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#1 mike_w

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Posted 01 October 2001 - 13:32

Does anyone have any stories about the late Tom Pryce? As long as I've been interested in this sport I have always been intrigued - apparently he went from zero (not even karting) to hero (Formula 1!) in about 4 years. I have also read that he was rather quiet and unassuming, which I guess makes his rapid rise all the more impressive (I always prefer it when people make it in life through sheer talent). Also, it always seems really sad to me when a person seems to be best remembered for their own demise.........it blots out the good stuff that came before

So...any stories/memories?

Cheers!

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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 October 2001 - 14:11

Welcome to TNF Mike. New "faces" are always good to "see".

Tom's rise was certainly meteoric - I suppose you could say he was in racing by accident, since his first car was a prize in a competition. A Lola T200 wasn't perhaps the most competitive car to run in Formula Ford, but he moved on to Formula 100 and Super Vee with Royales and then a works F3 drive for Royale in 1972: he and the RP11 won first time out - no mean achievement in those days. Formula Atlantic followed naturally and then Formula 2 with the Rondel/Motul team.

The Rondel connection may have got him the Token drive (the Token was going to be the Rondel F1 car before the company retreated) and I remember being incensed and then impressed when the Monaco authorities refused Tom's entry on the grounds of inexperience: as is well-known he stepped back into F3 and blew away the entire field!

He then moved to Shadow and was really shaping up to be the next "big thing" for Britain after Hunt when he suffered his tragic accident:cry:

His connections with Ron Dennis would surely have stood him in good stead after Project 4 took over McLaren and I've always felt he had the potential to reach the very top - like Tony Brise and Roger Williamson he was one of the great lost talents of the seventies: how good could those three have been?

#3 mike_w

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Posted 01 October 2001 - 15:08

Hey Vitesse2, Thanks for being so welcoming! I've just discovered this forum and I think I've hit the jackpot...

I didn't realise Tom drove for Ron Dennis. I guess another "what might have been" relates to Frank Williams. Toms replacement at Shadow went on to drive the FW06 in '78 and so on and so forth........does anyone know if Frank Williams/Patrick Head have gone on the record saying that they were admirers of Tom?

cheers

#4 Barry Boor

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Posted 01 October 2001 - 18:16

Maldwyn Thomas Pryce was from Ruthin in north east Wales. He was a first-language Welsh speaker, which makes him a rarity, if not unique amongst Grand Prix drivers.

Many years ago, I went to tile a kitchen for a young couple in Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales. During the course of a coffee break, I got chatting to the man of the house and inevitably, being me, the subject of motor sport arose.

It turned out that this chap grew up living NEXT DOOR to the Pryce family in Ruthin and he worshipped Tom like a big brother. Then he disappeared upstairs to get a box. The box contained Tom Pryce memorabilia; some of which included photographs of the lad I was talking to with Tom in the paddock at, I assume, Brands Hatch or Silverstone. There was an autographed cap and many other items.

This guy, who must have been about 12 or 13 when Tom died, told me that he was so upset after the tragedy at Kyalami that he took no interest in motor racing at all from that day on.

He confirmed all the things that have been said about Tom. He was modest, quiet and utterly without ego. It is felt that his relatively poor English may well have contributed to this shyness and being immeresed in a Welsh speaking environment myself now, I can well believe it.

Without doubt, a World Champion in the making.

#5 fines

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Posted 01 October 2001 - 20:38

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Many years ago, I went to tile a kitchen for a young couple in Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales.

Didn't you tell us you were a teacher? :confused: :stoned: :D

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 October 2001 - 21:04

He built a racing car once too - obviously a man of many talents!! (Well, he claims it was a racing car anyway ....:lol: :lol: )

And now back to the topic ....

#7 911

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Posted 02 October 2001 - 05:57

In June of 1997, F1 Racing magazine had the top 100 F1 drivers of all time.

In his brief F1 career, Tom Pryce was ranked #59: "A total of two podium finishes in no way reflects Pryce's prodigious natural talent, for here was a man who had car control to spare...."

911

#8 Barry Boor

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Posted 02 October 2001 - 06:16

O.T, but requiring a reply.

Yes, fines, I am a fully trained teacher of craft and I.T, but when I moved to Wales in 1978, not being a Welsh-speaker at that time, I did not think that teaching was an option. So I taught myself how to tile and worked for 6 years as a self-employed ceramic tiler. Now I am back in teaching, I still keep my hand in with the occasional tiling job for colleagues and friends.

It will come in handy when I retire from teaching in 2003 or 4.