Who remembers Jasper Carrot going on about the changes that happen to chap when he passes the age of 40? Ambling down the local high street he finds himself looking at the clothes on display in the shop window of…….Dunns! I think something similar happens when, as a motor sport enthusiast, you pass 50. You become less interested in current F1 and start going to spectate at VSCC events. And what do you begin to find interesting?….ERAs! It’s happened to me: after spending a lifetime admiring delicate, lightweight tiny racing cars, I find myself enjoying these rather agricultural pre-war devices. (How on earth did anyone ever think that ground clearance suitable for off-road use was a Good Idea for a racing car, even in 1935?)
What really did it was when I arrived at Donington a couple of years ago to find several of the beasts being warmed up with the rear axle on stands, wheels whizzing round behind wire mesh fireguards. The noise, the smell. Whining supercharger, tearing calico, methanol, Castrol R and all that. Mechanic grinning happily as he commands the performance. I was converted. Then out on the track these precarious but apparently bomb proof devices and their intrepid pilots put on a display that that brings joy to this pair of traction control sullied eyes.
I’ve not managed (yet) to get my hands on what seems to be the bible on ERAs…by David Weguelin. So I wonder if you folk might care to help with my education. I have here the October 1976 copy of Motor Sport. There is a Jenks article entitled “The ERA Affair”..prompted by a letter from David Gandhi. He is on about Romulus, the only ERA not to have a long succession of owners and drivers. There seems to have been some sort of furore going on about the fact that it was restored and brought to the light of day.
What was all the fuss about? And can we have some ERA rambling, please.
Edited by David Beard, 17 May 2010 - 18:42.