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Case history: Lotus 19 Monte Carlo


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#1 RAP

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 16:54

The Lotus 19 first appeared in mid 1960. In 1961 the UDT Laystall team (as the British Racing Partnership was then known) ran three cars in the UK, pretty much dominating the major races. One exception was at Crystal Palace where, to quote Autosport,
"Two of these cars, those of Taylor and Parkes, had been fitted with knock-on wire wheels in readiness for Sunday's Nurburgring 1000kms race. Taylor lost his nearside rear wheel on the warm up lap and Parkes did the same on lap six"

This saga seems remarkable and was serious enough to prevent the cars running at the Nurburgring. A number of questions come to mind.
Why wasn't the problem found in practice?
Knock on wheels were well established - if the problem was a faulty batch there would have been time to get more before the Nurburgring. Perhaps they were using "wrong size" wheels or did they present greater weight/stresses than the hubs could handle?
Why run them at Crystal Palace anyway?

Can anyone add more to this episode?

I think the UDT cars were 950, 952 and 953. The team retained one through to 1963. As far as I know these were the only 19s sold in the UK, one going to Switzerland (Zweifel) and the rest to the USA. Subsequently de Selincourt/Coundley and Pitt/Barton raced 19s in the UK so these were presumably exUDT cars. Can anyone confirm the history of these cars after they they left the UDT(BRP) team?
RAP

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 12:19

Yes, I know about one of them...

It bounced off the pit wall at Warwick Farm.

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 12:22

Actually, it seems to me there are a couple of possibilities with those wire wheels...

Perhaps they were concerned about the fitment and ran at Crystal Palace to see if they worked or not. Rather than find out in the Eifel Mountains.

The other one is that perhaps someone miscalculated the distances in machining and they weren't sitting correctly on the shoulder at the back of the spline.

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 20:36

Just ran this question past Tony Robinson - contemporary chief mechanic of UDT-Laystall. He recalls the Crystal Palace cock-up very vividly.

They had bought the wire wheel conversion hubs amongst bolt-on kits from Lotus, fitted them, and set off for practice at the Palace. When two of their three cars lost their nearside rear wheels with identical failures they double-checked the Lotus-supplied hubs.

Tony recalls: "They hadn't been properly heat-treated and their tensile strength just about corresponded to mild steel - they just sheared off like carrots".

Tony recalls selling those three cars to Frank Matich in Australia - "who belly-ached about the drive-shafts and Hardy-Spicer joints being worn - but they were sold as used racing cars..." - to Mike Pendleton near Goodwood "...who had its crankshaft break virtually first time out so we had to give him some of his money back" - and to Team Rosebud in the USA "...who fitted that Ferrari engine and which Innes drove into a marshal's car".

DCN

#5 Lotus23

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 00:33

Sightly OT, but I'm reminded of the penchant of my 23 to twist its halfshafts on standing starts.

Not having the time/dinero to keep replacing them -- or fabricate stronger ones--, I devised a "field fix" for the problem by sprinkling a bit of sand just in front of the rear wheels so they'd break traction quickly and ease the initial shock on those fragile halfshafts -- seemed to work most of the time.

But it didn't do much for rabbit-like getaways once the flag fell!

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 07:35

I should have photos of the Matich car on its first tryout and race meeting in Australia soon...

It wore a high windscreen and side windows at the time, and it had a delightful little roadster rag top, it looked... well it looked unusual. Were they fitted, perhaps, for the Nurburgring?

#7 Roger Clark

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 12:11

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Just ran this question past Tony Robinson - contemporary chief mechanic of UDT-Laystall. He recalls the Crystal Palace cock-up very vividly.

They had bought the wire wheel conversion hubs amongst bolt-on kits from Lotus, fitted them, and set off for practice at the Palace. When two of their three cars lost their nearside rear wheels with identical failures they double-checked the Lotus-supplied hubs.

Tony recalls: "They hadn't been properly heat-treated and their tensile strength just about corresponded to mild steel - they just sheared off like carrots".



If the English designer intended it to have 6-stud fixing....

#8 RAP

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 09:04

Doug
Thanks for getting the inside story from Tony Robinson
RAP

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 10:30

Originally posted by Roger Clark
If the English designer intended it to have 6-stud fixing....


Wrong model...

That was the 23.

#10 Roger Clark

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 23:58

Originally posted by Ray Bell


Wrong model...

That was the 23.


Yes, I did know that... :rotfl:

#11 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 27 January 2004 - 00:49

OK, I've got a thick hide.

So who's going to take me to task for my believing that the 19 was the best-ever sports racing car?

Uhhh, better make that post-war to CMA.

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 January 2004 - 01:22

I know at least two people who think that the Matich Lotus 19 and the 19B he built to replace it were the greatest things since racing cars were invented... so you'd get away with that easily in our corner of the world...

#13 David McKinney

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Posted 27 January 2004 - 06:38

The Lotus 19's standing in history must surely be considered in the context of the fact that - like the Cooper Monaco and the Lister-Jaguar before it - it was designed not for championship endurance racing, but for (generally) shorter non-championship racing. But its record in British sprint events and North American races was unsurpassed in its time

#14 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 27 January 2004 - 12:06

So far...so good. My skin is still in tact.

I hesitated to post my remark on the Lotus 19 since it wasn't, per se, on topic but I've always had a great passion for this car as it won in the hands of SSM at Mosport for the Player's 200 in 1961, the first motor race I ever attended, at the age of 12. It went on to sweep five major sports car races at Mosport over the next few seasons(GP in '61; 200 & GP in '62; 200 in '63; all with C-C power)as well as Canadian National events in the hands of Francis Bradley. In other guises, it remained competitive up to the mid-60's with Ford and Chevy V-8's stuffed into the engine bay. All-in-all, a superlative record.

#15 Kelvin Jones

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 08:59

:clap: Regarding the UDT Cars, 950 was sold to Terry Buffum USA/ This car is owned by R Brooks./
952 was sold to Team Rosebud, it is owned buy Otto Reidz. 953 was retained buy UTD and raced mainley buy Innes Ireland useing a Colitti box not the Lotus box. This car was sold to George Pitt in sep 1963 he sold the car to Entwistle and walker who sold the car to Harry O`brien. The car was then sold to myself .

#16 David Birchall

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 03:22

Isn't this another car that has more examples running now than ever left the Lotus factory?
I recall going to visit a guy in Seattle-a musician at an amusement park- who had the remains of three of them!
Several frames were built in the mid eighties in the Seattle area that I know of and at least 2 more cars were in parts in Oregon and California at that time.
One of the "benefits" of these cars is the wide variety of engines that was used.
David B

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 03:34

Originally posted by Kelvin Jones
:clap: Regarding the UDT Cars, 950 was sold to Terry Buffum USA/ This car is owned by R Brooks./
952 was sold to Team Rosebud, it is owned buy Otto Reidz. 953 was retained buy UTD and raced mainley buy Innes Ireland useing a Colitti box not the Lotus box. This car was sold to George Pitt in sep 1963 he sold the car to Entwistle and walker who sold the car to Harry O`brien. The car was then sold to myself .


So which one did Frank Matich race?

#18 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 04:26

Dont forget the ones run by Gurney and Jerry Grant. Arcerio bros I think. Grants car later had a V8 installed, I ran against it at Milwaukee.

#19 David Birchall

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 04:37

Originally posted by xkssFrankOpalka
Dont forget the ones run by Gurney and Jerry Grant. Arcerio bros I think. Grants car later had a V8 installed, I ran against it at Milwaukee.


The remains of the Grant car figured amongst the parts the Exhibition Park Musician had, along with the remains of the (Damn, forget his name, it begins with N...,was in the perfume business I think and had/has quite a collection of cars)

The Harrison special was a Lotus 19 with a V8 engine of course.

The Arciero Bros. car the 19B is still around somewhere. I recall Henry Manney saying "I'd as soona get in 'lectric chair than get in that..." at an early Montery historic event.
David B

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#20 RAP

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 10:07

Kelvin
In his post on 20 Jan Doug Nye quotes Tony Robinson as saying one car went to Mike Pendleton. Where does this fit in? Presumably 953 before going to Pitt?

#21 scags

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 12:08

Is the "N" for Nethercutt? I don't know about the Lotus, but he's in the perfume biz and has a LOT of cars.

#22 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 12:19

The late Peter Ryan, Comstock Racing Team, 1961 Canadian GP(for sportscars)winning Lotus 19, still with C-C power, shows annually at the vintage race weekend at Mosport in late June. The car is currently owned by Jack Boxtrom. Still in its original livery. A splendid example of the marque.

#23 Kelvin Jones

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 12:49

Regarding the Frank Matich Lotus 19, I think this car was biult useing spare parts, Because the three other cars have known historys to date.

#24 Kelvin Jones

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 12:55

In Reply to Rap, regarding Mike Pendleton. I dont know anything abuot this Guy Can any one help??

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 15:35

Originally posted by Kelvin Jones
Regarding the Frank Matich Lotus 19, I think this car was biult useing spare parts, Because the three other cars have known historys to date.


Here's where I need to show you photos taken by John Ellacott... when this car arrived, it came as a complete car... including the high windscreen, and believe it or not, a soft top!

Didn't look like it was built from spares at all!

#26 Kelvin Jones

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 16:47

The High sceens were not used after 61 in the UK when were the photos you have taken, also what gearbox did it have??.

#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 17:16

Pics were taken on its arrival in Sydney... late 1961, I would think... and I'm fairly sure it had the Queerbox. Again, I need the pics to confirm... this was before I ever followed racing, by the time I saw the car and looked at it closely it had a Hewland.

#28 RAP

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 19:32

Kelvin
Re Mike Pendleton. Information from Motor Racing Register 1964 -
B 1931. Director of Motor Company. Address Grosvenor Garage Worplesdon Rd Guildford.
First race 1959 in Lotus VI. Club racing 60-61 with Lotus VI and VII plus one FJ race, 1961 competed with Lotus 17 and Condor FJ. 1962 17 races with Lister Jaguar. Success included 3rd in class Guards Trophy Brands Hatch. 1963 raced Jaguar 3.8 "also competed in Lotus 19 at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch (class 3rd)"

I have traced the Brands race as 6th October 1963 in 2495cc Lotus 19 Climax 6th overall/3rd in class.

Hope this helps
RAP

#29 David Birchall

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 20:00

Originally posted by scags
Is the "N" for Nethercutt? I don't know about the Lotus, but he's in the perfume biz and has a LOT of cars.


Thanks Scags, had a senior moment there... Yes Nethercutt was the name.

#30 T54

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 23:47

The "19's" prominent on the Left Coast are the ones owned by John Buffum (near complete reconstruction of the SMART car of Moss), the red Arciero car now back to a 2.5 Climax restored by Joe Cavaglieri and still owned by Frank (it was on display last week at the Irwindale's Festival of Speed last Saturday), and the Pacesetter Lotus-Ford V8 on display at the Petersen's at this time.

As far as the "greatest sports car ever", I think this could be greatly disputed by the record of various Cooper-Monacos with Climaxes, Maseratis or Ford V8's, but whatever. I love "19's" and wish I could buy the Ryan car from Jack Boxtrom, but unfortunately I already have too much on my plate.
Regards,

T54

#31 Kelvin Jones

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 06:09

:wave: Thanks Rap, I will try and find out witch 19 he raced at Brands, Can you send me the photos of the 19 , well got to go testing at Donington today All the best .

#32 Frank S

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 07:12

Originally posted by David Birchall


Thanks Scags, had a senior moment there... Yes Nethercutt was the name.

Here's Jack Nethercutt in the 19 under a 'flag' at Riverside Turn Seven.

Nethercutt passing the Campbell Special at Del Mar.

And the Pacesetter car at Monterey, 2003, static and dynamic.

The Gurney/Arciero and Moss cars at Riverside Turn Seven.

Model of the Gurney car.

And one of the Moss car.

Finally, a model of a 23, for contrast.



Frank S

#33 RAP

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 10:41

Kelvin
I have had a search through Autosports and my programmes for 1963. Whilst I don't claim 100% complete, I think a picture emerges:

The last race by a Lotus 19 I have found for BRP was 6 Aug Brands Guards Internatinal Trophy (Maggs)

Pendleton appears three times -
21 Sept Oulton Gold Cup mtg 11th
28 Sept Snetteron Autosport 3hrs 1st in class
6 Oct Brands 6th (3rd in class)

John Coundley/Bill de Selincourt were also active with a 19 (964?) but as Coundley raced in the Snetterton Autosport 3hr this can't be the Pendelton car

I have found no references to Pitt in 1963 but he entered at Outon Spring Cup in 64.

I suggest this points to BRP selling to Pendleton in late Aug/early Sept 63 as Tony Robinson indicates and then Pendleton selling on to Pitt during winter of 63/64.

RAP

#34 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 02:00

Didnt Gurney win Daytona on the starter when he broke a crankshaft on the start/finish line?

#35 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 02:53

That was always the story, Frank. But Dan now says it wasn't so. He simply turned left and let gravity do the rest. If you recall, he was perched at the very top of the steep banking just waiting for the checker to fly.

#36 Kelvin Jones

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 08:38

Dear Rap, This is intresting news/ I have the advert from Autosport date 9 Aug 63, For BRP In the ad is my car. Also Pitt had enterd the car in the 64 Spring Meeting at Oulton park but he did not drive the car. It was driven buy Jim Clark who won the sports car race. Is Pendleton still about??.
The Coundley car had a 2.7 FPF. Also I am trying to find photos of my car showing the Colotti box can you help?

#37 RAP

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 08:47

Kelvin
Sorry, no photos. Glad to have helped with a bit of the story.
RAP

#38 275 GTB-4

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 09:23

Originally posted by Kelvin Jones
:clap: Regarding the UDT Cars, 950 was sold to Terry Buffum USA/ This car is owned by R Brooks/952 was sold to Team Rosebud, it is owned buy Otto Reidz. 953 was retained buy UTD and raced mainley buy Innes Ireland useing a Colitti box not the Lotus box. This car was sold to George Pitt in sep 1963 he sold the car to Entwistle and walker who sold the car to Harry O`brien. The car was then sold to myself .


Welcome Kelvin and ya 19!! :up:

#39 dbw

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 09:23

i recall seeing two 19's in mr. buffum's shop....a pale green with a climax and a white with an aluminum buick... :confused:

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#40 T54

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 13:44

That was always the story, Frank. But Dan now says it wasn't so. He simply turned left and let gravity do the rest. If you recall, he was perched at the very top of the steep banking just waiting for the checker to fly.



In fact a rod went through the block, nearly cutting it in half, a typical malady of the big Climax at the time. Modern Carillo rods solved that problem and despite revving my own (3 of them) Climax engines at up to 8000RPM, I never encountered any problem in over 14 years of operation.
Dan had no choice but put the car in neutral on the Lotus "queer" box and turn left, coasting on gravity across the line. Since he was a few laps ahead, he still won the "3-Hour Daytona Continental" by a comfortable margin.

T54

#41 WINO

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 17:14

I am afraid that Dan Gurney's memory fails him re. his finish/victory in the 1962 Daytona Continental. As a result, it looks as though a number of TNF members are completely misled about what really happened. Gurney parked his Arciero Lotus 19 about a car length from the finish line and waited for the 3-hour mark. All this time he was in the high lane, next to the retaining wall.

When the official waved the checkered flag at 5 pm, Gurney crossed the line straight as an arrow. I have a sequence of 3 finish photos and even after crossing the line by a full car length, the Lotus 19 was still in the high lane, next to the wall. No gravity whatsoever, just a starter motor and that Prestolite battery. It was only afterwards, when the race was stopped, that Gurney used gravity to get to the infield, being pushed in the final stages by Roger Penske and Arciero mechanic Jerry Eisert.

The very idea of using gravity to finish is preposterous, as a slow moving car would have endangered the rest of the field on the banking.

I hope to do an article on this very interesting race in the near future, as it featured the best field of Formula One, SCCA, NASCAR and USAC drivers ever assembled. The finish sequence will be included.


WINO

#42 Frank S

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 18:01

Originally posted by WINO
I am afraid that Dan Gurney's memory fails him re. his finish/victory in the 1962 Daytona Continental. As a result, it looks as though a number of TNF members are completely misled about what really happened. Gurney parked his Arciero Lotus 19 about a car length from the finish line and waited for the 3-hour mark. All this time he was in the high lane, next to the retaining wall.

When the official waved the checkered flag at 5 pm, Gurney crossed the line straight as an arrow. I have a sequence of 3 finish photos and even after crossing the line by a full car length, the Lotus 19 was still in the high lane, next to the wall. No gravity whatsoever, just a starter motor and that Prestolite battery. It was only afterwards, when the race was stopped, that Gurney used gravity to get to the infield, being pushed in the final stages by Roger Penske and Arciero mechanic Jerry Eisert.

The very idea of using gravity to finish is preposterous, as a slow moving car would have endangered the rest of the field on the banking.

I hope to do an article on this very interesting race in the near future, as it featured the best field of Formula One, SCCA, NASCAR and USAC drivers ever assembled. The finish sequence will be included.


WINO

Will your article include speculation about Gurney's motive for telling it the way he apparently does? Seems to me there was some controversy concerning rules about "own power" or some such.

Where do you expect your article to appear?


Frank S
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USA

#43 Don Capps

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 18:35

Originally posted by WINO
The very idea of using gravity to finish is preposterous, as a slow moving car would have endangered the rest of the field on the banking.


I think that you are clearly over-reacting to the comments on the extent that gravity was perceived to assist Gurney across the finish line. I don't think that anyone here -- Mike and I included -- had any visions of Gurney "turning left" and swooping down the banking to cross the finish line. Indeed, a mere tweak of the wheel from where he was sitting would have been more than enough to allow him to cross the line with very little deviation from a straight path. The photos seem to clearly show that when Gurney crossed the finish line his relative position on the banking did not vary all that much from where he was sitting awaiting the end of the three hours.

#44 WINO

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 18:38

Frank,

Gurney's memory is still very good, so this must be one of those selective senior moments. Don't think Dan could have any ulterior motives. It is just the way he remembers it, but the photos prove him wrong.

The Daytona 1962 article was submitted to Vintage Motorsport last week, but I don't know what their backlog is.

If you can't wait that long, there is a finish photo in the May 1962 issue of Today's Motorsport. Straight as an arrow, still in the high lane, with the rear wheels about to cross the line.


WINO

#45 T54

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 19:52

OK, someone explains to me how the 1962 piece of utter garbage direct-drive Lucas starter motor is going to move ANY car, engine blown or not.

Since I had to deal with this exact problem myself in my Brabham-Climax BT8, using the same exact engine and starter (replaced immediately after the incident by a Toyota unit), I can say with certainty that it would be utterly IMPOSSIBLE.

Gurney did exactly what he said he did, he turned the steering slightly to the left, in neutral, and the car crossed the line on plain gravity.

T54

#46 WINO

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 20:34

It sounds like T54 believes in miracles. I tend to rely on the laws of physics and based on those, it is impossible fo a Lotus 19 to move at least 3 cars lengths, from a complete standstill, without changing lanes. Or in fact, based on photographic evidence, getting any closer to the lane divider painted on the banking, from being one-car length before to one-car length past the finish line: the front wheels were aimed ahead and based on the photo in Today's Motorsport, perhaps even skewed slightly towards the wall. But then Guney had only one hand to steer, the other being occupied with that push button!

Check the facts first, gentlemen.

WINO

#47 T54

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 20:56

With all due respect, you have no clue of what you are talking about. The car was at a very slight angle, and on the 30-degree banking, a small input on the steering is enough to get the car to move. I know, I have been there and done it with a rental car in 1982 to prove that very point during a 24-hour test of the Rondeau-Ford. If you don't believe me, ask Sam Posey, he was there.

Also you are not addressing other simple law-of-physic FACTS:

1/ the engine is blown with a rod gone through, the block litterally sawn in half. Explain how the starter motor (any) will get the car to move with the engine locked solid.

2/ the Lucas direct-drive starter had a hard time to move a Climax with a full battery, let alone a 1100lbs car in first, second or any gear you pick. After 3 hours of racing, the ignition which was a distributor, coil and battery with no recharging system (and not on the Lucas magneto that was thrown away by that time) would have been on the weak side, rendering any in put on the starter button useless in the best of circumstances.

Why don't you believe Mr. Gurney?

Regards,

T54

#48 WINO

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 21:12

The reason I don't believe Dan Gurney in this particular case is that his version does not jive with photographic evidence. I have interviewed many race drivers and car owners of the fifties and sixties and in a fair number of times they claim things that are just not true. Selective memories, confusion about races and positions and sometimes: purely things that just don't make sense based on the facts.

I have tried the same Gurney trick by moving my 1969 VandenPlas Princess 1300 forward with the help of a similar Lucas starter motor, and low and behold, in spite of the fact that this little Baby Bentley is many times heavier than a Lotus 19, it moves the car. And this was on a flat road surface, mind you. As for the condition of Gurney's battery, he made an excellent start and pitstop getaway, so the battery was not drained in any way.

Obviously you are entitled to your opinion, but I stick to historically correct versions of motor sport history.


WINO

#49 T54

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 21:22

Obviously you are entitled to your opinion, but I stick to historically correct versions of motor sport history.




Never mind the facts, Mr. Gurney's testimony and all reasonable evidence that a blown, stuck engine cannot be moved by any starter known to man.

Have you by any chance been taking the wind speed and the hygrometric pressure that day into consideration? I think it should matter a lot.

T54
:rolleyes:

#50 WINO

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 21:28

T54,

I is easy trying to be funny, but I pity the gullible journalist or vintage race car owner who takes every word from an aging racing icon for granted. I have seen too many examples of that.

WINO