Graham Gauld’s Goodwood
By Graham Gauld
As you can see in this Special Edition of VeloceToday, there are plenty of photos and details about the racing at the event. But for me, Goodwood is another chance to meet up with old friends, make new ones, and keep an eye open for things that might have escaped notice or otherwise have been so obscure as to be missed by the many journalists around.
Clark and the E.R.A.
As this year was celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark’s first World Championship win in 1963, Lord March dedicated the meeting to him. There was a remarkable collection of cars that Jim Clark had raced, and then sent off in a parade round the circuit.
Among the more obscure was the 1936 E.R.A. voiturette R5B originally raced by the Siamese Prince Bira, but also raced for many years by Tony Rolt and journalist John Bolster. Eventually, in 1959, the Honorable Patrick Lindsay, who has been credited as the creator of what we now call historic car racing when he was a director of the well-established auction house of Christies, bought the E.R.A.
We now move to 1963 and the French Grand Prix held on the Rouen road circuit. The organizers had the idea of holding a support race for historic racing cars and Patrick took the ERA along. This 1.5 liter supercharged racer is still the archetypal pre-war upright shape, once called “English Perpendicular.” However, when Patrick came in from practice Jim Clark – who was racing for Lotus in the Grand Prix – was fascinated and took a great interest in it. Patrick then asked him if he would like a shot and arrangements were made with the Clerk of the Course for Clark to take this thirty-year-old racer out onto the tricky road circuit. Imagine everyone’s surprise when Clark lapped the circuit quicker than the owner after only a handful of laps, underlining the fact that Clark was a true car buff. In 1964 he mentioned to me that one of the advantages of being a World Champion was that if he saw a car that interested him, the owner would usually let him have a few laps in it: you bet they would. At Goodwood Patrick Lindsay’s son Ludovic Lindsay, who continues to race the E.R.A., drove it in the Jim Clark Parade.Clark’s biggest fan
If Jim Clark ever needed a fan, he would have found him with three-time-Indy winner Dario Franchitti, another Scot who has a great admiration for Clark. In fact, he even has a room in his Scottish home set aside for the huge amount of memorabilia he has stored there, as well as additional items in his main home in Tennessee.
Dario was over the moon when the Henry Ford Museum at Dearborn flew Clark’s 1965 Indy Winning Lotus-Ford 38/1, and gave it to Dario to drive in the demonstration. Dario had an exact replica of Clark’s dark blue 1963 complete with the deep white visor, but to 2013 racing specification. Following Dario out on to the track was legend Jackie Stewart driving a Lotus 33 that had also been raced by Clark.
What a lot of people did not realize was that Jackie had his first ever race in a Grand Prix car with a Lotus 33 when Colin Chapman drafted him to drive a Lotus in one of the races in the 1964 Rand Grand Prix in South Africa. He was then signed by BRM for his first full world championship season in 1965.
Another car in the Jim Clark line up that surprised a lot of people was the unique Lotus 43-BRM with which Jim Clark won the U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in 1966.
The Goodwood Revival was the first time this car had run with a BRM engine since that race back in 1966 and thereby hangs a story…this BRM engine was no ordinary engine but the only H-16 engine ever run in a Grand Prix. So what is an H16 engine? Well, to a mechanical simpleton like me it is like taking two flat 8 engines and placing one on top of the other. So you have two exhausts coming out of the top and two underneath. Sure, the engine was short but it had a high center of gravity not helped by the ground clearance and it was very heavy. (I believe it took six men to lift the engine.)
BRM themselves ran two factory cars that year with the H-16 but it was unreliable; Jackie Stewart shudders when you mention the engine to him. However as it was the first year of the 3 liter formula and many of the racers were running upgraded 2 liters, as proper 3 liters were in short supply.
Colin Chapman arranged to take delivery of one engine. As a result he turned up at Watkins Glen with three factory Lotuses, one with a BRM 2 liter V8, one with a 2 liter Coventry-Climax and one with the quirky BRM H16. Originally, Peter Arundell was to drive the H16 car but in practice Clark recorded second place on the grid but the engine began to leak oil as he finished practice. BRM offered Chapman their spare H16 engine and the mechanics did an overnight job fitting it. Clark meanwhile also practiced the V8 Climax-engined car just in case.
However the Lotus-BRM H16 came up trumps and Clark romped home to give the engine its one and only race win. The engine was dropped at the end of the season but not before BRM had actually made a 4.2 liter version for a planned Indy car, but the engine was never completed.
Back at Lotus the BRM H16 was returned to BRM and eventually the chassis ended up with a friend of mine, Jock Russell, one of the real characters in Scottish motor racing. He was a Jim Hurtibise-type of hard-charging driver; he put a Ford V8 into the Lotus and raced it. Then when he retired from racing he stuck the tub, bodywork etc. up in the roof of his garage and proceeded to fend off anyone who wanted to buy it, as he knew it was a historically important car. Eventually two years ago, one of Britain’s leading saloon car drivers, Andy Middlehurst, was able to prise the chassis out of Jock who needed the money to take up his order of a new Lamborghini. As Andy remarks today “…I was lucky and caught Jock at the right time.”
Andy’s job was to find a BRM H16 and he was helped by Rick Hall of Hall & Hall, who had worked at BRM in the heady days. Now, just in time for Goodwood the car appeared. The sound of this H16 is truly unique and the car was stunning.
Best Cappuccino ever made
And now for a short footnote: Jane and I were wandering around the various stands both inside and outside the circuit where you can buy almost anything. As we passed one stand I noticed what looked like a model Ferrari V12 engine. The guy behind the stand turned out to be Greg Marucci, who is a leading light in the South African Ferrari Club in Johannesburg. I had given a talk to the members some years ago and remembered him. So what was this engine all about? It turned out to be the most upmarket coffee machine you have ever seen; the Espresso Veloce.
Beautifully crafted and engineered by fellow South African Paolo Mastrogiuseppe, this coffee machine is available as a V12, a V10 or a V8 and the cups are individually machined out of super alloys. It is the kind of practical toy you want to have at home but for me the price £7,000 was a bit steep. But look it up on the web site www.espressoveloce.com. I am sure Editor Pete would love to have one for review!!!!!