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#1 jacko

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 12:53

Just finished reading DCN's column in the latest issue of Motor Sport, discussing Grosjean's remarkable escape in Bahrain. He lists accidents involving fire where lives were lost and also when drivers were fortunate enough to survive.. John Taylor was mentioned and the name did not spring to my memory. I checked my German Grand Prix report in my 1966 issue of Motor Sport, after doing some research, and discovered he had been "badly burned" in a first lap accident. No mention of his condition let alone the fact that his injuries were to prove fatal! How different from today when accidents are so luridly reported in the press. Sign of the times, I guess. What exactly happened to Taylor? It seems Jacky Ickx was involved and stopped to help before proceeding.



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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 13:50

It was more than a month later that Taylor succumbed to his injuries, which at the time were not thought to be too serious. Motorsport Memorial has a description of the accident:

 

http://www.motorspor...php?db=ct&n=232

 

The Times' report of the race suggests he crashed at Flugplatz, but as that's the corner after Quiddelbacher Höhe I guess it's just a matter of interpretation. They also described Taylor's condition in hospital as 'out of danger', with Ickx unhurt. Lap charts show that Ickx was last at the end of lap 1 and then retired. Given that he was quite a way further up the grid than Taylor he had presumably had some sort of difficulty - a spin perhaps? Weather was filthy and an F2 Matra probably wasn't the ideal car in those circumstances..



#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 13:53

DSJ in Motor Sport reported the accident slightly differently to other sources. These suggest that Taylor misjudged his braking and ran into the back of Ickx’s Matra, causing both cars to leave the road and John’s to catch fire. Ickx managed to make it back to the pits, but his transmission was too badly damaged for him to continue.

Taylor was taken to hospital with bad burns, but seemed to be on the road to recovery. As Vitesse2 says, he died several weeks later in early September, presumably from complications. This was after the relevant issue of Motor Sport had been published, which is why his death wasn’t mentioned there.

#4 Keith Rolleston

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 20:54

John was the honourary President of the Leicester Slot Car Club when I was a member, and we all followed his career with interest.

 

His kidneys failed eventually after they were overloaded with the waste products from the burns. I don't suppose it would happen today.



#5 Paul Taylor

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 04:09

Two photos have surfaced of this accident, it seems to have happened in a very odd place and the car does not seem to have left the track

http://the-fastlane....ew&editid1=3918



#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 10:18

Two photos have surfaced of this accident, it seems to have happened in a very odd place and the car does not seem to have left the track

http://the-fastlane....ew&editid1=3918

The car is facing the wrong way though. And the left-side wheels appear to be off the track. It's situated almost exactly halfway between Quiddelbacher Höhe and Flugplatz - maybe the Times reporter heard the circuit commentator say something like 'Unfall neben Flugplatz' or 'Unfall vor Flugplatz'?

 

However, I'm not sure how what we see would tally with the 'late braking' events outlined in Tim's post above. Unless he was braking suddenly to avoid something happening ahead of him; not necessarily a spinning F2 Matra, but maybe something else - with the collision with Ickx being collateral damage, Jacky already having spotted it and reacted? Ickx had been 16 seconds faster than Taylor in practice and was two rows in front on the grid, so something must have significantly impeded his progress.

 

Just a guess based on lap charts, but maybe Bob Anderson was involved - the cause? - too? He started 14th but was 24th at the end of lap 1, with only Kurt Ahrens and Ickx behind him. Ahrens had started 21st, but had even been passed by Chris Lawrence in the Cooper-Ferrari, a device not known for having much urge. The lap chart also shows that the driver who gained most on that lap was Hubert Hahne, who started 27th and last but was 18th by the end of it.



#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 11:05

This from Gregor Grant’s race report in Autosport:

It was raining in earnest now, and on the Nettermann TV sets in the press box, the leaders were almost hidden in clouds of spray. At the Flugplatz, John Taylor collided with the back of Ickx’s Matra and crashed. The Brabham-BRM burst into flames, and an unconscious Taylor was transported to hospital.

(etc)

[At the end of the first lap] Into the pits came Kurt Ahrens with gearbox problems, and then the unfortunate Ickx; his transmission was too badly deranged to be able to continue.


while DSJ in Motor Sport had heard a different story:

... and as the field streamed out of the Hatzenbach woods to the bottom of the dip at Quiddelbacher-Hohe somebody caught the front of John Taylor’s car and he spun off and crashed in flames, being badly burnt. Ickx had to take violent avoiding action, being just behind, and he went off the road, but managed to get going again after helping the unfortunate Taylor, while Anderson ran over some of the bits of the wrecked car.

(etc)

At the end of the field [after one lap] came Anderson, having been delayed by the Taylor accident, and long after everyone was well on the second lap Ickx arrived at the pits to retire, his Matra-Cosworth de-arranged by the excursion off the road.


Obviously a lot depended on who one got the story from. I wonder if Jacky Ickx has ever given his account of what happened.

#8 LittleChris

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 13:23

DSJ's comments are more descriptive than Gregor Grants so I wonder if they're based on conversations he had with Ickx and Anderson after the race ? 



#9 Odseybod

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 22:12

Forgive me for piggy-backiong on this thread - the powers-that-be are welcome to shunt this into its own siding, if they feel that would be better - but serendipity has solved a little puzzle i've had since scanning some pics of a very soggy Formula Libre race, which took place at the 1963 Martini Trophy meeting at Silverstone.

 

According to the Motor Sport report, the race was won by someone called Taylor in a Formula Junior Cooper-Ford. The question was which Taylor, as there was no first name or initials to pin him down - and there were plenty to choose from. Rather than conduct extensive research and probably get it wrong, I lazily thought I'd leave it to time and TNF to come up with the answer - and sure enough, it has, via the above potted history of the unfortunate John M.'s racing career. So in tribute to him, here's a pic of him splashing to victory and another of him enjoying the rather small fruits of his success that day.

 

Cooper-T59-Mk-III-John-M-Taylor.jpg

 

Winner-1.jpg

 

It was obviously one of those  races where too much power can be an embarrassment, so trailing far behind him was such meaty machinery as Tony Marsh's BRM P49/57 as well as two Coopers with respectively Buick and Chevrolet power, a Connaught,  a V12 O.S.C.A. and a Jaguar D-type. Except  ...   37.2 seconds behind Taylor and 39 seconds ahead of the rest came Patrick Lindsay, driving the Napier-Railton which was in his care at the time. According to Motor Sport, an already tricky job was made even harder by one bank of cylinders cutting out on right-hand corners then chiming in again with a bang. Its truncated appearance is the result of a nasty accident in practice, when the driver of an Aston DBRI lost control in Woodcote and spun into the Lotus of M. Fielden in the pits. Fielden was killed instantly and the remains of the Lotus catapulted into the back of the Napier-Railton. Motor Sport observed that "Pits close to fast corners are dangerous."

 

Napier-Railton-Patrick-Lindsay-Formula-L

 

Apologies again for the digression.


Edited by Odseybod, 08 January 2021 - 22:14.


#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 23:27

I'm not sure if Brooklands even let the Napier-Railton go out in the rain these days! Let alone run it at speed in those conditions. An astonishing photo. More proof - if any were needed - that Pat Lindsay had very large cojones.



#11 ReWind

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 12:30

From German yearbook „Grand Prix 1966“ (p. 115):

John Taylor wurde, wie er später berichtete, als er bereits seiner Genesung entgegensah, beim Flugplatz von einem überholenden Brabham so geschnitten, daß er ins Schleudern geriet und dabei mit dem dichtauf folgenden Ickx kollidierte. Entgegen anderslautenden Darstellungen, die erst später durch die Aussage Taylors endgültig entkräftet werden konnten, war also Ickx an diesem Geschehen keine Schuld beizumessen – im Gegenteil: Fotos beweisen, daß er unmittelbar nach der Kollision dem Verunglückten zu Hilfe eilte. Taylors Brabham war schleudernd gegen ein Hindernis an der Strecke, ein Verkehrszeichen geprallt und sofort in Brand geraten. Der Fahrer konnte sich zwar mit eigener Kraft aus dem entstandenen Inferno brennenden Treibstoffs – ca. 180 bis 200 Liter – retten, hatte sich aber Verbrennungen zweiten und dritten Grades zugezogen. Ickx warf sich sofort auf den Verunglückten und erstickte die Reste der Flammen. Taylor war anschließend sogar in der Lage, zu Fuß zum Krankenwagen zu gehen.

 

According to author Ulrich Schwab, a thorough accountant of GP racing, Taylor himself said – when he seemingly was on the road to recovery – that he was pushed aside by an overtaking Brabham (no driver named), skidded and collided with Ickx who was behind him and totally innocent.

Taylor's car crashed against a traffic signal and exploded in flames. After Taylor got out of his car unaided Ickx cast himself onto him to extinguish the flames of the burning clothes. When the ambulance came Taylor was able to walk to it.

There were photos – wrote Schwab – showing Ickx’ rescue actions.



#12 dgs

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 14:06

Forgive me for piggy-backiong on this thread - the powers-that-be are welcome to shunt this into its own siding, if they feel that would be better - but serendipity has solved a little puzzle i've had since scanning some pics of a very soggy Formula Libre race, which took place at the 1963 Martini Trophy meeting at Silverstone.

According to the Motor Sport report, the race was won by someone called Taylor in a Formula Junior Cooper-Ford. The question was which Taylor, as there was no first name or initials to pin him down - and there were plenty to choose from. Rather than conduct extensive research and probably get it wrong, I lazily thought I'd leave it to time and TNF to come up with the answer - and sure enough, it has, via the above potted history of the unfortunate John M.'s racing career. So in tribute to him, here's a pic of him splashing to victory and another of him enjoying the rather small fruits of his success that day.

Cooper-T59-Mk-III-John-M-Taylor.jpg

Winner-1.jpg

It was obviously one of those races where too much power can be an embarrassment, so trailing far behind him was such meaty machinery as Tony Marsh's BRM P49/57 as well as two Coopers with respectively Buick and Chevrolet power, a Connaught, a V12 O.S.C.A. and a Jaguar D-type. Except ... 37.2 seconds behind Taylor and 39 seconds ahead of the rest came Patrick Lindsay, driving the Napier-Railton which was in his care at the time. According to Motor Sport, an already tricky job was made even harder by one bank of cylinders cutting out on right-hand corners then chiming in again with a bang. Its truncated appearance is the result of a nasty accident in practice, when the driver of an Aston DBRI lost control in Woodcote and spun into the Lotus of M. Fielden in the pits. Fielden was killed instantly and the remains of the Lotus catapulted into the back of the Napier-Railton. Motor Sport observed that "Pits close to fast corners are dangerous."

Napier-Railton-Patrick-Lindsay-Formula-L

Apologies again for the digression.

According to BRDC Golden Jubilee 1927-1977 book, the 6th July 1963 AMOC Martini International Trophy, Formule Libre race was held over 10 laps of full circuit (29.27ml) and was won by John Taylor (1.5 litre Cooper-Ford T59, 72.36mph

#13 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 14:46

From German yearbook „Grand Prix 1966“ (p. 115):

 

According to author Ulrich Schwab, a thorough accountant of GP racing, Taylor himself said – when he seemingly was on the road to recovery – that he was pushed aside by an overtaking Brabham (no driver named), skidded and collided with Ickx who was behind him and totally innocent.

Taylor's car crashed against a traffic signal and exploded in flames. After Taylor got out of his car unaided Ickx cast himself onto him to extinguish the flames of the burning clothes. When the ambulance came Taylor was able to walk to it.

There were photos – wrote Schwab – showing Ickx’ rescue actions.

Well, if the identification of a Brabham is correct then I guess that probably narrows the third driver down to Anderson, Ahrens or Hans Herrmann - with an outside chance it was Alan Rees.



#14 Doug Nye

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 14:51

Regarding the Napier-Railton at Silverstone - The Hon. Patrick said that the 'old girl' was heavy enough to cut its way through the standing water and find the asphalt.  "I think it just frightened the water aside...".  

 

The Napier-Railton is actually a notably friendly, secure-feeling - beautifully-engineered - car to drive and its near-constant torque and power delivery would have been another great help in such conditions.  However, keeping the throttle-foot buried at around 130mph through the surf and spray along Silverstone's straights would certainly have required enormous testicular endowment... Lindsay was certainly old school in that department. 

 

DCN



#15 Giraffe

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 15:33

I am posting this verbatum on behalf of Ady Stimpson who has not posted on the forum for many years. He has however signed up once more under the handle "WillieEckerslike" but is still awaiting our admin to confirm his participation. Meanwhile.....

 

Good Afternoon everyone. This is my first post on here in many years.
Back in 2006 I started to research the life and times of Leicester racing driver John Taylor. I found John's final resting place in the Leicestershire village of Newtown Linford, and back then the interweb was bereft of almost any information concerning this driver who came up through Formula Junior 'Screamers', dominating many seasons in this category at his home circuit of Mallory Park. Borne out of desperation I had a letter published in the Newtown Linford Parish web based newsletter asking if anyone remembered John from the 1960's. Some weeks later I received an email from John's widow Irene who it transpired had long since remarried and done her best to try and forget the horror of John's fifth and ultimately fatal Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in Germany. Irene was left a widow with infant children. Whilst she never ever forgot about her late husband, Irene had long since remarried and was now enjoying retirement having taught as an art teacher in the intervening years. Once Irene had determined that I was a genuine enthusiast, we arranged to meet that August at Mallory Park, fittingly at the John Taylor Memorial race meeting where Irene was on hand to present the trophies to drivers racing in the now Historic FJ race.
 
Meeting Irene was a pleasure, and we left that day promising to remain in touch and that she would email me a few things over about John's career once she had retrieved his personal effects from storage. Several months and emails later, a HUGE parcel arrived at my home by courier. Upon opening it, I found a letter from Irene saying 'everything you ever needed to know about John and his racing career is in here'. It was the entire John Taylor Race Archive. All jumbled up, dusty, creased, in total dissarray, from photos of his wins at Mallory, to telegrams from Louis Stanley offering immediate assistance in his private aircraft to fly John home from the hospital in Koblenz following his fiery crash at the Nurburgring. From there I found letters and telegrams of condolences from the good and great of 1960's motor racing, and rather harrowingly, an invoice from a Koblenz undertaker for the coffin and arrangements made to ship John's body home.
 
I took months slowly going through the archive and gradually reassembled it all in chronological order with Irene's unstinting assistance, who was always available on the phone or by email when I came across something I couldn't pin a date or location on. I took copies of every single item and produced a digital archive for both Irene and John's son Richard, but also for John's elderly brother. Once completed, several years later, I returned the archive to Irene so that in turn she could pass it onto her son Richard who is now in his fifties.
 
One of the most poignant items in the archive was a postcard depicting a caricature of the Ring. On the reverse John had detailed his trip across Europe in his Austin A40 (!) and told Irene how early practice was going at the wheel of the Red Roses Garage Brabham BT11. That was his final written communication. Pinned to the card was John's medical card and race licence for the 1966 season.
 
Regarding the accident, I should note that for decades, Irene firmly believed that John's crash was caused by Jacky Ickx colliding on the opening lap on the exit of Quiddelbache Hohe. Irene had read several contemporary reports of the time that alluded to this scenario. Having briefly corresponded via TNF with Doug Nye and asking him what he recalled of John, he suggested I seek out copies of the contemporary race reports. In 2003 I met Jacky Ickx at Le Mans and asked him for five minutes of his time to offer his recollections of that day at the Nurburgring in August 1966. Jacky told me that during the opening lap, the weather was atrocious and the spray was hanging like a blanket across the track. Visibility was severely impeded and as he spun twice almost immediately after the start losing several places as the pack charged past him. Jacky said he gathered it all up and then as he carefully 'tip-toed' around the Ring on that first lap, he rapidly came upon a recovering (presumably from a spin or collision) John Taylor in his blue & white Brabham. Jacky said that he very nearly managed to avoid John, but in gathering up his car, John inadvertently collided with the rear of Jacky's Matra and they both went off the circuit at the bottom of the Flugplatz. Jacky said he climbed out to see John standing up in his Brabham and ablaze from 'head to feet' from the ruptured full fuel tanks. Jacky said he threw himself onto John to extinguish the flames and later helped John, walking wounded into the back of a circuit ambulance.
 
I later scrutinised DSJ's contemporary report of the accident in Motorsport and personally feel that his is the most accurate report of the facts as they were known at that time. I was later able to share my findings with John's widow Irene and she related how guilty she felt having felt so angry towards Jacky Ickx for so many years since. To this date I still have people sending me previously unseen photos of John, many taken during his final season where he competed in four grand prix races as well as the Nurburgring 1000km as co-driver to Peter Sutcliffe in his dark green Ford GT40.
 
I keep in touch with John's widow Irene and she is delighted whenever John Taylor is mentioned in motor racing publications. Invariably I send her copies and she always replies by return. It's been a pleasure reading the comments and conjecture on this thread and thank Tony Gallagher for drawing this to my attention. I've had to re-register with TNF and as such I am still awaiting the forum administrator to sanction my account in order to be able to comment on the site.
 
With best regards
 
ADY STIMPSON
Nottinghamshire.


#16 Giraffe

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 16:11

I had to add this as an addendum to Ady Stiimpson's post....utterly unbelievable..... :eek:

After his death, Irene told me that accompanying his body was just two items. His medical card and race licence. Absolutely nothing else was recovered. His Austin A40 that was parked out there simply vanished although his BRDC bumper badge did make a brief appearance on eBay about 10 years ago. I tried to buy it and won the auction at £600. I paid up and the seller then refused to part with it and I had to get eBay involved. I got my money back but wanted to give the badge to Irene as a thank you for entrusting me with a box of items that wrought total misery on her young life many years ago.

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#17 Giraffe

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 16:34

A further missive from Ady which is covered to some part in my last post. However.......

 

In December 2018 a parcel arrived along with a Christmas card from John Taylor's widow Irene. The card read....
 
'Dear Ady,
I remember that some time ago you mentioned the 'Godin de Beaufort Trophy' that was awarded to John in the 1966 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, awarded for the 'Best Performance For A New Driver in the Dutch Grand Prix', which John was awarded by the family of the late Carel Godin de Beaufort for his fine 8th place in the race In July 1966, only two weeks before his fatal accident in the German Grand Prix.  Well I've been back in the loft and found it! I would very much like you to have it as a 'thank you' for all you have done to research and collate the records of John's racing achievements.
Thank you.
Irene x'
 
And there in the box wrapped in layers of bubble wrap was the Carel Godin de Beaufort trophy. Tarnished but in perfect order other than missing its bakelite base, bearing the inscription 'GODIN DE BEAUFORT MEMORIAL TROPHY 1966'.
 
Taken from a 1966 end of season review - 'Grand Prix. World Championship 1966. Louis T. Stanley' I found the following information:
 
'Later the Carel Godin de Beaufort Memorial Trophy was presented to John Taylor for the best showing by a driver making his debut in the Dutch Grand Prix.'
 
Irene did tell me that after John succumbed to his terrible injuries some 32 days after the accident on 8th September 1966, John's body was shipped back to his hometown of Leicester. Accompanying the body was just two items. John's FIA Competition Licence for 1966 and his Medical Certificate - stamped 'Valid For 1966'. Nothing else of John's personal effects were ever returned, including I was told his Austin A40 car bearing his BRDC badge on the bumper bar. Everything else that John took to Germany in August 1966 simply disappeared.
 
About ten years ago, John's BRDC badge surfaced on eBay and I made extended efforts to secure it. I intended to gift it to Irene for so generously entrusting me with such a priceless archive of personal papers to myself. Ultimately I paid £600 for the authentic though tatty BRDC badge. However, the vendor who I later found out was locally based, refused to hand it over so I had to involve eBay to secure a refund. I haven't seen anything of John's badge since.
 
If anyone out there can offer a clue as to it's current whereabouts I would be very interested as Irene is now in failing health and at the time of locating and purchasing John's BRDC badge was beside herself with delight at it having finally surfaced after all these years. Irene told me that John was especially proud to have been made a member of the British Racing Drivers Club, bearing in mind he was a very likeable and modest man who to put food on the table at home was a mechanic for 'Mister Bob' Gerard.
 
For all that I have read about John Taylor and of the people I have spoken to who knew him, Doug Nye included, I didn't find anyone who had a bad word for him. I think I would have liked John immensely had he survived his accident.
 
Such is life sadly. And that sentiment spurred me on to do the best job I could for Irene in order that John's humble legacy did not get forgotten. For certain there is a book in John Taylor's remarkable life story.
 
Regards to all......
 
ADY STIMPSON
Nottinghamshire.
 

Edited by Giraffe, 09 January 2021 - 16:42.


#18 Tim Murray

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 17:40

I feel so privileged to read this very moving story. Thank you Ady for all your efforts, and Giraffe for posting the story. I hope Irene knows now that many of us do remember John and his achievements, and it would be so nice if she could be reunited with John’s BRDC badge.

It’s good to find out what actually happened in the accident too.

#19 Giraffe

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 17:47

I feel so privileged to read this very moving story. Thank you Ady for all your efforts, and Giraffe for posting it. I hope Irene knows now that many of us do remember John and his achievements, and it would be so nice if she could be reunited with John’s BRDC badge.

It’s good to find out what actually happened in the accident too.

Tim, can you authorise Ady's request to join TNF? Then he can add to the story. :wave:



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#20 Tim Murray

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 17:53

I don’t have admin status, I’m afraid, Tony. I’m sure Ady will have his application approved as soon as all the formalities have been gone through.

#21 ensign14

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 17:56

It's pretty rough for Jacky Ickx that he was involved in two fatal accidents.  Neither of which was his fault.



#22 Jim Thurman

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 18:05

It's pretty rough for Jacky Ickx that he was involved in two fatal accidents.  Neither of which was his fault.

 

ensign, as you probably know from your keen interest in U.S. racing, with the sheer amount of oval racing that has gone on, there were some noted drivers who were involved in multiple fatal accidents not of their making. And some who actually did make mistakes early in their careers that did lead to fatal accidents.



#23 Doug Nye

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 18:23

Sadly, Jacky Ickx was involved in at least five fatal incidents - a spectator at Spa during a touring car race there in 1964, driver John Taylor in the 1966 German GP, marshal Jacques Argoud at Le Mans 1970, driver Stefan Bellof at Spa 1985, and co-driver Christian Tarin on the 1991 Pharaohs Rally...

 

DCN



#24 John Ginger

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 19:09

Tim pretty much sums it up for me, it does indeed feel like a privilege to gain these insights

Thank you Ady & Tony, I hope the badge can find its way to its rightful home too

#25 FLB

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 22:09

Sadly, Jacky Ickx was involved in at least five fatal incidents - a spectator at Spa during a touring car race there in 1964, driver John Taylor in the 1966 German GP, marshal Jacques Argoud at Le Mans 1970, driver Stefan Bellof at Spa 1985, and co-driver Christian Tarin on the 1991 Pharaohs Rally...

 

DCN

He had two very lucky escapes with fire himself at Jarama in 1970 and Watkins Glen  in 1976. (Three if you count the 1968 practice accident at Mont-Tremblant where he was entangled in the catch fence after his Ferrari went off... and didn't manage to set itself on fire).

 

The other thing that strikes me in Ady Stimpsons's account is that, say what you may about the man, but Louis Stanley usually showed his better side in these types of moments.
 


Edited by FLB, 09 January 2021 - 22:09.


#26 Doug Nye

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 22:27

True re Big Lou, though his step children will say his concern was stoked purely by his wife, their mum, Jean nee Owen.

 

I remember standing with John Taylor and a couple of others - on the infield road between the paddock tunnel mouth and the pits at Brands Hatch, watching a supporting race before the 1965 Race of Champions...err...or maybe the 1966 British GP there.  Anyway it was the first time I'd talked with him and I found him very pleasant and engaging - and 'normal' - just a nice bloke.  As that race ran into its closing stages he said "Well, I suppose I'd better go and strain the old sock out..." - and he wandered off towards the pits to prepare for his race...

 

DCN



#27 SamoanAttorney

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 07:33

Ady

 

what a fantastic and yet poignant story.

 

Poirot would have been proud of such a piece of detective work.

 

Thank you for sharing it with us,

 

jb



#28 Keith Rolleston

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 10:35

As mentioned in post #4 John was President of the Leicester Miniature Car Club (slot cars). Bob Gerard had previously been Hon. Pres. so there was an obvious connection, but also Irene's brother in law was Ray Phipps, a member of the slot car club and National Championship finalist at that sport. Ray and another member Richard Hood, attended the 1966 French GP at Reims with John as part of his crew and spent that race at the Thillois signalling pit.

 

Ray has now passed away but I am endeavouring to get Richard to join this forum as he will have much to contribute as he is also related to Roger Williamson and Roger Mac and a former F1300 and FF competitor.



#29 WillieEckerslike

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 13:42

Ah good afternoon everyone.

 

The TNF admin have finally allowed me to comment. It was fascinating reading all the comments on this thread, and I learned one or two things that I didn't know about John Taylor. It would seem that he was on the edge of getting started having scored his first and only World Championship point with a 6th place at the French Grand Prix, the final time that the Grand Prix was run at Rheims.

 

I've visited John's grave in Leicestershire on many occasions. Some of the photos I took at his grave on what was John's 80th brithday a few years ago can been seen here:

 

https://www.findagra...642/john-taylor

 

On every visit I am overcome with a profound sense of sadness that this humble quiet family man was cut down in the worst possible circumstances. Fire. The fact that it took John a lingering 32 days to succumb is almost too horrific to imagine. Even poor old Lorenzo Bandini didn't suffer that long. It's gratifying to see that he is remembered both on the TNF and in Motorsport. I will send a copy of DCN's words in this months issue down to Irene on Monday.

 

Pedal to the metal.

 

ADY STIMPSON

Nottinghamshire.

 

 



#30 BarryJohnson

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 16:22

My (now almost lifelong) interest in motor racing commenced when I saw through the window of the 54 bus on which I was making my way to school a cigar shaped vehicle in the

 

showroom window of Parr's Garage on the Abbey Lane in Leicester. This despite its name was Bob Gerard's business and much nagging of my father resulted in regular visits

 

to Mallory Park where that car in the hands of John Taylor could be regularly seen battling with and usually beating Jack Pierce in Formula Libre races.

 

 

Ironically my alternative route to school involved taking the 72 bus which passed under the railway bridge where Northend Motors (the business where Dodge and Roger Williamson worked)

 

was based.

 

 

It was a truly horrible coincidence that both drivers were to have their promising Grand Prix careers prematurely terminated by accidents that they could easily have survived but for the resultant fires.



#31 bradbury west

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 22:29

Welcome aboard, Ady. Keep on keeping on

Roger Lund



#32 The Chasm

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 03:54

I myself suffered 45% full depth burns at Surfers Paradise International Raceway on the 6th February 1983.

 

While medical care has advanced since then, I clearly recall the personal disbelief when a Doctor told me about 25 days after the accident that my organs were failing and I should prepare myself and "tidy my affairs".

I felt fine and did not take the comment seriously, until a hour later when I realised I could not lift my head from the pillow, such was the effectiveness of the pain relief being dripped into me. I did not sleep that night, and surprised the doctor the next morning that I was still there on his rounds.

 

I took my treatments more seriously (exercises) and started eating as I was told (6,000 calories a day) instead of just lying there and "waiting to get better". However about a week later, the same doctor delivered that message again. I stayed awake again, focusing on thoughts of my two young daughters (aged 5 & 2 years) to get through the night. Over the next few days my Liver and Kidneys began to respond and after 5 months continuous hospitalisation, I was allowed to return home briefly before returning for more operations.

 

I don't know where the strength to survive comes from, but having a "warning" chat probably made the difference. It took a long time for life to get better, but I am glad I survived this long at least.

 

Thank you Ady for the story of John Taylor, and Thank You to all those who helped me survive in 1983.

 

Tony



#33 cooper997

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 07:30

Former John Taylor / Gerard Cooper was advertised here in Australia in 2014. Others might know if it's still here.

 

Spring 14 HSRCA Oily Rag – Classifieds – Cooper T56 ex Bob Gerard Racing, drivers John Taylor & Paddy Gaston chassis GR 12 61 spare engines, Renault gearboxes, wheels, after 28 years $80,000 everything Jim Madden NSW p60

 

 

Stephen



#34 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 09:09

I myself suffered 45% full depth burns at Surfers Paradise International Raceway on the 6th February 1983.

 

While medical care has advanced since then, I clearly recall the personal disbelief when a Doctor told me about 25 days after the accident that my organs were failing and I should prepare myself and "tidy my affairs".

I felt fine and did not take the comment seriously, until a hour later when I realised I could not lift my head from the pillow, such was the effectiveness of the pain relief being dripped into me. I did not sleep that night, and surprised the doctor the next morning that I was still there on his rounds.

 

I took my treatments more seriously (exercises) and started eating as I was told (6,000 calories a day) instead of just lying there and "waiting to get better". However about a week later, the same doctor delivered that message again. I stayed awake again, focusing on thoughts of my two young daughters (aged 5 & 2 years) to get through the night. Over the next few days my Liver and Kidneys began to respond and after 5 months continuous hospitalisation, I was allowed to return home briefly before returning for more operations.

 

I don't know where the strength to survive comes from, but having a "warning" chat probably made the difference. It took a long time for life to get better, but I am glad I survived this long at least.

 

Thank you Ady for the story of John Taylor, and Thank You to all those who helped me survive in 1983.

 

Tony

 

That's an impressive and inspiring story, Tony; your refusal to sleep and instead to focus on recovery has parallels with Lauda's determination to survive after his Nurburgring shunt, though his seems to have be born out of anger at the priest who gave him the last rites as much as it was from anything else!



#35 doc knutsen

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 16:57

I myself suffered 45% full depth burns at Surfers Paradise International Raceway on the 6th February 1983.

 

While medical care has advanced since then, I clearly recall the personal disbelief when a Doctor told me about 25 days after the accident that my organs were failing and I should prepare myself and "tidy my affairs".

I felt fine and did not take the comment seriously, until a hour later when I realised I could not lift my head from the pillow, such was the effectiveness of the pain relief being dripped into me. I did not sleep that night, and surprised the doctor the next morning that I was still there on his rounds.

 

I took my treatments more seriously (exercises) and started eating as I was told (6,000 calories a day) instead of just lying there and "waiting to get better". However about a week later, the same doctor delivered that message again. I stayed awake again, focusing on thoughts of my two young daughters (aged 5 & 2 years) to get through the night. Over the next few days my Liver and Kidneys began to respond and after 5 months continuous hospitalisation, I was allowed to return home briefly before returning for more operations.

 

I don't know where the strength to survive comes from, but having a "warning" chat probably made the difference. It took a long time for life to get better, but I am glad I survived this long at least.

 

Thank you Ady for the story of John Taylor, and Thank You to all those who helped me survive in 1983.

 

Tony

Thank you for sharing a very impressive story. The power of human resolve in crisis is mighty, and a critically important ally in fighting serious disease or injury, something I have witnessed many times over my four decades of practicing medicine. The story reminds me of reading "Reach for the Sky" maybe fifty years ago, when Bader was left in a private hospital room, having lost both legs in a flying accident. Through the haze of sedatives and analgetics, he was said to have heard the voice of a nurse outside his door asking another person to keep quiet because "there is a dying young pilot in that room..." On hearing this, the story goes, Bader realised that the "dying young pilot" was him, and he resolved to fight back there and then...

 

The story of John Taylor was very touching. I remember watching the race on b/w TV in Sweden, and the smoke indicating a serious accident at the Flugplatz was frighteningly obvious. But I cannot recall that any details about the accident were given  at all, and it was only a week later, reading the report in my father's Autocar magazine, that I learnt the tragic news.


Edited by doc knutsen, 11 January 2021 - 16:59.


#36 WillieEckerslike

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 18:02

Evening All.

Back in February 2014, I recieved an email from one of John Taylor's colleages - John Crammond. He sheds some light on the nature of John's tragic accident and gives an insight into the man himself.

Here is what he told me about John and that fateful race in August 1966.....

'Dear Ady

Thank-you for your email, l'm sorry that it has taken me a little while to reply. John Taylor was extremely serious about his future and it was David Bridges additional intention to make use
of John's ability as a skilled engineer and tuner to market engine modifications to which end he had already started to acquire certain machine tools for that purpose. Sadly John died before
any progress was made in this direction.
John was very particular about his own health and I remember him ticking all of us off for not rinsing a second time, dishes washed using a liquid such as Fairy, to make sure all traces of detergent were removed!
At the time that David decided to enter F1, cars were very hard to obtain and had David been able to purchase a more competitive Brabham John would undoubtedly won more that the single point he obtained in 1966. We had two BRM engines which, ahhough religiously returned to BRM before allowed mileages were exceeded, had an rpm limit well below those used by the top contenders.

He was popular with his racing rivals and struck up a friendship with Jim Clark who would guide him through any problems he had on the circuits, showing him approach angles, speeds, braking points etc. John recalled on one occasion Clark passing him on the outside of a corner, one hand on the steering wheel, the other in a cheery wave to John. As you already know John's accident was at the Nurburgring when a few F2 cars were allowed to join the F1 brigade. ln retrospect one could question the decision, in view of the nature of the track and the atrocious weather conditions of the day, to allow these slower F2 cars to race. However on that fateful day John collided with the rear of Jacky lckx's car.

The high pressure fuel pump feeding the engine was situated towards the front of John's car and was immediately ruptured. John later recalled to David Bridges, who visited him in hospital,
how he was standing up in his cockpit waiting for the car to slow sufficiently to allow him to jump clear. Unfortunately the petrol tanks exploded before this was possible resulting in John's awful burns. As the days went by John seemed to improve and we were all hopeful of his recovery. Sadly events suddenly took a turn for the wore and John, I believe, succumbed to septicaemia.
I attended John's funeral along with many of the drivers but it was some months before David Bridges, who was distraught, could bring himself to dispose of the remains of John's car.
My memory of John was of a very confident and able person determined to get to the top, but not sosingle minded that he would ride roughshod over everyone to get there. I often think of him even today but now nearly all of those who were around in those days are no longer with us. Thank goodness F1 is so much safer today.

Kind Regards

John Crammond.'

#37 ensign14

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 19:11

Thanks for sharing, Willie.  It's nice to see tributes paid to someone who gave their life for their brief brush with F1 and is easily overlooked as a tragic footnote. 



#38 Macca

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 17:44

IMG-6294.jpg

 

Here is a photo I bought from Ted Walker some years ago (copyright Ferret) of John Taylor with 'Mr Bob' and team.

 

I've always felt John's career deserved more coverage; it surprises me that MS have never done an article that I can remember. A nice model of his Brabham-BRM BT11 was made by Spark not long ago.

 

Paul M