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Enna 1964, Jim Clark and ‘Richie Ginther’s sister’


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#1 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 17:10

Facebook has led me to a fascinating series of photos taken by Vittorio Giordano at the Gran Premio del Mediterraneo at Enna in August 1964. They can be found on this page:

http://forum-auto.ca...gK1Cpd9mdwkZtN4

but you have to scroll a long way down the page to find them. They mainly feature Jim Clark, but there are some others of Mike Spence, Jo Siffert, Innes Ireland etc. Here are a few to whet your appetite:

8-E6-E3-A57-9-FFF-4-B1-D-93-EB-C6690-DC1

5-E5-E6753-1-D87-4922-800-D-EEC75-A9-B19

E0384-FC7-677-A-44-F7-8054-49-AA6782-B37

2-B9-D0339-6-DEC-4-A2-A-8099-74-ECE970-E

1-A58-A8-F3-C2-BD-4-D20-86-B7-442-D82131

A10443-E3-4-A39-4-E71-801-C-E971-D8052-F

I’m curious about these next few showing Clark preparing for the race, being assisted by a woman described as Richie Ginther’s sister:

F54-D20-A8-25-B2-4787-883-D-68-C3-E9-DC9

B801-ED8-B-0-B21-43-D8-9369-9570873-ED4-

47-F954-B8-414-B-4-EA5-8620-6-F0-A8-C902

Is this really Ginther’s sister? Richie himself wasn’t racing at Enna.

All photos copyright Vittorio Giordano, from the Enzo Manzo archive.

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#2 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 18:56

Bonnie would've been about 36 when these photos were taken, the girl looks younger than that to me. The only Ginther I ever found involved in racing was Richie himself.
That said I've not seen a picture of Bonnie as a grown up woman so although my first response is a very dubious hmmmmm, I can't confirm the dubious hmmmmmm

#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 19:17

Thanks Richard - my feelings precisely. IMHO she does resemble Richie a bit, facially, so perhaps someone somewhere has jumped to the wrong conclusion.

#4 404KF2

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 20:30

Wedding ring....



#5 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 23:06

Okay, I have searched and searched and can't find anything referring to Bonnie Mae Berger, Bonnie Mae Thomas or Bonnie Mae Ginther to do with racing. She was married twice. I see the similarities to Richie but on the absence of seeing a picture of Bonnie, I think they've put 2 and 2 together to make 5.



#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 23:38

It looks like they had a problem with loose stones that year...

 

The facial protection and the wire screen over the injectors seem to indicate that.



#7 D28

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 00:14

Just realized this is the race where Jo Siffert defeated the reigning WC by 1/10 of a second, pretty rare for a privateer. And he repeated the trick in 1965. even more difficult given Jimmy's results that year. Whoever she may be she didn't bring much luck Jimmy's way.

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 04:03

There are questions posed on there at the moment with no answer...

 

I think the BRM engine was better than the Climax for Enna. But that doesn't affect Jim's relationship with various women very much.



#9 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 04:03

Okay, I have searched and searched and can't find anything referring to Bonnie Mae Berger, Bonnie Mae Thomas or Bonnie Mae Ginther to do with racing.


Richard, thanks for checking so thoroughly on what does seem to be a wild goose chase. It doesn’t make sense that a woman with apparently little interest in racing should suddenly turn up in the wilds of Sicily, with her brother elsewhere, and start putting plasters on Jim Clark. I wonder who she really was.

#10 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 04:07

I think the BRM engine was better than the Climax for Enna.


Agreed. My understanding is that the BRM had more top-end grunt than the Climax, and was thus better suited for Enna’s high-speed slipstreaming blind.

#11 barrykm

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 04:41

Interesting, and nice to see some new-to-me pics of Jimmy.



#12 Glengavel

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 07:19

As an aside, I've seen photos of Clark with the Elastoplast over his nose before, along with comments from someone convinced that it was because he'd had a nose job!



#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 08:06

It could have been to prevent chafing by the goggles...

 

I have also seen other photos of him with this kind of thing on.



#14 Stephen W

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:44

Most Italian tracks were not efficiently swept leaving lots of small chippings to be thrown up. Most of the photos I have seen of Clark with the "Elastoplast tape" on his face have been in Italy or on road courses.



#15 Bloggsworth

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:46

Is that not Jim Endruweit leaning against the wall in the second photo down.



#16 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 10:38

He’s also in the first photo, pulling a face.

#17 68targa

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 10:49

Richard, thanks for checking so thoroughly on what does seem to be a wild goose chase. It doesn’t make sense that a woman with apparently little interest in racing should suddenly turn up in the wilds of Sicily, with her brother elsewhere, and start putting plasters on Jim Clark. I wonder who she really was.

I think the lady could be Sally Stokes, longtime girlfriend of Jim Clark. There is some resemblance.



#18 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 12:26

I did think of Sally, but I don’t reckon it’s her, going mainly on the nose shape:

4-CEFAFAC-3-EC5-4-ADB-9424-58-D70-FD8574

A8-A91-E27-6460-458-C-9-E77-D7477445-F52

#19 Myhinpaa

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 12:40

In this period newspaper article she is referred to as Richie Ginther's sister, the whole article seems dedicated to her tending to Jim Clark.

 

"LA "VESTIZIONE" DI JIM CLARK" : https://www.flickr.c...57619682277620/

 

From this album : https://www.flickr.c...ith/3622027182/



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#20 john winfield

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 13:19

He’s also in the first photo, pulling a face.

 

Tim, do you recognise the woman standing alongside Jim E in that photo? I don't, but is it possible that she, and 'Richie Ginther's sister' are wives or girlfriends of team personnel out on a Sicilian break for a few days in August?

 

Alternatively, there could be a genuine Richie Ginther link, even if the woman with Jim Clark is not Bonnie. Richie was out in Sicily a week earlier, racing for MRP in the Enna F2 event. He, and/or his friend, could easily have stayed on a few days to meet up with the F1 crowd.


Edited by john winfield, 05 February 2020 - 13:19.


#21 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 13:20

Good points, John. Revson, Hawkins, Gardner and Spence competed in both races, so they’d almost certainly have stayed over.

#22 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 13:24

It's interesting they don't refer to the sister by her name just that she is RG's sister.

#23 john winfield

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 13:46

I've just read that Mike Spence and Tony Maggs were married to sisters, Lynn and Gail Condon. Tony was Richie's MRP team mate in the Enna F2 race and, as you say Tim, Mike participated in both the F1 and F2 events that August. Mike being Jim Clark's team mate at Lotus, presumably Lynn would know Jim well - could the mystery woman be Lynn Spence? Or sister Gail Maggs?  ...Lynn would at that time be 'Richie Ginther's team-mate's wife's sister'!


Edited by john winfield, 05 February 2020 - 13:50.


#24 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 13:58

The mystery woman certainly appears to be wearing a wedding ring.

#25 68targa

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 14:51

Is that Mike Spence standing just behind Clark in the pics 7 & 8 - it certainly looks to be another driver?



#26 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 15:25

I think you’re on to something. I reckon he definitely has a look of Mike Spence about him, and it would make sense for the two Lotus team-mates to be getting ready for the race in the same place in the paddock. Where can we find a photo of Lynn Spence?

Edit: Here’s a photo of three women, but unfortunately only two of them are named - Jean Parnell and Lynn Spence. My guess would be Jean in the middle and Lynn with the dark hair on the right of the photo, as the fair-haired woman on the left of the photo isn’t wearing a wedding ring. Could this dark-haired woman be the mystery woman at Enna?

https://www.gettyima...photo/925295354

#27 68targa

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 18:09

I saw this photo and cursed the caption writer!   Two of them have lap boards so are they the two keeping score ?  Alternatively the caption writer might mean the two in the front!

This is four years on since Enna 64 so Lynn Spence could have changed her hair style but I think you are correct.  Maybe we need to find a photo of Jean Parnell as well.

 

On a different tack, in the first photo there is a mechanic standing behind the Climax V8.  Is this Bob Dance ?



#28 Myhinpaa

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 18:23

The mystery woman certainly appears to be wearing a wedding ring.

 

Mike & Lynne married in early '66.



#29 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 19:36

Here’s a photo detail of Tim Parnell and his wife Virginia (not Jean) taken during the 1966 Tasman Series and found in Graham Gauld’s bio of Tim’s father Reg:

3-EABAF0-C-E0-E0-4-B09-B746-CCF26-F15004

I think Virginia could quite easily be the woman in the middle in the Silverstone photo, but not either of the others.

#30 Gary C

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 19:44

I think 64 would be too early for Bob Dance to be on an F1. You can hear him take me through his career up to 1968 at my podcast: mechanicsgallon.blogspot.com

#31 Parkesi

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 21:58

Picture #9 behind with Clark with dark sunglasses is Jonathan Williams me thinks.

#32 Bloggsworth

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 22:33

I think 64 would be too early for Bob Dance to be on an F1. You can hear him take me through his career up to 1968 at my podcast: mechanicsgallon.blogspot.com

I'm sure I spoke with Bob in '64, though he may have been on the Lotus Cortina team at the time.



#33 Gary C

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 23:05

I think that's it.

#34 Tim Murray

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 10:06

Picture #9 behind with Clark with dark sunglasses is Jonathan Williams me thinks.


I don’t think it’s Jonathan as he was racing at Snetterton on the same day:

http://www.the-fastl...2/F364_GB53.htm

#35 68targa

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 12:33

Here’s a photo detail of Tim Parnell and his wife Virginia (not Jean) taken during the 1966 Tasman Series and found in Graham Gauld’s bio of Tim’s father Reg:


I think Virginia could quite easily be the woman in the middle in the Silverstone photo, but not either of the others.

I agree. We still have a mystery woman with Clark though. 

 

Whilst we try and solve that let's reflect on that Enna race for a moment. Jo Siffert in his privately run Brabham  BRM beat the works Lotus of Jim Clark by just 0.100 sec with Innes Ireland another 2.1 sec back in the BRP-BRM.  In qualifying both Siffert and Trevor Taylor both in BRM engined cars also beat Clark by full 1.00 sec.  It certainly seems that BRM suited this fast track.  Quite a feat for Siffert early in his career.



#36 Michael Ferner

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 12:55

Not quite that early in his career, though. He'd started racing before Clark did!



#37 Roger Clark

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 13:35

I agree. We still have a mystery woman with Clark though. 

 

Whilst we try and solve that let's reflect on that Enna race for a moment. Jo Siffert in his privately run Brabham  BRM beat the works Lotus of Jim Clark by just 0.100 sec with Innes Ireland another 2.1 sec back in the BRP-BRM.  In qualifying both Siffert and Trevor Taylor both in BRM engined cars also beat Clark by full 1.00 sec.  It certainly seems that BRM suited this fast track.  Quite a feat for Siffert early in his career.

I think the three fastest F1 races that year were Spa (dominated by Dan Gurney until...), Enna (won by Siffert) and Monza (Gurney comfortably on the front row).  All Brabham cars. As Jack once said: "Must be our monocoque chassis and inboard springs paying off on this fast circuit".  Lotus were always lacking on top speed.



#38 john winfield

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 14:24

I think you’re on to something. I reckon he definitely has a look of Mike Spence about him, and it would make sense for the two Lotus team-mates to be getting ready for the race in the same place in the paddock. Where can we find a photo of Lynn Spence?

Edit: Here’s a photo of three women, but unfortunately only two of them are named - Jean Parnell and Lynn Spence. My guess would be Jean in the middle and Lynn with the dark hair on the right of the photo, as the fair-haired woman on the left of the photo isn’t wearing a wedding ring. Could this dark-haired woman be the mystery woman at Enna?

https://www.gettyima...photo/925295354

 

 

The June 2005 issue of Motor Sport includes a feature on Mike Spence by Paul Fearnley, 'The Quiet Man'. The opening pages (64/65) include a large picture of a grinning Mike, after winning the 1965 Race of Champions.at Brands. In another TNF thread KJJ wondered (back in 2005!) whether the two girls shown were the Condon sisters. I think he may be right.

 

I'm sure the dark-haired girl grinning at Mike, and holding a reviving post-race bottle of something-or-other, is the woman in the pleated skirt alongside Jean Parnell at Silverstone, ie Lynn Spence.  In the 1965 shot, the second, scarved, fairer girl looks as delighted for Mike as does Lynn. She's not looking at superstar Jim Clark but at lesser-known Mike. She could be a fan, a friend of Lynn's or, conceivably, Lynn's sister Gail. I'm guessing though, as I can't find any picture of Gail Condon, or Gail Maggs as she became, before divorcing Tony some time before 1967 I believe.

 

Either way, neither of them looks much like the mystery woman at Enna! Unless anyone thinks otherwise...... 



#39 wenoopy

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:40

In this period newspaper article she is referred to as Richie Ginther's sister, the whole article seems dedicated to her tending to Jim Clark.

 

"LA "VESTIZIONE" DI JIM CLARK" : https://www.flickr.c...57619682277620/

 

From this album : https://www.flickr.c...ith/3622027182/

 

Are we missing something here. At the very least, the newspaper article explains exactly what the woman is helping Clark with : -  "masking his face to protect against flying pebbles(sassoline) from the road". I gather this was a perennial problem at Enna along with the unsavoury lake with its population of snakes.

 

As for the mystery woman, she appears, dressed differently, in 3 of the photos, in proximity to Clark. She appears to be part of the Clark entourage, she is definitely not playing to the camera, and has a worried facial expression. Could she be one of Clark's 4 older sisters, of whom the eldest, Mattie, was married to local farmer Alec Calder, who owned a 3-litre Bentley and who may have kindled the young Jim Clark's interest in motor sport. I'm not sure the mystery woman couldn't be a well-preserved 40-ish.

 

Any comments?

 

Stu Buchanan



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#40 Tim Murray

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:57

Here’s young Jim with his four sisters:

2-AD537-FF-F765-4-A48-8774-5-EDF02-E49-C

In my view the Enna mystery woman isn’t one of them - what do others think?

#41 Sterzo

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 10:04

I have to say that for once I am disappointed with TNF, unable to identify a woman applying a sticking plaster 56 years ago. Normally someone would have found her medical records by now.



#42 kayemod

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 11:25

Here’s young Jim with his four sisters:
 

 

 

Four sisters! One was bad enough, I bet Jim hardly ever got to see the inside of the family bathroom.



#43 john winfield

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 12:50

Here’s young Jim with his four sisters:

2-AD537-FF-F765-4-A48-8774-5-EDF02-E49-C

In my view the Enna mystery woman isn’t one of them - what do others think?

 

Agreed Tim. I don't think the mystery plasterer is one of Jim's sisters. Nor is it his mother.

 

And I'm not sure about Wenoopy Stu's suggestion that we can see m. p. in three photos. The girl in the first picture has fairer, shorter hair don't you think? Having said that, there are similarities. Perhaps they're sisters......



#44 Tim Murray

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 04:53

The girl in the first picture has fairer, shorter hair don't you think?


Yes indeed. That first photo was presumably taken sometime during practice, and the plastering photos on race day. No-one could have grown the much longer hair of Mystery Woman in such a short time.  ;)

#45 D-Type

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 16:06

I wonder . . . Richie was red-haired so perhaps the mystery girl was also a redhead, hence the "Richie Ginther's sister" sobriquet?



#46 Michael Ferner

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 20:54

Yes indeed. That first photo was presumably taken sometime during practice, and the plastering photos on race day. No-one could have grown the much longer hair of Mystery Woman in such a short time.  ;)

 

Women have ways...



#47 strobes

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 08:47

I've just read that Mike Spence and Tony Maggs were married to sisters, Lynn and Gail Condon. Tony was Richie's MRP team mate in the Enna F2 race and, as you say Tim, Mike participated in both the F1 and F2 events that August. Mike being Jim Clark's team mate at Lotus, presumably Lynn would know Jim well - could the mystery woman be Lynn Spence? Or sister Gail Maggs?  ...Lynn would at that time be 'Richie Ginther's team-mate's wife's sister'!

Definitely not Lynne Spence (Condon) although the mystery sister bears a striking resemblance to Gail Maggs (Condon)

She says it is almost certainly Sally Stokes ....



#48 Gabrci

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 09:22

She does look very, very much like Ginther though... 



#49 john winfield

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 10:22

Definitely not Lynne Spence (Condon) although the mystery sister bears a striking resemblance to Gail Maggs (Condon)

She says it is almost certainly Sally Stokes ....

 

Hi Strobes. Thanks for posting.  Is this Gail's opinion? Or Lynne's?  

 

I still tend to agree with Tim, though. That nose just doesn't look like Sally's!



#50 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 12:05

That is not Lynne Spence, I can assure you of that. 


Edited by Richard Jenkins, 01 October 2021 - 19:35.