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Dr. Paul Sheldon (merged)


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#1 DCapps

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 01:53

It is my sad duty to inform those here that today, Wednesday, 17 June 2020, that Betty let me know that Dr. Paul Sheldon died while they were quarantined in France. It was sudden and completely unexpected. I am still in shock at this news. I have known Paul for decades now and and he was a dear friend and great colleague. My deepest condolences to Betty and the family, along with his many friends.



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#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 04:17

I’m very saddened to read this. His work on the amazing ‘Black Books’ will be his lasting legacy. We have much to thank him for. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

#3 Michael Ferner

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 06:25

Oh dear! What a bad way to start the day! :(

 

Heartfelt condolences to all of his family, and many, many friends.



#4 Darren Galpin

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 07:21

Likewise - he was always very encouraging of others with their research. Condolences and thoughts to his family.



#5 Stephen W

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 07:48

Sad news indeed.



#6 dgs

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 08:08

Paul Sheldon was a friend for nearly forty years. He was always generous with his knowledge

Finding out about his sudden death in France yesterday via an email from his wife Betty came as a great shock.

With his dedication to the  well respected "black books", his name will be remembered, he will be missed



#7 RAP

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 08:47

Formula One Register has just learnt of the very sad death of Paul Sheldon

 

Paul’s interest in motor sport began in 1954 when his mother bought him two copies of Motor Cycling when he had some sort of terrible disease. These happened to be the TT issues. The interest spread to cars and he met up with Duncan and John Thompson in 1962. Paul was the main author of the Formula One Register and small duplicated booklets were followed by the first volume of a “Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing” in 1987. These books were a huge contribution to motor racing history in their scope and detail and have been the foundation for much research by others. 

 

He will be very much missed

 

Richard Page



#8 Allen Brown

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 08:57

I am very sad to hear of Paul's passing.  It was his book 'Milestones behind the Marques' that was the original inspiration for my own research, and I corresponded with Paul from the early 1980s onwards, chipping in with my own discoveries.

 

Together with John Thompson and Duncan Rabagliati, Paul produced a seemingly endless series of books - not just the Black Books that so many of us here will own and treasure, but the earlier pink, green, yellow and blue books as they discovered, transcribed and interpreted ever more data.  Those books are an extraordinary achievement.

My condolences to Betty and his family.



#9 Jhdrussell

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 09:43

Such sad, and unexpected, news.

I first had contact with Paul (and Duncan) in 1968, and I first met him face to face in 1973.

Paul was for most of his career a GP living in Esholt, Yorkshire, before founding his own medical training company..

His, and Betty's dedication were phenomenal, and the Records of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing (known to most as 'The Black Books') are a towering monument to him.
We now somewhat take for granted a level of information on race history that is ONLY available through Paul's, and Duncan's, efforts
In addition, amongst many other achievements, Paul was instrumental in obtaining and preserving various racing car manufacturers' chassis records.
Many will not be aware that Paul was an aficionado of Trials, reporting on them for Motoring News for many years.

I particularly remember our happy days spectating together at the Birmingham Superprix in the late 1980s.

RIP Paul

Edited by Jhdrussell, 18 June 2020 - 10:04.


#10 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 11:50

I have just heard the very sad news. Paul and his friend and collaborator Duncan Rabagliati plus their subsequent fellow Register figures have between them done more to research, verify and preserve the motor racing record than any other amateur group of which I am aware.  Most sincere condolences to Paul's widow Betty, their family and many friends...

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 18 June 2020 - 12:14.


#11 DCapps

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 12:05

Paul had an amazing range of interests, with American Sprint Car racing being one that he had spent considerable time in recent years chronicling.

 

As in the case with many others, he encouraged and supported my work, sharing information and pointing me in directions that I might not have otherwise ventured.

 

My letters and then emails with Paul were always a source of some form of adventure as questions and puzzles or "What do you the know..." or "What do you think about...." inevitably led to some amazing discussions.

 

And, Betty was a kindred spirit as well, her research and work with Paul and the others unearthing some fascinating tales of motor sport history.

 

I am still reeling from this given that I was nosing around for some information for Paul....

 

I will certainly miss Paul.


Edited by DCapps, 18 June 2020 - 12:07.


#12 Leif Snellman

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 13:34

The ‘Black Books’ will remain the foundation for further racing record research.

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."
(Sir Isaac Newton)

Condolences to his family, and friends.


Edited by Leif Snellman, 18 June 2020 - 13:35.


#13 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 13:53

I can only echo what everyone above has said. A terrible loss and thoughts are with Betty, family and friends.

#14 d j fox

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 15:44

Very very sad news...The "Black Books" have been my major source of reference over many years. My limited dealings with Paul, and especially Betty, were always very friendly and helpful.

Condolences to Betty, family and friends.



#15 ReWind

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 17:35

For me the wonder started in December 1985 when I answered to an announcement in “Motorsport aktuell” from a register of Formula 1 data. I ordered some volumes of statistics of Formula 1 and Formula 2  races. Their content was way above anything I had seen before.

In April 1987 the Sheldons informed me about the first volume of “A Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing” which I ordered although I already had spent a fortune on the loose-leaf booklets. The book arrived on June 19th, 1987, and since then my world as far as dealing with motor racing history is concerned has never been the same.

I shall be forever grateful to Dr. Kenneth Paul Sheldon and his devoted wife Betty.

 

BTW, methinks I never saw a picture of them. I would acknowledge if someone could change that.



#16 E1pix

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 17:42

Very sorry you’ve lost a friend, Don.

#17 Jhdrussell

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 17:54

Very sorry you’ve lost a friend, Don.

???



#18 john winfield

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 17:57

???

 

Eric (E1pix) is sympathising with Don Capps who started this thread.



#19 Michael Ferner

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 18:23

For me the wonder started in December 1985 when I answered to an announcement in “Motorsport aktuell” from a register of Formula 1 data. I ordered some volumes of statistics of Formula 1 and Formula 2  races. Their content was way above anything I had seen before.

In April 1987 the Sheldons informed me about the first volume of “A Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing” which I ordered although I already had spent a fortune on the loose-leaf booklets. The book arrived on June 19th, 1987, and since then my world as far as dealing with motor racing history is concerned has never been the same.

I shall be forever grateful to Dr. Kenneth Paul Sheldon and his devoted wife Betty.

 

BTW, methinks I never saw a picture of them. I would acknowledge if someone could change that.

 

Like Reinhard, my first contact with Paul Sheldon and the Formula One Register literally changed my life - I still recall how I leafed through my first copy of the Black Books, and realized: that's what I would really like to do, I'm going to be a racing historian! :lol: I was twenty, and had just about finished my sophomore year at University, but of course they wouldn't let me major in Motor Racing History :rolleyes:, but it was an idea that never left me, and ever since it has kept me busy in my spare time, and given me lots of pleasure (and the occasional frustration) - I couldn't have hoped for a better hobby!

 

Many thanks to Paul, and to Betty, Duncan, Yves, Richard and everybody else involved - you ruined my life, and I have loved every minute of it!! :rotfl:



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#20 D-Type

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 19:14

What can I say.  All the dedication that went into researching for and producing the "Black Books"  has made the world a better place.
My condolences to Betty, his family and friends.



#21 nexfast

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 19:37

I never met Paul Sheldon but we exchanged some letters when I send him some modest contributions for the F3 draft books. He was very kind and cheerful in his replies. His work is unvaluable and still a huge source of information. I offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends at this sad moment.



#22 Barttore

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 20:55

My sincerest condolences to his loved ones.

 

In 2012 I started to research 2 Dutch racing drivers and tried to contact mr. Sheldon to ask for the sources of his data on the drivers. Very soon I got the kindest reply and he sent me from his archives his original copies (on thermal transfer paper) of clippings of period magazines and newspapers he had collected (and formed the basis of the data in the first Black Books), on the provision I would promise to send them back.

Afterwards I shared the results of my research with him and again got a very kind reply complimenting my results. Beforehand I would never have expected that he would give access to his sources and cooperate with my request, but he was more than willing to share his work amongst other enthousiasts, which is rather an exception than usual these days. I am still grateful for his help and contibution to my humble research.

 

I deeply respect his enormous dedication (pre-internet) and contributions resulting in the monumental Black Books that so many of use for further research, cherish and enjoy for times to come. 

 

May he rest in peace.



#23 William Hunt

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 06:05

he will be sincerely missed by the racing community, sad news



#24 ensign14

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 09:30

Unexpected and dreadful news.  The BBs are not just The Bible for motor racing statistics, but the race reports are a great read as well.  The prefaces made the point that the reports were not meant to be works of art or to supply supplemental details, but they are admirably concise, pithy, and at times delightfully opinionated.  There was a massive debate in MotorSport's correspondence because of the BBs' dismissal of Brooklands as having held British motor racing back a generation; had anyone ever tried to slaughter a sacred cow like that before?  And they were bang on in one respect, Brooklands was its own world, and making the point was certainly thought-provoking. 



#25 RAP

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Posted 20 June 2020 - 12:21

The Formula One Register would like to thank all those who have posted such generous tributes to Paul and his contribution to recording motor racing history.

The Register continues his vision with new titles and new editions.

Richard Page

www.formulaoneregister.com



#26 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 07:30

Again, I can only echo the heartfelt comments above. As with Allen, "Milestones Behind The Marques" was the first book I acquired that really got into forensic detail about the history of individual cars, and fulled my interest in the history of the sport. A huge loss, but an equally huge and important legacy. My condolences to all who knew him and loved him.



#27 Jim Thurman

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 18:31

Don, so sorry to hear this. I was hoping to finally have some more time free to assist Mr. Sheldon with his sprint car endeavors, at least as far as drivers, tracks and format, as I had been so busy that I hadn't been able to contribute. Busy to the point that I had to apologize to him about my lack of response.



#28 ReWind

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 20:12

BTW, methinks I never saw a picture of them. I would acknowledge if someone could change that.


Well, at least a picture of the late Paul [Link]:

Paul-Sheldon-768x766.jpg



#29 Allen Brown

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 21:00

Fabulous.  Great picture!