Motoring memories of Leader of the Pack .......
Year of the 1933 2/4 Seater 'Le Mans' Aston Martin
Between the years 1926 and 1937 Bertelli was the technical director of Aston Martin, and the designer of all subsequent Aston Martin cars during this period, these being known as the 'Bertelli cars'. They included the 1 1/2 litre 'T-type', the 'International, the 'Le Mans, the 'MKII' its racing derivative the 'Ulster, and the 2 litre 15/98 and its racing derivative the 'Speed Model'.
Mostly open two seater sports cars and mostly bodied by Bert Bertelli's brother Enrico (Harry)a small number of long chassis four seater tourers, dropheads and saloons were also produced.
Bertelli was very keen to race his cars and he was a very competent driver. One of the very few motor manufacturers to actually sit in and race the cars he designed and built, the competition no doubt 'improved the breed' and the 'LM' team cars were very successful in national and international motor racing including at Le Mans and the Mille Miglia.
With the introduction of the Mark II, the 'standard' saloon and tourer were discontinued. But in order to fill the gap left in the market, a long chassis model 4 seater was introduced. This car fully appealed to both those wanting generous accommodation together with sports car looks and performance to match. This was probably the first 4 seater that sold in similar numbers to the sports car alternative with 45 built in total.
Years 1956 -1957
The Buckler years!
St Annes Motor Club - Car Park Driving Test - The Sand Hills Bowl
Lancashire Automobile Club
Morecambe Promenade 1957
The 'Monte Morecambe'
The Rallying Years
Reputed to be the 1st MG TF in the world to win a National Rally.
MG Car Club - Northwest Centre - February 1954 Navigation Rally.
John M. Whalley - Driver - & ,Jim Turner - Navigator extraordinaire.
Bank Holiday 1957- Lake District dash!
Jim and Chris Turner, me and keith Seed, John Whalley and Don Butcher - circa 1957
A slight, but relevant, deviation starts here in black!
Reference the above picture, I always thought Mike Hawthorn and I had certain resemblances, for example mode of dress, tweaked cap, pipe smoking, car registrations and driving style, etcetera!
Mike Hawthorn the fun-loving, pipe-smoking, bow-tie wearing Brit who gave Britain its first Grand Prix win in 1953 at Reims in France, seeing off the great Juan Manuel Fangio in a straight fight. In 1958, Hawthorn became Britain's first world champion at the wheel of Enzo Ferrari's bright red Dino 246. Then, a couple of months later, he died as reigning champion in a road accident near Guildford. And all the time he hid a dire kidney complaint that would soon have killed him anyway.
I can never decide if it is Mike or me with Stirling Moss in the picture on the left. No I know it's Keith and me in the second photograph on the right!
The car below is the Le Mans winning 'D' Type driven by Mike
the car above is the same cLe Mans winning 'D' Type. When at at Aintree in 2005, I did several high speed laps with in the very same car, drien by the new owner, Nigel Webb, at the wheel. I have never been so frightened either before or since! You can see I was seated high-up in the car and my helmet visor was peppered with grit when we caught up with and overtook the cars in front!
Norman Dewis rode with Stirling Moss in a C-type in the 1952 Mille Miglia, drove a 190mph works D-type in the highly dramatic 1955 Le Mans, raced in the Goodwood 9 Hours, and set an amazing 173mph production car record at Jabbeke in Belgium with an XK 120. Completing over a million test miles at 100mph-plus average, Norman also played a crucial role developing the revolutionary Dunlop disc brake, and survived high-speed crashes and rollovers in the days before seat-belts – and without ever breaking a single bone.
For many years in the late 50's after National Service I worked at The Dunlop Rim and Wheel Company,Foleshill, Coventry as a Work Study Engineer engaged in the manufacture of Disk brakes for Jaguar and Ferrari cars, and the Maxaret aircraft braking systems which was the forerunner of automotive disk brake.
Strangely as it seems now, my first posting during National Service in the RAF was to the 'V' bomber base at Gaydon in Warwickshire, where experienced pilots and navigators of the Canberra' bomber were trained to fly the high tech Victor and Valiant 'V' bombers. An even bigger coincidence was that Jaguar were given permission to test the 'D' types at Gaydon on the massively long run way in the early '50's before my arrival there as a raw airman! During my very pleasant stay at the air base a Flight Lieutenant 'Dick' Protheroe also based there tested his own racing Jaguar 'C' type and practiced endlessly on the airfield perimeter , and on leaving the RAF set up a highly successful tuning business.
H and H Car Auctions siad ' We are delighted to be offering one of the most famous E-Type Jaguars of all. For being auctioned here is the first of three E-Types which were made famous during early 1960s British motor racing meetings by Elmer Richard Protheroe, the former RAF pilot and Gaydon V-bomber base commander, who assisted Jaguar by providing the runways for testing. Known by fans who lined the circuits at the weekends in great numbers in those days as 'Dick', Protheroe became a regular winner in E-Types carrying his celebrated `CUT 7' registration'. The car sold for £275,000 , yes, £275,000!
Dennis Jenkinson was Stirling Moss's navigator for the epic Mille Miglia of 1955 which they won outright. As you can see from the picture above, taken at a Shelsley Walsh hill climb meeting, he didn't lead an extravagent life style sleeping in the back of the van with the racing motor cycle he'd built himself .
Stirling Moss and Dennis Jenkinson in the winning Merecedes
Holiday in France 1953ish
Mike Thorn and me! Preston to Marseilles. There and back 2,040 miles on a Vespa scooter
Alfa Romeo 1.6 Spider at Lakeside, Windermere
Road Test magazine photo shoot!
Car park at Shelsley Walsh - 2005
Blackpool promenade circa 1988
Denis Jenkinson - Stirling Moss's MILLE MIGLIA Navigator at Shelsley walsh
Dream car at Shelsley Walsh
First Jaguar 1986 XJS - 3.6 manual, fabulous car!
Jim and Chris's Route 66 Trip
Circa 1990 (?)
More to come soon!