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Louis T Stanley


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#1 f1steveuk

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 10:00

I've been speaking recently to quite a few people, who dealt in the past with Louis T Stanley. One of the opinions that was offered on many occasions, can best be illustrated by how one person evidenced it. I quote:

 

"Have you read "Strictly Off The Record"? If you believe that, he was present for everything, every event, every important meeting, every tragedy, every aftermath, and he bloody well wasn't!! But my  god he liked you to think he was!! He should have been in PR, trouble is, he'd only have one client, himself!"

 

As I say, a view shared by many, who are proven to have worked or interacted with "Big Lou".

 

As a boy/young man, my opinion was obviously from a great distance, but he seemed to drag BRM down singlehandedly with what seemed to me, a very blinkered AND short sighted grasp of reality, summed up for me by Mike Wilds DFV story. 

 

So was the problem Stanley or lack of money, or was the lack of money Stanley's fault, as one ex colleague proffered? 

 

He seems a bit of an enigma! 



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#2 nmansellfan

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 13:07

I've heard the same anecdotes as many about Stanley's theatre of recieving a 'phone call' from the workshop during his contract negotiations at the Dorchester with drivers, to tell them that they had just found X more horsepower from a new exhaust system etc.  Thats about as much as I know about the man though.

 

I've not heard Mike Wilds DFV story, Steve, what was it?



#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 15:05

It was not terribly complimentary about Mr Stanley.  

 

As he might put it: "The fellow had certain redeeming features...but few in number".

 

To him as I pursued my early BRM Saga researches I became "The odious Mr Nye".  

 

"Odorous" I might have accepted, but ...     ;)

 

DCN.     



#4 kevins

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 15:06

I can only add another anecdote of sorts, which I may have muddled up in my mind as it's decades since I read it, I think in Jackie Stewart book "Faster".

 

It concerns Jackie's Spa '66 crash, and Louis Stanley was in the ambulance with him. JYS felt the situation allowed that he call him Louis instead of Mr Stanley. To which Stanley replied, Jackie, if you're going to call me by my first name, say it properly, Louise (or similar), not Lewis!



#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 16:08

Back in the late 1990s I was working for a well-known - now defunct - chain of newsagents/convenience stores and was asked to provide two weeks of managerial cover for their branch in Stevenage, which was in a hell of a mess, having not had a full-time manager for several months.

 

The local area manager turned up to see how I was getting on and while he was there he received an anguished call from the manager of another store near Cambridge, asking him to try to placate an angry customer who was furious about something to do with his newspaper and magazine deliveries, which IIRC had been turning up too late for his liking. It turned out that said customer was a resident of Trumpington - Big Lou himself. I think his house was actually the last on the round and - Big Lou being Big Lou - he took all the Sunday broadsheets, complete with their numerous supplements and magazines, so the paperboy was probably pretty knackered after cycling up the drive hauling (at least) a Sunday Times, a Sunday Telegraph and an Observer. Probably an Independent, Mail and Express too, but I'm sure Lou wouldn't have stooped as low as the News of the World, The People, Sunday Sport or Sunday Mirror! At the time, both Motorsport News and Autosport were quite often late delivered into wholesalers' warehouses as well, so were held over until the following day - which of course Big Lou wasn't accepting as an excuse, as he was personally far too important for this to happen, so it was obviously the shop's fault.

 

As soon as I heard the name 'Mr Stanley' as part of the conversation I guessed who it was: the area manager had a hell of a job keeping his own temper as Lou berated him for stuff which was entirely out of his - or anyone in the company's - control. Eventually he got him calmed down - I think by offering him free delivery for a couple of months - but if there had been a cat anywhere on the premises I think he'd have drop-kicked it once he finally got off the phone. He was certainly mouthing silent obscenities while listening to Big Lou's diatribe - apparently it wasn't the first time they'd crossed swords!



#6 john aston

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 18:01

He's always been a popular figure of fun. Tea at the Dorchester, cartoon toff (if not quite as posh as he hinted at ) - such an easy target  But unlike most of his peers(sorry)  this  team boss cared enough about drivers' welfare to help found the GP Drivers Medical Unit in 1967. Flawed ? Yes , but not without redeeming features  


Edited by john aston, 05 December 2023 - 18:02.


#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 18:38

Anyone who’s read Bobbie Neate’s book will be aware of what an evil monster he was away from motor sport.

#8 rl1856

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 15:21

One wonders what BRM could have achieved c1970-73 had they concentrated on entering just 2 cars per race, instead of as many as 4.



#9 PRD

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 15:43

One wonders what BRM could have achieved c1970-73 had they concentrated on entering just 2 cars per race, instead of as many as 4.

 

And used a DFV like most of the other teams



#10 nmansellfan

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 16:22

One wonders what BRM could have achieved c1970-73 had they concentrated on entering just 2 cars per race, instead of as many as 4.

 

They went even further - for the last race of '71 and a few races in '72, they entered 5 cars!



#11 jtremlett

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 20:54

One wonders what BRM could have achieved c1970-73 had they concentrated on entering just 2 cars per race, instead of as many as 4.

I can't see it would have made much difference.  It wasn't uncommon in that period for teams to have more than two entries if they could find someone to stump up the necessary funds for it.  A glance at a table of BRM's results is enough to show that they only really had decent reliability between about 1962 and 1965 and whether they ran more or fewer cars didn't seem to make any difference save that there were more cars to break down.  



#12 Doug Nye

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Posted 07 December 2023 - 08:35

Incorrect, I believe.  Running so many cars against a background of insufficient current-spec new and/or low-mileage spare parts compromised reliability to an unacceptable degree. Furthermore - and even more significantly (if that is possible) - running four and occasionally five cars totally overloaded the factory staff, and even more so the travelling team personnel...who in number barely exceeded those deemed necessary to change a single F1 car's wheels during one pit stop alone today.

 

DCN



#13 jtremlett

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Posted 07 December 2023 - 11:00

I'm sure that's true but my point was rather that they weren't reliable when running two cars after about 1965 so, whilst running more cars will assuredly not have helped, they were never reliable in the 3-litre era anyway.  Fewer cars would just have meant fewer excuses.



#14 Doug Nye

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Posted 07 December 2023 - 11:13

:confused:



#15 10kDA

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Posted 07 December 2023 - 14:35

One wonders what BRM could have achieved c1970-73 had they concentrated on entering just 2 cars per race, instead of as many as 4.

At the time I wondered about their 4 and 5 car entries. Could it have had something to do with sponsorship? Did they have a deal structured such that the greater visibility due to more cars resulted in more money paid?



#16 rl1856

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Posted 07 December 2023 - 14:48

Their engine was powerful enough to compete at the front end of the field.  Their chassis, particularly the P160 series was among the best of the period.  Reliability *was* an issue.  Were problems caused by inherent design flaws, or from being forced to over use parts because the resources of the team were stretched beyond capacity ?      Discounting the H16 dead end- how many cars did BRM enter per race from 1962-65, and from 1970-73 ?   A cohesive 2 car team that remained the focus of the team's leadership and allocation of resources vs a team struggling to allocate resources in an environment where the team leader wanted quantity over quality at each appearance because more cars equated to more potential exposure for the sponsor.


Edited by rl1856, 07 December 2023 - 14:48.


#17 chr1s

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Posted 07 December 2023 - 21:42

Incorrect, I believe.  Running so many cars against a background of insufficient current-spec new and/or low-mileage spare parts compromised reliability to an unacceptable degree.

 

DCN

Niki Lauda said that the BRM fuel pumps used to pack up with monotonous regularity, sarcastically he once asked a mechanic if they were the same pumps that Siffert and Rodriguez had used? "Very probably" was the answer!



#18 10kDA

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 14:23

It was not terribly complimentary about Mr Stanley.  

 

As he might put it: "The fellow had certain redeeming features...but few in number".

 

To him as I pursued my early BRM Saga researches I became "The odious Mr Nye".  

 

"Odorous" I might have accepted, but ...     ;)

 

DCN.     

Doug -I did some searching re: Bobbie Neate and the Mike Wilds DFV story and happened upon your Motorsport article "Louis Stanley: Another Fine Mess?" which could have been subtitled "How It's Done - When Bubbles Need Bursting" LOL Well done.

 

"Wewease Wodewick!"



#19 Charlieman

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 16:33

Their engine was powerful enough to compete at the front end of the field.  Their chassis, particularly the P160 series was among the best of the period.  Reliability *was* an issue.  Were problems caused by inherent design flaws, or from being forced to over use parts because the resources of the team were stretched beyond capacity ?      Discounting the H16 dead end- how many cars did BRM enter per race from 1962-65, and from 1970-73 ?   A cohesive 2 car team that remained the focus of the team's leadership and allocation of resources vs a team struggling to allocate resources in an environment where the team leader wanted quantity over quality at each appearance because more cars equated to more potential exposure for the sponsor.

I tend to agree so I'll talk around the issues raised.

 

I believe that some V12s were good and some less good. One thing about Cosworth is that once they had designed good F1 and F2 engines and built them in small quantities, they developed the company to ensure that things were done properly. I always feel that BRM knew that things ought to be done properly but could never manage it consistently.

 

Regarding the 1.5 litre formula years, BRM ran a two car team for the championship, but provided chassis and engines to privateers. The factory team was favoured in every way and customers never had the best spec engines. Overall privateers received a fair deal. The extra work must have stretched resources and I doubt there was much profit.

 

Louis Stanley's memorial is that he screwed up the best sponsorship deal in F1 (Marlboro) after losing a pretty good one (Yardley).



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#20 RobertE

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 10:03

Brian Lister related to me a conversation with him:

 

Stanley: "I'm becoming a cult!!"

 

Lister: "You're nearly there..."

 

- I hope that was true...



#21 Roger Clark

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 11:45

Everything I have read and heard indicates that Louis Stanley was a very unpleasant man, totally unsuited to running a formula 1 team in the 1970s, possibly unsuited to running anything at any time.  Against that, we have to admire the contribution he made to motor racing safety.  Several drivers were extremely grateful for the work he did getting them home after accidents abroad.

 

BRM's success began when Tony Rudd was given full control and began to decline when he left.  Tony Southgate designed some excellent cars and the core of Rudd's team were still in place but it was allowed to dissipate. I am glad that there was never a BRM-Cosworth because it wouldn't have been a BRM.  Making the entire car was crucial to what made them different.

 

I wouldn't criticise BRM for the quality of the V8s supplied to customers.  Coventry Climax were only able to support two truly front line teams (Lotus throughout, Cooper at first, Brabham later) and Jack was often critical of the engines he got. Unlike BRM, Climax were established to provide engines to customers.



#22 f1steveuk

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Posted 18 December 2023 - 11:37

Nothing to contradict the comments made to me. Popular words were "slimy" and "loathsome", so he certainly had an impact!


Edited by f1steveuk, 18 December 2023 - 11:38.


#23 MartLgn

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Posted 18 December 2023 - 18:40

It was not terribly complimentary about Mr Stanley.  

 

As he might put it: "The fellow had certain redeeming features...but few in number".

 

To him as I pursued my early BRM Saga researches I became "The odious Mr Nye".  

 

"Odorous" I might have accepted, but ...     ;)

 

DCN.     

Doug, you do know coming up to Christmas you've mentioned the 'Book' that we are all waiting for?



#24 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 December 2023 - 20:17

Await next Christmas...  perhaps?   :smoking:



#25 cedricselzer

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Posted 19 December 2023 - 15:42

The question is who was he? He was the love child of Herbert Asquith (Prime minister 1908-1916) and Venetia Stanley (daughter of the Baron of Sheffield). In fact he was illegitimate. Wash out my mouth with soap and water. He married Jean Owen, the daughter of Sir Alfred Owen. I remember them well strolling around the paddock. Jean was always walked 2 steps behind him. She knew her place.



#26 jbbugatti

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Posted 19 December 2023 - 16:07

The question is who was he? He was the love child of Herbert Asquith (Prime minister 1908-1916) and Venetia Stanley (daughter of the Baron of Sheffield). In fact he was illegitimate. Wash out my mouth with soap and water. He married Jean Owen, the daughter of Sir Alfred Owen. I remember them well strolling around the paddock. Jean was always walked 2 steps behind him. She knew her place.

One correction : Jean Stanley was the sister of Sir Alfred Owen, not his daughter.


Edited by jbbugatti, 19 December 2023 - 19:40.


#27 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 December 2023 - 16:55

In my opinion Bobbie Neate’s theory that LTS was Asquith’s illegitimate son is very much pie in the sky. Here’s what I posted in an earlier thread:

I've just reread Conspiracy of Secrets, just to check that I hadn't missed anything first time round, and that my negative view of Bobbie Neate's theory was justified. If anything, I'm even more sceptical than I was before.

The evidence Neate has found clearly indicates that Louis Stanley (LTS) had to be the illegitimate son of someone very well off, whose name was probably Stanley, and who paid for him to be brought up in a style that his 'mother' Mary Ann Applegate could not have afforded on her own. That part of the jigsaw fits together nicely.

The rest of the theory, linking LTS first to Venetia Stanley and then to Asquith, relies on only two pieces of concrete evidence: the strong facial resemblance between LTS and Asquith, and LTS's claim that he had an uncle called Oliver Stanley (who Neate immediately concludes had to be Venetia's brother, although, as she herself points out, there was at least one other Oliver Stanley who could have fitted the bill).

There is absolutely no evidence that Venetia had a child in the time period in question, and even if she did, there is nothing to suggest that this child might have been LTS, apart from a certain amount of very circumstantial evidence and a vast quantity of airy speculation.



#28 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 December 2023 - 21:24

LTS became a noisy member of the Liberal Party while at Cambridge University and was plainly not averse in any way to dropping heavy hints of having "a personal connection" with the organisation's hierarchy.  He was at least in part guilty of a form of self-serving inference which Bobbie would have heard from childhood and which I believe she almost certainly built into her firmly-held theory.  

 

The most bitter venom with which she spoke privately of her step-father was almost frighteningly intense - both were plainly damaged human beings, but in my experience Bobbie was by far the more engaging - and generally believable - of the two.  She deserves sympathy - even if one would not swallow her firmly-held arguments whole.

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 20 December 2023 - 09:31.


#29 cpbell

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Posted 23 December 2023 - 22:06

Do we know why he included a photo of Bandini in the remains of the Ferrari at Monaco in one of his books?



#30 Collombin

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Posted 24 December 2023 - 00:03

Look how dangerous it used to be before I fixed it?

In fairness, his contributions in that regard did show the positive side of the man.

#31 john aston

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Posted 24 December 2023 - 07:24

Do we know why he included a photo of Bandini in the remains of the Ferrari at Monaco in one of his books? 

He was not alone in exploiting (I choose  the word deliberately) the image of the dead  Bandini. It also appeared in the film about Frank Williams - but how an incident which happened two years before FW entered F1  was relevant escapes me. The use of the image was tasteless, disrespectful and exploitative- if not quite to the ghastly extent exhibited by the person who was selling a picture  of Tom Pryce's accident at Kyalami .Really - I saw it for sale in the last year or two.  

 

ETA when I say 'picture' , it was a bloody painting. Bad enough to share a photo , but to sit down and decide how to compose it ....? Contemptible.  


Edited by john aston, 25 December 2023 - 06:57.


#32 cpbell

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Posted 24 December 2023 - 21:35

He was not alone in exploiting (I choose  the word deliberately) the image of the dead  Bandini. It also appeared in the film about Frank Williams - but how an incident which happened two years before FW entered F1  was relevant escapes me. The use of the image was tasteless, disrespectful and exploitative- if not quite to the ghastly extent exhibited by the person who was selling a picture  of Tom Pryce's accident at Kyalami .Really - I saw it for sale in the last year or two.  

I recall that programme!