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Oulton Park 1959 AFM


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#1 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 11:08

In his black books Sheldon reports a AFM starting at Oulton Park in 1959.
In the International Gold Cup 1959 John Brown starts with a BMW which seems to be Willi Heeks old AFM from the early 50's.

Are there any Informations about other starts in formula Libre races perhaps? Who was John Brown ?

so long

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#2 KJJ

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 16:55

The November 1959 edition of Motor Sport captions this Oulton Park Gold Cup photograph "John Brown's B.M.W. is seen in the ditch, having failed to complete a lap."

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Is this the same John Brown who won the 1960 John Davy Trophy in a Lotus 18?

Haven't had time to look in detail but nothing about this car is immediately apparent in Mike Lawrence's " Grand Prix Cars 1945-65" or in David Hodges "A-Z of Formula Racing Cars"

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 19:03

Between 1957 and 1960 John Brown raced an AFM in the UK, mainly in historic events. The car had apparently been acquired from Autohaus Maus in Dusseldorf, who advertised it for sale in 1956. It was allegedly the original 1950 Willy Heeks car later raced by Gunther Bechem.
The AFM continued to appear in VSCC events into the 1970s, before being sold back to Germany in the 1980s.
ISTR it in a Brooks (as was) auction around 1993
I suspect John Brown was the same man who raced Cooper-Bristols, but would be surprised if he was the Lotus 18 driver. But anything's possible.

#4 Alan Cox

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 19:39

As ever, Mr McKinney's memory doesn't fail him. It was offered for sale by Brooks at their Earls Court sale on 26th October 1993. It was bid to £36,000 but failed to sell.

They report it as the Heeks car, chassis no. 8200-1, although when Brown imported it from Germany in 1956 it was numbered 82004 for customs purposes. Brown ran it from 1957 to 1960 , during which time the nose was altered, and it was later acquired by N.H.W. Begley in 1961. Its original Schleicher head had failed and it was replaced by a Bristol head. Tony Hutchings purchased the car in 1967 when it was restored by TT Workshops.

#5 uechtel

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 20:37

Interesting. And thanks to the picture we have something to compare.

Somehow the story does not fit with other information I have about Heeks´ car.

What I know is that it started life as a midget racer in 1949 with a Fiat-based supercharged 750 cc AFM engine installed.

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In this form it was ordered by Vorster who was quite successful during the season until a bad accident at Schotten.

After this the car reappeared in Formula 2 trim with a BMW 328 replacing the AFM engine. It was driven briefly and without much success by Hermann Lang...

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...before it came into the hands of Willi Heeks. This newcomer from Bocholt drove it to an impressive debut win at Hockenheim in 1950 and campaigned it virtually unchanged throughout the next two seasons. On this picture you can see him chased by Fischer´s Ferrari at the Avus race in 1951:

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In 1952 Heeks ordered a new chassis (of AFM´s 1950 tubular/spaceframe design) and reportedly many parts of his old car were used for its completion.

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Comparing the pictures I think it is indeed looking like the car in the ditch.

In 1953 Heeks became member of the semi-works Veritas team "Ecuire Nürburg" and switched to one of Loof´s new Meteor cars, so he handed it over to Düsseldorf-resident Hans Blees, who used it mainly in East German events, where Formula 2 had been prolonged until the end of the 1954 season.

Unfortunately I have found only one picture of the car in that period, where it just can be spotted in the background

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This is Bernau in 1954 and it should be the car directly behind the #104 car.

After 1954 I had no information about its fate so far and it surprises me quite a lot to hear, that it should still exist, as so far I thought the only AFM Formula 2 car to survive had been the ex-Rieß car.

I am also surprised to read Bechem´s name in this context, as what I know of his connection to AFM is, that he took over the Gommann wreck from the Grenzlandring 1950 and converted it into a sports car.

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This car(s) is/are also mysterious and confusing to me, as Schumann tells in his book, that in 1953 the car was used in Formula 2 AND 1500 cc spors car class, sometimes at the same event, with engine and bodywork being swapped inbetween! I can hardly believe this, the more, that both bodies are looking quite similar to me:

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Here leading Krause at the Avus in the "old" style bodywork

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sorry I mismatched the last picture with one showing Bechem in the Borgward, so here is the correct one

And here at the Schauinsland in the new one.

So I think these are rather two different cars. But of course, that is another story. What I wanted express with this excursion to Bechem is, that I can not imagine, what sense it would have made for him to buy the Heeks car AFTER 1954, as

1st - there was no use for this any more after the abolition of Formula 2
2nd - he had already suitable cars for Formula 2 AND 1500 sports cars
3rd - in the meantime he had become works driver for Borgward

Also the location of the Autohaus Maus at Düsseldorf speaks more towards Blees as owner, as Bechem lived at Hagen.

#6 David McKinney

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 20:54

It certainly seems more likely to have been the second Heeks car

#7 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 21:28

Great boys what you've done in such a short time .
:clap:


#8 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 22:06

In an old book I've found

John Anstice-Brown winner of the
Excel Lithoplates Formula 1300 Championship (so called in79) in 1956 ( maybe 1200 formula)

the same man ?
what kind of championship and cars ?

#9 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 22:13

Originally posted by KJJ


Is this the same John Brown who won the 1960 John Davy Trophy in a Lotus 18?


The FJ John Davy Trophy , Brands Hatch, 1st August 1960 was won by Jim Clark. John Brown started with #59 and came 11th. Was there an other race or class or a Championship/Trophy ?

#10 KJJ

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 00:21

Yes this must have been one round in a Championship series, please see link

http://www.formula2.net/FJ60_GB37.htm

Sorry for the confusion

#11 David McKinney

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 05:39

IIRC there was a John Davy Trophy on points over the 1960 season's FJ races at Brands Hatch. ISTR Jim Clark and Trevor Taylor were joint winners

I'm sure 1172 formula championship winner John Anstice-Brown was not the AFM man. He was always entered in his full name, and the other bloke was always down as plain John Brown

#12 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 08:33

Originally posted by KJJ
Yes this must have been one round in a Championship series, please see link

http://www.formula2.net/FJ60_GB37.htm

Sorry for the confusion


Sheldon states this race in his blue FJ Fact-book as BRDC Race (I think a club Championship race. And there are two John Brown a private entry and a G.A.Henrotte entry both on Lotus 18 In other races there only appears the Henrotte entry for Brown.

2 people or one DNF means DNS ?

#13 humphries

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 10:49

This AFM driver John Brown may well have been the John Brown recorded in the Motor Racing Register of 1956 as a motor trader from Bromley in Kent, a BRDC member, who was born in London, on 24 December, 1916.

John Anstice-Brown and Alan Brown, the Cooper-Bristol driver, were different people.

Now for him to be racing in Formula Junior in 1960, by today's perspective, he would be a little long in the tooth. However back in 1960 Formula Junior was seen as a cheap form of racing rather than the nursery for potential GP drivers in was quickly to become. This John Brown is probably the same Elva sports car driver of the previous two seasons. Of course, there could be a son, John Brown Jnr. I just do not know.

Anyway I think that the entry of the AFM by John Brown was all a bit of a giggle.

If a Maserati 250F had been entered for the International Gold Cup it would have been embarrassingly off the pace. To accept the entry of an older F2 car would have been criminal. In practice it lapped so slowly it would have been nothing but a "moving chicane". The likes of Moss and Brabham hammering round in state-of-the-art Grand Prix cars coming across this AFM every 3 or 4 laps would have been very dangerous.

What I imagine happened, and it is purely supposition, is that the organisers were having a difficult job attracting a decent field. Anyone who had got a half-decent F1 car stood a chance of having their entry accepted. Cars like the JBW ( a Cooper copy ), with a Maserati engine, the RRA ( a real Cooper ) with an Alta ( Connaught ) engine and the AFM with a BRM engine.... Pardon? In the Black Books ( removing same from under my pillow ) Paul Shelon had the AFM with a BRM engine. I have not seen the programme but either Paul made a slip of the pen or John Brown did! Tut-tut.

Like I said, the entry of an old AFM with a 2.0 BMW would have been rejected out of hand by the organisers, or should have been. On the other hand an AFM-BRM sounds most intriguing even if it turns out to be yet another Cooper without a Climax engine.

" Nice one, John. You'll get the starting money as agreed but if you don't park it you'll also get the black flag."

"No problem. Nice to do business with you, squire!"

I bet Bernie knows him!

John

#14 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 12:35

Originally posted by humphries

....and the AFM with a BRM engine.... Pardon? In the Black Books ( removing same from under my pillow ) Paul Shelon had the AFM with a BRM engine. I have not seen the programme but either Paul made a slip of the pen or John Brown did! Tut-tut.

Like I said, the entry of an old AFM with a 2.0 BMW would have been rejected out of hand by the organisers, or should have been. On the other hand an AFM-BRM sounds most intriguing even if it turns out to be yet another Cooper without a Climax engine.


In his book Sheldon gave the engine as BRM 328.
AS far as I think it's a typing error ! Noone knows a BRM 328 but everyone a BMW 328 so I think the entry is correct. About the age I think a 43 years old driver was not uncommon in 1959.
For example E.Barth was born in 1917, Jean Behra in 21 Jack Fairman in 1913, 1960 LM winner Frere from 1917 ... and starting in FJ means not that you have to be a Junior. There were a lot of clubraces in the UK and J.Brown disappeard from the entrylists after 1962. So it could be him.

#15 humphries

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 17:25

Hugo

Just found a copy of the programme entry list. Brown's entry was simply described as BMW; no indication as to its ancestry and so the organisers would not have known what to expect. Apparently, reading various reports, other drivers had expressed concern about this car being allowed to race because it was so slow in practice. Mind you, if Volonterio had shown up Brown may have had some competition. As it was the very portly Horace Gould took over the entry but with Bruce Halford to do the driving. The Maserati did not start owing to engine problems and Halford was probably spared being lapped 5 or 6 times.

Brown's car was a starting-money special of the first order.

John

#16 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 21:02

Originally posted by humphries
Brown's car was a starting-money special of the first order.


Okay, but did he race the car anywere in Formula Libre events ? The Car has been in England since 1957.

#17 humphries

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 16:23

Hugo and euchtel

I have looked through my records for 1957-1959 and can find no reference to John Brown and this AFM car, except for his surprise appearance at the 1959 Gold Cup. During this period John Brown of Bromley, Kent was driving Elva sports cars, a Mk 3 in 1958 and a Mk4 in 1959 and he was also involved with the development of the Formula Junior car. Brown did not participate in VSCC races, the AFM would have been too new. It would have been eligible in 1964, I believe.

The only mention of an AFM, I can find, is in the programme for the British Empire Trophy at Oulton Park on 6 April 1957. It was entered by the Mercury Stable and was to be driven by Major Arthur Mallock, later the famed constructor of U2 racing cars. It was a dna. Mallock had been stationed in Munchengladbach and returned to England in 1957. If this AFM is the Gold Cup car possibly when it was imported by Brown in 1956 Mallock was involved in its purchase.

Whilst in Germany Mallock had made the acquaintance of another Army officer, John Harwood. In 1955 Harwood had entered a Veritas RS for the Frontieres GP at Chimay and Mallock was the driver. The car had problems and finished last. In 1959 Harwood also returned to England. Did he still have the Veritas?

When Mallock returned to England he lived for a short while at Longfield, Kent which is about 15 miles from Bromley where John Brown had his garage.

Perhaps Arthur Mallock's sons, Ray and Richard might know of any John Brown connection although the Mallock family soon moved on to the Midlands after their return from Germany.

Hope this helps.

John

#18 KJJ

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 16:43

Autosport's preview of the 1957 British Empire Trophy race ( Volume 14, Number 14 dated April 5th 1957) has the following:

"In the 2-litre race, notables are Colin Chapman and Ron Flockhart in Lotuses, Tommy Sopwith (Cooper) and the interesting entry of Major Mallock in the A.F.M., which is Hans Stuck's old Formula 2 single-seater with 1.5 litre BMW engine."

It lists the entrant as "Mercury Stable"

#19 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 17:46

Originally posted by KJJ
Autosport's preview of the 1957 British Empire Trophy race ( Volume 14, Number 14 dated April 5th 1957) has the following:

"In the 2-litre race, notables are Colin Chapman and Ron Flockhart in Lotuses, Tommy Sopwith (Cooper) and the interesting entry of Major Mallock in the A.F.M., which is Hans Stuck's old Formula 2 single-seater with 1.5 litre BMW engine."

It lists the entrant as "Mercury Stable"



First KJJ & Humphries

Thanks a lot for bringing some light :up:

Hans Stuck sold his AFM- Küchen/Bristol at the end of 1953 to the Suisse Hillclimber Heini Walter.
Walter made a little Sportscar from the old Monoposto and startet in the Suisse GP support race in 1954. Then we lost the trace of the car. It seen to be this car.

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#20 uechtel

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 18:57

Can we indeed be sure about that?

I mean the Stuck car was converted to a sports Barchetta, so how likely is that to be reconverted into a monoposto again? When at the same time we know, that the ex-Heeks car was also fitted with a 1.5 litre engine and sold "just around" that date?

Perhaps the author had the simple equation "AFM = Stuck" in his head, when writing the preview? I think, Stuck was the one, who had made AFM famous abroad, so his name was certainly always connected.

So perhaps Holger can help us here. I think he still has contact with Walter and could ask him about how long did he keep his car and what happened to it afterwards.

And 1000 thanks to humphries and KJJ! This is really an interesting thread.

Finally I know nothing about Harwood´s Veritas. Do you, Hugo?

#21 David McKinney

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 19:25

Originally posted by humphries
Brown did not participate in VSCC races, the AFM would have been too new. It would have been eligible in 1964, I believe.

An excellent point, John
Perhaps I’m getting confused with the people who raced the car in VSCC events in later years. Or maybe Brown got away with calling it a (pre-war) BMW 328 Special?

I don’t believe the AFM John Brown and the Elva driver are necessarily the same person. Brown is one of the most common English surnames, and John the most common Christian name at that time (if not any more).
There was a John Brown who raced 500s (a Martin in 1953 and a Staride in 1954).
This may or may not have been the same John Brown who raced a Cooper 500 in 1957, and then Elva sportscars in 1958 and 1959, and the FJ Lotus in 1960.
Before either of those there was a John Brown who raced a Healey in Scottish events in 1950 and an HWM in the ensuing years.
And who was the J Brown who raced at Le Mans in 1954 (in a Triumph TR2) and 1955 (Cooper-Climax)?
Was any of these the AFM man? And was he the JB who raced Cooper-Bristols in historic events in the '60s?

#22 Alan Cox

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 21:32

Can only add that the JB who raced Cooper-Bristol in early '60s was entered as J.R.Brown

#23 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 22:01

Originally posted by uechtel

Finally I know nothing about Harwood´s Veritas. Do you, Hugo?


Sorry never heard of him, too :cry: