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The E.R.A. thread

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#251 Charlieman

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 18:33

I first saw the slipcased 'The history of English Racing Automobiles Limited' at McGills in Elizabeth St, Melbourne - not long after it was published. It was a stunning production with gorgeous enamel ERA replica grille badge adorning it and an equally stunning price. It was going to take a lot of weeks saving my $7 a week paper round pittance. As you can imagine it didn't happen.

I was a bingo caller (holiday times) in Blackpool at the time, but my weekly money would have been bigger than yours. Like you, I regret not buying the Weguelin book when it was published. I was tempted by a copy in a local shop -- surely you remember generalist bookshops?


Today, I'd buy an "update" of the original. Owing to passage of time, it would be a different book. 


#252 cooper997

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 22:59

Charlieman, Best I don't take this thread off topic too far. But I was still at school in 1981, hence the weekly pittance. The options in Melbourne to find the ERA book, or for that matter most motoring titles was pretty limited. A trip into Melbourne CBD for me meant McGills in Elizabeth St and Technical Book & Magazine Co in Swanston St. Both long standing in their trade, but no longer exist.

I still remember it was upstairs at McGills where I first saw the ERA book. Even though Tech Book usually had a better range in their car section on the upper landing at the rear of the store. Heaven forbid if you turned up there during a lunch or busy period. Often shoulder to shoulder, chaps standing checking out the latest car magazines and books. Owner, Paul Radford (one time Ferrari 275GTB owner, if memory serves correct) would often be there to take your money if you could get to what you wanted.


#253 arttidesco

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 18:40

Wondering if anyone can tell me why the works ERA's went from apple green in 1935 to black 1936 ?


Seems an odd choice for "upholding British prestige".

#254 cooper997

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 07:29

I don't know whether you've raised this question after having seen what David Weguelin mentions in his book?

But if not, he writes "Possibly because of the poor season the works team had been experiencing, the cars were painted black instead of their apple green. Earl Howe, although he was included in the works team, still retained his racing colours. The first time the new colour was seen was Berne." That being the 23/8/36 Prix de Berne in Switzerland. The newly black ERAs being Mays R4B and Pat Fairfield's R4A.

Of course the true answer may have been unraveled since 1980.


#255 arttidesco

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 21:10

Thanks Steven, since posting the question it has been suggested elsewhere that the reason was out of respect for Marcel Lehoux who was killed at Deauville ?

#256 fuzzi

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 05:29

I've looked through my books and can't find any definitive reason for the change. I've always put it down to the fact that Raymond Mays was very superstitious and (like Earl Howe) detested green. He had various 'house' colours through the years and the finish of heis cars was very important to him. He had his Riley Kestrel saloon (purchased at a 'special' price, of course) painted Black with silver (or chrome) wire wheels and the Bentley he was driving from late 1935 was black with chrome wires, so I think there could be a link there.

Edited by fuzzi, 23 October 2014 - 05:32.

#257 arttidesco

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 07:21

Thanks Julian :up:

#258 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 07:41

Also worth noting that the most successful ERA in 1935 was Seaman's - which was painted black - and that when the E-type eventually appeared at Reims and Albi in mid-1939 it was an even paler green than ERA's original apple green. Although I'm not sure what colour it was on its abortive appearance at the International Trophy in May, driven by Mays: it's certainly not black, but could even be bare metal.


Howe's association with ERA ended at the end of 1938 and Mays and Berthon 'resigned' at the end of May 1939. So perhaps Humphrey Cook had some influence on the original and final choice of colour?

#259 Roger Clark

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:34

It is worth mentioning that the 2015 edition of the ERA Club Newsletter has now been published. It is edited by Adam Ferrington with assistance from Adam Wragg whose design talents have resulted in a revised layout and print process which has allowed much greater use of photographs, particularly in colour.    There are 74 pages; the contents are:


Report on the 2014 Club annul Reunion Dinner, by Peter Putteril

Historic Photographs - 26 photographs from the 30s, 40s and early 50s, all with proper captions

Ron Flockhart - Some notes on ERAs R1A and R4D by Hugh Langrishe

Obituaries: David Kergon, Tony Crook

The Challenger

R4A - Monaco and 2014 by Nick Topliss

Seaman Memorial Trophies - Photographs by Peter McFadyen

George Nixon by Adam Ferrington

ERAs racing in France (Part 2: Peronne and Reims by Yves Kaltenbach)

ERAs in 2014 - Highlights, Car Appearance Chart, Results, Photographs, Current Owners.


As always, there is plenty in there to entertain any enthusiast for the marque (and who isn't?) and a Journal of Record to keep for many years.

Edited by Roger Clark, 19 April 2015 - 11:34.


#260 Odseybod

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 09:27

Thanks, Roger - your post inspired me to join (at last!).  What an excellent publication that is, especially for the historic pics (plus some by a certain Mr Cox).