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Rupert Keegan


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#1 rdmotorsport

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 10:58



If you were ever to make a low budget movie in the seventies and eighties (and they were a couple of high budget ones that were dire) and you wanted to cast the archetypal and quintissential British driver Rupert would have been the perfect choice dashing blonde good looks,playboy image and complete with faded scar under left eye which seemed to add to his image,mindst you stories of him been pulled from the burning wreck of his racing car whilst leading the pack only to lose a wheel at the final corner etc.etc.,I believe was from a ill fated game of fencing al la 3 muskateers whilst at prep school!

Rupert was a very quick young driver with at times a great desire to win (ask Bruno Giaccomelli) but at times just appeared to lose this desire and what should have been the next james Hunt faded away.

I appreciate his Grand Prix drives were hampered by less than perfect cars but others at the time in similar machinery came good e.g. Allan Jones.

Moving into Group C again he was very quick driving both Porsche 956 and 962 but again after a auspicious start in this mode of racing boredom seem to strike and then changed direction and tried Indycars.

I feel around this period (1970 to mid 1980) Brit drivers were at a high quality but never progressed to great heights (Evans,Crawford to name a couple more) but I feel the one who had the most talent and should have become a top GP driver was Rupert.

I last saw Rupert in London probably 1n 1994 he was running his own team in some junior formulae whilst I was involved in F3000 his driver I believe was from Iran and complained how poor and undrivable the car presented to him by Ruperts team whilst testing at Snetterton, to which with a borrowed helmet Rupert jumped in the car and within 3 laps was over 3 secs quicker than the now embarrased and moody Iranian.

Not sure what Rupert is doing these days perhaps someone can advise me?

Rodney Dodson.

Edited by rdmotorsport, 03 August 2009 - 11:04.


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#2 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 11:14

He was at Goodwood Revival a couple of years back racing a Cooper I think and maybe an Alfa in the saloon car event, looking much the same. He was also involved with the early Lister Storm GT effort , driving at Le Mans in 95(?)and then had some tie in with the Newcastle Utd sponsorship in some way.
I agree with you, he had all the ability but the late-70s, early-80's were a bad time to be a British driver in search of sponsorship to make it in F1. I think he also rose rather too quickly through the lower ranks on the back of his dad's BAF funding and arrived in Grands Prix before he was ready, much as Massa did with Sauber not so many years ago. The talent was still too raw. A couple more years more experience and some added maturity(plus a Ferrari) worked wonders for Massa but Rupert didn't have that second chance with a decent car.


#3 f1steveuk

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 11:23

Twinny!!!!!

#4 ghinzani

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 11:59




I last saw Rupert in London probably 1n 1994 he was running his own team in some junior formulae whilst I was involved in F3000 his driver I believe was from Iran and complained how poor and undrivable the car presented to him by Ruperts team whilst testing at Snetterton, to which with a borrowed helmet Rupert jumped in the car and within 3 laps was over 3 secs quicker than the now embarrased and moody Iranian.

Not sure what Rupert is doing these days perhaps someone can advise me?


Oh God! Reza Rashidin I think he was called, complete no-hoper. I think Rupert had three cars, and a great big flashy (and empty) unit up near Silverstone. To be fair to Reza though the cars were absolute shite, only one that was worse was John Brannigans smokey old mutts (I've seen the Silverstone Hares out accelerate them..). If Rupert was three seconds a lap quicker then he would still have been three seconds a lap off the front runners because engineering wise they didnt have a clue, they didnt even know how to cheat properly!

As to your final question, I would imagine the short answer would be "time"... He was'nt that well known for niceities like bill paying as I recall. I remember Hennys boys had to resort to some unorthodox debt collecting methods at one point.


#5 fbarrett

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 15:07

Friends:

About four years ago I attended a Mercedes-Benz AMG press introduction at Virginia International Raceway, a beautiful and challenging road course. One of the hired instructors was RK. Few present knew of his racing career, but he seemed glad that I remembered at least some of it. Anyway, he may be living in the U.S.

Frank

Edited by fbarrett, 03 August 2009 - 15:08.


#6 SEdward

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 16:03

I always thought that Keegan was totally outclassed by Giacomelli and the only strategy he had to win the F3 championship in 1976 was to punt Bruno into the armco at the first corner of the last round at Thruxton.

Edward

#7 Giraffe

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 19:40

Posted Image
By giraffe138, shot with Canon EOS 10D at 2009-08-03

Rupert Keegan appeared at the 2007 FOS at Goodwood in a Ford P69/F3L, but I know not why. His dad, (Mike, I think) ran British Air Ferries out of Southend Airport, when I was based down the road at Rochford. I sense that if Rupert had not been such a playboy in his formative years, he might just have got somewhere.

#8 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 19:57

In 1982 there was a T.V. series called Airline. It starred Roy Marsden as Jack Ruskin an ex R.A.F. bomber pilot starting his own business after WW2 with a Dakota DC3. At the time it was said that the storyline was based on the early exploits of Mike Keegan!


#9 rdmotorsport

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 20:11

I always thought that Keegan was totally outclassed by Giacomelli and the only strategy he had to win the F3 championship in 1976 was to punt Bruno into the armco at the first corner of the last round at Thruxton.

Edward


Bruno was quick I agree and with respect a better prepared car but if it went down to the wire as it did, surely Rupert could not have been outclassed because the points tally were so close.



#10 vashlin

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 20:25

Thought this would be a good place to post one of Gary's favorite photos.

Rupert and Ian Scheckter in the pits at Watkins Glen in 1977. They look like a couple of school boys up to something. And the two guys in the background...


I don't think I would have recognized him as he looks today!

Posted Image


Lin

#11 rdmotorsport

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 20:45

Thought this would be a good place to post one of Gary's favorite photos.

Rupert and Ian Scheckter in the pits at Watkins Glen in 1977. They look like a couple of school boys up to something. And the two guys in the background...


I don't think I would have recognized him as he looks today!

Posted Image


Lin

I remember this they had just wrecked two Hertz rentacars , in fact Ian had left his with three wheels missing and Ruperts car did not fair much better,their excuse was "we were playing"!, a similar incident happened later with Gilles Villeneuve, again they were playing!



#12 rdmotorsport

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 20:53

Oh God! Reza Rashidin I think he was called, complete no-hoper. I think Rupert had three cars, and a great big flashy (and empty) unit up near Silverstone. To be fair to Reza though the cars were absolute shite, only one that was worse was John Brannigans smokey old mutts (I've seen the Silverstone Hares out accelerate them..). If Rupert was three seconds a lap quicker then he would still have been three seconds a lap off the front runners because engineering wise they didnt have a clue, they didnt even know how to cheat properly!

As to your final question, I would imagine the short answer would be "time"... He was'nt that well known for niceities like bill paying as I recall. I remember Hennys boys had to resort to some unorthodox debt collecting methods at one point.


Yes,this car was slow at the mentioned Snetterton test,did not realise Rupert had 3 cars and not sure what formulae they were in,perhaps you can advise?

Also who are the Hennys boys?

You mention John Brannigan I assume the genial "wheeler dealer" chap from Blackpool area who always tried to emulate Bobby Howlings,never knew he entered cars though.

#13 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 21:20

Oh God! Reza Rashidin I think he was called, complete no-hoper.

But nowadays known for his taste for historic extreme cars.

#14 vashlin

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 21:26

Thanks rd! Now,at last, we know what they were probably discussing in this pic.
:lol:


Lin


#15 rdmotorsport

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 22:26

Thanks rd! Now,at last, we know what they were probably discussing in this pic.
:lol:


Lin


Rupert was no angel but both the Scheckters were manic at times,must tell you a story of a drivers meeting,Ian Flux .Ian Scheckter and tear gas sometime.

#16 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 07:10

But nowadays known for his taste for historic extreme cars.


yes but who was Reza and what was his racing background (assuming he had one)?

Edited by rdmotorsport, 04 August 2009 - 07:11.


#17 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 07:19

yes but who was Reza and what was his racing background (assuming he had one)?

He did the Nations Cup for Iran in 1991. At least he was in Zandvoort.


#18 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:07

He did the Nations Cup for Iran in 1991. At least he was in Zandvoort.



Thanks for that,please educate me at Zandvoort (still one of the better racing venues ) for what?

#19 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:17

As Arjan said, he was there for the 1991 EFDA Nations Cup:

http://en.wikipedia....FDA_Nations_Cup

The Asian team of Basakinci and Rashidian finished 18th and last.

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#20 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:20

Thanks for that,please educate me at Zandvoort (still one of the better racing venues ) for what?

You know, the EFDA organized a Nations Cup where Formula Opel/Vauxhall Lotus cars painted in national colors would compete with two (promising) drivers of that country. Rewards to be Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Somewhat inspired the organisers of the A1 GP series. Wasn't Reza part of the Asian team?

#21 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:30

Thank you Tim! Didn't know there was a Wikipedia page on this series. OT but Holland had Martin Koene, a great kart racer.

#22 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:38

Sorry to have just pipped you to the post, Arjan. Going even more OT, I looked at the results for some of the other years of the Nations Cup, and found that in 1990 the French team included that well-known Frenchman Gil de Ferran.
:confused:

#23 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:46

Wasn't he born in France?

Edited by Arjan de Roos, 04 August 2009 - 09:46.


#24 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:50

Wasn't he born in France?





France?, that is news to me.

By the way who did get Gold,Silver and bronze?

#25 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:54

Check the link: in 1991 gold for Portugal (Lamy!!), silver for Germany and bronze for Sweden. Portugal was ultra succesful in this series, winning three times.

#26 ghinzani

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:55

Yes,this car was slow at the mentioned Snetterton test,did not realise Rupert had 3 cars and not sure what formulae they were in,perhaps you can advise?

Also who are the Hennys boys?

You mention John Brannigan I assume the genial "wheeler dealer" chap from Blackpool area who always tried to emulate Bobby Howlings,never knew he entered cars though.



I dont think he ever filled all 3 cars at once but a few transients were in them briefly. This was Formula Vauxhall/Opel Lotus, I think the year would have been 91. Henny Vollenbergs V.I.T. team supplied the special planks that the cars were built out of. I cant really speak about Brannigan without risking libel actions as he was very familiar with the legal system, if you know what I mean. That said is he still going? I know he went to Florida and was trying to run an 87c at Indy about 5 or 6 years after its time. Florida being a bit more dangerous than Alderly Edge I would imagine the bigger fish's he ran into wouldnt have been so gentile as his british business associates.

#27 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:55

Wasn't he born in France?

Well, well. So he was - born in Paris to Brazilian parents. That must be the explanation - thanks, Arjan.

Rodney, as Arjan says, if you click on the Wiki link I posted earlier, you can see the full results.

Edited by Tim Murray, 04 August 2009 - 09:58.


#28 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:34

I dont think he ever filled all 3 cars at once but a few transients were in them briefly. This was Formula Vauxhall/Opel Lotus, I think the year would have been 91. Henny Vollenbergs V.I.T. team supplied the special planks that the cars were built out of. I cant really speak about Brannigan without risking libel actions as he was very familiar with the legal system, if you know what I mean. That said is he still going? I know he went to Florida and was trying to run an 87c at Indy about 5 or 6 years after its time. Florida being a bit more dangerous than Alderly Edge I would imagine the bigger fish's he ran into wouldnt have been so gentile as his british business associates.


The thought of running a march 87c at Indy 5 or 6 years ago the car must have been a little old and with lots of miles on the clock and a daunting task,obviously i assume he must have had some form of a team around him.

This is assuming we are talking about the same John Brannighan who years gone by I purchased a March 793 from (ex Phil Bennett) from his drive near Blackpool?

Well,the mind boggles !

Edited by rdmotorsport, 04 August 2009 - 10:35.


#29 Maldwyn

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:45

Not sure what Rupert is doing these days perhaps someone can advise me?

This doesn't help much but I think he may have been at the GP Masters test at Silverstone in October 2005...at least it looked like him. No idea if he was thinking of taking part, or just catching up with old friends.

#30 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:06

This doesn't help much but I think he may have been at the GP Masters test at Silverstone in October 2005...at least it looked like him. No idea if he was thinking of taking part, or just catching up with old friends.



last I heard he was living in North London but that is all I know could be the Foreign Legion by now!

Edited by rdmotorsport, 04 August 2009 - 11:08.


#31 h4887

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:31

I'm sure I saw Rupert handing out the awards at a Top Hat race meeting a couple of years ago.

#32 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:41

I'm sure I saw Rupert handing out the awards at a Top Hat race meeting a couple of years ago.



He was down to drive a kart at Stade de France in the masters a couple of years ago also,not sure if he arrived though.


#33 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 12:00

All this rather leads one to conclude Rupert was the kind of' larger than life character' that we were always told had ceased to be a part of F1 by the 1980s!
It seems the spirit of Hawthorn, Hamilton & Ireland was still at large even fairly recently, but perhaps the resulting escapades were not so readily recounted in sponsor-conscious pc-obsessed times?


#34 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 12:14

All this rather leads one to conclude Rupert was the kind of' larger than life character' that we were always told had ceased to be a part of F1 by the 1980s!
It seems the spirit of Hawthorn, Hamilton & Ireland was still at large even fairly recently, but perhaps the resulting escapades were not so readily recounted in sponsor-conscious pc-obsessed times?




how very true

#35 Pedro 917

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 12:56

Following Facebook, he's doing OK and working on a couple of projects :)

#36 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 15:41

I dont think he ever filled all 3 cars at once but a few transients were in them briefly. This was Formula Vauxhall/Opel Lotus, I think the year would have been 91. Henny Vollenbergs V.I.T. team supplied the special planks that the cars were built out of. I cant really speak about Brannigan without risking libel actions as he was very familiar with the legal system, if you know what I mean. That said is he still going? I know he went to Florida and was trying to run an 87c at Indy about 5 or 6 years after its time. Florida being a bit more dangerous than Alderly Edge I would imagine the bigger fish's he ran into wouldnt have been so gentile as his british business associates.


come on you have really intrigued me now over mr Brannigan,was he or not the blackpool wheeler dealer?


#37 ghinzani

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 16:26

come on you have really intrigued me now over mr Brannigan,was he or not the blackpool wheeler dealer?

sorry been elsewhere. Yeah only one Northern alleged March parts and cars dealer who usually sold old scrap on as racing cars. I hope your March was the exception? In FVL I think he may have had a mechanic and a yts boy, but as I recall said mechanic soon left due to working conditions being unfavourable.

#38 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 18:03

sorry been elsewhere. Yeah only one Northern alleged March parts and cars dealer who usually sold old scrap on as racing cars. I hope your March was the exception? In FVL I think he may have had a mechanic and a yts boy, but as I recall said mechanic soon left due to working conditions being unfavourable.



the 793 was not too bad the engine was pretty knackered,apparantly Phil Bennettt ran it around Oulton unbeknown the water pump belt had parted company with the pump gear so the top end was pretty cooked but this was rebult bt Jon Penistan at Pedrazini and it peddled for a while around Europe with Philip Daniels and at least one british round it was then converted to Atlantic spec by James Robinson and went off to the far East and we by then and changed to running RT3 s

I must say he was ok to deal with as I said quite genial but at times appeared to lack a little knowledge of the industry or perhaps that was just me being a little cynical?

Curious about him running Indycars though

I remember someone met him on a cruise liner to which he was one of the ships music bands guitarist

thanks for the info any more would be appreciated to a nosey sod like me




#39 David Beard

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 19:26

From the Revival a year or two ago...

Posted Image

He is active on Facebook, says he lives in London. E Mail address given.

Edited by David Beard, 04 August 2009 - 19:28.


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#40 Brynmor

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 20:05

I'm fairly sure there's an interview/ piece about him in Loaded magazine this month (i haven't seen it so could be one of the other mens mags). Someone in work mentioned a piece about the 'Racing worlds George Best'.... :drunk:

#41 rdmotorsport

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 20:12

I'm fairly sure there's an interview/ piece about him in Loaded magazine this month (i haven't seen it so could be one of the other mens mags). Someone in work mentioned a piece about the 'Racing worlds George Best'.... :drunk:




apart from one came from humble beginnings in belfast and became a world class footballer albeit a short career in the top flight then drunk himelf into obscurity and became a somewhat embarrasement the other was from a middle class background ,well educated and as far as i know is not an alcoholic,in fact we went for dinner one evening and all he drank was fizzy water.


#42 Auroraf1

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 06:12

From the Revival a year or two ago...

Posted Image

He is active on Facebook, says he lives in London. E Mail address given.


He must live in London, otherwise why would Boris Johnson be mechanic for him?

#43 Giraffe

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:08

He must live in London, otherwise why would Boris Johnson be mechanic for him?

Blimey! And there was me thinking it was Frank Lyons! :blush:


#44 Ronnie792

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 11:17

Blimey! And there was me thinking it was Frank Lyons! :blush:


'Boris' is obviously explaining the Goodwood FOS congestion charge...

#45 rdmotorsport

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 19:34

'Boris' is obviously explaining the Goodwood FOS congestion charge...




Boris...Explaining....????????????????????????????????????????????? no cannot buy that!

#46 rdmotorsport

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:22

sorry been elsewhere. Yeah only one Northern alleged March parts and cars dealer who usually sold old scrap on as racing cars. I hope your March was the exception? In FVL I think he may have had a mechanic and a yts boy, but as I recall said mechanic soon left due to working conditions being unfavourable.




apart from myself buying a 793 which engine apart not too bad,I still cannot imagine running an Indy team please tell more,also as you appear to be in the know of this era and northern motor sports ever come accross a magazine in paper form (akin th the motoring news) entitled "Road Sport North"?


#47 alansart

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:30

ever come accross a magazine in paper form (akin th the motoring news) entitled "Road Sport North"?


I have issue 23 from Feb 1986 (as it features my car). The paper was put together by David Orrick but didn't last that long. Pity, as I thought it was a reasonably good publication.

Edited by alansart, 07 August 2009 - 09:30.


#48 rdmotorsport

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 13:13

I have issue 23 from Feb 1986 (as it features my car). The paper was put together by David Orrick but didn't last that long. Pity, as I thought it was a reasonably good publication.


Thanks for that I wonder if there is still library copies at the printers or whatever,it must have lasted for over 2 years considering it covered my cars 1n 1984 F3 and F2,would not mind a peek of your copy,any good with a scanner and also what car of yours did it feature?

Edited by rdmotorsport, 07 August 2009 - 13:14.


#49 PMac

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 13:31

Thanks for that I wonder if there is still library copies at the printers or whatever,it must have lasted for over 2 years considering it covered my cars 1n 1984 F3 and F2,would not mind a peek of your copy,any good with a scanner and also what car of yours did it feature?

Always worth a visit to the British Library in London. They should keep a a copy of every publication ever published.

#50 alansart

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 13:55

Thanks for that I wonder if there is still library copies at the printers or whatever,it must have lasted for over 2 years considering it covered my cars 1n 1984 F3 and F2,would not mind a peek of your copy,any good with a scanner and also what car of yours did it feature?


This is the cover. We took the car to Manchester Airport for photos. It would be hard to do that now!

Posted Image

The contact details are here - but it was over 23 years ago :eek:

Posted Image