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Restoration of 'Run Baby Run’ Dave Brodie's MK1 Escort 50 years on


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#1 RTH

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 14:27

What a 2 1/2 years we have all gone through since our last gathering  in October 2019 . We have not given up on the idea but there are problems and  it may be a while  yet .
 
Those of you who attended club race meetings from 1969 to 1973 will remember  at that time  the most popular crowd pleasing race was usually  the last race of the day for unlimited  'Special Saloons '
 
Crystal Palace set in residential south London  at that time was  a big draw for both competitors and spectators as indeed of course was  Brands Hatch set as it is in a  natural bowl for great visibility. In 1969 a chap called Dave Brodie  who started racing as a  youngster in 1963 in an Austin A35 with immediate success had progressed on to racing a Ford Anglia . Working hands on in his electroplating business 12 hrs a day  working in the main for racing car manufacturers  to get the wherewithal to build his car and go racing.........appeared in 1969 with the then  new model  Ford Escort Twin Cam self built  with the  factory  steel bubble wheel arches -   from the factory assisted  Alan Mann and Broadspeed project cars .
 
David's car  stood out from everything else in the paddock,   finished as it was in a high quality deep gloss black paint finish with the outline of the car and panels highlighted  with yellow coachlines. At a time when many saloon competitors had brush painted or sprayed with a vacuum cleaner finished with all the smoothness of  Brighton Beach ... 'Run Baby Run'  as the legend on the front panel wrote  immediately caused a crowd around it of   mouths open  viewers.
 
This set a whole new standard  of presentation which  lifted standards from that point . The car was fast,  David was a winner very nearly every time out  - usually after crowd pleasing close dices with the likes of  Roy Pierpoint , Mike Chittenden , John Bloomfield and others  but RBR  almost always  got the garlands, seemingly unbeatable MK 1 Escort  . The car was further developed  by enlarging the capacity out to 2.1 litres  by audaciously boring the Ford block  way out in to the waterways and having  thick  iron liners gas welded in...... to a furnace pre heated block  taking a whole week to cool down in a sand box  and all re machined . A capacity resulted  that no one else ever matched . The Twin Cam Lotus engine became a Cosworth BDA.
David amassed over 200 wins in his career.
 
Anyway , after  50 years of inactivity and being  dismantled under a sheet in Wiltshire  in a farm building  following a 6 year rebuild  'Run baby Run was revealed to a gathering of 120 people at the BRDC Suite at Silverstone  on a glorious day last Wednesday and it again looks spectacular 
 
Here is a 8 min film clip , click on this to watch  of proceedings    https://youtu.be/eylzslfOstA

 



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#2 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 16 June 2022 - 18:17

The trouble is though Richard, it's not the original car from what I have read and have been told by very reliable sources. The original was sold and then written off many years ago in Sweden, but then maybe Dave had more than one car, which this thread alludes to - 
Hopefully this myth of the original car being under a sheet for 50 years won't be perpetuated into the history books and if Dave would like to show pictures and the continued history of this restored car, then great, but I don't think it will happen...

A nice little video of the original car with a lot of the early Special Saloon regulars and even commentary from Murray Walker - 



#3 chr1s

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Posted 16 June 2022 - 21:27

The trouble is though Richard, it's not the original car from what I have read and have been told by very reliable sources. The original was sold and then written off many years ago in Sweden, but then maybe Dave had more than one car, which this thread alludes to - 
 

Well, I definitely  saw a "Run baby run" escort at the Brooklands New years day car show a few years ago, it stopped me in my tracks as I knew I had heard of it in the past and it took me a while to work out where.  Must have been replica?



#4 doc knutsen

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Posted 18 June 2022 - 18:10

The trouble is though Richard, it's not the original car from what I have read and have been told by very reliable sources. The original was sold and then written off many years ago in Sweden, but then maybe Dave had more than one car, which this thread alludes to - 
Hopefully this myth of the original car being under a sheet for 50 years won't be perpetuated into the history books and if Dave would like to show pictures and the continued history of this restored car, then great, but I don't think it will happen...

A nice little video of the original car with a lot of the early Special Saloon regulars and even commentary from Murray Walker - 

Would you know who in Sweden bought the car, and who drove it when it was written off, possibly also when? I ran a number of races in Sweden from 1976 onwards, but cannot recall this particular car or accident.



#5 Roryswood

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Posted 19 June 2022 - 10:17

Well, I definitely  saw a "Run baby run" escort at the Brooklands New years day car show a few years ago, it stopped me in my tracks as I knew I had heard of it in the past and it took me a while to work out where.  Must have been replica?



Back early 1972 an Irish sponsor gave an Irish driver a cheque as a deposit for the purchase of RBR , he went to view the car and was happy with the car on offer , Dave asked him when would the deal go ahead , he didn't want to waste Brodies time and said that he didn't think the purchase would take place, so on arrival back in Dublin he dropped the cheque in the sponsors letterbox and never herd from him again . After years ago I was chatting to another competitor from the period and he said he had trailered the car to Dublin for the original purchaser .
Personally I suspect there may have been more than 1 RBR , in 1972 or maybe 1971 there was an article in Motoring New on Brodie offering RBR replicas for the road , at the launch he said there was only 1 , however there was also a MK1 Escort Estate with bubble arches in black built for a customer , I have the article filed but it is in storage and not easy to access , so I am sceptical of the narrative at the launch

#6 Myhinpaa

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Posted 19 June 2022 - 10:17

There was a thread started some years ago by a filmmaker who was working on a documentary about Dave Brodie and "Run Baby Run"

 

https://forums.autos...e-run-baby-run/  Since then it seems to have only resulted in a trailer. (?)

 

I'm intrigued by the "Swedish Connection" too, maybe it went there through Ronnie Peterson and his connections?

As we know Dave Brodie was a very good friend of Ronnie, his contribution in the film "Superswede" is one of the most compelling.

 

We can only speculate about the origins of the recently restored car, the work on the shell was done in a unit close to Mercedes F1 in Brackley in 2014.

Nothing wrong with an honest replica I must hasten to add, a well built, historically correct replica does definitely have value and significance too.

 

Over the last 25 years or so many alleged "works" Escorts have re-emerged, of those only a tiny handful are genuine cars.

There is even examples of a genuine (Rothmans) car being discovered and then completely ruined by a reshell and upgrade to modern spec.

 

Honest, correct replicas should be celebrated, but the truly genuine cars even more so. Restored or unrestored.

 

Edit: Some more relevant links.

 

http://run-baby-run.co.uk/

 

https://chalkstar.bi....com/who-are-we

 

https://davidbrodie.co.uk/

 

https://www.newburyt...e-told-9173601/


Edited by Myhinpaa, 19 June 2022 - 10:40.