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Autumn; there used to be something to look forward to...


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#1 RTH

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 09:05

About this time of year in the 1960s and 1970s the BBC used to start the "Grandstand Rallycross" season.

Every Saturday afternoon throughout the winter months we had perhaps 4 LIVE visits to Lydden Hill and indeed other venues for heats and finals of 5 laps through water deep mud , cinders, chalk, ice, even deep or hard packed snow, with Minis, Escorts, Beetles, Capris ,911s as well often as some of the most unlikely vehicles for such terrain like Paul Kerridges velvetex Lotus Europa. People like Keith Ripp, Roger Clark, and his brother Stan, Griff Griffiths. Minis with engines at both ends of the car ! The amateur self build aspect was so appealing.

The variety, and the lack of traction in the days before 4 wheel drive cars, the difficulty of control over ultra slippery sufaces with no tyre studs allowed, the action packed incident, accident, and recovery was spectacular.

It was fantastically enjoyable stuff to watch on a bitterly cold winter's afternoon with your feet up in front of a roaring log fire with a cup of tea and a hot buttered scone.

Nowadays of coure nothing like this is shown and in this loose RWD form ,far and away the best ,doesn't even exist.

As BBC has now surrendered away all motor car sport from it's screens on cost, and all you need for this is some undulating muddy fields, entrants would be keen to get TV advertising, so surely all the BBC would again need to do is put up an end of season "Grandstand Trophy" and no TV rights fees at all , perhaps even Murray could be tempted back for a bit commentary for this.

It was great TV viewing , farmers are always pleading for diversification and new revenue streams now the subsidies are to be fazed out, so why not ? Quick fire 8 car races over 5 laps all day non-stop, could pack in a lot of competitors at minimal costs to everyone. There is a lot of amateur motocross going on in small groups on scramble bikes all around the country , so why not a bit of learning from history?

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#2 bill moffat

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 18:04

Richard, I understand your views about Rallycross and I enjoyed it equally BUT in truth pickings were thin in those days and other winter motor-sport action (other than scrambles and trials) was hard to find *

In contrast I popped home at lunchtime today and watched the GP2 race live (Rosberg was mighty)...30 years ago I would have been watching that girl with the blackboard and balloons on the Test card!. I look forward to a winter of action with the A1GP series and all the other satellite action.

Incidentally, as a bit of continuity, you can watch the de Rooy family on the Dakar rally, although they use something a bit bigger than a DAF these days ;)


* That jogs my memory,what was that sport where various teams competed across country in various Stalwarts, Haflingers, Champs, Cannons, trial bikes etc..? Autopoint .

#3 bill moffat

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 18:07

Originally posted by bill moffat
[B
Incidentally, as a bit of continuity, you can watch the de Rooy family on the Dakar rally, although they use something a bit bigger than a DAF these days ;)

. [/B]


Infact, thinking about it, they're still driving DAFs....

#4 Twin Window

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 18:18

I used to follow (on the TV) Rod Chapman! :up:

#5 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 18:25

We also had the TV Thruxton club meeting in November, on BBC Grandstand and into the 80s, coverage of the Festival and the BBC Grandstand Trophy FF2000 races. They also covered the great race on Mount Panorama, shown a week or two later. Unless you have Sky TV now, forget it!

#6 David Lawson

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 19:12

I used to watch almost every rallycross meeting at Lydden Hill, not on TV but in my thermals at the track and it was some of the best motor sport I've ever seen. Unfortunatley I rarely took a camera but here's one picture I took.

Posted Image
Rod Chapman for TW

I've been to the last few Rallycross events at Brands Hatch in the last two or three years but the support is just not there anymore and the entry lists are always disappointing with only a handful of reasonable cars and a lot of "fillers". Rallycross sadly has seemingly had it's day.

David

#7 Twin Window

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 19:16

That's brilliant, David... :clap:

Thanks!

Thinking on about Autumn, for two years we had the luxury of an end-of-season non-Championship F1 race at Brands; the 'Victory' races of 1971 and 1972.

They were both unforgettable, but for very different reasons. Tragically, Jo Siffert died in the first running of the race at the wheel of his BRM, then - somewhat ironically - the second event witnessed the very last victory for the Bourne marque...

#8 bobbo

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 19:41

I guess that for many of us over on this side of THe Pond, there was the annual (usually first weekend in October) pilgrimage to Watkins Glen for the USGP. I made it from from 1965 to 1979, always with my Dad (and usually a few more of the gang).

I miss them both: GP at the Glen & my Dad. I'm going to a wine festival this weekend (Oct. 1) and I'll hoist a toast to each.

Bobbo

#9 Geoff E

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 20:11

Originally posted by bill moffat
That jogs my memory,what was that sport where various teams competed across country in various Stalwarts, Haflingers, Champs, Cannons, trial bikes etc..? Autopoint .


Yes, Autopoint - Army vs London Motor Club wasn't it? (You forgot the "Bug"!)

#10 bill moffat

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 20:48

Originally posted by Geoff E


Yes, Autopoint - Army vs London Motor Club wasn't it? (You forgot the "Bug"!)



The Bug ? Obviously not a Bond Bug (limited cross-country capability)- go on enlighten/remind me.

This weekend is not a remarkable motor sport weekend but (OK, courtesy of satellite) if I was a couch potato there are 8 or 9 races that I could watch live and replays of at least double that number. I think I'm happy in the 21st century .. :)

#11 Simpson RX1

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 21:53

I have vivid memories of the "Sun free day" at Brands, as sponsored by the rag of the same name........early January, very cold (!!!) and Rallycross at it's best.

I have no excuse for the driver's spellings, if I get it wrong, I admit it now...........

Dimi Mavropolous (the Blackbird) in a black Quattro S2 Evo smashing it to pieces around Druids......

Martin Schanche in an RS200 trying his hardest and getting a car more sideways (and getting it back) than I have ever seen........

An English guy winning the championship in an STP sponsored Gartrac Escort (was it Rob Cross?)

And Kivi Kivimakki (I think) running a Lime green 911 with a 956 engine in qualifying trim and 4WD.......1200 bhp+ at full bore across the bank...........the only place you could see comparable acceleration was at a drag strip!

The best bit was the speed of the whole event........because they didn't start and finish in the same place, they could line up the next race before the previous one had finished, so, basically, non stop racing...........pretty close to my other great love, Speedway

#12 Geoff E

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 22:17

Originally posted by bill moffat
The Bug ? Obviously not a Bond Bug (limited cross-country capability)- go on enlighten/remind me.


Probably debatable whether it had greater cross country capability than the Bond Bug or not -

a small khaki vehicle (upon which two army personnel perched) having the wheels and engine of a Standard Flying 8; maximum speed seemed to be about 20mph. As far as I can remember, it followed the roads rather than cutting corners so was singularly unsuccessful, but it was there every year nonetheless. Raymond Baxter always had a kind word for it.

#13 2F-001

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 23:42

"English guy with the STP-sponsored Gartrac Escort" would be John Welch, I think.

Matti Alimaki had a twin-turbo, 4WD 911 and another Scandinavian (name forgotten for now) had a broadly similar car too -- wasn't Ilka Kivimakki one of Markku Alen's co-drivers? Alimaki progressed to a Delta S4 iirc.

#14 RTH

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 07:04

It's the seasonality of sport that appeals to me . I like international motor racing to be held in the summer months and follow the sun.
Then rallying to take over in the winter and to be held in the worst possible weather conditions to follow the rain and snow and freezing conditions , to be held exclusively on loose surfaces on the most difficult terrain on the most variety of slippery ground and weather.

It gives a shape to the year and something to look forward to as the months pass and weather and temperature changes.

But then, I like Cricket to be held in the Summer , then only as the season ends ,for the Football and Rugby seasons to begin. Who played test Cricket for England and in the same year football for the national side as well ?

#15 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 08:31

Denis Compton?

#16 RTH

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 09:35

Originally posted by Paul Rochdale
Denis Compton?


Quite right :up:

#17 Twin Window

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 09:50

Ian Botham played for Scunthorpe United FC while still playing first-class cricket.

#18 RTH

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 09:56

Originally posted by Twin Window
Ian Botham played for Scunthorpe United FC while still playing first-class cricket.


...........Oh, so close then ! :)

#19 Gary C

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 10:43

Jim Cumbes - wicket keeper & also goalie for Aston Villa.

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#20 Gary C

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 10:44

Chris Balderstone, centre forward for Carlisle Utd & fast bowler for Glamorgan (I think), later first class umpire too

#21 Geoff E

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 13:22

Hmmm ... Denis Compton never played an official international for England (football) - he may have played the odd game during the war for some sort of England XI; however there was no Test cricket during the war so the terms of the question cannot be met (by Compton anyway). His brother, Leslie, played two games for England (football) in 1951. Another Arsenal player, Arthur Milton, played for England in 1952 but had to wait another 6 years before turning out for the cricket team.

I've now found this about DCSC "By a freak of chance, Denis never did win a full England soccer cap, his dozen wartime internationals in a glorious England attack not counting officially. Nor did the "Victory" international he played in at Hampden against Scotland in April, 1946."

As he played Test Cricket in 1946, I guess it depends whether this match constituted "turning out for the national side" as to whether the terms of the question were met ... rather like "when is a Grand Prix not a Grand Prix?"

Chris Balderstone was a batsman/spinner for Leicestershire. His unique achievement was in playing cricket one day (he was "not out" overnight), turning out for Carlisle United the same evening, then returning to complete a century the following day.

Geoff Hurst played a match or two for Essex in 1962.

Mike ("MJK") Smith played a rugby international in 1956 then was then capped for cricket in 1958.

A Guardian article on footballing cricketers - http://football.guar...1545653,00.html

#22 fuz

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 15:22

On the subject of footballing cricketers... or should that be cricketing footballers?, I fondly remember my uncle Walter Keeton talking of playing football for Sunderland and Nottingham Forest and Cricket for Nottinghamshire for 25 years including 2 tests for England in the 30s.. he was very unlucky with injuries on and off the field though! more info here http://content.crici...ayer/15841.html

#23 David Beard

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 15:39

Is this thread to take the prize for the most sudden and severe downhill slope experienced on TNF?

#24 Cirrus

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 15:47

And, for those not living in the UK.............

Here's some music.............

#25 Roger Clark

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 15:52

Charles Burgess Fry played cricket and football for England. He also held the world's long jump record for over 20 years. It would have been nice to see him in a Napier. :)

#26 2F-001

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 16:30

Ok, enough, enough... :)

In a desparate attempt to salvage this thread from the chop: I recall Jonathan Palmer reaching the final of the Brands Hatch Rallycross Grand Prix in, I think, the afforementioned John Welch's Escort (but certainly someone's Gartrac G3-style Xtrac Escort-type device) in the same year that he won the 'Jim Clark Cup' for normally aspirated cars in the WDC and shared in a WSC win (with Mauro Baldi at Norisring, if my memory serves correctly).

#27 LB

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 16:55

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
We also had the TV Thruxton club meeting in November, on BBC Grandstand and into the 80s, coverage of the Festival and the BBC Grandstand Trophy FF2000 races. They also covered the great race on Mount Panorama, shown a week or two later. Unless you have Sky TV now, forget it!


The highlights of Bathurst are on Channel 5, or at least will be, usually the wednesday after the race. (at -oh- 4am).

IRL, Grand Am and Busch Nascar are also on C5 in the wee hours and I believe they showed the festival last year. Channel 4 has F3/GT I think plus motorsport UK which covers things like FRenault. C5 has Motorsport Mondial and hence DTM, Euro F3, World series.

About the only thing I've not seen highlights of this year on terrestrial is Champ Car.

#28 Criceto

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 23:45

Going back to the rallycross, I must say that at age eight, I regarded Jan and Harry de Rooy's DAF coupes as the peak of irreverence, especially when they were the only interlopers in grids full of Escorts.

Of course, the other delight with the live rallycross on Grandstand was that it was the source of so many of the truly great Murray-isms.

Lydden was the source of the commentary about Keith Ripp, "...who must avoid Mabbs Bank - which he does not do...!"

"I don't think John Greasley's got a chance of.... yes, he does!"

And my own personal favourite, Murray waxing lyrical about the advantage Piet Dam was enjoying in having the only clear windscreen in the field, a split second before the hapless Dutchman acquaplaned off the foot of Hairy Hill straight into an earth bank, writing off his race-winning BMW 323.

#29 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 00:43

Originally posted by Geoff E


Yes, Autopoint - Army vs London Motor Club wasn't it? (You forgot the "Bug"!)



Purely by chance I came across the Autosport report of the 1964 event. It was the fifth running of contest between the London Motor Club and the British Army Motoring Association.

The newly crowned World Champion John Surtees turned out for the L.M.C. driving a twin-engined Mini Moke. Jim Clark drove a Twinny the previous year.

"The commentary was dealt with by Raymond Baxter, who, while on the air, was heard to say rather quickly "the Bug - has finished". This was misinterpreted by a number of viewers and as a result the BBC had a number of telephone calls."

#30 RTH

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:22

Originally posted by Cirrus
And, for those not living in the UK.............

Here's some music.............



:rotfl:

#31 ian senior

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 07:53

Looking back even further, before anyone had thought of inventing rallycross....sporting trials. They used to be on the BBC and there was even, I think, a BBC sponsored event. Now I can't see them ever apearing on the telly again in this age of high action everything, but trials have their own charm and even a certain amount of spectacle.

#32 2F-001

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 08:03

I can remember seeing Sporting Trials included in motoring programmes on tv a couple of times in the past four or five years, but treated pretty much as novelty items by the programme-makers -- and, sadly, treated by the presenters almost as objects of comedy. They have at least acknowledged that, upon closer inspection, it is a very skilful discipline. I went along to a few in the past to watch, and on a reasonably fine day it was very enjoyable. There used to be something of a tradition in Britain of hillclimbers trialling in their off-season - I don't know if this still exists.

#33 Mallory Dan

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 13:09

To bring this one back to the top, I recall the Heats being interspersed with other sports, usually Horse Racing. Didn't they show the 1st 2 heats, then a Horse Race, then something else, then the next 2 heats, then a Horse race etc. The final came near the end of the prog as I remember, just before the 'Tele-printed' footy scores came on.

I used to go into the garden between heats and final, score a few goals past my mates/brothers (sorry David), but always being back in front of the box before the next Rallycross came on. Sometimes, when a Horse race or whatever had over-run, they delayed the next Rallycross. Serious tantrums in front of tele !! And the anticipation of what/who would be in the next heat, always hoping it wasn't just 4 Minis, and there'd be something a bit different, like that Renault in the late 60s, can't recall exactly which model.

Great times.

#34 2F-001

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 13:40

Do you remember Roger and Stan Clark in 4WD Capris?

#35 ian senior

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 13:43

Originally posted by 2F-001
Do you remember Roger and Stan Clark in 4WD Capris?


Yes. Didn't they have a whacking great power bulge on the bonnet - not sure what that was hiding!

#36 D-Type

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 15:36

Originally posted by ian senior


Yes. Didn't they have a whacking great power bulge on the bonnet - not sure what that was hiding!

The automative equivalent of a codpiece perhaps? :)

#37 Gary C

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 15:59

the only thing I have to look forward to this autumn is a few TNF meetings!!

#38 David Lawson

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 19:42

I've had a rummage through some of my rallycross photos and come up with this very grainy and scratched selection which are about the same quality as the original BBC Grandstand transmission probably was at the time.

I remember the 4WD Capris being given a handicap but still walking away with every heat and I always remember when the horse racing interfered with the timing and they would hold the cars on the grid while we waited in the freezing cold until the all important starting prices had been broadcast.

I can't remember the dates of any of the pictures.

Posted Image
Franz Wurz

Posted Image
Jan de Rooy

Posted Image
Ron Douglas

Posted Image
?

Posted Image
Harry de Rooy

Posted Image
?

Posted Image
Marina 3500 V8 - ? driver

Posted Image
Renault Alpine - ? driver

Posted Image
Saab - ? driver

David

#39 Simpson RX1

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 20:54

[QUOTE] Originally posted by 2F-001
"English guy with the STP-sponsored Gartrac Escort" would be John Welch, I think.



Thanks Tony, John Welch it was (don't know where Rob Cross came from), and I was also there the day he won the championship, also at Brands.

In my (admittedly befuddled) memory, I recall Rallycross as being a "made for TV" sport, dreamt up by the BBC as a way of getting motorsport on the telly in Winter, but later championed by ITV's World Of Sport with the legendary Dickie Davis at the helm.

To my mind, there's nothing to touch it in terms of sheer spectacle, high tech chassis in usually less than pristine clothing, bonkers power outputs (especially in the Group B era), and even more bonkers drivers trying to tame that power on a variety of hard and loose surfaces.........

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#40 Rob29

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:23

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Simpson RX1
[QUOTE] Originally posted by 2F-001
"English guy with the STP-sponsored Gartrac Escort" would be John Welch, I think.





In my (admittedly befuddled) memory, I recall Rallycross as being a "made for TV" sport, dreamt up by the BBC as a way of getting motorsport on the telly in Winter, but later championed by ITV's World Of Sport with the legendary Dickie Davis at the helm.

[/QUOTE]It was. Severe winter around 1964,cancelled all the regular BBC saturday afternoon live sport,(horse racing & rugby) At about a weeks notice,with co-operation of BRSCC,ice racing for rally cars in the field behind the grandstand at Brands was organised.Come the day came the thaw-mud racing took place! I think this was the first event called a 'Rallycross' later developed into the road cum mud circuits and a regular series.

#41 ian senior

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:30

Originally posted by Rob29
It was. Severe winter around 1964,cancelled all the regular BBC saturday afternoon live sport,(horse racing & rugby) At about a weeks notice,with co-operation of BRSCC,ice racing for rally cars in the field behind the grandstand at Brands was organised.Come the day came the thaw-mud racing took place! I think this was the first event called a 'Rallycross' later developed into the road cum mud circuits and a regular series.


That's interesting. I thought rallycross as we know it (and certainly under that name) came about in late 1967. ITV were planning major coverage of that year's RAC rally, which was disrupted - or even cancelled, can't remember off the top of my head - by a major outbreak of foot and mouth disease. There were gaps in the TV schedule that needed to be filled, and so someone "invented" rallycross.

#42 2F-001

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 09:15

Simpson - I think there was a JOHN Cross, a wee bit later; I think of him in connection with some kind of Rwd-Fiesta BDG hybrid - but maybe I'm getting confused now.

#43 RS2000

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 10:05

The 67 RAC Rally was cancelled the night before the start as Foot and mouth Disease spread through the UK. The first stage only was run the next day as a TV event, replacing planned coverage of the proper rally. A week later, I think, the rallycross event was run at Lydden Hill. I was present at the RAC start when Jack Kemsley announced the cancellation and I was also at Lydden a week later. This is now said to have been the second ever rallycross, with the first earlier in the year (although I certainly dont recall it). The entry was interesting because group 5 and 6 cars had been allowed in the RAC Rally that year. I have photos of the RAC cars "the morning after" and at the Lydden event (if I can ever sort out posting).
John Cross was one of the Cross brothers who founded the "Autocross" parts and preparation company in Bracknell.

#44 RS2000

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 10:18

Paddy Hopkirk at the 1967 post-RAC rally Lydden Rallycross
http://img151.images...50/grx5d5ug.jpg

#45 RS2000

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 10:23

Timo Makinen's frost covered fuel-injected Group 6 Cooper S at the Heathrow Excellsior Hotel the morning after the cancellation of the 67 RAC Rally. Later in the day it "won" the single TV stage.

http://img400.images.../grx311d1zx.jpg

#46 RTH

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 10:51

Originally posted by David Lawson
I've had a rummage through some of my rallycross photos and come up with this very grainy and scratched selection which are about the same quality as the original BBC Grandstand transmission probably was at the time.

I remember the 4WD Capris being given a handicap but still walking away with every heat and I always remember when the horse racing interfered with the timing and they would hold the cars on the grid while we waited in the freezing cold until the all important starting prices had been broadcast.

I can't remember the dates of any of the pictures.

Posted Image
Franz Wurz

Posted Image
Jan de Rooy

Posted Image
Ron Douglas

Posted Image
?

Posted Image
Harry de Rooy

Posted Image
?

Posted Image
Marina 3500 V8 - ? driver

Posted Image
Renault Alpine - ? driver

Posted Image
Saab - ? driver

David


Great atmospheric pictures David, brings back all the tail swishing full blooded power slides that made it so good to watch.

#47 Simpson RX1

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 22:07

And I forgot to mention that memories of the de Rooy cars prompted me to attempt to put a tuned Ford Essex V6 into my mint DAF 55 when the centrifugal clutch went out to lunch.........

Here I am with an immaculate DAF with a ridiculously expensive repair bill (around £250 in 1984) and a freshly rebuilt 3.1, stage 2 lump that was supposed to go in my Capri.......out comes the tape measure, a few calculations later and it all fits, complete with tunnel widened for the gearbox and a narrowed axle; I was aiming for something that looked totally standard but could blow away almost everything that it ever came up against........

Got as far as getting the engine and gearbox in, then circumstances overtook, the DAF was scrapped and the engine went back into the Capri...............

Capri still not finished, but I will always wonder what that DAF would've been like on the road........

#48 RTH

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 07:37

Oh, what a shame, that would have been very interesting. I'm sure you remember the giant killing act of the DAF- Rover V8 in super saloons !

#49 Macca

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 11:23

Arnold Sidebottom - no football internationals but played for Man U amongst others, and Lancashire at cricket with one test for England against some colony or other........

http://content.crici...ayer/20185.html

And I remember that during one or other foot-and-mouth outbreak when rallying and rallycross (and the BBC's winter staple of scrambling: "and it's Jeff Smith on the BSA battling with Dave Bickers on the Husqvarna here at East Meon!") were banned, they came up with televised trials between army drivers in Bedford 3-tonners at an army camp, which got round the travelling ban.

Meanwhile, back in the world of motor-racing.............


Paul

#50 Simpson RX1

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 00:58

[QUOTE] Originally posted by RTH
Oh, what a shame, that would have been very interesting. I'm sure you remember the giant killing act of the DAF- Rover V8 in super saloons !

Yes I do, and what a roadcar that would've made...........much lighter than the Essex and with the potential for far more power............one day, when I win the lottery..................!!!