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Chapman running from the police


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#1 The Runner

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 05:56

Talking of TV coverage on another thread.

I remember before the start of the Dutch Grand Prix, either in 1964 or 1965, Colin Chapman had a run in with officialdom on the starting grid, I remember Raymond Baxter's surprise at what was going on, and the camera following Colin trying to get away from the boys in blue.
But I wish I knew what went on that day, does anyone else remember this? And does anyone else know what actually it was that occured.

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#2 Buford

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 05:59

Oh I thought this was going to be about Chapman not really dying but actually living in Argentina under an assumed name due to his involvement in the Delorean scandal.

#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 08:18

I remember the police having hold of Chapman's legs on one side of the pit counter and Dick Scammell and the other Lotus mechanics having hold of him round the neck and arms and a rare tug of war erupting with Chapman roaring, in between strangled gasps "Come on Lads - get the Bastards off me - Come ONNNN!!!". He loved his ocasional role as leader of the hardest gang in town...the biggest risk-takers, the noisiest revellers, the most practical of practical jokers. And taking on the detested Dutch or Italian or French police would really have got the adrenalin racing.

DCN

#4 BRG

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 11:47

Originally posted by Buford
Chapman not really dying but actually living in Argentina under an assumed name

Tell me more! I'm a sucker for a good conspiracy theory!

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 12:10

Originally posted by BRG
Tell me more! I'm a sucker for a good conspiracy theory!


The way I heard it he was living in the Brazilian jungle with Ronnie Peterson, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe ....

Runner - it was 1965. The Motor Sport report doesn't say why Chapman was in bother, only that he was "involved in a punch-up with the Dutch police" - he was arrested after the race for allegedly assaulting a policeman. Probably the usual "not carrying the correct pass", which Clark fell foul of at the same race two years earlier.

#6 Buford

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 12:42

Originally posted by BRG
Tell me more! I'm a sucker for a good conspiracy theory!


Some people say he was going to get indicted or whatever it is called in GB in the Delorlean scandal where GB thought some of the money they poured into it had been stolen. So the story goes he went to Argentina to hide out and they faked his mysterious, sudden, and unexpected death. This was somewhat reinforced when Jackie Stewart or somebody said they had seen Chapman's wife in Buenos Aires and that was very strange because she hated to travel.

#7 racer69

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 13:20

There was an artical in Motor Racing Australia a few years back on the Chapman/DeLorean affair, i'll try and dig it out and post some of what was in the story, if i remember correctly was full of stories about what different sources reckoned had happened.

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 13:33

Wasn't that an article that was published overseas anyway?

From memory it was a bit non-committal about the whole thing.

#9 Pete Stowe

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 20:13

The Dutch GP story according to Crombac in his Chapman biography was that Colin had his official armband attached to his belt rather than round his arm. An auxiliary policeman clearing the track at the start didn't see any armband, grabbed Chapman and tried to force him over the guardrail. So Colin floored him with a left hook to the jaw. Then after the race a large contingent of police arrived at the Lotus pit and tried to arrest him.
Chapman spent the night in jail, appeared in court, where the lawyer engaged for his defence got him aquitted.

Originally posted by BRG
Tell me more! I'm a sucker for a good conspiracy theory!


As I heard it from one of the mechanics on Senna's Lotus, it was Brazil, near his old chum R. Biggs Esq.

#10 Roger Clark

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 21:35

Posted Image

Autosport July 30 1965.

I should point out that the picture is not strictly accurate. It shows the 32-valve version of the Lotus-Climax, but Clark drove a flat-crank 16-valve version, following practice problems with the more powerful car.

#11 Doug Nye

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 22:19

I really have very little patience with all this 'Chapman's alive and well and having a bronzie on Copacabana beach' umbala. Colin died. He ceased to be. He was not as far as I recall cremated. There was a body. It was placed with due dignity in a coffin. And it was buried. And his wife, and his daughters, and his son and all his people grieved for him. And he's there still under six feet of good soil. And while it's nice to swop yarns about what might have been and that he might still be propping up a bar somewhere, not yet down to the last of his embezzled funds...just don't take this nause at all seriously... If he'd still been around he would never, ever, have been able to keep quiet and not INTERFERE.

DCN

#12 Vitesse2

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 22:28

Doug - I don't think anyone who has posted in this thread seriously believes Colin is still around. In fact, I'd say that the general opinion around here is that the whole story could be described by a word that rhymes with rowlocks!

Perhaps we didn't put in enough :rolleyes:s!!

#13 Doug Nye

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 22:44

Gawd - I must be tired - I don't think I often miss a moment of levity....

BTW (like the initials, I'm getting infected with this TNF-speak), delivered BRM 2 ce soir...

DCN

#14 Buford

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Posted 28 June 2002 - 01:47

Yeah I obviously don't think Colin is alive and hiding out any more than I think Elvis is. But it has often been brought up that there was speculation about that and some people either did believe it, or thought it was a possibility.

#15 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 12:37

The 1965 Dutch GP was indeed spoiled by the Chapman Case. Just before the start a group of five policemen had been summoned to clear the grid. They knew nobody by face there. All they recognized were the arm bands for journalists, mechanics, officials, etc. At that moment Chapman had chosen to move quickly to his post at the pit for timing, when he was requested to remove himself from the grid. Of course with the start some moments away, he did not oblige to make a longer walk than necessary. Somehow the commanding officer received a fist from ACBC, both men in a stressful situation. Chapman ran back to the Lotus pits as could be seen on a film. 

After the race, the police (who had tried to convince Chapman during the race to come with them which he had plainly refused) raided the Lotus pit and a small struggle evolved. Hazel Chapman seemed to have even received a blow to the face while Chapman's shirt came loose, was scratched and blue spotted. He could find refuge in the race tower where the Dutch race organizers negotiated on the following steps. Chapman had to report himself at the Zandvoort police station that evening, where he showed up with the BRM team manager. Unfortunately for him he had to spend a night there on the judge orders. However the next morning when the judge had spoken to Chapman for 3 hours in Haarlem, he found him to be a gentleman and let him go on his word of honor that he would come back for a first court session that Tuesday. The judge understood that emotions had ruled this case.

 

The case evolved with a technical research that lasted until November. The case closed in January '66 with in a fine of 250 guilder (at the time 25 GBP). Little it seems as Chapman was robbed of 5 millione Lire coming back from Monza. That's another story....

 

What else happened: the winner ceremony was not carried out as Clark had joined his team boss at the station. And the story is that the trophies were not handed out. For Stewart there was even a special Carel Godin de Beaufort Trophy ready to be handed out by CGdB's niece as a tribute to her uncle who had crashed fatally the year before. They were all placed back in their wrappers.

In the Dutch parliament questions were posed to the Dutch Minister of Justice if the Police should not be instructed better/trained for this kind of events. He declined.

And the Zandvoort authorities worried this case may lead to a loss of the Grand Prix... Not until 1985 it was.

The Dutch police received many letters, both negative and positive reactions, from Dutch and English.

The court case was extended and Chapman had to fly to Holland on several occasions. On the Tuesday court visit he even met the officer who had received the punch and asked him how he was doing. The officer explained to the press he was honored to shake hands with Chapman.

A small diorama was made on which a witness could explain the route Chapman had walked/ran. Jim Clark and Mike Spence helped unpacking and packing of the Dinky model cars. 

Chapman was wearing his arm band around his belt and not around his arm as he had a short sleeved shirt. The officers explained that this was not of any issue, Chapman simply had to leave the track.

Chapman was praised in the Dutch press on his behavior and way he wanted to clear his name. A true gentleman.


Edited by Arjan de Roos, 08 May 2019 - 12:56.


#16 BRG

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 17:29

The case closed in January '66 with in a fine of 250 guilder (at the time 25 GBP). Little it seems as Chapman was robbed of 5 millione Lire coming back from Monza. That's another story...

I don't think 5m lire was much more than that anyway.  I recall a skiing trip to Italy in the early 1970s when I realised that the rather sparse amount of sterling that I had brought with me was still sufficient to  make me a lire millionaire!

 

BAck to the story: I have never been comfortable with police at race tracks.  Le Mans used to have more gendarmes in the pitlane than team personnel.  Did they fear the theft of a 250LM from under the very noses of Ferrari?  Le Mans also always had a contingent of the machine-gun weilding CRS (the riot police) usually lurking in one of the car parks, presumably in the belief that when 1 or 2 hundred thousand Frenchman assemble in one place, it will always end up in a fight.

 

Police always seem to turn up at British race meetings but generally keep on the public side of the fence.  I have always suspected that it was just a chance to get a free look at a race, but then, I have always been a cynic!   Police in the pitlane or on the grid seems a total no-no for me.  They aren't in the control of the race direction, they don't know what is meant to be happening, they aren't trained as race marshals, basically they have no good reason to be there.



#17 JacnGille

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 17:39

Don't know about now but years ago the garage Rent -A-Cops at Daytona's main job seemed to make life difficult for those in attendance.



#18 JtP2

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 18:01

If I have done my checking and arithmetic correctly, 5M lire was about £2,850. Just slightly more than a factory built Lotus Elan



#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 02:27

That would mean a lightweight, a 26R?

Which were considerably dearer than a road car...

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#20 john aston

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 05:52

Just to add to the ACBC alive and well canon , a former Team Lotus employee who was fixing my  malfunctioning Caterham swore blind he'd seen Chapman in the bar at Brands holding court, some time in late 80s or early 90s.

 

My man  is probably now a frequent visitor to David Icke's website .......     



#21 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 06:38

I don't think 5m lire was much more than that anyway. 

In September 1965 it was 2.866 Pound Sterling to be exact. Serious money in those days.

 

Note: I did not revive this thread for other stories than the 1965 Dutch GP incident.



#22 john aston

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 07:32

That's me told then ...



#23 absinthedude

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 11:10

https://www.youtube....h?v=itfBTH6uMDQ

 

About one minute in.......



#24 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 11:48

I don't think 5m lire was much more than that anyway.  I recall a skiing trip to Italy in the early 1970s when I realised that the rather sparse amount of sterling that I had brought with me was still sufficient to  make me a lire millionaire!

 

BAck to the story: I have never been comfortable with police at race tracks.  Le Mans used to have more gendarmes in the pitlane than team personnel.  Did they fear the theft of a 250LM from under the very noses of Ferrari?  Le Mans also always had a contingent of the machine-gun weilding CRS (the riot police) usually lurking in one of the car parks, presumably in the belief that when 1 or 2 hundred thousand Frenchman assemble in one place, it will always end up in a fight.

 

Police always seem to turn up at British race meetings but generally keep on the public side of the fence.  I have always suspected that it was just a chance to get a free look at a race, but then, I have always been a cynic!   Police in the pitlane or on the grid seems a total no-no for me.  They aren't in the control of the race direction, they don't know what is meant to be happening, they aren't trained as race marshals, basically they have no good reason to be there.

 

Rowley Pk Speedway late 70s a brawl started in the pits between a couple of sidecar teams. Ended up on the opposite side of the track with several arrests. Sidecar competitor Sam Bass a policeman, later Star Force then MP. V The Taylors, then a major multifranchise  motorcycle operation. I have always heard the Sam and his passenger also a cop]  started it. though the bad feeling had been on for several meetings.

The police were held to account however by the promoters as they were [then] paid for for crowd control.



#25 BRG

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 18:03

In September 1965 it was 2.866 Pound Sterling to be exact. Serious money in those days.

I guess the lire slid a long way down then.  By the late 70s, it wasn't worht much at all.  I recall that some chancer had scooped up all the 50 lire coins because their value as scrap metal exceeded their face value significantly.  As a result, the banks were allowed to issue 50 lire notes.  I had one issued by the Banco di Sicilia which was rock solid, being backed by you-know-who!  Alternatively, slot machine jetons and chewing gum packs were acting as makeshift currency substitutes.  You had to make sure you didn't leave Italy with any of these as a UK bank wasn't going to take them seriously as forex.

 

Happy days before the euro solved everybodies problems...  ;)



#26 Regazzoni

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 18:55

The amount in lire was worth as much as the corresponding amount in pounds, don't be deceived and flattered by the zeros.

 

The makeshift notes on small lires lasted a couple of years at the end of the '70s.



#27 JtP2

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 19:32

It is interesting that the policeman to the right of the original Chapman incident officer, restrains his colleague from pursuit.