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A visit to Connaught 45+ years ago...


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#51 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 07:56

Originally posted by Dennis Hockenbury
.....we would have so many questions!


I don't think we need worry about that...

Didn't you notice, Speedy pointed out he's old enough to be retired, he'll be looking for things to do!

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#52 condor

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 08:36

What's your excuse Ray :lol:

Originally posted by Vitesse2

And aren't the ladies wearing Pacamacs?


Could be....though I did wonder what 1950s pit babes looked like :)

#53 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 08:43

Originally posted by condor
What's your excuse Ray


I never sleep...

#54 quintin cloud

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 08:52

I was looking at the pictures the Doug posted and I must say the pic's are cool and seeing the pic's and haven seen the F1 car in South Africa you have a lot of respect for the workmanship that go in time of those cars :up: :smoking:

#55 Doug Nye

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 09:04

Perhaps this should really be another thread (Don????) but it would be very interesting to hear Mr Stewart's first-hand story of what really brought about his premature retirement from motor racing? We have never met but some VERY fine drivers - and team managers - in the past have mentioned his name to me as having had the potential to become a very successful racing driver indeed...had he really wanted it... And such 'if only' questions are always intriguing...

DCN

#56 Peter Morley

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 10:12

Originally posted by Doug Nye
:) ...that's one way of looking at it. The other might be that a burned and damaged genuine Connaught frame was used as an engine test-bed mount for a period...while spare lengths of the tube used in Connaught chassis manufacture were also pressed into economical service on occasion by using them to construct firm and steady work benches....?????

DCN

I thougt the burnt Connaught frame was sold at the auction and is now in Bernie's Connaught B1!!

But I have one small quibble with these statements that the benches were made from the same tubing as the chassis.

It looks to me that the benches are made of square tubing, the chassis frames were made with round tubing........................

By the way is it possible to obtain prints of these photos?
(Together with the Shannon ones).

#57 Peter Morley

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 10:26

Originally posted by soubriquet
I see that there are two different engines. 3) has the camshaft drive train at the front, and the inlet and exhaust mating surfaces are vertical. 4), 7) and 8) has the drive train at the back, and a tapered head. What's the story here?


The 2 litre F2 engines were normal Alta's, with the camshaft drive at the front of the engine.

The 2.5 litre F1 engines were for Connaught and had the camshaft drive at the back of the engine.

The engine on the dyno is the first F1 engine (the B-type is also the 1st one, early on it was converted to disc brakes and Dunlop wheels, as used on all the others), it is running single plug ignition - all the later engines were twin plug (and by the end running carburettors, rather than injection as on this engine).
This engine is also using the water/oil pump block on the front of the crank to drive the injection & magneto - other engines hung the magnetos on the end of the camshafts (hidden under the bodywork, requiring the use of a mirror to set the ignition timing every time you take the cam cover off! Nowadays most owners run 2 distributors off this block).

The first F1 engine is still around, having been ran by Paul Emery in the back of a Cooper (?), I think with the 5 speed pre-selector transaxle built for the J-type rear engined car (that would have ran the Climax FPE as shown in the cutaway).

#58 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 11:05

Originally posted by Peter Morley
.....I think with the 5 speed pre-selector transaxle built for the J-type rear engined car (that would have ran the Climax FPE as shown in the cutaway).


And they always said F5000s were tail heavy!

In reality, this would have been quite a gearbox, as epicyclic gears are difficult enough... cutting sets with nice close ratios would be a real job...

#59 soubriquet

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 12:22

Originally posted by Peter Morley


The 2 litre F2 engines were normal Alta's, with the camshaft drive at the front of the engine.

The 2.5 litre F1 engines were for Connaught and had the camshaft drive at the back of the engine.


Thanks Peter, and thanks Doug for the photos.

From a purely aesthetic point of view, the Alta has it all over the Connaught. Curious, considering the attention to detail shown with the chassis. It must be something to do with 20 years of Alfa addiction. Always looking for another...........

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#60 Doug Nye

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 13:59

Umm - I suspect you will find that Lea-Francis figures in the Formula 2 Connaught engine story... The Alta featured in the 2 1/2-litre Formula 1 Connaught engine story...??? And to my eyes the workbench visible in factory photo 2 is plainly of round-tube construction...???

One Connaught engine anecdote I always enjoy was triggered when team backer Kenneth McAlpine dabbled with 500cc Formula 3 and believed that a multi-cylinder 500cc engine might overturn the dominance of the single-cylinder Norton. He tackled Rodney Clarke about the possibilities to which Rodney responded by sketching an X32-cylinder unit comprising multiple model aeroplane engines on a common crankshaft. He reputedly handed this to his backer on the basis of "There you go Ken, is that sufficiently multi-cylinder for you?".

He followed this up with a (marginally more serious) 4-cam V12 design...

DCN

#61 Ian Stewart

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 16:32

Whew! Just had my first drive in a friend's Cayenne Turbo. Serene, and quite quick, but HUGE on these narrow country roads...

Vitesse2
I'm surely not the oldest at 74! There must be others on TNF who've kept up their interest in motor sport for quite a long time. The only drawback is that never having kept a proper scrap book I go rummaging around for photos and things - and then realise how much everything has changed. Cottage Industry to Multinational in a flash (or at least what seems like a very short time indeed)! :(

Condor
You don't think I'd be looking at another car if those were ladies do you? :drunk: They're mechanics in white overalls looking to see if their drivers somehow managed to find their way to the grid, and get sat in their cars facing frontwards! Charterhall I think.

Vitesse2
I've always thought that the top one was Ibsley. I have other photos where the circuit is known and the number on the car is visible. So not Snetterton, not Charterhall, not the British GP, etc, etc, but I can't be absolutely certain. Yes this was one of Franco Varani's mystery pics. I kept in touch with him, but haven't heard from him since he closed down his website.

Dennis and Ray
If I can answer a question I will do so gladly, but my knowledge is pretty limited. I'm not retirely entied yet ): and tend to burn the midnight oil far too often!

Doug
Maybe this should be in another thread, but I'll lay it to rest here and now. You have to understand the agricultural (!) mind to home in on the truth. We were a farming family with one or two other business interests, and I was an only son. My father was a very famous livestock breeder, and he expected me to follow in his footsteps (as all the sons of fathers in our family had done for generations - it was almost a religion). He and all the family hated motor racing. Not one of them ever came to a race, and the subject was totally taboo at home. The pressure was constant and unrelenting, so when my father became ill at an unexpectedly early age it was my duty to get home and get at it. I did. He died. End of story.

Regrets? Of course, but soon forgotten in the hurly-burly of trying to keep everything afloat and pay the Death Duties. Ten fraught years. Your complimentary words are very much appreciated, but would I ever have made it - who knows? What's done is done...

#62 David Beard

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 17:59

Originally posted by Peter Morley
It looks to me that the benches are made of square tubing, the chassis frames were made with round tubing........................


As Doug said...this one:

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#63 marat

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 20:16

Happy to see the great interest for Connaught. The Johnny Johnson book I keep in good place
is now completed with those factory photographs.

Concerning the engine, it seems that the Lea-Francis engine was a 1,7-litre and was enlarged
to 2-litres and modified by Connaught.

#64 condor

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 20:22

Originally posted by Ian Stewart
Whew! Just had my first drive in a friend's Cayenne Turbo. Serene, and quite quick, but HUGE on these narrow country roads...

Condor
You don't think I'd be looking at another car if those were ladies do you? :drunk: They're mechanics in white overalls looking to see if their drivers somehow managed to find their way to the grid, and get sat in their cars facing frontwards! [/I].


That drive sounds like a real blast :)

I wondered why the heads were chopped off....Ray confused me by mentioning saying hello to the lady....forgot that's what you chaps call cars...so assumed the white apparition must be one :lol:
You can spot I don't venture into TNF very often :D

#65 Peter Morley

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 21:49

Originally posted by David Beard

As Doug said...this one:


I was looking at those on the left, and the dyno stand - my screen was too small to spot that bench!

I'm sure they had plenty of tubing in stock so it would make sense to have used whatever was in stock to make their benches.

I suspect some people are upset that they didn't buy the benches - apparently when Stephen Langton made his replica B-type chassis he couldn't get the right sized tubing in the UK (I think they only had metric tubing) and eventually he tracked the right size down in Sweden.

There was also a story that someone had tubing that came from the Connaught stores, but I suspect that might be wishful thinking.

#66 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 10:19

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Perhaps this should really be another thread (Don????) but it would be very interesting to hear Mr Stewart's first-hand story of what really brought about his premature retirement from motor racing? We have never met but some VERY fine drivers - and team managers - in the past have mentioned his name to me as having had the potential to become a very successful racing driver indeed...had he really wanted it... And such 'if only' questions are always intriguing...


Well, Doug, why not let that subject develop on this thread?

Ian is surely the only Connaught driver posting on TNF, and his whole F1 career (as far as I can tell so far... ) was in Connaughts. How about he tell us the story and let it interweave with the Connaught story that will simultaneously develop?

#67 David McKinney

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 13:08

...and, much more significantly, his whole Grand Prix career ;)

#68 Dennis David

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 16:25

Plus it has been a tradition at the TNF since the beginning for all threads to ebb and flow as if we were conversing over a couple of beers in someone’s garage or paddock.

#69 Ian Stewart

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 16:48

The difficulty here is that my Connaught experience was confined to F2 and Formula Libre, with the one exception of the 1953 British Grand Prix.

Let me try to explain this. The world of motor sport was tiny in those days, and sports car racing was a far stronger category than it is today. F2 cars had become GP cars due to a shortage of F1 machinery, and GP drivers took part in the major sports car events as a matter of course.

This left the Ecurie Ecosse 'patron' (or team principal in today's terminology) with a difficult choice. He had been 'gifted' two F2 cars by a philanthropic enthusiast, but he was already committed to a full program with C-Type Jaguars. What was he to do? Resources were far too slender to embark on Grands Prix simultaneously, so he sensibly chose to use the F2 cars for F2 and Formula Libre races. I think the entries in the British Grand Prix were probably the result of pressure form the philanthropic donor of the two cars, but that was as far as the team effort went in 1953 Grand Prix racing.

This was fair enough from the drivers' viewpoint, although there had been quite an argument about which category to go for when the team was founded (leading to Ron Flockhart opting out until much later). I had my 'works' drive with Jaguar plus my C-Type and F2 Connaught outings with Ecurie Ecosse, and I don't think that either I or Jimmy Stewart, who drove our Cooper-Bristol so admirably, were quite ready for F1 in our minds because we had quite enough to concentrate on already!

Atlas F1 is about F1, and whether or not there is any place for reminiscing about this particular Connaught is a difficult question.

:)

#70 Option1

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 16:59

Originally posted by Ian Stewart


Atlas F1 is about F1, and whether or not there is any place for reminiscing about this particular Connaught is a difficult question.

:)

But TNF is about everything! Well everything nostalgic and powered by some form of an engine. So no difficulty at all. :D

Unless mon Colonel deems otherwise.

Neil

#71 Dennis David

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 17:05

TNF is about anything on wheels that goes fast, period. Unless it's changed since I joined on March of 1999 and I think it has not. :lol:

#72 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 17:06

Wonderful stories Ian. Thank you very much for sharing them with us.

I would like to ask you a couple of questions :) Could you describe the general handling or ontrack behaviour of the Formula 2/Libre cars you drove ?? Which drivers/cars did you use (if any) as a reference when you watch them on track ?? and why ??

Thank you very much in advance :)

Arturo

#73 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 17:20

Ian - the fellers are absolutely right - don't be misled by the 'AtlasF1' heading - this Forum is the most wide-ranging of a small and very fine number of intelligent motor sporting sites to be found on the Internet and one which I only discovered (like you by introduction) early last year....

There's real interest here in you and your racing career and the insight you can provide into that entire extraordinary era. If I may ask, what was the background story of your Jersey Road Race win in the C-Type? I ask because my one indulgence (he said) is the fake Ecosse C-Type which I spent nine years putting together from a Proteus replica kit, which is presently tucked up warm in its garage here and which is broadly modelled upon your winning car.... :blush: (own-up time)

What was it like to race those cars around St Helier - any particular incidents you recall there in practice or the race - did everything go to plan - was there a plan - was it a good party? could you paint in for us something of David Murray's character and methods of operation???? - etc etc....

DCN

#74 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 18:22

Wow! I noticed the great photos but thought nothing more of this thread until I saw the name Ian Stewart - surely not THE.... I'd also like to add my welcome to this Forum.

Again I apologise for hijacking a thread to ask a couple of questions & to Ian for adding to the seemingly endless list of questions:

1) Did you continue to farm for the rest of your working life or did you undertake other activities? Are you completely retired now, or do you keep a finger in a few pies as it were?

2) You mentioned why you had to retire early. Obviously, it ruled out, say, frontline driving but did circumstances ever allow a return of any sorts? Would you've returned after a period of time out or simply look back & say "well, that was fun but that's that."?

3) You're down in numerous books & websites as a Grand Prix driver - in fact it will probably mean everlasting fame of sorts - due to that one start in 1953 - I always wondered about this: -

If you referred to yourself as a motor racing driver, did you say "I'm Ian Stewart, former sportscar ace" or "Ian Stewart, one-off Grand Prix driver" - I mean you're one of a select (and very sadly, dwindling) band of men & women to have raced in a F1 World Championship GP - did that ever help you in working life or did you ever stop & think - "wow, I'm a ex-Grand Prix driver" or is it simply one of those things one just does because it was the thing to do & nothing more?


I could probably ask more interesting questions but I hope others will do that instead - but I am interested in memories of your last race, the Buenos Aires 1000km in 1954, especially memories of the race & the rival competitors. I must stop, because I fear I'll keep on asking questions otherwise & scare you away from here for ever! :)

Many Thanks in advance,
Richard :)

#75 MPea3

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 18:30

Originally posted by Dennis David
TNF is about anything on wheels that goes fast, period. Unless it's changed since I joined on March of 1999 and I think it has not. :lol:


boats and iarplanes have been an interesting subject on here too!

there are very few threads which i can't wait to check on, but this has become one. i hope mr. stewart will continue to tell us more, as i find his posts to date to be fascinating and wonderfully compelling.

#76 Ian Stewart

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 21:37

Arturo,

The F2 cars. By today' standards they were very benign - skinny tyres gave a gentle breakaway and easy correction, so no real problems on the twisty bits. You could say the brakes weren't up to much, but we really didn't know any better at the time!

The only ones I had any experience of were the Connaught, Cooper-Bristol, HWM and F2 Ferrari, and I didn't race the Cooper or Ferrari - testing/practice only.

Perhaps the Ferrari was an exception (owned and driven by Bill Dobson). The chassis was so short that it swapped ends if you coughed, and the gearbox seemed a little reluctant. Very different to anything I was used to, but given time I might have made friends with it!

The Cooper-Bristol seemed tiny, and it really was. First impressions were soon forgotten though, because it was terrific fun to drive, and mistakes were easily sorted out. I can safely say that it was the most delightful competition car I ever drove, and its behavior in the wet was magic. It seemed remarkably quick too, perhaps due the lack of surrounding metalwork. You simply sat there in a rush of wind and forgot the real world altogether. David Murray (Le Patron) had great difficulty persuading me not to race it - but it was Jimmy Stewart's car and he no doubt had nightmares wondering if I would let it survive in one piece.

By comparison the Connaught and the HWM seemed slightly heavy and underpowered. Little to say about the HWM except that it seemed very nice, and I managed to qualify it quite well. Alas, I broke a half-shaft all too soon, and that was that.

The Connaught was a good solid drive even if it took slightly more effort. It had no vices, and although people said it understeered a lot I found it suited me well. You couldn't fail to notice how carefully made it was - no shakes, rattles or bangs - and a feeling of absolute security. If only it's engine had been a little stronger! My biggest problem was the Wilson pre-selector gearbox, and I never managed to do a race without forgetting the routine at least once. You had to remember to select the next gear you wanted well before dipping the clutch to select it, and there was nothing more embarrassing then arriving at a corner when you had forgotten. Go round in top gear? Go through the routine while trying to recover from the mess you had got yourself into? Whichever, I can't say anything else I ever did actually made me blush like a schoolgirl under my crash helmet!

The only two drivers/cars I can recall using as a reference were (1) Ron Flockhart in the works Connaught, when he unceremoniously passed me at Charterhall once - dented my pride more than somewhat, and (2) Gonzalez at the British GP. The Connaught had a misfire and was lapping like a tortoise when Wham! this red thing passed me like a rocket. I didn't mind mind being lapped because I had problems, but I was a bit put out being blinded. The Ferrari was spewing out a fog of oil and completely obliterated my visor.

I wonder if this was the GP when Froilan Gonzalez was black-flagged and allegedly threw a wheel-hammer at John Eason Gibson when he got out of his car ! Can anyone remember?

#77 oldtimer

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 23:10

Ian, your last post gives me an opening to give another welcome to TNF. Love those stories.

Gonzales was in a Maserati that year. I am aware of a fracas with officialdom after the black flagging, but wait on more knowledgable TNFers to fill in the blanks. IIRC, there were reports that Ascari simply dealt with the oil slick by straddling it.

#78 Ian Stewart

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 00:20

oldtimer,

Thanks for the welcome! Great that you remember the Gonzalez incident. It's a lovely story, but who can confirm it? There must be something in Motor Sport or Autosport, but probably watered down because exaggeration was rare in those days. I bumped into John Eason Gibson a couple of years later and he did mention that Gonzalez had been more than slightly cross, but I can't remember whether he confirmed the projectile or not!

Imagine the headlines if something similar happened today - although it doesn't seem all that long ago that Nelson Piquet gave a good display of boxing on TV...

#79 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 00:41

Yeah, that would only be twenty years or so!

I recall a hammer once being used, Alec Mildren shaking it visibly above the pit board as he signalled Kevin Bartlett in the 1.5-litre race at Sandown Park's International meeting of 1966 (I think it was '66... must have been!).

I don't know what KB had done the previous lap through the corner leading onto the Pit Straight, but old Alec, whose face was always tending to be a little ruddy, went bright red and shouted to Bob Grange, "Get me the hammer!"

One day I should ask KB about that...

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#80 Roger Clark

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 01:19

Autosport said "a certain well-known journalist, attempting to act as interpreter, is pushed and nearly trips up on the pit-counter". Motor Sport (WB, not DSJ) said"After a rowdy pit scene Gonzalez was allowed to continue".

#81 BRG

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Posted 03 November 2003 - 10:44

Originally posted by Doug Nye
The Connaught works was demolished only quite recently and replaced by an office development perpetuating the Connaught name. What's more the developer threw a pretty darned good party on the site pre-demolition for Connaught old boys and present owners and supporters which we thought showed pretty admirable form on his part. The old buildings had visibly, by the way, lived out their useful life.

DCN

The TNF never fails to inform me! I have been past this site so many times - I recall it was being used for selling some rather tasty "grey imports" from Japan a few years ago - but I never knew it was the Connaught site. I stopped there briefly on Saturday. There are two new office buildings and the one nearest the road is Connaught House - they have used the Connaught logo in the name on the developers board, and there is a nice little plaque about the team next to the front door. A decent nod to the past by the developers, I think (especially as they had a party for the old gang as well) :up: Not all property developers are complete ****, it appears!

#82 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 03 November 2003 - 16:09

Originally posted by Ian Stewart
Arturo,

The F2 cars. ..........................


The only two drivers/cars I can recall using as a reference .................................



Thank you very much Ian !!! Great memories :clap:

I hope you had enjoyed your visit to Buenos Aires (my hometown) in 1954 :wave: Those Temporadas were really amazing for us here.

:)

#83 ensign14

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Posted 03 November 2003 - 16:42

Just shows you have to keep reading every thread. Welcome Ian. Another star.

#84 Ian Stewart

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 15:19

Originally posted by Doug Nye
What was the background story of your Jersey Road Race win in the C-Type?

Quite an adventure for me at the age of 23 - we didn't grow up so quickly in those days!

Jaguar had decided to release a limited number of C-Types for 'non-works' racing, and he first three went to Duncan Hamilton, Bill Cannell and Tommy Wisdom (for Stirling Moss), and my own car (destined for Ecurie Ecosse). I only owned mine for a very short time, and in truth the real owner was a finance company which had been cleverly coaxed into the deal by a persuasive Edinburgh accountant. It soon went to EE, and I drove it for the latter half of the 1952 season.

The Jersey Road Race was scheduled for July, and David Murray entered three Ecurie Ecosse cars for the event - hoping that the C-Type would be ready in time to participate alongside the XK120s. It really was 'touch and go' because the C-Type wasn't ready for collection until the Tuesday before the race, and it still had to be run in. Oil consumption was a big issue with the XK engines, and heaven help you if you overcooked them during the first thousand miles.

As a result, the car had to be driven from Coventry to the Channel, and then driven up and down every cul-de-sac on the island of Jersey, where long open roads were in rather short supply. I collected the car at the works on Tuesday afternoon, and set off with some trepidation with the Headmaster's words ringing in my ears (the Headmaster was Lofty England). All he said by way of farewell was "see you win" and my reaction to the command was a mixture of foreboding and determination.

This was soon forgotten in the joy of the drive. A brand-new C-Type smelling of fresh paint and without a single rattle was quite something, and I will never forget the noise - a combination of the deep exhaust note and that peculiar 'zinging' resonance in the bodywork which I have never heard in other cars. The way the traffic parted in front of the beast was quite something, and I managed to get it to the boat without a scratch, and in a mood of complete euphoria. Who wouldn't in that situation!

Euphoria is a flighty state, as I found to my serious discomfiture when I attempted to build up the mileage in Jersey. There simply wasn't anywhere to go, and it was to Jaguar's eternal credit that the gearbox withstood the repeated reversals out of cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac. Most of the running-in must have been done in second or third gear, but the oucome was OK in the end.

Before the big day I produced my usual fit of pre-race nerves and had to be sorted out by Esso's Reg Tanner - a tower of strength. I have never been able to make a speech or face anything in public without massive stage-fright, and this was always a problem. Maybe it had a good side in that when I actually got cracking all the pent-up adrenalin surfaced and helped me to drive with a feeling of relaxed concentration. Not much fun for those who had to bear the brunt of it all, but they were generous in their understanding.

The event itself was a big thrill. Certainly the Headmaster's words demanded a win, but there was no particular plan - just drive as quickly as you can and it'll be OK (?). I had the advantage of loving real road circuits, where the features and obstacles were just the same as everyday driving (no speed limits back then!) and I don't recall much difficulty with the Jersey layout.

Two features demanded constant attention. On was a pavement which had to be avoided at all costs when turning onto the main street - a narrow corner, and all too easy to let the tail slide out that little bit too far. The other was a rather menacing lamp post on the crest of a rise on the main street just after a slight right hand kink. It felt as if they had put the thing beyond the edge of the pavement, and it seemed to lean outwards into the path of the car more and more lap after lap. It impressed me enough to avoid it by a foot or so each time round. Otherwise the corners were wide and open, and the thrill of blasting up between the buildings in the main street was honestly quite uplifting. Real boy-racer stuff I'm afraid!

The post-race celebrations were nice. Almost dignified in an era when anything could happen and usually did. All I can say is that I faced my next encounter with the Headmaster in a relatively confident frame of mind, much relieved not to have let the side down!

Doug, may I leave the topic of David Murray's methods of operation until later? A subject in itself, and one which requires a bit of hard thinking. Please remind me if I forget.

P.S.
Looked up the Proteus replica, and it looks absolutely great. Enjoy!!

#85 Ruairidh

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 17:10

Ian

Thank You.

I've just read your Jersey road race report and, quite simply, it made my morning.

Now I have to get back to the conflicts and challenges of the workday, but I do so with images and thoughts of 1952.

Wonderful Stuff

#86 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 18:11

Lovely atmospheric response Ian - you have absolutely no reason to feel nervous in the build-up to writing - as opposed to speaking - for public consumption... you really put us right there with that 23-year old newboy. I very much look forward to what you could share with us about David Murray...

DCN

#87 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 18:16

Originally posted by Ruairidh
Ian

Thank You.

I've just read your Jersey road race report and, quite simply, it made my morning.

Now I have to get back to the conflicts and challenges of the workday, but I do so with images and thoughts of 1952.

Wonderful Stuff

I could not say it better. Thanks for sharing Ian. Wonderful stuff indeed.

#88 peebo

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 20:41

Ian Stewart! Exalted company :eek: Great to hear the story from the man himself, as clear as if it were yesterday. I look forward to anything else you might like to share with us.

#89 condor

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 01:32

Loved the Jersey race report :kiss:

There's a really nice pic of you when you won that....would be nice to have that on this thread. :)

#90 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 12:28

Modest too...

Notice he never actually wrote that he won? Just left a strong clue... and in a very atmospheric description of his drive.

#91 condor

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 18:07

Have managed to dig out Ian's winning pic :) ...and have sent it to Ray for him to post here....since I don't know how to post pics either.

#92 neville mackay

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 19:22

Thank you Ian for these wonderful reminiscences which, to me, have proved the highlight of the TNF year. As a Scottish based motor sports enthusiast they also remind me of the part that Ian and other like minded souls played in developing the Scottish motor racing culture that eventually came to full bloom in the Clark and Stewart era 10 years later.

As Ian sits composing his thoughts on David Murray, I wondered whether he might extend the process to cover Wilkie Wilkinson. Wilkie does not emerge terribly well from a recent authoritive publication on on his days at BRM - he is portrayed as being self important, out of touch and frankly, not very good. I wondered what Ian had to say on Wilkie's abilities and personality as seen from the perspective of someone involved in the early days of Ecurie Ecosse

Neville

#93 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 20:32

Posted Image

#94 condor

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 22:39

Thanks Ray :)

Ian was a handsome young lad...and easily identified (for the numbskulls...he's in the car)...now who are the others?

#95 Ian Stewart

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 22:57

Thanks for posting that, Ray, and you condor for sending it. If it wasn't for the lies that cameras tell....50 years seem to have made a slight difference!

Neville, yes I will include Wilkie with David, after I have answered Richie Jenkins, but my knowledge of them both was limited. I'll try to give you an impression though.

P.S.
Just read condor's question. L to R: Archie Chalmers (my mechanic), Jock Saunders (he drove the EE transporter), Bill Dobson, Reg Tanner of Esso, and Wilkie Wilkinson.

#96 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 23:53

Originally posted by Dennis Hockenbury
Only perhaps at the risk of your typing peril, as we would have so many questions!

What, this group ask too many questions of Ian. No, never. :rotfl:

Ian, I am looking forward to your thoughts on David and Wilkie as well. Please keep sending these wonderful stories of a time I was not able to experience. The sharing of your experiences is simply priceless. :up:

#97 Ian McKean

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 00:50

I would like to add my voice (metaphorically) to those who have already thanked Ian Stewart for his wonderful reminiscences.

It would be lovely to see Ian back in the Connaught or Jaguar he raced fity years ago, perhaps at the next Goodwood event. After all he can't be more than ten years older than Barrie Williams.

Ian, is it true that Dick Protheroe was an ace at setting up Webers on Jag XK engines and used to be asked to adjust their carbs by most of the other teams?

Ian McKean

#98 condor

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 20:22

Originally posted by Ian McKean
I
It would be lovely to see Ian back in the Connaught or Jaguar he raced fity years ago, perhaps at the next Goodwood event.


That sounds like a splendid idea :)....perhaps an e.mail to Lord March is in order :)

#99 2F-001

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 14:43

Somehow, this fascinating thread had escaped my attention entirely, until Roger mentioned it last night...

So, a warm welcome to Ian - and thank for the evocative account of the Jersey race; that was a few years before I was born so this is especially 'educational'. That's not a period I've studied in detail, but your insights are an inspiration to do so.

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#100 Ian Stewart

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 23:28

Again, many thanks for such a kind welcome everyone!

Richie Jenkins asked me.....

Did I continue to farm etc? Yes, plus other activities including four hilarious years as Scotland's first Ferrari dealer - no previous experience and it certainly taught me a thing or two! Not fully retired, but try to keep fingers out of as many pies as possible!

A return to motor racing? Never on the cards. Too heavily involved in business even to give it a thought until I was much too old. That, and living in the northern half of Scotland made it fairly easy. Had I lived in England the temptation would have been a huge problem.

Grand Prix driver? Denied emphatically. I have always regretted the entry in the 1953 British GP. It was an amateurish 'one-off', and I don't understand why David Murray entered Jimmy and I in that event when he had no intention of committing the team to GP racing. Probably pressure from the donor of the cars. If I do something I like to do it properly, and if I had progressed to F1 (as I wanted at the time) I would have hoped to make a decent job of it.

I try not to talk about motor racing. If you lived in this part of the world you would understand why! There has never been interest or even the vaguest comprehension amongst the agricultural or business community here, so that gets me off the hook. If you were aware of the general apathy towards Jim Clark in his particular part of Scotland you would be horrified - one of the greatest drivers ever to have graced the sport, and yet he would be better remembered if he'd won a local sheep-dog trial.

The Buenos Aires 1000km race in 1954? That's a full page story in itself, and one with which I would need a little help where some details are concerned. Please remind me if you want me to have a shot at it.

P.S.
Will be away for a very minor op during the next few days, so please forgive silence.