Once owned by Teddy Yip, boss of the Theodore F1 team, this 2.2-litre 911S won the 1970 Macau Grand Prix. Now restored back to its former glory, it stands as a reminder of the Porsche 911ʼs versatility
Teddy Yip’s Macau Gp-winning 911S restored back to its former glory
There has been a motor race in Macau for more than sixty years. The Guai street circuit runs along the harbour front, back across the south of the city, and around the reservoir. Stirling Moss is reputed to have said that it outMonacoʼd Monaco. Initially, in the 1950s, the Macau Grand Prix featured local amateurs in their sports cars but the event soon started to attract an international entry list and become more professional.
It ran to a Formula Libre format that included sports racers and single-seaters, while an undercard of sports and touring car races was added from the late-1960s onwards. More recently, since the early-1980s, the main event has been a high-profile F3 race – an opportunity for up-andcoming drivers to add to their experience and reputation. The first winner in the new format was a certain Ayrton Senna.
Senna was sponsored by Teddy Yip, the charismatic entrepreneur and committed motor racing enthusiast who took his Theodore Racing operation into Formula One. His business interests in Macau, and the region more generally, meant he was a lifelong and important supporter of the Macau Grand Prix.
He drove Jaguar XKS and E-types in the event in the 1950s and early-1960s, before switching to Porsche – in the form of a pair of 911Ss and a 906 sports racer – in the late1960s. The younger of Yipʼs 911Ss came to the UK some twenty years ago and has been here ever since. In the last few years, it has been put back into its period colours and livery and now looks just as it did in his ownership and its Macau heyday. But more of that in a moment.
What follows is a potted history of Yipʼs involvement with racing Porsche 911s. The older of his two 911Ss first appeared in 1968. His friend and driving partner Henry Lee qualified the car in that year ʼs Macau Grand Prix, but it wasnʼt classified at the finish. More encouragingly, Lee drove it to fifth in the Automobile Club of Portugal (ACP) support race. Period photographs suggest the car was a 1968 RHD 2.0-litre 911S in Tangerine and liveried with Jebsen Motors decals. Jebsen Motors was, and still is, the official dealer for Hong Kong and Macau.
The following year, Yip and Lee shared the same car in the six-hour Macau Guia race where they finished fourth, behind two big Mercedes and another 911S. Later in the year, in the 1969 Macau Grand Prix, Lee drove the car to sixth place.
All three of Yipʼs Porsches were present at the 1970 event. Don Oʼsullivan drove the older 911S to third in the Grand Prix with Yip a couple of places behind in his 906. Lee drove the 906 to victory in the sports car race and did the same thing with Yipʼs new 1970 RHD 911S in the ACP race, giving the younger car a win first time out!
As with the older 911S, the new 2.2-litre 911S was Tangerine and again liveried with Jebsen Motors decals. Period photographs show both cars racing without rear bumpers and, in one case, the older car racing without a front bumper. The younger car, on the other hand, not only retained its front bumper but also its overriders! Incidentally, none of that panel removal (to save weight and reduce drag) would be allowed in contemporary historic racing. After 1970, the 906 continued to race in Macau for a few years, but the two 911s seem to have disappeared from view.
The next we heard of either of them was in the mid1990s, when the 1970 911S was found parked up on a street in Hong Kong, by which time it was looking a little sorry for itself. It had been road registered there some twenty years earlier, suggesting its racing life probably ended soon after it started. At the time of discovery, the car was in the care of Henry Lee, its successful race driver.
A deal was done and the car, which by now was painted gold and featuring flared rear arches, came to the UK to be
“FOUND PARKED UP ON A STREET IN HONG KONG…”
re-commissioned by Autofarm. Meanwhile, its new owner put together some more of its history. It seems the car was collected from the factory by Herb Adamczyk, who worked for Jebsen Motors.
Adamzyck was a handy driver in his own right and raced a series of 911s in Macau, the list including an ST, an RS and an RSR, or cars very close to those specs. Adamczyk remembered Yipʼs car was Tangerine when new and suggested, by the time it was raced, it had been fitted with shorter gears and a long-range fuel tank.
After a few years in the UK, the car changed hands again and the new owner embarked on a comprehensive restoration at Gantspeed. The car changed colour once more – this time it was repainted silver. It then changed hands a couple more times before finding its way to its current owner who, recognising the significance of its early ownership and racing history, had Moto-technique put it back into its period racing colours and livery.
For a RHD early 911 and a car with period racing history, it retains an impressively large number of original and correct features. If you think about it, how many RHD early 911s with period racing history are there anyway!
The 911S still has its original engine, aluminium engine lid, correct grille and deep Fuchs all-round. The long-range fuel tank is still there and takes a fair bit of filling as I was to find out. The steering wheel is a leather-covered thin-rimmed 400mm and a delight to handle. The car is fitted with sports seats, though it may have had comfort seats when new. A period roll hoop has long gone.
It has a driver ʼs side external mirror but has lost its front overriders and rear nudge bar. Some may also spot that the cut-out horn grilles it raced with – it was supplied with
through-the-grille spot lights – have gone. At Hedingham, I was told that the slots in the door locks were vertical when they should be horizontal, or maybe it was the other way round…
I first saw the car several years ago when it was at Autofarm and again when it was at Gantspeed. To my surprise, I stumbled across it for a third time in central London more recently as itʼs now in the hands of an old friend from the world of historic racing.
It was a pleasure to take it to this year ʼs Classics at the Castle where it featured as part of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the 911S. Itʼs one of the joys of an early 911 that it demands to be driven. So the car and I set off early on a Sunday morning in September, sidestepped the congestion charge, and drove out of London on the M11 into deepest Essex. We followed a green RS some of the way – the two cars adding a splash of 1970s colour to the otherwise drab traffic around us.
The 911S is a willing and capable car on the road. Itʼs less peaky than some other small-capacity Ss and unusually stable at motorway speed. It no longer has the short gearing it raced with, so it was a very relaxing and enjoyable drive. Arriving at our destination, we were directed to a prime display spot opposite Castle Hedinghamʼs impressive keep. The ex-vic Elford 2.4S company car was to one side, with the ex-gerald Larousse Tour de France ST beyond it. To the other side was the exDan Marguiles Mugello RHD TR. We appeared to be in good company.
The ex-teddy Yip 911S is a rare and lovely thing with a fascinating history. It was great to see it again, and drive it for the first time, looking just as it did when Teddy Yip and Henry Lee raced and won with it all those years ago in Macau. CP
“THE 911S IS A RARE AND LOVELY THING…”
Above: Having been resprayed the rather inevitable silver following its journey to the UK, itʼs great to see the ex-teddy Yip 911S back in its original Tangerine, with correct lettering, too