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Ford P68 and P69


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#1 dretceterini

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Posted 08 February 2003 - 06:22

How many P68 and P69 chassis were built? Was the P69 a new car, or made up from one of the P68s?

Thanks...

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#2 Pedro 917

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Posted 08 February 2003 - 14:40

In Classic and Sportscar, February 1996 issue, there was a track test (Silverstone) of the Ford P68 by John Surtees. At the end of the article, there's a resumed history of the cars :

1968

BOAC 500, Brands Hatch (April 7) Two-car Alan Mann team arrives late for first day's practice, second car just finished. Cars to be driven by Rindt/Spence and McLaren/Hulme (substitutinq for Clark/Hill, Clark having to take late F2 commitment at Hockenheim, where he was killed).
McLaren second fastest in practice, but other F3L breaks its engine and is withdrawn (no spare engines). Driver shuffle means McLaren/Spence are teamed for race. Great drive from McLaren: engine hesitates off grid and Bruce drops to sixth, but recovers to lead after 30 mins. Fine dice with Siffert and Elford in works Porsche 907s sees some place-changing, but McLaren still leads at first pit stop. Spence resumes in third place, but within 20 mins coasts to retirement opposite pits (broken driveshaft coupling).

Nürburgrinq 1000kms (May 19) Dismal meeting for F3Ls. Two cars entered for Rodriguez/Irwin and Attwood/Gardner. Irwin crashes ut Flugplatz during practice, receiving severe head injuries. Attwood starts the race, but on lap 1 the retaining clip on right front brake caliper disappears and the pads fall out; Attwood limps back to the pits. On lap 2 driver's door comes open and twists itself out of shape, and right rear tyre punctures. On lap 3 Attwood gets going, a lap and a half behind leaders. After a few more laps the engine dies (broken ignition transistor) and car retires out on the circuit.

Spa 1000kms (May 26) The single surviving F3L is driven by Gardner/Hahne. Low-drag aerodynamics really tell at Spa, Gardner taking pole at 1 45.8mph with huge 4 secs margin to Ickx's GT40; car hits 200mph on Masta Straight. But everything goes wrong in the wet race. Ickx leads Gardner through Eau Rouge, but F3L slips to 10th and pits after first lap. This is car's first run in the rain, and cool air ducting funnels water over the electrics. Team judges it pointless to restart.

RAC TT, Oulton Park (June 3) Singleton entry for Attwood, who takes pole at 1:36.0. F3L leads for 10 laps but retires when differential fails. Lacking confidence in the car, Attwood had also nominated himself as co-driver for Piper's Ferrari P3/4, Together they drive superbly to second place, just 9.4 secs behind Hulme's winning Lola after three hours' racing.

Martini Trophy, Silverstone (July 27) Another good performance spoiled by fragility. Gardner qualifies second behind Hulme's Lola, but leads off the grid. He stays there for 41 of the 65 laps, causing Hulme to spin in spirited pursuit. With 16 secs lead, engine loses oil pressure and car retires. But F3L sets new lap record of 1:28.6.


1969

BOAC 500, Brands Hatch (April 13) New open-bodied P69 runs its bearings in practice, leavinq coupé (now with suspension-mounted rear wing) of Hulme/Gardner to start the race alone, qualifyinq 3 secs adrift of pole. Tired engines are a continuing problem: car retires with low oil pressure on lap 14.

Martini Trophy, Silverstone (May 17) Gardner repeats previous year's pace, on pole with 1:28.0. Very heavy rain on race day, so team removes rear wing because speeds will be lower. Engine badly misfires with wet electrics on warm-up lap, car pulled off grid.


So 2 P68's were built early 1968 of which one crashed (Irwin, Nurburgring) and a new "open-bodied" car was built for the 69 season which was baptised P69.
In the article Surtees says about the Irwin car: Back in England, Alan Mann supervised the breaking up and scrapping of the damaged car, which the team considered jinxed....

Here's a picture of the crashed P68 at Flugplatz, which almost took Irwin's life :

Posted Image

#3 dretceterini

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Posted 08 February 2003 - 22:32

Thanks! I thought that the P69 never actually raced...

#4 Pedro 917

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Posted 09 February 2003 - 21:33

I thought that the P69 never actually raced...



It didn't ! Jack Brabham ran its bearings in practice and the car did not start the race.
Here's a picture I found of Brabham at the wheel :

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and you can find another one here :

http://www.motorraci...tro69boac57.htm

#5 dretceterini

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Posted 09 February 2003 - 23:34

Yes, that is what I meant...it showed up but didn't actually run the race.

#6 Joe Fan

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 08:58

Originally posted by Pedro 917
1969 BOAC 500, Brands Hatch (April 13) New open-bodied P69 runs its bearings in practice, leavinq coupé (now with suspension-mounted rear wing) of Hulme/Gardner to start the race alone, qualifyinq 3 secs adrift of pole. Tired engines are a continuing problem: car retires with low oil pressure on lap 14. [/B]


Can anyone confirm whether Masten Gregory praticed this car at Brands Hatch? He was listed as a non-starter for this entry.

#7 Alan Cox

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 12:32

I have just found this splendid picture of the P68 in a Castrol advert. How very tastefully "60s" - not sure what part the young lady played in the development programme, but she may reduce the coefficient of friction.
Posted Image Castrol copyright

#8 sterling49

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 12:41

Originally posted by Alan Cox
I have just found this splendid picture of the P68 in a Castrol advert. How very tastefully "60s" - not sure what part the young lady played in the development programme, but she may reduce the coefficient of friction.
Posted Image Castrol copyright


I remember the ad well Alan, shades of the Who's "Pictures of Lily" :lol: What a gorgeous car this was,the shape, the colours, just everything except their results.I saw them race in the BOAC races of '68/69 and was hugely dissapointed when Bruce's car retired, it was such a slippery shape, as you say, probably helped through the air with the aid of a nubile young thing :up:

#9 Stephen W

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 12:45

These two photos were taken in 1969 at Brands during Saturday practice:

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Above: Denny Hulme in P68 [copyright Steve Wilkinson]
NB they tried the car with & without the big rear wing but eventually settled for running WITH the wing on Sunday.

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Above: Frank Gardner in P69 [copyright Steve Wilkinson]

#10 sterling49

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 12:52

Notice the different front lip treatment/colour, personally, I did not like the P69, it was just plain ugly compared to the P68. Those were great days at Brands, look at the paddock run-off area, and the trees up Druids Hill, it really was a very pretty circuit, especially during Motor Show 200 meetings, when the trees showed their fantastic autumnal hues.Nice photos Stephen, we must have passed like ships in the day :wave:

#11 Phil Rainford

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 13:01

Originally posted by Stephen W
These two photos were taken in 1969 at Brands during Saturday practice:

Posted Image
Above: Denny Hulme in P68 [copyright Steve Wilkinson]
NB they tried the car with & without the big rear wing but eventually settled for running WITH the wing on Sunday.

Posted Image
Above: Frank Gardner in P69 [copyright Steve Wilkinson]


Steve; another set of cracking pictures :up:

However as far as the design on the two cars go...... " Beauty and the Beast " comes to mind ;)

Kind regards

Phil

#12 Alan Cox

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 13:17

If they had left the P69 nose as it was on the P68, it would still have been a very attractive sports-racer IMHO. The Holman & Moody 'Honker' adopted the overall shape but missed the mark by appearing to be over-scale.
PS Lovely pics once again, Steve.

#13 sterling49

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 13:30

Is it my imagination, (or age :lol: ) but I would swear that I recall seeing photos in most of the comics at the time, of the P69 running completely unpainted, can someone please confirm :confused:

#14 Wouter Melissen

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 14:15

Originally posted by Pedro 917 So 2 P68's were built early 1968 of which one crashed (Irwin, Nurburgring) and a new "open-bodied" car was built for the 69 season which was baptised P69.
In the article Surtees says about the Irwin car: Back in England, Alan Mann supervised the breaking up and scrapping of the damaged car, which the team considered jinxed....


I have seen two P68s on track recently, one owned by a Belgian collector and the other by David Piper. I believe the Piper car is now owned by Alan Mann again. Is one of these cars the P69?

#15 Alan Cox

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 14:25

Interesting link for articles/plans from Model Cars magazine

Scroll down to V5 N7 July 1968
http://www.vsrnonlin.../MC_Plans_2.htm

(Other articles on this site are well worth a read)

#16 mariner

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 15:59

Thank you very much for a wonderful resource, I wonder if Ron Dennis would give anybody his drawings today!

What is fascinating is how relatively small most cars were in the 1960/70's. The Chaparrals were really small cars for 500/600 bhp of engine.

#17 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 16:21

Question to Alan Cox:

Alan. Surely the H&M Honker predates the Ford P68? The Honker/Bonker/Klonker appeared...and was feared by nobody...in the 1967 Can Am series.

#18 Giraffe

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 16:48

A P68 was resident for some time at the Skopos Motor Museum in Batley, West Yorkshire a few years back. I asked the staff who owned it, and they didn't know, but their description of him leed me to think it might be David Piper.

#19 Alan Cox

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 17:41

You are right, of course, Manfred. So, possibly, the P68 took its styling cues from the Honker (with added roof)?.

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#20 Twin Window

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 07:44

Posted, belatedly, on behalf of Peter Darley is this great memento of Frank Gardner in the Honker;

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:up:

#21 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:25

Lovely photos. Back in the late 1970s (I think) I was telephoned by Harry Calton who was head of Ford's press department at Warley, Essex. Knowing of my connection with Tom Wheatcroft and the Donington Collection he told me that Ford's management had just concluded that the progressively deteriorating pair of P68s they owned were simply a waste of space. "Unless we can find a home for them, they're going to be cut up - d'you think Tom might be prepared to house them?".

I told Harry I was sure he would, to guard the P68s with his life and I'd get straight back to him. I called Wheatie - "Ooh aye lad, bootiful, bootiful, get 'em to send 'em oop 'ere all right". I called Harry back and put him in direct contact with Wheatie. I think the cars were removed to Donington's basement store next day. One was quite sad and sorry, the other a little less damaged. One of them had had a door come open while being trailed back from a motor show - I think in Stockholm or somesuch Scandiwegian venue - and the airstream on the motorway had then ripped the door clean off. I knew the car's reputation, had covered some of its races, and really had the hots to own one, but never the means. But like so many Len Bailey designs it looked terrific but was somewhat deficient in many areas, not least its nervous SWB handling and - I was told - its structural strength inadequate to contain the DFV's devastating vibration.

Tom subsequently as I recall part-exchanged one of the cars with Gavin Bain in New Zealand in return for the remains of the Alfa-Aitken/Bimotore. The other eventually went to David Piper, and he subsequently built a replica with a slightly longer (more congenial) wheelbase...or something like that.

Richard Attwood recalls one of his greatest disappointments as being the P68 in the Oulton Park TT. It was so immensely superior to anything else in the field around Oulton that he was absolutely confident of success - only to be sidelined by some pettyfogging fault, AFAIR electrical. God Bless the Prince of Darkness. Again. I'm quite proud that in small part I contributed to the cars' survival.

DCN

#22 race4aliving

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:19

Those really are nice photos Steve. That P68 is a good looking car.

#23 Stephen W

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 14:04

Originally posted by race4aliving
Those really are nice photos Steve. That P68 is a good looking car.


Thanks, it really is a looker - but as Doug mentioned high maintenance!

:wave:

#24 David M. Kane

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 14:24

Were it's aero problems in anyway similar to those suffered by the Maserati Coupe of Lucky Casner at LeMans and the Cunningham one that Marvin Panch got trapped in at Daytona?

#25 Red Socks

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 14:53

My understanding is slightly different from some of the above comments but here goes. The Irwin car went back to Alan Mann Racing and was gradually stripped of engine gearbox etc. Eventually Alan Mann asked Len Terry-the designer -to scrap it. It seems that Mr Terry scapped it into a lock up some where and it languished for some years. David Piper then acquired it from Len Terry but at the same time asked Terry to build it back up together in the light of what he now knew. It was , shall we say recreated, possibly reinvented, now using the DFV as a stressed member-as per F1- thus solving the major overheating issues which had surfaced with the engine lying in a pair of chassis horns and also solving the major issue of engine changes. At the same time as the engine was repositioned the suspension was re thought -the front disc position changed along with the pick ups and wishbones at both ends and the rear beam being done away with.
It apppears that David Piper ran it like that for a time before leasing/lending /renting it to Jonathon Baker. Whilst with JB it spent some time in a wind tunnel resulting in assorted major new aero changes plus a whole new exhaust system to accomodate the significantly lower ride height.
That very modified form exists today but is the heir and sucessor to chassis 2 the Irwin car-that crash incidentally caused not by aero defects as suggested then but to the car striking a hare-whose remains stayed with the car some what malodourously for some time.
Maybe we shall see the car put back to its original configuration

#26 bradbury west

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 15:00

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Lovely photos. Back in the late 1970s (I think) I was telephoned by Harry Calton who was head of Ford's press department at Warley, Essex. Knowing of my connection with Tom Wheatcroft and the Donington Collection he told me ................. I'm quite proud that in small part I contributed to the cars' survival.
DCN

A story like that takes me back to all the old Skulduggery articles of fond memory. Can't beat sources based on first hand accounts from first hand memory.
Roger Lund.

#27 Macca

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 15:12

Len Bailey, not Len Terry, I think.

Paul M

#28 Red Socks

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 15:24

Originally posted by Macca
Len Bailey, not Len Terry, I think.

Paul M


Of course!

#29 bradbury west

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 16:17

Some shots of Piper's 2 F3L variants in 1993, I think, at his Supersports meeting at Silverstone.
Piper supplied all these cars in shot.
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The other shots of the cars leaving the assembly area indicate that both cars started the race but I am not sure of the grid positions.
Roger Lund.
Pictures copyright Roger Lund.


#30 bradbury west

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 16:41

[i]Originally posted by Manfred Cubenoggin The Honker/Bonker/Klonker appeared...and was feared by nobody...in the 1967 Can Am series. [/B]

IIRC Mario Andretti identified the Honker's 3 key faults; it didn't go, wouldn't turn, and didn't stop
Roger Lund.

#31 sterling49

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 16:46

Originally posted by bradbury west

IIRC Mario Andretti identified the Honker's 3 key faults; it didn't go, wouldn't turn, and didn't stop
Roger Lund.


Otherwise everything considered, it was just dandy :lol: How often the old adage though "if it looks right...." sadly in the case of the P68 that did not apply, I do not know the Honkers results, but it is a bit of an ugly duckling (IMHO).

#32 sterling49

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 17:01

Originally posted by Pedro 917
In Classic and Sportscar, February 1996 issue, there was a track test (Silverstone) of the Ford P68 by John Surtees. At the end of the article, there's a resumed history of the cars :

[1969

BOAC 500, Brands Hatch (April 13) New open-bodied P69 runs its bearings in practice, leavinq coupé (now with suspension-mounted rear wing) of Hulme/Gardner to start the race alone, qualifyinq 3 secs adrift of pole. Tired engines are a continuing problem: car retires with low oil pressure on lap 14.


This is the statement that really puzzles me, everytime that I ever saw an Alan Mann car, it was immaculately prepared and it was immediately apparent that the team had the wherewithal to run an effective race team, how did it come to be, that they had "tired" engines, or no spare engines? This was a "works" team after all. I appreciate that fresh DFVs back in the day, were around the 10k mark, so not cheap. Any thoughts?

#33 Red Socks

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 17:54

I understand there were two issues-the engine sat in a great big cradle and the air could not cool it efficiently as it had in the F1 cars, so overheating was a major issue, secondly the cradle and rear suspension beam made it a very long job to change engines, the exhaust took and hour to dismantle before they even started to get the engine out, so whilst there was the wherwithal there was not necessarily the time when they had a problem. Interesting to see the add ons aero wise on the Piper rendition of the car

#34 bradbury west

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 18:54

IIRC there was a long interview with Alan Mann a while back, possibly in MS, but linked with his re-involvement with Goodwood, and in it he mentioned clearly that the F3L effort was not well funded at all. All manner of problems presented themselves, most out of keeping with the usual Alan Mann operation
Roger Lund.

#35 Wouter Melissen

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 19:15

Which was the car that raced up the hill at Goodwood in 2007 during the Festival of Speed?

#36 BRM MICK2

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 20:39

Hi
One of my favourite cars all pictures from Goodwood 2007 Driven by Rupert Keegan

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Mick

#37 Wouter Melissen

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 21:14

Here is one of my shots from Goodwood:

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http://www.ultimatec...ry.php?num=8261

#38 Wouter Melissen

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 21:18

This is from the CER race during the 2004 Spa 1000 Km:

Entered by David Piper:
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Entered by Christophe d'Ansembourg:
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Are both real cars, or is the first a replica?

#39 BRM MICK2

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 21:41

Hi
Excellent photos I believe the first car is the David Piper rebuilt Irwin car now owned by Alan Mann . I much prefer car 2 !! . I wish they would get rid of the awful supports to the rear edge of the bodywork on car 1

Mick

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#40 sterling49

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 22:03

Just a personal opinion, I much prefer the colour of Piper's car, that looks more like the colour of the original car, or am I mistaken? Great photos though Walter, they must have been great to watch at Spa :up:

#41 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 23:17

Wouter:

TYVM for those gorgeous images. I think I have some new wallpaper to stick up. :)

BTW, did the mirrors really shake about THAT much to require a stabilizer strut? Heavens!

#42 bradbury west

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 23:44

[i]Originally posted by sterling49
This was a "works" team after all. I appreciate that fresh DFVs back in the day, were around the 10k mark, so not cheap. Any thoughts? [/B]

In the Surtees article Walter Hayes is quoted as indicating that there was only £15,000 budget for the project, and in the T&CC article in May'90 by Martyn Flower Len Bailey was quoted as saying that the whole effort waas crippled by lack of finance and no money for development. Perhaps had the considered takeover of the project by JW Auto plus Gulf money come about it might have been otherwise.
The T&CC piece has a detailed cutaway drawing of the car
Roger Lund.

#43 Giraffe

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 07:45

Whose / which was the P68 that sat, as I referred earlier in this thread, for some time at the Skopos Motor Museum in Batley, West Yorkshire?

#44 alansart

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:17

Originally posted by Manfred Cubenoggin
Wouter:

BTW, did the mirrors really shake about THAT much to require a stabilizer strut? Heavens!


We ran those mirrors on our Formula Ford. They had a habit of coming loose and dropping down. They probably had the same experience.

#45 bradbury west

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:23

The '96 Surtees article was of the car when owned by Richard Thwaites, perhaps related to racer Trevor Thwaites, AFAIK based in Yorkshire. The narrative indicates that it was the Bain, Cummins car, bought by Thwaites in 1987 and restored by Hall and Fowler. The other car was Piper's at the time
Roger Lund.

#46 Giraffe

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:34

Ah! Thwaites had a white Chevron B16 sat for years in the Peugeot dealership at Woodkirk, just up the road from the P68 at the Skopos Batley Museum.
That was before the value of Chevron B16's dawned on folk....

#47 Tweddell

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:00

The surviving car , I saw twice racing back in 1968 , at Nurburgring 1000km and soon after in Spa 1000km , was that one with white coloured nose, the Irwin car was already completly damaged in Nurburgring first practice , far away from beeing rebuilt at any time, as there was really no part of it unbent, and i have heard of it that it was scrapped, of course, as there was nothing to rescue apart from some minor tecnical parts. As the Irwin accident happened shortly after the crest at Flugplatz section Nurburging, where often cars went up in the air at high speed, so this had happened here also, the car has crashed into the tracks outer bank at the same place as Winkelhocks formula-car some years later after his spectacular loop backwards.

so the red nose P68 with the complete wrong rear end ( unhistoric and ugly shape) must be the replica, at last with no history at all.

#48 ian senior

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 10:04

Originally posted by bradbury west
The '96 Surtees article was of the car when owned by Richard Thwaites, perhaps related to racer Trevor Thwaites, AFAIK based in Yorkshire. The narrative indicates that it was the Bain, Cummins car, bought by Thwaites in 1987 and restored by Hall and Fowler. The other car was Piper's at the time
Roger Lund.


Trevor's surname was Twaites - no H, and boy, did that cause some confusion at times.

I remember one of the P68s doing the rounds of Ford dealers in 1970 or so. I saw it at one garage and it looked tiny in comparison with the adjacent GT40. It was also looking rather scruffy. Those who have read the article about Frank Gardner in the current Motor Sport will recall Frank's comments that it was also somewhat confined inside. I managed to crane myself inside the display car and even as a not too enormous 14/15 year old I found it a bit of a squeeze and I wondered how a full-sized racing driver would manage over a race distance. By comparison, the GT40 seemed as roomy as an Austin 1800.

#49 Glengavel

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 18:42

Originally posted by bradbury west
IIRC there was a long interview with Alan Mann a while back, possibly in MS, but linked with his re-involvement with Goodwood, and in it he mentioned clearly that the F3L effort was not well funded at all. All manner of problems presented themselves, most out of keeping with the usual Alan Mann operation
Roger Lund.


I seem to remember an interview where Mann said he detested the car and did his best to get the project cancelled.

#50 Dale Harvey

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 23:08

One of these cars, probably the Bain, Cummins car sat in the window of a model car shop in Sydney for some time. I can't remember the year but do remember thinking how small the thing was at the time.
Dale.