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Jumbo Goddard


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#1 Fred.R

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 23:50

Any one have any stories or tales to tell about Jumbo Goddard, i have heard him described as a gentleman eccentric, builder of a Bentley turbo special, used to drive a lotus twin cam powered Mini van in when he was in Sydney a mate of Tom Wheatcroft and Briggs Cunningham,

Cheers
Fred

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#2 Ron B.

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 00:38

My neighbour has just finished restoring a gull wing,bought new By Jumbo Goddard . Originally black,it's now a sort of creme color.
it was also one of the first gullwings to be converted to right hand drive,but part of the current work consisted of changing it back to LHD and repairing a lot of the conversion work done in the early 1950's.
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#3 Lola5000

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 02:51

Originally posted by Fred.R
Any one have any stories or tales to tell about Jumbo Goddard, i have heard him described as a gentleman eccentric, builder of a Bentley turbo special, used to drive a lotus twin cam powered Mini van in when he was in Sydney a mate of Tom Wheatcroft and Briggs Cunningham,

Cheers
Fred

the time he drove the XK/ss with the G/general and got pulled up for speeding and introduced him to the cop "As my friend the Governor General."

#4 Ron B.

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:50

He was also a friend of John Laws ,who wrote a poem about him.... :

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 17:48

Jumbo never wore socks, held his trousers up with a lanyard, had a fetish for fitting his cars with an enormous number of dashboard instruments, made a fortune on the New Guinea gold dredge, had served before the mast on sailing clippers rounding Cape Horn, served as mate on the replica of the 'Mayflower' which he, skipper Alan Villiers (???)and their crew sailed across the Atlantic on the anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers' celebrated emigration - happily self-indulgent wildly enthusiastic and pretty much - during the period I knew him in the 1970s/80s - completely potty. Married the former secretary of Chris Shorrock, the supercharger specialist, very late in life. Had a wonderful house on Sydney Harbour. On one Bugatti Rally in France he found the float had sunk on his Type 51, causing it to run exceedingly badly. At the lunch halt at a very high falutin' chateau hotel he marched into the kitchen with the offending object, and proceeded to boil the fuel out of the float over one of their open grills. The car ran on methanol and hey-presto the methanol detonated with an enormous BANG! And you know how exploding acetylene leaves flakes of ash floating in the air? Well so did the methanol - the hotel's ready-to-be-served (and very expensive) desserts all being covered with Jumbo Bugatti flakes. With the holed carburettor float now ready to have its puncture hole sealed triumphant Jumbo strode out of the devastated kitchen - completely oblivious to the chaos about him with hatless chefs rushing about in all directions screaming 'Sacre blue!', 'Merde!', 'Sapristi!' (whatever Les Bleues say when events go completely pear-shaped...rather like the first half at Twickenham this afternoon :clap: ).

But that was typical Jumbo Goddard.

DCN

#6 Alan Cox

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 17:59

You are quite correct with the name of Alan Villiers, Doug...
http://www.aandc.org...lliers_bio.html

...and the crew list comfirms Jumbo Goddard as one of its (many) members. Not quite sure where "Walking" is in Surrey, however :yawn:
http://www.plimoth.o...oryCrewMFII.php

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 20:17

He summered in England and Australia... IIRC, he wasn't given to wintering anywhere...

He sold his complete collection of cars to Tom Wheatcroft, taking the money while he was alive with possession of the cars not passing over until he died. Had his cake and ate it, in other words.

I believe he also had a steam launch on Sydney Harbour... is that right?

#8 Lola5000

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 20:50

what was his employment?

#9 Alan Cox

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 21:15

I can find that he joined Thorneycrofts in 1927 as an apprentice marine engineer, qualified as an engineer but, as Doug explained, he was lured away to sea and completed an 80-day voyage to Australia on board a 4-masted barque. He returned to Australia after the war to go gold prospecting although, by all accounts, this wasn't particularly successful. He later joined the Consolidated African Selection Trust, which operated diamond mining concessions in Ghana and along the Gold Coast, where he was based for a time.

#10 Paul Hamilton

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 21:24

As I recall Jumbo's house which I visited in around 1968/69 overlooked Pittwater rather than Sydney harbour and he was then planning construction of a steam launch using an engine he had acquired from a Sydney museum. He was pretty offended by the antics of some of the 'stink boats' running around Pittwater and the plan to build the launch was motivated by a strong desire to blow them away. I don't know if it was ever completed. One of his many interests was a clock collection and he could become quite irritated if they did not all chime in unison. When he had it all working right the noise when they all chimed together on the hour was quite something!!

I first met him at a Bathurst hillclimb event in which he was running his D type. We were staying in the same motel and I found him on the morning of the event lying underneath my trailer studying the rear suspension of the Turner I was then driving. He was quite taken with its design similarity to a C type Jag. The only thing protuding from underneath the trailer during the course of this exercise was a pair of feet wearing shoes without socks and I very nearly drove off without seeing him there which would have disturbed his design study somewhat!!

#11 Ron B.

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 22:07

Originally posted by Alan Cox
You are quite correct with the name of Alan Villiers, Doug...
http://www.aandc.org...lliers_bio.html

...and the crew list comfirms Jumbo Goddard as one of its (many) members. Not quite sure where "Walking" is in Surrey, however :yawn:
http://www.plimoth.o...oryCrewMFII.php

Alan perhaps that is' Woking' with an OZ accent?.
I had a friend in the 70's whose father had been a mate on the Pamir,the last working sailing ship, and Villiers was an Aquiantance of theirs. The Aland islanders Collection of sailing ships was described as the worst kept collection of sailing hulks to have ever existed,in polite terms of course.

#12 RobertE

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 22:21

A few years ago a dealer in Lancashire (Willie Loughran?) had a red Gullwing which purported to be ex-Goddard and 'the only factory RHD Gullwing ever produced..." I wondered about it at the time, but seeing that pic., perhaps he was mistaken?

#13 Ron B.

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 22:45

There were 'some' converted here in Australia,and a 300SL roadster ( presently at BEA adelaide) . The conversion is not a good idea because of the tube chassis design (much hacking about required) and the total lack of foot room when pedals are placed in the passenger side footwell. There were never any RHD SL's because the lack of room and the fact the engine lays over in that direction .
The red car,was it a deep red almost marroon?. if so,it wasn't a Goddard car,but owned by the person who owns this one ( he had two as of late last year) . The Creme car was Black,then restored in Victoria many years ago and painted silver then it passed to the present owner who wanted a color change.

#14 Roger Clark

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 23:17

Originally posted by Ray Bell


He sold his complete collection of cars to Tom Wheatcroft, taking the money while he was alive with possession of the cars not passing over until he died. Had his cake and ate it, in other words.

Are you sure? There was an auction of his cars in Australia after his death in 1984.

#15 Mistron

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 23:19

That make sense - I drove the ex Goddard RHD car in approx 2002, and at that time it was Silver.
I was confused that he would have had 2 (but then, anything is possible)

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:23

Originally posted by Roger Clark
Are you sure? There was an auction of his cars in Australia after his death in 1984.


I'm sure the deal took place...

But perhaps it wasn't the complete collection. Tom had some of Jumbo's cars on display at the time of the purchase anyway.

#17 Paul Andrew Clark

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 00:06

I never met John Goddard but know quite a lot about him by association.

To clear a few points up. His family was a very well known family,his father a prominent barrister, and you are quite correct he was with Thornycroft for some time, he was heavily involved with the Torpedo boats, in particular propellor design.

One thing I do know for certain is that he loathed being called Jumbo.

His house ( there were two of them actually) was in Newport and had a fine view looking south and out to sea. You could stand in the motor house, where OKV1 was kept and look through the huge glass doors and one was never sure which was more impressive the cars or the view.

Next door to the main house was the original cottage which houses the library, about 15000 books in all, and where the GP Bugatti was housed.

When he passed away a number of his cars were sold by auction in 1984 by the Sydney Auctioneers "Pickles" The sale included OKV1, the GP Bugatti, the 30/98, a cracking UK Cooper S, the Gullwing, and assorted motorbikes.
The Gullwing was painted silver at that time and had been converted to RHD so the car could be driven on a daily basis in Australia.

For sometime the 3/4 Litre Bentley that he did a city to city run in ( Sydney to Adelaide I think) was still housed down in Newport but was sold in 1998 by Brooks Goodman (now Bonhams). Everyone that I have ever met that knew man always says "someone should write a book" but I fear it will never be done.

Apparentyl he did sell some cars to Tom, and I notice that Tom has now sold the 8 Litre and it failed to sell at a London auction recently- what an extraordinary car that was- extraordinary concept- extraordinarily powerful- driven by an extraordinary man.

They dont make them like John Goddard anymore.

#18 Ron B.

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 00:23

I stand corrected here,but was the 8 liter the first turbocharged car to be driven on the road? if not it was certainly the first twin turboed car. The nEw Zealand "beaded Wheels" magazine published a good article in the 1960's about it,although i cannot remeber any of the details,hence my question.

#19 Elliott

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 18:11

Hi, granted it's been several years since this topic has been active but relating to the steam launch Jumbo dreamed of building I can confirm it was built, and used a few times on Pittwater, but not long after it was shipped to Tom Wheatcroft in England and now it has made its way in to my shed where I am currently restoring it. During the process I have been acquiring literature about John Goddard and I have a copy of the Pickles catalogue from the auction of his collection following his passing.  At this auction there are lots for his D-Type, Gullwing, Bugatti, and 3 Litre Bentley amongst other vehicles.

 

For more information you can see my blog and website.

 

Elliott

 

australianboatrestoration.blogspot.co.uk

www.australian-boat-restoration.co.uk



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#20 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 19:30

Jumbo never voiced any objection whatsoever within my earshot to being addressed in this manner.  Wheatie called him "Joombo" all the time...and at ear-splitting volume, of course.

 

DCN



#21 cooper997

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 00:08

I knew there was a feature on Jumbo in Sports Car World. But for some reason I thought it was about 5 years later than actually published. Here it is from the September 1963 issue.

 

SCW_Goddard_1.jpg
 

SCW_Goddard_2.jpg
 

SCW_Goddard_3.jpg
 

SCW_Goddard_4.jpg
 

SCW_Goddard_5.jpg
 

 

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 13 May 2018 - 07:50.


#22 cooper997

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:11

I've been able to borrow the 8 & 9 October 1984 Jumbo Goddard auction catalogue.

 

Here's the foreword.

jumbo_g_03.jpg

jumbo_g_04.jpg

 

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 13 May 2018 - 07:52.


#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 10:40

Informative and... delightful...

Thanks very much for posting.

#24 Porsche718

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 12:26

I believe he also had a steam launch on Sydney Harbour... is that right?

 

Hi Ray, the steam launch may have been at Sydney Harbour at some stage, but in the early to mid '70's it was moored at Royal Prince Alfred Yatch Club on Pittwater at Newport. And was there after his death. We were involved in getting it going so it could be moved.

 

At the time he had a house on the plateau above Avalon Beach. Actually, he had 2 houses. There was a long, steepish driveway to the first house. It had been gutted and converted to a large garage. When we knew him he had the Gullwing, a Morris Cooper S, the Twin Cam Minivan, a blower Bentley (but that was very often away on display somewere) and what I thought was a D-type at the time, I now realise was probably the XKSS. And others.

 

Anyway, because of the steepness of the driveway, at the top you drove straight onto a turntable, which then rotated the car you were driving into whichever garage bay you needed to park in.

 

The second house was to the left, his residence, it was connected to the "garage" by a covered and enclosed walkway. He knew I raced minis at the time, so let me drive his "S".

 

My father and I sailed in the Saturday races out of Pittwater on his Dragon class yatch. It was an ex-Olympic yatch that had 4 foot extra added to the height of the mast, and to counter that had half-a-ton added to the keel. It was severly over powered. Would constantly break masts in heavy weather, was sluggish in light air, but go like the clappers in a good strong reach.

 

He was a wonderfully man, generous with his time, but didn't suffer fools well.



#25 cooper997

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 00:16

Porsche 718, interesting memory.

 

You were correct to begin with Jumbo's 'XK SS' was actually a D Type he modified, Somewhere around here I have some photos of the car still in 'Jumbo spec' on display at Beaulieu in 1994. Of course in the intervening years since, it has been 're-D Typed'

 

Here's a couple more pages from the auction catalogue.

jumbo_g_05.jpg

jumbo_g_06.jpg

 

Stephen

.


Edited by cooper997, 13 May 2018 - 07:54.


#26 cooper997

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:22

Well I've found one dodgy photo of OKV 1 at Beaulieu in August or September 1994. Being pre-digital, one shot per car was probably it.

jumbo_beaulieu_OKV_1.jpg

 

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 13 May 2018 - 07:55.


#27 terry mcgrath

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:28

just quickly he sold the cars he had in the UK to Wheatcroft

but not all

The XK120 660146 finished up with Ian Cummins here in Australia

The cars Jumbo had here in Australia were sold at the auction referred to and included the D converted 2 sort of XKSS and said to have given idea to Jaguar for there unsold D types.

others cars included the 300SL that had been converted to RHD with a cog and chain under the dash A hot mini van a 30/98, a Bentley another 30/98 chassis noted as bedstead special or similiar that was questioned during the auction the validity of it being sold  at the auction and lot of other nice stuff, clocks, steam powered bits etc.

probably worth pulling out the catalogue and  uploading it.

In later years a lot of books and magazines came up for auction including a full set of Motorsport and about a year back there was another small cache of bits and pieces inc pics of the capt Howey of the Hythe Dymchurch railway in an XK120 which I purchased and I am guessing there will be steam interest connection here.

Back in the early 1960's a book was published on great car collections in the UK that included Jumbo's cars


Edited by terry mcgrath, 22 May 2017 - 01:25.


#28 Dick Willis

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 20:47

I went to that auction, pity we didn't know then what we know now, or had the money at the time but the D Type sold for $220,000. Others of interest were a BMW 328 for $33,000, Bugatti Type 37, 37240, for $83,000, Austin Healey 100S, $29,000, 



#29 Lola5000

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 11:37

A great friend has his W.O Bentley 3.0 litre which is now a 4.5l specs its a great car only 2 owners since Jumbo.



#30 GMACKIE

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 21:22

The 30-98 Vauxhall, shown in post #25, was 'tweaked' by Jumbo, and sported a 'Phil Irving' cylinder head.

 

Jim Weir bought the car over 30 years ago, and it appears regularly on VSCCA runs. It is now in the safe hands of Jim's son, Peter.



#31 ellrosso

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 05:13

I've always liked this shot taken by David Campbell at Silverdale Hillclimb, I'm guessing sometime in 1969, of Jumbo in the Frazer-Nash 1.5. Cracking photograph and a good study in concentration.Goddard-lo_zpsg5lxoxb7.jpg



#32 GMACKIE

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 07:27

That sure is a great photo. Having negotiated 'The Hairpin' [or 'Ambulance Corner'], he is ready for the steepest part of Silverdale...1 in 3 !



#33 cooper997

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Posted 30 October 2021 - 09:17

A few might enjoy this great feature from Bob King

 

https://primotipo.co...rd-by-bob-king/

 

 

Stephen



#34 oliver heal

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 19:00

Very minor quibble about the Bob King article. The Cottin Desgouttes was not found in a derelict building but Jumbo Goddard acquired it from Anthony Heal in 1946. It had been discovered in a barn a couple of years before that.



#35 Steve L

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 21:36

Interesting! Any as-found photos Oliver? A book or article about your Dad's finds would be a wonderful read!

#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 00:23

A Cottin-Desgouttes was a part of another story involving Jumbo...

 

Having found the 1919 Indianapolis Ballot in a barn (or haystack?), Ron Edgerton needed something of an original engine to be able to restore it. He knew that Briggs Cunningham had a damaged engine and lamented to a friend of his in country NSW that Briggs had a reputation for never selling anything.

 

His friend had recently had mail from Jumbo which advised him that Jumbo would be visiting Cunningham. He retrieved the letter and checked the dates... "He's going to be there today!"

 

Then followed a frantic effort to put a phone call through to Cunningham, who personally answered the phone to be asked if Jumbo was there yet. "No... hold on, there's a car pulling up now... yes, it's Jumbo," Ron was told.

 

Jumbo got on the phone and went through the details with Ron, then said to him, "Do you still have two of those Cottin-Desgouttes?" The answer was affirmative.

 

So Jumbo did a deal to swap one of the veteran cars for the damaged Ballot engine.



#37 oliver heal

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Posted 05 November 2021 - 17:38

Interesting! Any as-found photos Oliver? A book or article about your Dad's finds would be a wonderful read!

No photos that I know of when he owned it although there was one published in Motor Sport when it was unearthed. Interesting thought about an article on the contents of the shed during the war. One day when I am bored perhaps.



#38 cooper997

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Posted 06 November 2021 - 06:41

Here's the ex Jumbo Goddard 'Downton' Cooper S on the Hay Plains, NSW in 1985. 

 

Jumbo-Cooper-S-TNF.jpg

 

 

Stephen