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#1 Peter Morley

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 12:40

Many of you will have heard of Aiden Jones.
BUT, did you know there were two (unrelated) Aiden Jones's involved with motor racing in the 1960's.

William Aiden Jones (Bill Aiden-Jones)
ran Five Towns Auto sales and in 1963 bought the Scirocco F1 cars with the intention of running Phil Robertson in them.

Aiden J. Jones (Hugh Aiden-Jones)
built the Shannon F3/F1 car in 1966 - having previously worked on the Aiden Cooper special etc. - and fitted Paul Emery's 3 litre Climax Godiva V8 for Trevor Taylor in the 1966 British GP

As the current owner of both these cars, I have located (Burton on Trent) and talked to Bill Jones.
What I would like to know is does anyone know what happened to (Hugh) Aiden J. Jones?
I believe that his son (Ed Jones) worked for Ron Tauranac and might have gone to Indycar?

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#2 ian senior

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 13:53

Now this is interesting, because it suggests that some of the stuff on 8W is wrong - 8W says that Hugh A-J was involved in both the Scirocco and Shannon cars. At the back of my mind the name Bill A-J rings a bell, but it's a faint one.

#3 Peter Morley

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 14:17

Some of the stuff on 8W is definitely wrong.

For example, it slags off the Emeryson, Schirocco & Shannon.

As an owner (past or present) of all of these cars, we know the Emeryson is as good as a Lotus 18 (the ENB ones were awful due to ENB - the Maserati engine produces a fraction of the power Maserati told them and the installation was appalling, especially relevant when the driveshaft is the rear top suspension link), having done back to back testing with an 18 there was very little to chose between them, the Emeryson being more forgiving.

The Scirocco is a much better chassis than something like a Lotus 24 (which it must be said is a really awful thing), it was the smallest car on the grid in 63 and one of the best looking of all the 1.5 litre cars, and the same running gear as everything else puts it well to the fore.

And the Shannon chassis was good enough to win races (which it did in its later career), so the car wasn't as bad as 8W says. The fact it was hastily finished the night before the British GP and failed due to a stupid installation problem does not mean it was a bad car (outqualifying a Cooper Maserati for example).

What I still don't understand is why someone called Aiden J Jones would be known as Hugh Aiden Jones! Perhaps this was to distinguish him from Bill Aiden Jones.

Certainly Bill Jones was surpised to be asked about the Shannon, he remembered the Sciroccos but had no recollection of designing the Shannon - that is when it dawned on me that the different initials weren't spelling mistakes!

#4 Cirrus

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 15:05

This reply is totally from memory, so please make allowances for my tiny brain. I think Ed Jones raced Supervee in the States in the eighties, and one of the cars he drove was self-built and also called a Shannon. I think the car was written off in a nasty leg-breaking shunt at an oval.

I am pretty sure Ed Jones worked for Ron Tauranac in about 1990, after he had sold Ralt to March. I think Hugh Aiden-Jones died some years ago.

#5 marat

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 17:57

Peter, may be the belgian were wrong with the Maserati engined Emeryson but the Climax
engined car were not better.
If Gaetana Starrabba with a Lotus 18 and the same Maserati engine could qualify for the
italian GP, leaving Pilette unqualified and four second slower with a Climax engined Emeryson
there is no way to compare both chassis. I have a lot of respect for Paul Emery's contribution to motor racing but his "specials" were not
to be compared with cars produced by established factories.
The only interest of the Shannon was its engine, more fascinating for example than the
Serenissima engine.

#6 Peter Morley

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 19:16

If Gaetana Starrabba with a Lotus 18 and the same Maserati engine could qualify for the italian GP, leaving Pilette unqualified and four second slower with a Climax engined Emeryson
there is no way to compare both chassis.



When run under similar conditions (e.g. historic races when both cars are prepared to similar high standards), the Emeryson junior has been just as quick as Lotus 18 juniors (and won races in period), and my F1 car was comfortably quicker than similar engined 18 F1 cars. That is how we compared both chassis.

If Starrabba's Maserati engine had similar power to the Climax engined cars I would seriously query its capacity! As Climax learnt with the Godiva Italian horses aren't as strong as British ones!

A difference of 4 seconds is so huge it is likely the car (engine most likely) had a major problem, given the nature of 60's F1 circuits (fast and no chicanes/slow corners) a 4 second difference was unlikely to be due to any handling defect.

The only interest of the Shannon was its engine, more fascinating for example than the Serenissima engine.



Maybe at the time, but given you are talking about a car that had the same power as a Repco engined car, has a considerably lighter chassis and is a monocoque rather than a space frame. We have high hopes for the Shannon as a historic race car since it is much better suited to current races than much of the competition.

Apart from DFV cars (with far more power than they had early on) the Shannon is as good as anything in its class, at the time it was quicker than a Cooper Maserati (whos engine had similar 50's origins) as with all Paul's entries fundamentaly the idea was sound but the budget wasn't.

#7 marat

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 20:21

If we remain in 1966, I understand the Shannon could match the Cooper Ferrari of Jack Pearce
or Guy Ligier's private Cooper Maserati and perhaps a few other private competitors, not more.
You cannot rewrite history, in an historic race, you can beat a postwar Alfa Romeo with a
prewar Maserati, a Cooper Bristol can finish ahead of a 250F Maserati but just for fun.

#8 Peter Morley

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 20:37

Many historic cars that were originally undeveloped (e.g. underfunded), show that when sufficient time and effort has been put in they live up to the designer's expectations (no one really went out to design a car to be at the back of the grid, they all thought they would be competitive).

A lot of the 70's cars that are very competitive in TGP races were hopeless in period, simply because the teams didn't have time to sort them out properly.

Having respectable power and breaking the lap record during testing meant the Shannon people thought they were on the right rack before the British GP.

We aren't trying to rewrite history, but historic racing gives a great opportunity to see what might have been (and in my case to see what I am too young to have seen originally). It will be interesting to see how competitive the Godiva engined Kieft is against what would have been its rivals, but that is not historically accurate.

What is interesting is how the field is probably more even now - tyres are pretty similar/even, nitro is banned (the reason Hawthorn's Cooper Bristol went so well), drivers are better trained (more opportunity to be even) etc.

Of course Cooper Bristols & Lotus 16s etc. running modern suspension (etc. etc.) tend to perform differently to original, but we have no intention of re-engineering the Shannon just rebuilding it as original while making it reliable to give it an opportunity it never had in period (it was finished the morning of the GP after all and a small connection put it out of the race).

#9 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 17:23

To bring back this long dormant thread:

It appears that Hugh Aiden-Jones is "Aiden J Jones" (born 23 Aug 1923, ??? Ireland, d. 23 Aug 1991, Exeter, Devon) but have people got their lines mixed up & actually he should only be listed as the designer for the Shannon car, and not the Scirocco?

I'm trying to find H A-J's place of birth, which is why I brought this back up - but also to try & check I have got the right chap as listed for the Shannon project, so:

1) Are we quite clear Aiden J Jones is Hugh Aiden-Jones (which seems to balance out, but still...)

2) Bill Aiden-Jones was not a designer for Scirocco, only involved in the financial side?

3) H A_J was only involved with Shannon, not Scirocco?

Cheers in advance everyone :wave:

#10 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 17:32

I recall Bill Jones as an entrant/dealer, not as an engineer. And did he have an Alexis connection???? For some reason I think of those names as being interlinked. I had NO idea he was also an 'Aiden Jones' - and in my tiny part of the world we thought there was only one 'engineer' Aiden Jones, and to a considerable extent that was considered sufficient.

DCN

#11 Peter Morley

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 18:24

Hi Richie

Bob Birrell (who races a Brabham Formula Junior) was good friends with Hugh Aiden Jones having raced the Shannon Supervee along with Hugh's son Eddie Jones (who worked on the Shannon F1 as a child).
You should be able to find Bob's details via the Formula Junior connection, he might be able to help with the details you are looking for, otherwise I'm sure he can either ask or put you in touch with Eddie (he went to Eddie's wedding a few years ago).

Bob did say that in the Supervee days Hugh told him about his times with Scirocco, Hugh Powell, Cuoghi & Burgess... And Bob was there when Hugh & Cuoghi had a reunion at Hockenheim in 1981...
So it seems that Hugh was definitely involved with both Scirocco & Shannon.

You can see why it seemed likely that Shannon & Scirocco Aiden Jones's were one and the same, but it turns out that the W A (Bill Aiden) Jones who was going to run the Scirocco for Steve Robertson was a different person....
He was in a retirement home in Burton on Trent around 2002 - Spencer Elton provided the lead to his location - when we did contact him he was surprised to hear he had been involved with the Shannon, that's when I realised we were talking about two different people!

Roy Thomas who was a fabricator for Scirocco thinks that the car was designed by Paul Emery but even at the time they didn't really let on.
So I'm not sure what the Hugh Aiden Jones Scirocco involvement was... Having heard from John Wilson who raced the Shannon in F3 you would hope it wasn't in the preperation department, some of Hugh's mistakes were potentially lethal!

Not sure if this contribution takes us one step further or one back!

Peter

#12 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 19:57

Hi Peter,
Thank you - No, that does help as it makes things a lot clearer from my respect. I'll have to see if I can get in touch with Eddie via Bob to try & see where Hugh was born in Ireland to get that particular "Mystery" done. I was more of the line of being wary of crediting someone for something they hadn't done, although I agree the actual involvement is still a bit hazy.

#13 Peter Morley

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 20:09

Richie if you look at the for sale section of the FJ website Bob's phone number & e-mail are listed (he's selling prof Monsford's transporter).

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 19:21

I’ve been looking more deeply into this whole question

Irish-born Aiden Joseph Jones (1923-1991) was the person involved with the Camoradi, Anglo-American, Scirocco and Shannon-Godiva F1 efforts

I have spoken to people directly involved with all those operations, and with the smaller Shannons (including his son, Eddie Jones). None has ever heard of him being called Hugh Aiden-Jones and no official records have been found using this name

We can only think the ‘Hugh’ must have come from someone confusing him with Scirocco backer Hugh Powell

The Bill Jones referred to by Peter Morley seems to be someone entirely different, and from a different part of the country. It’s possible, if he was the W A Jones who raced the F2 Lister-Climax, that his middle name might, coincidentally, have been Aiden



#15 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 19:42

Thanks David for your diligent research with this. I'll change it from A to J soon and glad that we still have the right man credited for his work.

#16 Peter Morley

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:16

Just dug out my Scirocco file and I found a few things (some of which has previously been mentioned):

Motorsport April 1995 interview with Ian Burgess.
Ian Burgess maintains that the Anglo-American Cooper was entirely his own design and not Aiden-Jones's.
Whether he did or not, it does confirm that Aiden Jones worked for Anglo American.

The 8W Article when talking about the Shannon refers to ex-Scirocco designer Hugh Aiden-Jones and says he was also the creator of the Aiden-Cooper (e.g. Anglo American) and the Pearce.
I've no idea where they got the Hugh part from, but it wasn't me so someone added the Hugh part...
Bob Birrell always refers to him as Aiden Jones so I'm happy that Hugh has simply appeared over the years, and he was simply Aiden Jones.

Incidentally, Aiden's son Eddie went indycar racing where he used to be Dan Wheldon's mechanic, consequently Bob went to Dan's wedding a couple of years ago.

As for the other Mr Jones, I have a copy of a letter from him to Duncan Rabagliatti from September 1965.

It is signed W.A.Jones and is addressed Shardlow Manor, Shardlow nr. Derby.
He says:
The car I had for sale was the Tony Settember car, used in 1963 only. This has now been sold to Alan Eccles of West Bromwich, to be made into a Formula Libre car.
The Ian Burgess car was used in 1963 by Ian Burgess, but was sold in 1964 to Ron Carter and driven by Andre Pilette.
There was a spare chassis for these two cars, which I built up during the winter of 1964 into another Scirocco, using suspension parts made by John Tojeiro. John, incidentally, made the suspension for the other two cars.
This spare car which I built has now been sold to Don Burfoot of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to be made into a big sportscar, fitted with a Ford engine.
If you would like a photo of this car, Autospsort has a block of same.

Sounds to me like W.A.Jones bought the remains of the team?
And he sounds like the sort of person who could well have driven the F2 Lister!

Peter

Edited by Peter Morley, 03 November 2011 - 08:19.


#17 David McKinney

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:24

Thanks Peter

I think the usually reliable 8W is wrong in several respects regarding both the Scirocco and Shannon-Godiva. Not only in their reference to Hugh Aiden-Jones (which I have also seen in pre-internet print) but also in their reference to the Anglo-American Cooper, which I am sure was not called the Aiden-Cooper in period

And, yes, it looks very much as if W A Jones bought the whole Scirocco package


#18 HiRich

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 13:39

I have notes on a Bill "WA" Jones who is certainly the same one who contacted Duncan.
He raced 500s 1954-1960 (first the CRM, then a selection of Coopers). I made a note, but foolishly didn't record where from, that he was "Proprietor of Derby Alabaster (Art Products) Company, Shardlow Mance, London Road, Shardlow, Derbyshire" (this was quite possibly from Iota magazine). I also picked up the middle name Aiden from sources unknown.
The 500 website also notes the nickname "Gingerly", and has him passing away in 2009.

So we appear to have a common thread of a Formula III driver from Derbyshire, who may have progressed to a Lister F2, and did buy up the Scirocco project.

#19 David McKinney

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 14:28

Shardlow isn't all that far from the Burton mentioned in Peter M's opening thread...

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#20 Peter Morley

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 14:36

W.A.Jones ended up in an old folks home in Burton, while his old home ended up as an old folks home!

Shardlow Manor is now a retirment home.
I've just e-mailed them to see if they know anything of the history and if by any chance they know Bill's middle name - no idea if it will work but must be worth a try.

#21 Racer.Demon

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 22:50

I think the usually reliable 8W is wrong in several respects regarding both the Scirocco and Shannon-Godiva. Not only in their reference to Hugh Aiden-Jones (which I have also seen in pre-internet print) but also in their reference to the Anglo-American Cooper, which I am sure was not called the Aiden-Cooper in period


I'm sorry for being a bit late in catching up on this but I'm of course glad to rectify any misgivings in any of the 8W articles. As for the source of the names Hugh Aiden-Jones and Aiden-Cooper: look no further than A-Z of Grand Prix Cars by David Hodges, from which I'm sure Vitesse2 got his info as well when writing his Reader's Why.