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#1 JonBetts

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 19:46

Hi there, I am looking for information and images of Morris Minors in race guise for a forthcoming feature in Minor Monthly magzine (www.minormonthly.com). If anyone has any information or old pictures that they would allow me to use please email me at jon@poundbury.co.uk

Many thanks :)

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#2 Marc Ceulemans

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 19:58

A Morris Minor took part in the 1931 24-Hours at Spa. Driven by 2 Belgian amateur drivers, Abel Blin d'Orimont and Robert Goemans, they won the 1100 cc class. I don't think I have picture(s) of this car which had the number 46.

#3 swintex

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 20:05

Didn't Nick Whiting race a yellow Minor in the early 70s?

I seem to remember it had "Don't push" on the rear bumper.

I also seem to remember him backing it into the barriers at Paddock on one occasion, I'm not sure I remember the "Don't push" after hat…

#4 Terry O'Neil

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 20:18

Hi Jon,
I do not have any photos, but I do know that one was in use on the west coast of America in 1952. It appeared at Pebble Beach and Golden Gate with John Cox, then at Madera with Carl Ganschow.
On the East coast John Price raced one at Vero Beach and at Watkins Glen in the same year. One also appeared at Sebring in 1952.
Back in 1950 4 Minors were run at Sebring.
Hope this is of help.
Terry

#5 richie

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 20:21

Michael Chittenden competed in a 1650 Morris Minor 28/9/69 at Brands Hatch- qualifying round of the Redex Gold Cross Championship race but I haven't any pictures.

#6 RS2000

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 20:31

I believe Martin Chinnery raced, autocrossed and rallied one in Kent. You can probably contact him via ASEMC (UK Regional Association of South East Motor Clubs) under the strange pseudonym "Chin".

#7 paulsenna1

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 21:31

Does hillclimbing count?

Nic Mann's 600 bhp Rover V8 turbocharged nitrous oxide Morris Minor was a bit quick.

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#8 bill moffat

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 21:32

Harry Ratcliffe and Brian Redman come to mind when it comes to "proper" Minors whilst Nic Mann's gorgeous hillclimb version ranks highly amongst the clones.

#9 Sharman

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 21:52

The ultimate Minor n its pure form i.e. A type powered had to be Harry's. What the final spec was I don't know but it was tuned and modified by Harry himself and Jeff Goodliff. I did hear that H was not in the best of health but somebody must have his address. A lot of stories to tell I would think, I remember spinning in front of him during practice in my first ever circuit race (also Minor mounted).

#10 David McKinney

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 21:55

You just beat me to it, Bill
I was going too say Harry Ratcliffe - then I remembered Brian Redman
Before that there was Fred Marriott, in the 1958 BTCC, and even before that Alan Foster in the Daily Express race in 1954. The name of Peter Collins also seems to be linked with one in my memory, but I can't be more definite
We used to see loads in New Zealand, from 803cc low-light models through cars with MGA and twincam Lotus-Ford engines right up to the infamous Morrari

None of which is helping Jon's quest for photos, though I might be able to dig out some NZ ones. Unless of course he's interested only in UK ones

#11 JonBetts

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 22:14

All this information is great, to be honest I never expected to hear about so many racing Minors, if anyone has any pictures of Nic Manns car please forward them to me....jon@poundbury.co.uk
Paul if you could email me that picture that would be great.

#12 bradbury west

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 23:04

Twinny was kind enough to post my old shot of the Ex Harry Ratcliffe Minor at Rufforth '64 on the paddock shots thread. It was used then by Andy Barton from Middlesborough?? , twin Webers and lots of glass fibre panels made by HR. It may have been this car on which he tried his own variation of fuel injection. the man was a real hero. Also pic of harry in previous minor in Derek lawson's book More Hail, rain Snow etc, vol 2 of Oulton history.

There is a picture of the Morrari on TNF already, and Autocar ran a super shot in the early sixties showing it from the off-side, doorless, hillclimbing in NZ with a woman driver, IIRC, and she was wearing a seatbelt.

John, I suspect Ted Worswick, inter alia, would be able to update you on Harry. I will try to find out for you.

Roger Lund.

#13 RS2000

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 23:21

Martin Baker hillclimbs one (places like Gurston Down, Wiscombe Park etc.) that looks comparatively standard from the outside, even down to original grey, but has a turbo Fiat Twincam engine. Try the new Woolbridge Motor Club forum to contact.

#14 bradbury west

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 23:32

And don't forget the notorious Miller Minor, used on the hills by John Lyon of HPC renown. Apparently there were some critical rear suspension mods.

Roger Lund.

#15 sterling49

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 23:53

Originally posted by RS2000
I believe Martin Chinnery raced, autocrossed and rallied one in Kent. You can probably contact him via ASEMC (UK Regional Association of South East Motor Clubs) under the strange pseudonym "Chin".


hmmmn, Chin's details are on the 7oaks web site:

www.sevenoaksmotorclub.com

#16 Sharman

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 09:03

David
The low light cars were ALL 918 sv produced 48/53 the 803 OHV dated from the Austin/Morris merger and ran from 52/56 when the 948 appeared
JF

#17 Catalina Park

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 09:24

Ron Taurenac's brother Austin raced a Minor at Bathurst in 1956.
TNF member KB started in Minors.

The Minor that Austin Taurenac raced had the Mazengarb OHV conversion and was 1052cc.

#18 David McKinney

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:11

Originally posted by Sharman
David
The low light cars were ALL 918 sv produced 48/53 the 803 OHV dated from the Austin/Morris merger and ran from 52/56 when the 948 appeared
JF

:blush:
(It was all a long time ago... )

#19 bradbury west

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:18

And Pat Moss rallying her own Minor 1000, not a works car, possibly her mother's........

She told about it in an article moons ago.

RL

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#20 Sharman

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:44

David
Dont I Know It !!!
Roger
She passed me on the Hob Hey Rally in 19umptytump on the outside of a bend doing a "Wall-of-Death" on the grass banking
John

#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 12:09

Kevin Bartlett's racer was a convertible...

#22 Sharman

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 14:29

So was mine---eventually, I took the top off under a sign that said Dudington on the way back to college from Snetterton. I understand there is now a cottage industry making convertibles out of 2 door saloons. What we pioneers suffer!!!

#23 RTH

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 14:31

There is a racing Morris Minor in the BRSCC club film of saloon car racing at Elvington in 1963 on MFQ 17. The bonnet has been changed for something rather more 'droop snoot' which I imagine the owner thought might go through the air more easily

#24 bradbury west

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 14:52

Probably Ratcliffe or Barton in Harry's old car, although I think Harry went to a 1300 Cooper S only in 64.. What colour? See paddock photo post by Twinny.

Roger Lund.

#25 flat-16

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 14:55

Can anyone post a shot of the Morrari? I've tried a search, but the threads seem a tad old. Thanks.

Some fierce Minors here: http://www.minormani...hp?id=4&catid=4


Justin

#26 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 15:37

Mike Chittenden raced his blue 1650 Minor in special saloons throughout 1968 & '69.
The late Mike Bennion also raced a hairy V8 version in the late 60s. Current BTCC driver
Mike Jordan started his career racing a Minor in classic saloons in 1979.

#27 RTH

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 17:01

Originally posted by bradbury west
Probably Ratcliffe or Barton in Harry's old car, although I think Harry went to a 1300 Cooper S only in 64.. What colour? See paddock photo post by Twinny.

Roger Lund.



Just watched it again it was a white car with a blue centreline stripe started on the front row finished 4th and they said it was Andy Barton race won by John Fitzpatrick in a Mini.

#28 Jim Thurman

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 18:25

I don't know if it's anything you would be looking for, but in the late 60's and 70's, Morris Minors occasionally featured in U.S. short track oval racing classes known as Mini or Foreign Stocks

http://www.vintagega.../ministock.html

I also recall in the mid-80's in the San Francisco Bay Area, a driver with a red Morris Minor in a Mini Stock class at Baylands Raceway. He moved up to the Mini Sprint division (open wheel cars looking like Midgets) and used the Minor engine.

#29 bradbury west

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 20:42

Harry Ratcliffe's original Minor is shown in Derek Lawson's second Oulton book, the one with all the photos.

RL

#30 Sharman

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 22:08

It was grey
Jf

#31 Graham Gauld

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 22:29

I have passed on a colour photograph to Jon Betts of two Morris Minors lined up on the grid for the Saloon Car race at the 1958 British Grand Prix meeting but for the life of me I cannot remember the drivers. The two cars were on the row behind the three SPeedwell Austin A35's driven by John Sprinzel, Graham Hill and Len Adams and if anyone could find a programme entry list and let us know who drove green Morris Minor No5 and black Morris Minor No6, registration number FFL513 it would help matters considerably.

#32 JonBetts

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 22:40

Thanks to everyone who has supplied info so far, never expected to find this much so soon! Keep it coming though as it will all help and if you have any images please forward them, there's a complimentry magazine to anyone who is interested.....well within reason, dont want to bankrupt my publisher! Thanks for the post above Graeme, you beat me to it. Also I have had a message from one current Minor competitor, if you know of any others please forward my details to them as I would lve to feature some current competition cars.

Thanks again chaps :D
Jon

#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 23:41

Originally posted by flat-16
Can anyone post a shot of the Morrari? I've tried a search, but the threads seem a tad old. Thanks.


Good idea!

In the meantime, I'll add that there were many Minors raced in Australia's Sports Sedan category after they lost favour in touring cars.

The Appendix J class for tintops ended in 1964 and with it some desirable freedoms. So Minors, which would not take too well to racing against the much more modern machinery in Improved Touring, were invited to run (along with everything else that had become 'illegal') in Sports Racing events with the title of 'Sports Racing (closed) by invitation'.

This was the prelude to the introduction of the Sports Sedan category about 1969 or 1970. So for a few years it was full of amateurish efforts at making (generally) older cars go faster than they would if they were entered under the Improved Touring rules.

Minors got Peugeot 403 and B-series BMC engines by the number. Some got even more, though I don't specifically remember any. Last week I had access to a picture of one spinning at Warwick Farm, but that's on the 'office' computer about 850kms from here.

#34 Terry Walker

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 00:15

Jack Ayres in his Morrie convertible ( a genuine article) in the touring car support race for the 1957 Australian Grand prix at Caversham. Not a good pic, but the only one I have of this car in action. Source: Visor magazine, March 1957 issue; pic courtesy BP-COR

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#35 Frank S

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 01:57

Did someone mention this thread from back a ways?

#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 04:26

Ah, the wonders of the internet!

Here's the Minor, no idea what power unit, spinning at Warwick Farm c.1967:

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Creek Corner in its heyday. And look at the wheelspin on that FC heading towards the Esses...

#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 00:02

Here's one somebody sent me a long time ago...

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#38 flat-16

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 00:37

Thanks for that, Ray.

It would be true to say that the history for chassis and engine has been interesting - to say the least.



Justin

#39 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 04:39

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#40 Sharman

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 10:13

I think we have really got away from Morris Minors and are in the realms of Superloons, you might as well describe Mick Hills Capri as a production car. If the subject is Minors then it should encompass A type engined modified standard chassis cars. The other things are interesting but do not have any bearing on the question originally posed by Jon Betts.

#41 brucemoxon

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 06:36

There's also at least one still running in Australian Group N Historic sedans.



BM

#42 Michael Henderson

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 05:30

In 1960 and 1961 Nigel Moores (then the Littlewoods heir, but now I believe now the late NM) campaigned his Morris Minor 1000 in several long-distances races on the Continent. His philosophy was simply to have fun and tool around while others broke down, and he did surprisingly well.

I co-drove with him in the 1961 Nurburgring 500-kilometre race. That was one time the car did not finish, as the right front stub axle broke while he was driving. I did the first stint - a genuine Le Mans start, running across the road and all. I was already interested in race car crash protection, so was the only driver to take the time to do up a seat belt, while all the Fiat 500s and similar rushed by in front of me.

The Minor was very standard, and a pain to drive, but to race on that circuit is unforgettable whatever the car! I have a few black and white pix if anyone's interested.

#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 05:33

We're interested, Michael...

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that. What's more, those would be appropriate on the TNF BMC Owners Club thread too.

#44 cosworth bdg

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 05:42

Being a former BMC "nut" myself [1950/60's ] ,i would be interested . Micheal ,thanks Peter N........

#45 JonBetts

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:24

Hi Michael, any luck with posting those images of you racing? Oh and HNY everyone :wave:

#46 Alan Cox

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:33

Originally posted by Michael Henderson

In 1960 and 1961 Nigel Moores (then the Littlewoods heir, but now I believe now the late NM)


Indeed, Michael, Nigel Moores (aka Willie Eckerslyke/Paul Kelly) was killed in a road accident in the south of France in 1977. He was a major influence in historic racing in the early 70s, with a collection of Ferraris, Maseratis and, particularly, D-Type Jaguars.

It would be great to see your photos of the 'Ring.

#47 Alan Cox

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 17:00

Not really "period" shots - unless you classify 1988 as being in "period" - two photos from a 750 Motor Club meeting. First picture is of Robin Moore but, sadly, the driver in the second shot will have to remain nameless, as the programme lists No.106 as being an Austin A35.
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#48 275 GTB-4

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 23:13

Originally posted by brucemoxon
There's also at least one still running in Australian Group N Historic sedans.

BM


In NSW, Aaron and Chris Gabriel run the immaculate BRG Minor....have picture somewhere :confused:

#49 Frank de Jong

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 09:59

Originally posted by Alan Cox


Indeed, Michael, Nigel Moores (aka Willie Eckerslyke/Paul Kelly) was killed in a road accident in the south of France in 1977. He was a major influence in historic racing in the early 70s, with a collection of Ferraris, Maseratis and, particularly, D-Type Jaguars.

It would be great to see your photos of the 'Ring.


Alan, you mean to say that Nigel Moores used two pseudonyms? Could this "Paul Kelly" have driven in the Spa 24h of 1974 in an Escort (and in 66 in a Lotus-Cortina)?

#50 Alan Cox

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 12:12

Yes, Frank. Paul Kelly was his mechanic, and Nigel sometimes raced under his name, as the Moores family (the owners of Littlewoods) didn't approve of him racing. It's more than likely that he was the same "Paul Kelly" who raced at Spa.