GP WIN­NER!

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

Classic Porsche - - Contents - Words: Robert Bar­rie Pho­tos: Tim Scott (Fluid Images), Keith Seume and archive

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

Above: Teddy Yipʼs driv­ing part­ner Henry Lee takes the flag at the 1970 Ma­cau ACP race while driv­ing the car fea­tured in the story

Be­low, left and right: Only a few small changes have been made, such as the fit­ment of a driver ʼs door mir­ror and the loss of front over­rid­ers, but oth­er­wise the car looks just as it did back in its Ma­cau rac­ing days

Be­low: With lights taped over for rac­ing, the Yip 911S waits at the pit­wall in Ma­cau. Note the rear bumper has been re­moved – a com­mon trick back in the day to save weight and re­duce drag

Right: Teddy Yip was a keen sup­porter of the Ma­cau GP but is prob­a­bly best known for be­ing the man be­hind the Theodore F1 and F3 teams. Amongst his pro­tegés was a cer­tain Ayr­ton Senna (far right with Yip)…

Above: Henry Lee at speed in the 2.2 911S. The car was re­mark­ably stan­dard back then, but held its head high in the For­mula Li­bre class Opp­site top: Car ʼs first pub­lic ap­pear­ance was at this year ʼs Clas­sics at the Cas­tle. En­gine is the orig­i­nal – how m

Be­low left: Dash­board and in­te­rior as a whole is pretty stock, right down to the 400mm steer­ing wheel Be­low: Jeb­sen Mo­tors was – and still is – the of­fi­cial dealer for Hong Kong and Ma­cau

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