More from our resident racer
PORSCHES PUT ON A GREAT SHOW AT THIS YEAR’S GOODWOOD REVIVAL, NOT THE LEAST BEING THE MAGNIFICENT 8TH OVERALL IN THE FORDWATER TROPHY BY OUR OWN COLUMNIST…
“ANOTHER STRONG TURNOUT OF OUR SORT OF STUFF…”
As ever, the Goodwood Revival was one of the highlights of my race calendar. I was generously invited to drive my old 356 Pre-a in the Fordwater Trophy by Simon Bowrey, its new owner. There was an element of unfinished business in that I knew the car could, and should, go better than we did last time. We took a couple of seconds off our previous best in testing and a couple more in quali. We were moving in the right direction, even if we still werenʼt anywhere near Sam Tordoff, who put his Pre-a on pole and came through the field in the race to finish second to Darren Turner ʼs Aston Martin after a fluffed start. For the record, I managed to get ours off the line without stalling…
Goodwood is also a place to see and be seen and the Pre-a is a seriously pretty little car. I seem to remember there was some debate as to whether it is exactly the right shade of silver-grey, but thereʼs no doubt it suits the car perfectly.
Simon has added bumpers, re-fitted the window winders and retrimmed the interior. Itʼs all unnecessary weight in a sense – something like 75 kilos to be precise – but the net effect is that the car is stunning. The lad has a good eye.
I am more of a numbers man myself, and can claim the pointlessly trivial, but possibly unique, double of having raced a 356 numbered 356 and a 911 numbered 911 at the circuit. I will happily do the maths again if someone wants to stick me in a 904 or a 910!
More generally, the competition department seems to have become a bit keener on our cars of late. If so, long may it last. After the Membersʼ Meeting, in which classic Porsches were, if anything, over-represented, there was another strong turnout of our sort of stuff at this year ʼs Revival.
There were five Pre-as in the Fordwater, three 904s in the TT and two 910s in the Whitsun Trophy. It was also tremendous to see a team of early 911s – including David Kennedyʼs rare RHD example – acting as course and safety cars alongside the regular GT40S. Well done to Andy Prill who helped put that together.
Over the course of the weekend, I spent some time away from the track taking in the attractions and distractions at some of the commercial stands. I found a number of period photographs of Uk-based 904s. According to Denis Jenkinson, there were up to six such cars, including Stirling Mossʼs metallic green car and Dickie Stoopʼs Irish Green example that raced at the circuit in period and has done so again this year at both the Member ʼs Meeting and the Revival.
I found some photographs of AFX 1B – the car that briefly belonged to Ronnie Hoare. Elsewhere at the event, I bumped into Alain de Cadenet who confirmed he bought the car from Hoare. De Cadenet paid for the car in instalments, the first of which was some start- and prize-money he won from borrowing and racing it!
I also found a couple of photographs of chassis 097 – a silver car that was first owned by John Morris who, like Mike Deʼudy, went on also to race a 906. The car had an interesting, if largely domestic, competitive career including a top ten finish at Goodwood, along with Stoop and Deʼudy in their 904s in the 2-litre support race at the 1964 TT meeting.
The race – which appears only to have been run in 1964 – was won by Mike Spence in a Lotus Elan, with Stoop second and Deʼudy third. If the comp department are looking for new periodcorrect ideas, a re-run of that format could be worth considering.
I bought the photographs, as well as some others, from a couple of established old-school vendors. They knew what they had, but didnʼt seem over-bothered about selling it. They were enthusiasts themselves. Our sort of people, in fact.
In contrast, some others seemed only to be interested in making money. They had interesting images, but didnʼt know or care much about them. Their pricing structure was complicated and more or less prohibitive. They said I mustnʼt do anything with anything I bought.
They werenʼt sure they should be there and I am not sure I should be writing this now. God preserve us from these people and keep our pastime in better hands. You didnʼt think we were going to get through this without a rant about something, did you?
Actually, thatʼs the wrong note on which to end. I must thank Simon again for the opportunity, Steve Winter for his calm and very capable support and lots of other people for lots of other things – it was all great fun! CP
Robert Barrie is a classic Porsche enthusiast through and through. As well as competing in historic events with a variety of early Porsches and organising track days, heʼs also a purveyor of fine classic automobiles