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Rhodesian GP 1960


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#1 David Beard

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Posted 27 October 2002 - 15:49

The December 1960 edition of Motor Racing magazine carried an article on "The first Rhodesian Grand Prix" It was won by Syd van de Vyver in a Cooper Alfa Romeo from Doug Serrurier in a similar car. This photo of the starting grid was published. I am interested in car number 2, which appears to be a Lotus 16 (Tony Kotze?) Can anyone produce any further info?

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#2 Marcor

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Posted 27 October 2002 - 16:03

very interesting picture. I don't know much about the race, just two facts: the date was August, 14th (am I wrong ?) and Sam Tingle finished fourth with the A4 Connaught (the ex John Claes car in 1953).

#3 dmj

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Posted 27 October 2002 - 18:37

Interesting grid. It seems that someone in a Jaguar D-type did a jump start...

#4 David McKinney

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Posted 27 October 2002 - 18:53

The race was on the Belvedere circuit at Salisbury (now Harare)
I can't identify the individual cars, but can say that Syd van der Vyver and Doug Serrurier had their Cooper-Alfas up from South Africa, and locals Dave Wright and Jimmy Shield were in Climax-powered versions. The D-type is presumably Bruce Huntley's, while other known Rhodesian entries included J Guthrie in a Cooper-Bristol (ex-Kotze), Jimmy de Villiers in a Lister-Corvette and Eric Glasby with his Tojeiro-Bristol.

#5 ry6

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Posted 27 October 2002 - 19:06

This is a race I am battling to find out about.
The race took place 14August 1960.
A brilliant picture!
Are there any more from where that one came from?
What did Motor Racing report about the race?

The front row is #2 Tony Kotze (Lotus 16) - the ex- Bruce Halford car of the Monaco GP first lap crash.
#1 Syd van der Vyver (Cooper T43 Alfa)
#3 Dr Dave Wright (Cooper T43 Climax)
#4 Doug Serrurier (Cooper Climax) T45?

George Cannell's V8 Chev engine Cooper T20 (ex Eric Brandon) is behind Kotze on the 4-3-4-3 grid
and #25 is interesting - it's Geoff Meadows (Meadows Special) which seems to be a Cooper Mk IX with a 1100 JAP engine.

The Jimmy Shields Cooper T43 Climax is out of the picture on the second row.

#14 is George Mennie's Lotus 11 Climax and #13 is the snout of Bruce Huntley's D Jaguar (ex Lord Louth?)

On the right is the Cooper Bristol T20 of Les Tempest which was ex Jack Brabham ex Ian Fraser Jones.

The result was 1. van der Vyver 2. Serrurier 3. Wright 4. Tingle (in the ex Dick Gibson Connaught)
5. Tempest 6. Guthrie

A very interesting entry was Alvaro Lopes Maserati 300S from Angola, but it had problems.

There was a very varied entry which included an ERA, a Lister Corvette, Austin Healeys, a Cooper T41 Borgward for Mike Harris, and the old Jennings Riley which Bill Jennings had used to such good effect in winning 3 South African Championshisp and later sold to John Love.

#6 Bladrian

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Posted 27 October 2002 - 19:49

Great info, Rob. Thank you.

#7 Barry Boor

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Posted 27 October 2002 - 23:32

Funny thing; I looked at the photo before I read the posts. My first reaction to car #2 was - Lotus 16. Then I looked at the front end and said, 'Nah! similar but not the same.'

Just shows how wrong you can be! :blush:

#8 Udo K.

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Posted 28 October 2002 - 09:16

Originally posted by ry6
The front row is #2 Tony Kotze (Lotus 16) - the ex- Bruce Halford car of the Monaco GP first lap crash.
#1 Syd van der Vyver (Cooper T43 Alfa)
#3 Dr Dave Wright (Cooper T43 Climax)
#4 Doug Serrurier (Cooper Climax) T45?



Rob, do you know who was on pole, Kotze or Serrurier?

#9 Darren Galpin

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Posted 28 October 2002 - 09:36

This Belvedere circuit. Anyone have the track length, map, years of operation etc etc? (and yes, I do know that it sounds as if I am stuck in the same track of the record!)

#10 David Beard

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Posted 28 October 2002 - 17:48

Originally posted by ry6
This is a race I am battling to find out about.
The race took place 14August 1960.
A brilliant picture!
Are there any more from where that one came from?
What did Motor Racing report about the race?


This is the full text from Motor Racing (what is your source, by the way Rob?)

"The first Rhodesian Grand Prix in Salisbury recently, was won by South African Champion Syd van der Vyver in his Cooper Alfa Romeo, from Doug Serrurier in a similar car. Both drivers built up a dominating lead over the remainder of the field right from the start, watched by a crowd of 10,000.

The day's racing included a Junior Grand Prix for those entries which were not fast enough to qualify for the main race, a production car event, and a motor cycle race.

The triangular course used was the old Belvedere Airport~ which proved an excellent circuit when a chicane was introduced along the Pichanie Straight. Visiting drivers were enthusiastic about the circuit, and van der Vyver said it was an excellent driver's course. To attract the best possible entry, prize money for the day totalled almost E2,000.

Staunch favourites. were van der Vyver and Serrurier in their Cooper-Alfas, but other well known contenders included Cannell's Cooper-Corvette and Mennie's Lotus-Climax. Rhodesian "local" drivers were headed by Jimmy Shield with the Cooper he drove in England last season and "Doc" Wright in a similar car. Sam Tingle entered a Connaught. Most disappointed entrant was Jimmy de Villiers who had imported a fuel injected Lister Corvette especially for the race. Fuel pump trouble plagued the car and he was unable to start.

From the drop of the flag it proved to be van der Vyver's race. He built up a commanding lead over his nearest challenger, Serrurier, and apart from a spin on the penultimate Iap, finished well ahead of the remainder of the field. He was foll(med home by Serrurier, Wright, Tingle, Guthrie and Tempest, the first three in Coopers with the Connaught fourth out of a field of 25 cars, 16 finished the race.

The Junior Grand Prix was won by R. J. Flight in a TR2 with Bayliss (Consul Special), and Drummond (ERA) second and third respectively. The two other events on the programme, the motor cycle race and the production car event were won by Peter Platt (Norton) and G. T. Griffin (A.40), the latter on handicap.

The meeting was a great success, and the organisation proved to be of a very high standard. Next year it is hoped to attract overseas entries and ultimately to obtain full international recognition."

#11 David Beard

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Posted 28 October 2002 - 17:50

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Funny thing; I looked at the photo before I read the posts. My first reaction to car #2 was - Lotus 16. Then I looked at the front end and said, 'Nah! similar but not the same.'

Just shows how wrong you can be! :blush:


Actually, I had to look twice. The way the nose is painted makes it look very odd...almost as though it has an enlarged radiator intake.

#12 Barry Boor

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Posted 28 October 2002 - 18:18

That radiator opening is very non-standard. It looks miles bigger than normal and appears to be further out at the bottom than it is at the top (a la 1970 Brabham F1 - only less!)

#13 ry6

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Posted 28 October 2002 - 18:30

1. Syd van der Vyver dominated the practice as well as the race.
He qualified fastest at 1 min 22 secs.
The reason that Kotze is apparently on "pole" is that Syd probably had choice of starting slot.

2. The snout of the Kotze Lotus was enlarged. They hacked the car about a bit and don't forget it had been rebuilt after its Monaco shunt.
It was notoriously unreliable and maybe Tony had overheating problems. Also don't forget he would have had to improvise as far as parts went as custom made radiators were not available 6000 miles from Britain for a privateer driver.

3. Belvedere was 2 miles long.

4. The nose of the car on the right of #13 D Type is probably that of Mike Harris (Cooper T41 Borgward aka Borgward Special)

5. Source - some old newscuttings, knowledge of the cars and drivers, old programmes, research etc

#14 ry6

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 18:11

I pushed the arrow on the bottom right of my screen and more of the photo came i nto view!

(A dumb one me)

The Cooper snout behind Serrurier's black and white Cooper is that of Jimmy Shield.

Can anybody guess the number of the square shaped car behind the Lotus 11?

At the time of this race much was made in the publicity blurb of the fact that Jo Schlessor (wrong spelling, but THE man), who lived on the little French island Madagascar and worked as a computer
expert of sorts had been invited to drive his Ferrari.

I think I have asked this in a previous thread - but does anybody know what Ferrari Jo might have had on the island?

#15 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 18:59

Originally posted by ry6
At the time of this race much was made in the publicity blurb of the fact that Jo Schlessor (wrong spelling, but THE man), who lived on the little French island Madagascar and worked as a computer
expert of sorts had been invited to drive his Ferrari.

I think I have asked this in a previous thread - but does anybody know what Ferrari Jo might have had on the island?


14 August 1960 ? Perhaps Jo Schlesser was yet back home in France at this time ?

#16 David McKinney

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 19:20

I don't think Schlesser ever had a Ferrari in Madagascar, at least not for any length of time
As Jimmy suggests, Schlesser was back in Europe in 1960. The Ferrari he raced there was a 250GT TdF (c/no 1509), though he drove SWB models later in the year

#17 dmj

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 14:56

You call Madagascar "little island"????? :lol: How big then an island has to be for being called big???

#18 David Beard

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Posted 31 October 2002 - 21:05

Two photos of the Tony Kotze Lotus 16, kindly sent to me by Rob.
They don't show that the car was painted red, of course. Louvres are visible in the Vanwallesque tail ...but I'm still undecided whether the nose is modified. Don't think it is in these shots.


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#19 Jeff Weinbren

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Posted 02 November 2002 - 07:38

The Tony Kotze Lotus 16 was later owned by Cecil Hooper of Ecurie Aquila, I remember seeing it at Kyalami with different tires on each corner as money was a problem! I am sure that it was bought by Graham Hill and taken back to England.

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#20 David Beard

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Posted 02 November 2002 - 08:31

Originally posted by Jeff Weinbren
The Tony Kotze Lotus 16 was later owned by Cecil Hooper of Ecurie Aquila, I remember seeing it at Kyalami with different tires on each corner as money was a problem! I am sure that it was bought by Graham Hill and taken back to England.


Well, it certainly came back to England but I'm not aware of G Hill being involved.
Did Hooper race it with anything other than a Climax engine, does anyone know? (e.g Alfa)

#21 ry6

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Posted 02 November 2002 - 18:15

Apologies - my earlier comment regarding the driver of the Cooper-Bristol in the pic is incorrect.

It should be John Guthrie NOT Les Tempest.

Tempest drove a Lotus 11 "le Mans" in the race.

Regarding the Geoff Meadows Special #5 - I have looked at some notes penned by a schoolboy friend back in the '60's - it is described as a Cooper-Climax Spl 1098.

So it appears that Meadows has used a Cooper Mk 9 "500" car and fitted an 1100 Climax?

Whatever - a good qualifying time what?

Maybe this Climax came from the 1100 Cooper T41 brought to Southern Africa by Mike Thackwell (Ecurie Kiwi). This T41 was written off I think by Mike Stafford - who died in the crash. (Although George Phaff tells me he died in a Lancia.)

Can any detectives tell me the # of the car behind Mennie's Lotus 11?

#22 David Beard

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 20:25

Originally posted by ry6

Regarding the Geoff Meadows Special #5 - I have looked at some notes penned by a schoolboy friend back in the '60's - it is described as a Cooper-Climax Spl 1098.

So it appears that Meadows has used a Cooper Mk 9 "500" car and fitted an 1100 Climax?

Whatever - a good qualifying time what?

Maybe this Climax came from the 1100 Cooper T41 brought to Southern Africa by Mike Thackwell (Ecurie Kiwi). This T41 was written off I think by Mike Stafford - who died in the crash. (Although George Phaff tells me he died in a Lancia.)



ry6 has asked me to post this photo, which is with thanks to Morag Tritt.
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Rob says...

"This little car was the Meadows Special which proved so quick in qualifying for the GP.
It was powered by one of the 1100 cc Climax engines from one of the T41 Coopers brought to South Africa by Ecurie Kiwi men Ronnie Moore and Ray Thackwell.
It appears to be an old "500" chassis.

It is possible that Geoff Meadows modified it to 1220 cc specs for the race as he had alternate entries - one for an 1100 and one for a 1220."

#23 Graham Clayton

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:16

What is the purpose behind the non-standard exhaust on Van Der Vyver's Cooper?

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Source: http://www.classicca...orag_Tritt.html