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Kieft GP car races!


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#1 David Beard

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 16:21

In the paddock at the VSCC Silverstone event on Saturday there was an uncharacteristic clamour of folk around one of the garages….

No wonder. This must be have been the first time an F1 car has made its debut at an VSCC meeting. The wonderful occasion was the first EVER race for the Kieft GP car, complete with Coventry Climax “Godiva” V8 motor. It looked stunning, sounded stunning, and best of all Cyril Kieft was there to see it.

Some pics…

The motor and cast in front suspension towers...
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Unexpectedly pretty car...
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This is the qualifying engine, I was told :)
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Cyril looking on - I'm told he's 91. Talked about the car from the commentary box, too!
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#2 karlcars

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 18:58

Simply marvellous, David. Thanks for the great photos. What a story!

#3 petefenelon

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 21:38

Originally posted by David Beard
In the paddock at the VSCC Silverstone event on Saturday there was an uncharacteristic clamour of folk around one of the garages….


Fantastic!!!! thanks very much for this!

#4 Felix Muelas

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 21:46

Thank you, David. Astonishing ! :eek:

On a lighter note, is that number 49 making reference to the number of years it took the project to finally hit the ground? ;)

I would appreciate if someone could expand on what is available, for instance, chez David Hodges :cry: about that beautiful looking machine...

un abrazo

#5 bobbo

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 23:54

OH!

MY!!

GOD!!

This is absolutely wonderful!

Do you have any more photos?? And/or stories about the car??

Bobbo

#6 Barry Boor

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 06:28

This is probably, nay definitely, THE most interesting piece of F1 news this year!

#7 David Beard

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 17:06

A couple more pics.
The cockpit, showing the pre-selector box.
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T’other end of the Godiva.
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Later this week when I get some photos I took at Silverstone with a proper camera, I should have an on track shot, providing the debris fence hasn’t spoilt it too much. ( the lack of which is a great feature of Goodwood.)

The Kieft GP is described in Mike Lawrence’s “Grand Prix Cars 1945 – 65” , which lots of you will have. The fact that this is a very early application of Dunlop disc brakes is noted, as are the cast magnesium alloy wheels. I wonder if Bill Morris has had to recreate those? ML names Gordon Bedson as having designed it for Kieft. Is he still around, anyone know? What else did he do?

For more info have a butchers at …
http://www.localhist...ieft/Racing.htm

#8 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 19:53

Originally posted by David Beard

ML names Gordon Bedson as having designed it for Kieft. Is he still around, anyone know? What else did he do?


Eoin Young told me that back in the sixties Gordon Bedson was running a restaurant in Surfers Paradise. Bruce McLaren and his team used to eat there every night and listen to stories from Bedson about the cars he designed.

#9 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 20:38

Nice story about Don's old pal 'Orrice there! Thanks David!

#10 Felix Muelas

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 20:40

Originally posted by David Beard
The Kieft GP is described in Mike Lawrence’s “Grand Prix Cars 1945 – 65” , which lots of you will have...

Thanks for the tip, David ;)
For those who don´t...an unreadable thumbnail, probably free of any copyright infringment, just a click away from a
"readable" image


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#11 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 21:59

I seem to recall that Gordon Bedson was a Vickers design engineer, involved on the wing structure of the Valiant V-bomber amongst other projects. He was certainly involved in 500cc Formula 3 car design before this effort for Kieft emerged.

DCN

#12 dretceterini

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 23:54

Wonderful that this car finally got finished. It looks kind of a cross between a Bristol and a Lotus 12 to me.

#13 David McKinney

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Posted 24 September 2002 - 05:18

I'm fairly sure Bedson was also responsible for the Meadows Frisky

#14 David Beard

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 18:34

Originally posted by David McKinney
I'm fairly sure Bedson was also responsible for the Meadows Frisky


I recently came across in Motor Sport 1960ish, (but can't seem to find it again now..we need an index!) mention of Mr Bedson driving a Frisky all the way to Monte Carlo on some sort of record breaking run. His ears must have been ringing..the Frisky had a 2 stroke twin engine of about 350cc I seem to recall.

Anyway..finally have side view of the Kieft. I've tried to get rid of the debris fence it was taken through by using the Adobe Photoshop spludging process.

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#15 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 22:44

That's a smashing photo. Well done, David. :up:

#16 jarama

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 00:07

Originally posted by Felix Muelas


I would appreciate if someone could expand on what is available, for instance, chez David Hodges :cry: about that beautiful looking machine...


Félix,

I've just discovered this thread and your enquiry about Hodges words on this car:

"This project only fell apart when Coventry Climax took fright at the power outputs claimed for the Mercedes-Benz 2.5-litre GP straight eight and abandoned the FPE V-8. The chassis, designed by Cyril Kieft and Gordon Bedson and completed at Wolverhampton, was a much more substantial tubular affair than the F2 chassis, while the suspension (with conventional springing medium!) derived from Kieft's sports car."
(Extracted from "A-Z of Formula Racing Cars", by David Hodges)

@ David: Thankyou for the pictures.

Carles.

#17 Mark Ballard

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 01:38

David,
I hope you don't mind, but here are another couple of pics of the car at Silverstone (luckily for me I got to be the other side of the fencing).
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#18 Lotus23

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 02:49

Mark and David, great stuff! Thanks for sharing!!

#19 David Beard

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 09:36

Originally posted by Mark Ballard
David,
I hope you don't mind, but here are another couple of pics of the car at Silverstone (luckily for me I got to be the other side of the fencing).


Thanks Mark

Where was your first shot taken?....it looks a remarkably close location to mine ( entry to Becketts)

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#20 Mark Ballard

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 14:01

David,
The racing shot is taken on the exit of the complex, just at the start of the start/finishing straight.

Mark

#21 john medley

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 05:35

And before this thread disappears into the storeroom let's say thanks to Bill Morris who owns the car and Greg Snape who built/rebuilt it and drove it( and welcome back to Australia, Greg!)

#22 fines

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 17:24

So sad they outdid all the regular teams - now no one will take notice of the unveiling of the new Ferrari, the new Jaguar etc.

Wonderful car! :love: :love: :love:

#23 fines

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 17:26

... and that engine! Looks so spruce... ah, terribly difficult to take the eyes off!

#24 David Beard

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Posted 18 February 2003 - 18:26

I'm pleased to note that this month's Motor Sport magazine presents a rather nice article on the Kieft...more substantial than a lot of the froth the mag has given us of late.

#25 Barry Boor

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 22:45

David, if I were to build a slot-racing Kieft for my Pre-historic series, who would I have driving it? Or in other words, had it raced in 1955, who would have driven it?

#26 David Beard

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 08:00

Originally posted by Barry Boor
David, if I were to build a slot-racing Kieft for my Pre-historic series, who would I have driving it? Or in other words, had it raced in 1955, who would have driven it?


Ron Flockhart and Ken Wharton was the plan, according to aforesaid article.

#27 quintin cloud

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 09:50

Excellent Photos David :clap: :clap: :up: :smoking:

#28 petefenelon

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 10:21

Originally posted by David Beard
I'm pleased to note that this month's Motor Sport magazine presents a rather nice article on the Kieft...more substantial than a lot of the froth the mag has given us of late.


Yep; I read this one on the way into work this morning. Nice article with very good photography. Almost as good as your pics!

pete

#29 humphries

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 19:34

How nice it was to see the F1 Kieft finally take to the track.

My late father’s company, E.W.Humphries Ltd, located in premises adjacent to Boulton Paul at Pendeford, Wolverhampton built the body for the car and also the body for a V8 Chrysler sports car. My father’s company specialised in prototype aircraft work mainly for De Havilland and this was his only involvement with Kieft.
The rolled aluminium-alloy bodies were made to aircraft industry standards but when the F1 chassis arrived the body did not fit properly. My father was less than impressed with the design work. However they did eventually get it to fit.

Although I cannot recollect seeing the F1 car I do remember seeing the V8 sports car. It seemed to me, as a 10 year old child, to be the perfect replacement for the family Rover 75! Great was my disappointment when my father explained he did not own it.

The sports car was sent to Kieft’s Reliance Works, Derry Street, Wolverhampton, where it was fitted out, painted white ( photos in Autosport 13 August 1954 ) and exported to Erwin Goldschmidt. It is said he soon crashed the car. Replacement parts were sent out ( not from EWH ) and the car was rebuilt; only to “disappear”. It may have been located derelict in the USA or it may have ended up in Argentina. A driver called Carlos Stabile drove an “Alta-Chrysler” in the V Premio Invierno held at the Buenos Aires Autodrome on 30 June, 1957. In a photograph in Velocidad this car looked similar to a Kieft although the front had been re-profiled and the steering had switched sides possibly owing to it being rebuilt in the USA.

Can anybody in the States or Argentina supply information about the whereabouts of this car?

http://homepage.ntlw...es/image002.jpg

The photographs were taken on the road near to the entrance of my Dad’s place. The men are those who built the bodies. Unfortunately I do not know their names but good blokes, all of them.

John

#30 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 21:22

What a fantastic thing to happen...

And that Chrysler V8-powered device is a wild looking machine too! Just imagine that in the Mille Miglia!


Oh, yes, there's only one G. Bedson in the Queensland phone book... at Habana, wherever that is... towards the north somewhere, I'd imagine. There are a couple of other Bedsons in the Gold Coast area.

I wonder, though, about Eoin's comment... when did Bruce ever spend time on the Gold Coast? He never raced at Surfers and time would be limited when he was at Lakeside?

And finally, BB... are you crazy? I thought the grid marshals had closed the gate on that era...

#31 David Beard

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 17:30

Originally posted by humphries


http://homepage.ntlw...es/image002.jpg

The photographs were taken on the road near to the entrance of my Dad’s place. The men are those who built the bodies. Unfortunately I do not know their names but good blokes, all of them.

John



Remarkable stuff, John. Thanks.

Your photo of the F1 car with all the people looks like it might have been taken in the same place, on the same day, as the one in the Mike Lawrence book.

#32 humphries

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 18:48

David

You are indeed correct about the F1 Kieft photograph in Mike Lawrence's book. It was one of a number taken that day.

Years ago, when the F1 Kieft was little more than a vague memory, I gave Duncan Rabagliati copies of these and the other photographs. He is very interested in the less famous British manufacturers.

Duncan, who has a library over which I drooled, was of course involved with Paul Sheldon's F1 Register at a time when I helped with the research.

Now I am hoping someone will come up with a lead on the V8 sports car. Perhaps someone knows a lot more about Erwin Goldschmidt?

John

#33 David Beard

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 15:26

I am resurrecting this (my favourite thread as far as ones I have started myself are concerned) as a little indulgence on the occasion of my 1000th posting. ( If I have timed this right) Someone show me the way to the free webspace....I need it!

The Kieft appeared again at the Goodwood Revival: its second ever race as far as I know. It raced in the Goodwood Trophy for cars that of a type that raced between 1948 and 1954, so someone took a nice little blind eye to the letter if the rules here. Greg Snape diced for most of the race with Paul Jaye in that very familiar Alta (does it ever miss an event?) but I wonder whether the Kieft has the potential to be a little further up this sort of field.

A paddock shot of mine...
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and from the Goodwood thread, I hope Frank van de Velde doesn't mind me posting this lovely shot again here....

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On the subject of the Kieft's designer Gordon Bedson, I've just found a photo of his Mackson 500 in Colin Rawlison's grand little book "The 500cc Racing Car". It's a pretty little car with very modern looking cast alloy wheels of some sort.

I will try to go for a little more quality rather than quantity in my posts from now on.
TNFers....thanks for putting up with me thus far :)

#34 petefenelon

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 15:55

I see the Green'un can't even spell Kieft these days (p21, October issue) - although the adjacent picture of Captain Murray Walker is rather splendid!

#35 David Beard

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 17:51

I’m still fascinated by this car….

Did anyone else notice how well it was going in the Goodwood Trophy at the Goodwood Revival this year?
Greg Snape started in 14th place on the grid with a time (1.38.477) somewhat better than he qualified with last year, then went on to drive a splendid race during which he seemed to pass someone on nearly every lap to finish 7th. His best time was 1.35.354, not too far off Jochen Mass’s best lap in the Lancia D50 and faster than Barry Baxter’s best in the TecMec (both in the Richmond & Gordon Trophy).

(Times from the excellent http://www.mst-group.../2004/43621.pdf)

I don’t know where Greg Snape sits in the very wide historic racing driver’s skill spectrum: nor do I know to what extent Jochen Mass just “parades” the D50. But it certainly will always intrigue me as to what the Kieft, or any other Godiva powered car, might have done in the mid fifties ….

#36 Mike Lawrence

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 04:42

A few loose ends to tie up.

Gordon Bedson was indeed a former Vickers engineer and he did design the Mackson 500cc car. One of his best mates, Alan Brown, tested the Mackson and found it so awful that he aborted the test. Gordon died in an air crash Down Under (I think it was in a microlight) around 1984.

Cyril Kieft died in May. Even in his nineties his mind was needle-sharp though the joints creaked a little, He had moved to Spain to start a new life and was engaged to a charming Spanish lady when cancer overtook him at an alarming rate. Since cancer mutates growing cells, the usual rule is that the older you are, the less quickly it develops.

No Kieft car made by Cyril's factory, was actually any good, the 500cc cars used to shed their rear wheels. The Kieft CF1 500cc car which Stirling drove was built by Ray Martin and Don Parker built Parker Specials with parts that Cyril provided. Cyril it was, however, who brought Coventry Climax into mottor racing, it was he who persuaded Climax to build the Godiva V8 engine (a bank of which became the FPF Mk I) and it was he who drove Coventry Climax to make the 1,098cc FWA engine. this was an adaptation of the company's FW (Feather Weight) fire pump engine and it changed motor racing. One of Cyril's own companies made things like the crankshaft in a more suitable material.

Someone mentioned David Hodges, a dear friend of mine. If you examine David's 'A-Z of Formula Cars' you will find the intials, 'ML' after 159 entries. It was not the only project on which we worked.

David's wife, Brenda, died suddenly and David was dead within a fortnight. I miss him more than I can say, he was an immensely kind man. Of course, when we met up, we used to insult each other and I miss those insults.

After David's funeral I told one of his sons that the loss would hit me only when I turned up somewhere and I didn't hear, "Oi, you, Lawrence, who let you in?" I would say, loudly, "Goodness, grandfather has escaped again". We tended to spend most of the rest of the day together, sharing stories and that sort of thing. I was right, when I turned up at a meeting and he wasn't there, I missed him very much.

You are as big as the gap you leave. I loved 'Odges and respected him enormously, he left a huge gap.

Hodges and I had each been engaged on books and we agreed to swap copies when they appeared. I received his book a couple of hours before I learned of his death. One of his last acts on earth had been to walk to a post office to mail it to me. He would have just received a copy of my book.

David Hodges is still undervalued as an historian though he was excellent. As a man, I don't think he is undervalued by anyone who had the privilege of knowing him.

#37 Racer.Demon

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 11:09

I fully agree, Mike.

When several years ago my historic interest was rekindled, David's original A-Z book as well as your 45-65 book were among the few books that served to quickly teach me the basics as well as give me an exceptionally broad view of post-war Grand Prix car construction.

If one would create an essential library of a handful books for those in need of a crash-course introduction to post-war single-seaters these two works should be part of it.

#38 Dick Willis

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 11:47

Where does Greg Snape sit in the very wide Historic racing driver's skill spectrum ?

Very well thank you, with over 20 years experience racing historics in Australia Greg comes from a very highly respected Australian family in Historics, as well he has extensive experience in racing car engineering working for some time with Bill Morris in the UK, and also driving Bill's ERA.

Last I heard Greg was a TAFE teacher in the automotive trades in Southern NSW.

#39 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 12:14

It's a surprise to me though, Dick, that he's prepared to race a car without any rollover protection...

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#40 Dick Willis

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 03:41

They do that over there Ray !

#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 04:38

Nothing like a final fling!

#42 David Beard

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 12:06

Originally posted by humphries
The sports car was sent to Kieft’s Reliance Works, Derry Street, Wolverhampton, where it was fitted out, painted white ( photos in Autosport 13 August 1954 ) and exported to Erwin Goldschmidt. It is said he soon crashed the car. Replacement parts were sent out ( not from EWH ) and the car was rebuilt; only to “disappear”. It may have been located derelict in the USA or it may have ended up in Argentina. A driver called Carlos Stabile drove an “Alta-Chrysler” in the V Premio Invierno held at the Buenos Aires Autodrome on 30 June, 1957. In a photograph in Velocidad this car looked similar to a Kieft although the front had been re-profiled and the steering had switched sides possibly owing to it being rebuilt in the USA.

Can anybody in the States or Argentina supply information about the whereabouts of this car?

http://homepage.ntlw...es/image002.jpg


John


Does anyone have any further ideas on the fate of the sportscar?

#43 TonyCotton

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 12:33

Sorry I missed this thread previously.

Cyril Kieft lived about a mile from me in Wolverhampton and I knew him over the last 10 or 15 years of his life. He very kindly invited me to drive him and Carmen to Silverstone for his car's debut. I filmed it and also a short (10 mins or so) reminiscence by him.

Ths film is distinctly NOT professional, it's my "edited home movie" but if anybody wants a copy and is happy to cover my costs (I reckon around £1 for a DVD, £5 for VHS as the latters a pain to copy) post something on this thread and I will put an address where I can be contacted.

For info, Greg was a gearbox wizz who had worked for F3 teams and rally teams. Gordon Bedson died at an air display in his self designed Resurgam microlight.

#44 David Beard

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 18:45

Originally posted by TonyCotton

Ths film is distinctly NOT professional, it's my "edited home movie" but if anybody wants a copy and is happy to cover my costs (I reckon around £1 for a DVD, £5 for VHS as the latters a pain to copy) post something on this thread and I will put an address where I can be contacted.


A DVD for me please :)

#45 wdm

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 09:41

Originally posted by David Beard


A DVD for me please :)


And me, please, Tony... I'll PM you.

Willie

#46 David Beard

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 11:49

Originally posted by TonyCotton
Ths film is distinctly NOT professional, it's my "edited home movie" but if anybody wants a copy and is happy to cover my costs (I reckon around £1 for a DVD, £5 for VHS as the latters a pain to copy) post something on this thread and I will put an address where I can be contacted.


I've just received and enjoyed the DVD. Many thanks Tony. While it's a bit hard to hear what Cyril is saying in the noisy Silverstone garage, the occasion is splendidly captured..... especially the glorious bark from the FPE's stub exhausts.

#47 David Beard

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 17:01

From 2004....

Originally posted by David Beard
I’m still fascinated by this car….

Did anyone else notice how well it was going in the Goodwood Trophy at the Goodwood Revival this year?
Greg Snape started in 14th place on the grid with a time (1.38.477) somewhat better than he qualified with last year, then went on to drive a splendid race during which he seemed to pass someone on nearly every lap to finish 7th. His best time was 1.35.354, not too far off Jochen Mass’s best lap in the Lancia D50 and faster than Barry Baxter’s best in the TecMec (both in the Richmond & Gordon Trophy).


The Kieft GP continues to improve in 2005....

This year the Kieft started from row 2 on the grid with a time of 1.34.875, more than 3 seconds better than last year, and finished 4th in the race.

Unfortunately, for very embarrassing reasons I missed the race on Saturday. However, whilst wandering around the paddock on Sunday I enjoyed a treat. The team had push started the Kieft and put it up on axle stands to warm up, ERA style. As mentioned already on the Goodwood photo thread, the noise from the Godiva on those stub exhausts is incredible. The carbs were being adjusted and the inlets listened to through the classic short rubber pipe while all this was going on. I stood there thoroughly enjoying the racket and smell. while Mrs B retreated to a safe distance complaining that whatever it was running on was making her eyes water.

#48 FerrariV12

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 13:33

What a shame it never got to race in contemporary GP races. I wonder how it would have fared against the early 250Fs, the 625s and Gordinis? Another 'what if' I guess...

#49 Macca

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 13:48

It was out on the Saturday of the See Red meeting at Donington too:

Posted Image

The engine note is so gruff in comparison to, say, the similar Lancia D50 that I asked if it was actually 2.5L, and it is.

Paul M

#50 Macca

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 16:54

Advert spotted in the small ads of 'Motor Racing' for September 1960:

'Keift Formula 1 chassis. Ideal for rear-engined formula junior, or I or II car. Quick sale - £60'


:lol:

Paul M