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Race Retro, Stoneleigh Park, 21-23 February 2014

OK For Some?

Last year at Race Retro I saw signs of optimism, and Mono didn't disappoint me in 2013. Elsewhere, however, some series struggled, and of course Mallory went under. Race Retro itself this year gave mixed messages. There were fewer stands and some had downsized, including to my disappointment the magnificant Gardner and Crossthwaite. As a result, some of the autojumble moved into "our" hall 3 (a bit warmer than the cattle sheds) and there were signs that stands were difficult to sell - stands which were little to do with the sport and just there to sell cleaning products or bow ties (which looked very nice by the way). Yet the quality of exhibits was high - 2 ERA's for a start and some beautiful "featured" McLarens. A chat with friends at MAC and CSCC confirmed there is great interest in what the three of us do very well in our respective fields - offering value for money, straightforward, enjoyable motorsport. At the other extreme, Damon Milnes of Cheshire Classic Cars told me that there was an almost insatiable interest in the very high end cars - Ferrari 330, DB6, Miuras, etc. Which may mean that in the middle, where various competition unfriendly rules have been made (like historic cars needing re-certification as nut-and-bolt-legal every 5 years) money and entries may be a bit difficult in the coming year. Let's hope not.

Our own stand was busier than it has been for some time with the usual mix of welcome old friends, those already thinking of joining us who want a chat, and some who haven't even considered Monoposto and were introduced to our delights. It surprised me that I spoke to a couple of visitors who were still unaware that single seater racing can be not only as accessible as road car based sport, but it doesn't need a lot of mechanical ability to keep a single seater running reliably. (NB applies mainly to the Vauxhall Junior end of the club.) The key, as with so many things, is that the car is right to start off with. And there were a few cars advertised on the stand, including Daryl Jones's FVL which was there in person and rapidly sold on Friday, which we would expect should provide some seasons of cost effective competition. Daryl's car provoked some nostalgia from several ex-owners, including a school proprietor, who liked the strong but uncomplicated chassis and almost bullet proof engine. The sport is probably still searching for a successor to the FVL.

Many thanks to Daryl Jones, Jon Reed and Alan Cornock for loan of the cars. From his website it looks like Alan's is now sold (but he has others) showing that there's nothing like seeing a car in the flesh to get it sold. Thanks also to Jonathan Baggott and Simon Davey for organising and manning the stand, and to David Cox, Doug McLay, Nick Harrison, Jon Reed, Sarah Harvey-Fern and anybody I've forgotten for manning the stand.

Disclaimer: In the following photographs, I have described the cars as if they are what they purport to represent. Some may well be replicas, built from a similar model in recent years.

The stand attracted people with a varied array of cars, photographs and advertisements.
Doug McLay and Jon Reed engage with Phil Egginton of Myserscough College....
....who had a stand in hall 3.
Peter Hammond, who many will know, had an effective mobile advertisiing solution. Nobody at all mentioned Mad Hatters from Alice in Wonderland.
Mr Howe (sorry, I've forgotten his forename) who ran Adam Lippitt's 398 in Mono rebuilt this March 722. Previously purchased from Dermot, it was being sold by Damon Milnes at Cheshire Classic Cars.
Damon also had this cute Goodwood eligible Renault 4CV.
MotorSport mag showed a Masrtin Brundle 1993 RT3 looking better than new. Is it ex-Mono?
Why not upgrade your "real" (Issigonis) Mini with Hayabusa? busamini.com were next to us.
A Porsche 917 body was shown.
Central Scanning had this Porsche 550 (replica?) - part finished cars were quite in fashion...
...this Lister replica being another.
Slightly different, but still on the "naked cars" theme, the F3 Screamers showed this Merlyn Mk9
McLaren was this featured marque, this is a 1995 F1GTR. Sponsors included Ueno Clinic, a Japanese place for men with a Spot of Bother.
1973 McLaren M23. If you need to be told it has a DFV, you're on the wrong website.
The 1972 M16B Indycar, however, has the legendary 4 cylinder Offenhauser turbo engine.
Also for US racing, a 1970 CanAm M8D
The celebrity stage is an integral part of Race Retro, and the interviewer/presenter did a wonderful job, barely offstage over the show. Stirling Moss is always welcome at these events. After his recent fall he is now walking, but got round the show in a buggy.
Norman Dewis is of course a local to Stoneleigh and told his stories of crashing the XJ13.
Barrie Williams never ages, and is always more about the future than the past, but reminded us he was the first to win an international rally (the Welsh) in a Mini (1964, Cooper S).
Win Percy, touring and sports car legend, was another entertaining speaker. Sadly his career was cut short by surgery which went wrong.
Win signed the Group44 XJR5 on the TWR stand.

Or at least, the tub of etc etc. V12 powered, it was originally built by Bob Tullius's team.

 

A Porsche 917 (note the cab/feet forward driving position) contrasted nicely with a 924 on the Snetterton 6 hours stand.
Historic karting is popular. Similar driving position to a 917 at lower cost is the Buckler Ultralite Mk2 Bultaco 200. Buckler also made 500s and road cars.
Austin Healey 3000 rally car in the sheds fopr the special stage.
I think this Mini Clubman is the last BL Mini to run in an International Rally.
A Ferrari Michellotto 308 Group 4 would not be many people's first choice as a multi-purpose car, but Tom Grogan has both raced and rallied in such a car.
An early multi purpose car was the traditional Morgan 3 Wheeler. This was once owned by the Vintage Motor Cycle Club's Tich Allen.
Osca GT, powered by Maserati, coachwork by Fissore.
Ford Zephyr Utility Coupe, retrofitted with 5.7L V8. Surely a Zodiac grille?

Another Ford from the past was this D Series, run by oval racer Mark Daniell, in Graham Hill Embassy colours. Remember when D Series were a major step forward in truck design? And when Ford made lorries?

A replica petrol pump makes an unusual display cabinet, or fridge. Not a sentence I expect to ever use again.
The sheds still have books and "stuff". Here is motorsport ephemerata purveyor Jeremy Bouckley.
A Ford Model T based dirt track car "Bobtail T"
Midland Automobile Club (Shelsley Walsh organisers) had ERA R8C, while the VSCC had R5B Remus.
Ridden probe, head down, head first.
Streamlined bike
Metisse looked good.
Have your own Lotus 49 style simulator on castors.

MG Magnette K3 attracted many to Sywell Wngs and Wheels. Oh there's a girl in the picture? Didn't notice her...

McLaren M23 welcomed visitors to the show.

Words and pictures by Tony Cotton.

Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover. Subheadlines and captions are not originated from the named author. We are unable to reproduce results due to copyright reasons. If any pictures are copyright and the owner wishes them removed please email us.