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Return of the Connew... story!


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#101 ensign14

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 20:47

Then again, who would have thought a book about the problem of defining longitude and inventing the marine chronometer would become the global smash it did?

It would actually be better as a film script, as that only needs 100 pages or so.

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#102 ian senior

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 11:58

Apologies (perhaps) for bringing this to the fore once again.

I believe we now have at least three ex-supporters club members on here - myself, Twinny and MCS. Are there any more lurking out there? If we could find just one more, we would have a quorum for the first Annual General Meeting of the club.

#103 Barry Boor

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 12:09

I was never actually a member but may I be included, please?

#104 RTH

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 20:33

Originally posted by Barry Boor
This book idea has festered with me for 30 years!

However, at least one distinguished TNF member, who himself has had books published, has assured me that it really would be a waste of time.

Even if a publisher were to be found, the interest in the story would be so minimal as to make the project simply not viable.

I did send a draught synopsis (!) to one publisher years ago and it came back - very nice, thanks but no thanks.

I fear it will have to remain in the narrow corridors of interest that TNF people inhabit.


I don't actually believe that Barry , - when you hear that 35 years ago magazines like Motor Sport had a readership of 192000 readers a month, the Connew saga is remembered by literally hundreds of thousands of people with great fondness and nostalgia and stands in stark contrast to the ugly, mean, miserable, nasty people who populate an F1 paddock today and have between them done so much to ruin the enjoyment of tens of millions of people.

I think a small inexpensive book on this subject with a comprehensive photographic record........ and with a final chapter following the restoration and return of the car to the track , would in fact sell surprisingly well , and be a welcome breath of fresh air from a band of true impecunious enthusiasts who actually dared to do it in a way that had never happened before or since in the true British spirit......................go and get some paper ready , please ! What do publishers know anyway !

#105 MCS

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 20:52

Originally posted by ian senior
Apologies (perhaps) for bringing this to the fore once again.

I believe we now have at least three ex-supporters club members on here - myself, Twinny and MCS. Are there any more lurking out there? If we could find just one more, we would have a quorum for the first Annual General Meeting of the club.


Marvellous post Ian :lol:

You're right, there must be more of us! But would we have to elect Barry as chairman!!!?

Perhaps, we three should decide (in his absence?) in Woburn shortly...;)

Mark

#106 MCS

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 21:21

RTH quotes:

"the Connew saga is remembered by literally hundreds of thousands of people with great fondness and nostalgia and stands in stark contrast to the ugly, mean, miserable, nasty people who populate an F1 paddock today and have between them done so much to ruin the enjoyment of tens of millions of people."

"a small inexpensive book on this subject with a comprehensive photographic record........ and with a final chapter following the restoration and return of the car to the track , would in fact sell surprisingly well , and be a welcome breath of fresh air from a band of true impecunious enthusiasts who actually dared to do it in a way that had never happened before or since in the true British spirit"


Richard

What a fabulous prospect.

Let us hope that Barry (in particular) and others can make this possible.

The support here is clearly obvious.

Well said, Richard.

MCS

#107 Twin Window

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 21:23

Originally posted by MCS

The support here is clearly obvious.

Oh yes...

:up:

#108 Team Gunston

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 21:26

I agree with Richard in every respect, from the miserable world of Formula 1 today to the need of a true book.

As a Frenchman, I have known the Connew car for a long time, given the fact that the first and the only true Connew driver/race starter was a Frenchman too. But I have just discovered that Barry had written a wonderful story, thanks to a thread dedicated to Pierre Soukry (1973 Connew F5000 driver) on the 10-Tenths forum.

I have read that story (after having printed all the pages) few days ago, when I was at bed, just before sleeping, and you cannot imagine, Barry, how beautiful were my dreams that night. My English is too poor and I don't find the words to express my feelings, but what a nice story ! And how lucky you were (are) ! I'm not the first to tell you that, but no doubt : those were the days.

Chapeau, Messieurs les Anglais !

Philippe

#109 Twin Window

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 21:32

Originally posted by Team Gunston

My English is too poor and I don't find the words to express my feelings, but what a nice story ! And how lucky you were (are) ! I'm not the first to tell you that, but no doubt : those were the days.

Don't worry, my friend - we know exactly what you mean... :wave: :up:

#110 MCS

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 21:44

Originally posted by Twin Window
Oh yes...

:up:


Perhaps I'm being naive - I do, after all, have a degree in naivety (according to my wife) - but, as basic as it may seem, why don't WE as TNFers get together and see what we can achieve in terms of getting the funds together to actually do something ?

MCS

(Barry, my utmost apologies if this has been tried before. But I somehow doubt your gentlemanly and polite disposure has precluded this approach, so please forgive me).

#111 RTH

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 07:14

Mark,

That's a good idea ..........so anyone know how you set about it ?

#112 MrSlow

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 10:00

I, too, found The Connew Story absolutele wonderful. It stayed on my mind for a very long time and it is still there to give some extra color and dimension to... F1? Life? Well, something ;)

I think everyone is dreaming about doing something like that. Sure, it is not F1 for everyone, but I believe that in our souls, that kind of adventures have a big place. The story itself is propably not more amazing than the stories of for instance Brabham, Cooper or Lotus. The difference is not that The Connew Story ends without success, the big difference is, I believe, Barry Boor! It is a warm story that is funny without too much humour and it has personalities without too much sentimentality, or nostalgia ;)

So whatever you decide to do with it - please do NOT give the script to Sylvester Stallone :)

And thank you Barry

#113 Mike Lawrence

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 13:43

Sorry guys, there is not a book in the Connew story. If the had been Doug Nye and I would hav been gouging out each other's eyes to write it.

Do not be despondant, there is a great movie in the story. Remeber how Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards became a cult figure? There was a film about the Jamaican bobsleigh team - has it ever snowed in Jamaica? There have been some very good films about strivers in sport.

I see Jude Law in the Barry Boor role. Or that Welsh bloke in 'Notting Hill'.

The story of the Connew PC1 is inspirational. It has all the right ingredients. There is Barry's honeymoon - is Kiera free? It is a movie waiting to be made It could be the best motor racing movie ever made because it could explain why people are daft enough to do it.

I think that the script should also explain that the PC1 was actually not that good. The picture showing the wheels at odd angles tells its own tale. The body was impossibly heavy. The wishbones were made with rivets which is something you do not often see. The Connew missed its debut because the suspension collapsed and that was just putting it on a trailer.

I am serious about Connew - the movie. Somewhere I have I have the proposal, I must dig it out.

#114 ensign14

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 15:59

Hello Dr Lawrence, glad you could join us. -ensign14, working a 90 hour week rather than watching the Blues draw with Newcastle and therefore missing Matty Upson's first goal :(

A film would be ideal given the 70s throwback nostalgia. Plus Lieutenant Pigeon could be used on the soundtrack.

And given I was born the day the Connew became a bona fide GP car, I could be Executive Producer. :p

#115 Barry Boor

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 17:54

It's interesting that Mike echoes exactly the thoughts of David McKinney with regard to a Connew book.

Much though it pains me to say it, I am sure they are both correct.

As for a film...... You are having a laugh, surely?

#116 Roger Clark

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 18:46

Originally posted by Mike Lawrence


I see Jude Law in the Barry Boor role. Or that Welsh bloke in 'Notting Hill'.

The thought of Mr Boor exposing himself in front of the world's press has spoilt my weekend.

#117 Mike Lawrence

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 20:19

I am completely serious. Connew- The Movie? has made sense to me for a long time. That is why I have an unfinished proposal for a movie on my database. It needs work, but its heart is in the right place.

#118 MrSlow

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 20:40

You mean "The Connew..... movie!" ? :)

#119 Twin Window

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 20:43

Originally posted by Mike Lawrence

Somewhere I have I have the proposal...

I didn't realise you were Irish, Mike. (or is it Mick?!)

My contribution to the fillum ;) is the chappie who can play me. My character would be the annoying little bugger who's constantly on the phone trying to blag stickers, leaflets, and even bodywork for his school exhibition.

In a quite unprecedented feat of clairvoyance, I have even arranged to supply the teenager who can fulfil that very role! His name is Thomas Dent, my son, who I helped create some time in advance so as he'd be the perfect age for the part come, er... filluming.

(On a more serious note; DO IT! If I can help in any way, I most certainly will.)

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#120 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 21:29

Doubters...

The Barry Collerson book (there's a thread here... Mt Druitt to Monza... look it up!) was produced by 'new technology' that allows them to spew out mere hundreds at a time. The first run was just 200, so I'd guess by looking at that thread that they have all been sold and a second run would be in the offing.

Apparently layout and so on was lacking, but that's a mere technical exercise to get right, the main thing is that today's technology allows affordable publishing in very small numbers.

Once the prospect of a higher level of sales is proven (as would be in this case), then you can print more conventionally if required.

Mike, when it comes to movie proposals, how about a hand with mine?

#121 RTH

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 21:50

Sorry I missed all this , I've just got in from standing in the rain all day at Brands.

Just as a start how about offering the remains of the car to Channel 4 'Salvage squad' to restore free of charge - they have already done much bigger and much more expensive projects - like ships and trams, they could do their usual hour long trawl in to the history, film & photographic evidence and get it ready for the movie as well as priming the public conciousness.

#122 RTH

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 21:51

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Doubters...

The Barry Collerson book (there's a thread here... Mt Druitt to Monza... look it up!) was produced by 'new technology' that allows them to spew out mere hundreds at a time. The first run was just 200, so I'd guess by looking at that thread that they have all been sold and a second run would be in the offing.

Apparently layout and so on was lacking, but that's a mere technical exercise to get right, the main thing is that today's technology allows affordable publishing in very small numbers.

Once the prospect of a higher level of sales is proven (as would be in this case), then you can print more conventionally if required.

Mike, when it comes to movie proposals, how about a hand with mine?


Good positive thinking Ray.

#123 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 22:16

We've got to change the course of history somehow...

JLP deserves it. And I think the French can afford it.

#124 Bumblyari

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 22:27

Why not a musical ?

You could include the Bee Gees' "How Connew Mend a Broken Part"

and the first line of "Buddy Connew Spare a Dime" seems very apt -

"They used to tell me I was building a dream"

#125 Mike Lawrence

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 05:04

Barry's story misses some crucial elements which make the Connew story right for a movie, and I would dispute some of his account. Peter Connew did not contribute to the design of John Surtees's McLaren M7C, for a start. It was like that when John bought it.

To the essence of why there is a movie in this story. Peter Connew is not a motor racing enthusiast. Some mates of his suggested that he join them on a trip, by car, to Monza and he went for the fun of the ride. He can barely remember the race because he was not interested in motor racing. The fact he took tiime off work is why he lost his job. Team Surtees was looking for a draughtsman and Peter was a draughtsman. To him it was merely a job. He blagged his way into the job and, he told me, he picked up the meaning of terms such as 'upright' in the drawing office.

Surtees loaded up his car one crisp February prior to sending it to Spouth Africa and Peter thought he had never seen amything more beautiful. It was one of those days when the light makes everything sharp. Peter looked at the car he resolved to make one himself. It was this wonderful, visual, naive moment which is at the heart of the movie.

The guy was driven by a dream which he does not understand himself. Othere, like Barry, were caught up in the dream. Racing people, like Howden Ganley, would call by the lock-up. The press corps was kind to the project, every one was. There is no way the car should have happened, but it did.

The Connew PC1 was actually a seriously flawed design, look at the angle of the wheels in the pictures. I have lifted parts of the body and they way too heavy. The fact remains that Peter set out to build a racing car and not just any race car, a Formula One car. He not only did it, but his car ran in a World Championship event. In Peter's terms it was a complete success. I understand him which is why the Connew is my favourite motor racing story.

It is a story which could only have happened at the time it did. It could not have happened after 1973 because of the state of the economy following the 1973 OPEC hike in the price of oil. The Connew story could not have happened much earlier, because there were no secondhand Cosworth DFV engines around.

It is a story of the Sixties which actually ran from about 1963 to 1973. If you say 1965, I will not argue, but things changed in 1973.

The Connew PC1 was a story of a particular time and place and the place was London.

It is a wonderful, inspirational, story I have told it to people who have no interest in motor racing and they have seen the point. It's the village soccer team which gets to play in the Cup Final, almost. It is a story about living a dream.

There is not enough meat there for a book, but there is a movie in the story. You would end it with the 1973 Austrian GP because the rest gets messy. David Purley was not that thrilled to have a spanner in the footwell.

Hollywood has been called the Dream Factory. What is at the heart of the Connew story, but dreams? Peter, Barrie and the other made the dream come true.

Of course, the actor who plays Barry will have to wear flared trousers. Definitely that Welsh bloke from 'Notting Hill'.

#126 ian senior

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 07:49

Originally posted by Mike Lawrence
I am completely serious. Connew- The Movie? has made sense to me for a long time. That is why I have an unfinished proposal for a movie on my database. It needs work, but its heart is in the right place.


Call it "Connew - The FILM", please, Mike. It's an English story. We don't need any Americanisms!

#127 smithy

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:07

If you're going to do a film/movie/whatever there will have to be some creative license with the story. Picking up on the theme of the village soccer team making the Cup Final, or "Brassed Off", or "The Full Monty" or even "Cool Runnings" (all of those battlers-makes-good type stories), the Connew will have to be dicing for the lead before suffering a cruel mechanical failure or something like that to be a decent movie.

Anyway, as a scriptwriter friend once said to me "don't let the truth or history get in the way of a good story."

#128 MrSlow

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:31

Originally posted by smithy

Anyway, as a scriptwriter friend once said to me "don't let the truth or history get in the way of a good story."

Yes, that is true. That is also what made Driven such a great movie.

#129 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 12:00

At least I won't have to lie...

My movie will have a great love story and change the history books while still being totally factual.

#130 RTH

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 12:37

How about two parallel story lines running through the film combining the story of March with that of Connew.

March had 4 quite high profile figures (or they soon became so ) with past experience, wealthy backers, hit the ground running with a modern factory unit, equipment, experienced skilled staff on an industrial scale building series production customer cars, .......virtually started at the top with 5 new GP cars at the start of '70 season from an established professional designer.

At each stage the film cuts to the stark contrast of the Connew shed and follows their alternative approach.

So what is the next stage in getting a film made?

The UK government in recent years has given out millions in grants and tax relief making investors almost immune from losses to get new British films made. Is this a made for TV or Cinema - does that make a difference ?

So someone has to write a screen play and interest an independent production company ?

Is that the next step ?

#131 D-Type

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 12:39

Given the way the Americans mess about with our history, the car would have to win the Indianapolis 500 - whoops, the International Sweepstakes (sorry Don!)

#132 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 13:01

Originally posted by RTH
.....Is this a made for TV or Cinema - does that make a difference ?

So someone has to write a screen play and interest an independent production company ?

Is that the next step ?


As a Mini Series, the budget restrictions are much tighter... or so I've been told. The figure I was quoted a couple of years ago was $100,000 Australian per hour for a Mini Series.

The 'next step' is probably to interest a Producer...

#133 Ruairidh

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 15:27

Originally posted by D-Type
Given the way the Americans mess about with our history, the car would have to win the Indianapolis 500 - whoops, the International Sweepstakes (sorry Don!)


Nah it would have to be NASCAR.

Seriously, as a fillum loving, Americanophile expat Brit, I see this story as having very limited appeal to US film goers. Doesn't mean it wouldn't be excellent and appeal to the UK market - just that it would need some extra theme (think male strippers or updated glimpse of British upper-middle class life or some other pizzazz) to sell in the US of A.

So maybe the idea of naked welshmen may be needed.................

#134 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 15:48

This started off as a perfectly sensible thread - but now it's becoming silly..... :lol:

#135 fines

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 17:06

Originally posted by Ruairidh


Nah it would have to be NASCAR.

Seriously, as a fillum loving, Americanophile expat Brit, I see this story as having very limited appeal to US film goers. Doesn't mean it wouldn't be excellent and appeal to the UK market - just that it would need some extra theme (think male strippers or updated glimpse of British upper-middle class life or some other pizzazz) to sell in the US of A.

So maybe the idea of naked welshmen may be needed.................

That is why all movies appealing to US film goers are so terribly, awfully... Well, I digress. :

If this is ever going to happen, PLEASE let it be a European production, lest it will end up as a sequel to "Driven"...

#136 Barry Boor

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 19:19

I feel I must set the record straight...

Mike Lawrence said that:

Peter Connew did not contribute to the design of John Surtees's McLaren M7C, for a start. It was like that when John bought it.


I was fairly sure that this was not true so I have spoken to Peter on the matter. To cut a long story short he tells me that John Surtees had the idea to add sidepods to the M7C in order to increase the fuel capacity. He sketched out the general idea, then went off on Xmas holiday. Peter was left to draw out the modifications and order the parts etc.

Maurice Gomm made the pods and Marston the bag tanks. During an expensive phone call to JS on a technical point, Peter was told, no talk - action!

Now if this is Peter having nothing to do with M7C, then I'm a Welshman!

#137 Even Darker

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 05:39

Originally posted by Barry Boor
I'm a Welshman!


Exactly Barry, that's what everyone's been saying. :rotfl:

Seriously though folks.

I would query Mike L's view of the view of the viability of a book.

I know Mike that you have the professional experience to back up your judgement, which even the aspiring authors amongst us lack. But I wonder how much your opinion is coloured by looking at it from the point of view of the type of book that you would want to write?

Much of the anecdote that fills Barry's story would not be included in a conventional "The history of .........." team history type book. But this is precisely what makes it so fascinating, capturing the romance of the period. It is in expanding on this aspect that I see the scope for making a book out of it, albeit a slim one.

Even going the self-publishing route, I agree it would probably never make a profit. However, then you have to ask why Barry and others that got involved would be doing it. Is it a job, or a hobby with a concrete outcome (a bit like building slot cars to race in your shed)? On the latter basis, I think it would be worth doing. I and, from what I've read so far, many others would love to help. Barry's main problems would be beating us off with a stick to retain creative and managerial control!

And you never know, like that other impossible dream, the Connew, it might just prove to be more succesful than anyone looking at it rationally would believe possible.

#138 RTH

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 07:43

Originally posted by Barry Boor


Now if this is Peter having nothing to do with M7C, then I'm a Welshman!


Where is it you live again Barry ?

Anyway what's wrong with a book AND a film ?

#139 Gokart Mozart

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 16:01

Anyway what's wrong with a book AND a film



Fully agreed! Personally, as long as you keep the screenplay away from California (coming from an American) it would turn out wonderful. :clap:

As for a book...hmm, Twinny, hows your pen doing? :up:

As opposed to all of the cut and dry books out their on GP teams, I think the interlay of the people and their respective difficulties would make such a book stand out from the rest. AKA, you'll never see a book about last year's McLaren, because it was a large team that hush hushed the car away. :eek:

This is a story about a team that wasn't supposed to make it that far...but did. Made from the best stuff on earth if you ask me. ;)


Respectfully,

Jacques N. Dresang
www.miniwurx.com
UEMSI Motorwerks Miata #80

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#140 Barry Boor

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 21:52

If there is anyone out there who wants to read this story but has not yet done so, please hurry because when the free Atlas webspace ends in a few days, my Images website, which carries the story, will disappear from the Web.

#141 petefenelon

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 10:33

Originally posted by Barry Boor
If there is anyone out there who wants to read this story but has not yet done so, please hurry because when the free Atlas webspace ends in a few days, my Images website, which carries the story, will disappear from the Web.


Barry,

If you need web space for this I have plenty. Such a story should not be allowed to fade away.

#142 fines

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 15:08

Originally posted by Barry Boor
If there is anyone out there who wants to read this story but has not yet done so, please hurry because when the free Atlas webspace ends in a few days, my Images website, which carries the story, will disappear from the Web.

What's the story behind that??? :confused:

#143 Barry Boor

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 15:32

Check the webspace thread on the Atlas F1 Forum.

#144 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 21:21

Can you upload it to another server, Barry?

#145 Barry Boor

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 21:26

It looks as though everything will be o.k. Chris Connew, son of Peter, may well be able to supply me with space - (very appropriate, considering....)

But anyway, thanks to all those who have offered to help. You are all very kind and generous to this old, failed F.1 mechanic!  ;)

#146 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 00:13

But, of course, we others have to go retrieve out stuff and upload it elsewhere... not so much of a problem I guess... but then we have to go through and edit in new links!

#147 Barry Boor

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 06:07

Yes, I have to do all that too, Ray, it's just that I am lucky enough to have somewhere to put it.

#148 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 08:41

Likewise, I can organise somewhere to put it... but the transfer seems to be a difficult job...

#149 P 4 Staff

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 10:37

Barry...take a look here http://www.motorsportarchiv.at/

Zeltweg 1972.

Several pics of Migault and the Connew.

Best: Staffan.

#150 Barry Boor

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 16:44

Many thanks, Staffan.

One picture even has Peter Connew's nose and glasses! AND, I'm am NEARLY in several of them.... :lol: