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Rody Hoogenboom on the Boro/Ensign episode


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#1 Racer.Demon

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 11:44

Have always wondered what the heck was going on between Mo Nunn and his (and Roelof Wunderink's) backers of HB Bewaking/HB Alarmsystemen, the Hoogenboom brothers. How did Bob and Rody manage to get hold of the N175 and turn it into the Boro? Never read a true account of the story, and in case a reference was made it usually contained the words "somehow" and "after they got into a disagreement"... Now you'd want to know what really happened, wouldn't you? :lol:

Well, in his recent publication Dwars door de Tarzanbocht (Sideways through Tarzan corner) on the 11 Dutch F1 drivers Hans van der Klis gives us the outlook of Rody Hoogenboom on his spat with Nunn. In the chapter on Wunderink - who is still declining every request to speak about his motorsport career - Van der Klis talks to Hoogenboom, whose company is still alive and well. And he has some very interesting perspectives on the Boro affair...

"Von Opel and Yip had just left him penniless, so the opportunity was basically up for grabs." The brothers made up a deal with Nunn, transferring all future ownership to HB. In short, everything HB would pay for would be theirs. At the end of the season, with emotions already running high after the Hoogenbooms accused Nunn of deliberately shafting Wunderink by putting in an old driveshaft at the Glen, they got into an argument over negotiations with secondary sponsor Ricard. Then Nunn came along with a new title sponsor but wasn't prepared to hand over the cars and the spare parts, which were paid for by HB and thus their property. The brothers were furious. Several court cases ensued, which in the end were won by HB. But Nunn wouldn't release the cars.

"So when we arrived at the workshop Nunn was waiting for us with an iron bar. But that's not the way to deal with us. So we too picked up some bars! Fortunately, most of the Ensign staff were supporting our side, so Mo had no choice but to cool off. Next thing we did was load up the stuff, get into the truck ourselves and drive to Heathrow. We didn't even have a truck license!" :eek:

Now I'd like to hear Mo's side of the story! :lol:

Rody continues: "You know, the British racing scene was rotten to the core. We were racing kit cars, so you could basically gather up all the stuff you needed. Our car was in fact a Lotus rip-off. We didn't just use the same engine and gearbox but the same windtunnel at British Leyland as well. There was one guy operating the tunnel, and if you handed him some money, he'd be ready to give you the competition's data! And it gets worse. [...] After Graham Hill and Tony Brise died in their airplane crash, we bought the Embassy Hill stock. Turned out that contained qualifying tyres, which weren't allowed at the time. [...]"

I'd say the guy makes for interesting conversation...

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#2 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 15:33

Of course the Boro name came from their first names Bobby and Rody Hoogeboom (HB).

Some parts of the Boro car (suspension) and some team gear (quick jack) I came across when picking up a Formula Ford 2000 for a friend in Nieuw-Vennep about 15 years ago.
Van der Klis also wrote that the team was stationed in Bovenkerk (Amsterdam south periphery).
Quite close to where I live (4 miles, and this I read after 25 years not knowing how close F1 was to home....).

Today HB Bewaking still exists in Badhoevedorp, but this business is full of hard competition nowadays.

There is a company HB (using same original logo) selling Vitamine preps by Internet from a little town Lijnden (very close to You RacerDemon!) all close to each other and Amsterdam. Must be the bros?
These vitamine products I saw many times in Germany for sale. Maybe next generation F1 sponsorship?

#3 Mischa Bijenhof

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 11:52

Does anyone know what happened to the car? I believe Tiff Neddell was the last to drive it during the 1979 Aurora race at Nogaro. He crashed out of the race. So was that the end of the car? And was it still owned by HB by then?

#4 Mallory Dan

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 14:57

The car in question was, I believe, MN04, the first of the second generation Ensign F1s. There's full info on it on Allan's site (Old Racing Cars.com) but I too have always wondered how it got from HB ownership in 75, back to the UK for 78. Was Nunn involved, or did they just sell it to Jack Kallay ?

He ran it in Aurora in 78 for Lees initially, then Martini, Desire Wilson, Mallock too I think. Both Lees and Martini won in it, so the car/team must have been pretty proficient, though I realise both drivers were a cut above many in Aurora that year.

In 79 I think Musetti and John Cooper were out in it, I think still owned by the Kallay/Yip/Theodore lot. Its till around in TGP I think, going very well with Mike Whatley. I always recall a Donington prog note from Russell Bulgin, who described it as that rare thing... 'a completely viceless car'.

Like others, I'd be very interested to hear more on the Nunn/HB arguments.

#5 ReWind

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 18:43

Just for the record: Roderik Hoogenboom died five weeks ago at age 73.



#6 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:10

A question popped up in the Motorsport Quiz thread. Why was the Boro in 1977 black with white/green HB lettering? I recall it was also presented at an Amsterdam motor show.

 

This color scheme stands out. HB Alarmsystemen  is today still active as a Bewaking/Security company, as is the vitamin tablet business. They have sponsored also a variety of sports through the years (cycling/go-karting/football). All used black/red lettering on a white background.


Edited by Arjan de Roos, 02 October 2017 - 08:12.


#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:33

As noted in the Quiz thread, the car only appeared in the black livery at Zandvoort. It was back in its usual white at Monza.

#8 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 14:12

A nice picture in Dutch magazine RTL GP Magazine led to a search for the exact address where Boro was located in Bovenkerk, today Amstelveen: Bouwerij 83.



#9 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 15:04

The car in question was, I believe, MN04, the first of the second generation Ensign F1s. There's full info on it on Allan's site (Old Racing Cars.com) but I too have always wondered how it got from HB ownership in 75, back to the UK for 78. Was Nunn involved, or did they just sell it to Jack Kallay ?

He ran it in Aurora in 78 for Lees initially, then Martini, Desire Wilson, Mallock too I think. Both Lees and Martini won in it, so the car/team must have been pretty proficient, though I realise both drivers were a cut above many in Aurora that year.

In 79 I think Musetti and John Cooper were out in it, I think still owned by the Kallay/Yip/Theodore lot. Its till around in TGP I think, going very well with Mike Whatley. I always recall a Donington prog note from Russell Bulgin, who described it as that rare thing... 'a completely viceless car'.

Like others, I'd be very interested to hear more on the Nunn/HB arguments.

 

To answer this question (after 14 years):

Yes, sold straight to Kallay. He entered the car for Lees in the Aurora F1 championship. Bleekemolen tested this car under F&S sponsorship for a possible rental to do the French as well Dutch GP in 1978.

 

Still I am wondering why the Boro was painted black. It was presented as such in the March 1977 exhibition at the Amsterdam RAI called Speedshow where also the March 6-wheeler was shown. 

The car was obviously offered for rent. The Hoogenboom brothers offered the Dutch GP organisers this car. Brian Henton took it up and entered the Dutch and Italian GP. He was also to enter the Imola GP in September intended for young talents (Ferrari would field Cheever) as first test for the European F1 championship. This last race and championship never materialized. Henton worked from the Amstelveen shop and swapped his engine from his March into the Boro 001.

 

BTW HB Bewaking company suffering still from the recession (and the security branch is competitive) went into bankruptcy once again last month.


Edited by Arjan de Roos, 07 June 2018 - 07:17.