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Jock McBain and the Border Reivers Racing Team


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#1 OldJags

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 14:26

Friends,

I am looking for information about a XK 140 aluminum-bodied "special" that may have been rebodied by Jock McBain's garage in Chirnside, Scottland. The car was used in hill climbs and sprints. Mr. McBain is the gentleman who founded the Border Reivers Racing Team and gave legend Jim Clark his start in motor racing.

I know that Mr. McBain has now passed and his garage closed, but wondered if anyone can point me in the direction of someone who used to work at the garage or for the team, or would otherwise know the work or inventory of McBain? The car was probably rebodied in the early 1960s. Any leads would be appreciated.

Thanks you.

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#2 Graham Gauld

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 10:54

Sorry for the delay in replying to this but just got back from a long trip.

As far as I remember Jock McBain did not rebody any XK140 Special. He was a Ford dealer mainly dealing in Fordson Tractors and his garage was fairly modest and would be surprised if it had a bodyshop . If I find out more I will add.

GG

#3 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 12:17

:wave: While searching , found this thread ,here is what I have (to the title) :

The team was formed by McBain and Alec Calder , based at McBain garage in Chirnside , and racing Cooper 500s and later Cooper Bristol in the early 50's ,but disappeared to be reformed again in 1958 by McBain and Ian Scott Watson , when Jim Clark came on to the scene .They purchased the Murkett Bros. Jag D with which Clark scored 12 wins (I think). By 59 the D type had been replaced by a Lister and their Lotus Elite was 10th at LM , a great feat. The same year the Lister was sold and AM DBR1 was bought. Best international result being a splendid 3rd at LM in 1960 with Clark and Salvadori driving. When Clark left for Lotus in 1960 , I have not heard more of the Border Reives team , but I believe McBain died before 1975 ! Perhaps some of you can put more light to this quite famous team ?? :smoking:

#4 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 07:13

:wave: No response ? Where do I go wrong ? Any hints to search ? :smoking:

#5 ensign14

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 08:45

Graham Gauld's book on Jim Clark has a lot of detail on the early days... :)

#6 britishtrident

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 06:47

Of course ithe 1970s the team name was reborn in Special/Supersaloon Racing with Dougie Niven

#7 britishtrident

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 13:37

Nice page on the Niven Border Reviers Boss Escort --- a car that came quite close to killing me when it came off at back stand at much missed Ingliston . Happy days :up:

http://www.racing70s...rtnivenboss.htm

#8 maximus_mike

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 04:30

I think some of the dates regarding the Border Reivers may be incorrect. I lived in Norham, not all that far from Chirnside during the 1950s, but left to work in London in late 1957. Jim Clark was definitely driving for the Border Reivers in the period 1955-57.

During that time, the Border Reivers mechanic Jimmy? Ross lived in Norham and used to drive their sports cars to the garage in Norham belonging to the Elliott brothers (a trucking company) and did some work on them there. The cars in question were the Jaguar D Type and a Lotus 11.

I first saw Jim Clark in a time trial which was run at Winfield around 1955 (where I was lucky enough to meet Mike Hawthorn and get his autograph). Clark was driving his Sunbeam Alpine, Mike Hawthorn was visiting. I also saw the original BRMs being tested at Winfield, about the same time. They were being prepared for a race at Charterhall later the same week. The BRM failed on the start line and from memory the race was won by Roy Salvadori in a Masarati.

The following year 1956 or 1957, I was at Charterhall where there was a sports car race in which Clark drove the D type and the 3 Ecurie Ecosse cars were there, and from memory driven by Ron Flockhart, Innes Ireland and Ninian Sanderson. Clark went at high speed down the long straight, but failed to take the hairpin at the end, I can still remember seeing only his crashhelmet and the fin of the D-Type above the corn in the field he was racing across. He also drove the Lotus at that meeting.

As for Jock McBain's garage at Chirnside, it was actually quite large. He was an agricultural implement dealer, tractors, combine harvesters etc. and they also fabricated farm windmills (the small ones used for pumping water), so would have had plenty of room to build an XK140 body etc., although I do not remember one. Jock certainly had an old open-wheeler in the early 1950s (maybe a pre-war ERA?) I saw him testing it at Winfield.

Mike.
now in Penrith, NSW.

#9 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 05:47

Hi Mike , great entry to the TNF , I liked it , thanks !

#10 Graham Gauld

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 15:58

Dear Maximus Mike

Before anyone records everything as gospel I would like to correct a couple of things and confim some dates


I do'nt think the Reivers mechanic ws David Ross but certainly the name was Ross. He shortly afterwards went to the USA and worked with Team Rosebud and did some racing himself as well s running his own racing shop

The Lotus 11 was normally raced by Jimmy Sommervail and occasionally Alastair Birrell. Birrell eventually bought the car.

I think you will find that the time trial With Jim Clark would more likely be 1956 and I doubt if Mike Hawthorn was at that meeting. Mike was, however, at the Charterhall meeting in October 1952 when he raced Len Potters Frazer Nash and his own Cooper-Bristol and he never raced at Charterhall again as he Joined Ferrari a few months later.

I was at the Winfield Sprint in 1956 when Jim Clark was running his Sunbeam Talbot Mk III saloon - not an Alpine -and won his class.

Reference Jim Clark and the D type at Charterhall I was also at that meeting - I was sports Editor of Motor World magazine at the time and went to all the events - and there were only two Ecosse cars there, Ron Flockhart in a D type and Innes Ireland in the Tojeiro-Jaguar. It was Innes who went off the road late braking for the hairpin and he spun the car and managed to jam it on top of a petrol can but managed to get away and continue in the race. Jim Clark did not go off the road at that meeting and the Reivers D type did not have a fin on it. By that time the Lotus 11 had been sold and Jim did not drive a Lotus until he tested the prototype Elite the following year, 1958.

Sorry if I appear pedantic but I wanted to correct these points quickly.

#11 David McKinney

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 16:27

Thanks, Graham
I didn't think the BR D-type had a fin, and I was sure I couldn't remember Jim racing a Lotus XI, and would also have thought 1956 was the Sunbeam-Talbot year rather than 1955
But I enjoyed Maximus's recollections anyway - he's got most of it right 50 years on!
Were the Elliott brothers he mentions related to Frank of that ilk who raced the ex-Jack Sears Lister-Bristol about that time?

#12 Graham Gauld

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 16:48

David

As far as I am aware no ,Frank was not based in Norham. He was a great character who was killed in the ex-Jonathan Seiff Costin Lister-Jaguar when driving it for the first time on a disused airfield. Frank was the typical British private entrant of the day. Great enthusiasm and a true trier. Regarding Jim, however, he did own the Sunbeam Talbot in 1955 and did one or two club rallies with it but was sprinting it the following year.

#13 maximus_mike

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 04:27

Hi Graham,

Thanks for your response, as it was 50 years or so ago, my memory is not all it was. However, Mike Hawthorn was definitely at Winfield as I met him. He was not racing, he was staying in the Borders with some friends and was there as a visitor.

I never said the Reivers mechanic was David Ross? I said Jimmy? and think that was correct. He lodged next door to my grandmother in Norham, and at one time raced a Triumph motorcycle in Scotland. You are correct in that he later went to the States.

I have just been looking through my old photo album, but most of my Charterhall pictures are long gone, however I found the BR Lotus 11 it had the road registration number of CSH190.

I may have mixed up some of the details of the Ecurie Ecosse cars at Charterhall, as I went there to all the races, cars and bikes, around that time. I am sure that 3 Ecosse cars were there one year, but could have been the C-Types, with 1, 2 and 3 white bars across the nose of the cars.

No, the Elliott brothers were not related to Frank, was he the chap who used to race the 'Rover Special' a blue and white monster? I just came across a picture of it today and think that was his.

Mike

#14 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 11:37

The team was revived again in the late nineties and was run from Longtown in Cumbria with pay drivers in some of the junior single seater formula. They did quite well for a while but I thing they were wrapped up when the pay drivers moved on and there were no more in the wings up here.

#15 Paul Parker

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 12:34

Out of professional interest when did Jock Mcbain die?

#16 wdm

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 08:42

Originally posted by Paul Parker
Out of professional interest when did Jock Mcbain die?


An approximate date, from Jim Clark - At the Wheel... "The team finally broke up in 1962 when Jock died."

#17 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 09:21

Here's Jim at speed in the Aston at Le Mans in 1960
Posted ImagePosted Image

#18 CoulthardD

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 09:58

I am sure that 3 Ecosse cars were there one year, but could have been the C-Types, with 1, 2 and 3 white bars across the nose of the cars.



Just noticed this on the "Old Photo Collection" thread!

http://www.chaters.c...0675_edited.JPG

Frank was not based in Norham. He was a great character who was killed in the ex-Jonathan Seiff Costin Lister-Jaguar when driving it for the first time on a disused airfield.



Frank was based in Middlesbrough, I think, and was killed at the Thornaby airfield, which held race meetings in 1959 and 1960.

Regards,

David Coulthard

#19 Mistron

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 11:28

only slightly OT, but did I hear recently that Iain Scott Watson was unwell?

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#20 D-Type

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 13:41

Originally posted by simonlewisbooks
Here's Jim at speed in the Aston at Le Mans in 1960
Posted ImagePosted Image

Until I saw these, I'd never realised how ugly the DBR1 looked with its high tail to accommodate the "FIA suitcase" but better than the Ecosse D-Types.

#21 Graham Gauld

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 15:43

Reference Ian Scott Watson, he has always suffered from minor ill health which has not improved over the years. He is now 78 years old,is still designing houses but at a slower pace than before. He still has a twinkle in his eyes and no doubt I will see him at the Scottish Motor Racing Club dinner in December.

D-type : reference the notorious Le Mans luggage compartments I have a copy of a letter from Malcolm Sayer to Wilkie Wilkinson complaining that the shape of his D-type had been ruined by the Le Mans conversion but it was pointed out that not only was it necessary to create this space but that there had been approval for it by Jaguar however, reluctantly

#22 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 17:45

Any news here please ?

#23 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 15:12

Any further infos would be appriciated.

#24 HiRich

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 10:48

Re: Border Reivers in Formula III, they appear to have run 1953-56. So far I have:
M Gillespie: 1953 (2 events)
Keith Hall: 1953-56 (also appearing as driver-entrant a few times)
Ian MacKay: 1953 (5 events +1 as driver-entrant)
M Mather: 1953 (4 events +2 as driver-entrant)
Charles Mauritzen: 1953-4 (also running his JP in 1952-3)
Jock McBain: just the one appearance in 1954, but as driver entrant several times 1951-54
Jimmy Somervail: 1954-6
Davie Swann: 1953 (6 events), but raced his own cars 1950-3, a JP in 1951

So we have Jock, Davie and Charles competing before the formation of the Border Reivers, with Gillespie, Hall, McKay and Mather all bundling into the 1953 season and Jimmy Somervail appearing a year later. Which might suggest something about how the Reivers formed.

#25 hipperson

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 15:35

Ian SW dined with us ( 22 Lotus enthusiasts) on a Saturday night last month when we visited the Jim Clark Room.
He looked in fine fettle to me downing half a duck in record time..........chatted all night and was very entertaining.
His choice of transport these days is a new Fiat Panda !
Here I am, looking as as mad as a march hare ,presenting ISW with a wonderful Nick Loudon snap of Jimmy in the H16

Posted Image



Cedric Selzer rode shotgun with me in the Elise..354 miles.
Peter Darley joined us and so did JC Room curator Andrew Tulloch.
Jock was mentioned a lot in conversation.

The next morning we visited Edington Mains and were royally treated by the current ( ie last 18 years) owners.

Here I am looking ever so slightly effete trying to enact the famous JC sitting on Elan in kilt shot.

Posted Image
Great weekend.
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Edited by hipperson, 08 September 2009 - 15:43.


#26 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 15:18

I am very much looking for the logo of Border Reivers , any help .? In the book British cars at Le Mans , year 1961 , by Dominique Pascal is a picture of their transporter with the logo , but at a distance .

#27 frogeye59

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 18:06

I am very much looking for the logo of Border Reivers , any help .? In the book British cars at Le Mans , year 1961 , by Dominique Pascal is a picture of their transporter with the logo , but at a distance .


Is this it Bjørn taken from the side of the "Jim Clark" Porsche 356 ??

Posted Image

David

Edited by frogeye59, 07 October 2009 - 18:07.


#28 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 20:22

Thanks very much David , I would say yes , only there is some frame around "him" , but I will try to "design the heraldic" myself.

Edited by Bjørn Kjer, 08 October 2009 - 10:06.


#29 Graham Gauld

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:03

Is this it Bjørn taken from the side of the "Jim Clark" Porsche 356 ??

Posted Image

David



Purely for the record. The photo here shows the logo on the left hand side of the car. It was reversed so that the "Border Reiver" faced forwards. I have attached a copy of the original logo with the Reiver facing left to right and was on the drivers side of the cars. As is known it is a copy of the statue to the Border Reiver in the middle of the town of Hawick.

Posted Image

#30 BinaryDad

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:01

Purely for the record. The photo here shows the logo on the left hand side of the car. It was reversed so that the "Border Reiver" faced forwards. I have attached a copy of the original logo with the Reiver facing left to right and was on the drivers side of the cars. As is known it is a copy of the statue to the Border Reiver in the middle of the town of Hawick.

Posted Image


Are you sure that it isn't the statue from the War Memorial in Galashiels? There IS a horse monument in Hawick, but it's vastly different to the Reiver silhouette shown. Sorry to be a pedant about this, but having grown up in Galashiels, I feel the need to correct this! It's bad enough that ae'body still calls us a' pailmerks!


#31 BDMC

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 16:45

Just found this when looking for somthing else on the internet, Just to add my bit of info my father was a mechanic for the Border Reivers until the team stopped racing, the Mr Ross that was mentioned much earlier was Freddie Ross who was the only full time mechanic for the Border Reivers and my dad worked with him when he started with the team and then Freddie left to go to the US, my dad built a few cars for Ian Scott Watson as well as preparing the racing cars.

#32 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 18:20

Interesting , thank. Could you put some years on , and perhaps your father remember anything on transporting the cars , please ?

#33 BDMC

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 18:29

Interesting , thank. Could you put some years on , and perhaps your father remember anything on transporting the cars , please ?


No problem, I will ask him tomorow he has so much information but he tends to keep it to himself unless someone asks him a question,lets say he is quite modest !

#34 David McKinney

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 21:36

I wouldn't have needed to ask this if you'd given a clue or two in your profile, but...
Your surname's not Curry, is it?

#35 BDMC

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 10:49

I wouldn't have needed to ask this if you'd given a clue or two in your profile, but...
Your surname's not Curry, is it?


Sorry just joined the forum so i haven't got my profile up to speed yet, no my surname is not Curry its Deans, my dad's name is Ian Deans.

#36 David McKinney

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 12:52

It was a long shot :)

Alan Curry, now in New Zealand, was a Border Reivers mechanic (or hanger-on?) in the '50s

#37 Graham Gauld

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 14:19

It was a long shot :)

Alan Curry, now in New Zealand, was a Border Reivers mechanic (or hanger-on?) in the '50s


Alan, who occasionally raced an old Riley saloon went with Ian Scott Watson on the 1955 International Scottish Rally and managed to roll poor old Ian's first DKW Sonderklasse as can be seen here at the start of the Ganavan Sands Test on the rally.

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#38 David McKinney

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 15:10

Sounds about right :lol:

#39 ROBBO

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 22:08

Hi there

my name is Graeme Robertson and Alan Curry is a good friend of mine - he does not have internet

I was put on to this by a friend and will be taking a copy of this information to Alan who I will be seeing tomorrow - I am sure that he will be interested in the conversations - particularly the photo of the DKW - he was talking to me about it a couple of weeks ago as it was mentioned in abook on Jim Clark that he leant me

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#40 Graham Gauld

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 22:13

Hi there

my name is Graeme Robertson and Alan Curry is a good friend of mine - he does not have internet

I was put on to this by a friend and will be taking a copy of this information to Alan who I will be seeing tomorrow - I am sure that he will be interested in the conversations - particularly the photo of the DKW - he was talking to me about it a couple of weeks ago as it was mentioned in abook on Jim Clark that he leant me



Semd Allan my regards. This is a picture of him with his Riley at a Winfield Sprint about 1955/56

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#41 David McKinney

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 06:13

Nice to see you here Robbo :up:

40 years since we worked together at PA?

Say Hi to Alan for me too

#42 ROBBO

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:40

NZPA - those were the days

lot of water under the bridge since then

will pass on your remarks to Alan - I know he will be blown away with the photos when I show him

regards



#43 BDMC

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 14:09

Interesting , thank. Could you put some years on , and perhaps your father remember anything on transporting the cars , please ?


Hi sorry its taken a couple of days to get back to you, My dad joined "McBains" from school in 1955 and also started helping Freddie Ross at that time with the first Border Reivers cars that consited of 2 Coopers, 1 Cooper Bristol and a Healey these cars were transported by a Bus that had two tiers so that more than one car could be transported at one time, he is not 100% sure but he thinks it could of been a Leyland.

Moving on to about 1957 when the team was reformed he worked on and prepared the D-Type, Lister,Porsche, Elite and Aston Martin these were transported by a Ford 4 D truck and somtimes Jimmy would take the car to meetings himself with a Ford Transit and trailer.

I have a picture from Charterhall with the van and trailer in the background, i will try and upload it.

Hope this is of intrest

#44 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 17:28

Absolutely ! Great information , especially about the transports.Thanks a lot.

#45 bradbury west

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 09:41

[quote name='BDMC' date='Jul 21 2010, 15:09' post='4487611']
I have a picture from Charterhall with the van and trailer in the background, i will try and upload it.
Hope this is of intrest quote

If you need any help, feel free to pm me for my e mail and I will post them for you.
Roger Lund