inevitabilities.

DCN



#13 eurocardoc

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 13:42

I recall taking the KVG racing team down one year, maybe '72? Ian Grob had bought a shifter cart to run as well as his and Buzaglo's Elden FFs.

#14 DogEarred

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 17:22

I recall being at the 1977 event. The weather was quite mild & there were even bouts of watery sunshine. Good racing conditions.

#15 alansart

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 19:03

Yes, that's the one Alan. I think the last two left may have been Frank Hopper and Syd Fox who, as you say, collided on the final lap. One of them had enough wheels still attached, pointing vaguely in the right direction, to crawl over the finishing line!


IIRC it was promoted as "Devil take the hindmost"


#16 PonysiteEd

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 09:20

Posted Image
I was told this is at a postponed Boxing Day event, but must be 65 or 66 then?

Alan Mann modified Mustang up front, is that Chris Craft back there in a Mustang fastback or another one?

Edited by PonysiteEd, 27 December 2012 - 09:21.


#17 pete53

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 09:30

Posted Image
I was told this is at a postponed Boxing Day event, but must be 65 or 66 then?

Alan Mann modified Mustang up front, is that Chris Craft back there in a Mustang fastback or another one?

It is the Alan Mann Mustang but I don't think this is the postponed Boxing Day meeting. There is a photo of the start of that race on the front cover of Autosport (Feb 65). Alan Mann's car is in the same position on the grid but is flanked by different cars.

#18 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 02:18

Certainly do Dipster! We went along a few times in the 1970s: the Gerry Marshall / Norman Abbot battle comes to mind

I have a great Boxing Day battle DVD of my late dad and Nick Whiting at Brands, off top of my head think its '74, with MW commentating

#19 Steve O'Brien

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 17:43

I remember going to the (65) meeting as a 11 yr old with my dad who was racing his Lotus 23, sure there was snow.

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#20 pete53

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 19:38

I remember going to the (65) meeting as a 11 yr old with my dad who was racing his Lotus 23, sure there was snow.

Steve, pictures of the day suggest a heavy frost on the grass verges but I am not aware that it snowed - could be wrong though.

#21 d j fox

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 21:09

Here's one I wont forget!!

Monday 27th December 1965-- for some reason the “Boxing Day Brands” meeting was the day after….
I was marshalling at the entry to Paddock Bend on a beautiful bright and sunny, but very frosty, morning.
In those days we marshals were protected by a concrete block about 4-5 foot high by some 12 foot wide and about 4 foot deep. This particular marshal post was on the inside of the track, more or less at the braking point for Paddock, facing the track at a 45 degree angle. At the front of the post was a stack of very frozen hay bails attached to which, nearest the track, was a large yellow and blue wooden Lucas sign.
Practice as under way for the Guards sports car race—everyone treating the frosty track , still icy in places, somewhat gingerly. The usual gaggle of Lotus 23s were out, plus the new Felday (Mac Daghorne?) with 4wd, ideal for these conditions. Tony Dean was having a first outing in what was said to be the ex Ben Moore/Vic Wilson Lotus 30.

My attention was drawn to a spinner coming out of Bottom Bend away to my left down the hill. Then a fellow marshal shouted something; someone nudged me and I looked up to see Dean's green Lotus 30 heading very rapidly sideways towards our post, but facing the wrong way. Dean had lost control , or something broke, spun around on braking and swapped ends and now hurtled towards us. I remember he was looking over his left shoulder staring at the oncoming Lucas board.
I turned to run-somehow I’d thought the Lotus was actually going to roll over the top of the post…I took about three steps when there was an enormous crashing sound. The air was full of flying frozen straw and bits of advertising hoarding. Then, inches from my right foot , something hit the ground with a loud thump. It was the spare wheel! It had been ejected through the front “bonnet” and hurtled through the air.
It all went quiet and then we all jumped around and rushed to help Dean.
The car was write-off. It was embedded in the straw and concrete and the entire passenger left hand side of the car was crushed up almost to the centre. Tony was so lucky , if he’d have gone in on his side I shudder to think what would have happened.
Dean was shocked but OK—one marshal, unlike all the others, hadn’t ducked quickly enough and had some slight cuts on his forehead , but we were essentially all OK—if a little shaken!
Nick Syrett (the BRSCC Guv’nor) came around soon after with a large bottle of brandy-each of us having a hearty swig —this time it was medicinal!
Much later in the day we were all very pleased when Tony himself came up to us , looking non the worse for his experience. He said, with a smile, “Sorry lads but I bet I gave you all a bit of a fright this morning!”

David Fox

(PS Apologies-I already posted this on a Tony Dean Topic , but thought it relevant here!)

#22 Bernard

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 21:18

I remember going to the (65) meeting as a 11 yr old with my dad who was racing his Lotus 23, sure there was snow.

Yes I think one year there was snow cant remember which though, spoke to some guy in the Paddock who was off to Heathrow to catch a plane to New Zealand for the Tasman series .Could have been famous wonder who he was now..

#23 delta44

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 21:57

Yes, they were great fun. Lots of races with new cars and drivers and always an eclectic mix of cars! And I won the last race of the seventies at Boxing Day Brands 1979 in Formule Libre!!! And nowadays there is always the current Mallory Plum Pudding race today!

I was in that race in my F4 Sparton. Great fun.There was a picture in Autosport of the whole grid which I would love to have. Dont suppose you have any photo,s.

#24 RJE

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:57

Despite the time of year those Boxing Day meetings were take very seriously.

The 1962 meeting ended with the last race held in a snow storm, I seem to recall it being a saloon car event with the likes of Doc Merfield and Chris Craft. That snow heralded the start of the infamous 1962/3 winter when the country stopped dead for several weeks. I also recall getting my father's Riley 1.5 very sideways when leaving via the Brands front gate, to howls of derision from the exit attendants.

If I also remember rightly was it not a Boxing Day meeting when Brands was lapped in under a minute for the first time ever, by Archie Scot-Brown in a Connaught?

#25 David McKinney

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:58

If I also remember rightly was it not a Boxing Day meeting when Brands was lapped in under a minute for the first time ever, by Archie Scot-Brown in a Connaught?

Late-season, but not that late - 14 October 1956, when he lapped at 59.0sec. Not sure if that was the first-ever sub-limit lap though


#26 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 15:08

Late-season, but not that late - 14 October 1956, when he lapped at 59.0sec. Not sure if that was the first-ever sub-limit lap though

The first sub one minute lap of Brands was set in October 1955 by Ivor Bueb in a Works Cooper-Norton in the Sporting Record Trophy Race. John Surtees had come very close at a previous motor cycle meeting and the 500cc Formula 3 boys seemed to be on something of a mission. In what was a truly memorable race, Bueb and team mate(!) Jim Russell went at it hammer and tongs as this race was the Formula 3 Championship decider. Jim took the race and with it the Championship, despite a frantic last lap effort by Ivor during which he set the fastest lap in 59.8 seconds. Just one of the wonderful Brands Hatch F3 races that remain in the memory after all these years. Sorry to have gone off the Boxing Day topic!.

#27 timf5000

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 15:14

I was in that race in my F4 Sparton. Great fun.There was a picture in Autosport of the whole grid which I would love to have. Dont suppose you have any photo,s.


Yes I have got some somewhere! There is one of the start and I don't think any of us are pointing in a straight line!! It also appeared in Autosport recently-ish; think it might have been one of the "xx years ago" articles. Will TRY to dig it out and post it!

#28 timf5000

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 14:59

I was in that race in my F4 Sparton. Great fun.There was a picture in Autosport of the whole grid which I would love to have. Dont suppose you have any photo,s.


Delta, have managed to scan four photos of the race onto my PC but now can't find a way to post them!! Need to be able to do it as also have photos of the Formula 6 Barnards for another thread!

#29 petestenning

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 18:17

Boxing Day Brands 1963



EVENT 1 THE JOHN DAVY TROPHY RACE B 10 LAPS
A
61 D R FABRICATIONS LTD K.BAKER JAGUAR E TYPE 2781
62 JOHN DEAN JAGUAR E TYPE 3781
63 VICTORIA GARAGE ERIC FALCE JAGUAR E TYPE 3781
64 WARREN PEARCE JAGUAR XK150 3781
65 DAVID SKAILES ASTON MARTIN DB4GT 3670
66 W.D.DAVIES JAGUAR XK120 3442
67 CLIVE BAKER RACING LTD CLIVE BAKER AUSTIN HEALEY 3000 2912
78 L.H.BOSSHARD DAIMLER SP250 2548
B
68 LAWRENCETUNE ENGINES LD CHRIS LAWRENCE MORGAN PLUS 4 2196
69 LAWRENCETUNE ENGINES LD GORDON SPICE MORGAN PLUS 4 2196
70 ALAN DENCE MORGAN PLUS 4 1991
71 RICHARD STOOP PORSCHE CARRERA 1966
72 BARWELL MOTORS LTD ALAN HUTCHESON M.G. B 1798
73 D. MORGAN ELVA COURIER 1798
74 SIMON SCRIMGEOUR TURNER GT 1648
75 J.G.SUTTON MARCOS GT 1650
76 CHRIS PICKARD MORGAN PLUS 4 1991
77 WYNN'S FRICTION PROOFING NEIL LEFTON M.G. A 1622


EVENT 2 SLIP MOLYSLIP TROPHY RACE SALOON CARS 10 LAPS
A
81 SIR GWAINE BAILLIE FORD GALAXIE 6970
82 M.B.NOEL-BUXTONCHRIS LAWRENCE JAGUAR 3781
84 ALAN PEER FORD ANGLIA 1650
85 M.J.DELL TORNADO TALISMAN 1594
86 ALAN ANDREWS RACING LTD ALAN MANN FORD CONSUL CORTINA 1558
95 LAWRENCETUNE ENGINES TBN VAUXHALL VX4/90 1537
98 G.C.COUNCIL VAUXHALL TRIUMPH 2138
B
87 ALEXANDER ENGINEERING TOMMY WEBER MINI COOPER S 1199
88 SUPERSPEED CONVERSIONS MIKE YOUNG FORD ANGLIA 1198
89 F.V.POUND AUSTIN A40 1098
90 KEN COSTELLO MINI COOPER S 1071
91 JOHN LEWIS MINI COOPER S 1071
92 WESTOVER RACING EDWARD LEWIS MINI COOPER S 1071
93 M.J.SAUNDERS MINI COOPER S 997
94 DEREK SPICE AUSTIN A40 997
96 MAURICE WINCH FORD ANGLIA 1198
97 D.SINNETT-JONES MINI COOPER S 997


EVENT 3 LONG JOHN TROPHY RACE VINTAGE & HISTORIC CARS 10 LAPS
101 C.CLUTTON BUGATTI T43 2660
102 G.S.ST JOHN BUGATTI T35B 2270 S/C
103 RICHARD BERGAL BUGATTI T35B 2270
104 FRANK LOCKHART ROVER SPECIAL 1994
105 JOHN FREEMAN A.M.SPA SPECIAL 1970
106 DAN MARGULIES CONNAUGHT A TYPE 1960
107 J.HORTON CONNAUGHT A TYPE 1960
108 R.E.SALVAGE CONNAUGHT A3 1496
109 SID DAY ERA R6B 1488 S/C
110 BILL MORRIS ERA R12B 1488 S/C
111 PETER WALLER ERA R9B 1488 S/C
112 D.PITT MG K3 MAGNETTE 1087
114 P.J.E.BINNS RILEY BROOKLANDS 1087
115 P.L.STONE SALMSON GP SPECIAL 1087
116 D.V.KEAST R.P.COOK RILEY MERLIN 1496
117 P.H.GIDDINGS FRAZER NASH 1991
118 R.A.HUTCHINGS BUGATTI T55 3290
119 BERNARD KAIN BUGATTI T57 1496



EVENT 4 SILVER CITY TROPHY RACE SINGLE SEATERS 20 LAPS
1 LAWRENCETUNE ENGINES CHRIS LAWRENCE DEEP SANDERSON 105 2274
2 JOHN EWER COOPER CHEVROLET 5359
3 GODFREY LAMBERT ALAN HEGBOURNE COOPER FORD 1475
4 ANGLO SCOTTISH R.T. CHARLIE CRICHTON-STUART COOPER FORD 1475
5 JOHN MEW LOTUS CLIMAX 1475
6 J.R.R.D.S. JOHN MASTIN LOTUS FORD 1475
7 J.R.R.D.S. MERVYN LONG LOTUS FORD 1098
8 HAN.S.LEE LOTUS FORD 1098
9 JOHN MAGLIA LOTUS FORD 1098
10 IAN RABY RACING LTD IAN RABY COOPER FORD 1098
11 CLIVE BAKER RACING CLIVE BAKER COOPER BMC 1098
12 DENIS O'SULLIVAN LOTUS BMC 997
14 JANSPEED ENGINEERING RODNEY BANTING BRABHAM BMC 997
15 DR TONY GOODWIN LOLA BMC 997
16 MIKE BUDGE COOPER FORD 1098 RES
17 GERRY MEHAREY COOPER FORD 1098 RES
18 J.R.R.D.S. JACK HATTER LOTUS FORD 1098 RES




#30 nicanary

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 18:31

Re the above - the entry by G.C.Council is the one I remember best. a pre-war Vauxhall fitted with a TR3 engine. Optimistic.

#31 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 20:37

Does anyone recall Jack Brabham at Brands going to his car wearing a false beard? Wasn't that a Boxing Day meeting?

#32 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 21:05

He certainly walked to his car at the start of the 1966 Dutch GP at Zandvoort wearing a luxuriant false beard and using a jack handle as a walking stick, as befitting his regular description in the media as 'the old man of motor racing'. He may well have done something similar at Brands.

#33 timf5000

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:32

He certainly walked to his car at the start of the 1966 Dutch GP at Zandvoort wearing a luxuriant false beard and using a jack handle as a walking stick, as befitting his regular description in the media as 'the old man of motor racing'. He may well have done something similar at Brands.


Seem to remember he was dressed as Father Christmas complete with bushy beard and red suit!

#34 bradbury west

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:06

That was John Mew's traditional role, ISTR.
Roger Lund

#35 Alan Cox

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:49

That was John Mew's traditional role, ISTR.

Spot on, Roger. I recall photos of him appearing in Motoring News the following week. Here is a piece he wrote about his racing life in which he recalls playing the part:

That Christmas the BRSCC asked me if I would play the part of Father Christmas at Brands Hatch. I entered into the part and not only wore the appropriate costume over my crash helmet, but fitted a paper mache pair of reindeer horns on the bonnet and a barrel of brandy mounted over the engine. These needless to say were removed after the initial celebration lap. I performed this role for the next three years.

http://www.orthotrop...g/john_mew.html