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#1 Mallory Dan

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 12:51

I'm halfway through the Lawrence Colin Chapman book, and have seen a reference to Colin Bennett in the early days at Lotus. Is this the same chap who later ran Gp8/Aurora/Atlantic cars, and who was based in Warrington I think ? I seem to remember this Colin Bennett had Lotus links, is he one and the same ?

Dan

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#2 2F-001

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 14:42

I'd always assumed it was the same person... it would make sense... Someone here will know for certain!

(btw, Dan - there's some more Leicester chat appeared in the intro thread...)

#3 mickj

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 06:08

Yes it is Colin Bennett who was based in Warrington. He also ran Walter Robinsons 'DFVW'. The last time I came across his name was that he was in the US tending Porsches for vintage racing based on the east coast.

#4 2F-001

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 08:11

Walter Robertson, wasn't it, with ''DFVW''? We've discussed this machine in passing a couple of times here. It was Colin Hawker's, originally, I think. It was often described as having a ''Gordon Murray-designed monocoque'' - I imagined it was based on a de Cadanet-Duckhams Le Mans car - does anyone know if that's right?

#5 Mallory Dan

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 09:40

Tony, you're right definitely Walter Robertson. I think there was another Robertson at the same time who also had some Big Saloon, anyone remember. Walter also had Skodas, all very quick too.

Colin Bennett also had involvement with Norman Dickson in Libre/Gp8/Aurora, cars always very well presented. Alo Lawler as well, and ditto.

Saw the Leicester stuff, I recall those pubs, though my favourite was the Rainbow & Dove, up near the station. Didn't open til 85, so I guess you may have missed it ??

Dan

#6 dolomite

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 16:42

Originally posted by 2F-001
Walter Robertson, wasn't it, with ''DFVW''? We've discussed this machine in passing a couple of times here. It was Colin Hawker's, originally, I think. It was often described as having a ''Gordon Murray-designed monocoque'' - I imagined it was based on a de Cadanet-Duckhams Le Mans car - does anyone know if that's right?


I think it's been rebuilt back into its de Cadenet form now, I seem to recall seeing it mentioned somewhere recently.

#7 AlesiUK

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 19:01

Colin Bennett also ran an f300 team in late 1980's and early 90's.Won the gold cup with paulo carcassci in 88 or 89,ran pedro chaves for a full season in european f300 championship along with several outings by Alain and michele ferte.wound it up a few years later i think.COBRA motorsports was the nameof the team,based in warrington as well.

#8 mickj

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 04:21

2F-001 you are correct Walter Robertson. Should have known as I have a pic on my wall of 'DFVW' amongst the Chaparrals.
Dolomite correct also, Its been built back to its De Cadanet form. I read that the owner purchased the car with 3 body styles, De Cadanet, DFVW and ?. Does anyone know.

#9 David Force

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 17:25

Colin is alive, well and back over here. He has been involved in a few things including I believe ASCAR so keeping in contact with the sport.

He ran the Lotus 78 in Aurora didnt he ?

#10 AlesiUK

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Posted 03 July 2004 - 19:59

somewhat out of the blue, but assuming the colin bennett in this thread was indead the one who ran the F3000 team,does anyone know what he is doing now and/or how he could be contacted?

#11 fausto

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 19:36

I know he went to USA, and took charge of Mike Amalfitano "Amalfi Racing" cars

http://www.amalfiracing.com

#12 MoMurray

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 22:23

Funnily enough, I just posted this a few weeks ago on the the thread about transporters. I seem to recall that in my conversations with Mr. Bennet, he had talked about his time at Lotus. Remember these were conversations with an impressionable teenager who was is awe of this real race mechanic at the time and so my recollections are blurred by the passing years. Anyway thought you might find this interesting.

"In the late seventies, a UK based Formula Atlantic driver named Alo Lawler had a bus based transporter that was supposedly ex Dan Gurney. My very first experience in motor racing was a trip to the ceremonial scrutineering in Dublin for the Phoenix Park races in that bus. It came about as follows. The local petrol station in the area of Dublin I grew up in was owned by the father of Bernard Devaney, who was doing very well in UK FF at the time. I suppose through Bernard, Alo Lawler based himself out of the petrol station when he came to do the Leinster Trophy and the Phoenix Park on consecutive weekends in '78 or '79. My brother worked at the petrol station so after school everyday I went to see to bright yellow Chevron B29. The team mechanic, one Colin Bennet, was very freindly and allowed me to sit in the car everyday for a week. When thursday night came and time to go across town to the scrutineering, Mr. Bennet, much to the horror of my older brother, invited me along for the ride. It was one of those dearly cherished memories".


Mo.

#13 Mallory Dan

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 12:37

Originally posted by fausto
I know he went to USA, and took charge of Mike Amalfitano "Amalfi Racing" cars

http://www.amalfiracing.com


IIRC Colin went west when the British F1 series finsished in '82, and did CanAm for a while. He ran Val Musetti and Arnold Glass in their respective F1s suitably modified, without much joy though as I remember. Was he also involved in some Group C for a while after this, a Dome rings a vague bell.

#14 Graham Gauld

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 15:34

Purely for the record the De Cadenet Le Mans car was the basis for our original Ecosse-Ford that ran at Monza, Silverstone and Le Mans in 1984 before it was totalled at Brands Hatch due to a problem with the rear brakes with Ray Mallock driving. The mangled tub still exists. Hugh McCaig originally wanted it totally cut up and buried then changed his mind and decided to keep it.
Walter Robertson, " the Pie-Man" from Edinburgh has only recently retired from his business which was making meat pies and haggis. For over twenty years now Walter has supplied the marshals at every Ingliston and Knockhill meeting with pies and sausage rolls free of charge. His son Stephen Robertson now runs the business, Stephen having raced in FF 2000 a few years ago and not to be confused with the English Steven Robertson.
Walter was due to race the Ecosse-Ford, see above, in the World Championship events in 1984 but could not get his licence upgraded in time for Silverstone.

Graham Gauld

#15 fausto

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 15:56

Originally posted by Graham Gauld
Purely for the record the De Cadenet Le Mans car was the basis for our original Ecosse-Ford that ran at Monza, Silverstone and Le Mans in 1984................

Graham Gauld


found a good reason to post (maybe for the second time) this:

http://img135.echo.c...ecosse846sv.jpg

:)

Hugh McCaig is on the left, Ray Mallock is behind him

Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting

#16 fausto

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 16:00

sorry, did something wrong, will ask Twin Window to remove the pic, then I'll post the right link...

#17 Mallory Dan

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 16:00

Graham, very interesting re Walter R, and son, I well recall him in his Skodas and DFVW in GTs in the late 70s/early 80s. I presume he's the connection to Colin Bennett on this thread.

Colin also had Scottish links via Norman Dickson as I recall. Was he involved with the Dicksons Modi, or only after that with the March 792, then Lotus 78 do you know?

On the Ecosse front, that other Scottish Club racer David Duffield did race the car in Group C I believe, so presumably he could get his licence 'upped' in time.

#18 Graham Gauld

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 16:18

Ref Colin Bennett and Walter Robertson, Walter was at one time a shareholder in Colin Bennett racing and yes Colin was involved with the Modi - I would direct you to my book SCOTTISH MOTOR RACING AND DRIVERS but that would be construed as advertising. David Duffield was ok because he had previously raced in the Aurora series with Hugh McCaig's Atlantic car and had the right licence. David drove the car at Silverstone but was not happy during practice at Le Mans and in fact decided to retire from motor racing - though he did race occasionally after that. David is one of the truly great guys of Scottish motor racing and has spent a lot of his time helping younger drivers with work and advice.

Graham

#19 Mallory Dan

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 17:51

Graham, I don't think David D was ever out in Aurora with the Caledon Ralt. He certainly did some F2 a couple of years later in the car, ex-Leslie I think.

Back to Colin B, I remember the Dicksons Modus team in 76 ran in both G8 and Indylantic. One of their mechanics was father of some kids at my school (called Perrott).

The highlight of that summer for me, was when they brought the Dicksons transporter, an 8-wheeled converted bus like the Italian job one, round to his house for a night or 2. I recall talking to a young team mechanic called 'Jimmy' at the time about the cars/drivers/races etc. My first ever contact with someone involved in racing ! Great memories, maybe why I've always had an interest in Colin B.

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#20 Charles Helps

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 19:41

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
I'm halfway through the Lawrence Colin Chapman book, and have seen a reference to Colin Bennett in the early days at Lotus. Is this the same chap who later ran Gp8/Aurora/Atlantic cars, and who was based in Warrington I think ? I seem to remember this Colin Bennett had Lotus links, is he one and the same ?

Dan

Dan, I don't think that he is the same chap. Colin D. Bennett who was the first official Sales Manager at Lotus died in April 1995, I believe. His obituary appeared in Historic Lotus magazine in Winter 1995. According to that, he went to Associated Rediffusion after leaving Lotus in 1959 and was also manager for J Van Vlyman Lotus Eleven Racing.

From Mike Lawrence's book: "Bennett used to do work on sales, especially dealing with overseas enquiries. He refused to get his hands dirty...". Peter Ross writes in his 'Lotus - The Early Years" that while the gang of unpaid helpers were working on the P3 (the prototype Mk VIII) in January 1954, the two Colins and their respective wife/fiancee were working on the sales brochure design. It doesn't sound like the mechanic in a later post on this thread.

#21 Mallory Dan

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 13:21

Charles, thanks for the reply. I must admit I doubted they were the same people, something in the decription of the 'Lotus Colin B', didn't quite seem to fit with what little I know of the 'Warrington Colin B'.

#22 mfd

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 17:47

Hi Chaps,

interesting read this, but getting a bit confused ...so I hope this helps
as the Colin Bennett aka CoBRa ( Colin Bennett Racing ) you all remember was a mechanic with Lotus during the Andretti JPS years.

So apparently there must be two. One who didn't like to get his hands dirty, the other who couldn't help it

Cheers
Mike

#23 Tom MacMillan

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 11:05

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
Tony, you're right definitely Walter Robertson. I think there was another Robertson at the same time who also had some Big Saloon, anyone remember. Walter also had Skodas, all very quick too.

Colin Bennett also had involvement with Norman Dickson in Libre/Gp8/Aurora, cars always very well presented. Alo Lawler as well, and ditto.

Saw the Leicester stuff, I recall those pubs, though my favourite was the Rainbow & Dove, up near the station. Didn't open til 85, so I guess you may have missed it ??

Dan

Hi Dan

The "other Roberston" was Jimmy Robertson who ran the "Robertson's of Cardenden" Skoda Super Saloon based on a March 74S chassis with a Ford GA V6 engine.
Prior to this Jimmy ran a Marcos GT (the wooden wonder) complete with gullwing doors and similar to the car Jackie Stewart cut his teeth on. Based on the Mosquito aircraft principal it was a collaboration between Jem Marsh and Frank Costin. Marcos; get it? This was then bought by John Mackie until the glue gave up at Ingliston one day.
But I digress.

#24 David Force

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 15:36

Colin Bennett is now running the Williams FW07 of Peter Sowerby in Historic F1 ( nee TGP ). Thye have won a number of races this year proving Colin has not lost his touch ! :cool:

#25 fyrth

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 16:23

Would contributors to this thread know if this is the same Colin Bennett who maintained the Mike Wilds/Dempster Developments Ensign LNF3 and presumably their subsequent March 733 during 1972 and 1973?

Fyrth

#26 rdmotorsport

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 16:38

At this stage it as become obvious that Colin is ex team Lotus i have not seen CB for a while in fact the last two ocassions were when attending funerals so not to dwell on that.

CB as enjoyed a long,successful and colourful career although he ran cars in Group8,Aurora and the British F1 series (where I was involved) he also prior to this ran Mike Wilds in a Hesketh March(ex Hunt) on the Grand Prix circus and almost took over Ensign at one stage to compete fully in grand prix but BE bailed Mo out at the final hour.

He and his small team enjoyed racing both sides of the Atlantic plus were a good force under the guise of COBRA in F3000 with drivers from Giovanna Amati to Richard Dean.

CB cars were always immaculate and well set up and the man himself was always a friendly and helpful sort.

Rodney Dodson.

#27 alansart

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 17:58

Originally posted by rdmotorsport
CB cars were always immaculate and well set up and the man himself was always a friendly and helpful sort.

Rodney Dodson.


Must be the late 80's. We decided to do a bit of Monoposto with the old trusty PRS. We were advised that FF2000 fronts and F3000 fronts for the back were a good way to go. We got some used FF2000 fronts from Barry Pomfret who we knew. Colin Bennett was local so I gave him a call on the of chance of picking up some F3000 tyres. No problem. Went to his workshops and had a choice of some good used tyres. I asked how much he wanted - "put something in the tea kitty". He seemed quite happy to help a few club racers out.

The tyres did work - but it helped if the weather was warm.

#28 MCS

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 18:44

Originally posted by fyrth
Would contributors to this thread know if this is the same Colin Bennett who maintained the Mike Wilds/Dempster Developments Ensign LNF3 and presumably their subsequent March 733 during 1972 and 1973?

Fyrth


Yes it was - unless it was his double...!

#29 fyrth

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 22:17

Gentlemen,

TU for the comments. The late Nigel Bigwood, previous owner to me of the ex-Wilds LNF3 linked Colin with the early history of the car so your confirmation acceptable. Hopefully it is still maintained to the standards CB would have thought appropriate and certainly a sweet car to drive.

Fyrth

#30 cstlhn

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 22:47

CB once told me his shop did work for Damon Hill early in Hill's career?

#31 Simon Arron

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 23:04

Originally posted by cstlhn
CB once told me his shop did work for Damon Hill early in Hill's career?


Colin ran Damon in an Olympus-backed Reynard 88D in a British F3000 round at Oulton Park in 1989.

CB is - and always has been - a top bloke. I've thought as much ever since 1980, when me and my mate Phil were hitching to Oulton Park. We gave up thumbing lifts once we got within two miles of the track, but a green BMW 3.0 CS pulled up and offered us a ride anyway. That was the first time I spoke to Colin Bennett and I've treasured many a conversation with him since.

SA

#32 Phil Rainford

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 12:31

Originally posted by Simon Arron


Colin ran Damon in an Olympus-backed Reynard 88D in a British F3000 round at Oulton Park in 1989.

CB is - and always has been - a top bloke. I've thought as much ever since 1980, when me and my mate Phil were hitching to Oulton Park. We gave up thumbing lifts once we got within two miles of the track, but a green BMW 3.0 CS pulled up and offered us a ride anyway. That was the first time I spoke to Colin Bennett and I've treasured many a conversation with him since.

SA


Some shots Damon Hill in the Reynard 88D from the British F3000 round at Oulton:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

I think in this last shot I have cut off Colin Bennett's head ...he is standing next to the car.

If I recall correctly Damon Hill finished third with victory going to Andrew Gilbert - Scott

Kind regards

Phil Rainford

#33 Simon Arron

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 13:22

Obviously, when I wrote "Olympus" I really meant Cellnet and Cavendish Finance...

#34 RTH

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 15:12

This was the first Lotus Colin Bennett sales manager at Hornsey pictured here close to the works in 1958 taken by Jabby Crombac and first posted by David Beard in the Hornsey thread.

Posted Image

#35 Tony Howard

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 02:59

Greetings,

I just came across your discussion re the 'two Colin Bennetts' at Lotus.
I knew the Colin in the picture taken by Jabby Crombac quite well as well as his wife at the time Anne.
He lived a short distance from me in Pinner Hill. We often went on sales sorties or I would go and recue him when the demo "7" ran out of fuel. When I knew him he essentially worked from home and I remember assembling a "7" in his garage. When he left Lotus and moved to Manchester I visited him. I had an Elite at that time that I had bought from Jeremy LLoyd and when Anne saw it she said "I want that car". I did sell it to him - it was shortly before I emigrated to the US. I knew he divorced Anne but I did not know he had died.
I met his accomplice at Lotus - Peter Warr - in Canada on one occasion at Mosport. I never heard from or clapped eyes on Colin after I left UK. Enjoyed his company and having a sort of affiliation with the folks at Lotus. I built a "7" and also was involved with a chap who raced an "11" and a "23". I still have links to the racing game since my #2 son now works for Andretti Green and their Acura LMP2 project.

Tony Howard

#36 Phil Rainford

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 09:56

Here are a couple of shots of the Cobra Motorsport Team from Le Mans 1988:

Posted Image

Colin leans into the cockpit to fire up Andrea Chiesa in qualifying......

Posted Image

.....however the team's bodylanguage says it all. They packed up and went home a day early as neither Chiesa or Daniel Campeau made the grid

Kind regards

Phil

#37 Auroraf1

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:18

Just to add to Colin's CV.
Ha ran David Kennedy and a.n. other in Thundersports in the IBEC P6, I think it was 84.
As part of my Aurora hunting, I met with Colin When he was doing some work for Vin Malkie.
He was a top bloke with loads of great stories.

#38 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:00

Originally posted by mickj
2F-001 you are correct Walter Robertson. Should have known as I have a pic on my wall of 'DFVW' amongst the Chaparrals.
Dolomite correct also, Its been built back to its De Cadanet form. I read that the owner purchased the car with 3 body styles, De Cadanet, DFVW and ?. Does anyone know.


Bumping this question on from 2003.....

I think the third body was an Anglia. I know Simpson Engineering (Robin Smith) were looking to buy the car some years ago (1999/2000?) when it had just been unearthed but It apparently only had the Anglia body with it and the time/cost required to make up repro Duckhams Spl. bodywork along with all the other restoration work required put them off the purchase.

#39 Patrick Sumner

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 12:31

Here’s a Ron Bennett story. Back in 1974 during practice for the Zolder F5000 race, I luckily saw the oil pressure drop to zero and cut the motor, averting a disaster. Back in the paddock we could see the oil pump drive belt had disappeared and whilst considering our options Ron wandered over, not knowing us at all, and enquired. I told him the cogged belt had broken. No, he said, they don’t break, but had I cut the tips off the harmonic valve springs? The Chevs used three valve springs and the inner harmonic one was essentially a coiled piece of flat spring steel with pointed tips. Answer, no I hadn’t. Well, Ron said, one of the tips will have broken off, found its way into the sump and thence to the scavenge pump and jammed it, causing the drive belt to disappear. It was awkward access but we set to work, the Weaver pump is built in segments and we got the scavenge end apart and there was a harmonic valve spring tip jamming the gears! We re-assembled the pump and scraped onto the grid and did another 100 miles of racing with oil pressure 10 lbs down and picked up that vital start/prize money. All harmonic valve spring tips were removed the next week!

Ron Bennett had already forgotten more than I ever knew. Thanks Ron for all your help

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#40 Mallory Dan

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 13:19

Any relation to Colin Bennett, Patrick?

#41 Patrick Sumner

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 17:18

Er yes, good point. Due to anno domini and wine I am getting my Bennetts confused. I do mean Ron who looked after Syd Taylor's cars and I apologise for posting so inaccurately. Somebody remove it please!

#42 ddspain1

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 08:25

In the third picture from Phil, that is me on the right behind the guy in blue (Mick Avery the truck driver). I am David Worrall, I worked as a gofer for Colin Bennett in 1989. We did the European F3000 with Pedro Chaves (sponsored my Mateus) and did indeed run Damon Hill at Oulton Park, I thought we won, but can´t remember that well.
He may well have had something to do with Lotus, as I always remember an old Lotus in the garages waiting to be repaired.

#43 Alan Cox

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 08:41

Posted Image Posted Image

#44 Allen Brown

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:03

Does anyone have contact details for Colin Bennett?

A PM would be fine, or email me at allen@oldracingcars.com.

Thanks

#45 Phil Rainford

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:59

Colin Bennett shares the facilities at Antrobus with Chevron

I am sure you will be able to contact him via them.....

http://web.chevron.b...aspx?appid=2108

PAR

#46 Phil Rainford

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:48

It seems our fame is beginning to proceed us

Just spoken to Ray Grimes who as asked if we would like Colin Bennett to attend one of our forthcoming TNF (NW) meetings, as he has heard via Chevron of TNF and is more than keen to sit down with like-minded folk to discuss his time in motor racing

I have seen Colin and Mr Arron together I would suggest they would make a " double act " well worth watching?

PAR

#47 Stephen W

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 11:28

Originally posted by Phil Rainford
It seems our fame is beginning to proceed us

Just spoken to Ray Grimes who as asked if we would like Colin Bennett to attend one of our forthcoming TNF (NW) meetings, as he has heard via Chevron of TNF and is more than keen to sit down with like-minded folk to discuss his time in motor racing

I have seen Colin and Mr Arron together I would suggest they would make a " double act " well worth watching?

PAR


I think that would be a good idea and would suggest that a room at The Kilton would be the ideal venue!

:wave:

#48 Slurp1955

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 08:05

@Alan Cox

What car is that in your post Alan? It looks like a Lotus 78 tub from the behind the front axle. :confused:
JohnP

#49 Stephen W

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 10:40

Originally posted by Slurp1955
@Alan Cox

What car is that in your post Alan? It looks like a Lotus 78 tub from the behind the front axle. :confused:
JohnP


Looks like the Fittipaldi to me! :cool:

#50 Allen Brown

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 10:45

The "Bennepaldi", to be precise.