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Hugh Chamberlain - RIP


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#1 SamoanAttorney

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 14:33

Sad news as all-round good egg, Hugh Chamberlain, has passed away.

 

As ever, there is a fine tribute from the BRDC.

 

http://www.brdc.co.u...ain-1941---2024



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#2 2F-001

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 14:56

That's very sad to hear. I saw him briefly at a social gathering last year - though I couldn't say I really 'knew' him, and hadn't known he was ill.

 

Something of an 'under-sung stalwart' of the sport, I think.



#3 Odseybod

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 17:17

Oh, that's a shame - such good company.

 

We're fast running out of characters who have been there, done it and can tell an entertaining tale about it. 

 

God speed, sir.



#4 RTH

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 18:28

Hugh Chamberlain passing is indeed very sad news . A lovely bloke full of stories and humour. He was local to me here and we saw him several times a year for the last 20 . Also as a guest speaker and regular attendee at the film shows . Oh dear. Many others will no doubt document his 26 appearances at Le Mans as a private entrant with a wide range of cars also achieving the C2 championship with a Spice and hundreds of other races over 50 years+. He started out as a beat policeman in North London . For many years ran a precision machine shop in Buntingford . Raced himself in U2 Clubman's cars at one point every car on the grid had a Chamberlain all steel 1700 cc crossflow engine . Had a large industrial unit with at one time 16 staff preparing racing cars just beyond the end of the runway at Stansted airport. Ran the works MG Lola team at Le Mans as well as factory cars for Lotus with Esprits and TVRs , Jaguar, plus vast numbers of other projects . I will miss him greatly .



#5 marksixman

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 20:56

How very sad.

 

To  most enthusiasts of my generation the words 'private entrant' and 'Le Mans' meant Hugh Chamberlain ( and of course de Cad !). But his contribution to grass roots motorsport was perhaps even greater. 

 

Hands up everyone who has benefitted from his work, advice, help, and enthusiasm over many years.

 

Not many will have so many waving them goodbye.

 

Rev In Peace Hugh.



#6 JacnGille

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 21:58

Sad news



#7 mariner

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Posted 01 March 2024 - 14:13

Sad news. Hug was a guest speaker several times at our Hertfordshire 750MC Centre. He was on the surface the perfect barroom raconteur, full of funny stories not just about racing but about his times as police constable at the Camden Town stationetc. 

 

But when when he talked about Le Mans etc you realised the huge depth of his Endurance Racing know how, a walking encyclorpedia of how to do long distance racing. Two ones I remember.  

 

When running a team of the big Dodge Vipers he would impress on his drivers to NEVER immediately re-start the engine if they went of into the gravel traps. First open the bonnet and check for stones scooped into the bottom shelf under the cogged drive belts because if they didn't the moment the engine was re-started the belts would jam and break .

 

He also explained that you must replace the short cable that links the helmet  microphone to the car radio by a much longer one of about 20 ft uncoiled. That allows the pit mechanics to talk to the  driver as he/she gets out and looks under the engine cover etc. 

 

 

Not many people go from local constable to car parts shop manager to engine builder to Endurance team principal so a life very well lived . 


Edited by mariner, 01 March 2024 - 14:16.


#8 2F-001

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Posted 01 March 2024 - 16:50

He also explained that you must replace the short cable that links the helmet  microphone to the car radio by a much longer one of about 20 ft uncoiled. That allows the pit mechanics to talk to the  driver as he/she gets out and looks under the engine cover etc. 

 

Now that shows real experience, insight or forethought (or all three...)!


Edited by 2F-001, 01 March 2024 - 16:50.


#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 March 2024 - 18:50

I never had the evident pleasure of meeting Hugh Chamberlain - but what a career he had within motor sport.  RIP - indeed...

 

DCN



#10 marksixman

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 11:14

Nice to see this from the ACO.

 

https://www.24h-lema...amberlain-58378



#11 SamoanAttorney

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 12:39

Pity they omitted the MG campaign..... 

Nice to see this from the ACO.

 

https://www.24h-lema...amberlain-58378



#12 marksixman

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 17:40

Pity they omitted the MG campaign..... 

Indeed !



#13 SamoanAttorney

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 20:42

I never had the evident pleasure of meeting Hugh Chamberlain - but what a career he had within motor sport.  RIP - indeed...

 

DCN

Doug, you and Hugh would have hit it off big time, two men of real achievement......I was fortunate enough to know him well from the races and to have had a drink or three together at Le Mans....it was always a highlight of the 24 Hours.



#14 RaceCarToons

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 00:42

I am very sorry to hear Hugh has passed away and my thoughts are with Small and all those close to him. Having heard the commentary team on Eurosport talk about him leaving us at the end of yesterdays broadcast of the opening round of the 2024 WEC Season, I am very sad still about the news.

 

Living in Scotland the chances of our paths crossing hadn't happened since since attending an LMP3 race at Donington 2018 as I recall. He was on great form that day as ever, reminiscing about the days when I worked for him through 1984 & 1985 and everything in between. I have great memories of my time with Hugh and everyone at Chamberlain Engineering which he talked about re establishing when we met that day. He was a great all round bloke, passionate about motorsport, to the point, enjoyed a pint of bitter every now and then, serious and stern about the preparation of his cars and loved a good racing story with a laugh at the end.

 

As the Clubmans success with Will Hoy, Gareth Chapman and others turned to include racing in Thundersports, Sports 2000 and Touring Cars with the 3 cylinder Daihatsu. I remember the day clearly when his Tiga Hart arrived in Buntingford it was a beast in comparison to the Mallocks & Marler Haley we were used to preparing. Fantastic times and sport car or endurance racing was on the wall, as part of Hughs vision fro the team.

 

I remember visiting Silverstone for one of the 1000k endurance races and Hugh was as interested to show me the teams new artic truck as he was the two Spices he was running. Having returning home to Scotland I always tried to keep a eye on how his teams progressed, with success at Le Mans in GT Cars and with significant British manufacturers like Lotus, MG, TVR & others. All I am sure down to Hughs determination, passion, professionalism and personality.      

 

Its sad to think we won't speak again as I will always remember my days with Hugh Chamberlain. 

 

referred to or know as *The Noo" at Chamb Eng - Justin Lyle



#15 70JesperOH

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Posted 09 March 2024 - 10:03

For a man I never knew, I will miss Hugh Chamberlain. By the mid-1980s a number of Danish drivers contested the FIA World Championship for Sports Cars in the C2 category, none for Chamberlain. But his name always came up. Although never in the same league as Gordon Spice or Ray Mallock, his team always seemed to be close to the action; 16th on the grid at Le Mans 1988, 7.5 seconds up on Gordon Spice for C2 glory still stands for me as a milestone.

 

By the mid 2000s I was writing a Le Mans preview and looking back discovered that the name of Hugh Chamberlain turned up year-by-year in all kinds of configurations.

 

Best of respect

Jesper



#16 mariner

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Posted 18 March 2024 - 09:41

Hugh's funeral is on April 3rd near Buntingford.

 

I think it is an open invitation to the pub drinks afterwards.

 

If you would like the details please PM me.



#17 RTH

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Posted 01 April 2024 - 13:47

This coming Wednesday  3rd April

 

Subject: Hugh Chamberlains funeral
 

For anyone who is interested, Hugh Chamberlain’s funeral will take place:

 

on Wednesday 3 April 2024 at 13.30,

 

at St. Mary the Virgin, Church End, Braughing, Ware, Hertfordshire SG11 2QA

 

It has been requested that, straight after the service, could everyone please gather

 

at The Brewery Tap, Barley Croft End, Furneux Pelham, Buntingford, Hertfordshire SG9 0LL

 

where those invited to attend the private burial will join later.



#18 RTH

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 07:41

1.30pm today Wednesday 3rd April.