Peter Sadler RIP
Posted 10 January 2010 - 14:28
Posted 14 January 2010 - 16:47
Its very sad to be writing this on the passing of my old friend and co-driver Peter Sadler. In December 1968 Paul Watson from Motor Racing Consultants rang - would I be free to drive with Peter, in his Ford GT40, at the 1969 BOAC, Monza & Spa 1000ks and then Le Mans ? Just arrive and drive - it still sounds too good to be true ! But this is just how it turned out.
Peter was from one of the big pottery families, but nevertheless on a pretty tight budget. He bought the wreck of the Essex Wire 1010, scrounged a new tub from JW Engineering, and proceeded to build the most immaculate GT40, mainly with his own hands.
The car was beautifully prepared, and an absolute joy to drive, especially at the old Spa and Le Mans circuits, which were not then blighted with endless chicanes. Our best race was at Spa, when we beat the German GT40 of Kelleners & Joest, which ran on a budget about ten times as big as Peter's, after a race-long fight. We then drove together in a Porsche 911 at Mugello & won the GT class at the wonderful Vila Real 500kms in Portugal.
Peter was the most enthusiastic and straightforward person you could want to meet, always excited about his latest projects. After retiring from motor racing his enthusiasm turned to assembling light aircraft and helicopters. This led to some pretty hairy moments, but his meticulous preparation and cool headedness saved him more than once. Latterly he founded Supermarine Aero Engineering, making formerly unobtainable spares for Spitfires and other period aircraft.
He was justifiably proud that his company helped keep so many aircraft flying, particularily those in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
RIP Pete, you gave us all so much and asked for so little. PEV.
Posted 14 January 2010 - 17:11
Posted 14 January 2010 - 22:01
How sad, I for one loved watching Peter drive his fabulous car in the B.O.A.C and if I remember correctly, they finished pretty well up the field, it seems like only yesterday.......................
That was indeed a great car in period, and this team were by some margin the most accessible and entertaining in the endurance race paddocks of the time... Does anyone here perhaps have personal pix of the assorted private GT40s of 1969?
Edited by Doug Nye, 16 January 2010 - 12:56.
Posted 16 January 2010 - 12:58
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