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Vern Schuppan


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#1 SJ Lambert

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 10:40

Vern Schuppan had a diverse motor racing career - I gather that he ventured to Europe from South Australia and got an early taste of what Mark Webber may later have described as "Marko Troubles" whilst with BRM. 

 

I was was fortunate enough to have a chat to him in the Watkins Glen paddock in 1985 a year or two after he'd won Le Mans, but I'm quite interested to look back on his Formula 5000 career in Europe and The States in the seventies as well as the Asian Grands Prix he competed in before that, because I'm ashamed to say that I don't know much about his journey prior to him getting into the Sports Cars.



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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 01:13

Yes, he hardly did anything in Australia before he forged his name elsewhere...

A really nice bloke and totally unassuming. Very capable.

#3 JoBo

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 14:50

Vern Schuppan had a diverse motor racing career - I gather that he ventured to Europe from South Australia and got an early taste of what Mark Webber may later have described as "Marko Troubles" whilst with BRM. 

 

I was was fortunate enough to have a chat to him in the Watkins Glen paddock in 1985 a year or two after he'd won Le Mans, but I'm quite interested to look back on his Formula 5000 career in Europe and The States in the seventies as well as the Asian Grands Prix he competed in before that, because I'm ashamed to say that I don't know much about his journey prior to him getting into the Sports Cars.

 

After selling his ex- Steve McQueen in Pebble Beach this year he is also a very wealthy man... :up:

 

JoBo



#4 Gary C

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 16:31

his ex-Steve McQueen...... ..?

#5 alansart

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 16:51

Vern had a busy time in the 70's. Always quick, but safe as he tended not to crash a lot.

 

He had a varied single seater career before moving into sports cars. This is one of his more obscure drives in the Avon Tour of Britain where he honed a "Sweeney" still of driving  :) 

5894586782_bb7a2047cd_o.jpg



#6 alansart

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 16:54

his ex-Steve McQueen...... ..?

I believe it might be this...



#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 17:58

I believe it might be this...


... which he sold for just over $10 million in August. He must have spent a small fortune on it before selling it, though:

http://www.rmauction...?lot_id=1067310

http://carstories.co...-vern-schuppan/

#8 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 06:38

Vern Schuppan had a diverse motor racing career - I gather that he ventured to Europe from South Australia and got an early taste of what Mark Webber may later have described as "Marko Troubles" whilst with BRM. 

 

I was was fortunate enough to have a chat to him in the Watkins Glen paddock in 1985 a year or two after he'd won Le Mans, but I'm quite interested to look back on his Formula 5000 career in Europe and The States in the seventies as well as the Asian Grands Prix he competed in before that, because I'm ashamed to say that I don't know much about his journey prior to him getting into the Sports Cars.

 

I believe he raced Eagle and Lola in Formula 5000 in the States from 1974 to 1976.  You can find results here:

 

http://www.oldracing...f5000/races.php

 

Vince H.



#9 john winfield

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 15:52

I remember him being very quick in UK Formula Atlantic around 1971, driving a Palliser I think.  Had he driven Formula Ford or Formula 3 prior to that?



#10 Nick Savage

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 16:09

Was it not Vern Schuppan who had a workshop in High Wycombe about 15+ years ago, rebuilding Porsche ex-endurance racers into roadworthy super cars ? or am I mistaking him for someone else ?

Nick



#11 JoBo

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 16:42

I believe it might be this...

 

:up:

 

JoBo



#12 JoBo

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 16:44

... which he sold for just over $10 million in August. He must have spent a small fortune on it before selling it, though:

http://www.rmauction...?lot_id=1067310

http://carstories.co...-vern-schuppan/

 

Lets say it like this - he made a "humble" proffit! And thats good!

 

JoBo


Edited by JoBo, 02 December 2014 - 16:44.


#13 RonPohl

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 22:24

I seem to recall that he produced and sold his own take on formula Atlantic bodywork for the March chassis- a sports car nose

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 01:08

He also did a Can-Am body for the Elfin MR8...

An enterprising chap. Imported the odd late-model MGB into Australia for fun and profit.

#15 SJ Lambert

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 05:36

... which he sold for just over $10 million in August. He must have spent a small fortune on it before selling it, though:http://www.rmauction...?lot_id=1067310http://carstories.co...-vern-schuppan/

That Podcast interview is great Tim!

Vern details his journey to Europe fitting out a Ford Thames for camping, getting into Formula Ford at the end of 69.

He says that Tony Macon offered him a car after he went from rear of grid reserve entry start to 3rd place / fastest lap at Lydden Hill.

He was invited to the Brazilian Formula Ford Temporada in January 1970 ( which included Emmo et al).

He got involved with Hugh Dibley & Louis Stanley - his first full season was in a Palliser with a BRM engine and his first big break was in his second year when he led early in the inaugural 1971 Formula Atlantic series (BRM power), winning the championship in the works Palliser.

That was his entree into F1, only to have Lauda effectively buy out his spot from Stanley.


His first race outside England was in a Can Am car at the Nurburgring - replacing John Watson who'd broken his legs - he kept pretty busy in F5000 in the USA & Europe (which he loved) - he actually ran Gulf Mirages for about seven years til 1979 when the team pulled out of Sports Car Racing - and he ran Sports Racers a lot in Japan - missed Le Mans for a couple of years - after running his own M24 McLaren to 3rd at Indy in 1981 behind Unser & Andretti he got a call to replace Rick Mears who been burned in a pit stop fire at Indy - so got into he Porsche 936 & then Rothmans 956 from the outset in 81 & 82.

Edited by SJ Lambert, 07 December 2014 - 05:47.


#16 SJ Lambert

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 05:55

I've got a catalogued list of Vern's racing results achieved in conjunction with Teddy Yip that's quite interesting too - I'll do domething with them at some stage - I may wait until I receive Wolfgang Klopfer's F5000 books to see who else he drove for from time to time on both sides of the Atlantic.

#17 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 22:34

... which he sold for just over $10 million in August. He must have spent a small fortune on it before selling it, though:

http://www.rmauction...?lot_id=1067310

http://carstories.co...-vern-schuppan/

My aversion to wire wheels seems well founded,, Mc Queen drove the car hard and often broke spokes in the wheels!  And fitted solid wheels.



#18 fredeuce

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 23:14

My aversion to wire wheels seems well founded,, Mc Queen drove the car hard and often broke spokes in the wheels!  And fitted solid wheels.

 

It appears the wire wheels served Ferrari well for many a year since all of their Le Mans victories were on wire wheels. McQeen must have given them a real hammering.



#19 SJ Lambert

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:25

Vern getting his Lago Talbot on at the Phillip Island Classic 2017

 

SJL7402_1.jpg



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#20 ensign14

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:48

After selling his ex- Steve McQueen in Pebble Beach this year he is also a very wealthy man... :up:
 
JoBo

 
Schuppan was made bankrupt in 1996.  Owing £2.5m to a Japanese company which had been inveigled into investing into his 962 project.  A judge found Schuppan had been dishonest and fraudulent.
 
By one of those amazing coincidences, just before then, Schuppan had transferred his offshore company - which owned his house, no taxpaying there, obvs - to his wife for an undervalue.  

#21 Marc Sproule

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 16:45

eagle f  5000

 

https://www.flickr.c...57626135973193/



#22 MCS

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 19:10

Not sure why this isn't on the main Nostalgia Forum, but here is my twopenny's worth:

 

Intriguing career.  Totally successful in UK Formula Atlantic in 1971 - possibly thanks to a good engine- and then a somewhat strange year in 1972.  

 

Armed with a new March 722 he did Atlantic again, but couldn't keep pace with Cyd Williams or Bill Gubelmann but appeared in F2 occasionally and took pole and even led the F2 race at Oulton Park in the Autumn.  The field included Peterson, Lauda, Hunt. Schenken, Scheckter, Hill, Purley, Birrell, Watson, Morgan, Williamson, etc., so quite some achievement.  Never sure what happened with the BRM drive although he made his F1 debut at the Gold Cup in a P153, again in 1972.  His subsequent performances in F5000 were odd in that he had good equipment (usually) and was almost always with the front runners but didn't seem to win very much.  In fact he may have only won once - Brands at the end of 1974 in the "spare" VDS B24



#23 Tim Murray

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 09:26

This thread has been moved from Historical Research to the main forum by popular request.

#24 arttidesco

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 11:36

Was it not Vern Schuppan who had a workshop in High Wycombe about 15+ years ago, rebuilding Porsche ex-endurance racers into roadworthy super cars ? or am I mistaking him for someone else ?

Nick

The mind boggling 962CR  :drunk: 

 

DSCN4477sc.jpg

 

Vern at the 2011 Goodwood Revival at the wheel of something a tad more pedestrian  ;)



#25 Doug Nye

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 21:52

Vern also had a very long and respectable sports-car/endurance racing career...and is - in my experience - a very good guy...

 

See:

 

http://www.racingspo...AUS.html?page=2

 

DCN



#26 SJ Lambert

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 22:52

He did alright in the mid seventies in F5000 - Down Under in the 1976 Rothmans International Series he had a round one win in the Lola T332 at Oran Park, lost out to Ken Smith in round 2 at AIR and another second place in round 3 at Sandown where he could have done one better but for running low on fuel

#27 Lola5000

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 08:09

Bathurst 1,000 in the years 1976 and 1977,Both times quicker then the 2 main drivers Moffat and Johnson.He told me once the 76 Moffat Falcon Gt was the best Group C touring car he ever drove ,while the #17 car the following year was ordinary . :up:



#28 Sisyphus

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 19:07

Don't forget Indy Cars/CART in the mid 70's/early 80's.  He had several dozen starts over that time but never did a full season, I think.

 

I remember his Riverside CART race in 1981 where he had a new March that looked like it would give him a decent shot at being competitive but unfortunately, he wound up crashing.



#29 SJ Lambert

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 03:45

Vern on the form up grid behind the wheel of the Talbot at the Mallala ANZAC weekend meeting 2017.

 

SJL7719_1.jpg

 

 

Looks like a bit of pre-selecting going on......

 

 

SJL7728_1.jpg



#30 timbo

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:58

He also did a Can-Am body for the Elfin MR8...

An enterprising chap. Imported the odd late-model MGB into Australia for fun and profit.


It seems there was more than one body for the Elfin MR8 Can-Am car, if these photo's are to go by.

http://www.racingspo.../Elfin/MR8.html

Edited by timbo, 08 May 2017 - 05:59.


#31 E1pix

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 06:14

Lovely photographs, James.

#32 Alan Cox

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 19:10

Formula Atlantic days in the UK - Vern at Oulton Park on the 18th September 1971 with his Palliser WDB4, after finishing second to Ray Allen's Royale
18301243_1890234037915192_12168171748119
Photo copyright Alan Cox

#33 john winfield

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 21:57

What a great photo Alan!

 

I had forgotten about the Palliser's full-width nose. Was that a mid-season development? Or perhaps I'm picturing Vern in an earlier model. And the BRM engine involvement was interesting too.



#34 ellrosso

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 07:18

Here's a few of Vern in different cars. I think 1976 in the Lola was his most successful Tasman (Rothmans) series but I didn't make it to any rounds that year. I did see him in 1977 and 1979 but I don't think the MR8's

were at the same level as the Lolas. Very smooth and polished driver though - great career. Seemed like a decent bloke too.10267_N_Schupp_84-lo_zps4zcg6zdv.jpg6858_N_Johns_78-lo_zps3a5gr11z.jpg5848_N_Shup_76-lo_zps7b3oxecz.jpg1903-R-Schup-77-lo_zpstybplmcu.jpg1229-L-Shup-77-lo.jpg2113-R-Shup-77-lo.jpg



#35 SJ Lambert

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 11:05

Out of the Talbot and back into the MR8!

 

SJL8149_1.jpg



#36 SJ Lambert

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 11:07

SJL8110_1.jpg



#37 SJ Lambert

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 11:10

SJL8144_1.jpg



#38 Paul Newby

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 12:50

I had the pleasure of interviewing Vern for an Australian Muscle Car magazine profile back in 2013. We met at the Phillip Island Classic on the Friday afternoon. His Aston Martin DB2 had expired so he was running around in friend Peter Harburg's Jaguar D Type.

Whilst the emphasis of the article was on "Muscle Cars" - touring cars, F5000 and Can Am, I wanted to cover his entire career. The tape went for well over 2 hours as Vern covered his career in detail, the words punctuated by the sound of race cars, in particular the shrieking Matra M670s in the background. Vern's phone started to ring as friends didn't know where he was! He even knocked back a late regularity drive in the D Type to finish my interview. I also did a short follow up interview by phone to clarify a few things, talked about sports cars that he had forgotten that he had even raced and even road cars like his old BSA, MGA Twin Cam and the ex-Steve McQueen Ferrari 275 GTB/4 that he was having restored by the Ferrari factory.

After I transcribed my interview I had almost 6,000 words that I had to cut down to what became a 3,800 word article. Nothing was off the record though I was circumspect with respect to the Schuppan 962CR debacle and the Indy Light team that he formed with Stefan Johansson.

I've interviewed a lot of former drivers, but Vern was one of only two who actually thanked me (and my editor) by email once the interview was published. A real class act and a lovely bloke too. Vern sent me a lot of photos from his personal archive of which we only used a couple for the feature. He asked that I didn't share these with anyone (I haven't) as he said that he might get around to writing his memoir one day. Hopefully he does - his daughter Paige, who is a writer, would be the ideal candidate. It would be a great read...

#39 charles r

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 16:19

Formula Atlantic days in the UK - Vern at Oulton Park on the 18th September 1971 with his Palliser WDB4, after finishing second to Ray Allen's Royale
18301243_1890234037915192_12168171748119
Photo copyright Alan Cox

Wasn't the Palliser sponsored by Astro Ball Clackers at some point? Happy days!



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#40 E1pix

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 18:15

Trying to conjure what a "ball clacker" is.

Or maybe I don't need to know, for the nightmares and all...

#41 cooper997

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 04:10

The AMC with Paul's feature on Vern is issue #70. I'm just not sure how Chevron Publishing and Paul would take to scans being added here.

 

Copies might be still available via http://www.chevron.com.au/ or ebay.

 

Stephen



#42 Alan Cox

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 08:31

Wasn't the Palliser sponsored by Astro Ball Clackers at some point? Happy days!

Just known, in the UK at least, as "Klackers" - See the stickers on each side of the nosecone
E1pix, here is a description:
http://nostalgiacent...rsklick-klacks/

#43 charles r

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 14:41

Trying to conjure what a "ball clacker" is.

Or maybe I don't need to know, for the nightmares and all...

Given our past history with a certain lady from the Paddock Club Eric, your concern is understandable... :wave:



#44 B Squared

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 15:17

Vern Schuppan's nice third at Indy in 1981 in the Theodore McLaren M24 Cosworth was a bit overshadowed by the controversy between Bobby Unser and Mario.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway photo
vern%20schuppan%201981-CAR-33_zpslwsdamm

Edited by B Squared, 10 May 2017 - 16:17.


#45 SJ Lambert

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 11:40

Found & scanned the slide of me collaring him in the pits at Watkins Glen!

06-D61-B01-D91-E-4477-A1-CA-59-EA025-C9-

#46 E1pix

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 14:16

Never knew Vern to roll up his sleeves like that... ;-)

Happy New Year's back, Jimbo!

#47 Giraffe

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 14:01

Cmn7D3.jpg[/IMG]

 

With Vern at Goodwood a few years back.....



#48 68targa

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 15:22

I remember getting Vern's autograph at Goodwood one year-. He was so careful and patient in writing it out that not only was it legible (which cannot be said about many others) but he gave the impression that he was proud to do so after I requested it.  Made my day - a true gent.



#49 ellrosso

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 06:09

Noticed those nice people at Photobucket took away the pics I posted previously so I'll re-post them now.......1903-R-Schup-77-TNF.jpg5848-N-Shup-76-TNF.jpg6858-N-Johns-78-TNF.jpg10494-F-Grid-77-TNF.jpg10267-N-Schupp-84-TNF.jpg



#50 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 11:10

Good of you to do that Lindsay...

 

It makes a big difference.